Paul Johnson insults, indicts the voters of Arizona

If you’re paying attention to Arizona politics and this year’s election, you know a left-leaning committee has its sights set on turning Arizona elections on its head in the name of re-engaging so-called “independent” voters.

The chairman of the committee pushing the “Top Two Primary” aka “Jungle Primary” initiative is none other than former Democrat and Phoenix Mayor, Paul Johnson.

Thursday night, Johnson appeared on KAET’s Horizon to discuss his 2012 pet project and joust with Jaime Molera.

Johnson waxed on and on about how important it is to woo unengaged “Independent” voters back into the electoral process. But there came a moment in Johnson’s appearance where his true motivations were revealed – his utter abhorrence of conservative Republicans.

Watch in this brief clip as Johnson insults and indicts voters of Arizona for their election of “David Duke” candidates every election cycle.

Paul Johnson owes the voters of Arizona an apology for indirectly calling them racists who elect “David Duke” candidates every election season.

A conversation how this will pervert our entire primary election system is going to happen over the next few months. Republicans and Democrats and even third parties will likely all side with the status quo – which is that this is the best system we have.

One thing we don’t need is the chairman of the committee pushing this initiative to call the voters of Arizona racists.


  1. Huh?

    Actually it sounds more like a response to Bill Montgomery, Maricopa County Attorney and, I do believe, a Republican.

    Seems Bill had this to say about open primaries a couple days ago….

    “Closer to home, he cited the 1991 open primary for governor in Louisiana which resulted in the matchup between Edwin Edwards and David Duke.”

    “You had a crook and the Klan,” Montgomery said, citing Edwards’ subsequent conviction on racketeering charges and the fact that Duke had been a former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.”

    Did I miss the article calling out for Montgomery’s apology to Arizona voters?

  2. Jeff,

    You completely missed the point. Go back and watch the video clip several times until it sinks in and your critical thinking skills kick on.

    Paul Johnson thinks that Arizona voters are racist because he believes Arizona voters elect “David Duke” candidates every election.

    Seriously, it’s not that hard to understand what Johnson is saying…

    • Shane,

      I’m well aware of what Johnson said.
      I’m also well aware of Bill Montgomery making the comparison.

      I guess my critical thinking skills aren’t adjusted to ignore what the guy in my party of preference says and focus solely on the guy who presents a threat to my party’s power.

      Nor am I inclined to make the tremendous leap that you are in saying that “Johnson thinks Arizona voters are racist because…..”. Were one to do that, and take every thing our elected officials say to heart we’d be in a heap of trouble.

      Buy hey, I’m just a former Republican who despises illegal immigration but does’nt agree with SB1070, which, as I’ve been told countless times makes me a marxist leftist liberal open borders illegal lover.

    • wherewasi says

      Shane – I thought you wanted to keep posts civil here on your site. Why the insult slinging?

      • Insult slinging? I believe Shane was being kind, given the blatant blast of drivel. Not only is he trying to gaslight the fact that Johnson threw out a deliberate insult, as Phoenix48 puts it “unguarded moment”, but he can’t get through a post without contradicting himself:

        “…ignore what the guy in my party of preference says…” (referring to Montgomery), then “…I’m just a former Republican…”

        Another “unguarded moment?” Nope, just another covert leftist stepping on his subterfuge.

        • wherewasi says

          You need to re-read that, Zoo.

          After Shane said what I do consider an insult to Jeff’s original post, Jeff responded in kind.

          He is saying that SHANE ignores what the guy in [HIS] of preference is saying (Montgomery) and is focused only on the guy who presents a threat to [Shane’s] party (Johnson). (Jeff’s critical thinking skills are not developed as much as Shane’s to allow him to ignore what Montgomery is saying – the way that Shane did…)

          Jeff does go on to say that he is “just a former Republican”.

          I’m not calling right or wrong on the conversation. I just think it is hypocritical to say you want civil discussion, delete some posters because they are civil enough, and then be uncivil yourself. (BTW, sometimes I think you could use a course or two in civility yourself, Zoo.)

          • No one if forcing you or your ilk to post here. Most everywhere else, you wouldn’t get a word in edgewise.

            • wherewasi says

              Should I read that translation as “I don’t need you talking to me because you have a point I don’t want to hear” – ?

