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We need Paton, and we need him now.

Dang, that means Trasoff will try for the ACC again?

Four counterpoints: 1. Why are you assuming that the next Redistricting Commission will be predisposed to protect Grijalva? 2. The next commission starts from a clean slate, it doesn't make adjustments to existing districts. 3. There will be one or two new congressional districts on the map, making all districts smaller in population. 4. Elected officials don't own the districts, the electorate does. When you add up the effect of these factors, your assertion crumbles.

Giffords represents the independent voters in our district well and is not someone who can be easily pigeonholed ideologically, despite Greg's predictable assertion to the contrary. She has an excellent reputation for constituent service, is well-versed in all areas of policy that affect us and gets back to CD8 regularly. She watches out for the interests of D-M and Fort Huachuca through her spot on a key House committee and has maintained her sensible centrist position when it comes to support for our troops in the field.

State Rep. Paton is an articulate and bright man, but his views are emblematic of those currently in charge in Phoenix. He is part of the crew that can't agree on a budget, despite the fact that they have the governor's office and control both houses in the Legislature. Paton is also more known for taking on Dolores Huerta than he is for any major accomplishments as a legislator. He would have a tough time matching Giffords, who already has a reputation as a shrewd and diligent worker, one reason why she was named to more committees at the beginning of her tenure than other newly-elected members.

A Giffords-Paton race would be closer than the races she won in 2006 and 2008, mostly because of the historical trends that work against those from a president's party in off-year elections. However, the voters in CD8 have already trusted Giffords twice and Paton does not have enough on his side in terms of his record or the issues to change their minds. If I were him, I'd be worried about the fact that the people in this video will force him to run as someone who he isn't out of fear that they will throw their weight behind Jesse Kelly, who isn't likely to just pick up his toys and go home.
CD8 is going to be ground zero for the debate that is just starting within the GOP.

Rex, devilish rhetoric. And I don't thing the national ground zero is AZ CD8.

But seriously how exactly can anyone claim to represent independent voters?


Giffords is one of the few leaders in Arizona politics who gets hammered on right and left-wing blogs. This has been consistent since she beat Latas and Weiss for the Democratic nomination back in 2006. That is one indication of the fact that she is a mainstream leader who could care less about passing litmus tests thrust in front of her by those on the extremes of the spectrum. She is viewed by the voters as solutions-oriented, not an ideologue, which is one of the traits most valued by independent voters.

Let me be clear about something else, too, which is that I like and respect Paton. He would bring the same sort of seriousness to this race that Mike Hellon did when he ran in 2006. I just don't think that he can match Giffords in terms of experience or results in office. I also predict that he will be under great pressure to run to the right to take the nomination. The result of that endeavor will be a turn-off to independent voters. It is also indisputable that he can be tarred with the reality of all that is going wrong in Phoenix right now.

From my viewpoint in Cochise County, giffords has done a great job of representing the liberal Tucson interests in CD8. Supporting DM and FT H is a no-brainer for anyone representing CD8 since they are the economic drivers in the district. Giffords will have to overcome the fact that she votes Pelosi-line in the house and initially hid from her constituents in Cochise County during the AUG recess of 09. As far as experience, two terms in the House is only 4 years of experience. She will have to play fast and loose with the truth to undue the damage that the health care plan and cap and trade are going to do to the economy. Representing ones district by supporting programs that will increase taxes, increase utilitie fees and likely cut the availibility of service is a tough one to live down. She'll have to do a lot of spinning to the seniors, retirees and others on limited incomes in CD8.

I love the way the left continues to claim their lefties are "centrists." The proof is always in the voting--not the posturing. Gabby (like Mitchell in CD5) trumpets her "Blue Dog" credentials, but votes like a lefty--pretty much whatever Pelosi tells her to do. And, of course, Pelosi lets her take cover when the Dems have an overwhelming vote on an issue. But we're not fooled.
Let the left continue to delude themselves. They won't know what hit them in 2010.

Wow...Greg, thank you for the good laugh. I love how you conveniently cropped the 2008 results to not show the percentages. Gabby actually got an increased percentage of the vote against Bee. Low midterm turnout affects both parties. I can't decide whether you are a propagandist or whether you suffer from some sort of cognitive dissonance from your true-believerism. Anyways, this was very funny; I knew there was a reason I check this blog every 3 months.

Sounds like GG's feathers are a bit ruffled. Her folks should be nervous.

Accomplishments, Rex? How about these:

1. Human-smuggling statute passed into law. Maybe it isn't a big deal to you, but to most independents it is. Giffords has no similar accomplishments at all--just a series of blue ribbon panels that haven't gone anywhere.

2. Domestic Violence legislation. He's passed some of the most sweeping reforms in the state on that front.

3. CPS reforms and the biggest expansion of public records access since the 70s. Voters--especially women--regardless of party--respect his work for that.

4. Rio Nuevo reforms. Probably the biggest reason Trasoff lost was not dealing with downtown and wasting money.

5. Iran divestment. Forced the state to divest of any funds (such as shell oil) that were going to Iran.

Actually, it's Giffords who really doesn't have much of a record. She has delivered pork for her district, which in the current climate could be a serious liability.

To be honest her biggests assets are:

1. $1.4 million in the bank
2. Having run against charisma challenged opponents in the past.
3. She's a hard worker/campaigner--you don't raise $4 million in a cycle by being lazy or stupid.
4. She's hyper ambitious. This can be a good thing but it can also turn on you.
5. She will have the good fortune of having Jan Brewer (or some other also ran on the ballot)
6. You are right about the state of the state of Arizona: that is a huge liabilty for any Republican running right now.

