Some of Pearce’s Best Friends…

One of the strangest stories coming out of the recent Holocaust denial conference in Tehran was the presence of representatives of Neturei Karta, a small Hasidic sect. So, I guess the fact that they were Jews at the conference makes any of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s anti-semetic tirades okay, right?

Of course not.

A recent East Valley Tribune featured a story about Frank Alvarez, a Hispanic who supports Russell Pearce’s tough stand on immigration. I’m not going to doubt that there are many more like him, because I’ve met plenty of them. The relations between native born Hispanics and new arrivals is complicated (at best). What I do have a problem with is that it almost seems like the press is playing into Pearce’s hands here by agreeing with his notion that Pearce is only being derided as a racist only for his position on illegal immigration.

Yes, a large part of the opposition to Pearce is about immigration. But, there are plenty of people in the legislature who share his views on immigration but are not undergoing the firestorm he is. Why is that? Well, his public and private statements lead some to believe that his views don’t come entirely from just some notion about securing the borders and protecting jobs. When he casually throws around words like “wetback” and forwards white supremacist emails to supporters, it really makes people like me wonder if this is about race rather than the law. Having a couple of Hispanic friends for convienience’s sake doesn’t convince me otherwise.

His problems are also a matter of his own style. His heavy handed, bombastic manner with which he ran the appropriations committee last session was so bad that it was difficult for House leaders to find enough of Pearce’s fellow Republicans to serve on the committee with him. That has nothing to do with folks attacking him for his stance on immigration, no matter how much he tries to say otherwise.

Geez, Greg, Are You Trying to Get Me Into Trouble?

Greg Patterson flatters me too much over at Espresso Pundit by saying that newly elected congressman Gabrielle Giffords should hire me at her office. Well, thank you for the sentiment, Greg, but there are plenty of very well qualified people in line in front of me.

In fact, there has been a development on that point. I had heard about this days ago, but I was going to keep quiet about it. Patterson posted it on his blog, so what the heck. Scooped on Tucson political news by Greg Patterson? Will the humilation ever stop?

Giffords will be hiring C. J. Karamargin to handle the press for her. An excellent choice, since Karamargin was a political writer at the Star for years. He left the star at the beginning of the political season to write about food for the Citizen.

While at the Star, Karamargin developed a good relationship with press staffer, Natalie Luna. Karamargin also has a great deal of respect for Grijalva. One of the amusing back stories over Grijalva’s reign in congress has been how many press staffers office has gone through, which led some of us to speculate that this is because he all of a sudden did not have the near monopoly of the press that he had before and was a bit frustrated. My point here is that with two members that both have strong press operations, it would be easy for there to be conflict between the two offices. Between Karamargin and Luna, I don’t see that there would be anything except maybe a friendly rivalry. These two people out there flying the flag for their offices can only be a good thing for the Democratic party in Southern Arizona.

I recieved an e-mail from a reader complaining that Karamargin is still getting stories printed in the Citizen, and this is an unseemly conflict of interest. I disagree. If Karamargin was still writing about politics, I could see the point. I can’t see where Karamargin writing about the wonders of the Christmas tamal creates a conflict of interest on the level of say, writing a dismissive article about charges against a congressman then going off to work for that congressman’s lawyer’s publicity firm. I can’t think off hand of anyone that has done that…

NB – A fella from Phoenix wrote me last week and asked about Karamargin, and I said, “naw.” The next day, someone told me that he was being considered. What the heck do I know?

Some Things Are Just Beyond Parody

I was alerted to this one by Talking Points Memo; it is so beautiful that it needs repeating.

This picture is from Rudy Giuliani’s website. Flags are flying both to the right, and to the left…hmm. It just depends which way the wind blows. Maybe can borrow the picture too.

Also interesting, his campaign bio omits any mention of Andrew and Caroline, his two children with former wife and occasional Law and Order guest star Donna Hannover. Given Andrew’s behavior at his first inauguration, I can totally understand.

Keep Those Web Eyes Peeled

Lisa James, the designated “establishment” candidate for State Republican Party Chair, has reserved a domain name for a campaign website. The address is There is nothing there right now, but I’m pretty sure there will be soon.

