Arizona Dems Boot Bivens – Power Shifts To Pima County

While attention was on the contested race for State Party Chairman at the Republican State Convention, little attention was paid to the uncontested race for State Party Chairman at the Democrat State Convention.  The Arizona Guardian is reporting on the decision by former Pima County Chairman Paul Eckerstrom, a mere two hours before the vote, to challenge Don Bivens for his chairmanship.  The result?  A doubled-digit thumping, an overthrown Democrat leadership, and the Democrat Party’s disarray is now statewide.  And if Republicans want even more good news, Eckerstrom is being quoted as saying that Arizona financial crisis is all the fault of Republicans and twenty years of tax cuts.  Good news Republicans:  Napolitano is gone, Arizona Democrats are in crisis mode, and they are about to campaign on a message of higher taxes for Arizona.  Times are good!


  1. Don’t cheer too soon. Eckerstrom is an articulate lefty I’ve interviewed several times. He’s led the dems to a couple of victories down here. Unlike too many weenie Republicans, he grasps the politics of polarization and appeal to his base. He will be to the left of his candidates. Worse, he is a bright, competent technician. You will no longer see those dippy Democrat campaign mailers claiming they’ll take care of veterans or the generic crap our consultants still use that are all graphics and no substance. WE’d be better off if they’d left the stiff he replaced.


  2. Good to learn more from a Pima perspective. But I wonder if moving left really helps Arizona Democrats? I mean, no matter how articulate, its still the wrong message.

    As for generic mailers, didn’t Franzi blame consultants and “generic” mailers for GOP losses in 2006? Then the GOP wins in Southern Arizona and according to Franzi is still using consultants and “generic” mailers? Maybe he’s looking at the wrong thing in determining how and why races are won or lost?

  3. Goodyear GOP says

    I told lots of folks during the Pullen/James contest that I couldn’t understand why James’ folks were running around Arizona saying that the GOP lost in Arizona in 2008, when the Democrats were the ones going nuts on blogs and in print, trying to figure out how they lost. Both sides can’t lose the same election.

    Pullen claimed victory, the Democrats admitted defeat, the James camp insisted on defeat.

    I think the results of the conventions show that the majority of Republicans think they won in 2008 and the majority of Democrats think they lost in 2008. So I’m glad to know I wasn’t imagining the whole thing.

  4. Much GOP direct mail was as crappy as the Dem stuff but not all GOP consultants are inept. The mail program for Melvin in 26 was pretty good.

    Stuff that sucked down here was Bee’s overpriced boiler plate. Sorry, Tim, you were much better than the folks who ran that campaign.

    The philosophial position of party chairs rarely impacts an election. Their competence does. Paul will try to draw fire away from his candidates and pump his own faithful. That’s what party chairs are supposed to do.


  5. Steve Calabrese says

    The best thing we can do right now is keep an ear to the ground. I’ve seen many people think that the Phoenix New Times is “the enemy”. Yet, by my estimate they tear down Democrats about 30% of the time. And, they occasionally are on the side of good – most writers at the New Times are voracious opponents of photo radar, which puts them right in line with the resolution we just passed yesterday.

    And, reading the New Times results in gems like this:

    “I came back from the inauguration,” Eckerstrom told me shortly after his win, “and read all these articles where the Republicans were accusing us of destroying the budget because of tax cuts. It’s anything but. It’s been 20 years of tax cuts, and we need to start pushing back and saying that. And nobody was saying that, so I said, `I’ll say it.’ And the only way to do that was to run for Arizona state party chair.”

    Yup, that’s the new chair of the Dems saying in effect that we’ve had TOO MANY tax cuts. That’s the message they think they need to bring to the people! That, people, is very useful information. We know what they’re going to say, and we know how to counter it.

    By keeping our eyes and ears open, and reading other forms of media, we can respond more quickly and effectively to Democratic attacks. The new chair isn’t dumb. He’s gonna spin his message – but we can penetrate the spin and trace it back to the roots, which is more taxing, more spending, and less responsibility.


  6. Steve Calabrese says

    Oh yeah…

    Let us not concede Pima County to the Dems. They are no more liberal than they were 10 or 15 years ago, and in 1996 through suburb organization and hard work Fife Symington WON Pima County for the Republican camp.


