An interesting article in Sunday’s Arizona Republic… The reporter tries to make the race for State Party Chairman sound like it is very nasty and then raises the James’ campaign’s scare that Pullen won’t be able to raise any money if he wins. To support this argument, they turn to a couple of lobbyists (DeMenna and Williams) whose very professions keep them beholden to the same interests that asked James to run, and he also asks Keith DeGreen, Lisa James’ neighbor and the State Committeeman who resigned his position so that the LD8 folks could appoint her and qualify her to even be a candidate, after she failed to get enough votes to be elected on her own. Not exactly an impartial group, but this is the Republic we’re talking about.
The article also contains some nice words about Randy Pullen from his supporters and detail some of his efforts on behalf of the party, its candidates and its issues.
Where the article gets interesting is right at the end, where Tuscon car dealer Jim Click endorses James (because “she’s more moderate”) but makes it clear that he wouldn’t have any trouble writing checks to Randy Pullen either. Readers of this blog will remember Jim Click as one of the main movers who supported Steve “Sleaze” Huffman in the recent CD8 primary as the alternative to Randy Graf because, as I recall, he was “more moderate.” With the possible exception of Jim Kolbe, Click was likely more responsible for the bloodletting in that primary and the eventual Democrat victory than any other Southern Arizona player because he encouraged it, raised the money for it, and refused to condemn it even when it was obvious what kind of damage it was doing. He was also aware, in advance, that the NRCC was going to get involved in the primary, which proved to be the straw that broke the party’s back. Suffice it to say that in addition to being perhaps the largest GOP donor in the state, Jim Click is no conservative.
So when he endorses James for being more to his liking, he’s really not doing her any favors (New James Slogan? If you liked Huffman, you’ll love James!). When he follows that up by making it clear that he would still write checks to Randy Pullen, he proves Pullen’s point that his existing relationships with donors (Click included) will be beneficial to the financial health of the party. Contrary to the rumors that James and her people are spreading about Randy, the majority of donors that know Randy like Randy. It is nice to see that sometimes mud that is thrown doesn’t stick.