1/26/2007 11:32:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|A Republican told me (yeah, they still talk to me. I must be too easy on them) to watch for attendance at tonight's Chairman's Dinner that the Republican Party puts on before their State Convention. Some big donors and firms that usually buy whole tables are now only buying a ticket or two. The word is that this is happening because these folks want to show their support for the party, but are reluctant to shell out a lot of cash because they are worried that Randy Pullen will be in charge after this weekend. It's this sort of thing that makes Democratic wags light candles and say Novenas for a Pullen victory Frankly, I think we on the asinine side (and I mean that in the biological sense) win in either case. Pullen's opponent and establishment candidate Lisa James can only, at best, promise the same team of consultants, retainers and toadies that lost them the Governor's race, two congressional seats and seven seats in the legislature. Even with a promise of more of the same missteps that made people like me, Lofty Donkey and Wactivist chuckle at their ineptitude, it just won't be as much fun with James in charge. Pullen, on the other hand, promises a whole new world of comedy: a party run by folks like Phil Mason, whose "help" getting Pullen elected to the RNC over Mike Hellon is still clouded in controversey, and intrepid RINO hunter Rob Haney will give people like me a field day. The irony of folks like Haney, whose demands for ideological purity would make Tomás de Torquemada blush, backing a guy like Pullen, a former donor to Democratic candidates and rather recent convert to the conservative cause, seems to be lost on large swaths of the Republican activist community. I was asked to endorse Pullen by a Republican wag. What? And ruin my objectivity?|W|P|116983843152929132|W|P|Democratic Wags Like Me Are "Pullen" for a Randy Victory|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/26/2007 06:26:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|A bit of a scuffle is brewing between the Young Democrats of America and the Democratic National Committee. The YDA is asking the DNC to, gasp, follow their own charter when it comes to having a delegation that looks like the Democrats from the state that selected it. A bit of background here: back in 1974, when the whole delegate selection process was revamped, the DNC adopted new language in their charter that set goals, but not quotas, for minorities and women. This language was later amended in 1976 to include youth. Chris Gallaway, YDA President, found this language in the charter when he was developing a plan to get more young people to the next convention. He also found out that unlike the other affirmitave action goals, the one regarding youth was never enforced and state parties were not directed to follow it. So, Gallaway contacted the Democratic National Committee (his letter here) and made his case. The DNC responded that sure, we have that language in the charter (letter here), but it doesn't count because in 1980, we passed a reolution on delegate selection that doesn't include youth. Of course, a resolution doesn't override the charter (and would in few organizations), especially just because of something that wasn't included. Gallaway rightly points out that the youth vote is critical to the Democratic party (John Kerry would have won overwelmingly if only people under 35 voted). Unsaid is that many Democratic campaigns would be unimaginable without younger activists (especially the 2004 campaign of current DNC Chairman Howard Dean). But, some states continue to elect delegations that don't reflect this reality. Gallaway and the YDA are calling for a e-mail campaign. You can visit a special web page they have set up with plenty of information on the dispute, contact details for the relevant DNC members, and an online petition. We in Arizona have been lucky on this score. As long as I have been active, we have elected a pretty sizeable share of younger delegates. I was elected as a youngin' (by YDA's definition) three times, my youngest as a 26 year old (and I wasn't the youngest in that delegation). Also, our last delegate selection rules were written by Alexis Tamerón, who is now Vice-President of the YDA. Needless to say, "youth" was included among the affirmative action goals. I can't remember if it was 1996 or 2000, but in that year a reporter asked me about the number of younger delegates, and told me that the youngest Arizona delegate for the Republicans was 40. The irony for me is that the very folks that this rule was written for, young activists that cut their teeth on the civil rights and anti-war movements of the 60's and 70's, are now the ones that don't think it's that important. The co-chairs of the Bylaws committee are, of course, boomers. NB - Three NBs, actually. In the past, when the enforcement of the "youth" provision has been in question, the response has sometimes been that it will interfere with other affirmative action goals. As if youth can't fit into other "categories." Our younger delegates have included Hispanics, Native Americans and African Americans. In fact, our youngest delegate in 2000 was an African American. I always here complaints from older activists that we elect younger delegates and never see them again. This can also be said of older delegates that we elect as well, but somehow it's more noticed with younger folks. I remember this one woman that we elected as our delegation chair back in 1992, 35 years old. What ever happened to her? One disturbing trend I've seen in recent years is the free use of "strikes." The campaigns are allowed to strike delegates if they don't feel they represent the campaign. This was used sparingly until 2000 (I asked Martin Bacal about it once, and he only could remember one instance of a delegate candidate being struck). In 2000, the Al Gore campaign attempted to strike nearly all the delegate candidates, leaving only the number necessary to fill the slots. There was a revolt against this decision, and they relented. This was done by the Gore campaign in many states. In 2004, the Kerry campaign outsourced this right to state party staffers and once again, there were enough strikes that there was no actual vote for the Kerry delegates at the state convention that year (the state party asked to be able to do this to Clark delegation, and they Clark campaign refused). The 2004 strikes were done regardless of actual support for the candidates that these folks were supposed to represent. With this sort of thing going on, what is the point in recruiting younger people to run for delegate?|W|P|116982207421561290|W|P|Democratic Establishment to Delegate Wannabes: Wait Your Turn, Kids|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/26/2007 05:35:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Framer|W|P|Damnit, I knew that Affirmative Action Moderator was going to be a problem. I tried to tell anyone who would listen that it was going to turn out like this.

Don't blame me, I endorsed the other guy!1/25/2007 07:28:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|A correspondent alerted me to a site on Cafe Press called Sinema's an Idiot. It's run by a guy named Buffalo Rick, who is a cowboy comedian, western musician and anti-immigration activist. He adopted the name "Buffalo," no doubt, to show his credentials as a true Arizonan...even though buffaloes haven't been native to this area since the close of the last ice age. Anyhow, the page treats us to this wonderful introduction:
The New American Revolution will expose every lousy, bonehead that has helped put America on the downhill slide into a third world HELL HOLE! STOP THE MADNESS! STAND UP FOR AMERICA, OR LOSE IT! Know another Traitor? Contact us at: buffalorick@mac.com to report these slimy bastards!
Wow, more calm reasoned rhetoric from the anti-immigration side. I can't imagine why anyone would think that this crowd has anything to do with the bizarre threats being e-mailed to Kyrsten Sinema's office. Anyway, you can order a coffee mug with the logo "Kyrsten Sinema: Product of a Failed Education System." Hmm, Sinema is a lawyer, legislator, community leader and talk show host. Yeah, her education certainly failed her. I guess if her parents had school vouchers or something, she could have gotten a career, I dunno, doing puerile comedy and badly performing Tex Ritter songs. Oh, you can also buy a shirt that says Goofy Gallardo. Really, this is no worse than what his friends call him. There is also a shirt that calls Alfredo Guitierrez a Nazi. Given some of the rhetoric the underside of the anti-immigration movement engages in, I'd be careful throwing the word "Nazi" around so easilly guys. And, of course, anti-Hillary Clinton shirts are available. -YAWN- Say, my brother signs on to these bills that Gallardo and Sinema write that seems to get the dander up of these folks. Where is the love? Or hate, or whatever it is.|W|P|116978154541355387|W|P|Wow, I Can't Come Up With a Clever Title At All|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/25/2007 10:29:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Zelph|W|P|This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.1/25/2007 10:45:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Zelph|W|P|Yeah, how come Tom never gets fan mail like this from the mouthbreathing Nazis?

Where is the love?1/26/2007 06:25:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Zelph-

Yeah, my very question. I noticed that Gallardo and Guitierrez are Latino, and Sinema is an outspoked woman and bisexual, but I'm sure that that has nothing to do with it.

I'm sure you noticed that the article you linked included the term "beaner." Of course, the author did not mean anything racial by this, I'm sure. There is no racism in the anti-immigration movement.1/25/2007 07:13:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Yesterday's Wolf Blitzer interview with Vice President Dick Cheney:

Q: We're out of time, but a couple of issues I want to raise with you. Your daughter Mary, she's pregnant. All of us are happy. She's going to have a baby. You're going to have another grandchild. Some of the -- some critics, though, are suggesting, for example, a statement from someone representing Focus on the Family:

"Mary Cheney's pregnancy raises the question of what's best for children. Just because it's possible to conceive a child outside of the relationship of a married mother and father, doesn't mean it's best for the child."

Do you want to respond to that?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: No, I don't.

Q: She's obviously a good daughter --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I'm delighted -- I'm delighted I'm about to have a sixth grandchild, Wolf, and obviously think the world of both of my daughters and all of my grandchildren.

And I think, frankly, you're out of line with that question.

Q: I think all of us appreciate --

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I think you're out of -- I think you're out of line with that question.

I'm just curious, did Cheney call any of the self-appointed moral guardians who pontificated on his daughter's situation "out of line"? Or is that sort of thing reserved for members of the press and Democratic Vice Presidential nominees?|W|P|116977818310587415|W|P|I'm Not Ashamed of My Lesbian Daughter, Just Don't Bring Her Up.|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/24/2007 04:53:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Here's the story as told to me by Barrett Marson, spokesman for the House Speaker: suspicious packages were sent to four members, Eddie Farnsworth, Adam Driggs, Ben Miranda and Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema, understandably spooked by the numerous threatening e-mails she's recieved over a bill she's sponsoring that labels groups like the Minutemen domestic terrorists, called the Capitol Police. Miranda, who has not signed on to the bill, also contacted the Capitol Police after recieving a package. The packages, as it turned out, were pages and pages of court documents from a self-styled "sovereign citizen" in Casa Grande who is out to prove that the State of Arizona has no legal authority over him. The four members may have been chosen because they are all part of the House Judiciary Committee. Although the packages were bizarre, they turned out to be quite harmless. Thank God for that.|W|P|116968322035196291|W|P|Nothing, But Still...|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/25/2007 03:06:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Dang it, Ted. I jumped on your post from yesterday and editorialized about fascist tactics on the right and that isn't what it was.

So I clipped your rebuttal here and pasted it (with due credit) along with a note to self not to editorialize until I get all the facts (which I have sometimes laid the wood on others for, so I need to do a better job myself.)1/24/2007 03:02:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|The Arizona Capitol Times is reporting that the State House of Representatives has been evacuated due to two suspicious packages recieved by Rep. Kyrsten Sinema. Sinema has recieved a number of threatening e-mails after she sponsored a bill limiting the activities of anti-immigration vigilantes.|W|P|116967640551269220|W|P|Breaking: Arizona House of Representatives Evacuated|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/24/2007 09:39:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|According to the folks over at Sonoran Alliance, the latest jab at Randy Pullen comes from former State Representative Laura Knaperek. Once again this goes back to the $100 contribution that Pullen gave to Harry Mitchell, then a candidate for State Senate. If you buy into Knaperek's theory, that contribution to Mitchell led to a series of events that enabled Mitchell to defeat J. D. Hayworth and resulted in Republican legislative losses in the area this year. Given that Pullen gave a comparatively small contribution to Mitchell years and years ago, and that he hasn't done that since, I guess this must be the political equivalent of the "butterfly effect." Pullen's contribution led not only to Mitchell and David Schapira being elected, recent gains by the Canadian Liberal party in local elections and probably the current tension between Alexander Lukashenko and Vladimir Putin as well. You may have noticed that Knaperek is a "former" representative, and apparently she is looking for someone else to blame for her loss. As Tempe became more Democratic, she continued to vote down the line with the leadership and refused to see what was coming. That's Pullen's fault though. Knaperek seems to have developed a habit of blaming others for her political decisions. The Pullen faithful are rightfully indignant about the attacks over a paltry $600 in contributions given nearly ten years ago before he was an active Republican. However, I think they have only themselves to blame for this. You've got people like Rob Haney and his "purer than thou" crew supporting Pullen. Heck, Haney doesn't even consider John McCain a real Republican for God's sake. As long as your folks are demanding ideological purity, you've got to expect the other side to ask for it from you too.|W|P|116965979497329155|W|P|Knaperek: It Wasn't Me, It Was All Pullen|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/24/2007 01:11:00 PM|W|P|Blogger boredinaz|W|P|Hey don't overlook that treasurer's race! They've got a pedophile loving nudist camp owner running. Check out Sonoran Alliance's piece on that.

Does it get any better than this?1/25/2007 06:24:00 PM|W|P|Blogger NetrootsDemocrat|W|P|Knaperek, no matter what her party, was widely seen as a lightweight at the Capitol. I used to testify there pretty regularly, and I always winced when it got to her turn to ask questions. They were always the most asinine, yet lengthy, questions of anyone on the committee.

Even fellow Republicans would roll their eyes and tell me how she was "stupid." In fact, I am a lawyer and one time got lectured on constitutional law (which I am well-versed in) by Laura Knaperek, who, at the time, did not even boast of any college degree whatsoever.

She should take her mousey face and voice and do something else, because politics is WAY over her head.1/24/2007 06:57:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I never follow Phoenix city council races, but a corresponent up there in the Valley of the Yakes sent me some information on a certain Michael Nowakowski who is running up there. I don't know much about him, but one thing is obvious: He's a Polish-Mexican like me. For once, I can engage in genuine ethnic solidarity! Nowakowski has been general manager at Radio Campesina for a couple of years and had also done work for the Diocese of Phoenix. His website boasts of membership on a number of community boards. He doesn't have an easy race. He will be running against Laura Pastor, who's father represents the area in Congress. I've been told that he is a fan of the Guadalajara Chivas. I'll try not to hold that against him. So, that's the team for the Mexican part, what about the Polish part? ŁKS Łódź? Powodzenia and buena suerte, Michael. NB - This is more common than you might think: the attempt by the Mexican government to poplulate Texas and New Mexico in the early 19th Century didn't just recruit Americans, but emissaries were sent to areas like Bavaria, Bohemia and Poland (they wanted Catholics) to offer land to families that were willing to, in essence, "homestead" these areas. A book was released on the subject in the mid-1990's called Poles in the Southwest. Also, discrimination against Poles by their Russian overlords sent many of them packing to various nations, including Mexico.|W|P|116964899485769497|W|P|Papas con Kielbasa|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/24/2007 08:28:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Kralmajales|W|P|Off the topic, but in a real effort to learn to enjoy futbol a bit more, I adopted Chivas de Guadalajara, Chivas USA, Arsenal, and Italia Serie B squad, Arezzo as my teams.

Now I am trying desperately to learn more Spanish so that I can actually read about the Mexican League.

Besides Soccernet, does anyone know where to go to get good info. on the Mexican leagues (that might be understandable for this stuggling Spanish student?).1/24/2007 09:33:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Most of the sources of information I have found about the Mexican league are in Spanish.

