Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Breaking my own Rules

I do try to stick to news regarding this particular race, but I just need to leave character for one moment.

John Kerry is a buffoon.

That is all.

The Graf-Giffords Gap

The following provides the positions of Randy Graf and Gabrielle Giffords on select issues provided by the Center for Arizona Policy. Randy's positions are his recorded responses to the CAP questionaire. Although Gabby refused to respond to the questionaire, we have provided her positions based on her statements in debates and other venues, and campaign staff statements. We welcome any corrections provided by the campaigns.

1. Tax credits, vouchers, or education savings accounts. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
2. Prohibiting all forms of human cloning. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
3. Federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Graf opposes, Giffords supports.
4. Mandating employers provide unmarried partners the same benefits as married couples. Graf opposes, Giffords supports.
5. Exploring and drilling for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
6. U.S. constitutional ammendment to define marriage as joining one man and one woman. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
7. Federal judges relying on laws of other countries as basis for court decisions. Graf opposes, Giffords unknown. (corrected)
8. Allowing workers to invest Social Security taxes in a private account. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
9. Prohibiting abortion except when the life of the mother is in danger. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
10.Transporting a minor across state lines for an abortion to avoid parental involvement laws. Graf opposes, Giffords supports.
11. Making the 2001 federal tax cuts permanent. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
12.Adding “sexual orientation” as a protected class in antidiscrimination law. Graf opposes, Giffords supports.
13.Expanding tribal casino gambling. Graf opposes, Giffords unknown.
14.Enforcing the FCC ban on broadcasting indecent material. Graf supports, Giffords opposes.
15.Permitting the government to take private property for economic development. Graf opposes, Giffords unsure.

Monday, October 30, 2006

4% of Registered Voters Report As Non-Citizens

A week ago, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the 9th Circuit to allow the voter identification provision of Proposition 200 to be enforced in the upcoming election. During the period of the 9th Circuit's stay of the provision, concerns of voting fraud surfaced. Now it seems Cochise County workers are reporting that of 12,000 jury summons sent to registered voters, 500 recipients called back to say they could not serve because they are not citizens. Assuming a random sample, that's over 4% of registered voters that are not U.S. citizens—an interesting report given the issues in this year's election.

Sorry for my Absence

I apologize for not being around for a while. I had two posts last week that blogger.com ate during their maintenence period, including my debate review that I spent quite a bit of time authoring. GRRR. After that I was quite sick (flu bug), but I am finally back.

Let me begin with the short version of my observations on the previous candidate debate:

The big thing that I noticed is that Gabby Giffords is a lightweight and would accomplish little other than cast a vote for Pelosi as Speaker if elected to Congress. Here is my reasoning to back that up:

At the beginning of the debate, in her opening statement (or close to it) she placed her cards on the table. She brought up her shining example of non-partisan compromise. It was a bill that she said benefited Holocaust survivors and their families. This is classic Giffords. The Holocaust was a terrible event, probably one of the most evil acts to occur in all of history. However, this event has absolutely nothing to do with Arizona some sixty years later, or at least to the extent that involves legislation. Is there anybody in Arizona responsible for this action, or did not have a proper understanding of the depths of horrors that occurred? At what point did Giffords need to step in and take ownership of the State's contrition? How did this bill benefit her constituents and the problems they face now? Where does she rate this in accordance with the skyrocketing property crime, health insurance issues, or the struggles that we are having in education? The truth is that this was meant to be a "easy" bill, free of controversy and therefore tough leadership. Most, if not all of the bills that originate with Giffords fall into this category.

She then explained how she was instrumental in forming a "Coalition for Children" shortly after forming the "Coalition for snuggly puppies" but before the "Coalition for puffy Unicorn stickers." Her grand accomplishment for the coalition was pushing for all-day Daycare, I mean Kindergarten, effectively diluting by half the teacher to student ratio during the time when students are first adjusting to the school system. The victory for children was debatable, but it certainly was a victory for daycare bills. Gabby was a little fuzzy about her actual sponsorship of this bill, but I will give her the benefit of the doubt.

