Homeless Campaign: Republican Admits Recruiting "Street People" to Run on Green Ticket, Saps Democrat Votes

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    Sep 07, 2010 7:21 AM GMT
    TEMPE, Ariz. — Benjamin Pearcy, a candidate for statewide office in Arizona, lists his campaign office as a Starbucks. The small business he refers to in his campaign statement is him strumming his guitar on the street. The internal debate he is having in advance of his coming televised debate is whether he ought to gel his hair into his trademark faux Mohawk.

    Mr. Pearcy, 20, is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission, which oversees public utilities, railroad safety and securities regulation. Although Mr. Pearcy says he is taking his first run for public office seriously, the political establishment here views him as nothing more than a political dirty trick.

    Mr. Pearcy and other drifters and homeless people were recruited onto the Green Party ballot by a Republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the Democrats. Arizona’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates.

    “These are people who are not serious and who were recruited as part of a cynical manipulation of the process,” said Paul Eckstein, a lawyer representing the Democrats. “They don’t know Green from red.”

    But Steve May, the Republican operative who signed up some of the candidates along Mill Avenue, a bohemian commercial strip next to Arizona State University, insists that a real political movement has been stirred up that has nothing to do with subterfuge.

    “Did I recruit candidates? Yes,” said Mr. May, who is himself a candidate for the State Legislature, on the Republican ticket. “Are they fake candidates? No way.” To make his point, Mr. May went by Starbucks, the gathering spot of the Mill Rats, as the frequenters of Mill Avenue are known. “Are you fake, Benjamin?” he yelled out to Mr. Pearcy, who cried out “No,” with an expletive attached. “Are you fake, Thomas?” Mr. May shouted in the direction of Thomas Meadows, 27, a tarot card reader with less than a dollar to his name who is running for state treasurer. He similarly disagreed. “Are you fake, Grandpa?” he said to Anthony Goshorn, 53, a candidate for the State Senate whose bushy white beard and paternal manner have earned him that nickname on the streets. “I’m real,” he replied.

    Gathered around was a motley crew of people who were down on their luck, including a one-armed pregnant woman named Roxie whom Mr. May befriended sometime back and who introduced him to the rest.

    The Democratic Party is fuming over Mr. May’s tactics and those of at least two other Republicans who helped recruit candidates to the Green Party, which does not have the resources to put candidates on ballots around the state and thus creates the opportunity for write-in contenders like the Mill Rats to easily win primaries and get their names on the ballot for November. Complaints about spurious candidates have cropped up often before, though never involving an entire roster of candidates drawn from a group of street people.

    “It’s unbelievable. It’s not right. It’s deceitful,” said Jackie Thrasher, a former Democratic legislator in northwest Phoenix who lost re-election in 2008 after a Green Party candidate with possible links to the Republicans joined the race. “If these candidates were interested in the democratic process, they should connect with the party they are interested in. What’s happening here just doesn’t wash. It doesn’t pass the smell test.”

    Arizona, where Democrats, Republicans and independents each represent about a third of the populace, is known for its political hardball. Challenging nominating petitions is common. Election-related lawsuits are filed with regularity. This is not the first election in which a party has accused another of putting forth candidates to hoodwink voters.

    Besides the Mill Rat candidates, the Democrats smell a rat in other races, including one in which a roommate of a Republican legislator’s daughter ran as a Green Party candidate in a competitive contest for the State Senate. They cite a variety of state and federal election laws that the Republicans may have violated in putting forward “sham” candidates for the Green Party.

    The view, though, is different along Mill Avenue, where the first-time candidates appear to have been emboldened by the exercise, as Mr. Pearcy’s street corner campaign speech last Thursday night attests. Dressed up spiffily, he described himself as the illegitimate son of a stripper who had had run-ins with the law and a tough childhood but who had pulled his life together.

    “I’ve been homeless,” he said, his eyes darting back and forth. “I got a place. Anyone can do it. We’re all good enough.”

    There was nodding all around, more than when he went into his pitch to solve the budget deficit through the installation of solar panels. As Mr. Pearcy went on, Mr. May whispered “focus, focus, focus” into his ear to get him back on track and help prepare him for a debate in early October, which will be televised across the state.