Chivas USA? Chivas USA? I think I heard they won a game last year, but that could be a rumor.1/23/2007 09:34:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I suppose I should appreciate Mike Barnicle's writting, but he sucks as a political commentator. His recent turn as a sub on Hardball was untouched by any knowledge of American political life and the inept questions almost ventured into territory previously explored by The Chris Farley Show. His political commentary gives us such "gems" as this, posted on MSNBC's Hardblogger site during the State of the Union address:
Math has never been my strong suit. And I have difficulty balancing my check book. But you don't have to be Stephen Hawking to figure out that A. Nancy Pelosi's outfit cost more than the average American paid for their first home and B. there is a pretty high degree of difficulty involved in balancing the federal budget yet the leader of the free world just told us, "We can do so without raising taxes." And half the people in the hall - Bush's half -stood and cheered.
Point taken on balancing the budget, but why the swipe at Pelosi's dress? Apparently, producers at MSNBC thought that the dress comment was insightful enough for their "crawler" and ran it several times without the accompanying comment about balancing the budget. I'm not one to seek out sexism all the time, but this sounds dangerously like the porcine breed that was known back in the 70's as the "MCP" is rearing it's ugly head here. I suppose that Barnicle would have us believe that Dick Cheney, sitting next to Pelosi in his own expensive suit, bought his clothes with one of those vouchers they give homeless folks over at the Jackson Center. Jackass.|W|P|116961423721064010|W|P|More "Wisdom" From the Aptly Named Mike Barnicle|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/25/2007 06:19:00 PM|W|P|Blogger NetrootsDemocrat|W|P|Barnicle's a douchebag that got fired from a rag (Boston Herald) for doing what is perhaps one of the two most unforgiveable deeds a "journalist" can do: he made up stories and got found out about it.

Besides that, he is so boring. A total snoozefest. Methinks Matthews likes him because of the Irish La Raza thingy, lol. Btw, the "other" deed that is unforgiveable is plagarism. See: Biden, Joe (D-MBNA)1/23/2007 05:49:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|As a snarky Democratic activist, I love the struggle for the Republican Party Chairmanship. Ours turned out to be so darned dull. I mean, Randy Camacho got elected to a lower office and is singing David Waid's praises now. What fun is that? A Republican State Committeeman has a choice on Saturday: either Lisa James, who promises to keep the same cadre of consultants and hangers on that have lost them two governor's races in a row or they can choose Randy Pullen, a man who seems bound and determined to alienate large parts of both the fundraising base and the electorate. I love it! The latest salvo is a series of e-mails between Nathan Sproul, the, um, ahem, controversial Republican consultant, and Pullen. Sproul's problem with Pullen goes back to 1998, when Pullen gave donations to both Paul Johnson and Harry Mitchell. The e-mails have been posted over at Espresso Pundit, and they were quite the thing to read among Republican muckety mucks today. As usual, the problem here isn't so much the initial "scandal," such as it is, but Pullen's lame attempt to spin out of it. First, he claimed that he did this on behalf of his employer (his employer: Pullen & Co.), then he claimed that he had to do it as a lobbyist. That would make sense if he gave to both candidates in these races, but he didn't, and one of those contributions was to Johnson, a candidate without a chance in hell of winning that year. Now, his latest excuse is that he raised $2,000,000 for the Republican party, so that makes it okay. Sproul disputes this in his e-mails and alleges that Pullen had to be replaced by Jordan Rose, who oddly enough was in the University Democrats with me way back when. The responses to Sproul's allegations are interesting as well. A fella named Tim (named, no doubt, for the classic Replacements album) wrote:
Of course, working literally next door to Lisa James and working with her (allegedly and not depending on the media account) on various campaigns and relying on fat contracts from the State Party might, just might, require some of us to question his motives.
Da-ha-ha-ang! It is hard for me to judge from out here who is actually winning, although one Republican blog claims that they have a count showing Pullen slightly ahead. Please, guys, keep this up. And don't stop after Saturday either...|W|P|116960186384442246|W|P|An Elephantine Struggle: James v Pullen, Part IX|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/24/2007 08:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Kralmajales|W|P|I sure hope the "real" Republicans win this and win it big. Some of the "RINOS" might actually, finally leave their party and go independent or Democrat.

If they can't make a big tent in their leadership, how are they going to make such a tent come election time???? HMMMM???1/24/2007 09:05:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tony GOPrano|W|P|Comrade Tedeski,

Please continue in your feeble effort to get Randy Pullen elected. Love you see you dems endorsing Pullen. Please Comrade Ted, like another famous Republican once said "Make My Day" and publically endorse Pullen.

Thank You
TonyGOPrano
Conservative Republican1/24/2007 09:05:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tony GOPrano|W|P|Comrade Tedeski,

Please continue in your feeble effort to get Randy Pullen elected. Love you see you dems endorsing Pullen. Please Comrade Ted, like another famous Republican once said "Make My Day" and publically endorse Pullen.

Thank You
TonyGOPrano
Conservative Republican1/24/2007 01:47:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hey Tony,
Guys like you think anyone to the left of Attila the Hun is a red. Where did you go to High School Adolf Hitler HS?

Keep your smart ass comments to your self. How do you say Conservative Republican in FARSI (the language of Afghanistan?)
TALIBAN1/23/2007 07:44:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Most of you, no doubt, have heard the news that Roy Warden was given three years probation for assault and intimidation for an incident back in June when he burned a Mexican flag in front of the Mexican consulate. Apparently this liberal activist judge did not agree with Warden's novel legal theory that attacking someone and threatening to shoot a child is covered by the First Amendment. Someone must have gotten to him. The judge suspended most of Warden's fine, so it was reduced to $300. Warden's attorney, Gary Kreep (I am not making that name up), claims that Warden is indigent and can't pay the fine. I bet Warden would have a decent job, if only someone hadn't given it to one of them Messicans. Obviously, the judge fails to see that the probation, which enjoins him from going to any public demonstration, keeps Warden from doing his important work. Maybe Warden can pay someone to shout threats into a bullhorn and burn Mexican flags. I'm trying to think of a group of people that would be willing to do the work cheaply...|W|P|116956472829795572|W|P|That Roy Warden, Persecuted Again for Exercising his Right to Threaten People|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/23/2007 07:07:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Rodney Glassman's campaign sent out an e-mail to his supporters on January 4th. It was a typical fundraising e-mail with some biographical details plus a "why Rodney will win" bit. Then, it ended with:
Please print the attached contribution form that you also need to complete and mail to me. If you have a spouse, partner or friends that you feel might also participate please share this email with anyone you would like (please forward this email with your own special note and get involved in this campaign). You may also visit our campaign website at www.rodneyglassman.com (which should be launched by the end of the week). Rodney will not let us down and so I hope you will consider joining me in helping him win election! We are trying to raise money as quickly as possible so please send your contribution today! Thanks in advance and Happy New Year!
Lori Oien's campaign sent out an e-mail to her supporters on January 16th. It was a typical fundraising e-mail with some biographical details plus a "why Lori will win" bit. Then, it ended with:
Please print the attached contribution form, complete it and mail it with your check. If you know of anyone else, that would like to participate in this election, please forward this e-mail to them, with a word of encouragement for Lori's Campaign. You may also visit her campaign website at www.lorioiencitycouncil07.com, (which should be launched soon). Lori has always been, "A Can Do Person," so I hope you will consider joining me in helping her with the Ward 2 seat! We are trying to raise funds quickly so please mail your contribution today.
Not the worst case of plagiarism ever, I'll admit. Think about this for a second though: Glassman's e-mail was blasted to his friends that he's gotten through his charitable work, which means a lot of big name Republicans. So, these guys got an e-mail from Glassman, then a similar looking e-mail from Oien a week or so later. You can bet that more than a few of them would have noticed that.|W|P|116956227413456518|W|P|Lori Oien Demonstrating the Creativity and New Ideas That We Need On the City Council|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/22/2007 05:17:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I wanted to correct an earlier post. A correspondent wrote to me and stated that Jonathan Paton is not, in fact, in the Green Zone, but a camp outside of Baghdad and isn't, according to the correspondent, "even allowed to look in the direction of the Green Zone." I hope that no one thought I was implying that Paton was somehow in a "safe" part of Iraq. I've got enough friends that have been over there to know that there is no such thing.|W|P|116951176205142607|W|P|Correction|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/22/2007 11:12:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Back in the closing years of the last century, I was regional director for the Young Democrats of America. A month or so into my term, an e-mail hit the YDA listserv (something I started, one of the few tangible accomplishments I made during my brief brush with leadership in that group) announcing that Oklahoma was leaving their region and joining mine. No one asked me, it just happened. There was some dispute in their region about appointments to standing committees, and the Oklahomans felt jilted. They left and let it be known that they were going to force me to recind the appointments I had made to open up seats for them. I was a bit tweaked about this whole thing, so I sent an e-mail to Elizabeth Kennedy, a good friend who was Vice President of the YDA. (Always good to mention Kennedy, she had an Alabama accent that could melt steel. Still makes me a bit wobbly remembering her.) Kennedy gave me a call and said about the whole silly dust up, "How many Democrats will this elect?" Good point. I was reluctant to write about the Seven Against Lopes crack up in the Democratic caucus. For one thing, there are still people who think that my brother somehow directs all that I write on here (and a few who still think he writes this stuff. Just so you all know, Tom is actually illiterate. It's a shame my family has to bear.). The last thing I wanted to do was throw hexane on this little conflagration and have people think he had something to do with it. I've known many of the details about this for a week or so (many of them not from my brother or any other Democrat at all, but from a Republican staffer, oddly enough), but it didn't seem to be prudent to write about it. Well, now it has made Espresso Pundit and the Star (Gawd, scooped by Greg Patterson and Daniel Scarpinato, too bad my oven is electric). For those of you who don't know the story, several members of the House Democratic caucus (Seven according to Patterson, Scarpinato only has six and doesn't list Dave Bradley) are staging a sort of slow motion coup d'etat against minority leader Phil Lopes. The initial event that allegedly triggered this was dissatisfaction with some committee assignments, and several members chose to bypass Lopes and go to Speaker Jim Weiers. There was also a small blow up over seating arrangements. Always a critical issue, those seating arrangements. The thing that disturbs me most about this incident is that it seems to be about nothing more than personality. Let's say, for example, that Jack Brown led a rump group of conservative Democrats that tried to upend things. It would tick me off, and I would write about it, but at some level it would make sense. There seems to be no ideological bent here: Lopes's leadership team includes Brown, and he counts among his allies the very liberal Kyrsten Sinema. If you can't fit comfortably between Brown and Sinema, chances are, you ain't a Democrat. The rebels are pretty spread out on the spectrum too. Given this, it is hard to see how this is about policy or ideology. I don't know what exactly this accomplishes to move the agenda of either the caucus or the rebel members. Patterson supposes over at his blog that the seven members have agreed not to help Lopes if he tries to override the speaker's actions. No one that I have talked to has seen this letter that the seven allegedly signed, and I would hope such a thing is not true. If it is, it seems a high price for the Democratic agenda to pay just so a few folks can snag nice committee assignments. I can understand making a move like this if it advances an issue that is important to you. For example, one of the people in this group is Linda Lopez. She's had a bill that she's tried to push over the last couple of sessions on right-to-die, an issue that is, understandably, close to her heart. For all of her struggling, the bill has had only one hearing in four tries to get it heard. She is introducing it again this session. Does it get a hearing this time, or was the only demand for the committee assignments? If this issue, very important to her, gets a hearing, than this may have been shrewd on her part. I have my doubts, and in the end, it may not look like they accomplished much with this bargain. Patterson has a good read over on Espresso Pundit, and it is borne out by conversations that I have had with legislators. He posits that the Heptarchy may have overplayed their hand and if the leadership vote were held today, Phil Lopes would probably be even stronger than he was when he only beat Linda Lopez by a single vote last month. There is also some talk that a few of the members of this group are starting to regret starting this whole bruhaha. What saddens me is that we Democrats made great gains in this last election and are only a few votes shy of power. The Democrats are in a position to assert themselves, as long as their first impulse isn't to go after each other. This is not a very good way to show the public that we deserve to be in charge.|W|P|116949245648884226|W|P|Mo Was Right About those Circular Firing Squads|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/23/2007 08:05:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Kralmajales|W|P|Eh...sounds like a fairly minor squabble to me. It comes with the territory as power shifts and people become a little more emboldened. It can also be a bit healthy I think.

I mean, it is isn't like the Republicans in the majority didn't have their own troubles and their troubles WERE ideological. Republicans vs. Rinos. Now it appears a little calmer because those Republicans need those RINOS a bit more now that their majority is slimmer. I wonder if Jennifer Burns and others like her, have a bit more power now.1/23/2007 12:13:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Sonoran Sam|W|P|Kralmajales got it right (funny; I've never met the guy, but we've served on the same team for close to a year).

This is truly a tempest in a badly cracked teacup. It's fueled primarily by a few Democrats who were on the losing side of the leadership fight. They now think there should be no price to pay for disloyalty to the caucus.

In truth, the dissident Dems (as if there's any other kind) will vote with their colleagues as a bloc when important bills come up.
Speaker Weiers hoped to hammer a wedge into the Democratic caucus, but it ain't gonna work - as he soon shall see.

And, oh yeah, Kral is right about Jennifer burns, Pete Hershberger and a few other Republican Mods. They will be deciding if the Democrats have 27 votes or a 31-vote majority on a few bills.

How that wil play out also remains to be seen.1/22/2007 10:45:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|The Hotline has a preview of former DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe's book, What a Party!: My Life Among Democrats: Presidents, Candidates, Donors, Activists, Alligators, and Other Wild Animals. In it, apparently, we get a mention of our own former Democratic Chairman, Jim Pederson. Far better for you to read it yourself. Who is coming up with McAuliffe's book titles, Fiona Apple?|W|P|116948822920376866|W|P|Jim Pederson and Terry McAuliffe Walked in on What?|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/22/2007 07:15:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I expected that David Waid would win. Before the meeting, I would have said that a decisive win would have been 65% or so. Waid won with a ridiculous 86% of the vote. I don't know if this means that there wasn't as much enthusiasm from the new progressive wing about Randy Camacho as had been reported, or if maybe his odd speech lost him support, who knows? Jeff Latas ran for Senior Vice Chair. He lost, but got many more votes for that slot than Camacho did for chair. I don't know if this was due to Pima County supporting one of our own (although Ken Smith, a former Pima County activist who moved to Pinetop was also running), or if, like I said before, the enthusiasm for Camacho wasn't there among the new progressives. Camacho's speech was very strange. He had an awful lot of fluffy rhetoric (including quoting Alfred Tennyson or was it Jane Tennyson?), but not one word about his program. I suppose it could be argued that his "30/15/8" plan was available on his website and was detailed in the mailing he sent, but this was a chance to close the deal and he didn't take it. Waid, on the other hand, gave a dry recitation of what the party has done over the last year or so. Whatever the reasons for Camacho's low vote total, I think that it indicates that the new progressive wing of the party needs to do more work to reach out to the rest of us. There was a lot of dissatisfaction with Waid, but Camacho's folks didn't spend an awful lot of time working outside of the various DFA and progressive organizations to push these people to their side. Donna Branch-Gilby was elected First Vice Chair, which once again gives Pima County a voice on the DNC which we haven't had since Martin Bacal was defeated in 2004. Former Baja Arizonan Ken Smith was elected as Senior Vice chair. Smith was part of a reform group on the Amphi School board that helped clean up the cronyism that had been going on there, and his wife was part of the Tortolita town council during that rump town's entire legal existence. We need those two trouble makers back. In other races, Latas and Camacho both were elected to the copious 2nd Vice Chair offices. Other interesting names were Tony Gonzales, a young activist from Flagstaff and Jo Kelleher. Interestingly, there is also a Jo Kelleher in Ireland who is a nurse and elected official. Ireland's Kelleher is a member of the Fine Gael party and ran her last race for Passage West/Monkston Town Council on an anti-incineration platform. I left early (Tucson was playing Phoenix in Roller Derby, I have my priorities), but Pima County's anti-war resolution hit the floor after I left. National Committeewoman Janice Brunson spoke against it. She said that people would think that Democrats were crazy if it passed. Someone pointed out that surveys show that nearly 70% of the people want an end to the war. "Are 70% of the American people crazy?" "Yes," Brunson responded. For all of the problems I have with Brunson, she has been able to really keep in close touch with a pretty sizeable group of Democratic activists. With that though, she lost the room. Lucky for her, her office wasn't up on Saturday.|W|P|116947870203309170|W|P|Some Comments on Saturday|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/22/2007 06:49:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Hey, it was nice to have Ken and Barb move up here. And the best thing about Ken is that he knows he represents the whole state and he is willing to go anywhere to help Democrats move forward.

