Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Oro Valley Candidate Forum

Monday night's super candidate forum at the Oro Valley Church of the Nazarene was one of the most well attended so far. The major Republican candidates, Graf and Hellon, were both strong with Hellon emphasizing the need to control the border and Graf citing his willingness to be the maverick on the border issue when it was not popular to take a strong position.

Surprisingly, neither Hellon nor Graf discussed Hellon's guest worker amnesty program which has been a hallmark of Hellon's border security plan and a major sticking point for Graf.

Some suggested Graf looked "pumped up" probably as a result of having spent the day with Congresman Tom Tancredo in various events covered by national media.

Of the lesser candidates, Antenori was supurb—maybe at his best. Mystery candidate, Huffman, was not in attendance as anticipated even though it is his home district.

At the beginning of last Friday's forum in Saddlebrook, Graf tore into Huffman on his voting record after which Huffman made a sudden departure for the remainder of the event. Maybe Huffman is looking to avoid another embarrassment.


Anonymous said...

Usually when a politician only shows up to the legislature about half the time he makes a big effort to be seen a lot during the campaign.

At lease Huffman is consistent. He doesn’t like showing up for work and he doesn’t like showing up to campaign. The voters know what they are getting with Steve.

Anonymous said...

Huffman is attacking Graf on TV now. What a weenie.

Anonymous said...

No kidding. I saw that ad too. Huffman claims to be conservative. Wasn't he endorsed by pro-abortion groups?

bob said...

Gotta hand it to Weiss, Johnson, and Rodriguez for showing up last night in a hostile district to reach across the aisle. I say good for them. What's even better is that they didn't even water down their leftist tendencies to seem more centrist than they are. They stuck to their guns. Johnson even declaring (in a CHURCH of all places) that abortion was a good contraceptive!!! Weiss sure didn't win any points when she called protecting the traditional family and marriage "government sponsored discrimination". Rodriguez message was a little lost on the crowd and didn't have much resonance. Yet despite not getting a great reaction and not winning any points with people on issues, I don't doubt that they won some points on courage.

That's more than I can say for Huffman. It's his own district for crying out loud!!!! If he's going to win anywhere, it should be here. If he's going to get a great reaction and build some momentum from a base, it should be here. Yet once again, the man was missing. What is he thinking??? If I were Kolbe I'd be furious with him.

I haven't seen the new mud-slinging ads from him yet. It's no surprise that they're coming out now. Huffman probably threw a temper tantrum after getting thrashed by Graf on Friday, and decided to get even once and for all. It MIGHT work to some extent, but only enough to level the playing field somewhat between Hellon and Graf. Unless Huffman asserts himself as the clear leader on the important issues (which he can't since the border and health care issues were already dominated by Hellon and Graf before Huffman even realized he actually had to DO something to get elected) a smear campaign won't do a darn thing to boost his own numbers. It'll only knock other candidates down a notch or two, if at all.

What channels are the smear ads playing on? I'd like to keep my eyes open for them.

Anonymous said...

I saw the ad on Channel 9 this morning and got it on tape.

"The extreme candidate for Congress. Sponsored the bill to force fire police officers, firefighters and teachers to leave their jobs after only 12 years of service. Even dishonored our commander in chief by hanging President Bush's picture upside down in his state office. In a time of war. That's Randy Graf. The best conservative choice: Steve Huffman. Committed to winning the war on terror, protecting Arizona's families, and securing our borders with tough immigration reform. I'm Steve Huffman and I approved this message."

Duke the Dog said...

That add sounds awfully familiar. Where did I hear it before?

Does anyone have any results from the straw poll in Oro Valley last night?

Framer said...

That's the attack ad?

That has to be the lamest attack ad I have ever seen. Seriously, Steve is a fellow Republican and all, but if you are going to go negative, shoot to kill. He might as well have included "and Graf's favorite color is pink." This is more likely to anger Graf's base than to move any portion of the electorate. They could have at least photoshopped Graf crouching with a flashlight.

