Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy

Bumblebee ManThere was an interesting bit in Daniel Scarpinato’s article on Tim Bee, published in this Wednesday’s Star:

After initially sidestepping a question about the Iraq war, Bee said, “I believe that this war has been poorly executed, and there have been many mistakes made along the way, but at the same time, it’s going to be extremely important that we have a successful outcome.”

Before he could respond to follow-up questions, though, Garrick Taylor, a Republican consultant, interjected that Bee would “save the discussion of the issues for whether the senator decides he wants to be a candidate.”

At first blush, one notices that Bee is reluctant to answer questions. One wonders why Bee, who has been in the legislature for four terms and has a brother who was in for years before that, would need a handler to interrupt him and make sure he doesn’t say the “wrong thing.”

But, check out who the handler is: Garrick Taylor, late of the State Republican Party. Taylor was one of the staffers who quit rather than work for Randy Pullen. Actually, they all quit rather than work for Randy Pullen. Taylor had the uneviable job of having to push some of the sillier stories coming out of Republican headquarters and the Len Munsil campaign, most infamously, the bizarre flyergate faux-scandal. Taylor probably can’t be blamed for much of this (bad material to work with), but that didn’t stop us wags from making fun of him.

Here is the funny part for me: just last week, Taylor was identified as a spokesman for Wake Up Arizona, a group founded to oppose the recently passed employer sanctions law. Now, this week, he is identified as a consultant for Bee. Bee, as President of the State Senate, was instrumental in the passage of that law, and probably will be campaigning on it. It would be one thing if Wake Up was a group with a broad agenda and they and Bee disagreed on this one issue. However, Wake Up only has one issue, repeal of the employer sanctions bill and many of the people funding the group have vowed to defeat legislators who supported the bill.

How exactly is this supposed to work?

16 thoughts on “Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy

  1. Bee can talk about Iraq all he wants. Elected officials can talk about anything they want to, anytime they want to. They can campaign for bond proposals, campaign against Kromko proposals or join the Draft Fred Thompson campaign. His views on Iraq are his right to express, so long as he doesn’t add a sentence or two urging people to vote for him. The problem is that government attorneys have told them they have to watch what they say because of the open-meetings laws, the resign-to-run law or the Republicans’ 11th commandment. That’s wrong. The Senate president can’t talk about being a candidate for the House, but he certainly can say how he feels as an individual about any topic he’s asked about.

  2. Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy

    Fantastic, Tedski. Fantastic.

    Your site indeed offers gold dust on occasion. It’s hard to find amongst Web 2.0 chicken feed.

    Anyways, you got me regarding the GOP schizophrenia on immigration.

    I guess Bee chooses to Wake Up or not Wake Up, Arizona, that is.

    I still haven’t received his white paper on immigration.

  3. Let’s see if the Right pressures Tim to reinvent himself. I’d hate to see him “morph” in the manner we are seeing with McCain, or even what we saw from Dole in 1996. As the Bard advised, “To thine own self, be true.”

  4. Tim Bee (or whoever advises him) would be wise to not speak about Iraq any sooner than he needs to. The “poorly executed” rhetoric is fairly benign because it is close to meaningless at this point. However, he needs to watch it with that “successful outcome” because he could be asked to explain that. Better to avoid all of it and see what the situation is like in six months.

  5. Rex,

    The right will not be pressuring Bee. After Nathan is done with him they will want to pin it on us (the conservatives) but this is not our campaign.

  6. I agree completely with Liza here. I think Bee is clearly leaving it open to be able to make the switcheroo to getting us out of Iraq, but after the rest of the Republican party makes it OK to go there. Right now the “message” from the RNC is we support the troops, have to win the war for the region and terror, but its been mishandled. That rhetoric, as campaigns near, will soon begin to shift to:

    “We rid Iraq and the world of Hussein. We gave Iraq a chance at freedom. We supported the troops when the chips were down. The Democrats didn’t. We gave the strategy a chance and it didn’t work because the Iraqis couldn’t make it work. It was the Iraqis that couldn’t handle the freedom we brought them. The government failed, not us. We gave them a chance and have given them enough. Its time to pull our troops out.”

