Monday, August 27, 2007

Maricopa consultant for Southern Arizona race?

We had heard that Tim Bee might be retaining the services of Nathan Sproul. Bee was warned by persons in Maricopa County and even some locals not to use Sproul or to at least minimize his role. We were not going to cover the issue as it did not seem to be big news to us and we generally like Bee as a person and as an elected official. There does seen to be some friction between the state party and Nathan but that is the last thing we want to get involved in.

Last Friday Rum, Romanism and Rebellion picked up on the fact that Garrick Taylor seemed to now be working for Tim Bee. Tedski did not make the link to Sproul in his post but the comments certainly
did.

On Saturday Michael at Blog for Arizona covered the story but made a much bigger deal about the link to Nathan Sproul. Again we do not want to get involved in a dispute between different Republican factions from Maricopa County but we are perplexed as to why Senator Bee would have anything to do with Sproul. Rightly or wrongly Nathan has a certain reputation. Bee has a spotless record so it is surprising that he could not find some local talent or an out of state professional.

There are other reasons to be concerned about this development. Sproul and Associates is working for Wake Up Arizona! The group has threatened to oppose some of Bee’s fellow Republican legislators. We cannot imagine that will help Bee work with his colleagues while employing a firm trying to unseat them. Will Nathan continue his efforts to undermine the state party? Bee was probably not counting on the state party to win but why hire someone who is working against the chairman? Bee has enjoyed wide Republican support within CD-8 but our conversations reveal that Sproul makes conservative queasy. Why is a long-time Southern Arizonan like Bee going with an out of town guy, and from Maricopa County no less?

The biggest question about Sproul’s involvement is his win/loss record. Best we can tell it is pretty poor.

Tedski was polite in his opening pitch. We do not expect that to continue as voting day approaches. He is a Gabby fan and will make the most of this association. Michael was true to form and will happily continue the attack. Jim Nintzel at Tucson Weekly is probably licking his chops at this gift.

We are still planning on voting for Bee but if you are looking for an explanation of their choice in campaign consultants you will need to look elsewhere.

26 comments:

crome dome said...

I must say this contant obsession with Nathan Sproul on the part of the Democratic Bloggers tells me Tim Bee is once again right. Sproul obviously scares the heck out of them. Tim Bee can and will hire who he wants. Remember all the carping about him firing the entrenched staff when he became Senate President ? Boy some people were upset then too. He was advised by some people (perhaps the same ones trying to advise him now against Sproul) not to make such a bold move. Fortuntely Tim Bee is his own man. Now people are telling him who NOT to hire for his team. Tim Bee is a leader and if he blinks because the tide turns one way or another...then he is not the man I want to vote for.
Go Tim Go...and take anyone with you that you deem best for the race. Go kick Gabbys ass.

Too bad the Arizona 8th blog is helping the dems by also obsessing about his hires. We have a race to win...Can he count on us ?

Decide to help or get out of the way.

Anonymous said...

This isn't a cheerleading blog as far as I can tell. News is news.

Why would Bee choose someone with such baggage and a poor record of results when there are so many competent, less contaminated, consultants out there? This just shows that the liberal blogs won't cut Bee any slack on account of Sproul. Counting on Sproul is a bad decision no matter how you look at it.

fed up said...

I guess Democrats can post on this blog too. I think that is going to be a very popular Halloween costume this year. Have dems dress up like Republicans and try to undermine our candidates with banners showing "concern" for their campaigns and their hires. Oh maybe they do not need the costume after all, they have Arizona 8th and Sonoran Alliance

Framer said...

Fed Up,

Democrats are always welcome to post here, some of our best comments are from Democrats. If Republicans wish to be competitive, it is important to be aware of what Democrats are saying and feeling.

I would argue that one of Senator Bee's biggest strengths is his history of being a uniter. As Republicans we cannot afford to have Tim run an overly-partisan, acrimonious campaign.

Part of that is not giving Democrats or perhaps other Republicans a lightning rod to turn this into that highly partisan battle. I would assume that Tim is more aware of this than I am and we do not yet have all of the information needed to make a judgment.

His political instincts have been pretty good to this point.

fed up said...