Her problems:

1. Her recent voting record. She wasn't exactly blue-dogging it on healthcare or cap n' trade. Before you blow this off as a republican base issue--this is truly killing support among independents. Seniors especially are going to flip when they realize their Medicare Advantage is cut by over 40%. Think about how dems demogogued social security and you understand what I'm talking about. That is toxic for dems everywhere--even more so in places like Green Valley where Bee's support was extraordinarily weak.

2. Republicans are back. They are unified in southern arizona in a major way. Jesse Kelly will not be able to run on Paton's right. On what vote is he going to differentiate himself? I don't think Paton really has to talk about anything other than Giffords' votes to get the support of conservatives. Make fun of the tea parties all you want: they got 7,000 people to show up at TEP park. The democrats would have to get Barack himself to show up to do that here.

3. Did you see what happened in New Jersey and Virginia? Independents defected in droves. What about Gabby's base, the City of Tucson? A democrat lost for the first time in 35 freaking years. Democrats are in meltdown mode right now and Pelosi just pushed them off the cliff.

4. Finally, this is to DJ, you're right about the percentages, but Republicans are typically better off-year election voters than democrats so sheer numbers do matter. My guess Republicans are going to be out in force this time around. While R's have Brewer, Dems have...um...Goddard. There's a firecracker there. In short there is not a lot of reasons to get involved. Moreover, it is old people who are most likely to vote in a non presidential year. The young and minorities who came out in droves to vote for Barrack are probably not likely going to show up to vote for her.

5. McCain. Because he was running for president he largely blew off Arizona in 2008. He's running state wide next go around. He's going to be dumping a TON of money into the race.

All in all it's no sure thing but Charlie Cook just downgraded CD 8 from "solid democrat" to "likely democrat".

Very good Greg, but you actually understanted the impact on Giffords!

The man of the most heavily Democrat precincts in the City are in Raul's district. So the average percentage for Republican city council candidates in the portion of Tucson in the 8th congressional district is likely to be significantly higher than the city average.


First, Paton is a State Senator now, not a State Representative!

Second, Giffords is easy to describe. She is Pelosi's puppet!


Let me make this clear, since winning election last year, Giffords has abandoned her prior pretense of being a moderate, and is now a dependable vote for hard left positions!

Pelosi did fundraisers for Gabby...quid pro quo. They let her go center every once in awhile, such as the cash for clunkers but when they need her vote, she's kind of on the hook to them...beholden.

She is one heck of an organizer, fundraiser, and campaigner. She's extraordinarily well connected in Tucson. I am honestly impressed with those aspects of her. That is no left handed compliment. She's proven that she's tough to beat.

She probably would even be able to win in Houston. Yeah, paid her a compliment then had to go all snarky.

I don't agree with her political slant and I sure as heck don't appreciate that she rarely if ever directly answers questions. I guess that's Politics 101 but people do not like it and they see right thru it. That might well be her Achillies heel.

I honestly was not aware of the fact that Paton had passed human smuggling laws. Kudos to him on that. However, I don't give him any credit for meddling in Rio Nuevo. Sure, the City of Tucson has botched much of the decisions associated with Rio Nuevo, but how is the situation improved by the state meddling in local government and imposing another layer of bureaucracy? Frankly, the Legislature looked petty and also have some gall in lecturing anyone else on fiscal responsibility.

I did know that he worked with Pete Hershberger on CPS reforms. All of you in the GOP remember Pete, right? You ran him out of office and he was dumped on repeatedly in blogs like this one for being a RINO. Will Paton talk a lot about their work together in a 2010 primary? I doubt it very much.

By the way, Senator Melvin is backing Jesse Kelly and has squired him around LD26. Melvin and Paton are not the best of pals. I mention this because it is evidence of the fact that Kelly is not going anywhere and will force Paton to run a diiferent campaign than he otherwise might. Some of the lesser CD8 candidates may have the same effect. The GOP in CD8 has changed a lot since Giffords was first elected in 2006 and those changes aren't going to help them to win a general election.

Recognizing the fact that Tea Party voters are a force to be reckoned with, their tactics and priorities do not resonate with independents and the mainstream voters that make the difference in CD8. Haven't you folks learned anything from the Graf and Bee campaigns? The issue was not their lack of "charisma." They lost because they were not talking about ideas and issues that appealed to voters beyond the increasingly narrowing base of the Republican Party.

Giffords votes on health care and climate change were reasonable and prudent, not radical, and reflect the centrist tendencies of CD8 voters. The extremist views of the majority of Republicans in denying the effects of global warming have been refuted by reasonable members of your party, such as Lindsay Graham. By the way, I see where he has just been censured by the GOP in his state. Keep kicking people out from under that big tent, please!

Paton, if he runs, will have to carry all the baggage of the disastrous effects of GOP rule on Arizona and the overall burden of being the candidate of the national "party of no." He will also have to deal with those in the GOP who will insist that he constantly demonstrate his right-wing bonafides. They will want to hear less about CPS reforms and more about his pointless and trivial debate with Dolore Huerta.

Giffords is an effective, responsive and skilled representative. Paton may make her re-election tougher than Bee or Graf did, but the result will be the same because of her assets and his liabilities. For me, the real show will be the fight for the Republican nomination and the effect people like Kelly and Melvin have on your new golden child.


Paton is running against Goffords? That's what your post culminates in.

Personally, I don't think she's particularly effective, but I don't have a Pelosi agenda in mind.

There is really only one point that makes me confused with what you think. Rio Nuevo is such a complete disaster, not just fiscally irresponsible. It's a black hole! You don't see that as a reason to step in? $100,000,000.00 worth of disaster!

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