Scoring the consultants

Let’s say you’re an average Jane like myself and wanted to run for political office.

Where would you look for information? Who would you hire? One of the services that sites like Sonoran Alliance provide is insider information.

In the comments section, please leave your thoughts on Arizona’s political consultants. Who would you hire and why? Who delivers the impossible for their clients? Who loses races for their candidates that they should easily win?

You’ll never see it in the mainstream media, but it’s high time we started figuring it out.

Based on your comments and discussions with other grass roots activists, we’ll have a fuller post next week.

Handicapping the race to replace Kyl

What an exciting morning in Arizona politics!

We’d be remiss if we didn’t start any discussion of the 2012 Senate race by thanking Jon Kyl for his years of service.  His departure will brings down the curtain on a long and successful career in politics.

Governor Jan Brewer, who would be the most formidable candidate, seems happy with her job, and her retirement four years away.  Resigning to run for the chance at a six year term, however strong she would be, can’t hold out too much appeal for her.  The same is true for the rest of the statewides.  While all of them seem to be eyeing the governor’s race in 2014, resigning midway through their term for a chance at the Senate seems unlikely.  In the case of Tom Horne and Doug Ducey, they have been in their present jobs for less than two months.  And while Bennett for Senate has a nice ring to it, he simply isn’t running. Anyone jumping from the legislature seems a bridge too far.

The usual suspects for a Senate race come from the Congressional delegation.  While we have three great stars in our freshman class, they too have been in office for just over a month.  David Schweikert is a great fundraiser, and with another term under his belt would have been a part of any conversation for this office.  Ben Quayle has the name recognition and could probably put together the money, but he risks overreaching here.  Paul Gosar…look, it’s just not happening.  McCain’s expected departure in six years means that anyone who takes a pass won’t have to wait forever.

So let’s talk about who might be in:

Jeff Flake is a handsome, intelligent, and telegenic leader on spending issues.  A lot of the institutional money will line up behind him, and he’ll be the only LDS candidate running, an important voting bloc in a statewide race.

Downsides include his full throated support for “comprehensive immigration reform,” which means “amnesty” to a significant part of the base.  His ten year tenure in Washington won’t help, and his votes for the bailout and TARP, as well as a carbon tax will be something he’ll need to explain.

John Shadegg

Shadegg waited 14 years for this race, only to retire in 2010.  This was a costly mistake.  His 14 years in Congress will not help, nor will his votes on the bailout and TARP.  He seems to have no money in his Congressional account, and does not have an obvious perch or constituency to raise the money.  It’s really hard to see how he becomes a factor in this race.

JD Hayworth

Talk about bad timing.  His race against John McCain earned him ten million dollars of negative advertising in every corner of the state.  His final result against McCain was very disappointing, especially when one considers that so many of his votes were actually Anti-McCain and not Pro-JD.  He has his fanbase, which I think is more than Shadegg can say, but Flake’s is larger.  JD also must have some serious negative approval ratings, and it’s hard to see where his money comes from now that McCain is not his only opponent.  If JD had held his powder for two years, he’d be a frontrunner for this seat.

Paul Babeu

A Sheriff of a county with 400,000 people would not ordinarily be part of this conversation.  But the newly crowned “National Sheriff of the Year” has the highest statewide and national profile of anyone considering the race.  This is mostly driven by his outspoken support for the rule of law, and his opposition to the drug cartels and human smugglers that have made Arizona their playground.  His public identification with secure borders and frequent television appearances have made Babeu a well known name among people who will vote in primaries.

Simply put, he owns the immigration issue.  And that is the biggest issue among a substantial part of Arizona Republicans.  It is also Flake’s biggest vulnerability.  It’s my perception that he’s talked about the issue in a way that has not turned off independent or more moderate Republicans, which means his appeal is not limited.

For all the talk surrounding Babeu as a future candidate for statewide or Federal office, he really seems to like the job he has.  Of the four mentioned, he’s probably the least likely to run.  But there are a lot of people hoping he doesn’t close the door.  And a lot who think if he does run, he’d be successful.

What do you think?