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Murphy to Neutopia: "I've got just the thing to plug your flag hole!"

In the first week of competition at Project White House, Republican presidential candidate Sean "CF" Murphy unleashed a blistering attack on Democratic presidential candidate Libby "Doctress Neutopia" Hubbard, telling the public-access television personality to "plug your flag hole" with an apple pie.

Murphy was responding to a YouTube video production posted on the Project White House site, which showed the Democratic contender cutting a hole in the American flag on the U.S.-Mexico border. After saying Old Glory had been "liberated," Hubbard declared an end to borders.

"We have liberated the border," Hubbard said. "There are no more nation states!"

In Murphy's ad, which was also posted on YouTube and the Project White House site, the eye-patched Republican criticized Hubbard for her treatment of the flag before offering her a freshly baked apple pie to put inside the circle she had cut out.

Said Murphy: "I've got just the thing to fill your flag hole."

Hubbard responded by blasting Murphy's tribute to One-Eyed Jack Williams, a former Arizona governor she called "an ugly little footnote whose present-day admirers can be counted on one finger."

Added Hubbard: "As for candidate Murphy or any other pie-eyed jingoist who thinks he has some exclusive rights to interpret the symbolism of the 'stars and stripes,' well, guess again. That star-splattered banner is just an unimaginative rip-off of the flag of the East India Company, the world's first pillaging, multi-national corporation, and originator of the opium trade."

The hard-hitting exchange topped a topsy-turvy week of campaigning for the candidates participating in Project White House, the Reality Journalism competition that pits candidates on Arizona's Feb. 5 presidential primary ballot against each other in the hopes of winning the Tucson Weekly's endorsement--if not Arizona delegates to the respective parties' national conventions.

Full details on the competition, as well as the aforementioned video clips and more info about the PWH candidates, can be found at the Project Web site.

In another Project White House shocker, Democrat Richard Grayson of Apache Junction abruptly quit the race shortly after posting a series of platform positions on the campaign blog.

Grayson had moved into the top tier of PWH candidates with his aggressive campaigning, despite revealing earlier that he was actually running for Congress against Republican Jeff Flake and had gotten into the presidential race by mistake.

"My campaign is basically DIY, and my only staff consists of inexperienced hipster interns," Grayson explained. "Due to a staff mix-up by one of them who at the time was listening to Rilo Kiley on his iPod, IM'ing his girlfriend and watching QuarterLife on YouTube, he accidentally got me on the presidential preference primary (ballot). Let my run for president be a warning to those who think multitasking at a vegan restaurant enhances productivity and efficiency."

Grayson covered his own withdrawal from the presidential race, issuing the following dispatch:

Richard Grayson withdrew from the race for the presidency yesterday, changing the 2008 Arizona Democratic presidential preference primary campaign back into a 23-way race and sending other candidates scrambling to fill the space he left on the political map. The announcement in Apache Junction followed days of turmoil and division in the campaign of the handsome writer. Political professionals in both parties struggled to figure out who was helped and who was hurt by Mr. Grayson's withdrawal. Some argued that his presence in the race would have simply divided the vote, and thus his leaving would inevitably help the other morons running; there were polls this week that seemed to back that up. Others, however, argued that Mr. Grayson's withdrawal helped no one because they believed Mr. Grayson's strength, at its core, was nonexistent.

What was clear was that Mr. Grayson's abrupt announcement reconfigured the rules of a game that the 48 candidates on the Arizona ballot were just beginning to learn. His reluctant candidacy, which surged in the polls last month before fading from boredom, had raised a host of strange and new scenarios.

Chief among them was an election in which no one candidate would garner more than 5 percent of the vote in the February 5 primary. Mr. Grayson cited that possibility yesterday as the main reason for his withdrawal, although he also had said he had withdrawn after hearing that other candidates were scheming to smear his daughter with a computer-altered photograph on Facebook and to disrupt her wedding.

However, as the Weekly was going to press, rumors were swirling that Grayson would respond to pleas from supporters to return to the race.

As Grayson was exiting the race, several additional candidates were joining in the competition, including Republican Michael Shaw and Democrats Rich Lee and Frank Lynch.

Their entry into Project White House brings the number of participating candidates to at least 24 (not counting Grayson)--or exactly half of the candidates running in the Feb. 5 primary.

American Pie
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