Racism in the AZ Dems, from the executive director and from CD1 to CD9

Cherny, Sinema, and Schapira

Let me admit that I’m really enjoying what is going on in CD9, for reasons I will explain after this short summary by the Arizona Capitol Times:

A once-in-a-generation opportunity for Democrats to grab a congressional seat in the heart of the Valley is quickly becoming one of the nastiest races of the 2012 cycle.

The three-way Democratic primary in the 9th Congressional District between Andrei Cherny, David Schapira and Kyrsten Sinema has been defined lately by a spate of vicious attacks. Even some veteran Democratic operatives are taken aback by the ferocity of the race.

Paul Ulan, of the firm Primary Consultants, said the three candidates should avoid bloodying each other to the point that it will hurt them in the general election.

“You knew that there were going to be fireworks. I’m a little surprised it’s gotten this ugly, this fast. It’s gotten personal,” Ulan said. “It’s May. … If you’re seeing this now, it’s only going to get worse.”

via Democratic primary in CD9 gets ugly | Arizona Capitol Times.

One of the reasons I am enjoying it is not for what it is, but for what it is not.

Well kinda.

Arizona is the new South of the 1960s where racism thrives, and one only needs to look in the Democratic party to see it.

The year 2010 was the perfect harbinger of what was to come. Janet Napolitano was taken out of Arizona, leaving Governor Brewja and Russell Pearce to run amok.

SB1070… HB2281…

About as progressive a candidate as you can get, someone with history working with labor activism and civil rights activism, Randy Parraz, was running for US Senate against someone who embodied the exact opposite but who had a D in front of his name and lots of migrant-exploitation cash, Rodney Glassman.

Regina Romero and the US Senate candidate she endorsed, Fresno Farmer and migrant-exploiter Rodney Glassman.

Not even the Progressive Democrats of America or Raul Grijalva would endorse the right person, being blinded by their favorite type of green activism; green as in cash.

The Dems ended up losing big time as the sounds of Glassman thrusting his hips to his music video “Sweet Home Arizona”, released right before Election Day faded into the desert night as the dark winter of Arizona’s last year before the centennial began.

A few months later Russell Pearce would be the Senate President with a veto-proof majority…

And a few months later Randy Parraz would organize the Recall of Russell Pearce, and it would be successful because of the help of the Progressive Democrats of America and Latino community, and hopefully the Arizona Dems would have learned their lesson.


The historic year of 2012 brings with it…

Randy vs. Rodney – Part 2

Arizona only has 2 Democratic Congresspersons right now.

Raul Grijalva and Ed Pastor are safely in their minority-majority districts.

But there is another district that holds the opportunity for another minority voice to represent the people living in that district, and that is CD1 which covers northern and eastern Arizona, containing the largest Native American population (from the Navajo, Hopis and Apaches) to also containing a large Hispanic population.

CD1 is over 40% minority and it is 4-3 Democratic vs Republican.

What a perfect time for the Democratic Party to get a Navajo elected to Congress! What a perfect time to increase the minority representation in a state whose population is definitely browning, and not just because of the sun.

But this is Randy vs Rodney Part 2, so we know what will take place.

  • The less progressive and whiter of the two candidates will raise more money. Check.
  • Democrats who are attracted to those “green” credentials are lured. Check.
  • Then Democrats become an obstacle to any other Democrats who are also running in the Democratic Primary. Check.

Why do we not let people and elections determine who will win anymore?

You talk to people and they say they support the progressive and Harvard educated born-and-raised in CD1 Navajo attorney Wenona Benally Baldenegro, but…

… more conservative and enemy-of-the-environment and friend-of-foreign-mining-corporations Ann Kirkpatrick has more money.

Well no shit Sherlock!

You mean the more corporate of the two will have more money? Isn’t this part of the problem? One of the biggest issues in CD1 is that of the Resolution Copper Mine; Native Americans, progressives, and environmentalists are STRONGLY OPPOSED.

Republicans and TEA Party are strongly in favor.

Former CD1 Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, friend of mining companies over the American Indian tribes.

Guess which side Ann Kirkpatrick is on? Hint, the Native American Tribes HATE her for what she has done to them. So do groups like the Sierra Club (perhaps hate is too big a word, but she is no friend to the environmentalists).

Then you end up with this negative feedback loop. When you get more money you end up getting more money.