My impression of Giffords is currently short on substance, long on anecdotes, generalizations, and "feel-goodiness". I have yet to see a truly courageous stance on any issue of any substance where she actually led. I am open for examples, but so far I haven't seen any or been given any reason to believe that she would stand up for any issues not pre-approved by her party, or Ms. Pelosi. If any commentors wish to educate me, I am open to persuasion.

I am not even going to say much about her belief that raising the minimum age on Social Security does not qualify as a benefit cut or that Global Warming (and by association Republican policy) is directly responsible for the eight year drought we have been experiencing in the Sonoran Desert. I will choose to believe she would take those back if given a chance.

That being said, I am not too pleased that the new smear site has linked us and I ask them to take it down. My part of the party is better than that. We will run on ideas and leave sensationalist "Gotchas" to the other side. I was hard on Giffords, but this was based on her record and policy which is always open for examination and should be open to debate. Gifford's weaknesses lie in her lack of leadership, her avoidance of anything controversial, and her ties to interests that could compromise her ability to independently represent this district. I decry the personal attacks that have been made such a part of this campaign no matter where they come from.

We have a choice, and it should not be determined by whisperings of indiscretion, feigned outrage, breathless and baseless accusations, and mean-spiritedness. A lot of us need to grow up. If each one of us does not learn to be civil, even with Americans that diametrically oppose us, then what is the point of politics other than to prosecute and slime one another. If your ideas can't compete, clear the field and let someone else play. If you want to cheerlead rather than debate ideas, pick a football team.

I do have to say that for the most part however, the comments section of this site has been a classier corner of the blogosphere, and would like to thank all those involved.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Here a Poll, There a Poll...

Although Kenski has been reported polling for the state Republican party, it doesn't look like any results will be released soon. Results have been whispererd here and there, but not enough to confirm actuals.

The Giffords and Graf campaigns, likewise, have internal polling numbers they are not releasing, but insiders report a tighter race than the most recent Zimmerman results. Ditto the Arizona Association of Realtors which is sitting on its numbers as well.

It does appear that Kenski is working on another poll that is more likely to provide information to the public. With those commissioning polls holding their cards close to the vest, however, we won't be holding our breath waiting for results.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Stronger Graf, Weaker Giffords as Debates Wind Down

Tonight's debate at Flowing Wells was the last public appearance Gabby will be making to debate the issues (not including the KUAT in-studio debate Friday). Jay Quick, who is now eschewing debates, was expectedly absent while David Nolan showed up to crash the party as the uninvited guest.

While the audience waited well past the starting time for the event to begin, officials were backstage arguing why David Nolan should not be allowed to participate. Sources say the Graf campaign graciously supported Nolan participating, but not without receiving some grief about the contract they signed for the event.

Ultimately, the event began with David Nolan on stage.

Gabby entered the debate tonight with a much softer manner than in previous debates. With the entire debate focused on education, she was expected to assume a commanding role. Instead, she peppered the audience with human interest stories to the extent that she finished several of her responses with no clear answer. Unlike her first appearance, however, she responded more naturally giving less of a sense she was using rehearsed lines.

Graf appeared confident and articulate, much more so than in the first debate. Instead of taking punch after punch from Giffords, Randy responded with a few zingers of his own and seemed to steal the debate from Gabby as the evening wore on.

A few of the highlights inlcuded a question as to whether candidates would support extending the "No Child Left Behind" act. Randy said "no". Gabby offered a number of criticisms but suggested she would modify the existing bill.

When responding to questions about education funding and the Fed's role in education, Gabby spent her time discussing "excessive" Exxon profits and her 100% rating prompting Randy to comment "I don't know if there was an answer in that."

The greatest audience reactions came from the TUSD teachers union which let out cheers when Gabby said the government needs to raise teacher salaries and when she stated that as children our mom's used to say "Eat your veggies because there's a kid starving in China" and now we should say "study hard because a kid in China wants your job," a catchphrase she used in previous debates.