To be honest (and I came to the meeting with an open mind on the Waid/Camacho race), and you are right that his speech was full of platitudes and short (make that absent) on specifics, but the one line in Camacho's speech that really lost me was when he talked about how we should dare to push back against the tide. To be honest, that made me wonder whether he thought it was 1995 or 2007. Right now I like the way the tide is going, and it's the Republicans who want to push it back.1/21/2007 12:05:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I need to run some errands, so I will give y'all more details later. Here are the folks that won yesterday: Chair- David Waid (Maricopa) First Vice Chair- Donna Branch-Gilby (Pima) Senior Vice Chair- Ken Smith (Navajo) Vice Chairwomen- Sharon Covey (Cochise), Lois Pfau (Maricopa), Jo Kelleher (Coconino) Vice Chairmen- Tony Gonzales (Coconino), Randy Camacho (Maricopa), Jeff Latas (Pima) Seceretary- Judy Kennedy (Maricopa) Treasurer- Rick McGuire (Maricopa) Affirmative Action Moderator- Michael Williams (Maricopa) Educational Coordinator- Anne Greenberg (Maricopa)|W|P|116940663730275143|W|P|Results from Leadership Races|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/23/2007 04:39:00 PM|W|P|Blogger boredinaz|W|P|Affirmative Action Moderator

What is that???1/24/2007 08:33:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Kralmajales|W|P|That is a helluva good question? I can understand an office that might dedicate itself to recruiting and diversifying the party and the leadership. What is the moderator part though? What is to be moderated?1/21/2007 10:02:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Republican mahouts are already working behind the scenes to avoid the divisive primary that they feel cost them Southeastern Arizona's District 8 seat. The current rumor is that fundraisers and kingmakers have made up their minds that newly elected Senate President Tim Bee will be the candidate, and have been working Rep. Jonathan Paton, currently on active duty in Iraq, to tell him that this isn't his time yet. The folks that told me about this haven't told me exactly how Paton gets worked over by Jim Click while he's in the green zone, but this is what they tell me. Lt. Paton, by the way, has sent a Mesopotamian missive to Espresso Pundit that you may want to check out. Paton would be an interesting candidate. There has been a great deal of buzz over the last year or so about candidates like Tammy Duckworth, Patrick Murphy and Paul Hackett who were Iraq vets. All seemed to be Democrats. Even a political geek like me is hard pressed to think of a Republican Iraq veteran (at least of this more recent conflict) that has run for congress. Paton has the distinction of running against Gabrielle Giffords once before, in a State House race in what was then District 13. This fact probably isn't brought up much since he placed fourth behind Giffords, Carol Somers and Ted Downing. Whether these moves actually result in Bee walking through the primary unmolested is still up in the air. The folks that are apparently trying to clear the field for him are some of the same people who backed Steve Huffman in this last race. They would have little sway over the more conservative elements in the party who feel that Huffman's backers ruined Randy Graf's shot at congress. Also, these aren't people who would have much sway over Ray Carroll, a popular maverick who's term on the Pima County Board of Supervisors is up in 2008. CORRECTION: I was mistaken in my assertion that Lt. Paton was in the so-called Green Zone. A correspondent pointed out to me that Paton "isn't even allowed to sniff the green zone." I'm assuming that this means he is outside of Baghdad.|W|P|116940558964310298|W|P|Republican Establishment to Iraq Vet: Wait Your Turn, Son|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/21/2007 04:24:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Van Taylor was a Republican war vet, who ran against Democratic Congressman Chet Edwards last year in a district that ironically includes President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas.

The voters in the district may have respected Taylor's military service, but they disagreed with him (and Bush) about whether we should continue to fight a fruitless war in Iraq. So Taylor got trounced.1/21/2007 04:50:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Rex Scott|W|P|Ted, why do you think Sugar Ray might run in two years? He didn't run this time because he said he wanted to stay in Tucson while his kids are young; a noble reason if there ever was one. His three young 'uns won't be much older in '08! Carroll won't run for that reason and because he can hang on to his safe seat until he decides to take on another race after his kids are older. My money is on him seeking a statewide job rather than trying to go to DC because he just doesn't strike me as a Washington type...and I mean that as a compliment!

Tim Bee would put Cochise County and eastern Pima County in play big time. He is calm, poised and not prone to gaffes. Money would not be an issue, either.

However, he is almost as conservative as Graf on all issues outside of support for public schools. Gabby could tag him as a stealth version of Randy, which would be accurate and ultimately the clincher for her. My only worry for Gabby in two years is, to be candid, having to run on a ticket headed by Hillary, who will NOT play well in this district.

If she wasn't considered to be too moderate by the right-wingers calling the tune in today's GOP, Jennifer Burns would be someone to reckon with face to face with Gabby. Don't count out Mike Hellon, either. Last, I know there are some on the right who see Frank Antenori as the Sam Brownback of Southern Arizona.1/21/2007 05:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Are any of you Giffords fans at all concerned about the fact that she has not taken a strong position against the occupation of Iraq and her remarks about Iraq so far (as our representative in Congress) sound as though she knows just as little about the invasion and occupation as she did a year ago in Patagonia? I ask this question because so many of you have claimed to be against the occupation.

That Tucson Citizen article about the troop surge was intended to embarrass Giffords, I dare say, especially the part where she said that she would visit Iraq herself and see what needs to be done.
Why do her handlers think that it is not safe for her to take a strong position against the war at this point?

If the Democrats continue to bankroll the war, and they will, they may not be as popular in 2008 as they were in 2006. Voters know that Congress has more options than non-binding resolutions and I think that a lot of people expect the Democrats to actually do something about the war. That sentiment will grow over the next two years as this Bush presidency plays itself out and the debacle in Iraq continues to get worse, which it will. On the other hand, I think we can be sure that Bush will take his party down about as far as it can go by 2008. So, the Democrats may still be the lesser of two evils, but they need to get off their collective arse and do something about Iraq. Otherwise, some of these more local races such as a Giffords/Bee contest may very well go back to the party that has a demographic advantage. It's way to early to try to predict anything, but I have to commend the Republicans for picking Tim Bee. He represents my legislative district and I can assure you that he's well liked here.1/21/2007 05:52:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|This is an open letter from James Jordan to Representative Giffords. I received this from the Sonora Progressives a couple of days ago and I think its an excellent letter. If you wish to sign the letter, send email to progalliance@yahoogroups.com.

Here's the text of the letter:

Dear Rep. Giffords,

On Martin Luther King Day, at Reid Park, and today, on
KUAZ, I heard you make the same assertion, that the US
military had gone into Iraq for the purpose of
"removing a horrible dictator", and that "our troops
performed heroically", but that we "then went in to
remove weapons of mass destruction", but there were no
such weapons. In each case, you went on to express
concerns about the escalation proposed by the
President, and to suggest that there were other,
better ways to deal with this war, although it was
never clear what those ways were. One thing you did
not talk about was the need to withdraw US troops as
quickly as possible from this quagmire. Instead, you
talked about things like bringing more nations on
board (as if they should be brought into a quagmire
that they recognized as such before the war began,
which is why they didn't get on board in the first
place), having better strategies and defineable goals
and such.

I would like to point out a couple of things. First
of all, when the US military invaded Iraq, the
initial, not the subsequent, reasons given for this
war were the fallacious and much discredited lies that
Iraq had weapons of mass destruction and that it
somehow had something to do with the attacks of
9/11/2001. Our invasion was based on the dangerous,
untenable, and unethical idea that we had the right to
launch a preemptive first strike against an imagined
threat.

So this war was NEVER justified, including the
justification you give it, that we went in to remove a
horrible dictator. Many of us do not believe that the
United States should be, nor deserves the right to be,
the policeman of the world. The fact that someone is
a horrible dictator has never been enough for us to go
in and remove them. If that were true, we would have
removed Pinochet, Suharto, Somoza, Battista, and
countless others--so many examples--if it were not for
the fact that they were all "horrible dictators" who
the US either installed or propped up in power to
serve its own interests--or rather, the interest of
the US power elite (it certainly didn't serve the
interests of poor and working people in the US or
anywhere).

In regards to the "horrible dictator" Saddam Hussein,
it would be good for you to review your history of the
situation. Saddam Hussein rose to power and was
consolidated in that power on the basis of tremendous
US support. When the US supported Hussein, they knew
he was ruthless, cruel, murderous, and a "horrible
dictator". But he served US interests by jailing,
torturing, and killing, en masse, the leaders of the
single largest secular democratic movement in the Arab
world. Unfortunately, the democratic will of the
Iraqi people would not have pleased US corporate
leaders, because it was not the will of the people to
turn all their oil, water, and other resources over to
private, US development.

Furthermore, when Iraq did have chemical weapons and
other capabilities for mass destruction, these were
sold and supplied by US government officials. For
instance, Donald Rumsfeld brokered such deals on
behalf of the Reagan/Bush administration. So if we
really wanted to see justice done regarding this
"horrible dictator's" crimes, we might also want to
indict his co-conspirators. There's plenty of them
there at your new job site in Washington DC.

You were elected to Congress, just like so many
freshman Democratic officials, because of widespread
dissatisfaction and anger regarding this unjust war,
and the thousands upon thousands of US and civilian
Iraqi casualties. Are the deaths and the maimings our
troops have suffered worth the prosecution of this war
based on lies? No, they are not, and I urge you to
recognize this.

Indeed, you, and all the Democrats, indeed, every
politician in Washington DC has been given a mandate:
End this sham of a war and bring our daughters and
sons and mothers and fathers and sisters and brothers
home before even one more of them dies for these lies,
these political games...before one more of them dies
so Halliburton and this and that oil company can make
more KILLER profits.

Rep. Giffords--we have faith in you to represent us,
and that's why you were elected. But enough of this
double speak, enough of these unclear messages, enough
of trying to say things that you think will appeal
both to war supporters and war opponents. This war
was not about removing a "horrible dictator", nor was
it about weapons of mass destruction. This war was
and is about securing profits for a handful of
wealthy, powerful, and corrupt few who simply want to
continue carving up the world and its resources so
that their power and wealth may increase, with no
concern about real democracy, and no concern about the
needs of the rest of us. They think nothing of
sending in 20,000 more trooops, nor of wasting
thousands of more lives for their impure aims..

Rep. Giffords--you are among those that we sent to
Washington DC for an overwhelming purpose: to speak
truth to power, to work to bring our troops home and
to end this murderous war. We must stop this war now.
We must bring our troops home now. We must not
continue to uphold and support this War of Lies.

Sincerely,

James Jordan1/21/2007 08:55:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Liza,
You are correct. You need reinvent the Green party. People like you should not be held down by working and middle class Americans who are patriots. I love how this “expert” total twists history. The Baath Party and Hussein rose to power how? According to your expert…“Saddam Hussein rose to power and was consolidated in that power on the basis of tremendous
US support. When the US supported Hussein, they knew
he was ruthless, cruel, murderous, and a "horrible
dictator". But he served US interests by jailing,
torturing, and killing, en masse, the leaders of the
single largest secular democratic movement in the Arab
world.”
This is a bigger lie than the one the President told to get us into the current crises. Where do you on the uniformed left get the facts? From Wikipedia.
You can toss around clichés like “…the US military invaded Iraq” and the drivel quoted above.
The only thing you and your Sheehan, Kucinich and professional protester pals will ever accomplish is to turn the “middle" against the Democrats. (I loved Cindi’s little stunt prior to the Democrats taking power in the Congress)
Your arrogance is staggering, you really believe that you and your uninformed left pals won the elections for the Party? Please, the moderate conservative voters who turned to the Democrats tipped the balance. You and your type of left needs to realize they did not/will not ensure anything for the Dems, except defeat.
I am offended by your United States hating, Anglophile clichés and trash talk about OUR Armed Forces.
AS one who dislikes rep. cream-puff you completely missed the point. Put that in your pipe and smoke it, hippy.
Even a bad Democrat is better that ANY GOPer1/21/2007 10:28:00 PM|W|P|Blogger phx kid|W|P|Ted,

“The folks that are apparently trying to clear the field for him…” It’s worse for Gabby than you know. The folks that were dead set against Huffman would also like to clear the field for Bee. Tim unites the whole party. All he needs is 50% or better form the independents and Giffords is out.


Rex,

Tim would also do well in NW Tucson. If Gabby wants to attack Bee as a stealth Graf she can go right ahead. She will come of as negative and petty.1/21/2007 10:41:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|All I have to say about Giffords is this:

I have a ten year old daughter who went to the state party meeting with me in Phoenix Saturday.

After Giffords spoke she talked for awhile with my daughter. She listened to what my daughter had to say and was very courteous and respectful towards her.

That is in contrast to a lot of politicians who think kids are good for a quick exchange and move on to an adult.

Class Act.1/22/2007 09:09:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Blue Dog,
You might be very surprised by how many sources of information I have. I choose not to respond to you any further because 95% of what you have to say is just an attack on people who do not agree with you. You are the kind of person who should never venture outside your own circle of whatever it is you are because you are so vitriolic.

Anyhow, just to clear up one thing for you. The situation in Iraq is dire and will get worse. Whatever one's political position, be it Green, Blue Dog, Republican, Leiberman worhsipper, or whatever, we need to end the occupation of Iraq and assure the global community that we are not going to remain there to plunder the oil, which is what we intend to do, by the way.

