It’s a Three Ring Circus in Arizona 03

August 20, 2010

One thing is certain when you look at the spirited race in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District.  It’s that three candidates of the insider establishment appear to be more of a three-ring circus than serious candidates for voters to consider.  Because each of the three to some extent has money, however, they can’t simply be ignored.  One can only hope that Arizona voters in the 3rd District, especially conservative ones, are wise to avoid any of the three on election day.

Ben Quayle is the first of the three and I don’t think anyone would honestly say they think he is a great candidate for Congress.  He’s only a candidate because his father is a former Vice President.  Ben Quayle is national Republican, Wall Street investment banker establishment candidate.  He’s also probably the “establishment candidate” of the North Scottsdale party set.  He’s got money, a huge staff, high paid consultants, lots of glitzy mail, slick TV ads and plenty more where that came from.  He’s as packaged a candidate as one could be.  Buy a house.  Get a wife.  Adopt a dog from the shelter.  Take pictures with other people’s kids on lap and talk about raising your family.  Beyond that he’s like a young version of Dan Quayle, except he apparently drinks more and isn’t as smart.  Late night talk show hosts and national Democrats are hoping that if it’s a Republican that its Quayle.  Quayle’s helping to create and contribute to a soft porn sex site will be great fuel for the Democrats and stand-up comedians.

The next ring in the circus in occupied by Steve Moak.  Steve Moak is playing the role of the tough-talking businessman.  “It’s time to bring some business sense to Washington” is Moak’s cry.  In many respects, we conservatives agree with that concept.  We want zero-based budgeting, real budget cuts and cost-benefit analyses.  All good.  What we don’t want are hardcore telemarketers who made millions calling grandma in the middle of dinner or before bed only to hang up and have her discover that her phone company was changed without her consent.

It was an awful and rampant practice 15+ years ago.  A lot of innocent people were victimized and people like Steve Moak made a killing.  Eventually, however, after enough people were ripped off, Congress stepped into the mix.  Basically, the Steve Moaks of the world needed an Act of Congress to stop them from ripping people off. Now Steve Moak wants to be in Congress?  Are you kidding me?  Congressmen are annoying enough without being telemarketers on top of it.

Steve Moak has another little problem related to a charity that he created.  It was all about helping kids.  No one can disagree with helping the kids, right?  Well, no one did. What people did object to when the facts became known was that Moak acquired a for-profit company and used his non-profit to drive business to his for-profit company. Basically he used his charity to make money for himself.  He promoted distribution of home drug-testing kits.  His for profit company made – you guessed it – home drug testing kits.  So, charitable donations were paid to his for profit company.  So if you donated to “help the kids,” Moak helped the kids by buying (from himself, for profit) home drug testing kits that he often sold to the families who needed them.  So when Moak’s family encountered this issue, Steve Moak didn’t just say “let’s help others with this same problem.”  No, Moak said “Let’s find a way to cash in on this and make some money.”

The problem with “businessmen” like Moak is that they push everything to the limits of the law if it benefits themselves.  They really don’t believe in transparency.  They are transparent to the extent that the SEC and FCC requires them to be transparent.  No more.  Congressmen like Moak push everything to the limits of the law if it benefits themselves.  That is not good for the Republican reputation, it’s not good for Arizona and it’s not good for America.  It’s precisely this kind of Congressman that caused the rise of Tea Parties — to fight insider deals and unprincipled Republicans more interested in cutting a deal than being committed to conservative principles.  It’s also troubling that Moak pandered to the Arizona Republic and essentially endorsed a radical program of amnesty for illegal immigrants in order to try to secure their endorsements.  If he can sacrifice principle on a deal like that now, rest assured he compromise on principles to cut other self-serving deals.

The third ring in the three-ring circus is shrinking but still occupied by Vernon Parker.  As we’ve discussed here before, Vernon Parker’s made his money taking advantage of affirmative action programs and helping others do so.  He’s increasingly become known as “Vernon the Victim” as voters have realized he’s willing to use his race to benefit himself with affirmative action loans, grants and contracts.  And if he’s criticized, he’s the first to play the race card in defense.

After stints as a government bureaucrat, Parker decided that his best opportunity for self-enrichment wasn’t creating a charity to help kids, he determined that he could get $1.25 million from the taxpayers if he could only qualify as a minority or disadvantaged small business.  Problem was that government bureaucrats aren’t allowed to benefit from that government program.  It appears from the facts and the conclusions reached by investigators that Parker violated the rules in applying for the affirmative action status that would have allowed him to acquire the $1.25 million because he was still a government bureaucrat.

The whole thing is a mess.  Vernon Parker has a huge dark legal cloud hanging over him. And it is unresolved.  In order to cover it all up, Parker filed a lawsuit seeing $2 million from the taxpayers for him in part for the future pain and suffering and doctor bills if the government continues to investigate his alleged violations of the law.  It’s a mess.  Even more of a mess when one considers that Parker claims to be against affirmative action.  When you look at Parker’s business, on its face, it appears to offer itself up in helping others cash in on affirmative action programs just like Vernon did.  Parker also brags about putting his 75-year-old retired grandma to work so he could attend Georgetown Law School.   As an adult and a college graduate, maybe that should have been time for Vernon to take care of his old, retired grandmother and gone to a state school.  Instead he cashed in and put her to work for him.  Not something most people would proudly brag about.

Parker has a serious legal cloud over him.  He unfairly accused Quayle of being a racist for using the term “poster boy” which was perhaps a bit of a reach.  He lied on FOX News about being endorsed by the state’s largest tea party when he was endorsed by no tea parties.  He also has an autodialer going out in the district claiming that “Vernon Parker is the only candidate that opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants.” He knows that is 100% false but doesn’t care. He needs as many voters as possible to know his lies and depend upon them while they vote before discovering they based their decision on lies.  It’s a strange strategy.  Doesn’t evoke image of the forefathers but Parker has determined that the best chance he has to win is to lie to the voters as often as possible before Tuesday.

None of these candidates have distinguished themselves in any way to attract voters except for the most obvious ways.  Once you get past the politically-manufactured, ultra-thin veneer of each of the candidates, it’s not surprising that many want to run the other direction.  Neither of these candidates is a good option for Republicans and certainly not conservatives.  There are other candidates who are far more conservative than these candidates and with demonstrated records to prove it.  If you are a true conservative and conservative principles and finding someone who will put those before other considerations is important to you.  You should actively oppose Quayle, Moak and Parker and encourage your friends and family to do the same.

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