One of the knocks against her over at Sonoran Alliance is the allegation of some shenanigans about how she got elected to the State Committee. I’ve heard nothing about this since they first posted the accusation, but if there is anything to it, I’m sure that Randy Pullen’s partisans will bring it forward over the next few weeks. In return, look for James’s supporters to allege that Pullen’s hot button conservative positions coincided with his wanting higher office.

This will be fun.

2008 Candidates, First in a Series

I wanted to write a bit about my take on the Democratic presidential field. I started writing and realized that I was taking up way too much space. I was trying to avoid missing out on someone and having one of you post angrilly about my missing, I dunno, Dennis Kucinich or .

So, I will say that this is the first in a series. If I miss your fave, then either I will write about him or her later, or they will just drop out after realizing that no one has heard of them.

The punditocracy has already declared this a two person race: v . Nice of them to whittle down the field before most of the primary schedule has even been set.

Someone yesterday accused me of indulging in “Obamamania.” Well, the guy has been in the news just a wee bit lately, maybe y’all have noticed? I like the idea of his running, but I am not totally down with his candidacy yet. The only danger I see is that the media infatuation will stop. I can see already see the stories round about March or April of next year talking about “Obama Fatigue.” Whether or not most people have even heard of him yet, the media will decide that they are tired of him and thus, the country must be too. Obama’s first test is whether or not he can keep the hype going, or make sure it is revived in time for the opening of the primaries in 2008.

Also, just as I am not totally down with Obama, I’m not totally down on Clinton. The new spin from some of her boosters is that Republicans have been throwing all the’ve got at the woman for nearly a decade and a half, but she still manages to get elected (even in Republican areas of New York) and her national poll numbers are strong. I see their point. The number that is always pointed to by detractors is that one poll or another shows that forty percent or so of voters would never vote for her. Yeah, doesn’t sound great, but I’d like to see how many of them would be willing to vote for any Democrat.

Gleeful Republicans have been declaring her general election candidacy dead on arrival, and many of the folks that Calvin Trillin so eloquently calls “Sabbath Gasbags” seem to agree with this. The knock is that she may excite a large part of the Democratic primary electorate, but that she turns off most voters. Most polling shows that she actually could go toe to toe with most Republican candidates (except for media darling ), so this isn’t borne out by real data, mostly just the establishment media’s dislike of the woman. I was a wee lad at the time, but weren’t Democrats and Washington media types similarly dismissive of a certain Governor of California in the run up to 1980?

I’ll get to the other candidates later.

UPDATE: I may have spoken too soon, there apparently are polls showing Clinton beating McCain.

SEIU Update

I haven’t written about SEIU’s organizing efforts among Pima County workers in a while.

Back in late October, Attorney General Terry Goddard issued an opinion that county workers were entitled to a vote on “meet and confer” status. Goddard’s opinion all but overruled a self-interested opinion issued by Barbara LaWall’s office (many of her own dissatisfied workers want SEIU representation).

LaWall has relented, and a Board of Supervisors vote is scheduled tommorrow to place an item on the January 9th agenda authorizing county employees to vote on representation by a union.

Tommorrow’s motion has, in all likelyhood, four votes: those of the three Democrats plus Republican Ray Carroll. This vote is the best of all possible worlds for Carroll: it is his chance to do the right thing, and his chance to take a shot at County Administrator Chuck Huckleberry.

Huckleberry is opposed to any union, but got to where he is at because he knows how to count to three (which, as we have all learned from former Supervisor Dan Eckstrom, is the most important skill in Pima County politics). He sees that the writing is on the wall here, and will grudgingly accept that county workers will organize. However, observers wonder what sort of language he will try to slip into the enabling ordinance.

Those details aside, this is great news for the labor movement.

A Reconsideration

Okay, I’ll relent a bit. I’ll cut Time a break for their lame “You are the Person of the Year” thing. Why? For linguistic reasons.

In English, we make no distinction of singular or plural “yous,” except in regionalisms (y’all, youse). So, I don’t know exactly which “you” they are refering to. This would be so much easier in Spanish or Polish.

I also don’t know if this is familiar or formal. Since we ditched the “thou” (along with its plural, “ye”), I can’t tell if Time is respecting me (or us, for that matter) or putting me down.

It could be none of these; it could even be the eliptical you.

I’ll go ahead and reserve judgement until all of this gets cleared up.