No Big Surprise

Becky Pallack has a story in this morning’s Star about national Republicans throwing in the towel on the CD 3 race.

I’m always struck that people are shocked about how resilient Raúl Grijalva is. The Republicans had their best shot at taking him down in 2010, when the national mood gave every Democrat a strong headwind and the Republicans had a decent candidate. Grijalva’s ill preparedness that year and the boycott didn’t help either. Still, they couldn’t do it.

I’m sure the Republicans are blaming redistricting, but they really have to look at the rhetoric that comes from their state leadership and their own very poor candidate for thirty to forty point drubbing they are about to take in CD 3.

Early on in the campaign, Grijalva pointed out that for all the rhetoric about his being “out of touch” with the district, none of the opponents he had drawn at that point actually lived in the district. It illustrates something I’ve seen for a while. I hear knocks along the lines of “how does he keep getting elected?” from people (even Democrats sometimes) who don’t live in the district. Well, maybe he actually knows what his constituents are concerned about? Maybe they agree with him?

The whole “how does he get elected?” thing doesn’t seem to get asked about, say, Trent Franks for some reason.

By the way, ever notice how many Gabriela Saucedo Mercer stickers you see on pickup trucks in Eastside driveways? Not in the district either.

It’s been a funny thing to watch for a while. When I attended the 2004 Democratic Convention, I chatted with a columnist for the Republic who was still in shock that Grijalva won the primary in 2002. He wasn’t a fave of the money folks in Phoenix, after all. That was supposed to trump being active in the community of the folks that were going to be voting, I guess.

Yep, Saucedo Mercer has been cut off from the NRCC. It would be nice to say that it is because she’s a wingnut, but they are spending money on Steve King’s race after all. Let’s not give them too much credit.

By the way, let’s not pretend that the Republican establishment has cut her off completely. That recent kerfuffle about the governor cancelling an appearance not with standing, la Cervecera didn’t withdraw her endorsement and Saucedo Mercer is still considered polite company in Republican circles.

Cancelled

I first got wind of this earlier this week (because I talk to the wind, the wind cannot hear…) when someone pointed out to me that la Cervecera’s name had been scrubbed from Gabriela Saucedo Mercer’s website.

I held off on writing about it to give Nick Martin a chance to do a story over at Talking Points Memo. You can thank me later, Nick.

Brewer was slotted to do a fundraiser for Mercer today, but Brewer was under pressure after Mercer’s intemperate and intolerant statements about Arabs and Muslims.

Not to worry, “internationally recognized” comedy magician Brad Zinn will still be headlining. As a side note, one of my campaign events featured Rich Hopkins, who is big in Croatia.

It must be noted that Brewer did not have any comment on what Mercer said, and is still a supporter of Mercer’s. Also keep in mind that Mercer has earned the financial support of Augusta Resources, Rosemont Copper and Raytheon. I get why these guys aren’t the biggest fans of Raúl Grijalva, but it boggles the mind why they’d endorse her brand of wingnuttery. I’d understand if they want to back a winner, but she’s a sure loser. It really makes one wonder about their own views.

Backpeddling

The funniest part of Gabrielle Saucedo Mercer’s response to the kerfuffle over her racist comments in an interview she did for a far right website is her assertion that the video was doctored by Raúl Grijalva’s campaign. It’s funny because the video that’s circulating is the one that was posted by the publication that interviewed her.

Along those lines is Ally Miller, who also was interviewed by the Western Free Press. In the video, Miller proclaims her pride at being a Tea Party member. You’d think that that isn’t nearly as inflammatory as GSM’s statement, but according to David Safier over at Blog for Arizona, she’s going back on that one:

Ally Miller went on the Bill Buckmaster Show August 30 and said it was “name calling” and “juvenile behavior” to call her a Tea Party member. She even said people who refer to her membership in the Tea Party are “willing to fabricate just horrible stories and lies about me.”

Remember, she’s the one that termed association with the Tea Party a “horrible story,” not me.

