GOP Split in Ariz. 8 Provides Huge Opening for Giffords by Marie Horrigan The New York Times October 6 2006
Conservative activist Randy Graf, the Republican nominee in Arizona’s open 8th Congressional District, has drawn the open opposition of the retiring 11-term Republican incumbent, popular moderate Jim Kolbe. National Republican strategists have pulled their money out of the race, cancelling a big independent expenditure campaign they had planned for the general election.
With this seat in southeast Arizona now appearing one of the Democrats’ surer pickups in their bid to take control of the House, CQPolitics.com has changed its rating on the race to Democrat Favored from No Clear Favorite.
The New York Times action in publicizing this action is in itself significant.
Much more incisive (of course) is The Nation’s article
The Minutemen Hit the Wall MARC COOPER posted October 5, 2006 (October 23, 2006 issue)
As about sixty supporters of Democratic Congressional candidate and businesswoman Gabrielle Giffords gathered in late September for a wine and guacamole fundraiser at a local hillside home, their mood was nothing short of electric. Earlier in the day a news report had swept through this desert district with all the drama and punch of a late summer monsoon: The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) had just canceled about $1 million in planned TV ads for Giffords's GOP rival, Randy Graf. "The Republicans have firmly planted the white flag in this district," said a jubilant Giffords campaign official. "This is nothing short of surrender."
The campaign official is right. The Nation found a “veteran Arizona Republican consultant” willing (a.k.a eager) to say
If something freakish were to happen in the next few weeks and this guy were actually to get elected, it would be a disaster for us. Right-wing tirades in a border area like this make Republicans look like crackers. With more and more people coming to live in Arizona and many of them at least slightly liberal, Republicans can't afford to sound like racists."
Sounds like Ken Mehlman again.
This is a socially temperate district that sometimes gave the openly gay Republican Kolbe more than 60 percent of the vote
Much more relevant long term is how Graf’s opponent Gabrielle Giffords, is handing the immigration issue, which amounts to Chris Cannon's me tooism.
Enforcement-plus" is the way Giffords describes her immigration position: tighter enforcement, plus an expanded visa and guest-worker program. But listening to Giffords address her campaign supporters at that hillside fundraiser, it sounded like "enforcement" was 90 percent of the equation and that the "plus" was maybe 10 percent
Needless to say, this stand is utterly fraudulent:
To stem the tide, she called for more "radar, aerial drones, electronic surveillance, tough employer sanctions"—and, yes, "a guest-worker program."…
Giffords also has the solid support of the local Democratic political network headed by Representative Raúl Grijalva, one of the strongest voices for immigration reform.
The Democrats are against him … The Washington Republicans are against him… What more do you need to know?