Regardless of party affiliation, any objective observer ought to recognize the role party sponsored machine politics has played and is playing in today’s two party political system. In Chicago, one had to be sanctioned by the Daley family to get elected. In all likelihood, our current president, arguably a closeted moderate, had to run as a Democrat in order to get past first base. Here in the West, getting past first base usually means one has to be a Republican. The list of successful Democrats in Arizona is a short one. Outside of Tucson, Terry Goddard and Janet Napolitano pretty much comprise the entire list. And both of them had unique circumstances propelling them forward, inept machine opponents.
Look at what political endorsements are sought in primary elections. Heading the list has been Joe Arpaio’s. He also has been an elector, a person who appears on the ballot for selection to a trip to Washington to cast our collective vote for president, a prestigious yet archaic practice if ever there was one.
Things might be changing. Arpaio stood fast behind his candidate for Senator from Mesa’s District 18, his former lieutenant Russell Pearce. And Pearce championed SB1070, a means to put Sheriff Joe back into the illegal alien profiling business, a business recently taken away from him by federal authorities. After a lifetime of being a Federal Authority, one would expect Joe to understand how the machine works. But maybe he never caught on.
Regardless, Russell Pearce now lies in the dust. The party machine failed to deliver him from his disappointed voters. The machine antics played did not work. Does this mean Jerry Lewis will be Pearce’s permanent replacement? Heck no. Does this mean District 18 voters are catching on? Perhaps.
It took another registered Republican to unseat Pearce. And the machine likely will be oiled next time around. Should Pearce get the nod again from the party machine to run in the next primary, Lewis is likely to go down, unless of course SB1070 dies at the U.S. Supreme Court, then Lewis just might win. Or Lewis might try changing party affiliation to Democrat. Then at least we might see another Pearce vs. Lewis general election!
Dale Whiting (Registered Republican)