Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Thursday, August 1, 2013

DuVal to AZGOP -- Stay desperate, my friends!

In a powerfully humorous response to notably lame criticism, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Fred DuVal today had some serious fun at the expense of the apparently already desperate Arizona Republican Party.

In a press release dated July 27, GOP chair Robert Graham tried to define DuVal as "the most uninteresting man in the world." It looks to me like DuVal completely dispelled any such notion:
Instead of sending a similar attack back to the Republicans, Fred DuVal set a new standard in political statesmanship today when he delivered a case of Dos Equis beer to Republican Chairman, Robert Graham and Executive Director Chad Heyward.

Borrowing from Dos Equis' memorable marketing campaign featuring "the most interesting man in the world," DuVal included a tongue-in-cheek thank-you card featuring a photo of himself dressed in a smoking jacket with full beard strikingly resembling Dos Equis' famous spokesman. Instead of using Dos Equis' theme, "Stay Thirsty My Friends" DuVal's card said, "Stay Desperate My Friends" and was addressed as a message from "The Most Electable Man in Arizona."

"Honestly, I was flattered the Republican Party decided to target me a full year before the election," said Fred DuVal, "but instead of responding to their insult negatively I wanted to show them that I am a good sport and will bring a new spirit of cooperation to the state capital when I am elected governor." 



One has to wonder if the cockamamie idea to suggest defining DuVal in that manner was the brainchild (or brainSTORM) of state GOP communications director, Tim Sifert.

I mean, REALLY? Last month on Arizona Horizon, Sifert was able to talk about the GOP perspective on why voter suppression is necessary -- without stuttering or stammering. But how could anyone think it was at all rational or compelling? But hey, I should be praising Sifert, because the AZ GOP keeping him on will tremendously boost Democratic fortunes in the 2014 election season.

So, thank you Robert Graham and Tim Sifert for, as the late night talk show hosts/comedians like to say, providing plenty of good material.

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Changing the subject just a bit, but perhaps remaining on the topic of desperation, state Rep. Albert Hale reportedly has signaled intent to file a court challenge to the appointment of Carlyle Begay to the state senate. From the August 1 Yellow Sheet:
Hale told our reporter yesterday he plans to go to court to challenge Apache County’s decision to pick Carlyle Begay to replace Jackson Jr in the Senate because, as noted yesterday, it is unclear if Begay actually resides in LD7. The questions surrounding Begay’s eligibility to get appointed because of his residency aren’t novel. Similar questions were raised when Burges’ name was sent to the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors as a potential replacement to Bundgaard in early 2012. [Burges was appointed to replace Bundgaard, despite any such question] The issue surfaced more recently when Fillmore, who is from Pinal County, expressed interest in replacing Crandall, even though the two live in different counties in LD16. At issue is the statutory requirement that a nominee to fill a vacancy must also meet the qualifications to serve in the Legislature.
The Constitution mandates that [for a person to qualify to serve in the legislature, s/he] must “have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election” to the Legislature. Begay has been living in Gilbert for the last seven years but maintains an address in Apache County and registered to vote in that county late last month. Hale’s challenge could focus on the constitutional requirement that legislators must have resided in the same county they’re representing for at least a year. Begay’s likely defense to such a claim was laid out by Maricopa Deputy County Attorney Colleen Connor in January 2012 in an opinion she issued to Supervisor Max Wilson during the replacement process following Bundgaard’s resignation. Connor concluded that the county residency provision of the Constitution was a remnant of the old representation scheme that saw lawmakers representing counties instead of districts. 
From my perspective, a couple of points stand out. First, the citation from the State Constitution says,
... shall have been a resident of Arizona at least three years and of the county from which he is elected at least one year before his election. (emphasis mine)
Begay obviously was NOT elected. That, in itself, does not mean the constitutional provision is meaningless in this case. But it does mean that it would likely take a decision, ultimately by the Arizona Supreme Court, to resolve the conflict in the language.

More salient, however, is that there is no way around the fact that it is the Apache County Board of Supervisors who have the ultimate authority to make the appointment to fill the vacancy. I don't see how, if Hale sues them, he could expect to be appointed in the event Begay was to get disqualified.

To me, that makes any legal action Hale may take to enforce his indignation tantamount to spinning wheels on a gravel road without ever gaining any traction. He could make a lot of noise; he could cause a lot of people a lot of grief; but I can't imagine any way he could get satisfaction regardless of what a court may decide.



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