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Beltway Wizards… Deepen Cynical Swamp By Promoting Porous-Borders Candidate As A Hard-Liner

July 18, 2018 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

PHOENIX — The depth of the establishment swamp that still needs to be drained can be illustrated amid some bone-dry patches of cynicism around Arizona.
Here’s some classic political bait-and-switch that had so frustrated voters, they turned to Donald Trump for president in 2016, but the Manhattan multibillionaire hasn’t managed to put an end to all the crabby shell games yet.
Can yet another “moderate” Republican U.S. Senate candidate with an open-borders tilt successfully convince voters that she’s a toughie against illegal immigration, win her election, then expect smooth sailing in the swamp as she reverts to her true beliefs while the public is expected to stomach the deception?
As for supposed toughness, this candidate, Arizona’s Second District GOP Cong. Martha McSally, dared not get into the race for more than two months after its incumbent, Sen. Jeff Flake, dropped out in October 2017, knowing how dismally he was polling.
The Washington Post datelined an article from mountainous Prescott, Ariz., on July 7 headlined, “In Arizona, a former Trump critic moves right on immigration. Is she too far right?”
Leave it to the lefty Post to worry constantly about Republicans being too far to the right. The real question for McSally is how far she dare push her cynical ploy to reprise Sen. John McCain’s 2010 campaign growl to “complete the danged fence.”
Or Sen. Jeff Flake’s 2012 campaign boast about his “tough, proven record” against illegal immigration. “Comprehensive immigration reform is a dead end,” Flake firmly said, reversing his previous porous-borders stand — until he narrowly won his first Senate election that November, then quickly resumed with his illegals-welcoming agenda.
These days McSally keeps popping up in an Arizona campaign-commercial barrage linking her to conservative Arizona Sixth District GOP Cong. David Schweikert, trying to benefit from Schweikert’s reputation as someone truly concerned with border security.
The advertising barrage, in both video and audio forms, comes from the “One Nation” arm of Beltway know-it-alls Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove, who once again think themselves wiser than a state’s voters in deciding who gets to D.C.
A video shows shadowy border crossers and vicious-looking, dark-hued, heavily tattooed gang members, then heroic McSally and Schweikert in the daylight with Border Patrol agents along the international line.
A GOP campaign consultant told The Wanderer that Schweikert’s permission wasn’t needed to depict him alongside McSally in the commercials as a putative team who are joined in their dedication to protecting the international line.
A media representative at Schweikert’s office didn’t respond to two emails from The Wanderer on July 9 and 10 seeking comment.
This newspaper asked: “Is Cong. Schweikert concerned about the ‘One Nation’ ads tying him to Cong. Martha McSally as both being strong supporters of border security? Even the Arizona Republic out here editorially acknowledged that Cong. McSally is only trying to reposition herself temporarily in order to win. (March 25 Republic editorial, ‘In primary, McSally pulls a McCain.’)
“Does Cong. Schweikert fear he may be offending some of his base,” this newspaper asked, “by allowing himself to be used by ‘One Nation’ to help the McSally candidacy and undercut Cong. McSally’s primary-election foes?”
That March 25 editorial by the open-borders Republic, the state’s largest daily, was almost breathtaking in its candor that McSally simply was doing the deception she needed to in order to win, just as McCain and Flake previously did.
It was a remarkable statement signed by the newspaper’s own editorial board. It consumed the entire top half of the Republic’s broadsheet-size editorial page, and was reported on at the time by The Wanderer.
The July 7 Washington Post article quoted a Republican immigration attorney, Yasser Sanchez, that he’d been thrilled when McSally entered the Senate race, but is “personally troubled by her position on immigration” now.
“Yet,” the Post said, “she has had little choice but to adapt to her new posture. Immigration has long been a litmus test in statewide Republican primaries in Arizona, and the pressure to be a hard-liner has only increased in the Trump era.”
Immigration attorney Sanchez “said McSally’s posture has given him pause about campaigning for her with the same vigor as he did for McCain, for whom he turned his office into a phone-banking center,” the Post said.
Political powerbrokers are rainmakers for this woman they’ve determined is best to their liking and are pouring millions of more dollars into her effort to defeat more-conservative Republican foes.
The Republic posted on June 29, “Some of Arizona’s most prominent business leaders have reserved nearly $5 million in TV ad time this fall to support Republican Martha McSally’s Senate bid, a spokesman for the group said.
“DefendArizona, as the new political action committee is known, appears to be a combination of deep pockets and establishment Republicans who have sought to stave off extremist candidates in their party, including now-President Donald Trump,” the Republic story added.
