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As McCain Drops Torch . . . Establishment’s McSally Ready To Keep Arizona “Moderate” In Senate

September 6, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — As John McCain lay in state beneath the Arizona Capitol dome here, the establishment he worked to build received an injection of new life as results came in from the Arizona primary election held the previous day.
The August 28 primary produced a solid win for establishment-backed candidate Martha McSally, seeking the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by McCain’s close ally Jeff Flake.
Having stepped aside due to his unpopularity, Flake, who had served only one six-year term as a U.S. senator, nevertheless bestowed his belated blessing on McSally while polls were open.
This was likely to draw undesired attention to what she actually stood for, despite McSally’s strong efforts to run away from her record as a congresswoman serving some of the more-liberal Tucson area.
Donald Trump, who hadn’t endorsed in this race before the primary was held, noted Flake’s late attempt to intervene. The president tweeted that McSally “was endorsed by rejected Sen. Jeff Flake and turned it down — a first!” Trump and Flake strongly oppose each other.
Having waited for the primary’s results to be announced because all three GOP candidates in the running pledged their support for Trump, the president proceeded to endorse McSally.
As primary day began, an article in The Hill national political news site noted: “To win, McSally, a favorite of the GOP establishment, has had to pivot hard to the right, particularly on issues like immigration and her support for Trump.”
Among other such admissions of McSally’s deception, a June 21 Hill article had cited GOP pollster Mike Noble on “the congresswoman’s dash to the right.”
In at least two major editorials expressing its official opinion (March 25 and August 5), the pro-McSally Arizona Republic sympathetically said she simply was feigning border toughness in order to win the primary.
Indeed, in dozens of daily Arizona electronic advertisements, McSally and her campaign allies falsely claimed she was a strong border enforcer while her major GOP foe, former State Sen. Kelli Ward, was for “amnesty.”
To the many voters who usually don’t pay much attention to politics during the rest of the year, the campaign barrage backed by Eastern power brokers and big donors portrayed McSally as a ferocious pro-wall warrior constantly alongside border agents, while the conservative Ward supposedly opposed border protection and Trump and was soft on terrorism.
Months ago GOP Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) and political manipulator Karl Rove had picked McSally to be their heavily funded candidate to force onto Arizonans.
On August 29, conservative GOP political consultant Constantin Querard said it’s important for voters to educate themselves because “the people telling the lies have a lot more money” for advertising. Querard made the comment during “The Conservative Circus” radio talk program on KFYI (550 AM) while he cited McSally as such a deceptive candidate.
An election-night Hill article giving voting results said that although McSally was “the GOP establishment favorite,” her Republican competitors in the primary “forced McSally to veer hard to the right.”
In these days when “draining the swamp” is prioritized, McSally played the outworn game of appealing to voters by promising to provide what she didn’t want to deliver. If she goes on to win the Senate seat in November, does she think she’ll avoid suffering their outrage?
McCain died on August 25, shortly before his 82nd birthday and almost exactly two years after he won the 2016 Arizona primary election that put him on the road to his sixth U.S. Senate term, cut short by aggressive brain cancer. He was eulogized as a powerful figure.
Those being invited by his circle to demonstrate their public tribute were perceptibly on the “moderate” or liberal side, including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, former Arizona Cong. Jim Kolbe, Flake, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, and former Democrat Senators Joe Lieberman, Russ Feingold, and Gary Hart.
On the other hand, People magazine reported on August 29 that McCain’s own 2008 vice-presidential running mate, Sarah Palin, was being excluded — even though she had energized that campaign, received more crowd applause than he, and had continued to speak well of him. Trump also wasn’t welcome to attend a memorial service.
In an August 28 telephone interview, longtime Arizona pro-life activist John Jakubczyk, an attorney and former president of Arizona Right to Life, told The Wanderer that he met McCain in 1982 when the former Vietnam POW was making his first race for a seat in the U.S. House, shortly after he moved to Arizona.
“I have long considered him a friend,” Jakubczyk said fondly. “We have had our disagreements over the years, but when it came to the pro-life issue, he was a strong supporter of the pro-life movement. He was a patriot and a feisty individual. His energy never seemed to stop. But he always seemed to have time to express his concern for the little guy.”
Jakubczyk, who himself had surgeries since mid-2017 for a brain tumor, said, “I remember during my illness, calling me on more than one occasion to see how I was doing. I will pray for him and his family.”
Making his first congressional race, McCain “was looking for pro-life support” as four Republicans competed in a primary election, Jakubczyk said, recalling that they probably all filled out a questionnaire for the Arizonans for Life political group, whose leaders, considering whom they thought best to endorse, selected McCain.
On a different topic, The Wanderer noted that McCain died one day after it was announced his medical treatment was being withdrawn. He hadn’t been in Washington, D.C., since last December.
Because his condition must have been plain to those close to him for some weeks or months that he never would return to the Senate, this newspaper said, why didn’t he resign so that Arizona could have a working senator?
“I don’t have an answer to that question,” Jakubczyk replied, “but he chose to wait to the end.”
Constantin Querard, the GOP political consultant, told The Wanderer on August 26 he didn’t want to share his thoughts on McCain at that time, but he was hopeful that Arizona GOP Gov. Doug Ducey would pick a replacement who would be good on pro-life and judges.
Ducey said he’d reveal a replacement after McCain was laid to rest following a September 2 service at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Md. That person would serve until the next general election, in 2020, when voters make their selection to fill the remainder of McCain’s term, to expire in 2022.
When Ducey moved from Ohio to Arizona in 1982 as a young man to attend college, he also got a job with a local beer distributing company owned by the wealthy father of McCain’s wife Cindy.
Querard told The Wanderer, “For now, you can at least look forward to Arizona having a senator at work casting votes. I assume Ducey will pick a moderate type, but they’ll be pro-life, and they’ll be relatively reliable on judges. So there is a silver lining in all of this.”
Rob Haney, a retired chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party, based in Phoenix, and longtime foe of McCain, was more critical.
Haney told The Wanderer on August 28: “The fawning adulation afforded McCain from the Establishment Oracles of the Left was predictable. Benedict Arnold was a military hero who came very close to destroying the country by his treason. Similarly, McCain was a military hero whose betrayal, via advocacy for the illegal-alien invasion, still yet may destroy the country.
“Constitutional conservatives, knowing McCain’s personal and political proclivities, are nauseated by the adulation,” Haney added.
Asked why he thought McCain didn’t resign his Senate seat despite his worsening condition, Haney said, “Cynicism is a derivative of observing establishment politics. I believe McCain did not resign, and every effort was made to keep him alive, through the Arizona Republican primary. As a consequence, McCain backer Gov. Ducey, who had a primary opponent, was not required to appoint a replacement before the primary.
“Ducey’s failure to strongly support Second Amendment rights and his failure to stand up to the teachers’ union 20 percent pay-raise demands already had left him vulnerable,” Haney continued. “His anticipated appointment of a McCain clone would have seriously endangered his re-election. Ducey’s election was more assured by McCain hanging on till the primary.”
Winning about 70 percent of the GOP primary vote, Ducey easily defeated gubernatorial challenger Ken Bennett, a former Arizona secretary of state.