People have forgotten that elections are about the people that vote, and many of the people in CD1 are very poor. Tribal members cannot make out huge checks to the candidate they support…

But they can vote!

At least in this version of Randy vs Rodney Part 2, the PDA and Grijalva have come around to the right side despite the money inequality.

But the Arizona Dems still have not, nor has the DCCC.

The executive director of the Arizona Dems, Luis Heredia, is actually working against Democrats who are in the Democratic Primary. He was called out last week in a scathing article by Rudy Acuña who documented how the Dems work against civil rights during election years.

Luis Heredia has also been caught in some lies since then as he has tried to push out the only Navajo running for Congress.

And here you have the Arizona Democrats 2012. Putting all their energy against the Navajo who is running in the Navajo’s district so that the richer white Blue Dog can win.

It makes no sense strategically, since having a minority run in CD1 will ensure all the Native Americans come out to vote for her, thus helping Carmona and Obama win Arizona…

… so one wonders if this is all based on racism.

While Latinos are treated badly in Arizona, Native Americans… los indios… have always been treated even worse, and many times by Latinos themselves.

Luis Heredia is proof of this.

So this is why I am enjoying the CD9 fiasco. Three popular Democrats are tearing each other apart, and guess what these white candidates are using against each other.


Gotta love it.

Right now the candidate that is faker than her hair color, Kyrsten Sinema, is reaching all the way back to 2002 and a different state to attack Cherny.

The ironic thing is that one need only reach back to Arizona last year to find Sinema’s own press release that proudly proclaimed that her new bill, SB1225, would be “tough on immigration.”

Then she had 4 Latinos arrested at her press conference.

My favorite is how Sinema has treated the Navajo woman running for Congress, who has had long conversations with her. Not only does Sinema play dumb when asked why she is not supporting Wenona, saying she didn’t know the progressive was running against the Blue Dog, but she actually had the audacity to dehumanize her.

She has never even met her! But they have met, and they have talked… and ironically it was at Emerge, which was set up to train women to run for office!

Then again, Sinema also said on TV that she loves Russell Pearce, would not help the recall, and then had no problem taking credit for the recall on the Keith Olbermann show.

In the meantime, I will enjoy watching the CD9 race. Three white candidates and the main argument right now is who is racist…

Kyrsten Sinema Traitor, reference to her anti-immigrant SB1225 co-sponsored by Ron Gould. Photo: Haasch.

For what it is worth, Sheriff Arpaio, Ron Gould, and Frank Antenori all applauded publicly and in the media Kyrsten Sinema’s anti-immigrant bill SB1225 which was passed just last year.

And now the privileged white woman who denies the existence of a Native American woman who she helped train is the one crying “racism.”

Welcome to Arizona 2012.


9 comments on “Racism in the AZ Dems, from the executive director and from CD1 to CD9
  1. As usual David, you are so wrong it is laughable. Ann has done more for Native Americans than nearly any other congress person in Arizona history. The United Farm Workers endorsed Rodney. Randy Parraz did not beat Rodney and did not stand a chance against McCain. The Pearce recall was as much Republican as Progressive Democrats. While Randy did a great job with the recall and the Arpaio protests, he was a bad senate candidate. The only racism I see here is you complaining that bad candidates who can’t raise money should win elections that they are ill suited to run in. One of your group’s big knocks against Rodney was that he had no prior political experience. Ann rose through the ranks of local then statewide office. Maybe Wenona should run for her local legislature before throwing herself onto the national stage. Next time she runs her husband should stay away from her campaign and let people who know how to run a campaign handle it. You consistently badmouth the candidates who put their asses on the line hoping to tear them down. It demoralizes the voters who would turn out in the general election. Lastly, your claim that SB 1225 was anti immigrant was anti-immigrant is a flat out lie. You and Carlos Galindo want to hang legislators like puppets from your hands. 1225 made it a felony to let a house a person owns be used as a drop house. This law is saving the lives of immigrants and decreasing the amount of human trafficking, How many lies can you you tell in one article?

    • Why don’t you ask the tribes what they think about Kirkpatrick and Resolution Copper?

      As for SB1225, look at how the law defines “drop house” and you will see where the problem arises. If I have ANY undocumented person in my car, even a family member, I am, under Arizona law, guilty of “human trafficking” and wherever I drop off that person is officially a “drop house.”

