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AZ Republican Recruits 'Street People' to Run as Green Candidates

Thomas Meadows is not your typical candidate. Maybe more candidates need to wear jester caps and practice the art of Tarot card reading. But he has a direct message: "It's not the land off the free...it's the land of what's for sale."

Meadows is one of several Arizona "street people" recruited by a Republican candidate for state legislature, Steve May, to run for various political offices under the Green Party banner.  The strategy here is the hope that the "sham" candidates draw votes away from Democratic Party candidates.

As you might imagine, this is drawling howls of outrage from the Democrats.

"The evidence is compelling," said Democratic Party spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson. "And it shows an utter disregard for the voters of Arizona."

What was a local dispute is now drawing national attention. It's a major story in The New York Times.

Mr. May rejects any claim that his candidates, including Ben Percy the "illegitimate son of a stripper," are part of any kind of a "sham:"

“Are you fake, Grandpa?” he said to Anthony Goshorn, 53, a candidate for the State Senate whose bushy white beard and paternal manner have earned him that nickname on the streets. “I’m real,” he replied.

I understand the political principal that you "owe it to your philosophy to know how to win." And I endorse the idea that mastering the technologies of politics enhances your chances of winning. And I'm open to persuasion that May's tactics serve as some kind of commentary on the ridiculousness on Arizona politics. But it does seem that an effort like this might simply undercut May's overall credibility. And reduce the effectiveness of his own message.  Why not focus more on what you have to offer than trying a political "trick play" in hopes of siphoning off a few democratic votes.

And perhaps Gawker asks the best question:

How on earth did May "befriend" the "one-armed pregnant woman named Roxie" who later introduced him to his candidates?

One last thing…
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