Live Blogging the Arizona Democratic Party Meeting

14:30 Bill Roe announces the Democratic Electors: Don Bivens, Leena Flower, Calvin Goode, Pam Grissom, Jim McLaughlin, Verma Pastor, Bill Roe, Jeff Rogers, Nicole Stanton, Daniel Valenzuela, Ann Wallack

14:25 Corporation Commission Candidate Marcia Busching addresses group.

14:20 A guy named Mikel Weisser is talking. His campaign poster looks a bit too much like the cover of Rage Against the Machine’s Battle of Los Angeles, complete with a Statue of Liberty.

14:18 Gene Scharer speaks. Mention of the name of his opponent, Trent Franks, fills place with boos.

14:16 Congressional Candidate Matt Jenni addressing group.

14:10 Secretary Sharon Thomas is absent today. Chairman Roe reports that she’s working on her master’s degree so she can run for State School Superintendent. I’ll reserve judgement.

13:35 Ate at probably the only Mexican restaurant in Payson. Preliminaries have included a heckler. Blogger Dee Dee Blaise used a bullhorn to complain that Maricopa County Sheriff candidate Paul Penzone was addressing the group. He isn’t.

Carmona Announces Senior Team

The Richard Carmona campaign announced their three senior staff hires today, and it looks like they are announcing them alphabetically by first name.

Alexis Tameron, former Young Democrats of Arizona president, will be the campaign manager. She’s already been in place, but this makes it, in a word that will irritate Dylan Smith, “official.”

Finance Director Andy Darkins has also been on board for a while, and was the first hire. He would be familiar to those of you who had seen Carmona’s first public appearances when he acted as his “body man.” Even though his previous experience as an Oregon State linebacker made him a good fit for that, he’ll be busy with other stuff to do I’m sure.

The Arizona Democratic Party’s Rapid Response Director Andy Barr has also moved over to the campaign. This, by the way, leaves no one in communications at the party. Luis Herredia is doing a lot of typing these days.

The last couple of days have also brought two endorsements for Carmona: former Representative Sam Coppersmith and former House Minority Leader Art Hamilton.

And We’re Done With Yuma

“Plenary Session” seems to high faluting for what we do, but I think that’s what it’s called. We opened this afternoon with speeches from Jonathan Rothschild and Lynn Pancrazi. Pancrazi outlined several issues that she’d like to see the legislature work on including unemployment compensation and AHCCCS.

Then came Randy Parraz, who strode into the room like a victorious Roman Consul who just defeated the Goths. He brought up several activists who gave hours to the Russell Pearce recall campaign. He also thanked Maricopa County Democratic Party executive director Ken Chapman for some of the back channel help he gave.

I go home in the morning. Do they still sell those shakes in Dateland?
We also spent some time debating how ten resolutions would be presented, then all ten passed unanamously. You figure that one out. The eleventh…well, I’ll write about that one later.

David Crowe et Cetera

I was going to make some sort of reference to a group of crows in the title, but I realized that a group of crows is a “murder.” Probably not a good reference to leave unexplained.

Anyhow, David Crowe is here at the Arizona Democratic Party meeting. Yep, he’s that third guy in the Democratic US senate race. He refers to himself as the “quiet one.” If that’s the case, which one is Ringo?

I attended the Hispanic Caucus and the Labor Caucus this morning, both of which Crowe attended. The Hispanic Caucus became, for a time, a question and answer session with Crowe. He voiced his frustration that the party’s leaders didn’t come out as strong as he’d like with an articulate message against SB 1070 and also spoke about winning back small business people.

For a guy who is solidly “management,” his message to the Labor Caucus was surprisingly pro-labor and articulately so. He added the boast: “I’m the only candidate in this race who has ever created a job for Arizonans.”

It remains to be seen whether Crowe can put a competitive campaign together, especially given the ties that Richard Carmona and Don Bivens have already established. But his ideas and presentation are what you’d expect from (and don’t hear often enough from) people that have been in elected office for years.


The Yuma County Democrats put together a lunch for us featuring a local mariachi group. Unfortunately, somebody walked off with their vihuela. Guess who happened to have one in his room? They used mine for a few songs before the vihuela was tracked down. Luckilly, the person who stole it seemed to have more use for the case than the instrument.