Also, you may not have noticed, but I didn't write that letter, but I think that the author has some good points. I certainly agree with the spirit of the letter which is intended to motivate his representative in Congress. And, I also agree with his First Amendment rights to express his opinion. I have no idea whether or not he used Wikipedia for his source.

BTW, I'm not a hippie and never was. I don't smoke either.

Have a good day.1/22/2007 09:23:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Eli Blake,
Class act notwithstanding, Iraq can't wait.

This is not about being classy. Congress will not act without a mighty shove from below. That is my only point.

You know, 2007 will be the most brutal year in the Mideast without the intervention of the American people.

Americans have turned against the war for different reasons. Whatever your reason, write your representatives in Congress. The sum total of what we all believe may be enough to convince Congress that a populist movement is underway and we are, as a nation, converging on the belief that the military occupation of Iraq must end this year.1/22/2007 09:45:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Liza,
Here is a thought. Wish those serving in the uniform of our Republic a nice day. Better yet save the disingenuous platitudes spend some time with the men and women who have been maimed protecting all of our rights. Pick a VA here in the Valley or in Tucson
Your history is revisionist; your posting was insulting in view of the fact that our Service men and women were killed in large numbers today.
Have a great day honey1/22/2007 10:15:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Rex Scott|W|P|Liza, I always enjoy your posts because they are thoughtful and well-written. If you read Gabby's comments in the Star yesterday, I think you'll be pleased. She may not be as unequivocal as you are, but she is looking at all aspects of the issue, including cutting funds, and is slamming Bush for how ill-considered his overall policies are. My guess is that you and our new member of Congress are closer than you might think on Iraq. My own position is similar to John Edwards' and I hope we see the party as a whole moving in that direction.1/22/2007 10:30:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Blue Dog,
This one's for you....

My husband is a disabled veteran from the Vietnam era. Let's see now, there have been about ten or eleven surgeries, I've lost count. There have been forty years of pain. He is proud to have been a Marine and to have served his country. He thinks that it changed his whole life for the better. He has managed his disability extremely well. He knows that his sacrifice has been very small compared to what others have sacrificed.

I have immense respect and gratitude for those who put their lives on the line to serve this nation.

What I think is sad is the way that you so viciously attack people you do not even know. You make such outrageous assumptions about their beliefs and then attack them as though you and you alone speak objective truth.

Geez, man, get some Paxil. Do you really think that hating people accomplishes anything?1/22/2007 11:25:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Liza,
Using your husbands service is beneath contempt1/22/2007 11:35:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Hi, Rex,
I read the interview, and I think that Giffords is still very weak with her "public" position on Iraq. However, you make a really good point. She is definitely someone who is worth writing to and worth persuading to take a strong position. I fully understand that anyone in Congress who wants to be re-elected is very reluctant to take strong positions that may be a problem for them in the next election. That is precisely why we, the people, need to continuously apply pressure. I would like to see "lively discussion" on the local blogs about Iraq because the situation is so dire and time is running out. Can Iraq endure this occupation until 2009 or 2010 and, worse yet, will Cheney get his war with Iran?

The local blogs seem to have really diminished since the November election judging from the number of comments. I would hope that they could become an integral part of local politics and provide a forum for all of the voices.

Blue Dog, of course, doesn't get it, but others do. Anyhow, thanks for reading me, Rex. I enjoy your comments as well.1/22/2007 11:39:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Blue Dog,
Leave me alone. You do not know sh** from Shinola. Seriously, I will not respond to you ever again and I'm sure that everyone else who reads here will be glad of it.

EVERYONE, I promise not to respond to him ever again.1/22/2007 02:00:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Lisa,
Being a human I must respect your opinion and your views on the war in Iraq. But being a vet of the first desert storm "Conflict" I will disagree with you on a few points. I'm not sure if you believe the stuff that you posted but if we leave Iraq in the mess it is in we will be a true villain in the eyes of the world. We left the Kurds to fend for them selves after the first desert storm and the republican guard squished them like a bug! Kind of like the Bay of Pigs. Now we have a newly "elected" Iraq gov. begging us to stay and help. So should we just grab all our stuff and leave the entire nation of Iraq to take on the responsibility of fending for them selves? That would be bad. There are already groves of Iraqi innocents being butchered as we speak every day. If we just leave it will be genocide of the Sunni’s or what ever Muslim group that is in the minority.. Now if we would acknowledge that we just don't care about the Iraqi's and only care about oil we should just come out and say it! If we were there for the oil only there would be less Deaths! We would create martial law zones and then harvest the oil in mass. The insurgents would have a harder time killing troops and Civilians because everyone would have badges to enter certain zones. But since we as a nation would never conquer and then pillage the resources we instead instill de-Mock-racy in the hope that they will want to be like America. Silly aint it? Anyway my point is that we made a mess of Iraq because we were not honest of our intentions. The military is a pawn that can only function when given marching orders. So let’s not blame the military for being the big, nasty mean, and evil creature that it is meant to be. It is what it is. Tolerance is a must Lisa.1/22/2007 06:34:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|drive,
I didn't write the letter I posted, but I do not believe that the author was blaming the military. The military is not responsible for foreign policy. The foreign policy we suffer with today was hatched by Paul Wolfowitz, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Bolton, and several other former members of the Project for the New American Century who went on to become decision makers in the Bush Administration, as we all know.

Other than that, you've identified many of the exact problems that Mideast scholars, military experts, and others warned about prior to the invasion of Iraq. There is no resolution at this time given who is controlling this war, nor are there answers to your questions. The Bush Administration is at odds with the growing public sentiment against the war and the new Democratic Congress, yet they choose to rigidly adhere to a failed agenda. That is where we are.

But, yes, I do believe we need to end the military occupation. It is not sustainable. We will leave, we always do, the questions are when and how.1/20/2007 07:20:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I didn't get one, but apparently there is an e-mail sent by Randy Camacho denying the anti-gay rumors that are allegedly being spread by supporters of David Waid. I don't know exactly what is going on among the Maricopa County activists, but the only reason I have heard about this rumor is because of the denials from Camacho supporters. Given this, it doesn't smack to me of an organized effort from the higher echelons of the Waid campaign. An e-mail also went out from newly elected Pima County chair Vince Rabago in support of Waid. I will be going up today...and I'll be carrying a proxy. This makes me twice the kingmaker. There is still time for the candidates to beg me for support, and I do take bribes.|W|P|116930333737451785|W|P|There's Still Time!|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/19/2007 07:12:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Many of you have probaly read about Virginia Delegate Frank D. Hargrove Sr., who told an African American who was supporting a resolution apologizing for slavery to "get over it." I hear this sort of thing from many white southerners when people bring up the past. In one of Ed Bradley's final stories, he travelled to Mississippi to talk about the reopening of the Emmett Till case. Over and over again, he encountered whites who kept saying, "That's the past, and there is no need to open up old wounds." Okay, I can see where people would get frustrated when they keep hearing about issues that seem to have been settled years or even generations ago. I understand the desire to move on. But, I'd be more willing to entertain pleas from white southerners that their black neighbors move on, if they themselves had moved on. Take a look at Hargrove's own state. Up until 1997, the state song was "Carry Me Back to Old Virginia," a song where the narrator, a newly freed slave, is nostalgic for his days of bondage. The move by the legislature to ditch the song (Hargrove himself was there at the time; I don't know how he voted) is still controversial today. You can't have a candidate debate, particularly in a Republican primary, without a question about the display of the Confederate battle emblem. Former Governor and Senator George Allen felt the need to surround himself with all sorts of Confederate nostalgia as if his great-grandaddy fought at Antietam, despite the fact that his father was from Union state Michigan and Allen grew up in California. Southern blacks watch as symbols of the segregationist and even slave past of their region are innocently celebrated as "heritage" on a regular basis. Not that I am in any position to make deals on the part of the African-American community, but I'd bet that they will "get over" their past as soon as a majority of the Southern white community gets over theirs.|W|P|116921742551044153|W|P|Something I've Been Meaning to Write About|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/19/2007 06:18:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P| Political humorist Art Buchwald has died. Last year, he decided to forgo dialysis and his doctors gave him only five weeks to live. Well, he hung on for much longer and was able to even tape his own eulogy (the first line is quoted above). He had been asked if there was anything that he was sorry he was going to miss. His answer: he was jealous that the rest of us will get to enjoy global warming.|W|P|116921339566893862|W|P|"I'm Art Buchwald, and I Just Died"|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/19/2007 05:39:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|The best part about the race for chair on the Republican side is that they hold their election a week after we do, so I get to make fun of them for seven days after our bloodletting is done. One of the things you'll hear from the conservative activists that support Randy Pullen is that their man is a more "pure" conservative, more Republican in every thought, deed and external organ than that Lisa James and that "RINO" John McCain. Pullen's detractors have been labeling him an opporitunist who only recently donned the cloak of a "true Republican." Well, the boys over at Politico Mafioso have found something interesting. Back in 1998, Pullen gave to Democrats Paul Johnson and Harry Mitchell. Pullen has come up with the lame excuse that his employer made him give. His employer: Pullen and Co. The funny thing was, these were the only contributions that Mr. Republican gave to Arizona candidates that year. I suppose that such a thing could understood since this happened nine years ago and before Pullen was an active Republican, but this guy represents the "litmus test" wing of the party. Had this been any one else, he and his supporters would be screaming "RINO" before the ink dried on the checks. If this burries his candidacy, he has his own rhetoric to blame. I love this stuff. Keep it up guys.|W|P|116921247790358389|W|P|More Fun in the Race for Republican Chair|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/19/2007 12:00:00 PM|W|P|Blogger phx kid|W|P|Ted,

I think the ink dried on the checks a long time ago. Nine years ago.1/18/2007 08:04:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|The Weekly ran an item in yesterday's Skinny that named Adelita Grijalva as a possible candidate to run in Ward 1. One of the publishers of the old New England Revolution fanzine Pictures of Chairman Mao had a word for such things: Rumpswab. I decided not to call Grijalva herself, since she just had a baby and is probably a wee bit busy, doncha think? Definitely too busy to be running for City Council. But I talked to several people close to her and the consensus was that she'd be a great candidate and a great councilmember, but she ain't running. Not even considering it. One of the things that has ginned up speculation is that no one has pulled packets to run in Ward 1. No Democrat, no Republican, no Libertarian. Even the old Anti-Masonic party hasn't thrown in. No candidate has pulled a packet, including incumbent José Ibarra. We political observers abhor a vacuum, and any sign, no matter how weak, that there may be one leads all of us to make up all sorts of things. Let's see, who else lives in that ward? Paul Eckerstrom? Peter Hormel? Odie Mae Elliot? Oh yeah: Al Perry...|W|P|116917709130277712|W|P|No or Something|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/18/2007 10:15:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I'd bet you still have time to move into the ward and file, dude. is it really carpetbagging if no one's running?1/19/2007 05:36:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Funny thing: the rules for residency for running for the Tucson City Council are pretty tight. I live in Ward 6...and I would have had to "reside" in Ward 1 for a year before I could run.

Besides, I still think Jose is going to run, and I don't want to run against him.1/18/2007 11:20:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I finally recieved a mailer from Randy Camacho. I thought it was a bit unusual since it contained what was essentially a very wordy palm card, rather than a letter, detailing his 30/15/8 plan. I suppose that the card contained the same information that would be in a "Dear Democratic Friend" letter anyway. It just lacked that personal touch and warmth that a mass produced letter with a Xeroxed signature would have had. I also recieved another letter in support of David Waid. This one was signed (Xeroxed, of course) by the complete Democratic College of Cardinals: Janet Napolitano, Terry Goddard, Harry Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords, Raúl Grijalva and Ed Pastor. As I have noted before, there has been some tension within this group over past and potential resource and staffing decisions made by Waid, but these have either been resolved, or they have agreed to resolve them later. State Committee members in Maricopa County recieved an e-mail from newly installed Maricopa County Headman Mark Manoil and immediate past chair Judy Kennedy endorsing Waid. The e-mail also included endorsements from past and present district chairs and other long time activists including Aaron Jahneke and Lois Pfau. All told, the e-mail lists 25 Democratic królewięta, which makes one wonder how many people were left to mail to.|W|P|116914556392747976|W|P|I Got Me A Mailer...Two Even!|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/18/2007 01:05:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Camacho had previously listed endorsements from Pastor and Grijalva on his website.1/18/2007 01:21:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Oops, didn't read down far enough to see that you already mentioned that.1/18/2007 03:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Aaron|W|P|I had no idea I was a long time activist...ha..that scares me! What does a short termer look like?1/18/2007 04:29:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Given how many people will be attending their first convention Saturday, I figured you are "long time."

Besides, why are you complaining...this is the first time you have rated a mention. :)1/18/2007 04:32:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Actually those of us outside of Maricopa county got the same email listing the endorsements of Maricopa county website.1/18/2007 07:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Aaron|W|P|I was not complaining, I was so psyched about being mentioned on this blog that I am putting it on my resume..1/18/2007 08:11:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Yeah Aaron, I have had like five mentions and Ted does not even like me!1/18/2007 06:25:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|There has been a bit of buzz about a straw poll among Maricopa county Republicans that showed John McCain coming in fourth place behind Duncan Hunter (don't worry, no one else has heard of him either), Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. Gosh, how did our own US Senator do so poorly? How did a rather obscure US House member from California beat him and other more famous contenders? (Newt Gingrich? R Cubed Quiz: Name another person first named "Newton" who made a try at a presidential nomination.) Well, it's easy to do if you set the rules. The "straw poll" was, to put it charitably, less than formal even by the loose standards that the term "straw poll" implies. Apparently, Rob Haney, a Republican activist that has become famous for being the guy that wants to ruin McCain's chances at the nomination, handed out "ballots" to folks at the Maricopa County Republican meeting last week. Candidates on the "ballot" were listed as "acceptable" and "unacceptable," and the ballots were, according to some witnesses, selectively distributed. This wasn't done as any official part of the meeting, and there was no previous notice that it was going to occur. By the way, Hunter, who is supported by Trent Franks, was at the meeting and was able to personally work the delegates. This victory will help him come out on top in that "Obscure House Members Who Have No Chance of Winning" Primary over Tomás Tancredo and Ron Paul. I'm no McCain fan, but this just seems ridiculous. Unfortunately, Mike Sunnucks at the Buisiness Journal swallowed this as an official slap at McCain. I don't blame him, for all he knows, there was an official vote at a meeting. I wouldn't doubt that Haney's folks presented it that way. Straw polls can be useful, but in a limited way. They can tell you how much support there is within one organization or another for a candidate at best. Even at worst, a decent and honest straw poll can tell you which candidate has their act together enough to organize their supporters to attend. Interestingly, we Democrats are enjoined from doing such things (at least in Presidential races). The DNC wants to avoid the spectacle that often happens with these large straw poll extravaganzas on the Republican side. Hundreds of thousands of dollars get spent by campaigns to bus in supporters and on electioneering to win the votes of a few hundred people at what is really a fundraiser for a local party. I was in Florida on the eve of a huge straw poll in 1995, and I actually caught a TV ad run against Lamar Alexander. Yes, this was a straw poll and not the primary. In this case, this thing is barely a real straw poll. The conduct of this indicates the trouble with Haney and his crowd (and one that some activists on my side of the fence aren't immune from either), these guys keep talking only to each other and have convinced themselves that they represent the majority. Is there any serious political observer out there that thinks that John McCain will lose a Republican primary here? Heck, McCain won decisively here in 2000 despite much higher profile opposition (led by then-Governor Jane Dee Hull). These folks aren't showing any kinks in McCain's armor; they are just showing they are out of touch with most of the Republicans that they supposedly represent. R-CUBED QUIZ ANSWER: The only one I could think of is Newton Baker, who was a favorite of anti-Roosevelt forces at the 1932 Democratic convention. He didn't enter any primaries, and as far as I can tell, adopted no reptillian nicknames. I just mentioned him in an entry last week. You should pay more attention. NB - Espresso Pundit wrote about this straw poll yesterday. Geez, I seem to be agreeing with him. Don't tell anyone. Check out his take because it has generated many interesting comments.|W|P|116912941159288053|W|P|Some Facts Behind the "Straw Poll" that John McCain "Lost"|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/18/2007 05:26:00 PM|W|P|Blogger toc001|W|P|Interesting though that McCain is dropping in NH and Iowa polls also. In the end, the fundie voters will split. Some will hold their nose and others will stay home taking a big chunk out of GOP support.

