First, let's back up to March 6, and consider an article entitled Pima Dems try to keep Green off the CD8 ballot.
Pima County Democratic operatives are working to eliminate all competition in the race for CD8. having shamed all other democrats from challenging Ron Barber, they are now challenging a Dem running as a Green. They are suing to keep the Green Party candidate, Charles Manolakis, off the ballot.
According to the Yellow Sheet, Bill Risner, Tucson attorney and Democrat activist, filed a lawsuit Friday on behalf of Luke Knipe to have Manolakis, who they claim is a registered Democrat, removed from the ballot. The lawsuit includes a request for a temporary restraining order to prevent Manolakis's name from being printed on the ballot. Pima County Superior Court Judge Sarah Simmons was first assigned the case, but, finding a conflict of interest, Simmons transferred the case to the Mohave County Superior Court.
While it appears that the restraining order may have been issued, the ballots have already been printed, the Yellow Sheet reports, and overseas ballots have already been mailed.
Pima County Democratic Chair Jeff Rogers, who is not known for his tolerance of primary challengers, told the Yellow Sheet that, "It is a known fact that in an election, a Green Party candidate can siphon off enough votes to tip the election toward a GOP candidate."
The matter is scheduled for court on March 12, at 1:30 p.m.
At least Chairman Rogers is out in the open about the fact that he wants to eliminate any choices other than the Democrats. His clear agenda is to polarize the election on the Democrat side.
And, this strategy makes sense. If the Republican candidates should harbor any divisiveness or bitterness after the primary - keeping in mind only one of them can win - then that could have an impact in the special election. If all the Democrats support their candidate, Ron Barber, and if the Republicans are a little divided, this could cause the Democrats to win in a district where the Republicans have an advantage in registration, and in an election where the Republicans, who are generally more inveterate as voters, can be expected to turn out in greater proportion.
But, offer the Democrats an option, which a Green Party candidate would be, and that works against the D's.
I guess when it comes to a democratic election, not all Democrats are pro-choice. :)
Ultimately, this was decided in favor of Manolakis. From Green Party congressional candidate remains on ballot, March 12, 2012:
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - A Pima Superior Court judge threw out a challenge Monday to Green Party candidate Charlie Manolakis' position on the ballot for the special election to replace former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.
Manolakis, a 72-year-old former teacher who has lived in Arizona since 1974, turned in petition signatures to run for the Green Party nomination. His position on ballot was challenged in civil court on grounds he was not a member of the party.
Manolakis said he registered with the Green Party in Pima County on Feb. 23. He said he formerly was registered as a Democrat.
The former Boston resident is the only Green Party candidate who qualified for the race.
The plaintiff in the case was Tucson political blogger Luke Knipe.
The Pima, Santa Cruz, Cochise and Pinal boards of supervisors were also listed as defendants.
Judge Lee F. Jantzen dismissed the action.
But let's not lose sight of the underlying issue: the Pima County Democratic Party sees no advantage in being truly democratic. :)
For more on what's happening on the D side, Tom Danehy at Tucson Weekly had this to say:
The rumors had been swirling for weeks, and that's why I was dismayed that when Gabrielle Giffords announced she was stepping down, her hand-picked successor wasn't standing next to her (and being introduced as such). A big-name local Dem told me, "(That person, whoever it was to be) should have been at Gabby's side, maybe at the Food Bank, handing out food to people. You just can't blow a photo opportunity like that."
And yet they did. Memo to Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers: What the hell, dude?! I'm still upset at Rogers for taking sides in a Democratic primary election. (He sided with Regina Romero over a Democratic challenger in last year's City Council elections.)
That was a monster no-no, and I've never heard a reasonable explanation from anyone as to why he would do that. That blunder was unforgivable; allowing the Republicans to take Giffords' seat would border on criminally negligent.
Having Giffords' longtime assistant Ron Barber enter the race soothed some people's nerves, especially considering a couple of the possibilities that had been bandied about prior to his announcement. There was the woman who would have had to change parties (!) in order to run in the Democratic primary, and another person absolutely awash in the malodorous essence of Rio Nuevo. By comparison, Barber is a veritable People's Choice.
Still, I wonder about the timing of it all. If he was going to run all along, why not announce it at a more-advantageous time? And if he doesn't want to run in November, then when are we going to find out who is?
I don't know Ron Barber; he seems like a decent guy. Nevertheless, what exactly are his qualifications, other than that he worked for Giffords, and God help me, he got shot? I've always voted for her, and I've been shot, too, but nobody asked me to run. I just hope he's tough enough, because the Republicans, who have always considered Giffords to be a squatter, are going to throw the kitchen sink at him.
Barber's entry in the race did clear things up on the Democratic side. Matt Heinz, who had been in the race, dropped out, leaving the Democratic nomination to Barber. On the other side, the Republican primary should be an absolute bloodbath. I can't wait.
I wonder if it is going to be "an absolute bloodbath" on the Republican side.
In any case, could it be anywhere near as bad as it has long been among the Democrats?
We consider excerpts from Guest Opinion: Is Jeff Rogers Abusing His Office? by Rob Ferrier, January 27, 2012:
While the Pima County Democratic Party might not have a face, it certainly has a voice. I am writing of course of Jeff Rogers, the twice-elected Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party.
