At Least One Conservative to Pearce: Get Over It!

Sonoran Alliance published a “guest opinion” from Brent Ellsworth, an attorney and former constituent of Russell Pearce. I don’t fully know Ellsworth’s political leanings, but given that his piece was published in Sonoran Alliance, I have a vague idea that he is not a dues paying member of PDA or that he frequents Ozomatli concerts with Randy Parraz.

Money quote:

Senator Pearce is still trying to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the recent special election because he is annoyed that every registered voter was eligible to vote. In a closed Republican primary, where all prior Pearce victories have been determined, only Republican voters are allowed to vote.

This is a classic example of “Denial,” the first of several predictable steps grief counselors tell us are common in the grieving process after a severe personal loss.

What Was Weak Last Week

Only one entry today in my weekly re-hash, and this week’s no-prize goes to Sonoran Alliance.

I talked to a journalist in town and he wondered why even waste time on the silliness with this photograph that the Sonorenses posted that purported to be Colleen Mathis and her husband. As reported here, the photo was really of two people who work for a non-profit whose office happens to be in the same building as Raúl Grijalva’s congressional office. This fact is confirmed by the first comment in their non-retraction written by the uncle of the young man in the photo.

By the way, in that retraction they claim to be “double-backing” on the photo to confirm the identities of the people in the picture. It only took me one text message and one phone call to find out, so it shouldn’t take long. But, I imagine that this investigation will be much like O. J.’s hunt for the real killers, ‘cept with less golf.

This isn’t the first time the photo has surfaced. It made the rounds on Facebook and at least one Republican blog (since off line) back in July. It didn’t seem to get any traction back then, probably because it was just as silly then as it was now.

Here is why I think this is worth going on about. Let’s assume for a second that Mathis and her husband decided to visit with Grijalva to draw maps for him and mess things up for that poor Ben Quayle. We are supposed to think that these meetings with Grijalva mean that Mathis was doing his bidding.

But Grijalva hated the first draft maps that came out weeks after this alleged meeting occurred. How do I know this? He called me to tell me he hated them.

Let’s make this clear: they are alleging that a deal was made, even though the congressman in question did not get what he wanted.

This is something I’ve been talking about for a while: all this Republican kvetching, whinging, crying, complaining and false outrage from la Cervecera, legislative leaders and activists is over a map that many Democrats aren’t happy with and that is largely a good deal for Republicans.

Okay. I’ve written this a half dozen times, and I’d like for at least one member of our state’s responsible press to ask Terri Proud or Frank Antenori about these things the next time they mouth off about redistricting. Here is the score:

– Republicans came to the meetings and demanded three border districts. They got them.

– Republicans came to the meetings and demanded that northern areas of Yuma get separated from Tucson. They got that.

– Republicans came to the meetings and demanded that Cochise County get separated from Tucson. They got that.

– There are four bullet proof Republican congressional districts out of nine. This is better than their actual registration numbers in the state (36%).

– There are fifteen strongly Republican legislative districts. This gives an all but guaranteed Republican legislative majority.

So, what exactly would be enough? And please, spare me the process arguments. The actions of the legislature last week show they don’t give a rat’s ass about process.

And one more thing about that picture: in their since removed post, they claimed in the comments that the picture was taken by someone that happened to be at an event in the area. Across the street, where the picture was taken from, is all houses. What sort of event was this guy at in the middle of the day in a residential area? Or, was he just parked in front of people’s houses (it looks like he was in front of my friend’s place, actually) taking pictures of young women in skirts? Someone needs to re-examine his life.

We Debunk, You Decide

Okay guys, you know how Sonoran Alliance claimed that they had “photographic evidence” of collusion between Colleen Mathis and Raúl Grijalva?

It turns out the two people in the picture are Jeremy Markowitz and Trica Oshant Hawkins, who work for the Environmental Education Exchange, a non-profit that has an office in the building.

I guess Sonoran Alliance will put up a retraction, right?

UPDATE: The boys at the Alliance have taken down the post and put up a not quite retraction. Lack of self awareness alert: they decry the “teeth gnashing” on the left (that would be me, I guess) about the post, which is a funny thing given the hyperbolic whining from Republicans over the maps.

So, What Next?

La Cervecera and her allies are in high dudgeon about the decision to reinstate Colleen Mathis. They are claiming that they are planning for their next step. Since the state’s highest court has ruled, what more can they do? I suppose that Brewer can pull a George Wallace and block the doorway so commissioners can’t preside at the next IRC meeting.