He is also knocking off alot of the "McCain Moderate" votes by kissing Falwell and Dobson ass.


In addition, his mainstream stance on immigration is hurting him with the bigot vote.

And his Warmongering Escalation stance is blowing it with 70%+ of the rest of the country.

That straw poll may mean nothing, but this guy is making all the wrong moves. These other poll numbers seem right on target.1/19/2007 04:31:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Randall Holdridge|W|P|Avowed pacifist and Sec. of War under Woodrow Wilson?1/18/2007 06:22:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Ward 2 council candidate Rodney Glassman's campaign website is up and running. You can check it out here.|W|P|116912663570488845|W|P|Up and Running|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/18/2007 06:13:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|As I wrote earlier, Gabrielle Giffords made her first remarks on the House floor last Friday. She made them during Special Orders on the topic of immigration:
(Ms. GIFFORDS asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.) Ms. GIFFORDS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to speak for the very first time in this distinguished Chamber representing the Eighth District of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, we have made some major accomplishments this week, but one area that particularly pertains to my district and to the State of Arizona has not been addressed, and that is the crisis in illegal immigration. For too long, Congress and Washington have failed to act. We must secure the border now. My district and the State of Arizona have paid a heavy price for this burden. We know it in our schools, our hospitals and our law enforcement agencies. We must move this year with a sense of urgency to pass a comprehensive immigration reform package that is tough, effective, and practical. We need to increase border security using modern-era technology, radar, drones, electronic surveillance. There must be more Border Patrol agents and more support for those Border Patrol agents. We also need tough employer sanctions for those employers who are knowingly hiring people illegally, and a guest worker program, so that people can come in and work legally, safely, and return back to their home countries. Working to pass such measures will be my priority in this 110th Congress, and I look forward to working with Members on both sides of the aisle on this important issue.
As I noted before, the Arizona Democratic Party posted Harry Mitchell's coming out on YouTube. This one still hasn't been posted. Come on guys, where is the love for us Bajados?|W|P|116912647143376366|W|P|Giffords's Debut Speech|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/18/2007 10:55:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Frankly, I have such a total lack of respect for Gabby that I probably shouldn't say anything. But what the heck.

We need a "sense of urgency" huh? Need to work with the other side huh? Wow.

I guess it's easier than thinking. Or doing. Neither of which have ever been her strong suit.

How the hell did this happen? I still can't say Congressman Giffords without feeling slightly ill.1/18/2007 02:41:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|rob f,
You're worse than I am. I was thinking of making some smart alecky remark like, "now we can all sleep better at night knowing that our newly elected representative is all over this immigration problem."

I guess that whoever the handlers are in what one blogger called the "incumbent protection program" decided that paying attention to the immigration issue will convince AZ CD8 voters in 2008 that Giffords has done well for them. Maybe they're right, who knows?

At least I know now that I could actually be represented in Congress if I move to Rep. Grijalva's district. His recent statement about Iraq is a very profound example of what I would like to hear from every Democrat in Congress.1/18/2007 03:09:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Well, gee, I have to apologize for my previous post. I just read the article in the Tucson Citizen where Rep. Giffords does have an opinion about the troop surge in Iraq. To quote the article, "Giffords said she is skeptical of the president's plan because it does not include benchmarks for success or represent a new strategy." And this, "Giffords also said she will likely visit troops in Iraq and see for herself what needs to be done."

This is great. What we need here is a fresh pair of eyes. Hang in there, Baghdad, help is on the way.1/17/2007 11:21:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|A quick visit to Randy Camacho's website and you may notice some changes to his endorsement list. One thing is that both Raúl Grijalva and Ed Pastor have disappeared from the list. Both had been touted early on as endorsers of Camacho, especially when it looked like the field would be open. Both of them have been at contentious "principals" meetings with the Governor where they voiced their dissatisfaction with some of the proposed staffing decisions of current chair David Waid. Some of these conflicts have been resolved, and that may be why the names have vanished from Camacho's list. At the top of Camacho's list is now the Progressive Democrats of America. Last week, the Maricopa County chapter and "several other progressive organizations" voted to endorse Camacho's candidacy. The press release doesn't detail who the other organizations were, and there is no sign on the Sonora Progressives website that they have taken a stand in the race. Even though many of the Sonora Progressives are campaigning for Camacho, their leaders were careful to say that the group had not endorsed, at least as of last week. I recieved an e-mail from a Camacho supporter about a rumor that Camacho was anti-gay. I had never heard such a thing but they wanted me to know that Camacho had come out against the "Protect Marriage Arizona" amendment and was even quoted in opposition in the Republic. Maybe they thought this was a rumor that would start soon? This campaign has been so low wattage that I really, really doubt it. This person thought that the rumor may have started because his brother Richard (a teacher, like his brother) had a debate on gay marriage in his class room and some of the comments around that incident might be connected to Randy. As I said, I haven't heard anyone say such a thing about Randy Camacho. All I hear about him from people is that he's a tolerant and progressive individual. I have a real hard time believing a rumor like that.|W|P|116905966706886968|W|P|Hrm.|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/17/2007 01:00:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|The anti gay stuff is a smoke screen.
The Guv wants her people in place to assist her Senatorial campaign.
Think back to the Maricopa County Attorneys race. Warshaw was totally unfit to be the County Attorney, The Guv and Jim did not want Harris, so they sandbagged him. It was bad enough that the party got involved in a primary, but to let P. Gordon endorse Thomas was sickening. As a result We (Phx) got stuck with Andy Thomas. I knew Harris was a flawed candidate but Thomas is a fascist, and he will run for hirer office. All because the Guv State Chair, County Chair and Chief of Staff (Guv) did not like the Democrat who won the primary.
Talk about putting their needs (political careers) over the needs of the Party!!!1/17/2007 02:42:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|This is exactly why we are fighting and why we are happy Randy Camacho has taken up the populist banner. He is well qualified to provide the leadership we need, and we believe open debate and contested races strengthen the party.

This is the democratic wing of the democratic party speaking up for fairness and grassroots control of the party.

The governor called Grijalvva and Pastor and asked them to withdraw their endorsements. Sadly, they caved.

David Waid is a good executive director, and I am sorry he wants to quit in that role. He is worth every penny he earns as ED. As a private political consultant, i think he will have a conflict of interest at the same time running the party. We don't need even the appearance of corruption.

And as party chair he allowed the party to snub, fail to support, or even eliminate Democrats the governor did not favor. Think Jason Williams Think Larry King. Think Herb Paine and John Thrasher. Think Mike Cacioppoli. And that's just the few I know about. Why is Israel Torres not Secretary of State? because the state party did not go after Jan Brewer.

We have seen over and over that the governor works behind the scenes to silence honest debate, as she is doing now, to snub or even eliiminate candidates she does not favor.

Many of us believe we need to build a sustainable party that is independent of any elected official, one that fairly supports all Democrats willing to give their time and effort to run for public office.

To be fair, David Waid has helped progressives with election integrity, and we are thankful. He has put staff in places there was no staff previously, which helped to build the party, and invested in training for candidates and their staff, which we support. What makes the governor think Randy would put a stop to those good things?

Please support Randy Camacho, or at the very least speak up about the governor working behind the scenes to influence another election.1/17/2007 03:14:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Amen RevGerry,
Left right or center this Guv has done nothing to help anyone, except her elect few. If a progressive is willing to step up and tell the elite they are not the Party this Blue Dog will support him/her (with time and $) . I am really sick of hearing “….but Janet has to be viable for the next election”
Is it the Democratic Party of Arizona or the Democratic Party for Janet Napolitano, Terry Goddard, Jim Pederson (RIP) & cronies?1/17/2007 03:16:00 PM|W|P|Blogger boredinaz|W|P|Oh give me a break, "blue dog."

Although he was not an A-list candidate, Warshaw had far better law enforcement credentials as a former police officer and deputy county attorney than either Harris or Thomas (who has never even tried a criminal case before a jury).

Harris was a complete nut job as evidenced by his rambling and incoherent statements in debates and to the Republic's editorial board ... especially when asked about the sole high profile case he had back in 1973 that the AG had to take away from him. (Nice.) The guy only won the primary because he sucked up to the Leisure World types by wistfully reminicing about the good old days at every turn. Warshaw's biggest problem was that he was too darn nice to call Harris out for the whack job he was. It was Harris who was totally unfit to be County Attorney and he had the history to prove it.

I will grant you, however, that Janet puts her needs before the needs of the party. Might that chief of staff you malign be Maricopa County Attorney today otherwise? He's certainly got the creds.

Who knows? Did he even want the job? But we're stuck with Thomas now so what's the use in monday morning quarterbacking?1/17/2007 03:44:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Aaron|W|P|Harris won because he had a better ballot name...activists think that they have so much control over the process....we don't...people generally have no clue who they are voting for.1/17/2007 04:04:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I say this, still not knowing who I will in the end vote for between David Waid and Randy Camacho on Saturday:

Do you have any evidence that the Governor told Reps. Grijalva and Pastor to withdraw their endorsements? Because this is the first time I've heard that, and frankly I don't see them as 'caving' in to anybody. To be honest, I've been immensely happy with the job our Governor has done in running circles around a hostile legislature. I want to see what she does now with a less-hostile one.

Also, I don't buy that stuff about the party not supporting the candidates you mention. Williams ran a strong race against an incumbent, and it was in the end his choice to try and raise money privately (i.e. not run as a clean elections candidate). That IMO did him in-- he wasn't able to raise enough of it. But he's only 30-- and I believe he will be back if he wants to be.

Larry King? He could have continued running if he wanted to but then again do you honestly believe, that starting with more people thinking of the TV host, he'd have been able to squeak by J.D. (as Mitchell did?) And I used to be 'represented' by J.D. and I am eternally grateful to have him gone.

Cacciopoli? I in the end supported him and endorsed him because I liked his bluntness about Iraq, immigration and other issues, and felt he was the most charismatic candidate. The reason it took me so long was because I was waiting for him to say publically that he would support the nominee, which he eventually did. But let's be honest-- he finished fourth in a field of five, so it's hard to argue that what the state party did or did not do had much effect on his congressional ambitions.

I'll probably listen very intently to what both Waid and Camacho say on Saturday, but I don't believe that leveling baseless attacks against the Governor or our other elected officials is a way to convince me to support anyone. And I'm sure I'm not the only 'neither part of the establishment nor a member of PDA' Democrat who is still mulling this decision over but is 100% a supporter of the Governor (who is not, incidentally, on the ballot Saturday.)1/17/2007 04:28:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Let me get this right,
Harris won because:
1 The old people voted for him? You have a prob with that?
2 Warshaw was too nice? A nice Mesa cop?
3 Because of his name? (that has to take the cake)

If the election is between a nut and a Fascist who do you vote for…
RevGerry has a valid point, we should elect Democrats, even nuts they are better that Nazis1/17/2007 05:40:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I'm not going to say that Harris was perfect, but between him and Warshaw, at least Harris had tried a felony.

Warshaw was an absolute joke. Democratic voters weren't quite stupid enough not to realize it and they didn't vote for him. The Democratic party completely abdicated his campaign in favor of an absolute lunatic named Andrew Thomas. Thomas, were he to to get the kind of press he so desperately craves, would be a national embarrassment. I would have far greater interest in this race if I had any, repeat any faith remaining in the people who have given us such absolute zeroes as Gabby "I married an astronaut" Giffords and Jim "I'm rich, so I should be Senator" Petersen. Why do Republicans continually win races in this state? Bad Democratic candidates and a total lack of support for any one who doesn't absolutely toe the party line. We're a joke. But not the funny, ha ha kind.1/18/2007 11:19:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Jane Arizona|W|P|The endorsements were not pulled because of anything Randy said or did. And the rumor that Randy is anti-gay is completely ridiculous, but I'd love to know who planted it.1/22/2007 08:55:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Jonathon Warshaw is a friend of mine and I'd appreciate it if people didn't malign him with second hand and false information.1/22/2007 08:58:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|You pegged it revgerry.