The most interesting volley was when Randy commented on the money being spent on U.S. Department of Education bureaucrats who do not teach. Gabby responded with information on several department officials with classroom teaching experience stating that there are 4500 experienced professionals in the department. Randy clarified that he was talking about the amount of money and number of teachers that could be in the classroom instead of going to people to tell teachers how to teach. Interestingly, spectators appeared more impressed with the number of bureaucrats being 4500 than the points made by either candidate.

Both candidates were articulate and smooth in their delivery, but Gabby seemed to have the most difficult time getting to her answers in the time alloted instead using it up with lengthy stories or less relevant information. In a debate that should have been owned by Gabby, Randy's decisive responses gave him the upper hand.

As is usually the case, the room was filled with decided voters. Tomorrow's KUAT televised debate will have considerably more impact with viewers at all stages of deciding available to participate.

KVOA/Zimmerman Poll Results

Gifford is still maintaining her lead which in this poll has her up by ten points.

Here's the breakdown:


We anticipate the release of additional polling results that are said to call the race much closer. However, we expected less than the ten point spread reported here.

Polling occured October 20-23. We are still looking for the N and other process data.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Polling Results, Finally!

The rumors from the past several weeks claiming that several polls are showing a close race between Gabby and Randy are about to be validated. We are hearing from so many sources that Gabby and Randy are running dead even that we are taking the results as confirmed. Our sources tell us that at least one group will be releasing its results today or tomorrow. Others may follow in the next several days.

We interpret the results as suggesting that Randy Graf has overcome much of the damage inflicted by one of his opponents in the primary and is clearly gaining momentum. We expect Gabby to maintain her base, but voters that temporarily hedged their bets just after the primary appear to be returning to Graf.

We expect a fairly low percentage of undecided voters in this poll.

Stay tuned for the results.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Forum Post part 1

There will be more to come, but I will need to be brief this evening due to time constraints.

It was a very good debate, and definitely not a snoozer. However, to start the first installment from a different angle I want to focus on the candidate who is almost considered an afterthought, Davis Nolan.

David Nolan is a Libertarian, and there is a reason that people don't ultimately vote for Libertarians. The Libertarian platform is such that anyone can find something they like about it, in some cases a LOT they like about it, but there is always that part just waiting to poke you in the eye with a fork. Davis Nolan is a great representative for the party that he founded.

Go to his website linked on the side of the page. It is an attractive, informational website that lays out his platform. Stay a little to long however, and David's voice will start up and scare the living daylights out of you, (well, maybe not now that I warned you). It can take an other wise normal, pleasant experience and leave a different impression as you try to find the toolbar to make it stop.

Such is David's performance at the debates. There are moments that he threatens to steal the show, but then will jar the audience back to reality with his delivery and choice of examples. Tonight he was like that, telling Democrats that global warming was comparable to the Easter Bunny, and Republicans that Marijuana has never been responsible for one death in this country, even while delighting all at times with his frank, unique perspective.

So, since it apparent that their platform will keep them from ever being elected, I offer a humble proposition. We round up all of the Libertarian candidates and bar them from running for office. Instead, we nab them several months before each election and impress them into service as political reporters. Let them ask the questions and write the mainstream articles concerning the candidates of both parties. I guarantee that puff pieces would disappear, and we would actually be looking at issues rather than suspect polling which Libertarians have learned to ignore on reflex. That would provide a far greater service than what we have now, because political reporting is absolutely insipid at this point, and free up the mikes for the candidates who have a chance to win, because we cannot get enough "candidate x hates children and old people."

However, since I suspect that the country is too backbone impaired to implement this glorious plan, we will have to settle for letting them participate in the debates even as they alternately induce applause and eye-rolls.

More soon.

Monday, October 23, 2006

A little News. . .

It's been pretty quiet on the CD-8 front. Both camps look like they have gone into working mode, which is quite refreshing in comparison with the candidate blathering which is occurring in other races.