The part about hanging Bush's picture upside down might actually be a net positive with the current climate.

I'm getting closer and closer to declaring the race over for Steve if this is what he comes up with after skipping last night's forum. It is also an open invitatation for an answer ad by Graf who is likely looking for a good way to spend the wad of cash he just raised with the Tancredo visit. I bet Graf's people would like a shot at "the conservative choice."

The way I see it is that Steve had one good shot at Graf. Running more negative ads will make him look like a bitter stalker. HE was supposed to be the frontrunner and going all negative all the time will only broadcast his second or third place position. He had one opportunity to take a swipe at Graf and looks to have blown it.

For those entertained by politics, watch the reaction of the Hellon camp. I suspect that he will play this as an adult, distance himself from Huffman and possibly increase his lead over Steve. I have been fully impressed with his team's accumen in taking advantage of Huffman's misteps.

Anonymous said...

The only thing I have heard on the Oro Valley forum is that Graf won with Antenori coming in second.

To be honest it was a pretty conservative crowd but Steve should still have showed up.

Anonymous said...

I guess Huffman does not want to talk about his 55% from the Arizona Federation of Taxpayers.

Arizona Federation of Taxpayers

Anonymous said...

Here is a direct link to Huffman's score.

Arizona Federation of Taxpayers 2006 ratings

Duke the Dog said...

Well there goes Huffman's ace in the hole. "I'm a friend of the taxpayer" has left his lips several times.

10-1 he still says it. I hope Graf and Hellon call him on it every time he does.

Antenori gave him some grief the other night in the Foothills for his support of the RTA; another Tax increase.

Huffman quickly snapped back that he was proud of his support of the RTA and the $2 Billion Sales Tax increase that came with it.

Add to that his stone wall on the property tax cut and you have a pure hypocrite Republican.

Huffman needs to “respond” to a family crisis, apologize to the hundreds of people that wasted a half million on his shipwreck of a campaign, and gracefully bow out before he gets too bloody. He can always take a year or two off, sell some houses then start campaigning for Bee’s Senate seat.

Graf, Hellon, Antenori and Jenkins now smell blood in the water. Look to see some piling on in the upcoming debates with Graf leading the charge.

Hey, if he bails out, that’s what…10% of the vote up for grabs?

Anonymous said...

What are you all smoking?

The DCCC hit on Huffman yesterday is proof that their internal polling demonstrates what I've been saying since January. It's almost unheard of for the National Parties to interfere with the other party's primary...unless of course they are trying to alter the outcome. Huffman is the only Republican that can beat any of the Democrats and now they've demonstrated their angst by their feeble attempt to manipulate the Republican primary.

Funny thing happend on the way to the polls....a recently (e.g., last week) completed state level poll which I've seen demonstrates the same thing...Huffman is the ONLY candidate that will beat either Weiss or Giffords - none of the other Republicans come close.

With all due respect to Mike Hellon's position on the matter, he got it wrong. It really goes like this: "Any vote for Graf (or Hellon) is a vote for Nancy Pelosi."

Anonymous said...

What are we smoking. The question is what are you smoking. The DCCC would not waste their money polling a GOP primary.

They will save it to buy ads supporting the Democratic nominee in November. No, the DCCC did the lazy thing and looked at the FEC numbers on money raised and figured Huffman was the one to soften up early.

Too bad for them that Steve will not be the Republican candidate. His suck-*ss flash light ad was so bad even Francine would have a chance against him.

Any Democrat who has done polling would realize that the border is going to be an issue in the general. On that topic they will fear Graf the most.

Duke the Dog said...

With all due respect… I think it is you that seems to be smoking something.

If Huffman wins, the utter confusion of having to choose between two democrats in the general election will throw the election to the Dems.

At least they believe their message and seem to be sticking to it while the chameleon Huffman, who is now trying to reinvent himself as a conservative, will come off as the phony that he is.

