Sunday, June 15, 2014

Short Attention Span Musing: Primary Upsets and Petition Challenges

OK - this is mostly about primaries and petition challenges, but there will be some other material...

...First, the big news, and it's out of Virginia, not Arizona:  Ultra-conservative Republican Congressman Eric Cantor, Majority Leader in the U.S. House, lost in the R primary in his district to a tea party type.  Who didn't think Cantor was conservative enough.

The district, Virginia's 7th, is a heavily Republican one, and seems likely to remain in their control.

However, the upset of Cantor means that Jack Trammell, the Democratic nominee in the district, just went from having no chance at all to having a snowball's chance in hell of winning.

Note: in Arizona, there are three Democrats in tough races - Ann Kirkpatrick, Kyrsten Sinema, and Ron Barber - and they need your love (aka - $$$), but if you have anything to spare, consider helping out Trammell.

...Steve at Arizona Eagletarian has been providing outstanding coverage of challenges to candidates' ballot status so I won't go into depth here, but I will comment on one, because it was embarrassingly inept and amateurish.

Earlier this week, a "supporter" of Mary Rose Wilcox, a Democratic candidate in CD7, filed a lawsuit challenging the candidacy of Ruben Gallego, another Democratic candidate in CD7 (and the frontrunner in the estimation of most observers, including me).

She...errr..."he" (Mike Snitz, a former legislative candidate and part of the Wilcox machine), claimed that Gallego was using a name that wasn't his own in an attempt to deceive the voters of the district.

The only problem?

Gallego had legally changed his name years ago, not in an attempt to deceive anyone, but to honor his mother.

She was a single mom who raised him and his siblings alone after his father abandoned all of them.

She did that well, and to honor her, he legally changed his name to her maiden name.

Snitz' lawsuit claimed that the name change wasn't done legally, but his allegations were refuted quickly (whoever did the research into court records did so in a slipshod manner) and the lawsuit was dropped, almost immediately.

However, that action may have come too late for Wilcox - she has been almost-universally criticized for the abortive attack on Gallego.

 - The full list of state-level (including Congressional) candidates who have withdrawn/been removed from the ballot is here.  The full list of state-level challenges can be found here.

...In non-ballot related news, but definitely falling into the category of "elections have consequences", Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery announced that he isn't going to bring charges against a deputy with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office who killed someone in a car accident.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Megan Cassidy -
Maricopa County sheriff's Deputy Sean Pearce will not be held criminally responsible in the death of Glendale resident John Edward Harding, despite traveling more than twice the speed limit moments before the fatal crash.

County Attorney Bill Montgomery delivered the long-awaited announcement Wednesday morning, saying he weighed the specific circumstances of the crash, which occurred while Pearce was on duty.

Sounds somewhat straightforward, except for a few *other* circumstances -

1.  Sean Pearce is the son of Russell Pearce, the disgraced, but still influential, former president of the Arizona State Senate.

2.  He works for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a long-time ally of Russell Pearce.

3.  In 2010, between illegal campaign expenditures and fines for the expenditures, Arpaio dropped approximately three-quarters of a million dollars to put Montgomery in office.

Montgomery is developing a credibility problem; he's taken to squawking that his critics are "amateurs".

Well, I *am* an amateur, in that I am not paid for this, but even an unpaid amateur like me knows that if something waddles like a duck, quacks like a duck, and smells like a duck, that something may be a duck.

And this situation smells...reeks...of favoritism and corruption.

- Wouldn't it be poetic justice if Bowe Bergdahl - a POW for five years, tortured, returned to American authorities only to face withering criticism from fellow service members and others - moved to Arizona and ran against John McCain?  Would love to see McCain and his handlers/hangers-on try to spin that resume into something that disqualifies Bergdahl for office...

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