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Sam Steiger


[It is] an irrefutable fact of life that the elected official is regarded by those who elect him as capable of the most flagrant dishonor. – Rep. Sam Steiger

Sam Steiger died this week. Steiger served in Congress from 1967-1977, and also did time in the legislature as well as a term as Prescott mayor later in his life.

His career in federal office ended with a race for the United States Senate. As gawdawful ugly as Arizona politics is these days, it would be hard to equal the naked anti-semitism thrown Steiger’s way by John Conlan’s campaign in that primary.

Steiger was considered pretty far right when he was in office, even getting called a bomb thrower by Stewart Udall. He earned a zero from Americans for Democratic Action, but his support for reproductive rights and the ERA would likely earn him the RINO designation these days.

It would be silly to button hole the guy as anything though, except if “curmudgeonly” is considered an ideology. His trip through Arizona politics led him to a run for governor as a Libertarian, a tumultuous time as Evan Mecham’s chief of staff and a surprisingly conservationist term as mayor of Prescott.

Go figure.

Oh, don’t forget those burros he shot. It was self defense. Can’t let anyone forget that.

One Comment

  1. Kurt Rex Cooper wrote:

    I worked on Steiger’s 1990 campaign for Gov the year Fife Symington was elected. He was utterly charming w a delicious sense of humor. At Cushing Street bar we once had a fundraiser and some woman demanded to know if he would ban cock fighting in AZ.

    Steiger noted it was not high on his priority and she then insisted that he would allow dog fighting to resume. Steiger vigorously denied this and a debate ensued which ended when he said, “Madam I have loved many dogs but I never met a chicken I liked.”

    Saturday, September 29, 2012 at 10:58 pm | Permalink