Posted by: Donna
I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard over the past decade that Democrats lose in Arizona because of the hapless suckitude of the state Dem party. “You guys don’t have a MESSAGE!” Even when AZ Dems do enjoy some electoral victories, as in 2012, it’s attributed to something other than a Democratic Party achievement. “It was redistricting!” This, of course, ignores the hard work and advocacy of people like Steve Muratore on the redistricting effort. It also ignores all the volunteers, including a bunch of Dream Act kids, who pounded the pavement to get out the vote for people like US Rep Kyrsten Sinema and AZ Rep Eric Meyer in my district and many other places in 2012. Not to mention the efforts of the Dem candidates themselves.
To these armchair critics of the Arizona Democrats I ask the same questions I’ve been asking for years: What is the Republican Party here doing so well? Nothing. Are they organized? No. Are they cohesive? No. Do they raise a lot of money? No. Can they have a state committee meeting that doesn’t descend into chaos? No. Can they even get a referendum on the ballot that would seem to be a no-brainer, considering it was in opposition to Obamacare? Nope.
Per the AZ Capitol Times Yellow Sheet last Friday.
Gould largely placed the blame for the looming failure of the referendum drive at the feet of precinct committeemen who talked big but refused to help. Republican PCs warned Brewer and lawmakers not to pass Medicaid expansion, and even passed numerous resolutions condemning them for doing it anyway. But most of those PCs didn’t help out with the referendum drive, which Gould said only proved that their warnings were nothing but empty threats. “The real problem here is, if this fails – and it looks like it’s going too – it’s just made being a Republican precinct committeeman worthless. The PCs weren’t willing to put some bite behind their bark,” Gould told our reporter.
So it seems that the AZ Republican Party, when it has to do something tangible, sucks pretty hard at it. Which, once again, reinforces my contention that our state politics are not a contest of the Arizona Democratic Party vs the Arizona GOP. Republicans here have some substantial advantages that they can take no credit for. They have demographics in their favor, at least for the time being, plus a bunch of well-funded and powerful entities backing them, including the Center for Arizona Policy, Goldwater Institute, Chamber(s) of Commerce, NRA, Koch Bros., Clear Channel Radio, Fox News, etc. etc. etc.. The Arizona Republican Party itself could pack up and go away, for all the influence they appear to have over Republican activists and voters.
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