The Arizona Spring

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2012/07/10 by seanmiller12

Arizona Democratic Party

Well, actually, it’s summer, already, but we’re kinda slow, here, in Arizona. Someone likened happenings in Arizona to the Arab Spring, and the ripples of change are, indeed, being felt by the powerful. Every week, loyal Democrats march, blow horns, carry signs, and yell through bullhorns outside of Democratic Party Headquarters, in Phoenix, announcing the Party’s failure to adequately address the Dream Act and SB1070. Although Party mouthpieces claim the demonstrators are of no consequence, the illuminated, magnetic sign, on the roof of Party headquarters has changed from proclaiming, “Go, Gabby!” to “Pass the DREAM Act, now!” They are listening, in the building on the northwest corner of Thomas and Central. They are listening, and well the should. The People are speaking!

Party bosses recruit Dreamers  to support their candidate for sheriff,  in spite of the fact this candidate, should he win the race, would only deport these kids. Paul Penzone’s own web site has asserted as much, stating he would aggressively enforce SB 1070, should it become law. Picking up, where Sheriff Joe Arpaio left off,  Penzone would even go after  employers, in a valiant fight to rid Arizona of the ‘illegal alien’. He has stated, “The law is the law.” Penzone would enforce SB 1070, and, according to his own Facebook page, would go after businesses which allegedly hire the undocumented, further harming employment in the Latino community. People with brown skin and black hair might be ‘illegals’. You never can tell, and why should an employer take a chance? For now, Paul Penzone is the Dreamers’ friend. The future will be very different.

When SB 1070 was born, the contemporary party chair instructed his minions to say nothing about it because it would not be expedient to do so, in fact, in spite of certain few party operatives opposing the bill, it was actually endorsed, by acquiescence, due to overwhelmingly racist sympathies garnered from a poll. Regardless of what would be moral and right, the Party of the People, the Arizona Democratic Party, sought to do what seemed politically expedient.

The complaints of the protestors include Party subversion of candidates  deemed unelectable by a cabal within the party, in lieu of a primary election, the traditional, contemporary method of selection.  Candidates, such as Scott Prior, Tonya Norwood, Wenona Benally Baldenegro,  John Rowan, and Mikel Weisser have been not only ignored, they have been actively discriminated against. Campaign managers were phoned and threatened by Party operatives. Candidates are denied access to the VAN, the most efficient tool for identifying Democratic voters, and composing walk lists. Even candidates’ posters, signs, and campaign literature are vandalised, or simply removed from view, at Party headquarters, a direct violation of election laws. This is, in fact, a misdemeanor. The order to neutralise undesired candidates’ information comes from none other than the Deputy Chair of the Maricopa County Democratic Party. His functionary has been a current candidate, herself, running for Arizona State Sente. This, in keeping with County Party Chair, Ann Wallack, having told one potential candidate, that she would not allow his “shit” in her headquarters. The old, smoke-filled room syndrome seems to have, once again, reared its ugly head. Ann Wallack, county chair of the Party, had no problem at a Grand Dems gathering, in May, with the concept of her being a king-maker.

Bylaws? What bylaws? Queen Ann needs no bylaws. She openly admitted, in fact bragged, about her efforts to recruit Paul Penzone as a candidate for sheriff, in the race against the infamous Joe Arpaio, in spite of Penzone not being a registered Democrat, required by  Party bylaws. Extrpolation of this fact reveals the basis of Arizona Democratic Party Bylaws in the Arizona Revised Statutes. Violation, therefore, is criminal. Small matter. Candidates have received emails, promising them disenfranchisement by a local union president, should they appear on the talk show of a man not deemed sanitary by the Party. Old fashioned, machine politics are back in the Arizona Democratic Party. Candidates wanted: only Chosen Ones need apply.

Randy Parraz, leader of Citizens for a Better Arizona, and a man  reputed for his successful efforts at disruption of local state and county meetings, isn’t appreciative, at all, when he perceives the tables  turned. Citizens for a Better Arizona, Randy’s cheerleaders, recently held a forum against Sheriff Joe Arpaio, featuring George Gascon as a guest speaker. Before the forum began, Randy raced across the room to face a local activist, Angel Garcia, loudly proclaiming to him that his presence was not desired and that he was trespassing, although Angel held a ticket for said event. Randy continued to yell at Angel that he was trespassing, and demanded that he leave immediately. As he approached Garcia, Parraz subtly shoulder checked him, so subtly that hardly anyone noticed, but Angel, and persons in close proximity, did. Nothing like a little assault, to make the evening so special!

Randy screamed at Angel, eyes wide, and neck veins sticking out, “You have to leave!” To the attending Phoenix Police Officer, one Sergeant Schweikert, his voice still raised, Randy said, “I am presenting him with an order of trespass!” The officer asked, “Do you want him arrested?” Randy replied, “Yes!” and loudly repeated, “Yes.” He reported to the officer that CBA had received numerous threats, that they understood Angel was attending the affair only to disrupt it. This is ironic, since Randy Parraz has a well-known reputation for well choreographed, disruptive theatre at Arizona Board of Supervisors meetings. Angel calmly told Randy that he was leaving. The officer, amused with the macabre scene unfolding in front of him, couldn’t help but laugh. Parraz again ordered Garcia to leave. Angel turned, and asked Sergeant Schweikert, still chuckling, if he would mind stepping away from the doorway, so he could exit, and asked whether he would have a problem with Angel’s standing just outside the doorway, while he waited for his friends. The officer complied, moved away, and told Angel that his being just outside the doorway would be perfectly acceptable. Randy continued to address Angel in an aggressive, raised voice. Angel left.

Angel’s  friends, who had just arrived, were being equally threatened with an “order of trespass” by Randy Parraz. A naturally gregarious man, Randy just couldn’t help himself, and seemed to spread these greetings to anyone he encountered. Angel’s friends were Democratic candidate for Maricopa County Sheriff, John Rowan, his fiancée, Terri Woodmansee, and his campaign manager, Dennis Howerton, the nucleus of ‘Team Rowan’. Once Mr. Rowan privately informed Parraz that he was, indeed, a legitimate Democratic candidate, as well as a ticket holder for this event, furthermore, that he refused to leave, and Parraz would have to have him arrested, Randy changed his tune, and beckoned down the hall, to Dennis Howerton, to join them in their discussion.  Dennis refused Randy’s gesture, telling him that Randy had no authority over him. He didn’t take orders from him. Like Parraz, a Berkley Law graduate, though not an attorney, having never sat for the bar exams, Messers Rowan and Howerton also had a bit of experience with the Law. Both were retired police officers. Rowan, in fact had been an acquaintance of the guest speaker, George Gascon, for a number of years. At the conclusion of the discussion between Randy Parraz and John Rowan, the trio of Woodmansee, Rowan, and Howerton did manage to attend the lecture by George Gascon. Randy Parraz, infamous for disrupting Board of Supervisors meetings, and fearful that his own tactics would be deployed against him, failed in intimidating his quarry. The trio was, it seems, the adults in the room. Just as the Democratic Party  changed its magnetic sign, because of  the will of the People, Randy Parraz  backed down from his usual choreographed theatrics. Elmer Gantry took a seat.



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