The race for the Congressional seat vacated by Representative Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona's 8th Congressional District is ongoing. For many people in the country, it is not even a blip on their radar scopes, and for a few, it is only that. For a very few, however, it is one of the most important things happening right now.
The current race is to replace Congresswoman Giffords, but there will be a follow-on battle for the seat for the redistricted 2nd Congressional District in the regularly scheduled elections in November. The current CD 8, and the redistricted CD 2, are both located in the southeast corner of Arizona, along the border with Mexico, and including all of Cochise County. The current CD 8 includes the eastern and northern parts of Santa Cruz County, as well as eastern parts of Pima County and a part of Pinal County. The redistricted CD 2 will include only the eastern part of Pima County, in addition to Cochise County. Part of the issue in the CD 8 race to replace Giffords is the question of whether the newly-elected Representative will simply hold the place until the new Congress is seated in January, or whether there will be continuity, with the newly-elected Representative continuing on as the CD 2 Representative in January. This will be decided by whether the same candidate registers for and wins both this special election and the regular election in November.
As the campaign progresses - and early voting in the primary of this special election starts March 22 - we are going to hear from the candidates as they address potential voters and debate each other. I link to some Arizona news sources in the sidebar, which will give you good information as you follow the election. One key link is the Arizona Daily Star's elections page. Regarding upcoming primary debates, we are informed in GOP candidates in CD8 to appear at many events of the currently-scheduled debates:
• On March 14, the SaddleBrooke Republican Club is hosting a candidate panel discussion at 4:15 p.m. at the Mountain View Country Club. Seating is limited.
• The next day, the Sabino High School Republicans are hosting a 90-minute debate at 6:30 p.m. at Sabino High School, 5000 N. Bowes Road.
• On March 26, the Pima County Young Republican Club and Legislative District 26 Republican Party are co-sponsoring a debate that starts at 7 p.m. at Canyon Del Oro High School, 25 W. Calle Concordia, Oro Valley.
• On March 29, the Southern Arizona Chamber Alliance, which includes eight chambers of commerce, will host a candidate mixer from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at El Charro, 6310 E. Broadway.
• On April 12, the candidates meet in Green Valley in what figures to be the final debate. It starts at 6:30 p.m. at Madera Clubhouse, 2055 E. Quail Crossing Blvd., hosted by the Republican Club of Green Valley-Sahuarita and the Quail Creek Republican Club and Tea Party of Green Valley.
The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Ron Barber (Giffords' district manager) and Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis in the special general election on June 12th.
I am interested in the special election in general, but especially in the candidacy of retired Colonel Martha McSally - the reasons for this interest will become apparent.
One aspect of McSally's campaign was an internet chat with the public. (Other GOP Candidates have also had similar chats: Dave Sitton's transcript is from February 24, Frank Antenori's transcript is from February 29, and John Lervold's transcript is from March 2.) In the chat, McSally asked people to call her Martha, rather than refer to her as Col. McSally or call her "ma'am".
A comment: People will call you "Colonel McSally" out of respect and appreciation for your service to our country. They will call you "ma'am" for the same reason, and out of respect for the office you seek, even though many of those who hold elected office in Washington DC (and elsewhere in this country) bring the office into disrepute through their actions. Finally, people will also call you "Martha" out of warmth and a genuine desire to see you do well, even if they support another candidate in this particular race. Expect some people to refer to you in all three manners, depending on the circumstances - as I am about to do. :)
Local concerns will be significant in any Congressional election. However, for a piece of Arizona along the border with Mexico, many local concerns are national issues.
For example, campaigning in Sierra Vista this past weekend, McSally addressed a variety of these issues. From McSally aims for spot vacated by Giffords, dated March 11:
Calling the federal government atmosphere toxic, McSally said the American public want new leadership and ideas.
"The toxicity in the political sphere has a lot of people turned off," she said.
The United States is at a crossroads and there is a need to have people in Washington, D.C., who can pull the country out of the crisis, McSally said.
"The federal government is a little out of control. We need to rein the federal government in," she said.
"The federal government is a little out of control."