And I'm as curious as you jane arizona.1/22/2007 09:06:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|To clarify:

ALL of Arizona's DFA and PDA groups were represented at the meeting where Camacho was endorsed unanimously. Sonoran Pregessives were represented by Jeff Latas and another gentleman whose name I didn't get.1/17/2007 11:10:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Yesterday's Tucson Citizen carried an Anne Denogean column about Sen. Jack Harper's bill to mandate that candidates for legislature must submit to a drug test upon filing. The column was inspired by my post last week about the bill, and it even quotes my witty and brilliant prose on the subject. When I make the big time, I will remember all of you, I promise. I checked out the comments; opinion seemed to be divided on the bill. A couple of them fall back on the conservative cannard that all liberals are drug users. I don't know where that comes from. When I was growing up, the only people that could afford cocaine were Republicans.|W|P|116905801860072100|W|P|Ma, I Made the Paper...Again!|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/17/2007 07:28:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Interesting bit in Roll Call yesterday. Should John McCain win the presidency, or even if he resigns his seat upon nomination, Governor Janet Napolitano would appoint a successor. Unlike in some states, any appointee has to be of the same party as the person they are replacing. This means that Napolitano would have to find a Republican to replace McCain. The article, which you can't read without a subscription, names some Republicans friendly to Napolitano who she might choose:
If she chose an appointee from among her Republican supporters as some insiders speculate, it's possible this individual could be drafted from her cabinet, if not the group of well-known Republicans who endorsed her 2006 re-election bid. Among them are former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods (R) and Jack Jewett (R), a Tucson businessman and longtime member of the state Board of Regents. Current elected officials who backed Napolitano last year include Flagstaff Mayor Joe Donaldson (R) and Phoenix City Councilman Tom Simplot (R). If Napolitano turned to her cabinet to replace McCain, she'd have 13 choices, including Bill Bell, director of the state administration department; Susan Gerard, director of the state Health Services Department; Don Butler, director of the state Agriculture Department; Pat Chorpenning, director of the state Veterans' Services Department; and Gale Garriott, director of the state Revenue Department.
The supposition has always been that Napolitano herself wanted to run for Senate in 2010. To make this happen, she would have to appoint someone who would be willing to step aside in 2010, something appointees have done in other states. Here is the funny part of the article (besides the soon-to-be-unemployed-under-a-Pullen-chairmanship Garrick Taylor using it as another reason to paint Napolitano as an out of touch extremist. That's why she won, I guess): the close of the article names possible other candidates should Napolitano not make a go of it:
If she doesn't run, Democratic Reps. Gabrielle Giffords and Raúl Grijalva, and state Attorney General Terry Goddard (D) could be candidates.
My God, Gabby just got there! Give the gal a break. For some reason, Ed Pastor isn't mentioned. With all due respect to Giffords and Grijalva, the direction of politics and demographics here doesn't bode too well for a candidate from Tucson, but nice to see our folks mentioned. Actually, all three of these pols are Tucson born.|W|P|116904600796618483|W|P|S.P.Q.U.S.A.|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/17/2007 09:27:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Tommy just registered as a Dem. "I am a Socialist defense attorney who represent murders" Sinema just loves it. If we Dems don't put up a strong candidate (not her fellow green Campbell) We need to throw in the towel.
Great commentary on Some Phoenix Blog
http://somephoenixguy.blogspot.com/1/17/2007 06:35:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Zelph|W|P|She's sick of all you fat white guys without a sense of humor too.1/18/2007 07:46:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Don't forget balding1/18/2007 10:02:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I would have thought Napolitano would have appointed Barry Wong-- former Republican state Senator and the guy she appointed to fill out that unexpired Corp Comm term-- since she's already put him on something and he's been low-key about it.

The trick is, a special election would have to be held within a year, making it damn awkward for both whoever Janet appointed and for herself.

Other than that, Simplot is now a Dem, although I've heard Peggy Neely's name thrown around as a Republican for Janet, and other Dem activists might not like it but I've always thought Phil Gordon would be a good candidate for Senate.

And actually, I wouldn't call it great commentary, more like half-accurate and sometimes true stuff I'd rather post somewhere than bore people in conversation with.1/18/2007 11:00:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Phx guy,
I liked the Pinto Dems post, don't be too hard on your self. Your stuff is good. Plus it is about the real AZ, Phx, GO DEVILS1/16/2007 05:50:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Saturday I, and I'm assuming other members of the State Committee, recieved my first communication from David Waid. It was a letter detailing his accomplishments as chair including an impressive fundraising effort (four times as much as the Republican Party) and an increase in vote by mail applications by 30%. I was suprised to get a call last night from a Waid supporter, they are not taking this race lightly. I haven't heard much from Randy Camacho supporters since the Pima County convention. Perhaps they believe that they have enough votes from out of groups like the Sonora Progressives (who have not officially endorsed, but many of their members are Camacho fans), but a little reaching out beyond this base will probably be necessary. There is dissatisfaction out there from long time party activists, even those that don't identify with leftish part of the party, with Waid and some of his staffing decisions, these folks don't seem to be ready to jump yet. I don't think they will without a bit more convincing from Camacho supporters. On the other side: the Republicans are partying like it's 1999. Anyone remember the 1999 Democratic State Chair's race? Incumbent Mark Fleischer created all sorts of difficulties for some party pooh bahs, so they united in opposition to him. Unfortunately for them, they couldn't agree on a cadidate, and sent letters endorsing all three of Fleischer's opponents. This bizarre strategy didn't work for the Whigs in 1836, and it just served to make many activists think Fleischer's opponents didn't have their act together. Fleischer won on the first ballot, and fired the executive director who was popular with many of his opponents. Then the cardinals shut off the fundraising spigot. Nothing quite so strange has gone on with the Republicans yet (we still have a couple of days though), but there has been one parallel: some big time fund raisers have said that if there is a Randy Pullen victory, they will no longer donate to the Republican party. The same threat was made in '99 in case of a Fleischer win, but I don't recall it making the papers. As it did on our side in '99, this sort of strong arming will no doubt turn off some activists. A lot of talk out on these internets about whether Pullen or Lisa James is the more "pure" Republican. The assumption of many people is that Pullen's association with the anti-immigrant movement and his friendliness with some conservative activists means he is more conservative. I'd been hearing from some grumblers that Pullen only recently adopted these positions to move up in Republican politics, but I hadn't actually seen any evidence of this. Well, over at Politico Mafioso, they have revealed that Pullen's wife was a donor to WISH List. WISH list stands for "Women in the Senate and House," and it is a paler, less effective Republican version of EMILY's list. WISH list, like EMILY's list, gives to pro-choice women Republican candidates. You'd think with all those wealthy pro-choice Republicans and so few candidates to give to that they'd do better, natch. James's supporters are trying to get this one out now hoping it will make some of Pullen's social conservative base jump to their side. Polling shows that most Arizonans are pro-choice, heaven forbid the Republicans elect a chairman that knows someone that might have at one time another been pro-choice.|W|P|116895574333428107|W|P|My Last Entry on the State Chair Races? Naw.|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/16/2007 10:30:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I don't want to sound rude or anything, but, what would Randy Camacho do more of or better than what Waid's done?1/16/2007 02:31:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Actually I just got a correspondence both from Camacho supporters and then from Camacho.

Interesting I haven't gotten deluged more, since I'm still not sure which of them I'm planning to vote for-- that may be a 'game day' decision. I like both of them, I'm impressed by Waid's record but I've also always liked Camacho.

In any case, I've been too busy following the vice chair's race-- my county chair, Ken Smith is running and I've been very impressed with how he's been able to unify and grow our county party.1/16/2007 02:53:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Happy Birthday to Ted and Tom! Oh and to Carmen, she is the best! See you on Saturday!1/16/2007 03:03:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Sonoran Sam|W|P|Hey, ya mean Tom and Ted share a birthday? What a coincidence!1/15/2007 07:54:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|This is an excerpt of a speech that Dr. Martin Luther King gave on April 4th, 1967. You can find the full text of the speech here, along with audio.
My third reason moves to an even deeper level of awareness, for it grows out of my experience in the ghettoes of the North over the last three years -- especially the last three summers. As I have walked among the desperate, rejected, and angry young men, I have told them that Molotov cocktails and rifles would not solve their problems. I have tried to offer them my deepest compassion while maintaining my conviction that social change comes most meaningfully through nonviolent action. But they ask -- and rightly so -- what about Vietnam? They ask if our own nation wasn't using massive doses of violence to solve its problems, to bring about the changes it wanted. Their questions hit home, and I knew that I could never again raise my voice against the violence of the oppressed in the ghettos without having first spoken clearly to the greatest purveyor of violence in the world today -- my own government. For the sake of those boys, for the sake of this government, for the sake of the hundreds of thousands trembling under our violence, I cannot be silent. For those who ask the question, "Aren't you a civil rights leader?" and thereby mean to exclude me from the movement for peace, I have this further answer. In 1957 when a group of us formed the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, we chose as our motto: "To save the soul of America." We were convinced that we could not limit our vision to certain rights for black people, but instead affirmed the conviction that America would never be free or saved from itself until the descendants of its slaves were loosed completely from the shackles they still wear. In a way we were agreeing with Langston Hughes, that black bard of Harlem, who had written earlier: O, yes, I say it plain, America never was America to me, And yet I swear this oath -- America will be! Now, it should be incandescently clear that no one who has any concern for the integrity and life of America today can ignore the present war. If America's soul becomes totally poisoned, part of the autopsy must read: Vietnam. It can never be saved so long as it destroys the deepest hopes of men the world over. So it is that those of us who are yet determined that America will be are led down the path of protest and dissent, working for the health of our land.
|W|P|116887347023069629|W|P|One Year Before|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/14/2007 11:02:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Rep. Harry Mitchell gave his first speech on the house floor the other day, and it is now posted to YouTube. Our other newly elected representative also made her debut speech this week, but it hasn't been posted anywhere that I can find.
The Arizona Democratic Party posted this video (it is the only one posted on their "channel"). I spoke to a staffer to one congressman this week who told me that they are checking to see if house rules will allow them to post videos on their own section on sites such as YouTube. This hasn't stopped both the presidential campaigns of John Edwards, Wesley Clark and Christopher Dodd from opening up their own channels and posting videos. (Edwards here, Clark here, Dodd here)|W|P|116879882184854315|W|P|Mitchell Now As Cool As "Numa Numa" Guy|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/13/2007 06:18:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I got some grief from one of my readers after a shot I took at Joe Lieberman. The poster complained that I and other posters were not recognizing the breadth of the Democratic coalition, and seemed to imply that anarchists like me were about to take the whole party down. Well, this was silly for a couple of reasons: for one thing, it wasn't that long ago that I was being eviscerated on here for supporting the supposedly more conservative candidate our local congressional primary. The other reason is that I have made it clear on a couple of occasions that my troubles with Lieberman are more stylistic than policy based (although his continuing support of the war when even Sam Brownback wants to throw in the towel is mystifying, at best), and I have worked to get many moderate and conservative Democrats elected and written positive things about them here. As I said, my problems with Lieberman have more to do with his style and methods. He seems so anxious now to show himself as a "bipartisan maverick" that he has subsummed issues that once made him at least tolerable to Democrats of all stripes. For example: many Democrats were anxious to have congressional hearings into the administration's and FEMA's handling of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Lieberman, as chairman of the Homeland Security committee, would call and head up those hearings. No dice, said the senator to Newsweek. There are so many good reasons for a Democrat, or anyone else for that matter, to give a darn about what happened and look into the failures of the federal government after Katrina. But no, our man is more concerned about his friendship with the President. By the way, he did promise to hold hearings and subpoena documents before the election. Now, it would be easy to condemn what I'm saying as some carping lefty who is complaining again about the poor, put upon Joe Lieberman. Another person taking issue with the lack of the hearings is Charlie Melancon, who is quoted on Talking Points Memo being diplomatic but displeased with Lieberman's decision. Wanna know how much of a McGovernik Melancon is? Melancon is a member of the Blue Dog Coalition. I did a check of Thomas and the first bill of his that came up was a sense of congress resolution advocating the public display of the Ten Commandments. Talking Points Memo has been contacting Gulf Coast Democrats, who are largely Blue Dogs, for their reactions. I imagine that we'll find that these relatively conservative members are unhappy with Lieberman as well.|W|P|116874025768555360|W|P|Southern Lousiana Congressman Delivers Fouetté to Lieberman|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/14/2007 10:19:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Sonoran Sam|W|P|Tedski: when he's wrong, he's wrong....and Leiberman's position on Iraq is dead wrong - and the dead are young people whose loyalty and energy could be put to far more productive uses.

I just saw him on "Meet The Press" standing with Jon Kyl in defense of Bush's position. It made my stomach churn.

I'm willing to forgive Lieberman for a lot of his failings, but it's essential that we change things in Iraq - and Lieberman must be shown that his head is in the right position to examine his own prostate.1/14/2007 12:07:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|I wish I could be eloquent but I can't. Leiberman is a jackass.1/14/2007 03:33:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I've never been able to forgive Leiberman for running for Senate while he was running for Veep. Like he didn't really think he'd be busy. Besides, his head is freakishly large.1/13/2007 05:58:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I've had a couple of people ask me, "Hey, you're a soccer fan, why haven't you said anything about David Beckham on your blog?" Well, the fact is, I have. I have two posts on Beckham playing for the Galaxy (a team I dislike that will now be even more fun to root against) over on my other blog. I try to keep this blog to politics and occasionally religion. Over at the Polish-Mexican page, I can talk about soccer, music, roller derby and what ever else I want to complain about.|W|P|116873667973732004|W|P|The No Beckham Zone|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/13/2007 06:41:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|"I try to keep this blog to politics and occasionally religion."

You mean that soccer *isn't* a religion?? LOL1/13/2007 07:13:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P| Rep. Russell Pearce has another brilliant idea that will stop all of these darned illegal aliens from crossing the border. He's got a bill, HB 2063, which would only allow the registration of a vehicle if, as the bill says, "the owner is legally present in this state." This is a good thing. I have a friend who just got back from Caborca, where there are dozens if not hundreds of pobres just waiting to cross the line and register their Hummers. Such legislation will surely keep them on their side of the line, or at least make them go to Texas. We are better off if those undocumented workers that can afford vehicles once they get here drive unregistered vehicles. Our streets are safer that way.|W|P|116869900350131343|W|P|That'll Show 'Em|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/16/2007 02:41:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Does that mean that every time Hertz rent-a-car wants to add a vehicle to their fleet at Sky Harbor, the CEO of the company will have to fly to Phoenix so he can stand in line at the Arizona Department of Transportation and fill out the paperwork? Or would it have to technically be a group of stockholders who control at least 51% of the stock?

For that matter, there are many entities that have vehicle fleets, some of which may be registered in Arizona but the entity is not from Arizona.

And if a major league baseball player who lives in the valley needs a new car and asks his financial manager to go buy it for him, does that mean he will have to take a game off so he can fly here and stand in line at ADOT?