Framer-

The party is divided. Many people who are not often heard from on this blog think that some of the consultants that are being pushed by Planet Pullen (Maricopa people they want to have working in Pima County I might add) have more luggage than the American Airlines Baggage department. One way to drum up business is to trash the existing talent pool. So Obvious

roger said...

This is fascinating. Excellent post Kelly...really...and despite what you will disagree with in my post below.

People need to realize that this is going to be the most difficult race of Tim Bee's life (if he runs). He will be facing an incumbent with a very good record (incumbents win 95% of the time on average), an incredible machine of a campaign operation, ties all over the district, a campaign with an enormous warchest, and a year when Republicans are not held in high esteem. Add to that Fed Ups point about how the Republican party is so very divided.

There aren't many things working in his favor for this campaign...and now this. He is going to need a top notch strategist and campaign operation to have even a hint of a chance at being among the 5% that knock off an incumbent. How on earth is he going to do it by listening to this crew? How on earth is he going to get the fund raising necessary to even match the $1,000,000 Giffords has right now...and the campaign hasn't even started.

My first remark is why the heck is Bee doing this? A loss will be a stain on his record as a candidate. A little patience...a little waiting after his term ends could put him into a great spot to run and win at the state level...even be a Governor.

Who is he listening to and who is making him believe that this is anything but a bad deal for him? I guess it must be the likes of Sproul who for some odd reason thought that the Gay Marriage Amendment would pass and that people would drink some kind of funny coolaid and vote for Len Munsil.

I am sorry I am being so snarky, but sincerely...Tim Bee is making a massive mistake if he runs against Giffords. Whomever is telling him different must be one of these poor campaign officials in Arizona that have the record to back it up.

Remember, the guy has never ever had to run a tough campaign before. He lives in a little bubble of a District where people fawn all over him. This is a time to hire the best people a person can find...I would go out of state.

Anonymous said...

Just curious-- since we are beating up on consultants today. How many campaigns as Constantine Querard won? Collette Rosati? Randy Graf?

I think its fair to say that we can look at campaigns and know that there isn't some magic pixie dust that we can sprinkle to make someone win, no matter how good they may be. Sometimes you have to face the facts, lay out the plan, and hope to get into striking distance. Democrats run again and again against Trent Franks and John Shadegg and Jeff Flake- and don't have a shot. Not because their consultants are terrible, but because their district and their voters who turn out to vote aren't going to vote for a Democrat. Period. Same thing on our side: we won't have a prayer trying to challenge Grijalva or Pastor even if we have the best candidate- because their district was drawn to favor them. Those are considered safe districts on either side.

Seriously- their is an obsession going on about Sproul. I have no idea where this hate is stemming from, because as far as I can tell he's done some remarkable things. The Democrats hate him because he's a threat. But if we open the door to beat up on consultants- then we should start beating up on the others as well.

roger said...

Oh...Kelly...on the part you wrote about Wake Up Arizona! and why he should or shouldn't associate with them. I will tell you one reason. They are backed loudly or quietly by much of the business crowd in Arizona. Those who will finance Bee and want him the most are not Russell Pearce or Weirs types at all. They will definitely support a Flake over a Pearce any day of the year and will probably punish Pearce for even running.

The divide Fed UP speaks of is real. Bee is unfortunately having to pick sides early...he can't be stained by the anti-immigrant base in this state if he is going to win against Giffords. He doesn't have to cow tow to them either because he isn't facing a primary challenge and doesn't really need the base like he would in a primary. He also knows that without the money for this race...without business support and folks like Click (who are part of the Wake Up Arizona!)...he won't even get enough money for bumper stickers.

He is hoping that he can become a centrist...enough to win the independents he will need to be Giffords. He can't do that with his base in tow...but he also can't win without them energized and ready to show up at the polls.

This quandary is another reason why he will lose against Giffords...and why he should finish his term as Senate and wait this Republican struggle out.

He could be your party's savior in this state...let him be that.

Sirocco said...

As a Democrat, I love this site. Just as Framer wants to know what Democrats are thinking, I want to know what Republicans are thinking. This site is a nice forum for exchanging thoughts in a friendly manner.

As for Sproul, I don't terribly care. I see this as an issue for Bee and Republicans to work out. Whatever the resolution is, it's going to be a difficult race for both Giffords and Bee. Scared of him though, or seen as a "threat"? Not so much.