Colonel McSally, do you have a knack for understatement, or is there a "buzzer" between the clue bird on your shoulder and your ear? :)
You also mention "toxicity".
Also, in another article entitled CD8 candidate McSally says porous borders are national security threat, dated February 28 and referencing that chat, your views are described thusly (links from the excerpt have been reproduced):
Former Air Force fighter pilot Martha McSally said the country's porous borders are a national security threat that need to be met with an intelligence-driven strategy.
During a 1 1/2 hour online chat Tuesday on the Arizona Daily Star's website, www.azstarnet.com, the Republican candidate in the special election to complete Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' Congressional term also said it's vital to work with Mexico to address the root causes of the trans-national criminal organizations.
"Our porous borders are a national security threat that impacts this community more than any other in the nation," McSally wrote. "We need to have the political will to secure the border with available technology. I have been in leadership positions for critical security operations all over the world and believe we need to execute intelligence driven operations to thwart the transnational criminal organizations."
Some very astute comments, and these issues are interrelated.
If you recall from your history, decades ago, both New York and Chicago were major centers for organized crime. When we elected a President from New York, FDR, pressure was put on federal authorities and on authorities from New York state to clean up New York City; some progress was made.
However, in Illinois, the situation has been very different. In Chicago, organized crime essentially took over the city, and went on to take over the state.
Our current President is far from being an honest man; the guy we have in the White House now is a frontman and a puppet for organized crime, specifically for factions from Chicago.
Of course, organized crime is not constrained by jurisdictional boundaries; increasingly, with global trade and global communications, organized crime has developed global assets and global interests, and much of it is becoming very transnational in nature.
Why is the Obama Administration involved in a dubious plan to let firearms get purchased by straw buyers and move across the border into Mexico into the hands of drug cartels?
In Mexico, the military-grade weapons that the cartels use - fully-automatic weapons, grenades, rocket-launchers - are not being supplied by gun dealers on the US side of the border. Let's get real. On the US side of the border, most of these weapons are illegal for civilians to have, while some of them can only be owned with special licensing. They are not getting sold by respectable gun dealers to relatively unknown clients.
The military-grade weapons in the hands of the cartels are procured the same way the drugs that they traffic are procured: illegally, on the international black market. To be sure, many military and law enforcement personnel work for the cartels, stealing weapons from the Mexican government, or deserting and taking their weapons with them. But, much of this weaponry makes its way in from China, from former Eastern Block countries, from various dealers in Africa, Asia and Europe.
So, why is the Obama Administration helping arm the cartels?
One superficial answer is that by allowing weapons to walk across the border, the Obama Administration creates evidence to support the ridiculous liberal claim that US weapons fuel the violence.
But, scratch the surface a little deeper.
Another answer - less superficial - is that some of the Mexican cartels are so powerful, so well-organized, so well-trained, that we run the risk of them taking over the country. If we support the rivals and maintain a balance of power, we perpetuate the violence, but we also perpetuate a corrupt Mexican government from falling to a cartel in a blatant example of what is known as "state capture". Do an internet search on that expression, and see what you come up with.
But, let's dig down further.
The Obama Administration is backed by organized crime which obviously has ties to certain Mexican organized crime interests, and thus backs them against their rivals.
The real reason for the Fast and Furious scandal is blatant Chicago-style corruption.
Not everyone knows the real reason; different people support, or at least tolerate, the Fast and Furious scandal for different reasons. It just so happens that those different reasons provide different levels of cover stories, and different motivations for people who might otherwise have nothing to do with the operation.
Martha, you need to understand that the transnational organized crime activities, which you decry and which threaten your district and this country, have ties all the way to Washington. For example, should you win the election, you will be in Congress with a colleague named Henry Waxman, a Democrat from California's 30th District.
A few years back, when the Sibel Edmonds scandal was not breaking, Waxman promised that, if the Democrats could regain control of the House, Waxman would make sure that the Sibel Edmonds case got some attention because, after all, it was an example of how Republican President George W. Bush's Administration was abusing "state secrets privelege" for nefarious purposes.