The Good Yuma Man, He Sees Everything Like This

We’re coming to you live from Yuma. As my brother pointed out, we are only about half a mile from the spot where Pedro Fages got into a cross-river game of the dozens with Quechan leader Salvador Palma back in 1781. In case you are curious: Fages’s nickname: the Bear, Palma’s: He Who Wheezes.

No word on whether Fages challenged Palma to a middle distance run.

There is already a wee bit of buzz about the senate race between Richard Carmona and Don Bivens. Being a former chairman, Bivens is here. He and a staff member are trying to sow doubts about Carmona’s Democratic Party credentials. The line is “do we know if Carmona is pro-choice?” They point to statements from a couple of George W. Bush administration officials when Carmona was nominated for surgeon general. It’s pretty thin gruel to be sure, but given Carmona’s lack of electoral history, it is probably one of the few substantive attacks they can mount with this crowd.

Anyway, I’m getting free breakfast from Bivens today. I can’t exactly give the guy too much grief this morning.

There are also a few activists talking up a Jan Brewer recall. I can’t see how something like that is feasable without some millionaire underwriting the signature gathering, but it’s out there.

I don’t think I’ll be live blogging. I’ll try to keep you up to date should anything interesting happen.

Bivens Thinking About It

Attorney and former Democratic Chair Don Bivens is still seriously considering a run for the United States Senate. This from an e-mail he sent out to activists and supporters:

I’m under no illusion that this race would be easy. Naysayers will claim that professional politicians and Washington insiders can’t be beat. And political pundits will spout conventional wisdom that candidates can’t win without watering down their beliefs.

I couldn’t disagree more with this type of thinking. People seeking public office need to call it like they see it and stick to the values they believe in.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be announcing my plans. In the meantime, I hope we can continue the conversation about growing our economy, educating our kids to compete in a global marketplace, and returning Arizona to a place where the future is bright.

He’s asking folks for feedback on his Facebook page. Or heck, you can just put it up here.

Dr. Drei Brings the Smack

Jeff Flake’s quick response to last night’s speech:

I feel like I’ve just had a trip to the principal’s office…

State Democratic Chair Andrei Cherny’s response to Flake:

Maybe Congress should stop acting like children.

Cherny had an op-ed in yesterday’s Washington Post calling on Barack Obama to learn a few more lessons from Franklin Roosevelt.

Sauce for the Goose Department

I’ve been wondering for a while when there would finally be some attention paid to Rick Stertz. There have been attacks on IRC chairman Colleen Mathis supposed connections to the Democratic Party that are, at best, tenuous. The press has been more than happy to buy into the partisan attacks on Mathis and the commission process, but have let allegations against Stertz go unaddressed (I’ve been writing about them since before he was appointed). Something else unaddressed: Stertz is a key source of information for Tom Horne’s ongoing jihad against his fellow commissioners Mathis and José Herrera.

With him pulling this sort of monkey wrenching, I wonder if Stertz is as disinterested in the IRC process continuing the way the voters intended as Terri Proud and Andy Tobin are.

Well, that probably ends today. The Arizona Democratic Party has sent a letter to the Attorney General, Pima County Attorney and Maricopa County Attorney, alleging that he:

[W]ithheld information regarding his political affiliations, employer and business disclosure from Mr. Stertz’s spouse and children, tax information, accusations of fraud, and judgments. A sworn statement was submitted to the Commission of Appellate Appointments where the facts where omitted.

Bill Montgomery and Horne will ignore it, and the Star will run an editorial blaming both sides for Stertz’s omissions.

Live Blogging the State Democratic Meeting

5:09 I’m outta here.

5:08 ROE WINS! 336 – 94


5:01 Done with the agenda. We still don’t know who won.

5:00 Do we have results yet, Andrei?

4:57 Warner talks about the importance of the internet. That’s me. I’m important.

4:55 Priorities: Milton Caraglio just scored for the Revs. New England 1 – New York 0.

4:53 No election results yet, so we move on to the DNC Report from Carolyn Warner.

4:48 Moved on to delegate selection, which preturbs several.

4:45 A resolution on “party affairs,” another resolution that wasn’t submitted on time. More anger from the floor. One person shouts “dictatorship.”

4:44 More discussion. Geez.

4:42 It turns out, the resolution can’t be voted on. That’s ten minutes none of us will get back.

4:41 Shirley McCalister tells a joke while waiting for the parliamentarian to rule.

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