    Democrat strategists had better be ready for this message. This response allows them to triangulate themselves out of the war and leaves Democrats: a) placing blame on starting the war (retrospective) and trying to argue that it is not fair to blame the Iraqis when we destablilized their country (pushing them into a weird quandary of supporting Iraqis over the needs of Americans when Republicans begin to demonize the Shia dominated government that they created).

    I see this statement (or lack of one) by Bee as a foretelling that he will in some wishy washy way oppose the war in Iraq during the time of his campaign. It will leave some wondering whether Democrats should have taken a stronger stance on getting out than they have now, because in the end, a softer stance by Republicans on getting out won’t look all that different than the stance of Democrats to get out. And afterall, Bee wasn’t in Washington or part of the getting us in or getting us out.

    Democrats will only be left with the blame…and that is very retrospective and not forward thinking. Either way, it muddies the water. Just look how muddy our Presidential candidates are on the “getting out”, how soon, and how many troops we leave there in the long run.

  7. It would appear your attack on Mr. Taylor is smoke and mirrors.
    1. Did Mr. Taylor ever tell you he quit because of Randy Pullens election or did you get this from your “deep throat connection”?
    2. He never worked for Len Munsel. Your quilt by association theory doesn’t wash and can’t be sustained in debate.
    3. Garret Taylor never said he or the group he represented was in opposition to the employer sanctions law but he did argue there are certain area’s where the Legislation could be improved.

    It is good to see so many folks are interested in the CD-8 race. The real issue is which candidate will be most in tune with the thinking of the majority of voters in CD-8.

  8. It appears that W.’s argument is not smoke and mirrors as much as what Col. Potter might call horse puckey.

    One, I didn’t “attack” Taylor, and I doubt he saw it that way either. I asked a couple of questions about his working for Bee’s campaign and Wake Up Arizona, given the contradictions there.

    As a matter of fact, I did get Taylor’s reasons for leaving from a “Deep Throat Connection.” But heck, look at the facts: the finance director of the party handing her keys to Pullen immediately after his election and the rest of the staff quitting within a couple of weeks. All coincidence, I’m sure.

    Yep, Taylor was never on Len Munsil’s payroll. But the Republican party was partly responsible for delivering Munsil’s message, as they were for all Republican candidates. Frankly, this is really weak nit picking. I wasn’t aware that the State Republican party was not supporting Munsil’s candidacy. Maybe that is why Munsil did so poorly.

    Your third point misrepresents the aims of Wake Up Arizona. In a recent editorial in the Arizona Republic, Wake Up Arizona co-chair Gordon James voices his hope that the courts will find the legislation unconstitutional. That doesn’t sound to me like they want to just fix its flaws. I challenge you to read the editorial and find anything resembling support from Mr. James for the law that was passed.

  9. I agree very much with Ted’s last paragraph of his post. In fact, they went as far as saying that they would consider going after members of the party that were leaders on this bill.

    Just to throw this out there, who do you think solid business interests in the Republican party are going to support: Jeff Flake or Russell Pearce.

    Hands down…Flake.

  10. I think you are unfairly picking on Mr. Taylor because of his status as the former spokesperson to the AZ GOP. One of the main jobs of the state party during the election is to speak about their nominees and candidates. While Mr. Taylor spoke out about Mr. Munsil, he also spent a majority of his time on Senator Kyl. The fact that Mr. Taylor is being quoted as spokesperson for different campaigns shouldn’t come as a surprise, given that he works for a consulting firm that reps different clients with different issues. Since when is this a news worthy piece?

  11. Here’s hoping Steve Emerine calls the State D’s and tells them their “probe” into Bee is just a political ploy. Gotta love the “in your face” attitude of the State D’s…. Can’t wait to see how that pans out.

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