|Mary Rose Wilcox and Ruben Gallego from the Republic|
There are only a couple of safe Democrat seats for Arizona in the U.S. House of Representatives. One of them is in the 7th district, a seat that is now held by the retiring Ed Pastor. I had the unfortunate experience to be "represented" by Ed for a number of years until gerrymandering moved the borders of the district. In retrospect, Mr. Pastor was at least not an aggressively evil anti-rights activist, more of the "follow the party line" kind of guy. It was rumored that as long as Ed had his mistresses and easy money, he would not work super hard to deprive you of your rights. King log is way better than king stork.
Now Ed Pastor is retiring, and the safe seventh district is up for grabs. There are four Democrats running in the primary. One candidate's husband, Earl Wilcox, and candidate Ruben Gallego got into a bit of a tiff at Senator Jeff Flake's office when activists were delivering petitions calling for restrictive gun control laws. From azcentral.com:
Earl Wilcox called Gallego a "traitor to the cause," according to a reporter's notes of the exchange, because Gallego supported looser gun laws while serving in the Arizona Legislature and previously belonged to the National Rifle Association.I do not know much about Gallego, but I met Jennifer Longdon at the Phoenix "buy back" program last year. She was pleasant to talk to, but explained that she was just a volunteer who had not participated in the planning of the event. She defended Gallego against the attack by Wilcox:
At one point, as Gallego posed with activists for a photo, Earl interrupted, saying, "NRA — NRA member over here," according to a video obtained by The Arizona Republic.
"I'm an NRA member," replied Jennifer Longdon, a prominent activist with Arizonans for Gun Safety who uses a wheelchair because of a gunshot injury. She later clarified to The Republic that she is a former NRA member who still owns a gun.Mary Rose Wilcox controls a powerful political machine in south Phoenix. She was shot in the rear by a homeless citizen who was upset with the corruption that was exhibited after voters repeatedly refused to increase taxes for a new stadium. Wilcox was instrumental in figuring out and implementing a way to thwart the will of the voters. A local paper even wrote that she deserved the attack. From the phoenixnewtimes.com:
Did Wilcox the county supervisor deserve to get shot in the ass?It might be an act of desperation on the part of the Wilcox machine for her husband to go to a small anti-gun event and attack an opponent as a "traitor to the cause". I am not sure just how many of her constituents are radically for restricting the second amendment and anti-NRA, but I suspect that even in a Democrat primary in South Phoenix, it is a small number.
Among those in the know, Wilcox is noted not for her integrity but her arrogance. South Phoenix is considered by many to be controlled by the Wilcox political machine. Comparisons with old Chicago have been drawn.
In politics, organization counts for a great deal. So does sympathy in the old media. In the azcentral.com article about the contretemps, I did not find a single mention of the many scandals that Mary Rose Wilcox has been involved in.
Participating in a event designed to create even more restrictive gun laws does not endear Ruben Gallego to me. The fact that Jennifer London defended him is in his favor. But more than that, the idea that the Wilcox machine is against him... that speaks volumes.
I do not know who will win the 7th District primary. We Arizonans will likely have to live with them for the rest of their careers. I can hope that someone less corrupt can win. If I could vote in the primary, I would vote for whoever looked as though they could beat Wilcox. At least it takes time to build a machine.
©2014 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice is included.
Link to Gun Watch