Oh, and she does still run the National Guard.

Well, some Republican activists have found their own way to escalate: paranoia and mistruth with a good helping of creepiness thrown in.

Check out this picture; you can click it to make it bigger. The folks over at Sonoran Alliance posted as proof that Mathis was meeting with Raúl Grijalva. And yep, Grijalva’s office is in that building, along with a dozen environmental and arts groups.

I’ve never seen the episode of NCIS where Abby uses butt recognition software, but I don’t know how the folks at Sonoran Alliance can claim that this is definitive of anything. Is that really Mathis and her husband? Even if it is, were they even visiting Grijalva’s office?

And, if it’s the Mathises, are you guys really following them around? What on earth is wrong with you?

Makes Sense Now…Not Her Arguments, Of Course…

I couldn’t figure out why I had a longer than usual reply to one of my posts by Wendy Rogers. Rogers, you may remember, ran an usuccessful campaign against David Schapira last year. Her reply referenced a East Valley Tribune op-ed that I hadn’t even read, much less mentioned. In fact, her whole comment seemed only tangentially related to the post I had written, which was mostly about Jack Harper making a fool of himself on Twitter.

Well, as it turns out, the reply is nearly identical to a post that she had up on Sonoran Alliance the day before. She added a few words at the begining to make it look like it might be a reply to what I had written.

So, in other words, she really wasn’t responding to my scintilating prose (and may not have even read it). She was just trolling for another blog to post her canned reply on. Did she post it on J-Walk too?

Golly. I feel so used.

From The Annals of Hubris

This is one of the odder campaign missives I’ve seen. Here’s Tyler Vogt in an “open letter” to Shirley Scott that got published over at Sonoran Alliance:

Dear Mrs. Scott:

I am writing to inform you that I have officially submitted my paperwork to run for City Council, Ward 4 in the 2011 Tucson City Election.

I offer you the opportunity to resign from this race with your dignity and your reputation intact. If you choose to remain in the race, you will be opting for a complete exhibition of your performance as a city council member. This information will be presented to the public without personal attacks. It is, after all, your record.

Our city’s future is at stake and the citizens of Tucson cannot afford to have the city continue in decline as we are currently witnessing. The citizens of Tucson deserve to have a knowledgeable, motivated individual seeking to change our city’s course from the sunset of past failures to the dawn of Tucson’s prosperous future.

I am that motivated individual and I take this election and our city’s future as an imperative “must win” situation, both for my family’s future and our city’s longevity. I believe the citizens of Tucson will agree.


Tyler Vogt

No personal attacks, but he promises to ruin her reputation and dignity. Okay.

More Stupidity in Defense of Scott Bundgaard

Another defense of Scott Bundgaard appeared for a short time on Saturday over at Sonoran Alliance. To the credit of Sonoran Alliance editor Shane Wikfors, the post was taken down.

Still, the anonymous post reveals a lot about the mindset and tactics of Bundgaard’s defenders. Kenny Jacobs got a screen capture of the post and it’s up over at his site. In it, we find out that the allegations against Bundgaard are part of a lefty plot. The headline even says so: “Republic’s Leftist spin in Bundgaard-Ballard incident obvious.”

Oh boy.

They put a picture up of Aubry Ballard during her swimsuit modeling days. We are supposed to oggle her and be and offended by the lack of modesty all at once, I guess. They also once again try to imply that she was drunk. The alleged victim was a swimsuit model and drunk: this is a legal defense for assault?

How long before we hear that she was born in Kenya, or has ties to George Soros?

By the way, if being a beauty queen who has been photographed in swimsuits calls your character and veracity into question, what does this say about conservative heroines Carrie Prejean, Gretchen Carlson, or Anita Bryant?

These guys seem to get worse by each passing day. This keeps up, I’m going to need to apologize to every woman I know on behalf of my entire gender.

NB: I took a shot at Wikfors on Kenny Jacob’s Facebook page. It was not a bad one, but I based it on thinking he was responsible for the post. Now that I know he isn’t, I’d like to apologize for the shot at him. He’s obviously classier than at least one of his contributors.

And the Offensive Defenses Continue

Scott Bundgaard wants his privacy so bad that he keeps going on the radio and trashing his ex-girlfriend. That whole “right to remain silent” ain’t only a right, it’s also a recomendation. It would be easier for the public to give the man the benefit of the doubt if we had time to do so between his increasingly lame and loathsome excuses.