There are the two debates scheduled for today. One was held earlier at the El-Con Mall. Unfortunately, it occurred during business hours so I was not able to attend. The other is to be held this evening in Sierra Vista starting right now. For Cox subscribers, it will be televised on channel seven, channel 74 on Comcast.

Tomorrow the debate will be televised live on KVOI starting at 7:30.

On Friday, Randy Graf is having a fundraiser with congressmen Trent Franks and Duncan Hunter. On Halloween, Dennis Hastert will be in town for a fundraiser and luncheon.

Friday, October 20, 2006

9th Circuit Overturned Again

Check out Sonoran Alliance for the scoop on the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that reinstates Prop. 200 voter ID requirements.

Ironically, it was Terry Goddard who supported overturning the 9th Circuit decision, the same Terry Goddard who with Governor Napolitano filed suit against Proposition 200 multiple times.

Goddard said that protecting elections from fraud outweighed the possibility that some potential voters might have difficulties producing identification.

The justices slammed 9th Circuit judges for issuing the order with no apparent reason for doing so.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Random Polling Stuff

OK here is the latest on polling for the CD-8 race:

Apparently the KUAT poll that Blog for Arizona referenced was actually taken and did show Graf within 6%. The results of this poll were leaked but never released. It is rumored that the producer who leaked the results has been fired. Supposedly KUAT has taken another poll and is sitting on the results once more. That is all beyond bizarre. But I suppose you will need to make your own conclusions.

The Republican party has been polling and has their own numbers, which they haven't called me with :) . Additionally the TAR has their own poll and results as well.

Since both of these groups are partisan, it would make sense that they haven't released their figures. If Graf is significantly behind, that would be a problem. If he is closing, I'm not sure that revealing that would be a good idea either as it would bring the DCCC back into the race, and they are sure to be of more help to Gabby than the NRCC would be to Randy.

Suffice it to say, that the Graf camp knows the numbers and ultimately saw no reason to be aggressive during the first debate. Take that for what it is worth.

Additionally a new Zogby poll should be out just in time for Halloween. It will be interesting who gets tricked and who gets the treat.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Guns Blazing, Giffords Makes First Appearance

It is interesting to watch the dynamics of the debates change when Gabby shows up. Last night, she may have even overshadowed David Nolan's usual commanding presence.

Here's my take on her first appearance:

Out of the chute, Gabby was prepared and aggressive. After the other candidates offered soft openings filled with statements of appreciation to those who hosted the event and descriptions of their qualifications, Gabby unleashed a barrage of rhetoric against Republicans asserting her commitment to a variety of social outcomes. Complaining about negative attacks on herself, she stated emphatically that she would "set the record straight." Within a couple of breaths, however, she unloaded an extreme DCCC-like attack on Graf claiming, among other things, that he wanted to eliminate Medicare.

Leaning forward and speaking rapidly, Gabby appeared nervous but consistently smooth in her delivery albeit somewhat "pre-recorded." Her preparation was evident as she frequently flipped the colored tabs on her impressive stack of yellow paper where every imaginable question was matched with a well-rehearsed response.

Gabby's coaching came from the Clinton playbook making considerable use of human-interest stories citing so-and-so who she spoke to about this or that problem. She also played to liberal Republicans by citing on several occasions lists of Republicans that she agreed with on an issue.

Keeping Randy at bay, she even pulled out a bit of Geraldine Farraro offering a little "poor me" victim jab in one of her responses. Now that was nostalgia!

Although she was challenged a few times by Randy and David, for the most part, she was provided little resistance throughout the debate. David Nolan's question was probably the biggest challenge of the evening when he asked Gabby to name one group that supports her contention that she is not a tax and spend liberal. Unable to answer the question, Gabby simply mentioned something about being voted Technology Legislator three years in a row.

Gabby was strong and clear on her positions about her opposition to the war in Iraq, support for federally funding embyonic stem cell research, desire to overhaul the senior's prescription drug plan, funding for No Child Left Behind, and allowing illegal aliens to continue working in the U.S. as guest workers.

Less clear were her positions on when to pull troops out of Iraq and whether she supports mining in the Santa Rita mountains.