              You reacted to Jeff’s post with an incorrect interpretation. I pointed it out. Now I’m “ilk” and don’t deserve the right to speak.

              Huh. Interesting.

              • Never said you don’t have the right to speak. I said if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.

          • Wherewasi got it.
            Thank you.

            My final line of “just a former….” was intended to highlight the statement that Johnson was “calling AZ voters racist”. It is hyperbole of the highest order. Certainly, most people will not construe what Johnson said as an accusation of racism and they’d be right. Ill advised comparison? Maybe, but then, he’s not the person that brought Duke into the discussion.

            My point was that I oppose illegal immigration, but because I don’t agree with 1070, well, according to those like Zoo, I’m “illegal loving filth”.

            Now, I may not have cared for the Open Primary initiative, but to jump to the accusations of “calling Arizona voters racist” serves only for me to tune out anything else that may be said. I do understand there is an element it does appeal to, however. ::cough:: Zoo ::cough::

            I fully understand – and appreciate – Shane’s position and the message he needs to get out but I do not agree with the method and do not believe that it furthers civil discussion which is what we are in desperate need of. And, while Shane is involved directly in this conversation, by no means would I point a finger solely at him as it’s an issue with both sides.

  3. Johnson clearly and undeniably insulted Arizona voters and whatever office holders he was eluding to. Johnson ignored the fact that Montgomery was saying an open primary resulted in two (2) undesirable candidates, and instead zoomed in on David Duke, then flipped it back as an intentional opinionated slur at Arizona voters and candidates. This isn’t rocket science and no muck and mire defense can camouflage it.

    • Duke ran on anti tax platform that – strangely – voters found appealing.

      Do you not think candidates who vehemently oppose tax increases and accuse their opponents of “tax and spend” are popular in Arizona, zoo?

      • When you’ve lost the argument, change the topic. Lib Screechers training manual, page 9, paragraph 3.

  4. Jeff, I get it. I’ll agree with Johnson’s (and Montgomery’s) historical citation of an isolated election incident. But what I won’t agree with is Johnson’s assessment that Arizona is full of racist voters who elect “David Duke” candidates every election cycle.

    • wherewasi says

      Thank you, Shane, for acknowledging that Jeff has a valid point. That was big of you, which is hard to come by from the GOP, especially during an election cycle. Kudos for being honest. Really, I do try hard to hear your point of view and consider it. (And, BTW, I understood what you were saying on that show…and I think you were right…)

      I will say, however, that many of our continually-elected officials do have a distinct racist tendency and while they may not all be “David Duke” candidates, we can do better. Arizona has a reputation of being a breeding ground for extremists, and while we do have many very good politicians, it’s the spoil in the pot that makes the headlines.

      I know that “what ifs” are purely speculation, but … I sincerely hoped that there would be a GOP primary between Arpaio and David Gonzales of the US Marshals. Sadly, David decided he likes his present position and that running the MCSO in light of all of the lawsuits, investigations and lack of trust from the community was just too much of a headache to contend with. I believe Arpaio would have been put out to pasture by a double digit margin. What do you think? Arpaio, probably more than any other politician in Arizona, is a thorn in the side of intelligent politics, and has cost so many millions of taxpayer dollars that could have been spent on improving Arizona. Would the GOP have stood behind Gonzales, had he chosen to run?

      • wherewasi,

        David Gonzales is an incredible and accomplished individual who would do well wherever he serves. If he had decided to run for Sheriff and got elected, he would made an excellent sheriff and been a fine representative for the Republican Party. I did not know he was considering a run. Perhaps he will be available in the future?

    • Shane,

      You’re making an awful big leap to say that Johnson is calling AZ voters racist in using the Duke comparison.

      I’m sure you are as disgusted by Duke’s racism and his past as most people are, Shane. I’ll make no excuses for that. However, the election that everyone (and I appreciate your acknowledgement) is referencing was unique in and of itself. It was a special election called when a Representative stepped down. Duke, running as a Republican – in an election with a very low turnout and he ending up with 50.7% to his opponents 49.3 – hammered his opponent over his willingness to raise taxes.

      Now, I could just as easily say that Johnson was inferring that Arizona voters have shown that they’ll vote for someone who is opposed to raising taxes despite all other shortcomings or the validity of the opponent.