I wonder if the bill addresses these situations?1/13/2007 07:08:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Jim Nintzel and Saxon Burns have an item in this week's Skinny about Mark Osterloh and Jeff Latas running for the copious vice chair spots in the state Democratic party. Come on guys, I ran for vice chair three times, won twice, and you never mentioned me. I'm so hurt. And Jim, you let a Skinny item about Osterloh go by without a snarky comment about the voter lottery? You're slipping.|W|P|116869760973322303|W|P|No Love From Nintzel...AGAIN|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/12/2007 03:19:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Word is out that Tom Stauffer is leaving the Arizona Daily Star to become a food writer at the Tucson Citizen. When I first saw Stauffer's byline at the Star, I was a bit taken aback. I thought, "hey, is that the same Tom Stauffer that is in the Drakes with Gene Ruley?" I found out that yes, it was. Stauffer was also leader of a band called Bull Horn, an excellent but criminally unremembered Baja Arizona band in the early 1990's that released one single for a song called "Hell Mountain." (Bull Horn also featured on bass a redheaded woman named Cheri Taylor. No really good reason to mention her 'cept it gives me an excuse to remember her. Back to your regularly scheduled blog.) Interestingly, when C. J. Karamargin left the star, he became a food writer at the Citizen too. Then, he moved on to work as a press aide to Gabrielle Giffords. So, the next natural step would be to work for a member of congress. Not much chance of an opening soon though.|W|P|116864232970773070|W|P|You've Got to Change Your Pace, I Did That|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/13/2007 10:34:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Next race is in 2008 though so there is a teeny chance it could happen. But so could a major earthquake taking out St. Louis.1/12/2007 07:02:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Connecticut Senator Christopher Dodd announced his candidacy for president earlier this week. He already has a website up. I know that all of you are anxious to sign up for his campaign. Interestingly, Dodd's page boasts of links to Flikr, MySpace, FaceBook and YouTube (what, no Tribe.net?). We'll probably see more of this from the other candidates since this seems to be the lazy man's way to get to Generation Y voters. No one loves us Gen Xers any more. Another interesting thing on the page is the "DoddPod." It is a list of songs that Dodd has on his iPod and you can suggest songs. I suppose this is one way to show that Dodd is wired and hip, but does anyone under the age of fifty listen to Jackson Browne? (And I bet most of those fans, under fifty or no, spell Mr. Browne's name correctly.) There is a way for us visitors from the internet to suggest songs for his iPod. It is a good way to capture data for a e-mail list, but man, that is just asking for trouble. I mean, how many of you when you saw that feature were trying to figure out an offensive band name or song name to send him? You know that every second-rate indie band will send their songs in hopes of some modicum of recognition. It'll work out well, Dodd hasn't heard of them, and they haven't heard of Dodd. If any of you post anything on the DoddPod, tell us about it here.|W|P|116861184431985435|W|P|The "DoddPod"|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/12/2007 09:00:00 AM|W|P|Blogger azwildcat88|W|P|I told him he needed some heavy Metal.

I suggested Twisted Sister's "We're not gonna take it"

I suspect the message behind my suggestion will be lost on a Washington Insider1/12/2007 09:47:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Rob F|W|P|I said he should listen to See How We Are by X.1/12/2007 01:04:00 PM|W|P|Blogger The Screaming Centrist|W|P|I see we share the Bobby Darin love. (I'm 36, btw, but very retro.)1/12/2007 01:38:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Good choice Rob. Hey Ted, you know, a lot of those websites were built by gen-Xers. Flickr is one of the best photo tools out there. It is nice to see folks using more than just blogs.1/16/2007 03:02:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Another Senator...running.... for President.

Hit the snooze alarm.1/11/2007 05:34:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Raúl Grijalva submitted this statement to the Congressional Record today:
Madam Speaker, I believe this Congress has a mandate from the voters, to start bringing our troops home now. This is not an option to pursue at our leisure, this is a solemn obligation of absolute urgency. As we speak, preparations are being made to send more of our nation's sons and daughters to Iraq, with or without our consent, and some are already there. A headline in today's Financial Times states our predicament: "Congress is helpless only out of choice." The Constitution gives this Congress, gives this new majority, if it chooses to exercise it, the power of the federal purse. No signing statement or political calculation can erase this hard fact, and if we choose to deny that we do have this power, we do a disservice to our Constitution, our constituents, and to this body. If this new Congress does not heed the voice of the people who elected this new majority it will be a failure of our democracy, and I think the people will be appropriately discouraged by this. To ignore this mandate is to risk not just a majority, but even worse, to heighten the cynicism of our country with regard to whether we truly have a democratic, responsive government. The escalation in Iraq announced by President Bush last night will only deepen our involvement in this debacle. Ultimately, this escalation is about keeping this nation tied down in Iraq beyond 2008, because once those troops go to Iraq, the horse is out of the barn. Members of Congress that are serious about representing the will of the American people should make every effort to block this move, to pre-empt the President. The president's speech last night was disheartening and disappointing. This President is utterly indifferent to the will of the people, the Congress, or even the very same generals whose authority he has exploited to cover his own mistakes. Congress must demand a better approach that is realistic and solution based. Someone should tell the President that the dire consequences he predicts for Iraq if we should withdraw are already with us, as a consequence of his own decisions. President Bush's war of choice has created a sanctuary for terrorists. President Bush's war of choice has empowered Iran in the region. President Bush's war of choice has put American targets in front of Al-Qaeda and made their ranks overflow with new recruits. President Bush's war of choice has decimated American influence and credibility in the region and the world. Only once we have gotten our troops out of harm's way, and once we have demonstrated a commitment to make right with diplomacy and reconstruction what this President has torn asunder, can we attempt to implement the political solution among Iraqis that this crisis calls for. President Bush mentioned Iran last night in a very alarming context. In one breath he accused Iran of material participation in attacks against US soldiers, and in the next he announced the positioning of assets in the region which would enable the air strike on Iran that frightens the entire world and, I fear, seems increasingly likely. If we are serious about extricating this great nation from the regional quagmire that this President has created and that he seeks to enlarge, it seems that the time has come that we need to speak out. We need to get out of Iraq, and we need to stay out of Iran. Madam Speaker, this war is a financial, strategic and moral disaster for this nation. The military victory the President speaks of is a fantasy, but the costs to our nation and the violence in the region are real, and will only increase the longer our men and women remain in Iraq. We need to bring this sad misadventure to an end, and start bringing our troops home now. It pains me to recall that more than half the combat deaths in Vietnam came after it was already clear that the United States could not succeed. These soldiers died because the leaders of their country lacked the political courage to face reality, feared losing face, and feared admitting their mistakes. This is one of the great tragedies of our history, and we risk repeating this moral error by keeping our troops in Iraq. The American people clearly expressed their view on Iraq in the last election, and the policy still has not changed. But I still believe that the people of this country have the will and the spirit to restore true democracy to our foreign policy. I hope they will keep up this fight, because the lives of our men and women in uniform depend on it. Thank you. Madam Speaker.
|W|P|116856262503704534|W|P|Grijalva Reaction to Bush's "Augmentation"|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/11/2007 08:10:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Well said Congressman.1/12/2007 09:12:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Liza|W|P|Let's hope that Rep. Grijalva and a few of the other Democratic Congress members who have had the courage to come forward and make statements like this set an example for most of the others who have yet to find their spines.

Non-binding "resolutions" just don't cut it.1/11/2007 10:00:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Just got word from a DNC member that Denver will be the site of the next Democratic National Convention. Steve Farley will be happy to know that they have excellent transit.|W|P|116853509995286828|W|P|Rocky Mountain High, Or Is It Oysters?|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/11/2007 02:44:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I think it is reflective of Democrat's new focus on the intermountain west and the midwest. Denver is on the border between both, and the growth of Democratic power throughout the region represents a major threat to the GOP. We will see if what has transpired in the West over the past couple of election cycles continues into the future, as I think it will, but to turn what had been a solidly GOP region of the country into a solidly competitive one could represent the biggest reshaping of the political landscape since white southern Democrats switched to the GOP starting in 1964 following the passage of the voting rights act.1/11/2007 03:21:00 PM|W|P|Blogger boredinaz|W|P|Does this mean Dems are going to start being hit up for money to fund this thing?

From http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_4039491
Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano also is very supportive but has not committed to raising any specific amount, said her chief of staff, Dennis Burke.

"Is it a ballpark number - probably," he said of the $6 million figure. "Is it something where Arizona and Arizona Democrats are going to try and help out? Yeah. Our perspective is, having the Democrats come to Colorado is having the Democrats come to the West, and it highlights Western issues."
1/11/2007 09:10:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Word to C-SPAN junkies: Harry Mitchell will be making his first speech before congress today. I don't have an exact time, but it should be sometime over the next few hours. He will be speaking on funding stem cell research.|W|P|116853205854193435|W|P|Mitchell's Rookie Debut|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/11/2007 10:32:00 AM|W|P|Blogger azwildcat88|W|P|GIVE 'EM HELL HARRY!!!1/11/2007 02:49:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Is he in the Blue dogs or just looking1/11/2007 06:41:00 PM|W|P|Blogger NetrootsDemocrat|W|P|Harry Mitchell is not in the blue dogs, and whilst having a moderate image, is actually a solid progressive.1/11/2007 10:06:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|And he looked great!1/12/2007 02:26:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Google Harry Mitchell Blue dog and read for your self1/11/2007 05:17:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|So, I was going to look up a bill number that I was going to write about (I'll get to it later), and instead I ran across this title: SB 1066: legislative candidates; drug test (This bill number suggests that maybe our solons are not worried about Mexican "invaders," but are out to stop the Norman ones.) You read this right, this bill would mandate drug tests for legislative candidates. You ever heard anyone tell you that you would have to be high to want to run for legislature? Well... The bill's prime sponsors are Senators Jack Harper, Linda Gray and Representative Russell Pearce. Other sponsors are Senators Ron Gould, Karen Johnson, Jim Waring and Representative Ray Barnes. In case of a gubernatorial veto of this crucial bit of legislation, the sponsors have also signed on to SCR 1005, which would be a constitutional amendment mandating a drug test that would avoid the governor's desk and go to the voters. Way back in the 80's during our first wave of drug test fever, Senator Fritz Hollings's opponent demanded that Hollings take a drug test. This happened during a debate, so Hollings turned to him and said, "I'll take a drug test if he takes an IQ test." In that spirit, let's expand this idea: maybe we can mandate that candidates take the AIMS test, maybe the new citizenship test?|W|P|116852060223469396|W|P|Finally, a Way to Keep Tommy Chong Out of the Legislature|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/11/2007 07:07:00 AM|W|P|Blogger azwildcat88|W|P|Make them take the AIMS test!! Many of my fellow teachers have been wanting them to do that for years!!1/11/2007 06:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger NetrootsDemocrat|W|P|I cannot wait for the day that someone runs as an avowed bud smoker.

These Mormon rightwingers wanting litmus tests? Wow. I wonder if Joseph Smith would have passed his?1/11/2007 10:04:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I highly doubt that the Normans are any threat whatsoever unless of course they have bows.1/10/2007 07:42:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Not too long ago, if you had asked me what to do about Iraq, I would have said something like, "I don't know, but we can't just withdraw and leave those people with this mess." I've come around to thinking that the only difference between us leaving tommorrow and us leaving a year from now is the number American soldiers that die. We didn't send enough troops in the first place (that is assuming we should have sent any at all), and now the President hopes to stanch the bleeding a bit (makes me wonder about the theory that he is only trying to delay the Hanoi moment until after he leaves office). The conduct of the post-invasion part of the war was screwed up by poor planning, wishful thinking and horrible management years ago. I'm not sure how sending 20,000 more troops into a divided nation of nearly 30 million is going to do anything to fix that. A couple of things disturbed me. Is he looking to expand the war to include Iran and Syria? It sure sounded like it. Also: did he say that American troops will be imbedded with Iraqi units? There are about 18,000 in the Iraqi army, with only 10,000, according to one study, that aren't politically tainted. How does this work? Does it encourage the Iraqis to take additional responsibilities? Will we be taking political cues from the Iraqi government, who seem to be in the sway of the Iraqi militias? NB: I've got three friends over there, and one cousin that will no doubt be going back under this plan.|W|P|116848438339067122|W|P|The Zapp Brannigan Strategy|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/11/2007 05:03:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Sonoran Sam|W|P|From last night's speech:

"Victory will not look like the ones our fathers and grandfathers achieved. There will be no surrender ceremony on the deck of a battleship."

No, it STARTED with a "Mission Accomplished" ceremony on an aircraft carrier, and it will end with a lot of needless deaths, only to buttress the ego of a fool.1/10/2007 07:11:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I'm hearing more about 2008 than I'm hearing about 2007. What is up with that? I'm hearing a new bunch of murmurs. I don't entirely buy this one for reasons that I'll give you in a second. The talk is that Ann Day will run for re-election to the Board of Supervisors. She's represented District 1, which takes in the central part of the Catalina Foothills and manuevers around the Catalinas to take in Oro Valley and a big chunk of Marana's vilayets, since being elected in 1996 after a series of short-timers (Iris Dewhirst, Greg Lunn, Mike Boyd). There was speculation about Day retiring shortly after her sister stepped down from the Supreme Court. Seemed silly actually, since their circumstances are very different. Now, on to the wild speculation that I don't entirely buy: Day will get a primary challenge from Al Melvin. I can see where Melvin's wing of the party would be disatisfied with Day. Heck, just the fact that she can sit so close to Richard Elías on a regular basis and not get charged with battery would be enough to make some of them unhappy. Day is the classic, for lack of a better term, "Country Club Republican," exactly the sort that boils the blood of conservative activists. Even with this though, I don't see Melvin as the sort to want to run for supervisor. What I saw was a guy who was animated by grand ideological battles. Yes, they happen on the board too, but only as occasional breaks in between long stretches of more practical day-to-day county buisiness. I can't see Melvin as someone that would get excited about decisions like who gets a sewer contract in Avra Valley or who to hire to run the libraries. I could be wrong though, and I often am. Hasn't Melvin already told some supporters that he wants to make another go at the Senate? This isn't to say that social conservatives aren't interested in the nuts and bolts of local government here, it's just that they don't seem to run for positions in it. This isn't true in other parts of the state (Randy Pullen, popular with conservative activists, has made a run for mayor of Phoenix, for example). In both Pima County and Tucson City government, the Republicans we have elected have tended to be moderates, even liberal when it comes to social issues. You may remember that the person that took the lead on the fight over continuing to fund the Boy Scouts despite their anti-gay policies wasn't a Democrat, it was Fred Ronstadt. Despite this, I can't remember any Republican council member or supervisor weathering a primary over such things. Ray Carroll, the Baja Arizona answer to Nelson Rockefeller, has never had a primary at all. The only staunch conservative I can remember serving on the Board of Supervisors was Paul Marsh, who served one turbulent term more than a decade ago. It bears remembering that he was taken out of office in the Republican primary.|W|P|116844096457304562|W|P|Ann This Day|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/10/2007 10:26:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Chris|W|P|Ted,

I am amazed at your story. Melvin has announced several times in public that he is running again for state senate. It is not even an open secret, just common knowledge.1/10/2007 11:05:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|I realize that, but it hasn't stopped the folks I talk to from speculating about this. I don't think he'll run for Supervisor either.1/10/2007 11:06:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.1/10/2007 05:09:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Just for the record: Ray Carroll did have a primary battle the first time he ran for the District 4 Supervisor's seat, almost ten years ago. It was against Brenda Even, a formitable candidate who was an elected School Board member and also the widow of John Even, who died while serving as the District 4 Supervisor before Ray. Ray has not had a primary challange since however.
Scott Egan
Executive Assistant to Ray Carroll
(since day one).
PS: As for my (humble) opinion, Ann Day could chew up and spit out Cap't Al for lunch faster than he could scream "Save Me Chewy!"1/10/2007 06:18:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Chris|W|P|Ted,

If you know the gossip about Melvin running against Day was wrong why print the story?


