Thursday, August 09, 2012

Democrats: Beware Republican front groups bearing endorsements

This being a year in which Democrats are expected to make some serious gains (yes, even in Arizona), many groups noted for their slavish, even monomaniacal, support of all things and candidates Republican are wading into the Democratic side of the ballot.  They've been issuing endorsements and spending money in D primaries.

Generally speaking, there are just to "primary" reasons to do so (yes, pun intended :) ) -

1.  They're trying to give a boost to a candidate they consider to be weaker in a general election.  The Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (PLEA) tends to go this route (note: their "Endorsements" page is blank for some reason, but they have issued endorsements in the past and in the current election cycle).

2.  They think that the candidate in question will be receptive to their entreaties if/when the candidate wins the election.

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona has noticed such activity in a race in southern AZ, and now there is evidence of it here in Maricopa County.

A assemblage of "independent" expenditure groups has paid for and released a mail piece supporting Ken Cheuvront in the LD24 race for state senate against current State Representative Katie Hobbs.

A quick look at some of the listed sponsors of the piece:

The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce?  Headed by Todd Sanders?  Endorsed Jan Brewer for Governor in 2010.  And Sanders worked for the Republican caucus in the AZ House until a few years ago.

The Arizona Cattlemen's Association?  Headed by Bas Aja?  The last time I looked, there wasn't any ranch land in LD24, which covers a swath stretching across south Scottsdale and central and eastern Phoenix.  And Aja?  He's a Republican PC in Buckeye.

A mailer from Cheuvront's campaign touts another "special" endorsement -

The Arizona Multi Housing Association (AZ MHA)?  This one may actually be about the *next* election.  One of the most persistent rumors in AZ's political circles is that Cheuvront is going to run for Justice of the Peace in two years because a term as JP will quadruple his elected official pension.

The Multi Housing Association's members tend to be involved in evictions.  Lots of evictions.

And JPs?  They adjudicate evictions.  Lots of evictions.

Think the AZ MHA would like a JP who's inclined to turn a blind eye when they cut a few corners in the eviction actions?

Bonus endorsement quibble:  The endorsement that's implied, but not directly claimed.  Mostly because the endorser actually supports another candidate.

Check out the quote from former Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon.

It makes it seem as if he has endorsed Cheuvront, yet doesn't directly state that as fact.

Which is good for Cheuvront, because Gordon actually endorsed Katie Hobbs.


Note:  In the interests of full disclosure, not that I've tried to hide it, I support and have already voted for Hobbs.

1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

I certainly encourage voters to aim a skeptical eye at candidates and their supporters but I would make the case that one should rely on more than relying upon the assumption that every lobby group is nefarious.

While I am hardly an unabashed fan of the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce should one disparage the group and its endorsements simply because their President supported Jan Brewer in 2010?

As for the Arizona Cattlemen's Association is there anything wrong with that group wanting to ensure that the state legislature doesn't pass onerous regulations that adversely affect them? Unfortunately there is no regulation that forbids city dwelling legislators from passing ridiculous laws that adversely affect cattle ranch owners.

And while I do believe that the AZ MHA has in the past endeavored to have legislation pass that unduly favors their industry that doesn't mean that they don't see Cheuvront as an individual who now and in the future is likely to oppose unfair scapegoating of their industry. Landlords in Arizona are a hard industry to love but they should be given respect for their efforts in making short term housing available for millions of Arizona residents.

All that being said there are probably hundreds of candidates I would rather vote for than Mr. Cheuvront.

Lastly since the post touches on evictions I can think of no business that can provide cost effective advocacy on behalf of renters than Arizona Tenants Advocates.

I don't work for ATA or otherwise benefit from that enterprise but I know first hand they do fantastic work in holding land lords to every clause in the Arizona Residential Landlord and Tenant Act.