  5. Phoenix48 says

    Saw the entire episode and Johnson’s unguarded moment was just as Shane depicts; shocking and revealing.

    Does he believe, as many fellow Dems, that this is reform? Absolutely.

    But it’s hardly surprising. Arizona Democrats are a desperate lot. Where are their ‘rising stars’? While it is true that conservatives are a fractous, bickering, and bosterious lot, it’s also true we hog all the attention locally and nationally.

    We also run EVERYTHING.

    Meanwhile the opposition gets more irrelevant daily. Pundits like ‘kookie’ Roberts and Montini are reduced to snickering jr high-schoolers tossing occational spitballs from the back of the room – obsessed (as they have been since I 1st called the valley home in ’99) with Sheriff Joe’s continued popularity – just one of many examples where readers HAVE FAILED to take their advice.

    They only have a job because THERE IS NO ALTERNATIVE – read their rag or no rag at all.

    This push for open primaries is more of the same from the professional left here; try and game a system they can’t win honestly or fairly.

    That is their problem. Dead ideas don’t sell in pragmatic conservative territory.

  6. Spiked Flails says

    In this whole David Duke comparison, let’s remember that it was Louisiana, a state with this cockamame jungle primary scheme in place that nominated David Duke AND a known convicted felon to go on to the general election. So, Paul Johnson is PUSHING a scheme that got David Duke into the general election. Then he claims that Arizona voters elect David Duke candidates all the time. Um, Mr. Johnson, if you’re trying to AVOID sending David Duke candidates to the general election, it would be HELPFUL if you didn’t advocate for the very election scheme that sent Duke to the general. Ya think?

    Again, this jungle primary scheme will NOT do what the proponents claim it will do. Can’t wait until how the system can be gamed is turned on the Ds when they run a bunch of liberals and the Rs run only one or 2 candidates. The Ds will split the vote and the Rs will get the most votes! I can imagine a Tucson ruled over by Republicans!!

    • wherewasi says

      “Can’t wait until how the system can be gamed is turned on the Ds when they run a bunch of liberals and the Rs run only one or 2 candidates. The Ds will split the vote and the Rs will get the most votes”

      Spiked – do you mean like what happened in the recent Phoenix Mayoral election? How did that work out for you? One Democrat and five Republicans. The difference was that the Dems were solid behind their candidate and the Republicans argued among themselves about who should win. Add in the fact that there were two female inexperienced candidates, one of whom had never even bothered to vote in a City election, until she was recruited to run as a Mayoral candidate, the outcome was clear.

      Here is why I like the open primary idea. We have good and bad politicians on both sides of the ticket. The voting public can be as informed or as uniformed as they choose. (Which is sad, that there ARE a lot of voters who are uniformed.) The registration in Arizona is fairly evenly split – (R), (D) and (I) are all in the 30-something percentile. No party has a huge advantage. The key to finding the winner is to find the candidate that has the broadest appeal. Throw out the extreme right and the extreme left. The winner is somewhere in the middle. Both side will get something of what they want.

      Let’s take, for example, the 2010 Attorney General race. If it had been an open primary between Thomas, Horne and Rotellini, I am pretty sure it would have been Horne vs. Thomas. That would have pitted Thomas and Horne with ALL of the voters. I believe that the result would have been the same (that Horne would be AG) but that the margin would have been much larger. Since it was imperative to me that Thomas’ political career came to an end, I voted the (R) primary ballot for Horne, not because I wanted Horne as AG, but because I sure as hell didn’t want Thomas. That impact would have been amplified in an open primary.

      The extreme right needs to understand that they are a minority and that due to current political function, they have managed to hang on to their power by the skin of their teeth. However, the rest of us (approximately 70%, according to the registration numbers) do not necessarily lean to the extreme right and will work hard to bring more moderate politicians into office – those who will actually work for ALL of us and get the job done.

  7. If someone could explain how extremists in one party caused both houses of the state legislature to have not just Republican majorities, but supermajorities, I am all ears. And then tell me how both US Senators, and 5 of our 7 congressmen, 3 of 5 corporation commissioners, and every statewide elected is a Republican. Not exactly skin of the teeth. On the other hand, I know Phoenix just elected a Democrat mayor. What exactly is Paul Johnson’s problem again?

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