Name games in the City Council 8 race

14 May 2013 09:54 pm
Posted by: Donna

My friend Bob Lord has been taking flack from Phoenix City Council candidate Warren Stewart’s campaign over his posts about a disparaging comment that Maricopa County Supervisor and Stewart supporter Mary Rose Wilcox made about Kate Gallego, who is also running in that race.

I missed this last month, not sure how. Because this is a shining example of how voters lose respect for politicians.

According to The Phoenix New Times, Pastor Warren Stewart, held a telephone town hall last month, moderated by his buds and campaign supporters, Mary Rose Wilcox and Danny Ortega. Apparently, Wilcox couldn’t help herself and resorted to full on ludicrous to disparage Stewart’s opponents. It just doesn’t get any more pathetic than this:

“The other candidate recently started using her married name from Widland to Gallego. I’m going to be frank with you, there are all kinds of political tricks to confuse the Latino and African-American communities, but in this election, those tricks are not going to work. Let me echo what Danny Ortega said: There are no Latinos or Latinas running for City Council, period.”

WTF? She’s actually accusing Kate Widland Gallego of taking her husband’s last name to play a “political trick” on the voters and “confuse” them about her status as a Latina. Really, Mary Rose? Why, then, is it that Kate still includes her maiden name “Widland” in her name? But, while we’re on the subject of playing tricks on voters, isn’t it a tad deceptive to state that Kate “recently started” using her husband’s last name, without mentioning that her use of the name Gallego is “recent” only to the extent that her marriage was recent? And does anyone really doubt that if Kate didn’t take her husband’s Latino surname the Mary Rose Wilcox’s of the world would be maligning her for not doing so?

There’s no substance here. This was just a baseless, unprovoked attack on another candidate’s honesty and character.

But this election isn’t about Mary Rose Wilcox, no matter how much she’s willing to embarass herself.

What do Wilcox’s remarks say about Pastor Stewart? More specifically, what does Pastor Stewart’s failure to disown Wilcox’s scurrilous remarks say about his character? In the 2012 Presidential campaign, we witnessed repeated failures on Mitt Romney’s part to call out various Republican cranks for their craziness. Those failures told us all we needed to know about Mitt’s character.

Bob says that Stewart has not denounced Wilcox’s baseless accusation. He did get (something of a) response from Stewart’s campaign consultant Mario Diaz.

Let me disclose that I support Gallego in the race and consider her a friend. And you know what? I have no earthly idea why Kate took Ruben’s surname. The reason being that I have never asked Kate why. Because that would be an incredibly rude and invasive question! It is not my business whether or when any woman changes her name after she marries, and neither is it of anyone else who is not that woman or her spouse. Look, I understand that the custom of women taking their husbands’ names is (rightly) the subject of feminist criticism but the vast majority of women are still doing it today. Are all those women doing so to “trick” their communities, or only the ones Wilcox opposes politically? Does Wilcox, who took her husband’s Anglo surname, think that women with Anglo surnames should not take their husbands’ Hispanic surnames? If so, that’s a puzzling double standard.

As for Pastor Stewart, he is known for having a very traditional view of marriage, judging from statements he made condemning same-sex marriage in the strongest possible terms last fall (they’ve been scrubbed from his church’s website but can still be found elsewhere). A woman in a straight marriage taking her husband’s last name is about as traditional as it gets. I should think Stewart, of all people, would approve of that.

At any rate, Stewart cannot claim ignorance of Wilcox’s inflammatory remarks since he was present at the telephone town hall when she said them and his consultant then doubled down on supporting both him and Wilcox in response to Lord’s posts. I get that tempers flare in campaigns and sometimes people involved in them blurt out inappropriate things. The thing for Stewart, Wilcox, and Diaz to do right now is to apologize to Kate Gallego for that defamatory accusation against her. The longer they remain silent on it the more it looks like a deliberate tactic, once shouted at a town hall and now muted to a whisper campaign.


  1. Comment by Andrew on May 14, 2013 10:39 pm

    During all the years from 1995 to 2009 when I lived in Phoenix and despite that I have been a registered Democrat all that time, I was never a huge fan of Mary Rose Wilcox. I was also never a huge fan of her husband Earl as well.

    I remember in 1995, Salomon Leija, an ally of Wilcox who served one term in District 7 of the Phoenix City Council was defeated by Doug Lingner in 1995 due to ethical issues surrounding the incumbent. Just a few months into Lingner’s term, Wilcox’s allies/Leija supporters decide to hold a recall election against the new councilman. No reason was given but I suspect it was because Lingner was Anglo and Leija is Hispanic. I wrote a letter to the Arizona Republic attesting this and it was published. I was also offended that as a county supervisor, she strongly backed imposing a sales tax to pay for a baseball stadium for the Diamondbacks. Once it was ready, she managed to snag tons of tickets for opening season at no cost to her. More recently, she and her husband Earl tore down a house that was on the City of Phoenix’s preservation list. Earl was also known as someone who played fast and loose during his previous career as a state legislator. Lastly, Wilcox was an early supporter of DINO Joe Lieberman in the 2004 Democratic presidential nomination race. I was running to be a delegate for the eventual nominee John Kerry. When it came time for the state convention to select at-large delegates, I and many others were removed from the list for consideration and Mary Rose Wilcox was selected to be a Kerry delegate despite the fact that she supported Lieberman early and I made phone calls to Democrats in Iowa and New Hampshire pushing for Kerry as far back as the previous December.

    To sum it up, Mary Rose Wilcox is a charlatan.

  2. Comment by Truth08 on May 15, 2013 8:40 am

    Just want to say there are quite a few …”charlatans”.. on both sides of the aisle.

    In the case of Wilcox, you didn’t mention, she also supported “DINO” and former Republican David Lujan.
    The same Lujan, who is despised, by most Latinos, for purposely missing SB1070 vote and was caught lying about it..

    Other names worthy of this category would be..

    *Anne Kirkpatrick-GOP mole, voted in as a Dem and supported by Dem Party hacks over the more Liberal opponent Baldenegro in last election.

    *Matt Heintz (Babue salivator from Tucson).

    *Albert Meza from Phx, who never showed up to do his job…….ever.

    Just to name a few, past and present.

    On the Right.. I cannot think of any who have …’NOT’…sold their soul to the Devil in order to advance their personal, politcal, or for profit, agenda.. putting it frankly.

    There are some I still respect though, Rick Romley and Grant Woods come to mind, even though we remain miles apart on most issues.

    Wicox and the rest of the Dems, should take a lesson from Steve Gallardo, who has remained committed to his cause, without being bought off.


  3. Comment by Mike Slater on May 15, 2013 1:11 pm

    Mary Rose has been a blight on the city and county for years. Makes one wonder about the intelligence of the voters in her district.

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