6 October 2002

AZ Election Roundup Part I

Just some thoughts on recent developments on the Arizona election campaigns and ballot propositions:

Matt Salmon battles with public integrity questions yet again. Let's see, he's running as the UNclean elections candidate, preferring to pitch his chances with "big money" special interests, he's been the benefactor of an ugly telephone smear campaign that he expressed outrage over the insinuation that he had anything to do with it, he's seemingly contradicted his "small government", traditional conservative politics with his lobbying for a boondoggle "pie in the sky" project, and now it is contended that he's lied about his lobbyist work. His contract with the city of Phoenix specified that he was to perform "lobbying activities". But Salmon says he did not meet with congressional members despite the confirmation of several in Arizona's House delegation who stated that Salmon has met with them a number of times to discuss Phoenix's legislative agenda. Which is it Matt? Did the contract that paid you $150,000 go unfulfilled or did you indeed lobby without registering as prescribed by federal legislation that you voted into law?

More on Mr. Salmon, some takes on the ballot propositions and a word on the independent gubernatorial candidate...

Regarding that anonymous and illegal telephone attack on Napolitano's candidacy -- Salmon said that accusations from Democrats were "reckless" and "slanderous". Really. Let's review this event objectively (where is the muckraking press at in uncovering who was really behind this brazen smear attack). It appears that early voters in last month's primary election were targeted. Those kind of sophisticated lists can only be obtained from the two major parties. Just like the idea that Matt Salmon was behind the "Vote Mormon" primary campaign poster controversy, I think it's ludicrous to suggest that the Napolitano camp orchestrated the recorded phone callings as a sympathy play. And it's strange how Florida keeps popping into these election controversies - the calls were traced back to a telemarketing company in Miami - yes, that same Flordia that did it's damnedest for Republicans in past elections. And Salmon has been a big benefactor of Qwest, the "local phone company" who probably have some friendly folks with full access to the necessary equipment and eager to do a job for company compatriot Salmon.

Judging from all of the radio and TV commercials, you would think that gaming is the most crucial issue affecting Arizonans. We're getting bombarded with messages telling us to save the budget or ensure the future for 17 tribes. But what I don't get is the hypocrisy in the stated stance of the prominent citizen voices. Either you think gambling should declared illegal or you think that the government shouldn't have the right to impose the morality of some on the desire of others. But this "core values" nonsense that the Arizona Republic and annointed spokesperson Sheriff Arpaio prattling is a sham. If casinos are undesireable eye sores that must not be allowed to exist in residential proximity as touted by these public paragons of virtue, why then is it necessary and essential for Indian tribes to maintain and expand their thriving gambling enterprises? It smacks of both elitism and racism. And the painting of racetrack owners as foreign, grubby villians is disingenuous. I'm voting yes on Prop. 201, and no on Prop. 200/202. If you think gambling should be illegal, then, by all means, vote "no" on all of them.

What the hell is Dick Mahoney's motive in running Napolitano attack ads, claiming she's soft on child molesters? Has he made a deal with the Salmon campaign? I'm typically enamored with third party candidates and have voted for them often in the past, and there are some issues where my views are in alignment with Mahoney's stated platform. But, this escapade merely illustrates his nefarious tact, and gains nothing for his political fortunes. As a third party candidate, he should be focusing on how righteous and different his message is, rather than crawling in slime. My vote selection was still in doubt until that stunt confirmed that it won't be him I'll be voting for ...


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