Arpaio’s Legacy Damaged

Querard told The Wanderer that former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who seriously split the anti-McSally primary vote with Kelli Ward for a Senate seat, damaged his standing with conservatives. Many of them had pled with Arpaio to get out of the race. McSally got about 53 percent of the vote, Ward about 28 percent, and Arpaio about 19 percent.
“There is no question that the race damaged Arpaio’s legacy,” Querard said. “He just finished a distant third not just statewide, but even in his own county.”
In a previous Wanderer interview, Querard said all of Arpaio’s tweets had been attacking Ward, but none were against McSally, so Ward came under heavier fire from two sides.
“McSally ended up over 50 percent, so you can argue that he didn’t cost Ward the race,” Querard said, “but the dynamics of a two-way race would have been very different, and it was obvious his reason for running was to stop Ward, which made him a tool of the very establishment that spent years trying to get rid of him. It was very strange to watch.”
McSally’s Democrat foe in November is to be the left-wing Cong. Kyrsten Sinema.
Sinema tries to play the moderate these days but is an open-borders environmentalist pro-abortion bisexual who said that women who don’t work outside the home are “leeches.”
“McSally is smart to keep her distance from Flake, much as she was smart to suddenly get close to Trump,” Querard said. “But her voting record is well to the left of both men, so it will be an interesting general-election matchup.”
Haney, the retired GOP chairman, told The Wanderer on August 29, “Whether McSally or Sinema wins in the general election, the establishment forces will garner a senator they can control,” after McSally’s primary victory left “Arizona conservatives screeching in revulsion that lies and deceit triumphed again.”
Meanwhile, Haney said, “Arpaio’s spoiler role in the race ensures that conservatives will remember him more for his political missteps than his opposition to illegal immigration.”
There were “three significant liberal turns in Arizona political history…abetted by Arpaio: support for pro-abortion Democrat candidate for governor Janet Napolitano in 2002, support for McCain candidate Ducey for governor in 2014, and the spoiler role he played by splitting the conservative vote and momentum in 2018,” he said.

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