Nice attempt at trying to pull your boy’s “you know what” out of a very deep hole, a hole he dug.

Who’s running scared and campaigning dirty?

Who’s hiding behind an ad while running out of forums when his record is challenged or just plain not showing up when he has to face the voters; even in his own legislative district, the one that he currently represents in Phoenix?

If you asked the three vets in the race (Hellon, Jenkins and Antenori), I think the word for running and hiding is “cowardice.” Americans hate cowards, let alone voting for them.

Absent 30% of the time, coincidently when they were tough issues like border security and property tax cuts. Again, me thinks I smell something yellow!

How can voters expect a guy that doesn’t show up for work 1/3 of the time and is afraid to defend himself or his record, to stand tough while the country is at war and to make the tough decisions to secure the border and our country?

Graf and Antenori demonstrated they have the guts to do just that last night. Huffman, by his mere absence did not.

Graf had a 97% attendance record in the Legislature and Jenkins and Antenori are both working full time while campaigning.

That says a lot about commitment and character in my book.

I think Huffman drank too much Kolbe Kool-aid thinking a pro-amnesty, open borders moderate would be able to win.

Now I can see why Steve was the “Country Club” crowd’s (From the Tucson Weekly) 6th choice for Congress. He’s campaigning like a 6th string candidate.

Kralmajales said...

I have to agree with Framer about the Huffman attack ad. That is pretty much the worst attack ad I have ever ever seen. Especially when most of his supporters do not honor the President all that much...nor do 60-70% of the American public.

My bet is that it will emolden Graf supporters to vote right now and everyone else to think..."Flashlight guy????" and "wimpy attack ad"...who is this Hellon dude again?

Kralmajales said...

Duke...interesting point you make about the RTA and the tax increase.

Kralmajales said...

Oh...someone enlighten me on the DCCC and Huffman. I did not see the ad or anything about this until now. A little help to catch this guy up?

'Zona Dem said...

Speaking of running scared and fighting dirty, Giffords is in the field with a push poll spreading lies about Patty Weiss.

Below is a copy and pasted post I've had on other blogs. I'd rewrite the whole thing but I am so angry that a Democrat would do a push poll on another Democrat, flaunting federal election law. My hands are literally shaking. I couldn't believe the call when i got it.

And this is someone who claims to be for CLEAN ELECTIONS!!!


Are you seriously defending the practice of push polling? If you have issues with anything Weiss has said, that's perfectly understandable, but at least she did it out in the open. Or "in the light of day" as Gabby would say.

Push polling is a dispicable campaign tactic designed to circumvent federal election law. They want to circulate negative messages -- blatantly false negative messages -- without having to indentify who is paying for the "poll."

Polling firms do not have to disclose who their funders are because it would corrupt the data, so the Giffords campaign is diguising a blatant smear campaign as a poll to circumvent the system.

Honestly, this makes me sick. I have gotten this call myself, and I'm rethinking whether I will support Giffords in the general.

An OPEN, HONEST debate on the issues, even the tough ones, is fine. But hiding behind push polling is dirty politics of the worst kind.

The Giffords campaign should be ashamed.

And I will be shocked if any Democrat on this blog would support such a practice. I have disagreed with many of you, but I have respected you all along. If you endorse this kind of campaigning... you're no better than the worst of the Republicans.

Also, I guess this puts to rest whether the Giffords campaign thinks they are ahead. I've never heard of a winning campaign doing push polling before. But then again I've never heard of a Democratic campaign doing it either.

I still can't believe this... it's just like Bush/McCain in 2000.

I don't even know what else to say...

x4mr said...

Just a little "thread wrapping" here to say that zona has calmed down and as analysis and intelligence starts to replace emotion, we are learning that some phone nastiness is occurring, but jury is out on the culprits or the motive.

Odds that it is the Giffords campaign are dwindling rapidly.