    Reading tarot cards has taught Mr. Meadows, who is known for his purple and green jester hat, to talk a good game. “This is not the land of the free,” he told the loungers on the sidewalk, pitching himself for treasurer. “It’s the land of what’s for sale.”

    Grandpa, widely known in the area through the pedicab he drives for hire, is against higher taxes and for God in the classroom. The other night, he was supposed to debate his Democratic and Republican rivals in the race but after seeing only the Democrat on stage, he decided to watch from the back. “I got a bad vibe,” he said.

    Mr. May, who served as a Republican legislator from 1998 to 2002, said, “Even if I wanted to control these guys, they’re uncontrollable.”
    ****
    Political Theater: lets see who buys tickets this season!
  • Webster666

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    Sep 07, 2010 7:29 AM GMT
    I just read about this. It really shows you that the Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning. Their politics is all about stopping the other guy, not about promoting themselves. Pretty pathetic. But, then, after their party practically destroyed the country, and did everything they could to prevent the Democrats from saving the economy, they certainly have nothing to brag about.
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    Sep 07, 2010 7:39 AM GMT
    Webster666 saidI just read about this. It really shows you that the Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning. Their politics is all about stopping the other guy, not about promoting themselves. Pretty pathetic. But, then, after their party practically destroyed the country, and did everything they could to prevent the Democrats from saving the economy, they certainly have nothing to brag about.


    True.
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    Sep 07, 2010 1:50 PM GMT
    Yes. I read this this morning. What a horrible and cynical tactic. I hope those involved can be prosecuted.
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    Sep 07, 2010 3:36 PM GMT
    SB you just insulted all the precious posters. This is why so many dislike you, and gives you little right to complain at the way people get mad at you.

    "To bring back some sanity..."

    You infer that only your opinion is sane, which is entirely up for debate.

    -Doug
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    Sep 07, 2010 3:51 PM GMT
    SB there's only one poster on this that matches up to what you're going on about, and that's a personal nemesis of yours, Webster.

    Direct your comments at the poster, not the group, because you're only confirming what I'm saying.

    -Doug
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    Sep 07, 2010 4:26 PM GMT
    Now why isn't this like what the Republicans claimed ACORN was doing? That they falsely entrapped and had defunded and barred from political involvement?

    And this is an official Republican Party effort, to sabotage an election. It's pretty clear they want 1-party rule in the US, and are on their way to achieving it.
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    Sep 07, 2010 5:35 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    meninlove said SB you just insulted all the precious posters. This is why so many dislike you, and gives you little right to complain at the way people get mad at you.

    "To bring back some sanity..."

    You infer that only your opinion is sane, which is entirely up for debate.

    -Doug



    The tone and thrust of this thread, up until my post, was:

    Republicans will resort to any means to get votes.

    This is patently false.

    It also strongly implies, based on the condemnation posted by various members in this thread, that Democrats would never resort to such tactics.

    Anyone believing the above is delusional.



    Well, the Republicans will "resort to any means to get votes." A few examples, include Republicans with gay kids (Cheney) using anti-gay marriage initiatives to boost turnout; sending thugs to the Florida SOS office to riot and vandalize in order to stop the recount in 2000; and getting into bed with an increasingly unhinged and belligerent religious right despite the fact that most of them do not believe in what the right espouses. You're seeing the same thing with the Tea Party as I demonstrated aptly in another thread.

    And, again, SB, the main difference is that if Democrats where doing what is alleged here, I would also want them prosecuted for it. Whereas you seldom, if ever, think Republicans should.
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    Sep 07, 2010 6:02 PM GMT
    I know why anybody would want to be elected: to get paid to go to fancy hotels and then bill the state for the same thing when it's already paid for by campaign funds:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/16/2407537/garland-lawmaker-admits-double.html

    Sure beats living on the street. icon_biggrin.gif
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    Sep 07, 2010 6:30 PM GMT
    q1w2e3 saidI know why anybody would want to be elected: to get paid to go to fancy hotels and then bill the state for the same thing when it's already paid for by campaign funds:
    http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/16/2407537/garland-lawmaker-admits-double.html

    Sure beats living on the street. icon_biggrin.gif

    Nah, he's a Republican -- he's allowed. And he'll just keep getting reelected and reelected, and a state review (by Republicans) will determine that while some irregularities occurred, nothing rose to the level of requiring impeachment or disciplinary action.