Gabby danced around the issue of making English the official language suggesting she does not support it. She also made a confusing statement about opposing amnesty and not giving Medicare benefits to illegal alien guest workers until after they are granted citizenship.

Not that this debate will sway anybody considering that nearly all attendees wore one campaign button or another and few will bother to watch the broadcast later in the week, but overall, Giffords first appearance was polished, somewhat commanding and generally impressive. One thing is for sure, Graf knows that in the debates where Gabby shows up, he won't be given the free pass he has been getting so far.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A little more financials:

According to a new Citizen Article the Graf campaign claims to have raised another $200,000 since the reporting period.

Additionally the Minuteman PAC has announced that they will spend up to an additional $250,000 in advertising.

No public word form the Giffords campaign on what they have raised since the reporting period.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Graf's Leadership Forces the Issue

Anti-war wannabes continue to bang the war drum claiming that Iraq is the primary issue among voters. They ignore realists on both sides of the aisle who stay busy cranking out ad after ad about getting tough on the border. As much as some hate to admit it, they recognize that a tough-on-the-border candidate may not take all the marbles with this issue, but a candidate certainly won't be invited to the game without at least an aggie or two that says "I can be tough, too."

Congress knows it. That's why they have capitulated after years of sitting on their hands and decrying any attempt to crack down as merely feeding those who live to play the race card. Randy Graf has broken through the PC wall and demonstrated that nobody, including hispanics, wants to continue living with the social problems created by illegal immigration.

Now, a congressional race in a sleepy little district in Southern Arizona has attracted national attention. It has become THE race to watch as if the whole border issue being debated across the country boiled down to two candidates in CD8 representing both sides of the issue. How big is this race? According to National Review Online "A Graf win would be a political earthquake, and would have every presidential contender in both parties asking, 'am I tough enough on illegal immigration?'"

Perhaps Senator McCain's endorsement of Graf is an anticipatory response.

FEC funding

Sorry about the lag in posting. I've been out doing my part for GOTV.

As Sonoran alliance has already posted, and I hate it when those guys scoop us, the FEC reports show that the expected largesse of Giffords fundraising isn't what many thought.

Gabby has about a $100,000 lead in cash on hand. That is not near the advantage she was hoping to have at this point. However, the bigger question is "where has she blown almost a million dollars?"

Obviously, Gabby has had a strong television presence, and that has been a large benefit to her. However, she has been decidedly beat by the content and quality of the Graf mailers. It is evident that Graf learned from the Huffman contest as this is where Huffman made the biggest impact with his money. It is far more cost effective than television advertising and much more detailed.

The news that I hear also confirms that the early balloting is not trending too much in Gabby's favor, so I do not believe a large portion of her money has went there.

A look at her expenditures seems to show that most of it went to these guys. Who better to tell Gabby what those in CD-8 are looking for in leadership than a firm from Philadelphia.

Had that money been used to "flood the zone" with mailers and further advertising, I believe that Graf would be looking at a larger hill to climb. It would also have been nice to keep that money in the local economy. Do you think GMMB is a union shop?

Expect Michael from Blog for Arizona to break it down with further financial followup. He's the best there is locally for this, even if he is a bit confused with his politics. :)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Giffords Eluding Graf Encounter?

Giffords and Graf appeared at a Mountain Oyster Club event last night. After a nice dinner, Gabby was invited to speak. Before she opened her mouth, Randy Graf and staff were dismissed to a back room while Gabby spoke to the group. Gabby had demanded that the Graf campaign make themselves scarce during her remarks. After Gabby concluded, Graf was invited back into the room to speak. At that point, she left.

This, by itself, would seem a bit odd. But this makes it two events and two weeks in a row including last week at the utility contractors event where she made the same demand putting Graf in a back room during her presentation.

Gabby has given no reason, but one could surmise that this is a calculated effort to prevent Randy from giving a rebuttal. Perhaps she feels that she has a substantial enough lead that any confrontation could only hurt her.