  2. @John Dreyfus: Oh please! Ann’s stories have changed so many times about where she was during the vote on the dream act we have lost count; when questioned about it the story just changes. Unfortunately so many people in our district contacted Ann’s Washington office with questions and were not afforded the courtesy of a response yet today we are expected to march lock step with the establishment and support Ann.  I for one can’t forget when she walked out on us at the meeting in Holbrook and now you expect us to support someone who does not support me? Sorry my mama did not raise a fool!

  3. I must agree. They also give lip service to the LGBT community but hardly lift a hand to help us. I will not be a PCO any longer so I am free to speak my mind and badmouth a Democrat or two if needed. I am never running for anything so they sure can not hurt me. Wait until I unload my mail pieces ..stay tuned………….

  4. Thank you. I couldn’t have said this better, myself. We would prefer to run a corporatist, to a woman of the People. Really? And a far better educated one, at that! Yes, this is Southern, 1960s politics at its finest. When are they going to start murdering freedom riders? In the same way, the Party endorses a candidate for Maricopa County Sheriff with no command experience. No command experience, for a MANAGEMENT position. Go figure. Another Democrat is running, who retired from NYPD, at the rank of Deputy Assistant Chief, and the Party bosses are doing everything they can, to prevent his running. Yes. something smells. The Party is doing the same sort of things in other races, as well. Democratic contenders are on their own. It is unfair, un democratic! Not to mention. all the races, where the Democratic Party isn’t even fielding candidates! I guess, the reality is, the Democratic Party of Arizona is looking at the best plan for losing well.

  5. @ John Dreyfus: Do you know the meaning of the word, sycophant? Look it up in Webster’s Illustrated Dictionary. You will see your picture there. If all you can do is foment Party pablum and make ad hominum attacks against such persons as Carlos Galindo, why don’t you spend your time more wisely, and go out and work on your bike?

  6. I think it’s less about overt racism and more about the horrid smell of money. I was disappointed (to say the least) that Equality Arizona supported Ann Kirkpatrick in a primary. When I inquired about it, I was told “She has the money to win”. Now, fundraising IS important — anyone would be foolish to think otherwise; however, when it takes priority over everything else, it results in sellout candidates who give lipservice to Democratic values. We must make public financing of elections a priority.

    •  The ONLY US Senate candidate in 2010 that DID NOT support gay marriage, Rodney Glassman, was the only one to get the endorsement of Equality Arizona that year in that race…

  7. I must agree too, as I have seen twice with two of my campaigns. I received zero support when I was the only Mexican candidate to run in the new LD 25 and two years ago when I ran in the Democratic Primary in the old LD 18. My then white Democratic opponent Andrew Sherwood received help getting signatures, and $5.00 contributions while I and my wife had to go out and get every single signature by ourselves. I didn’t even qualify for Clean Elections because I could not for the life of my campaign get any more than 50 clean election pledges. I am not calling my good friend Andrew a racist by any means for getting into a race against me, but I am saying that someone or a group of someones, I don’t know who, sabotaged me and all the work that I did up until Andrew got into the race in late April 2010 and ultimately cost me the Primary election even though we had no House candidates at the time.

    I had very little support especially from former LD 18 people at my
    elevation to 2nd Vice Chair of LD 25, when I was nominated for 1st Vice
    chair which was already set to be elected to I was defeated by an old LD
    18 resident, same thing happened when I was initially nominated for
    2nd Vice Chair the first time when they nominated a person not in attendance at the reorganization meeting, but was elected 3rd Vice Chair when the
    person that was nominated against me backed out. Then I was elevated to 2nd Vice Chair when the person nominated in absentia didn’t want the position. Then I was called a loose canon for taking a stand against Russell Pearce’s decision to run again.

    Then I saw it again this year, when I decided to accept my chairman’s invitation to run for the new LD 25 House seat. I had a fundraiser to help me raise seed money, and yet again no help or support.  I was criticized for my decision to run then ultimately I reversed my decision and decided against running. I also moved out of LD 25 which also hastened my decision not to run, but I do see it and when I was updating my voter registration to reflect my new address, I was damned temped to change my party affiliation to independent.

    Are there opportunities for those in the Arizona Democratic Party, yes as long as your not a minority or Mexican.

Leave a Reply