It probably tells you everything that is wrong with the Republican Party in Pima County that the hopeless candidacy of the clueless Mike Polak has generated more excitement among their activist base than the candidacy of a guy who nearly won 4 years ago.
Like Steve Kozachik, Ben Buehler-García distinguishes himself from most Republicans by not having complete contempt for Tucson and Tucsonans. This was the reason for Kozachik’s success, Buehler-Garcia’s near-success, and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, the failed candidacy of Shaun McClusky. Of course, as we all know, Kozachik was eventually run out of his party for such radical notions, while McClusky inexplicably holds a position of high respect among what passes for the Republican intelligentsia in the Old Pueblo.
Of course, none of this should be regarded as an endorsement of Buehler-García. He is still wrong about nearly everything, but at least he does not seem to hate the people he wants to represent, which counts for something, not much, but something.
Because of his adequacy as a candidate, Buehler-García has largely failed to arouse the enthusiasm of Republican activists who demand someone more in the Frank Antenori mold of a guy willing to insult his own constituents in the name of standing up for whatever passes for conservative principles this week. Thus, as he did the last time he ran, he has resorted to trumpeting some non-achievements.
In this case, the bragging comes in the form of a Facebook ™ post, ostensibly a “press release,” announcing that his candidacy is now official:
May 14, 2013 – Tucson, AZ – Tucson City Council candidate Ben Buehler-Garcia’s campaign filed an Affidavit of Qualification with the Tucson City Clerk’s office this morning – the first candidate to submit the maximum number of allowable signatures.
Buehler-Garcia’s campaign hit the ground running April 27th, with a crowd of supporters gathering sufficient signatures in a single morning to put him on the ballot. In a second walk, volunteers gathered additional signatures, far exceeding the maximum number that could be submitted.
That would be nice, if it were true. Buehler-García filed his petitions two weeks after the incumbent, Karin Uhlich, so he cannot be called “first” by any means.
Buehler-García goes on to argue that this reflects “tremendous support” for his candidacy, but there is some question about whether or not this can be considered a remarkable achievement. Buehler-García’s much touted “maximum number” of signatures is still less than the minimum required for Democrat Uhlich. Thus, by his own logic, Uhlich’s candidacy has even more support than his.
Of course, this is all stupid. The question of who filed what and when they filed it is one that serves mostly to give insiders something to talk about before campaigning begins in earnest. It will be forgotten by August when we all start arguing about real issues. What is important is what this says about the pathetic state of the overall Republican effort.
If our City Council was as universally reviled as the Star and other sources keep saying it is, it would follow that there would be any number of concerned citizens lining up to try to replace them, and even more who are willing to write checks and volunteer. That this has not happened seems to indicate either that the community as a whole is not nearly as unhappy with the direction of its leadership as the guys who post onto the Star’s comment section are, or that the local Republican Party is simply incapable of putting up a competent opposition.
Councilman Kozachik has attracted no opponent despite his status as most hated councilman among the Jon LoGiudice crowd. As mentioned above, Councilman Fimbres will be running against a pretty mediocre one-issue candidate. That the only competent Republican candidate has generated so little sincere enthusiasm is an indication that Tucson is going to remain a one-party town for the time being.