Should Bennett enter CD 1 race?

Ken Bennett’s consideration of CD 1 reminded me of the messy case of Clifton and his hijinks at a summer “leadership” camp. Due to time constrains and discretion we did not want to bring up the matter again but the DCCC beat us to it. PolitickerAZ ran with the story. Not willing to let the Clifton angle die down a little, Ken Bennett responded. Bennett even brought up the dreaded S word himself.

He also condemned the way newspaper reporters at the time “exaggerated” the charges against Clifton, saying their use of the words like “sodomized” was a mischaracterization

What happened to simplicity? Here is what Bennett should have said. “What my son did was wrong and his case worked its way through the courts without any intervention on my part. The Democrats must be desperate if they have bring up such a private matter completely unrelated to any campaign of mine” or something along those lines. Big mistake for Bennett to use the S word.

Ken Bennett had excellent conservative ratings from his days in the state senate so his entry into the race would add little to the solidly conservative candidates already running in the primary, Sydney Hay and Preston Korn. Bennett’s inability to skillfully navigate the issue of his son’s conduct should give everyone pause. Maybe the DCCC will pull back from the edge but Emily Bittner lives for this kind of story. Her friends at the Republic may be all too happy to pick up the issue (see Even a Broken Clock…) As recently as late February it was clearly demonstrated that the Arizona Republic has no limits or restraint on how disrespectful they are willing to be.

News reports are stating that party insiders are urging Bennett to enter the race. Presumably they are dissatisfied with the current candidates. We are mystified why, when Hay is doing so well lining up endorsements, anyone one would want to complicate the issue. This when the party cannot even find a candidate for a competitive LD senate seat.

Speaking of Preston Korn, several news sites have mistakenly stated that Sydney Hay is the sole Republican candidate in the race. In the interests of getting the news correct we simply called Preston and confirmed that he is indeed in the race. In fact he pointed out that he believes the district is looking for someone who is not a professional politician and added that he has lived in the district for the past 14 years.

update: The Democratic State Party has gone for the jugular. Bittner attacks Ken Bennett’s reaction to the incident more than the origional event. If Mr. Bennett does decide to run he is going to have to come up with a better way to deal with this matter.


  1. Clifton’s “hijinks”? He raped and assaulted over a dozen adolescent boys. He should be in prison.

    The fact is: Bennett did use his influence to try to get his son out of the jam. At the very least, he should resign his seat. At the very most, he should be tried for obstruction of justice.

    I hope you guys do nominate Bennett. It’d really fit in with the whole “Wide Stance” theme of the GOP convention.

  2. Tim,

    Thanks for your indignation. Since Ken Bennett is no longer holding elected office it would be pretty difficult for him to “resign his seat” but you did a very good job of demanding that he do so.

  3. SonoranSam says

    AzGnat: point taken, but Tim W’s issue regarding about whether Bennett used “juice” on behalf of his kid is still relevant.

    I heard it was reported (Yellow Sheets?) that someone (DCCC?) filed a public records request regarding the case of Ken’s son.

    It kinda smells icky, but Politics ain’t beanbag, as the cliche goes.

    And before everyone rises up in righteous indignation, the Rs played the same game. Just ask the Clintons.

  4. With respect to your title question:
    After watching Ken giving in to Gov Nappy, I just can’t see him in Washington….I say thanks, but no thanks Ken — I support Sydney Hay.

    As for the dimocrats actions — “When you can’t beat someone on the issues, bad-mouth their close family.” — found in a dimocrat training manual…(really?)

  5. I hope I am never, ever held to the behavior of my adolescent children as the sole determination of my public future. There are children, over the age of Clifton, who have had more than their share of run-ins with poor choices and down-right wrong behavior; the parents of whom continue to influence the Arizona political stage. There are great kids whose parents are scum. If we are going to use an extended resume’, then get about the business of really ruining lives and eliminating more quality people from ever thinking of running for political office.

    When this case was in a full boil, no one brought a complaint of intimidation or incorrect influence that held any water despite the best efforts to find something.

  6. “Since Ken Bennett is no longer holding elected office it would be pretty difficult for him to “resign his seat” but you did a very good job of demanding that he do so.”

    az gnat, I am behind on the times, I had no idea he wasn’t currently holding the seat. I withdraw my indignation. 😉

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