Anonymous said...

The base showing up didn't seem to help out Graf a whole lot. So that really isn't a credible argument.

Look at it this way- for any party, if you rally up one side at the cost of the other- you alienate that side- and they aren't there for you either. You can't just pick sides, if you want to win, but you do need to see what bridges that you can build between the different factions of your constituency.

roger said...

Well said Anon...I think this is pretty tough given the state of the Republican Party in Arizona right now...but if anyone could do it, it would be Bee...as long as people in the GOP don't turn on him.

thinkright said...

Yep..Tim Bee will be the difference for Republicans winning and losing in D 26...no matter who is running his campaign, the Indy & soft Dems will vote for a Tim Bee and keep going down the ballot & marking the state races with R's after their names.

With regards to getting a local consultant, most political consultants that are successful are going to be in Phoenix (the #5 metropolitan in the USA, instead of in the 32nd sized market). And Sproul has won in Tucson...he ran Bob Walkup's victorious campaign. In Tucson...sounds like he knows Pima county. He's won here.

roger said...

I doubt very seriously that Bee will draw that many Indys or so called soft Dems. Those voters are the strength of Giffords in so many ways. Calling her a liberal, when liberals call her moderate, won't get people to change horses...even when they like Bee.

thinkright said...

Rog,
Maybe to an extreme lefty that wanted her to focus on impeaching GWB, she's moderate...but to the rest of CD 8, she is what she is a lib.

Gabby votes with Pelosi & Grijalva 95% of the time...I'd say that Gabby is better served to represent California's CD 8 (SF) not Arizona's CD 8. To say that she isn't a liberal is a joke.

Framer said...

Even the 5% disagreement is mostly a sham as well. If Pelosi needs those votes, Gabby will be called on to switch. This already happened with Mitchell during the "do over" vote where Democrats changed the vote after the gavel. He was free to vote opposite Pelosi as long as her measure was assured victory.

I would argue that Mitchell has voted more conservatively than Giffords. He voted against the pork in the first military supplemental, and has voted against pork on at least one other occasion that I can recall.

Anonymous said...

The incumbent is doomed. She's not a moderate and the GOP field has been cleared for Tim. The GOP will not be divided as it was last time. So she'll not have the crossover vote she enjoyed in '06.

She can raise all the money she wants and she'll need to since her party will be focused on CD1. She's a strong organizer and a shrewd politician but she's got no ideas and hasn't impressed anyone I know as being particularly bright on issues that matter to the district. The only things she latches on to are at the feel good emotional level but she's not got anything to offer to the district. She's already crossed up her whacko lefty base on a couple of issues and pissed off the moderates with other issues like voting to outlaw the union check card secret vote. She didn't get squat on her earmarks for the district and has already let 200 jobs out of Fort Huachuca. And, again, the GOP will be unified behind a solid candidate. She hurt CD8 soldiers by stalling funding that could have sent equipment to Iraq to protect them from IEDs--this to play a political game with the President over nutball "timetables".

Hope she enjoys the two years. Tim's going to clean her clock and her mouthpiece can go back to writing food articles.

Sirocco said...

I'm sure that all looks true from your perspective, but here's how it looks from our side ...

Bee is no doubt a strong candidate, and will be challenging to defeat. However, there is a reason incumbents tend to win, and Giffords is the incumbent. She'll have bigger name recognition out of the box, and a better district-wide organization as well, something Bee will have to invest a lot of time and money on.

The Republicans may be united in the sense of only have one candidate and thus avoiding a primary, but even that remains unclear. There certainly seems to be a fair amount of strife within the party now, so even if he ends up being the sole candidate there is no guarantee Bee will end up getting full support.

Meanwhile, outside factors will apply as well. If the war is still going on, if Republicans keep having a new sex scandal du jour, the housing market continues to collapse, etc., then 2008 could well shape up as a year where God could run as a Republican and lose by 20 points, in which case Bee would be the one getting his clock cleaned.

Sirocco said...

Two other unrelated comments just to throw out...

I find it funny when people (yeah, I'm looking at you Framer, Thinkright) who know how that "95% voting with Pelosi" figure is calculated continue to throw it out like it actually means something.

The real figure on meaningful votes (i.e., not counting the ones to name a railroad station in the honor of some local hero) is around 85% ... which places her among those democrats least likely to vote the party line.