  7. Goodyear GOP says

    Thanks Emil and Steve for your comments. I think they make some good points. It might be tough to imagine with Obama just winning, but Arizona seems to be one of the few places where Republicans have the momentum. We might also be one of the few states where Republicans are looking forward to 2010.

  8. Thanks for the clarification Emil. Your first comments seemed to lump them all in together, but your second set breaks them apart more. I’ve heard lots of unhappy folks where the Bee campaign were concerned, so I’d bet your opinion is dead on. Especially regarding Bee’s initial TV ads. They seemed to be really boring and targeted towards issues that weren’t going to move voters.

  9. Why would the Dems possibly be unhappy with Bivens? Bwaaa haaaa haaaa haaa haaaa!!!

    Wonder if he took the spokesmouth Qweeg with him. Strawberries, where are those strawberries…

    I’ll concede them one point: they did the right thing coming down here for a leader, this is the Tigris and Euphraties cradle of civilization for the liberal for this state at least.

    I agree with AZ insider, if they want to make their identity “hey everyone, we need to be paying more in taxes” then they should go right ahead. Game on as they say.

  10. Jim Kaucher says

    Eckerstrom is many things, but he is not stupid. He will be shrill and bombastic about the “horrible” cuts that are coming from the Legislature and Gov. Brewer. He will exaggerate the effects and he will lay blame exclusively at the feet of the Republicans. The goal will be to blame the Republicans for the pain caused by the cuts. Expect to hear about “savage” cuts in state services for the poor, “debilitating” cuts in medical services for the uninsured, and the like. The Democrats will try to claim credit for the benefits of increased spending, while blaming the Republicans for spending too much money. They will claim credit for the economic expansion that resulted from the tax cuts, while blaming the Republicans for cutting taxes.

    I know; it’s a ludicrous argument that falls apart quickly under any kind of scrutiny. However, sound bites and slogans are not intended for Oxford Union Society debates.

    And they will keep repeating the message in the hope it finally is accepted as the truth.

    We can start by saying things like “the Napolitano deficit,” “Janet’s Mess,” or “the Napolitano fiscal crisis.” And we can be very clear that Gov. Brewer has to clean up Janet’s Mess.

    -Jim Kaucher

  11. GOP Boomer Gal says

    And Napolitano’s photo radar

  12. Jim,

    The obvious counter punch for that is to pass a onetime order to significantly lower the bar to get a school bonding issue on the ballot for the November elections. Make sure that every district gets one on the ballot.

    Now each district gets to decide if they want their taxes increased to “save education.” It blunts most criticism and actually allows those activists who want to make a difference an outlet to spend their energy.

    Let’s see how pro-choice Democrats really are.

  13. Steve Calabrese says

    Jim Kaucher said:

    We can start by saying things like “the Napolitano deficit,” “Janet’s Mess,” or “the Napolitano fiscal crisis.” And we can be very clear that Gov. Brewer has to clean up Janet’s Mess.

    And all I can say is “Amen!”

    Brewer hit the nail on the head when she said that she felt like the person who showed up at the party when all the food was gone and the caterer presented her with the bill. She ran out of this state with all the speed of someone fleeing a crime scene. She did NOT want the true size of AZ’s budget mess to come clear to the general public before her confirmation hearing.


  14. Iris Lynch says

    We came from California 9 years ago when we saw there was no chance to save that state. When we arrived, saying the word ‘conservative’ was akin to an embarrasing public faux pas. Happily, that is no longer the case. ANY Republican politician, regardless of a great background, who does not campaign on his/her ‘conservative’ accomplishments, but (thanks to wrong-headed advisers) goes wishy-washy (commonly known as MODERATE) is not going to get elected. I am continually amazed that otherwise good Republicans fall for the mantra of ‘needing to go to the middle’. The trick to getting elected as a Republican is to BE a Republican. Otherwise, all he/she is a FAKE Republican or a poor rendition of a GOOD Democrat.

    The ideas for mantras in previous posts are great. Remember what the Dems already know: hypnosis is nothing more that repetition.

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