Many people naively trusted a Democrat to break a scandal that would make the Republicans look dirty. After all, Waxman had been behind the 2004 report by the Committee on Government Reform Minority Office catching the Bush Administration with all their misleading information on Iraq. Later, in 2006, about the time Waxman was offering these hearings into the Sibel Edmonds case in the event the Democrats retook Congress, he received the Good Government Award from the Project On Government Oversight for his contributions to transparency and oversight.
Of course, what really happened was that Waxman cut his own deal with the Turkish Deep State, which was a key player in the Sibel Edmonds case. Waxman suddenly became intimate with the Turkish lobby, and the Sibel Edmonds case, which dealt with infiltration by Turkish organized crime into Congress and the FBI, was tabled.
This is not surprising.
The guy listed right above Congressman Waxman at POGO's award page is war hero and Arizona Senator John McCain. McCain also got an award, but his connections to ethnic Albanian organized crime remain relatively unknown and uninvestigated.
You see, these guys will gladly have an investigation that makes them look good, and that makes the other party look bad, but since transnational organized crime corrupts both parties, and corrupts both elected and appointed officials, transnational organized crime is not something that will get seriously investigated.
Besides which, investigating transnational organized crime can be hazardous to one's health. In Mexico, officials are presented with the choice of plata o plomo: "silver or lead" - in other words, take payments and be corrupt, or take a bullet.
This is part of why there is the toxicity that you mention.
To be sure, the left is hypocritical - any means are justified by their ends, which is their own power. The left doesn't care about the environment, or immigrants, or women's rights or reproductive choice or anything else, crap or not. The left wants its own power for its own purposes.
Consequently, when Congresswoman Giffords was shot on that terrible day, and when so many people were killed or hurt, the left saw an opportunity to silence its opposition by blaming "rhetoric". The left does not back down from its calls, whether real or figurative, for violence.
Similarly, when Rush Limbaugh made a comment about Sandra Fluke, and then sincerely apologized, the matter did not end. However, the left says whatever it wants about conservative political leaders and conservative commentators, and that is okay.
So, the toxicity is deliberate - it was designed by those who seek to destroy this country.
But, again, scratch the surface, and it is backed up by professional thugs.
Martha, in the internet chat, you wrote:
I pledged an oath as an officer to support and defend the Constitution and I have shown that I take that oath seriously, even when doing so endangered my career.
I do not doubt your willingness to risk your career, nor do I doubt your willingness to risk your life.
But, understand what you are up against.
To properly address border security and the Fast and Furious scandal, we need real investigations.
These will connect drug cartels to serving and past Presidents, these will connect trafficking in nuclear secrets to foreign intelligence services and to serving and past government officials, these will connect the trafficking of women for forced prostitution to Washington lobby groups and to officials from your own state.
To keep this from happening, these people will pick up a phone and make a call. The result can be anything from an IRS audit of your taxes, to a suddenly-appearing record that you are in collections due to a debt for $100,000 for internet gambling (no one cares if you have ever done that or not - a debt can still magically appear), to people close to you suddenly becoming victims of street crime or getting addicted to drugs.
As a newly-elected Representative in Congress, you will be told what to do and how to get along. If you play ball, then you will be on C-Span, and so on. Asking questions about dirty government officials, including guys sitting across the aisle from you, and including one Senator from your state who is connected to ethnic Albanian organized crime, and another who made Sibel Edmonds' Dirty Dozen list (NSWBC Letter to Senator Kyl)... well, this may not endear you to the establishment. :)
Thankfully, this country has never had a shortage of people willing to give their lives in its defense - especially when those people know they will be remembered as heroes.
The problem is a shortage of people willing to live for this country, even though they will slandered and libeled, and attacked (legally and otherwise), and painted as criminals by the people who themselves are criminals but who happen to have the protection of a facade of respectability.
If you do not understand that this is what you are up against, and then, if you are not ready to face it, then you are just another candidate for political office.
This is part of the reason why I am following your campaign, ma'am. I wonder if perhaps you are the right candidate to bring this whole topic to light...