She’s dialing back on, nay running away from, her affiliation with the local Tea Party, whose enthusiasm won her a primary, because she suddenly found out that in a tough general election, she might need to get the votes of people who don’t think the circumstances of Barack Obama’s birth were part of a scheme worthy of a Richard Condon novel.

Geez, if Teismo won’t fly on the Northwest side anymore…

Now That’s What I Call Racism

Jan Brewer accused Barack Obama of “race baiting” this morning and was angry about accusations of bigotry.

Being accused by la Cervecera of race baiting is a bit like being accused by Randy Travis of public intoxication.

Since her side is free of race baiting and bigotry, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to see who her party is running for congress in CD 3:

Yep. Middle Easterners are dangerous. Send Jamie Farr back.

A blanket statement that all people of a certain ethnicity or origin are dangerous regardless of what they as individuals have actually done…hmm…yes kids, that’s called racism.

Brewer is scheduled to do a fundraiser for Saucedo Mercer on September 12th. Of course, since she’s against race bating and bigotry, she’ll cancel, right?

I’m not counting on it.

The interview was posted on Western Free Press’s website back in June of last year, but that hasn’t stopped a legion of Republicans from giving her their support. Will any of them drop it? Will the press put any pressure on them to?


Final Darts Thrown Before the Primary: Grijalva v Aguirre

The opponents of Raúl Grijalva are once again engaging in their biannual tradition of convincing themselves that everyone hates Grijalva as much as they do. Grijalva does plenty to inspire neck veins popping and spittle flying opposition, but it’s amazing how these folks seem to be totally incompetent at actually organizing against the man.

Before I get too far, I’m a Grijalvista. If you have a problem with that, the comment section is open. Just make sure to clean up the spittle from your keyboards when you are done.

So, every two years, they end up recruiting someone who is a flawed candidate, convince themselves that this person is HUGELY popular, run a half assed campaign, and are shocked that they lose. Rosalie Lopez, anyone?

To be fair, Amanda Aguirre is a better candidate than Rosalie Lopez. Still, it’s pretty amazing to think that she thinks that her issues are winners in the district.

She got the endorsement of the United Steel Workers, and touted that as “support from labor.” Well, yes and no. The USW is angry at Grijalva over his opposition to the Rosemont Mine. Did the USW’s defection lead to a mass exodous from the campaign of usual labor fave? No, far from it. The other unions stayed in Grijalva’s camp, largely because of Aguirre’s lack of support for labor issues at the legislature. The UFCW had been campaigning against her, for example, because of her vote to to put a “paycheck protection” referendum on the ballot and her opposition to card check legislation.

I’m still a bit amused by a few progressives calling Grijalva a sell out, for, I guess, not owning a brown beret or something. It’s funny that they throw in with Aguirre, who took a walk on 1070 and couldn’t be counted on to vote for progressive bills because she was worried what the big growers would think. Yep, talk her up despite that, but Grijalva’s supporters are the Malinches. Give me a frickin’ break.

An Aguirre supporting IE hit the mailboxes with an anti-Grijalva piece this weekend, and there are a lot of questions about the folks funding it. Mari Herreras has a good breakdown of it.

Keep in mind that Aguirre was initially recruited by Phoenix lobbyists who were mad about his opposition to Rosemont and Resolution Copper’s mine in Pinal County, as well as his support for Tohono O’Odham tribal sovereignty.

This makes her a woman who doesn’t live in the district was recruited by lobbyists in Phoenix and has people from Texas doing mailers for her…and all the while is claiming that Grijalva is out of touch with his constituents.

Anyway, he’ll win the primary. Then you can cue the usual accusations of chicanery.

Oh, a guy from Oro Valley named Manny Arreguin is running too. Maybe he’ll get a vote or two.

Both Sides Now

There’s been so much stuff to post lately; a few things have fallen through the cracks.

I missed out on presenting y’all with Raúl Grijalva’s interview with Esquire magazine over the SB1070 decision. Spoiler alert: he expands on his assertion that la Cervecera is delusional.

You can also catch the shorter version of his arguments in a op-ed he wrote in the Yuma Daily Sun.