Establishment heavy-hitter McConnell, the GOP Senate Majority Leader, sang McSally’s praises as a candidate shortly before last Christmas, puzzling media outlets like Phoenix’s KTAR radio news (92.3 FM), who noted on December 22 that she didn’t have a declared campaign.
However, a family physician and former state senator, GOP conservative Kelli Ward, had been battling for over a year for a Senate seat, losing the August 30, 2016, GOP primary to incumbent John McCain, with McCain garnering just over 51 percent of the vote and Ward winning nearly 40 percent. Two minor candidates’ names drew around nine percent.
It wasn’t a resounding victory for McCain, an internationally known politician seeking his sixth Senate term.
The following summer McCain revealed he had aggressive brain cancer and absented himself from the Senate beginning in December 2017 although continuing to hold his title while undergoing treatment. It was left to history to wonder what would have happened to McCain’s 2016 race if his serious illness had become known some months earlier.
After her loss to Arizona powerhouse McCain, Ward turned right around and announced she was challenging the state’s other incumbent Republican U.S. senator, Flake, up for re-election in 2018. Flake didn’t have what it took to persist. Ward surged in early polls when she was seen as the anti-Flake.
She campaigned as an outspoken border-protecting, pro-life conservative, something that still causes worries among Beltway wizards who think they know what’s best for voters across the nation — despite Trump’s presidential win that astounded them in 2016.
Last year McConnell’s artless meddling in the Alabama special Senate election to choose a successor to the GOP’s Jeff Sessions resulted in pro-abortion Democrat Doug Jones slipping into the seat. Having learned little if anything from this embarrassment for the GOP, McConnell continued intervening in states’ contests.
With McConnell pushing for McSally to get involved, she announced her entry into the race as this new year began. She was widely seen as the establishment’s candidate. A wild card was former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who jumped in as a candidate, too, making the Senate contest a major three-way fight.
Although Arpaio was presumed to draw votes from Ward and thereby strengthen McSally, the general feeling was that the former sheriff wasn’t a stealthy vote-splitter intentionally working in McSally’s interests.
Rather, Arpaio did what he’d been known for doing through the years — seeking attention and publicity for himself. If in this case Arpaio was rewarded by improbably winning a Senate seat and going to D.C. to help his hero Trump, so much the better.
The conservative Seeing Red AZ blog lamented on June 26, “Though Arpaio was an early supporter and has remained loyal to President Trump — who carried the state of Arizona in 2016 — winning all 11 electoral votes, age is not on his side. Arpaio vows he’ll only run for a single term, but by then he’ll be 92. That detail should be a deal breaker, but Joe Arpaio is intent on staying in the race.”
TheBlaze conservative website posted on June 15 that McConnell and Rove were directing $500,000 into advertising for McSally.
“Ward and others have criticized McSally’s about-face as an ambitious but self-serving career move,” TheBlaze article said, adding:
“‘Karl Rove and the Never-Trump establishment know they have to prop up Martha McSally because her support is stalling with primary voters,’ Zachery Henry, a spokesman for Ward’s campaign, told The Arizona Republic. ‘McSally’s record of personal attacks on President Trump, opposing the border wall, and her dozens of votes for amnesty and reckless Washington spending doesn’t appeal to Arizonans’.”
Conservative GOP campaign consultant Constantin Querard told The Wanderer that because the McSally-Schweikert border pitch comes from the McConnell-Rove affiliated group, neither McSally nor Schweikert has any control over it.
Asked if Schweikert could request that he be removed from it, Querard replied, “He could ask, but he probably doesn’t mind free ads saying he’s working on securing the border. And they have no obligation to listen to his request if he made it. . . .
“There is no question the D.C. establishment is using the goodwill the conservative base feels towards Schweikert to prop up McSally,” Querard said.

Red-Flag Words

Conservative Rob Haney, a retired chairman of the Phoenix-based Maricopa County Republican Party, told The Wanderer that border deception is nothing new.
“The records of Republican politicians in Arizona who give short shrift to border enforcement and the illegal-alien invasion are legion,” Haney said.
“Republican Senators John McCain, Jon Kyl, and Jeff Flake, as well as Representatives John Shadegg, Matt Salmon, David Schweikert, and Paul Gosar, have become experts on speaking out of both sides of their mouths on the subjects.
“In 2013, Schweikert, Salmon, and Gosar co-authored a piece entitled, ‘What Immigration Reform Must Entail’,” Haney said. “It began with ‘America is a nation of immigrants,’ and contained all the red-flag words one would expect in a liberal columnist’s piece in opposition to strong enforcement of our immigration laws: melting pot, American Dream, immigration system not working, 11 million illegal immigrants trapped in the shadows, etc.”

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