Thursday, November 10, 2011

Short Attention Span Musing...

...Some people just didn't get the message from Tuesday's recall vote in LD18.

- Recalled state senator Russell Pearce wrote a rather delusional op-ed published by the Arizona Capitol Times.  Aside from the expected self-pitying and self-righteous blathering (the recall was all about his anti-immigrant positions and he did nothing wrong.  His opponenets made up his misuse and abuse of office and his meanness and arrogance toward the people of his district), he dropped some whoppers that weren't directly related to the recall election.  My favorite:
...we lead the nation in many areas, such as economic recovery, safer neighborhoods, job creation, quality education...
Either Pearce is completely clueless about the realities of life in Arizona, or he's trying out for a spot on Faux News.

Or both.

- State Senator Sylvia Allen, not recalled but a close friend of Pearce's, issued a press release that blamed everyone but Pearce for the recall.  Like Pearce above, she hasn't heard the message, or she has and is lying about it.
“Recalls have never and were never meant to be used against lawmakers whose sole fault was they disagreed with you on the issues. They’re designed to target people who may have committed crimes or were guilty of gross misconduct in office,” says Senator Sylvia Allen, President Pro Tem of the Senate.
So, is Allen saying that things like her friend's ordering the unlawful arrests of people who dissent from his extreme positions, protectiing a domestic abuser like Sen. Scott Bundgaard from answering for his crimes, and accepting "gifts" from the Fiesta Bowl and having the arrogance to say that he didn't have to report them or pay them back (before he quietly did so) aren't gross misconduct?

Or is she saying that violating free speech protections, ignoring domestic violence laws, and ignoring the ethical standards for elected officials are just "issues" where Pearce (and Allen) simply finds himself in disagreement with civil society?

...In other news, Governor Jan Brewer and her handlers are looking to strike while the iron is hot (read: before the AZ Supreme Court rules on her partisan interference with the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission).  Steve at Arizona Eagletarian has posted the text of a letter she sent to the rest of the AIRC.

She's demanding that they scrap the draft maps completely and come up with districts that are more to her (and that of Marilyn Quayle).  Without using the specific words, it's evident that she wants the AIRC to protect one "community of interest" above all others -

Arizona's community of Republican elected officials.

Even if the voters don't want incumbents interests served at the expense of Arizona's interests.

...The Republican members of the state senate have selected Senator Steve Pierce to be the president of the state senate.  Like his predecessor (Pearce) and his colleague (Allen), he doesn't have a clue about what happened Tuesday.

From the Arizona Republic article linked above -
"We're going to continue the good things that Russell started," Pierce said. "He did a wonderful job. He did not deserve what happened to him."
Russell Pearce was drunk with power and contemptuous of his constituents and Arizonans as a whole (unless they lined his pockets with "gift" and "campaign contributions"), and he lost an election as a result.

That's what is *supposed* to happen, and he deserved every bit of it.

...From the "has even less of a clue than Pearce, Pierce, and Allen" department - Sen. Scott "Fists of Fury" Bundgaard has formed a reelection committee for the 2012 cycle.  I won't predict that he can't make it through an R primary (made that mistake with Ben Quayle last year.  Never again will make the mistake of overestimating the standards of R primary voters.  However, his presence on a general election ballot could turn a safe R district into a D upset.

...In a long-rumored development, Richard Carmona, a former US Surgeon General, has entered the race for the Democratic nomination for the US Senate seat currently held by Jon Kyl.  He joins Don Bivens, an attorney and former chair of the Arizona Democratic Party, in the race.

Obviously, it is still early, and other candidates may yet enter the race, but I have to say this -

I hope there *is* a primary.  As long as it is clean, a primary is a good thing.  Especially since neither of the announced candidates has ever run for office before (so far as I can find). 

Arizona Democrats have a history of "clearing the field" for well-meaning but inexperienced candidates for high office, only to watch them get buried at the polls.  A robust primary will not only remedy the "inexperience" problem, it will generate media and public attention for the Democratic candidates, something that has been sorely lacking during the last few election cycles.

In addition, like their predecessors, both are bound to have highly-paid professional "consultants" on their campaign staffs who will tell each to run as "Republican-lite" candidates.

This highly-unpaid amateur is telling each candidate (and any others who may also jump into the race) -

Run as "sincere" candidates who focus more on the needs and concerns of Arizonans (even if that ticks off a few of the loud and proud screamers in the electorate) than on "triangulating" positions that are calculated to completely alienate the smallest number of voters (but leave a vague bad taste in the mouths of *all* voters).

Pandering to the fringe Rs even though you will never get their votes may not cost you the votes of the Democratic base (it's not like they'll vote for Jeff Flake), but it will cost you something almost as valuable - their energy.  A successful candidate doesn't just need votes, but also needs feet on the ground.

What those professional consultants won't tell you, in fact are afraid to tell you because they are worried about their next paying gig, is that most successful campaigns are more about the energy of the volunteers than they are about perfectly crafted and completely meaningless positions on issues.

Remember that.

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