Surprisingly, a seventh debate has surfaced on the schedule at which Giffords has agreed to appear. The rumor mill claims that Gabby committed to the debate prior to the primary and then reneged after having set up her parameters for appearances with Randy en route to the general election. As we understand it, the retirees who obtained the original commitment were very upset and said so until Giffords relented.

This new event is to be held at Hundred Palms Retirement community Saturday, October 21st at 2 PM.

*Some have criticized Gabby for speaking in an exclusive club open only to males. Our inquiries suggest this is not the case, that the club is open to members of both sexes.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Russ Dove Stands in for Gabby

Tuesday's Sun City candidate forum began with a little excitement for the senior crowd. Candidates in attendance included Republican Randy Graf, independent Jay Quick and Libertarian David Nolan. This particular debate was not one of the six accepted by Gabby Giffords, so she was not present. However, Russ Dove, Democrat Bill Johnson's former campaign manager, apparently felt the need to step in and fill the gap for Gabby, although I doubt that she approved of the proxy representation.

It's possible that Russ Dove saw Gabby's absence as an opportunity to steal a few votes from her when she was not looking. Unfortunately for Russ, the other candidates didn't feel the need to accommodate him as a write-in candidate and he was excused from the debate. Russ, a rather assuming man, made his feelings known as he stormed out of the building and released a variety of colorful expressions on his way.

The display certainly provided an entertaining entree for stories being developed by several journalists present including Voice of America.

As for the debate itself, the candidates were fairly diverse in their viewpoints with David Nolan appearing to be the most conservative at times and Jay Quick the most liberal. Nolan managed to capture the attention of most everyone in the room when he began his response to a question about Iraq by saying "we should bring them home now," followed shortly thereafter by, "We should shoot him [Saddam Hussein] and then bring our troops home."

Jay Quick appeared to struggle with a few questions admitting, at times, that he didn't know where he stood on the issue. Several statements were met with groans from the audience and he admitted that some of his positions were probably unpopular with the group, but they represented his honest opinions. David Nolan was strong in his presentation with clear, tough messages that often resonated with the audience. Randy Graf was solid in his delivery and received positive responses to his positions on the border and his support for privatizing a portion of Social Security. He tried several times to articulate the differences between his and Gabby's positions on issues expressing his disappointment—as did the other candidates—that she had decided not to attend.

Recognizing that Giffords may not feel she would gain anything from additional debates due to her lead in the polls, one would think that the seniors would be an excellent group to court in the campaign thereby justifying an exception. There were certainly enough present to meet her attendance requirement. And it would have been fun to have one more candidate's response to Russ Dove.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Giffords ACLU Board Opens Voting to Illegals

We are wondering what is taking so long for Giffords to issue a statement regarding the 9th Circuit's stay against enforcing Proposition 200's citizenship requirement that prevents illegals from voting. Considering that she opposed Prop 200 in the first place, that she is a board member of the ACLU in Southern Arizona that supported the lawsuit, and she is involved with open border groups, perhaps a statement from her is unnecessary.

The ACLU claims that requiring proof of citizenship and identification "disenfranchises voters and hinders voter registration drives," We would like to hear Giffords response to the question of what could be wrong, or unconstitutional, about disenfranchising people who broke the law to enter the country and who now try to break the law again to sway an election.

And why would she support such a radical view at the same time running tough-on-the-border ads?

Some suggest she plans to use the 9th Circuit opinion and her open borders groups to help get illegal aliens to the polls. Unfortunately, it will be impossible to tell if she succeeds.

Graf Enrolls Huffman, Click and Others

Randy Graf has been full of surprises pulling together some highly influential people and opponents from the primary race to pick up endorsements and help with fundraising.

How surprising? No, not Jim Kolbe. But Steve Huffman, Bruce Ash, Jim Click, Mike Hellon, David Mehl, and John Munger all signed a letter urging financial support for Randy Graf.

Graf's ability to attract and work with those who made the primary so difficult for him demonstrates incredible patience, flexibility and an ability to look past differences to get the job done. Those traits should serve him well in D.C.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The McCain Endorsement

Yep, that is the news I was hearing about.