    But I do love this quote from the story about him:

    "...who frequently rails against the evils of runaway government spending admitted Monday that he has pocketed thousands of dollars in taxpayer money for travel expenses that his campaign had already paid for."

    http://www.star-telegram.com/2010/08/16/2407537/garland-lawmaker-admits-double.html

    And aren't the Republicans who make the most noise opposing gay rights the same ones who get caught in gay relationships? Are these guys NEVER hypocritical? icon_razz.gif
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    Sep 07, 2010 6:55 PM GMT
    While I'm against all of this, I dont think it is going to matter this fall. The Dems are so far gone that this is probably going to be their worst midterm election in 80 years.
  • Webster666

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    Sep 07, 2010 8:34 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Webster666 saidI just read about this. It really shows you that the Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning.


    Good lord..... "Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning..."

    Yeah, like killing off their Democrat opponent.

    Like sending death threats to their Democrat opponent's elderly mother.

    Right..... icon_rolleyes.gif


    To bring back some sanity (and balance) to this conversation. Whatever the Republicans are doing, the Democrats have done the same (or similar) things.






    YOU'RE NOT MAKING ANY SENSE AT ALL.
    WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT ?

    YOUR DEFENSE OF THE REPUBLICANS BY SAYING THAT DEMOCRATS DO THE SAME THING IS EXACTLY LIKE A CHILD WHINING TO ITS MOTHER AFTER SHE CATCHES HIM DOING SOMETHING HE SHOULDN'T BE DOING.

    "WELL, HE DID IT !"
    "WHY CAN'T I ?"
    "HOW COME EVERYBODY GETS TO DO IT BUT ME ?"
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Sep 07, 2010 8:37 PM GMT
    southbeach1500 said
    Webster666 saidI just read about this. It really shows you that the Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning.


    Good lord..... "Republicans will do anything to prevent a Democrat from winning..."

    Yeah, like killing off their Democrat opponent.

    Like sending death threats to their Democrat opponent's elderly mother.

    Right..... icon_rolleyes.gif


    To bring back some sanity (and balance) to this conversation. Whatever the Republicans are doing, the Democrats have done the same (or similar) things.






    SO YOU'RE FINE WITH A REPUBLICAN SIGNING UP HOMELESS PEOPLE AS SHAM THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES IN THE HOPES OF SIPHONING OFF SOME VOTES FROM DEMOCRATS.
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    Sep 07, 2010 8:55 PM GMT
    Webster666 saidSO YOU'RE FINE WITH A REPUBLICAN SIGNING UP HOMELESS PEOPLE AS SHAM THIRD PARTY CANDIDATES IN THE HOPES OF SIPHONING OFF SOME VOTES FROM DEMOCRATS.

    You're arguing with a fanatical right-wing Republican - you do realize what a waste of your time that is, right? I support refuting stupid statements on this site, to benefit other US members who are less well informed, but do understand you cannot change the minds of those who will not listen.

    I think the contrast I made above with ACORN continues to be appropriate. Remember how Republicans screamed that alleged irregularities in ACORN voter registration efforts (now proven to have been largely falsified by the Repubs) had made the 2008 Presidential election invalid?

    Yet now we hear that the official Republican Party tactic of enlisting phony candidates to skew the election doesn't matter, because "Democrats were bound to lose anyway." My, how their story changes to suit their actions.

    So don't get yourself too agitated. There are Republican "agent provocateurs" here and most of us know who they are. Direct your comments to a different audience, not to them, because, after all, they're on a divine mission to disrupt, neutralize, and convert us.
  • Webster666

    Posts: 9217

    Sep 07, 2010 9:10 PM GMT
    Here's the Republican and his homeless candidates, Larry, Daryl, and Daryl.

    119a26v.jpg
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    Sep 07, 2010 9:18 PM GMT
    How can I express how much I don't miss snidebitch?
  • Kev67

    Posts: 60

    Sep 08, 2010 3:20 AM GMT
    I'm disappointed it's a gay politician that is behind this. I suppose gay politicians can be as sleezy as the rest of them (in whichever party), but up until now I'd had a certain amount of respect for Steve May despite my not sharing many of his politics. I'm not sure why it feels worse that a gay politician had done this, but it does.