While the Republic is no longer ignoring the race, their “coverage” does not inspire a lot of confidence that the newspaper is committed to fairly representing the race to its readers. In other words, they’re still in the bag for Romley. Take this morning’s article about Bill Montgomery, let’s dissect it piece by piece.
Opening line: “Bill Montgomery’s biggest task in his bid for Maricopa County attorney may be to convince voters that he is not a clone of former County Attorney Andrew Thomas”
Huh? Andrew Thomas has fans and detractors, but he was elected County Attorney twice, and polls show him as the favorite to be our next Attorney General. Kiefer may not like him, but the voters appear to. Bill Montgomery is not Andrew Thomas, but is this really the concern that Kiefer makes it out to be?
Kiefer is also taking pains to dull the significant differences between Romley and Montgomery on illegal immigration enforcement. Another line from Kiefer:
“Romley has also pointed out problems in the highly contested new immigration law, Senate Bill 1070.”
Pointed out problems? Romley called for Governor Brewer to veto SB 1070, and said it was “tearing our community apart.”
“Romley set more stringent standards in charging the people arrested in Arpaio’s crime sweeps.”
In reality, and as Arpaio and others have pointed out, Romley is creating artificial barriers that make prosecution impossible. In layman’s terms, he’s refusing to enforce laws targetting illegal immigration, not “setting more stringent standards.”
Romley just isn’t a believer in a robust state effort to combat illegal immigration. He didn’t do anything in the 16 years he was County Attorney before while the problem festered. But instead of just saying he isn’t going to enforce the law, he puts up phony roadblocks on issues that were never a problem before. It gets Romley to where he wants to be–no enforcement–while at least giving him some legal reason, albeit a phony one, to justify it. And of course, being of the same mind, the paper covers for him.
Combined with their previous effort to ignore the race, the current coverage reveals the Republic’s bias. But the message is getting through to the public–one candidate wants to do something at the local level about illegal immigration, and one candidate doesn’t.