TLP: It's Not Easy Being Green

green party
If this is a dirty trick, bring it on. And more, please.

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.”
Predictably, the Democrats whine, calling the process deceitful. One former Democratic legislator, who lost a re-election bid after a Green Party candidate got in the race, said such candidates should align themselves with "the party they're interested in" if they want to run.

Maybe they do. Maybe that party is the Green Party or the Tea Party or whatever. Maybe a little more strategizing, campaigning, speechifying, debating, doing the fucking job of putting yourself out there would bring about different results.

Politics shouldn't be easy. Candidates should have to work for it if they want the job of representing others in government. Too many candidates, in both of the major parties, treat campaigns as a game they only have to barely win. Look at how presidential nominees ignore states they think their opponent has locked up.

Beating a Green Party candidate should be easy for a Democrat, especially "drifters and homeless people," given the benefits of registration and organization and money. Same goes for Republicans and Tea Party candidates. If you can't win, it's on you.

But, really, WTF is with this Greene candidate?

The Lazy Paperboy

Some say he’s half man half fish, others say he’s more of a seventy/thirty split. Either way he’s a fishy bastard.


Ubu said...

I helped put two Green Party candidates on the ballot in a southwest state, about ten years ago. Both lost, but both took enough of the votes that otherwise would have went to the Dem candidates. In both cases, conservatives won. That was exactly what we intended--eat into the moron student vote in one instance, and the angry environmentalist vote in the other election.

Ubu -

The Democrats probably expected they could hold on to both constituencies without really working for it.

And the "Yes We Can" students are not a sure bet anymore either, in this economy.

By the way, love the sketchy vagueness ("a southwest state, about ten years ago") of how you describe your political black ops. Something tells me you may still be in this game ...

TSADA KAY said...

Indeed, all this would be irrelevant if Democrats would just grow a pair. I still say it's deplorably shady, although I admire May's chutzpah. The real test will be to see how many votes the jester (the tarot reader, not the Log Cabin Republican) gets.

Now who do I have to put on the ballot to get a Caramel Macchiato up in heya?