Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, November 4, 2013

How can anyone think Warren Stewart is fit for election to the Phoenix City Council?

Warren Stewart, candidate for city council in district 8, recently dropped campaign literature telling you that unless you vote for him, you are turning your back on Rosa Parks. And on the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and on the struggle for civil rights.

Now, I've seen a lot of verbal gymnastics in my time, but this one goes far beyond, into the realm of pure malarkey. Let's dismantle it, shall we?

Stewart’s claim rests on the assertion that direct representation for a given community is, in sum total, having someone elected to office who physically looks like that community – and that is it.

If that is direct representation, then someone like Allen West ought to be the hero of the African American community, seeing as he is just such a high-profile black politician.

Immigrant Ted Cruz should be beloved by all the Dreamers out there, seeing as he, too, came from a foreign land with his parents as a child.

I should just love John Kavanagh, since after all we're both white guys with roots in New York. But Kavanagh does not represent me.

Nor does Cruz represent the Dreamers, nor does West represent the black community. They only look like us. They do not represent our values.

Stewart, earlier in the campaign, blew a bit of dog whistle with Kate Gallego in a hit piece: he tried to paint her as not “one of us.” Later he claimed it was because she didn't have roots in the community, not because she was white.

If we are to believe he meant this, then we have to also believe that he understands being part of a community means more than the color of your skin. If your community is moved by the cause of civil rights, your candidate must show a willingness to fight for us all, to protect us all, to further the cause of justice -- for us all.

Warren Stewart is not that candidate.

He isn't even terribly concerned with the cause of civil rights for African Americans. Stewart may talk a good game, but where the rubber hits the road, he has no real plans.

He can't point to any one thing and tell the electorate “Here- this thing here- is environmental racism, and I will fix it.” He talks about building coalitions and spouts all the necessary warm fuzzy rhetoric. But rhetoric is all it is.

The reality is: Stewart believes it is wrong to require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose the services they do and do not offer.

The reality is: Stewart thinks “supporters of same-sex marriage are contributing to the widespread dysfunction of marriage and family”.

The reality is: for all his talk and blather, the man is not a progressive at all.

The reality is: Warren Stewart is a conservative religious ideologue who is using race and “direct representation” as a canard in an attempt to deceive his own community for his own personal empowerment.

Stewart calls himself a Democrat, but his brand of divisive, race-baiting politics has no place in our party. He is an embarrassment to us all.

Make no mistake, I believe our city government will be the poorer for not having an African American voice in City Hall, but racial politics cannot become the Trojan horse for the politics of religious conservatism. 

We must all work towards the development of leadership in all of our communities, and let the best and brightest rise to the top in the process. We must all work towards “liberty and justice for all,” and never be satisfied that this crucial work is done. We must all work for a brighter, more unified future, and cast aside the voices whose rhetoric divides and inflames us. We must all work together, and reject the likes of Warren Stewart.

Vote Kate Gallego for Phoenix City Council on November 5.

This guest blog post was written by Jo Hafford.

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The Arizona Eagletarian also believes Warren Stewart is bad for Phoenix. In July, I became aware of a $450 campaign contribution from David Cantelme to Stewart's campaign. I then wrote a post explaining the corruption that particular situation represented.

To my knowledge, Stewart has not disavowed Cantelme and has not returned the contribution.

5 comments:

  1. Thank you, Jo Hafford for this excellent post. Thanks for putting it on your site, Steve.

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  2. Jo showed great restraint in addressing Warren Stewart's virulent anti-gay attitudes. Stewart is also on record as equating being gay with fornication, adultery, and bestiality. Stewart additionally has stated that "I believe that supporters of same-sex marriage are contributing to the widespread dysfunction of marriage and family". For excerpts of the now-infamous letter that Stewart wrote denouncing President Obama's support for same-sex marriage, see http://bit.ly/ZnLP3T . #NotMyValues #PHX4

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  3. This is like I am supposed to support a candidate just because they are gay. If you don't share and/or support most of my values, why should I support you?

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  4. How did I miss this? As a resident of District 8, I agree wholeheartedly with this write-up.

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    1. Thanks for the feedback, Patrick. Still, I recommend checking in every day on the Arizona Eagletarian.

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