Scott,

Kind of like how Toni Hellon chewed him up?1/10/2007 06:38:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Erik|W|P|Hey Chris,

It's more like how Charlene chewed up Al. ;-)Is Al doing ok these days? To be throttled by a Female Democrat - that had to hurt his biggoted mind.1/10/2007 09:58:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Ted isn't THAT far from the truth here. The Repubs with which I can have a conversation, have started murmuring the name Capt. Al and Supervisor in the same sentence. Apparently, from the talk I have had with some at the gym, they are not exactly happy with Ann Day and want to see a more conservative voice on the board.

This leads little ol' me to believe that if they can't find anyone more palatable than Capt. Al to run against Supervisor Day, then this could be a pretty quick primary with Day out pacing Capt. Al at the polls.

But then again we all thought that Toni Hellon would drop him like fifth hour spanish. Perhaps the Democrats better have a back-up plan if some mouth breathing conservative were to challenge Ann Day.

Any takers?1/10/2007 10:26:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Rex Scott|W|P|Yo, Rat! What's wrong with fifth hour Spanish? I always thought it was the core classes no one wanted late in the day!

Seriously, it is preposterous that ANYone would take a Melvin candidacy for ANYthing seriously ANYmore. After he lost the Senate seat, he became nothing but a shrill voice that will surface every now and then on talk radio and at LD26 meetings. I can't believe that the Republicans would risk losing a safe supe seat after Al lost a safe Senate seat.

It is a moot point anyway. Ann Day is a pretty shrewd campaigner and isn't likely to take any opponent for granted. She would wax Al in a primary and I must admit that I will be surprised if she draws a prominent Democratic opponent.1/10/2007 10:41:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Chris|W|P|Erik,

You are correct that Melvin did not win the general but the discussion of Day dealt with the primary.


Rat,

I am glad that you talk with your Republican friends at the gym but Al runs his own show. Just in case I will ask him when I see him at the LD 26 meeting this weekend.

Like you I have heard murmurs about someone running against the increasingly vulnerable Day, just not Al.


Rex,

Back in the day, Ann may have been a shrewd campaigner but now she is more likely to show up at the Tiffany’s opening that at a Republican event. Can you say out of touch?1/10/2007 10:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Chris|W|P|Ted,

I get it now. This was a geography test!

Melvin does not even live in Pima County. Since he resides in Pinal County there is not much chance that he could even run for Pima BOS even if he wanted.1/11/2007 04:58:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Chris-

Wasn't aware of Al's residency, and evidently the people spreading this talk weren't either. Of course, Al could easily hop the line.

I was also trying to make a broader point about social conservatives running for County and City offices. I don't even see them doing it in safe Republican districts like Ann's.1/11/2007 09:24:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Chris|W|P|Another important point about Pima County District 1 is that it does not include SaddleBrooke (in Pinal.) That is a crucial area in the Republican primary because there is a pretty conservative vote there. The rest of District 1 is almost a mirror of LD 26 except for the east side of the Foothills. The county district goes more to the east than LD 26. These extra voters in the county district tend to be more moderate/liberal than in the rest of the district. Overall it would be a little tougher for a conservative to capture the Republican primary in County 1 than in LD 26.1/09/2007 01:43:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Hot from SEIU and that big building downtown:
On Tuesday, January 9th, the Pima County Board of Supervisors became the first county in Arizona to allow its workers the freedom to vote to form an authorized union. “Now we want a vigorous debate among county workers about what kind of employee organization they want,” said Dave Mitchell, President of the Pima County Chapter of SEIU Arizona. “SEIU believes that better workplaces and better services go together. If employees choose SEIU, they choose not only better working conditions, but an opportunity to sit down with management and brainstorm ways to make Pima County an even better place to work and live.” The ordinance allows employees to vote in an election to choose whether or not they want an authorized union and, if they vote for a union, allows them to meet with the county and confer on wages, health care, improving services, and other issues. “All of the employees want to congratulate Board Chairman Richard Elias and County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry for working with us to make this historic step a reality,” said Mitchell. “Now we look forward to working together with the county on ways to improve the services that we provide to county residents.”
The item was passed 5-0.|W|P|116837581810070394|W|P|Victory, and I Don't Mean a Movie Staring Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine and Pelé|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/09/2007 08:17:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Do you know if the county employees have civil service rules?1/09/2007 08:37:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Victory? ,
SEIU is poaching from CWA and AFSCME. How do you call that a victory? As a former UFCW member I find Unions like SEIU objectionable. When a Union poaches (attempts to de-certify or grab members from another Union or two) the Labor Movement is hurt and divided. Why in the world would you not even mention that the County and City have two Unions, CWA and AFSCME, with members already?
I would love to see what their (CWA & AFSCME) leadership & rank and file thinks of SEIU. Is SEIU even a part of the AFL-CIO or did they “bolt the AFL-CIO”?

Why can SEIU leave and you make no comments but you write “Those of you that followed the Senate election in Connecticut may remember that Joe Lieberman, when bolting the Democratic Party…”

Joe leaves the Dems and he hurts the Dem cause, SEIU leaves the AFL-CIO and it is a victory.
Am I missing something or is there a disconnect?1/09/2007 11:26:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|It is not poaching when the unions don't have bargaining rights, even under the AFL-CIO rules. AFSCME has been there forever and never managed to expand the membership or get recognition. We need a strong union presence in Pima. I hope SEIU, AFSCME and CWA compete like hell and sign up every worker available. I hope that the best union wins... Anyway you look at it, progressives win.1/10/2007 07:00:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Lamedem,
You are wrong, CWA and AFSCME bargains (wages) for the employees in Pima and the City.
as for competition, If I understood the post only one Union will emerge from this. So SEIU, instead of looking for a new (workers)organizing campaign attacks the base of CWA and AFSCME.
How do the progressives win ?1/10/2007 07:09:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|I haven't heard of the complaints from CWA, but AFSCME had only managed to sign up two hundred members out of the 6000 member work force. SEIU had in less than a year signed up many times that. At what point is it no longer "poaching"?

AFSCME had no bargaining rights, CWA has some recognition by the city and TUSD, but not by Pima County.

SEIU bolted the national union, but has a "solidarity agreement" with the local AFL-CIO.1/10/2007 09:17:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I think it is really simple; poaching is when one Union runs a campaign where another Union has members. SEIU knew CWA and AFSCME had members, thus they are poaching. If SEIU had an understanding with the AFL-CIO (Local or National) they would not have moved in on another Unions turf.
Have you spoken to Ms. Walker (AFSCME) or Mr. Dean (CWA)? I am sure they would love to get the equal time you gave Mr. Mitchell.1/10/2007 10:57:00 AM|W|P|Blogger union guy|W|P|The ordinance allows employees to vote to choose which union they want, as it says in Ted's post. Why is AFSCME opposed to employees voting to choose an authorized union? And ordinance doesn't apply to the city, so CWA isn't affected.1/10/2007 11:37:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|I think the question is why is SEIU running campaign in a place that has a Union (no matter what shape)
unions are work place democracy in action if the workers need a union join AFSCME. Why spend the $ ?

As for what AFCSME wants I don't know I am not, or ever have been a member.
SEIU has this type of rep all over1/10/2007 12:26:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Mister T in AZ|W|P|I think the big question here isn't, "Why is AFSCME opposed to employees voting to choose an authorized union?" or "why is SEIU running campaign in a place that has a Union ...".

The real question is what is the PURPOSE of organizing these workers.

The purpose of the county having union workers is NOT to build up the rolls of SEIU or to protect the monopoly on members that AFSCME had.

The PURPOSE of union organizing is to improve the work conditions and quality of life of those being unionized.

PERIOD.

The politics of this is so damn insider (even on this blog) that it is pretty sad.

The REAL QUESTION is -- what is better for the WORKERS.

I'm not arguing that AFSCME is or SEIU is ... but why isn't THAT the debate that you are start AZ Blue Dog? Why isn't that the response you give to him Tedski?

Lamedem has it right ... if this whole insider bare-knuckled union throw down has the net-effect of improving the bargaining strength, the quality of life, and the safe and fair treatment of employees --- why do we as regular progessive activists care who wins?

If you have an axe to grind on this issue, it is a political one ... and while that is fun and increases the comment count - I don't see the value in it.1/10/2007 01:21:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Mr. T,
Sorry I thought that this is exactly the place to debate “how many angels can dance on the head of a pin” This is a place where weirdo’s (like me) can get as wonky as I want. It is not like I can go the George and Dragon and debate the finer points of Trade Unionism.
I am from a Union family and we used to fight like hell until a republican came around. The Democrats used to have some really good conventions (blood on the floor) until the TV fluff we have now.
Like the Spanish Civil War we Democrats. (I am not a progressive or Liberal. I am a old fashion anti communist, pro Union Democrat) fight until a republican comes around. It is the debate that sharpens my rhetorical skills.1/12/2007 01:43:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Mister T in AZ|W|P|Doesn't address the main part of my argument.

Maybe instead of PRACTICING your rhetorical skills - you could practice your READING COMPREHENSION.

That way you can actually RESPOND to what I wrote, instead of some bullshit side story about blood at conventions.1/13/2007 09:57:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Mr. T,
Have you ever been in a union? If you are, (god help the local you are with) have you ever done anything except shoot off your mouth? I do not give a tinkers damn what you think the point is and I really don’t care what you see as valuable. I will respond to what you wrote

1 Stop with the caps, who in the hell do you think you are? That shit bird you style your self as?

2 Since you like caps, how is this PROGRESSIVES is spelled with a r after the g you insufferable jerk (try the F7 button)

3 “The real question is what is the PURPOSE of organizing these workers.”
You were as wrong on this as everything else.
The purpose of a union is to gain POWER, tool
So now post away, I am done with you1/09/2007 07:23:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|So, the congress didn't do anything yesterday. Why? Because John "Merkle" Boehner just had to fly out to Glendale to watch his Buckeyes lose to Florida. Geez. We had to delay the business of congress so this guy can go to a college football game? I gotta cut Boehner a break, I mean, he's probably used to last year's two-day-a-week-and-not-even-every-week schedule. But darnit, Nancy, you should have just told him, "Gosh John, I hope we can still get a quorum." I mean, he was only there to vote "no" anyway. By the way: did Boehner sit in the stands with the great unwashed, or did he sit in a "hospitality suite"? Who paid for the suite?|W|P|116835328318933610|W|P|Hopefully, the Last Time Pelosi Caves to These Guys|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/09/2007 07:14:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I was unaware that Randy Camacho has a website up for his race for chair. Check it out. He lists Raúl Grijalva and Ed Pastor as supporters, as well as former Rep. John Laredo.|W|P|116835246843492165|W|P|Camacho on the Web|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/10/2007 07:09:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Sandy in Prescott|W|P|yawn ...1/10/2007 10:03:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Jane Arizona|W|P|This just in: Randy has been endorsed by PDA and DFA...1/08/2007 07:25:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|I just finished up Steve Neal's Happy Days Are Here Again: The 1932 Democratic Convention, the Emergence of FDR - and How America Was Changed Forever. The book was published in 2004, shortly after Neal's death. One of the things that people don't realize about that convention was that Franklin D. Roosevelt nearly wasn't the nominee. He swept all but two of the primaries he entered and secured a majority of the delegates that were attending the convention. However, the Democratic party had a 2/3 rule, first put in place by Andrew Jackson. As many of the figures in the book constantly liked to note, both Champ Clark and William McAdoo walked into their conventions with majorities. I think the fact that most of you haven't heard of either Clark or McAdoo gives you a clue. Suffice it to say, the 2/3 rule saved us from being led into World War I by a president named "Champ." Roosevelt and his allies ditched the 2/3 rule shortly after he became president. The objections to Roosevelt were many. Supporters of Al Smith, a sentimental favorite of Catholics, wanted him to have another shot at the presidency. The city bosses, especially those in his own state, disliked him. Conservatives in the party, who had a lot of sway because of the 2/3 rule, distrusted him as a radical. But one that came up over and over again was Roosevelt's health. The history that we all know is that the press kept his disability a secret, but most party leaders were well aware of the state of his health. The irony, noted by Neal in the epilogue, is that Roosevelt outlived just about every one of the rivals from that convention. Two of them, former Secretary of War Newton Baker and Maryland Governor Albert Ritchie, didn't even live through Roosevelt's first term. The convention was dominated by many larger than life figures of the era: House Speaker "Cactus Jack" Garner, Louisiana Gov. Huey Long, New York Mayor and lover of chorus girls Jimmy Walker and Will Rogers as well as some colorful characters that have largely been forgotten, like the cigar chomping populist Oklahoma Governor "Alfafa Bill" Murray. The book captures the drama of the old conventions and a little bit of why the current stage managed conventions are no fun to watch anymore. Granted, there was a lot of shenanigans that we just probably wouldn't put up with anymore, such as Boston Mayor James Curley's heading up a pro-Roosevelt sham Puerto Rico delegation (in a glaring oversight, Neal never explains how this came to be) after Roosevelt was crushed by Smith in the Massachusetts primary. In another bit of chicanery, Anton Cermak, Mayor of the host city, Chicago, arranged to have McAdoo's limosine run out of gas while he was on the way to a crucial vote. These sorts of things don't happen any more because they really wouldn't effect the outcome. The outcome is determined by the primaries now, in fact, largely determined by the time that voters in less than a half-dozen states have made their voices heard. For all of the trouble with the "smoke filled rooms" and arcane procedural fights, I wonder sometimes if the current process is all that much more democratic. It certainly has been rendered less fun.|W|P|116826775343284563|W|P|Happy Days Are Here Again|W|P|prezelski@aol.com1/08/2007 02:41:00 PM|W|P|Blogger boredinaz|W|P|Wow. Greenskeeper, soldier, weatherman, ghostbuster, ocean explorer and now Oklahoma governor? Is there any doubt that Bill Murray is the America's greatest treasure?1/08/2007 05:39:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Glad to see you blog about the FDR Democrats. Some who read and post to your blog could use some schooling about the people and demographics that built and ensure our majority.1/08/2007 07:37:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Tom Prezelski|W|P|A few years back, Bob Schieffer delivered an excellent rant about the virtues of the old smoke filled room days. Everybody should check it out:

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2000/08/20/politics/main226365.shtml1/08/2007 09:43:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Tom, the window I am using does not show the entire link. Can you HTML it?

And I liked that book...I also liked the Bonus Army, stuff that is not well known such as the nomination of FDR (who was the first candidate to fly to his nomination and accept in person) or what happened to the Bonus Marchers of the 1930s AFTER the First Lady visited. Especially the part about the pressure to not deficit spend on FDR by himself and others.1/08/2007 11:50:00 PM|W|P|Blogger DeRose|W|P|Steve Neal wrote a semi-weekly column for the Chicago Sun-Times. Nobody covered politics better than he did, and the Sun-Times was my first read in the morning in the hopes that his column appeared.

His death really caught everyone off guard, and the writing of this book was blamed (in part) for aggravating his depression. I still miss reading him.