Monday, September 06, 2010

AZGOP/Green candidate scandal coverage goes national

...It's made it all the way to the east coast now, and not in just a weekly or suburban daily that no one outside of its base market reads.

From the New York Times -
Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for statewide office in Arizona, lists his campaign office as a Starbucks. The small business he refers to in his campaign statement is him strumming his guitar on the street. The internal debate he is having in advance of his coming televised debate is whether he ought to gel his hair into his trademark faux Mohawk.


Mr. Pearcy and other drifters and homeless people were recruited onto the Green Party ballot by a Republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the Democrats.


...Steve May, the Republican operative who signed up some of the candidates along Mill Avenue, a bohemian commercial strip next to Arizona State University, insists that a real political movement has been stirred up that has nothing to do with subterfuge.

“Did I recruit candidates? Yes,” said Mr. May, who is himself a candidate for the State Legislature, on the Republican ticket. “Are they fake candidates? No way.”

Mr. May can insist from now until November that the "candidates" that he recruited are real, but they didn't even vote for themselves.

The article contains a number of pictures of May and the faux-Green candidates together along Mill Ave. in Tempe.  Here's a pic of May and one of the candidates, Anthony "Grandpa" Goshorn, from last week's LD17 Clean Elections debate.  Goshorn was scheduled to appear during the Senate half of the debate, but he declined to do so, because according to the NYT article, he felt a "bad vibe."

Pic below of Goshorn (left) and May, from the night of the debate.



Thane Eichenauer said...

This may be a brouhaha. Others may term it a political to-do. The Democrats claim it is a fraud. It is a Green Party lament. Some term this a scheme. The formenter-in-chief Steve May certainly seems to feel no shame or regret in his actions so I would be hesitant to call it a scandal.

The day the powers that be tire of spoiler candidates they will try to hoodwink Arizona into adopting the top two system (the system that has turned Washington state into a virtual paradise [for the duopoly]). The day the voters tire of spoilers they will adopt ranked choice voting.

jcapatelli said...

Sick. And sickening.

This Steve May guy is obviously exploiting people who have some form of mental illness and diminished capacity. He's taking the poorest of the poor, and the most desperate, and using them in a cynical effort to gain more votes for wealthy Republicans.

Some people, like May, lust for power and will do absolutely anything---even using the disabled, to gain it. What's next? Kids?

cpmaz said...

Thane -

I call it a scandal because it is a case of an organization that likes to wrap itself in the flag and spout "patriotic" platitudes working overtime to undermine the average voter's (little remaining) trust in the integrity of the system.

As for the other part of what you wrote, the mechanics of the system won't matter so long as the majority of voters don't pay attention to what is going on until a week or month before an election.

Willful apathy and ignorance are the biggest problems in American politics right now, IMHO.

J - I've seen a few of the candidates in person or on video. I'm not a doctor or someone who is qualified to diagnose actual medical/psychiatric conditions, but while a few of them may have such issues, some don't seem to (at least to the layman's eyes).

They are more likely willing and knowing participants in the scheme.

As for May, he seems to have his own issues, issues that go beyond having no moral compass.

Far beyond.

Richard said...

I would like to know how the AZGP distinguishes between two write-in candidates, both of whom won congressional primaries with a handful of votes.

According to the state canvass, Leonard Clark won the CD-3 primary with five write-in votes and I won the CD-6 primary with six write-in votes.

Yet I'm among the large number of defendants in suit filed by the Arizona Green Party but Mr. Clark is not:

Arizona Green Party et al v. Bennett et al

Plaintiffs: Arizona Green Party and Claudia Ellquist

Ken Bennett , LeNora Johnson, Jim Claw, R John Lee, Tom White, Jr., Ryan Blackman, Richard Grayson, Christopher Campbell, Anthony Goshorn, Matthew Shusta, Clint Clement, Andrew Blischak, Michelle Lochmann, Thomas Meadows, Theodore Gomez, Benjamin Pearcy, Christine Rhodes, Patrick Call, Ann English, Richard Searle, Candace Owens, Elizabeth Archuleta, Lena Fowler, Mandy Metzger, Matt Ryan, Carl Taylor, Sadie Dalton, Shirley Dawson, Tommie Martin, Michael Pastor, Wendy John, Chip Davis, Greg Ferguson, Russell McCloud, Kathryn Prochaska, Marco Reyes, Carol Springer, Robyn Stallworth-Pouquette, Lenore Stuart, Thomas Thurman, Ana Wayman-Trujillo, Shelly Baker, Fulton Brock, John Drum, David Gomez, Mark Herrington, Holly Irwin, Drew John, Andrew Kunasek, Richard Lunt, Berta Manuz, James Palmer, Sandy Pierce, Helen Purcell, Hector Ruedas, Don Stapley, Mary Rose Wilcox, Max Wilson, Jerry Brownlow, J R DeSpain, Buster Johnson, Laurette Justman, Carol Meier, Jonathan Nez, Tom Sockwell, David Tenney, Jesse Thompson, Gary Watson, Sharon Bronson, Raymond Carroll, Ann Day, Laura Dean-Lytle, Richard Elias, F Ann Rodriguez, Ramon Valadez, Bryan Martyn, Pete Rios, Suzanne Sainz, David Snider, John Maynard, Jr., Rudy Molera and Manuel Ruiz

I fail to see how Mr. Clark and I are situated differently except that after an August 22 AZGP meeting - at which I was asked to vote on the endorsement of other candidates, including Mr. Clark, whom I supported - Mr. Clark was "endorsed" but the party but I was not.

If the AZGP were trying to kick off the ballot all the write-in candidates, it would be one thing, but the party is attempting to keep on the ballot write-in candidates they "endorsed."

This itself seems to violate equal protection. Parties cannot pick and choose which of their primary winners they will allow on the ballot, right? This is still the United States?