Last Night's Primary Results In Arizona-- Say Bye-By To Quayle's Son
Ben Quayle, last night's biggest loser
“If you know Middle Easterners, a lot of them, they look Mexican or they look, you know, like a lot of people in South America: dark skin, dark hair, brown eyes. And they mix. They mix in. And those people, their only, their only goal in life is to, to cause harm to the United States. So why do we want them here, either legally or illegally?...They have found prayer rugs. They have found copies of the Koran. So that tells you this is not just poor illegals that are trying to come to this country and find work. It's bigger than that."
-Tea Party Republican AZ-03 nominee Gabriela Saucedo Mercer
Arizona had some late primaries yesterday. The most anticipated race was between very wealthy right-wing crackpot Wil Cardon (who spent $6,699,078 on the primary, $6,185,768 from his personal bank account) and right-wing crackpot Jeff Flake (biggest donor this year was Club For Growth- $598,334) to see who would go up against former Bush Surgeon General Richard Carmona (D) for Jon Kyl's open Senate seat. As expected, Flake, a Mormon from Snowflake, won-- but he won way bigger than most people anticipated, just crushing Cardon, 69-21%. Flake had to spend $4,334,556 battling off the annoying Cardon and is left with $1,705,361 (as of August 8). Carmona has $1,754,794 on hand. And neo-Nazi Russell Pierce's political comback was thwarted when he lost the race for a state senate seat (25th district) to Bob Worsley, 56-44%. Hopefully, we won't be hearing from him again.
The House races worth mentioning:
AZ-01- pitted DCCC corporate hack Ann Kirkpatrick against progressive champion Wenona Benally Baldenegro. Undermined by the DCCC and the local Democratic Party, Baldenegro was grievously outspent by Kirkpatrick $626,950 to $101,038. Baldenegro managed to still get 36% of the vote.
AZ-02- ConservaDem Ron Barber, who was elected to full the remainder of Gabby Giffords term a few weeks ago, was given the Democratic nomination, despite having voted with the Republicans to gut a full package of environmental laws... and Eric Holder. He beat state Rep. Matt Heinz, 82-18%, which is what polls suggested. After the votes were counted last night Heinz had a great attitude going forward: “Tonight does not mark the end of my lifelong commitment to public service. I will find ways to continue to stay active in Tucson, and we will return for the 2014 congressional race. We must continue to laying the ground work.”
AZ-03- Corporate interests put up a couple of shills to run against Raúl Grijalva. One, Amanda Aguirre had her campaign directed by a former McCain dirty tricks operative. Raúl beat them both, with two-thirds of the vote. He'll now go up against racist sociopath Gabriela Saucedo Mercer, quoted at the top of this post. When shown the quote Raúl seemed taken aback: "This is reckless hate speech, and I call on everyone who has endorsed Gabriela Mercer to withdraw their support immediately. This is not a he-said/she-said question of interpretation. Her comments are reprehensible and deserve condemnation from every quarter. Anyone who continues to support her campaign should be asked whether they want someone with her views in Congress." Fellow over-the-top racists Jan Brewer and Secretary of State Ken Bennett are sticking with their whack-a-doodle candidate... of course.
AZ-05- In the GOP primary, mainstream conservative, Matt Salmon, beat the far right kook, Kirk Adams, who Sarah Palin has been howling about all week-- 54-46%.
AZ-06- In the incumbent vs incumbent contest pitting Boehner/Cantor kiss ass Ben Quayle against teabagger David Schweikert, the Establishment lost out to the grassroots freak as pathetic ex-pornographer Quayle saw his pretensions of a political career end, 53-47%. Quayle spent $1,537,407 and Schweikert spent $1,289,381. Maybe it was because he was one of the drunk congressmen swimming naked in Lake Tiberias but he had endorsements from almost every GOP hack imaginable-- both McCain and Kyl, Huckabee and cloddish freshmen Sean Duffy (a former soap opera star) and Tim Giffin, a Rove protégé.
