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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Steve May exploits the homeless for political gain

Arizona has attracted a considerable amount of attention in recent months for its outlandish politics.

The embroilment between Steve May and the Arizona Green Party has become the state’s latest political firestorm.

Nearly half of the candidates on the Arizona Green Party ticket this year are “”homeless street people”” that frequent the popular Mill Avenue area in Tempe.

The most eccentric of the bunch include tarot card reader Thomas Meadows, who seeks the position of Arizona treasurer, and “”Grandpa”” Goshorn, a pedicab driver and state Senate hopeful.  Benjamin Pearcey, a candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission, sports a faux-hawk and lists his campaign office as a local Starbucks.

Some of the disputed candidates were recruited by Republican operative Steve May in what many believe is part of a broader undertaking by the Arizona Republican Party to siphon votes away from the Democrats.

The party’s efforts have been facilitated by a ridiculous Arizona law allowing candidates to become Green Party nominees with a single write-in vote.

This November, Green Party candidates may be enticing to liberals disenchanted with the Arizona Democratic Party, which already comprises an insignificant minority in the state’s legislature.

In a recent interview with The New York Times, Steve May openly admits to the fact that he recruited candidates but denies that they are illegitimate: “”Did I recruit candidates? Yes. Are they fake candidates? No way.””

Even though his duplicitous intentions are as clear as day, May continues to insist he was only trying to help the “”Mill Rats”” get their voices heard.

It has also been reported that some of the sham candidates in question switched party identification from Republican to Green shortly before the deadline to file as a write-in candidate expired.

If May truly wanted to empower these people, as he alleges, he wouldn’t have recruited them into a political party that does not represent their beliefs. None of the recruits have been endorsed by the Green Party and they certainly do not have the resources to run successful campaigns. Furthermore, the probability of any one of these candidates winning is one in a million.

Green Party officials filed for a temporary restraining order against the nine fraudulent candidates last week but, in a travesty of justice, U.S. District Judge David G. Campbell denied the request, claiming he wasn’t sufficiently persuaded by the merits of the Green Party’s case.

May continues to rebuff accusations that his actions were intended to draw votes away from the Democrats, but this week another shoe dropped in the controversy.

TruthAZ.com has released a phone call between Chris Campbell, a Green Party recruit who has since dropped out of the race, and local Arizona businessman Shawn Nelson, which seemingly supports these allegations of fraud.

Steve May and his cohorts in the Arizona Republican Party used these recruits as a means for crippling their liberal opposition. Then, in order to shield themselves from reproach, have claimed they were only trying to enfranchise them.

They manipulated the system by taking advantage of a loophole in a poorly written state law and exploited the homeless.

No one should be precluded from running for higher office simply because they are a little eccentric, but when they are recruited by a politician in a brazen attempt to sabotage his opposition, an exception must be made.  

The Mill Avenue “”sham candidates”” should be removed from the ballot immediately.

— Nyles Kendall is a political science junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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