The CD9 Democratic primary has become very negative. Not as negative as the Rs in CD6 (Schweikert v. Quayle) where they are gay-baiting, or as the negative as the Rs in CD4 (Gosar v. Gould v. Murphy) where during their debate on KAET's Horizon one was left with the impression that if Gosar and Gould had knives, there would have been blood on the floor.
Still, in CD9, the half-truths and outright lies have been flying about with increasing frequency.
Kyrsten Sinema put out a mailer that attacks both of her opponents, Andrei Cherny and David Schapira, claiming that both Schapira and Cherny support public education-destroying school vouchers. I can't speak for Cherny (don't know him that well), but in the six years that David Schapira has been representing me in the Arizona Legislature, he has always been a staunch defender of public education.
There is also a PAC/independent expenditure group named "Restoring Arizona's Integrity" that has spent more than $50K attacking Cherny. That group has ties to the Sinema camp - the organizers of the committee are long-time lobbyists in AZ and the head of the lobbying firm has contributed to Sinema's campaign.
Another group, "Progressive Independent Committee" has begun weighing in with "hit pieces" (aka - negative mailers) against Sinema, against Sinema and Schapira, and robocalls (against Sinema, I think; not sure because I didn't get one of those). The combo hit piece compared Schapira and Sinema to Republicans Russell Pearce, Jan Brewer and Joe Arpaio.
Like many Democrats in the district, I have formed opinions of all three Ds in the CD9 race. While most of us now support one candidate over the other two, that doesn't mean we believe that the other two are stupid and/or evil. This particular mailer isn't just nasty, it may border on libel (and that's tough to pull off when talking about politicians).
That group is more shadowy. Its organizer, Matthew D. Langley, is a political operative based in Tennessee. His firm, MD Langley & Associates, has been administratively dissolved by the Tennessee Secretary of State for failure to file annual reports -
The filing problems continue with Langley, as he has been lax in filing Independent Expenditure reports for the committee, filing only one report (for the initial anti-Sinema mailers) but not doing so for his/the committee's other activity (the mailer that railed against both Sinema and Schapira and the robocalls).
Anyway, this committee seems to be the Cherny committee. If the targets of its vitriol don't make that clear enough, how about this -
Langley used to work for a firm called Patton Technologies as Director of Compliance, and early in his campaign for Arizona Treasurer, Andrei Cherny hired, you guessed it, Patton Technologies.
Note to Mr. Langley if he bothers to read this: A "Director of Compliance" shouldn't have filing issues on his resume. Just sayin'...
The negative blasts from from the Cherny and Sinema camps seem to be working against them and boosting Schapira, who has been running an unfailingly positive campaign - a recent poll (published in the Yellow Sheet, so I cannot link to it) shows Schapira with a small lead in the race, and a reception with former Congressman Harry Mitchell on Saturday night was just packed.
Next Wednesday, the Arizona Democratic Party will hold the 2012 Forward Together unity rally in Phoenix.
I have no doubt that regardless of the outcome of Tuesday's primary, David Schapira will be there to support all Democratic candidates. I can't say I believe the same about the others.
And that fact, combined with his relentlessly positive campaign and the fact that he is the candidate most concerned with the people of the Ninth Congressional District, is why David Schapira is the best candidate in the race.