AZ-09- In this new blue-leaning district three Democrats faced off, New Dem Andrei Cherny and two progressive state senators, Kyrsten Sinema and David Schapira. Progressives generally supported Schapira but Sinema had a big push from EMILY's List (which put $100,507 into the race) and the Victory Fund. Sinema spent $592,909. Cherny spent $572,889 and Schapira spent $223,826. Each of the progressive candidates topped Cherny, despite the help he got from Bill Clinton. In the end it was Sinema- 42%, Schapira- 31% and Cherny- 27%.
There was also a runoff for the Oklahoma Blue Dog seat (OK-02), which pitted a right-wing Blue Dog, Rob Wallace, against a crazed religious fanatic, Wayne Herriman. Rob Wallace won, 25,073 (57%) to 18,901 (43%) and is likely to be a contender for Dan Boren's record as the most reactionary, pro-GOP Democrat in the House. Let's see how fast "ex"-Blue Dog Steve Israel puts him on Red-to-Blue.
UPDATE: So, Can Carmona Win The Arizona Senate Seat?
The DSCC sure says they think so. They were out this morning with a memo outlining exactly why:
Now Congressman Flake faces a much stronger foe – a decorated Special Forces combat veteran who was homeless as a child, went to college and medical school on the GI Bill, and became a trauma surgeon, a deputy sheriff and eventually the Surgeon General of the United States. The most recent public poll showed that the race is tied at 38 percent each.
The primary forced Congressman Flake to spend heavily and exposed his long history as a lobbyist turned career politician.
• Carmona now leads Flake in the money race. Flake spent heavily in the primary and has lost what was once a significant cash advantage. Now Carmona holds a slight cash advantage over Flake-- $1.75 million to $1.71 million.
• Flake was badly damaged by Wil Cardon’s personal attacks. Cardon spent over $9 million in the primary, the majority of which was spent on TV ads attacking Jeff Flake for being an insider and career politician. Polls show the attacks worked and drove up Flake’s negatives significantly. While a PPP survey from May showed Flake with a net favorable rating of +6 (33-27), a July PPP survey showed him with a negative net favorable rating of -7 (30-37). The July survey also showed that despite Carmona’s low name ID, the general election contest was tied at 38.
• To win the primary, Flake staked out policy positions far out of the mainstream. Flake’s foolish calls to repeal the 17th amendment and eliminate the Department of Education will be liabilities in the general election. These positions underscore the extreme nature of Jeff Flake’s views which will turn off independent voters.
Moving forward, this election will be about three key issues-– seniors, women, and veterans-– and the choice could not be any clearer.
• Congressman Flake’s positions on Medicare and Social Security will hurt him with seniors. Flake’s anti-Medicare and anti-Social Security views are well documented. Carmona’s internal polling shows that voters overwhelmingly oppose a candidate who “supported privatizing Medicare” by a large margin-– 50-29. The Republican attacks on Medicare and the looming threat they pose are only amplified with Paul Ryan on the ticket. In 2008, exit polling showed voters over the age of 50 made up 45% of the electorate.
• Congressman Flake has an extreme, anti-woman record that will surprise people. Jeff Flake wants to eliminate funding for Planned Parenthood, allow employers to deny women contraception coverage from their healthcare plans, and opposes a pay equity law that helps ensure employers pay women the same as men for equal work. When voters learn of Flake’s extreme record 49% of voters are “much less” likely to support him.
• Congressman Flake has repeatedly voted against veterans benefits even while America was fighting two wars. Flake voted for budgets that cut billions from health, education and job training for veterans-- and even voted against bonuses for American soldiers. He even voted against the new post-9/11 GI Bill and opposed job training for veterans. A majority of voters polled (52%) say they are “much less” likely to support Flake once they learn he consistently voted to cut veterans’ benefits.
These are devastating vulnerabilities for any candidate. But Congressman Flake does not face any Democratic candidate; he faces an American hero.
Richard Carmona’s life story sets up an extremely favorable matchup with a career politician and former lobbyist like Congressman Flake. With polling already showing the race tied, the dynamics of this toss-up race clearly favor Rich Carmona heading into the general election.