The Skinny


Once again, we're going to press too early for elections results, though for the first time, you can catch up-to-the-minute election commentary at Or you could have caught it, had you logged on long before you picked up this paper.

But the deadline crunch isn't stopping us from providing you with some pre-post-election analysis. With the help of quantum physics, we're ready to tell you how the dust settled--before it's even shaken up! Let's face it: All of the candidates are simultaneously winners and losers until those ballot boxes are opened, and the votes are counted.

How's it work? Simple! Just read the paragraph about the winners, and forget about the losers. Everyone else will soon enough. And that's if they even knew about them in the first place!

Let's start with our Scramblewatch'06: Special Day-o'-Decision Edition. The congressional race to replace Congressman Jim Kolbe has been so full of passion and intrigue. The big reveal of the former Graf campaign manager's problems with jailbait. Arguments about illegal immigration. The big reveal of the former Huffman campaign treasurer's problems with creeping around a state senator's house with a camera. Arguments about illegal immigration. The question of whether Randy Graf is more dangerous than a teenager. Arguments about illegal immigration. And that was just in the GOP primary. Speaking of which:

If Randy Graf wins ... Randy Graf wisely played to the GOP base, taking the most conservative position he could on every issue. That was enough to win enough votes to capture the nomination in a five-way primary. The big question: Can Graf reunite a splintered Republican Party to win the general election?

If Steve Huffman wins ... It's the same ol' story: Big money always wins. Especially when it's poured into a barrage of negative advertising. The big question: Can Huffman reunite a splintered Republican Party to win the general election?

If Mike Hellon wins ... This was the perfect storm for Hellon, who was trailing in the polls in the week leading up the election. But Republican voters were smart enough to realize that Huffman's negative attacks had left such bad feelings among conservatives, and Graf's right-wing platform would never play to moderates, independents and Democrats, so neither could win in November. So voters wisely turned to Hellon as the candidate who could reunite a splintered Republican Party to win the general election. Hellon has just become the Jesse Ventura of Southern Arizona.

If Frank Antenori wins ... Antenori brought his military experience to bear in this race, using a classic guerrilla-style psyop campaign to pull off the upset of the year.

If Mike Jenkins wins ... Jenkins showed that ... OK, some things just aren't going to happen.

The CD8 Democrats:

If Gabrielle Giffords wins ... Giffords ran a close-to-flawless campaign. She had grassroots volunteers. She had the most money of any candidate in the race. She had all the important endorsements. And while she showed she could fight back when attacked, she didn't pick fights with her primary opponents. As a result, the Democratic Party is much less fractured than the GOP as the campaign shifts gears for the general, and Giffords is poised to head to Washington.

If Patty Weiss wins ... Weiss showed that name ID remains the key to political victory, though she was certainly aided by Giffords' incompetent campaign. Weiss was able to pierce Giffords' phony Democratic faade and show that Giffords was really a Republican at heart.

If Jeff Latas wins ... Blogger George Tuttle--if indeed that is his real name--was way out ahead of everyone else with this one: He knew that Latas would surge once his DVD hit mailboxes, and people discovered the tough candidate they had previously ignored. Latas has pioneered an unconventional tactic that has revolutionized campaigns. Call the DCCC now!

If Alex Rodriguez wins ... Rodriguez showed he had uncanny political instincts when he laid out his path to victory. While the high-profile candidates--Giffords, Weiss, Shacter--were splitting the votes, Rodriguez went right up the middle with all the voters who supported him in his Tucson Unified School District board race, all the Latino voters and all the members of the military. This was no easy feat, given that Rodriguez was reduced to using his psychic powers to establish name ID after he failed to raise a significant amount of money for his campaign.

If Francine Shacter wins ... Nobody believed Shacter when she said that she was building name ID by handing out pens. But she proved the skeptics wrong. Shacter has pioneered an unconventional tactic that has revolutionized campaigns. Call the DCCC now! And be sure to visit eBay to bid on our Shacter pen, which is up for auction right now.

If Bill Johnson wins ... Who knew there were so many Democratic Minutemen in CD8?

On to the GOP gubernatorial primary:

If Don Goldwater wins ... Many political observers mocked Goldwater for failing to qualify for Clean Elections funding until one week before the primary, but they didn't realize that was part of Don's master plan for a late surge to take him over the top. Goldwater knew that his membership in the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps was worth much more than a half-million dollars in public campaign funds.

If Len Munsil wins ... Munsil had a grassroots network, plenty of Clean Elections funds and the endorsements of U.S. Sen. John McCain, half the congressional delegation and more state lawmakers than Goldwater. But the real key to victory was more fundamental: God's will be done.

If Mike Harris wins ... It's obvious that Republicans are sick of candidates running on the public dole of Clean Elections and realized that Harris was right when he said the only way a Republican will win in November is if he can spend millions and millions of dollars to unseat Gov. Janet Napolitano. Expect to see the fundraising floodgates open for Harris. He may even be able to pay the rent on his campaign office, as well as those outstanding debts to his political consultants and that court judgment he still owes Gary Tupper after he made an unsuccessful attempt to knock his opponent off the ballot.

If Gary Tupper wins ... Tupper reached out to the moderate wing of the Republican Party--and for the first time, they came out to vote while the conservatives stayed home. Who would have imagined that fewer than a dozen Republicans would vote in a statewide GOP primary?

In the Democratic primary for state Senate in Legislative District 28:

If Ted Downing wins ... Downing proved conclusively that grandstanding is the key to winning in politics.

If Paula Aboud wins ... Aboud proved conclusively that grandstanding is a sure loser in politics.

In the Republican primary for state House of Representatives in Legislative District 30:

If Jonathan Paton wins ... Paton has done a superb job of working the media in his first two years of office--first, by getting attention for his bills; second, by landing on The O'Reilly Factor by taking on TUSD and Dolores Huerta; and third, by serving his country by volunteering for a six-month hitch in Iraq and possibly Afghanistan. All that attention, combined with a well-oiled campaign machine, assured his return to a second term.

If Marian McClure wins ... McClure was able to show that conservative voters in LD30 aren't going to be swayed by two knuckle-dragging would-be conservatives whose entire campaigns were made possible by political welfare.

If David Gowan wins ... Turns out that voters in LD30 really are anti-sodomy. Or maybe a lot of them have second homes in LD26, since that's where Gowan sent his first three mailers.

If Frank Callegari wins ... Callegari's message that state prisoners can serve out 10-year sentences in tents clearly resonated with LD30 voters. Now it's just a matter of figuring out how to pay guards to work those tent cities all summer long ...

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