Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Dispatch from the Inferno State: Good News, For a Change-- Randy Parraz is Running for U.S. Senate 


-by Doug Kahn

Democrat Randy Parraz for U.S. Senate, for the State of Arizona.
I wanted to get that out of the way before I drifted off into my usual digressions, which can fill the visual page and prevent you from reading down to my real point. (My god, I’m doing it again.) 

There’s a lot of news to report from the eighth circle. A brilliant Federal Judge thinking rings around an Einsteinium of attorneys. Wacko state pols and Senator John Kyl threatening infant U.S. citizens with deportation. (To where?) Cowardly Democratic candidates and spineless Democratic Representatives running for the Superstition Mountains to avoid planeloads of reporters and pundits.  
Dream Students giving Washington a lesson in effective politics, causing the in-crowd to whine about divisiveness in public, then yell and scream behind closed doors and on cell phones. (Reminder to political operatives of said Senators and Representatives: Calls may be monitored and recorded for quality assurance purposes.) Highly professional, stoic law enforcement officers, and their opposites on Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s Bizarro Goon Squad. The Somos Coalition hanging together, not separately. Puente and the National Day Laborer Network (and numerous other brave actionistas) confronting the racist Maricopa County dragnet that shames Arizona. That’s not for today, but over the next three weeks. 

If we’re ever going to get out of this right-wing place (figuratively I mean), we have to nominate and then elect people like Randy Parraz. The primary is exactly three weeks away, so Randy needs people talking about him. And he needs money, not an extreme amount, but probably more than we can raise right here

There’s a candidate debate tonight, and it should help. Randy vs. Rodney Glassman (the Human Cliché). Here’s Randy introducing himself in the July 27th debate: “I’ll fight to bring the troops home from Iraq, and as a lifelong Democrat I will fight for immigration reform, marriage equality, and to overturn SB1070.” Watch the exchange on marriage equality at 18:30 of the video.

So we need to convince the progressive community to help make Randy the winner of the 4-way primary on August 24th. Not hard: a reasonable estimate of 25% turnout among 1,000,000 Democrats, and 100,000 votes wins the nomination. Read the position statements on his website: He’s the only candidate telling the truth, telling it straight. Democratic voters know the difference between direct statements and vague wanderings that mean nothing, but they have to hear them. I think we can easily raise $50,000 here, and that gets Randy half way to telling enough voters who he is. 

There actually is polling in the race, by Rasmussen on July 21st: Randy pulls 10%, Glassman 15%, Undecided about 50%. These numbers, if reliable, indicate that very few voters recognize any of the names. If you stick a made-up name in a poll it gets 10%. So it’s all down to Randy reaching enough Democrats. 

I’ve written about him before. He co-founded an organization called Maricopa Citizens for Safety and Accountability that took on Sheriff Joe, and seven members were arrested for it in September 2008. Because they attended and tried to make public comment at a Maricopa County Board of Supervisors’ meeting. No civil disobedience, no shouting or demonstrating, just citizen participation. The charges were thrown out, and the Judge awarded them legal fees. A more recent judgment paid them $475,000 for the rights violations. 

Randy was arrested by 7 deputies in a different incident, just outside the door. He told me that they shackled his feet at the jail. Hard to believe this is the United States of America. 

I think that we need to prove this fall that real Democrats can win primaries, then beat Conservatives in the general. If we can’t show that voters agree with us now, with 2 years of foot-dragging and wasted opportunities for progress fresh in their minds, it’s a threat to the progressive movement. It would validate the strategy of not-talking.  

I’m not going to make a game out of this, and offer to match contributions. You know who you want to help, and how much you’re able to give. I’ve contributed the maximum, $2400 for the primary and $2400 for the general. 

Look, the people of Arizona need our help. This guy is the real thing.

UPDATE: Glassman Didn't Shy Away From Tackling A Tough Task

Doug live in the Phoenix area so he may have missed this breaking news out of Tucson but I'm sure he won't mind me adding it to his post. When Glassman was running for City Council in 2007 he was asked, “What will be the toughest thing for you to do as a Tucson city councilmember?”
Glassman responded “The toughest thing for me to do will be to sit next to an openly gay councilmember.”

Karen Uhlich is a current Tucson councilmember who was just re-elected for her second term and is the openly gay person that sat next to Rodney Glassman until he resigned to run for US Senate.

Uhlich is aware of these statements and said that she had a “heart-to-heart with Rodney.”

“He knows how strongly I feel about these issues,” Uhlich said. When asked how she felt about the comment Glassman made, Uhlich responded that while they resolved their conflict so that city business could be taken care of, she also added that perhaps there should be a “higher standard for candidates.”

No wonder he's the DSCC candidate... now it all makes sense.

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At 3:38 PM, Blogger The Kid said...

hmm... good point.

Especially the war cry about "death panel".

At 4:13 PM, Anonymous Laurie R. Williams said...

This was a very good post. It is true, the best way to help your candidate win an election is not just to vote for them, but to give them money to get the word out there.

At 7:21 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

If you would like to help the Parraz campaign please e-mail luke@parrazforchange.com and I will send you a virtual phone list of registered democrats to call!


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