One of his primary opponents also weighed in. Here is former State Senator Amanda Aguirre:

“This is a welcome first step in reversing draconian laws against immigrant communities in Arizona. America needs immigrants and immigrant workers. The current mess for both immigrants and citizens is a direct consequence of worthless and unclear federal policies regarding immigration. Establishing clear policies for immigrants, immigrant workers, and naturalization is desperately needed, long overdue, and will be one of my highest priorities once elected. We Arizonans should not be forced to turn against ourselves because Washington D.C. can’t pull their heads out of their asses long enough to do their job,” remarked former Senator Aguirre who voted against SB1070.

Good to hear that she supports the decision, but her assertion that she voted against SB1070 is not the full truth.

Aguirre voted against SB1070 when it first came to the State Senate early in the 2010 session. The bill was decidedly lower profile at the time, but it had been amended to include the infamous “reasonable suspicion” language by Russell Pearce.

It moved to the State House, where it took on more amendments, including one so broad that it was classified a “strike everything” amendment. The SB1070 bill that came out of the House was the bill that we now know as SB1070, and it only then included many of the provisions that were struck down by the Supreme Court.

Because of the amendments, it returned to the Senate. At that point, the controversy over the bill was decidedly more high profile. Aguirre had a chance to re-affirm her opposition to the bill in the face of the politics now surrounding it. She did an interesting thing: nothing.

There’s a thing legislators do on controversial bills called “taking a walk.” Voting either way will leave one side or the other angry, so the legislator chooses not to vote at all. I don’t know how this is supposed to fool anyone, but then again, as I was reminded yesterday, I lost two primaries.

Aguirre was one of several Democrats in both the House and Senate to take a walk on SB1070. It’s even worse than that. A capitol observer I spoke with told me that she had to be talked out of a yes vote by her colleagues.

Whatever happened, it’s a far cry from opposition, or leadership for that matter.

Please Let Me Introduce You to a Brand New Idea

It seems to happen every Arizona election: a Democrat wins office somewhere and then comes the allegation that illegal aliens voted. That’s got to be it, because my guy can’t have lost fair and square.

In 2010, the allegation came from people around Jesse Kelly and Ruth McClung. There were people being bussed in illegally from Mexico and given food if they voted for Gabrielle Giffords and Raúl Grijalva, the story said. Little evidence was given for this tale, but that didn’t stop the local Republican party from using it as evidence for possible fraud if the city went to an all mail election last year.

(One thing that bugged me about that one: if illegal aliens could vote by mail, why did anyone need to put them on a bus?)

You expect stupidity like this from someone posting to the Star’s message boards or calling in to talk radio (“I saw two Messicans in line to vote! They must be here all illegal like!”), but we should expect something less unhinged from our leaders.

Maybe I’m expecting too much. This from la Cervecera:

Now they’ll have all the illegals and they can all do whatever they want and register to vote. Although it’s illegal if you’re not a citizen to register. But they’re not enforcing the law so what is going to happen to them? He’s looking for votes.

Um, yeah. Barack Obama did this all to get the massive illegal alien vote.

Okay, let’s talk about this for a second. First off, Obama has deported more undocumented persons than any previous president, which aren’t the actions of a guy courting their votes. Secondly, let’s say you are here illegally, trying to stay under the radar, is your impulse to put your name on a government list?

The stories of the undocumented voting have been debunked time and time again, but it doesn’t matter. Here is a woman who used to be the top election official so presumably knows better and still she perpetrates this nonsense.

It’s safe to say that Obama, or any other candidate, will get pretty close to no votes from non-citizens, and that’s probably a vast over estimation. What he will get, however, is a pretty hefty chunk of the Latino vote. The trouble is too many people still, despite a Hispanic presence in this region dating back to well before the Mayflower, see brown eyes, hair and skin and think of someone that doesn’t really belong here, an invader even. It becomes too easy to substitute the words “illegal aliens” when talking about our Hispanic neighbors no matter what their status is.

Apparently, it’s easy even when you are Governor and ought to know better.