The duties of Chair are as follows:
The County Chair shall preside at all meetings; make appointments to committees; make temporary appointments to offices which have been vacated... and generally do all and everything necessary to aid in the election of Democratic candidates, and to promote successful organization and operation of the Pima County Democratic Committee.
In sum, the Chair is to administrate the Party, raise money and groom potential candidates. The Chair is also a member of the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is allowed and authorized to express policy position on issues of local, state, and national import. Nowhere, however, in the bylaws, is the Chair authorized to decide who is, and who is not, Democrat enough for the Party's taste. Nowhere in the bylaws do the words "Chair" and "duly appointed demagogue" appear within the same sentence.
Yet in 2011, the Pima County Democratic Party, seemingly at Mr. Rogers' direction, but voted on by the Executive Committee, spent almost $9,000.00 to fund a campaign against Joe Flores in the Ward 1 City Council, primary election. In other words, Jeff Rogers, as the head of the Pima County Democratic Party, picked one Democrat over another during a party primary. While, as the Party was quick to point out, this action is not strictly prohibited, it is undeniably unusual.
Apparently, the Pima County Democratic Party boss, Chairman Rogers, has been "administrating" his party by moving against Democrats that he disagrees with, using party money in the primary.
No wonder no Democrats want to challenge Barber in the primary. They would have enough of a fight on their hands battling a Democrat machine trying to sink them.
After more commentary, including more examples of Chairman Rogers undermining Democrat candidates in primaries, Mr. Ferrier concludes:
He does not have the right, however, to tell me, or anyone else, what we are allowed to think or believe as Democrats. And he does not have the right to tell his fellow Democrats that they are not welcome in my Party.
The Democratic Party does not belong to Mr. Rogers. While it is to his credit that he agreed to serve it, neither I, nor the vast majority of the rank and file asked him to define the contours of its policy, nor granted him the right to use it as his bully pulpit. And it is high past time that when he chooses to express his personal views that he identify himself as Jeff Rogers, local gadfly, and not Jeff Rogers, Chair of the Pima County Democratic Party. Because I, for one, am sick and tired of others assuming that Mr. Rogers speaks for me.
I was born and raised Republican. I chose to be a Democrat. Through the years, I participated in Young Democrats, I volunteered for candidates and once, and only once, allowed myself to be dragooned as a Precinct Committeeman. I admired, and still admire, FDR, Truman, JFK and RFK. I voted for Bill Clinton twice despite my personal distaste for his prurient habits. I have long accepted that the blessing of American privilege comes hand in glove with the responsibility of public service. And I embraced the Democratic Party because, fundamentally as a liberal leaning fellow, I believed in a few core ideals.
First, government is and should be, a force for good. Second, all people, regardless of where they came, what they believed, or what the color of their skin, deserved a fair shake from government. And most of all, I joined the Democratic Party because the Party shared those ideals. Within the Party, I am free to think what I want, and to believe what I want. And to know, to coin a phrase, that while my fellow Democrats might not like what I say, they will die for my right to say it. Above all else, we stand and fall together. We are the Great Coalition. The Big Tent. Come one. Come all.
I have friends within the Party that are pro-life. That are gun nuts. That are against gay marriage. That wish to build a wall across the Mexican Border. That dream of the day the death penalty is free from the shackles of due process. I share none of these views. But I would never question their right to belong to my party. And I would never, ever question their right to vote their conscience or to speak their mind. As far as I know, there is no litmus test to be a Democrat.
Except, apparently, in Pima County.
There was a time in this country when the two major parties served the interests of the country as they best saw fit. You might disagree with Truman or Eisenhower, but you could feel comfortable that either one of them was trying to do some good for America.
This has changed.
The "Democratic" Party, as an institution, was infiltrated and has largely been taken over by those who seek power for their own ends.
This infiltration is on the part of "Leftist" radicals. Their strategy has been to promote a plethora of issues, but their goal is their own power.
Lenin promised Russians "peace, land, bread", but in the end, it was about the Bolsheviks gaining and keeping power at the expense of the Russian people.
The same is true today in America.
There are a great many decent people who are Democrats, but increasingly, they are being sold out by their leadership.
To be sure, I disagree with many of these Democrats; with some of them, I disagree on nearly everything.
But, I recognize that they have opinions that they have formed, they have courses of action that they wish to implement, and, they have intentions that are good.
They have been sold out.
In Russia, after the Soviet Union was formed and Lenin died, Stalin had to purge his internal enemies, foremost among them being Trotsky who, after having worked to overthrow capitalism beginning in Russia, found himself fleeing to the capitalist world for safety.
And, we see this today in "Democratic" politics: too often, dissent gets crushed and internal enemies are the first casualties. Many Democrats become disgusted, and switch to the Republican Party. Despite all the desperate rhetoric from the Left, it is the Republican tent that is broad and inclusive, generally civil, where dissent is tolerated and often encouraged, where differences of opinion are respected as being American, and where our disagreements make us stronger by burning away lies in the crucible of freethinking debate.
(Source for last two images.)