As for time lines on war spending bills, anon, the large majority (70% or so) of people in this country favor them. It's those who do not, such as yourself apparently, who are the radical minority on this issue. One might almost call your position "nutso".

Framer said...

Sirocco,

Indeed, the "votes with x, y% of the time" is a bad indicator, but it can be gamed both ways. You and I both know that Gabby is not going to cross Pelosi on a meaningful vote, when Pelosi NEEDS that vote. I would even argue that Gabby has been instructed to not vote with the majority on some occasions to give her cover (thus the 85% you cite).

You personally didn't send Gabby to congress to be a moderate and she isn't a moderate. She tries to play one for the people, and she was successful with doing that previous to last election.

At the same time, she is going to have to deal, fairly or unfairly, with an %18 favorability rating. She will not get an exemption card for that. I would suspect that Tim Bee's senate polls at at least a slightly higher rate, and Tim is setting the agenda there.

I have the feeling that the electorate will be in no mood for Gabby's equestrian or "walking slowly with children" ads. She is in a bind because she doesn't set policy in Congress, and, to be honest, this congress has been a disappointment.

The thing is that Tim needs to capitalize on this, and at this point we have no idea if he can or not.

Here's to hoping though.

thinkright said...

Sirroco,
She votes with Pelosi 100% of the time that her vote counts as a deal breaker. I know that Tucson is fairly liberal, but is CD 8 as liberal as San Francisco? If yes, then Gabby should be representing us, if no, then Gabby's Gotta Go!

Sirocco said...

Framer,

As you well know, Gabby's figures aren't anywhere near 18% favorability. They would be considerably higher.

ThinkRight,

It may be the case Pelosi could twist her arm into a vote if Pelosi felt it was really needed. As far as I know the question hasn't come up.

However, talking about reality rather than hypothetically, she hasn't voted with Pelosi on every "important" vote, something you can easily verify.

Anonymous said...

Sirocco,
The strife is really much less now than a few months ago. Bee does have strong party support, Sproul and those associated with him ( a very small number) are very unpopular with many activists. People aren't divided over Bee. The question is how much Sproul will cause some to watch rather than participate, not whether Republicans will vote for Bee. Although Bee has strong party support, he isn't the strongest candidate and he needs a strong campaign staff to overcome this. As to whether he can do it, some have doubts, but it's not for lack of Republican support.

roger said...

The funny thing about the 95% with Grijalva and Pelosi is that this is all they got. This may work with the GOP insider or Republican radio crowd, but that is your base, that is who you hope to win. Few even know who the hell Pelosi is...and that boogeyman didn't scare anybody when it was brought up in the last election.

True you will be able to trot out some non-district leaning votes, but there will be a host of those 95% that the District supports...AND...Mr. Bee has a record too folks...and it ain't all that pretty.

In the end, the only 95% figure that Bee should be worrying about is that 95% figure that represents the percent of incumbents that keep their seats.

I really thought he was smarter than taking on a race like this.

There is no way on the green earth of God that Maricopa Republicans will ever support him in a state-wide primary if he loses to Giffords. Right now, I think he could appeal statewide.

Yeah, really... said...

I won't have anything to with any candidate who is connected to Sproul. I've volunteered countless hours for other Republican candidates. But anything with the Sproul taint will send me away. I may hold my nose and vote for a Sproul-connected candidate, but I won't help, I won't bring my friends, and I won't much care if he wins or not. Sproul is political poison.

Anonymous said...

Bee will get 35 to 45 percent of the general election vote against Giffords.

He is not as quick as Giffords, and he has to get many of the Kolbe Republicans that are firmly in Gabby's camp, besides scoring with all of the Graf voters.

Not probable.

There are no soft Democrats... since Viagra became more popular than pot.

And independents have few friends in the Republican party, because Independents want to restore the Bill of Rights, and quit killing brown people in the name of homeland security.

Anonymous said...

Gabby is voting 90% with the Democrats against roughly 97% for Pastor and Grijalva, and about 87% for Mitchell.

It will be awhile before we really know where she stands on votes.

But she better on civil rights than most, and she appears to listen.

She is a better congresista than Randy Graf would have been. And Tim Bee will watch the polls and weep.