This is likely to be minimized by my friends and brethren on the left, but this is the best possible development that could have happened to Graf this week short of Gabby getting caught sacrificing puppies to the Harvest Moon (and if I were the state Democratic Party I would point out that we have no evidence to suggest that she hasn't been doing this for years.)

There is no more respected and popular politician in power in Arizona than John McCain. Love him or hate him, you better respect him. He brings tons of independent and dare I say "squishy Democrat" appeal. The beauty of his endorsement is the single group of voters who are the most likely to discount McCain are already solidly behind Graf, and aren't going anywhere.

It also blunts and almost erases any sting from Kolbe's refusal to endorse Graf. After all, McCain and Graf are supposedly polar opposites on what many would consider their signature issues at this point, yet McCain is saying that everything else matters more. Kolbe could never single out what it was about Graf that made him unsupportable. Again, this endorsement highlights Kolbe's pettiness and makes him irrelevant.

This gives Graf supporters a response to those Republicans and Independents who have been led to believe that Graf is too extreme, but are leary of voting for a Democrat. There are more than enough of these voters to win the election for Graf, and nearly all of them are McCain supporters.

Finally, it is a good move for McCain. The people lining up behind Graf are the same people who would be most likely to fight a McCain presidential run. It would be very good for McCain to be able to point out who was there to help Randy Graf and who was not when the chips were down. If Graf were to win, this example would be valid nationally, especially if it were to save the House from being turned over to Democrats.

Now it would be icing on the cake to get some type of recant from Jim Click and Steve Huffman to go along with this endorsement. Especially if it were to take place before the debates.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Battlestar Galactica Update

That had to be the most depressing two hours of television I have seen in a while (at least since the AU-LSU game). I guess we will have to wait until next week for some good news.

From, the rumors that I am hearing, however, Randy Graf will not need to wait near that long.

Stay tuned. . .

Thursday, October 05, 2006

We try to stick to what we know. . .


If the last point of this post is true, we are likely to see those wacky but lovable characters from the NRCC back in Tucson.

That tip panning out would be the second best thing to happen tomorrow after the Season Premiere of Battlestar Galactica.

Update- Sources confirm that this poll is legit. It is evidently a Kenski poll with a margin of error of 4-5%. I will still want to see the internals. I hear that they oversampled women. :)

Seriously, congratulations to Mr. Drake. I hope that this will cause people to sit up and take notice. He deserves more support from the party and he better get it after this.

We now return to our previously scheduled congressional district. . .

Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce backs Graf

Not sure if this was the news TC was referring to earlier, but if not, it is turning out to be a very good couple of days for Randy Graf.

The Phoenix Business Journal has all of the details.

Graf Momentum; Anticipating More Good News

Graf-ites had a good day Wednesday with the Reuters poll results suggesting something happening with the independents. Either Graf is pulling them away from Giffords, or previous polls were not very accurate. It could suggest Graf momentum or a closer race than previously suggested.

We suggest now that the campaigns are in full swing and the primary is behind us, there is in the minds of the voters a real race to consider. Graf has overcome some of the damage from the primary, shown that the Republican party is behind him and managed to reach likely Graf voters who have begun to come back at least to the point of reconsidering their hesitating for Randy. Although Graf has not picked up many of these voters yet, the number of new undecideds suggests he has made an impact and is gaining momentum, in any case.

Thursday is looking like another good day for Graf. Look for more good news for the Graf campaign.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

On the subject of Ducking. . .

Much has been made today of Graf's not appearing for the Arizona Republic editorial Tribunal. Giffords has been skipping other opportunities:

The Phoenix Diocese developed a voter guide for the upcoming election. Giffords did not answer the survey, but Graf did. Here are his responses and responses from the Giffords campaign headquarters:

1. Allow tuition tax credits, vouchers, etc. Randy supports, Gabby does not.

2. Prohibit human cloning. Randy supports, Gabby office not sure, but said she supports use of embryonic stem cells.

3. Legalize physician-assisted suicide. Gabby supports, Randy does not.

4. Prevent welfare recipients from receiving extra funds for conceiving a baby as a welfare recipient. Randy supports, Gabby office says she most likely does not.