Of course, his own defenses are not nearly as bad as what some of his supporters are saying. Check this one from his friends at Sonoran Alliance:

Another interesting note about this story is that Ms. Ballard participated in a competition called Miss Arizona Dream Girl sometime ago. On an ESPN website written by Gregg Easterbrook, a photo of what appears to be Ballard posing as Miss Arizona Dream Girl contains the following description, “Brad Twarowski of Spring Grove, Ill., notes that the Miss Arizona Dream Girl competition spreads the wealth by choosing someone every month; gawk at Miss Arizona Dream Girl of January, Aubry Ballard, here.” As of today, that photo of Miss Ballard wearing a bikini and sporting a power drill has been removed; However, a cached file of the page was captured on December 25, 2010 and is still available. (Apparently, ESPN updated the page yesterday.)

They do note that she’s done some admirable work for a group called Project Streetlight, but the somewhat titilating (and irrelevant) detail that she was photographed in a bikini (and here’s where you can find it, not that we ever would look, right?) is given much more space in their piece. It seems their message is: “Hey, his girlfriend posed in a bikini once or twice…you KNOW what kind of girl she is.”

Pretty frickin’ low, guys.

By the way, Bundgaard is still being talked about as a congressional candidate. As long as he votes for the right tax breaks, who the heck cares?

And on to Those Other Murders…

Jurors in the trial of Shawna Forde have been given some time off and will return to hear testimony on Tuesday. Forde is the border vigilante and activist who has been accused of leading a 2009 violent home invasion of a residence in Arivaca, and killing Raúl Flores and his nine-year old daughter Brisenia.

She’d be in fifth grade now, by the way.

The trial has been getting coverage locally. For example, the Star’s Kim Smith has done a good job, and she posts extra details on her blog. Mari Herreras at the Weekly made sure to make mention of the murders in the wake of the January 8 shootings. As noted in the Village Voice, the trial hasn’t gotten the national attention you’d expect of a crime so shocking. I’ll leave that up to others to speculate on the reasons why.

What concerns me more than whether or not this gets the proper number of column inches in the New York Times, it’s how little it seems to have entered into our civic discussion here. The murder of Robert Krenz turned our politics upside down, even though there is only speculation about who committed the crime and the reasons why. The January 8th shootings have led to discussions about how we conduct our politics, even though the accused doesn’t seem to have been associated with any organized political movement.

In this case, Forde has deep ties to an existing political movement. Despite her only qualifications being her outspoken bigotry and her record as a small time crook, she was accepted as a leader in the border vigilante movement. For all the talk about her getting read out of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the fact that the splinter group she formed afterward continued to be invited to events and rallies meant that she was still an accepted part of the movement. Also remember that the first place she ran after the murder was the ranch of American Border Patrol founder Glenn Spencer. Nut? Yes. Lone Nut? Nothing of the kind.

Did this lead to some, in the words of Clarence Dupnik, soul searching? Far as I can tell, no. Elected officials haven’t distanced themselves from the movement. Their rhetoric isn’t any less poisonous. You’d be hard pressed to find any condemnations of Forde on the numerous vigilante websites; you’d be more likely to find a conspiracy theory “proving” her innocence. Our conversation has been totally unaffected by what happened.

Witness this piece on Sonoran Alliance, promoting a “Spring Break” “Patriot” event on the border called Riflestock:

Riflestock is not intended to be a border operation, itself, though the ability to see the damage done, take pictures of illegal critters, and, perhaps, scare the hell out of some of them, by our sheer numbers, and to actually visit the site of America’s ongoing war with illegal border crossings, is in the offering.

“Illegal critters.” Yep. Your fellow human beings are just like rodents by dint of their being desperate for work and not having their papers in order. Let’s scare ’em with our guns. All good fun, right?

Please, let’s not wonder why people like Forde would take it a step further.

Giffords’s Lead Widens

Here are the latest numbers in the CD 8 race:

  • Gabrielle Giffords (DEM) – 127,077
  • Jesse Kelly (REP) – 124,022
  • Steven Stoltz (LBT) – 10,128

I’m still awaiting the hopeful-crossing-the-line-to-delusional missive from Jesse Kelly claiming this is “narrowing the gap.” Cue Sonoran Alliance and Publius Pundit claiming this lead is the result of an ACORN/Soros-inspired voter fraud scheme to bring Mexicans over the border to vote in Naco.