5. Prohibit government agencies from accepting matricular consular cards (loose Mexico-issued ID cards for use in the U.S.). Randy supports, Gabby office not sure-maybe opposes.

6. Constitutional amendment protecting traditional marriage. Randy supports, Gabby does not.

7. Require informed consent and information prior to abortion. Randy supports, Gabby does not.

8. Maintain statewide public defender office for criminals facing death penalty. Randy supports, Gabby office not sure.

9. Make illegal presence in the U.S. a felony. Gabby does not support, Randy does not support.

10. Mandate health care providers provide morning after pills. Gabby office believes she supports, Randy does not.

11. Exempt non-profit religious organizations from contraceptive mandates. Randy supports, Gabby office not sure.

12. Simplify tax credits so non-itemizing tax filers can deduct charitable contributions. Randy supports, Gabby office believes she supports.

I bet that there is more to learn here than will ever come out in an Arizona Republic editorial, but that is just a hunch.

Finally, a stated methodology.

That poll was indeed a Zogby poll, and here is the methodology:

These are telephone surveys of [likely voters] conducted by Zogby International. There were approximately [15] questions asked. Samples are randomly drawn from purchased telephone voter lists. Zogby International surveys employ sampling strategies in which selection probabilities are proportional to population size within area codes and exchanges within those area codes. Up to six calls are made to reach a sampled phone number. Cooperation rates are calculated using one of AAPORÂ’s approved methodologies[1] and are comparable to other professional public-opinion surveys conducted using similar sampling strategies.[2] Weighting by [party, age, race, gender] is used to adjust for non-response. The margin of error is +/- 4.5 percentage points. Margins of error are higher in sub-groups.

The poll was also made up of 500 respondents as shown elsewhere in the article.

Either Kenski or Zogby are way out of whack at this point as there is an 8 point difference between the two. One has released their internals, and the other. . .

Of course I do not believe that the local polls were fixed, I believed that the random sampling to be a problem with the local organizations limited funding. Do you think that either of the local polls were able to make six calls to a sampled number? Also notice that weighting was done by party, age , race, and gender. Look at the Governor race poll numbers for the discrepancy between local and national polls as well.

All that being said, this is a tremendous deal to the race. Gifford's biggest strength was her inevitability. That is now gone. If local Republicans start believing that their vote for Graf is the only thing that can stave off a Pelosi Chairmanship, they will start coming home, especially now that Graf appears to be closing. A bigger problem for Giffords is what do you attack Graf with that he hasn't already seen and overcome? Giffords on the other hand, is still riding pretty high on an unsullied image. What happens when people start asking for specifics on what she has done to secure the border and lower taxes? I have looked at her record, there just isn't much there to support this, and definitely less that she sponsored or was the driving force behind.

The final good news is that we actually have a race, so as bloggers both to the right and left, this is a good thing.

Reuters Poll: Graf Closes Gap to 8%

Here is the Reuters Poll for Arizona as reported on their web site:

ARIZONA 8 - Democratic former state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords holds a 45-37 percent lead over Republican anti-immigration activist Randy Graf, who won a heated September 12 primary over a more moderate candidate backed by the national party. The polls of at least 500 likely voters in each district have a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

Again, not much detail on the internals.

Effective use of money

If there was any question over the strategery of both the Republican and Democratic congressional committees, my wife was watching the news yesterday around noon and saw that DCCC ad.

You know the one where they attack Steve Huffman's record.

Not a big fan of Steve at this point, but that is just mean.

It also demonstrates the careful thought and planning of the national parties, unless they think that it is important to stop Huffman from his Presidential bid in 2008.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Bloggers Interviewed About CD8 Race

Bloggers had an opportunity to speak out instead of write about the CD8 race on a show broadcast in some areas on NPR. Listen to the show at Open Source Blogger Show.