Sunday, November 26, 2006

GilaMonsterVille No More

Tucson, Arizona--Last spring, George Tuttle created his blog GilaMonsterVille as part of support for the candidacy of Jeff Latas for Congress in District 8. George was a solid Jeff supporter, and various threads at his blog and others showed his commitment to his candidate, and in particular, his lack of enthusiasm for Gabrielle Giffords. Will spare you the back and forth between George and Giffords supporter Roger Kralamajales, but suffice to say the Gilaville was rich with anti-Giffords rhetoric and the faith that Jeff Latas was an individual of more substance.

Was Latas of more substance than Giffords? Difficult to say, and while he triggered my "self-important" meter, so do many who seek office. Frankly, I never saw Latas as viable. I just didn't. The democratic primary, from the word go, was between two women. In terms of popularity and electibility, it was between the Giffords campaign machine and Weiss's name recognition.

With hindsight, in terms of genuine effectiveness and political experience, the CD 8 democratic primary was also between two women that could really do the job effectively, Gabrielle Giffords and Francine Shacter. Giffords had the resources. Francine did not. The others were wannabees that in my opinion had a weak understanding of the path they were cutting through the forest.

Well, George, life goes on. I certainly don't judge you in any negative way for deleting your blog. Perhaps one day I will delete this, but I do wonder about the distinction between just stopping future posts, leaving the record available, and deleting it. Not sure what you think of what you have posted over these past few months.

My blogger future is uncertain. I do however, stand by every story I allow to remain posted at my place. (Yes, I have posted some, and then upon reflection, either modified or deleted them). I currently believe that even if I were to choose to stop, I would leave the past material on line, whatever its value.

That said, hindsight constantly alters perspective, and perhaps some day that big button that says, "NEVERMIND" will make sense to me as well.


Blogger sirocco said...

Yeah, I disagreed with George a bunch, but at least he threw his opinions out there and opened things up for debate/critique/criticism.

I hope he continues to actively support Progressive causes, and Latas as well.

11/27/2006 7:32 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

Whenever I think of the CD8 congressional election, I will always remember that afternoon in Patagonia last January when all the Democratic candidates spoke together for the first time. The two women who ended up being the winner and the distant runner up could not bring themselves to condemn the invasion and occupation of Iraq. We later learned that the candidate who would be the winner had actually commended George Bush for the invasion as part of the "war on terrorism."

In my world, there's very little you can do to redeem yourself if you supported the invasion of Iraq. Given that, I am very doubtful that I will ever vote for Ms. Giffords or support her in any way.

There was one other thing that Ms. Giffords said that I remember from that day in Patagonia. When asked why she wanted to represent CD8, she replied, "this is such a rare opportunity with Jim Kolbe retiring." Not a word about the constituents. I remember saying to my husband that this candidate must be mostly interested in the promotion and the raise.

In the final analysis, I think many people would agree that the campaign won the election and not the candidate. And, apparently, that's the way it is almost 100% of the time. We're certainly no worse off than we were with Kolbe, but that's as optimistic as I can get about the new representative. Time will tell.

I think that the George Bush II administration has shown us the high cost of complacency. Let's hope enough people understand this so that the minor shift in the political winds generated by the midterm election continues to gather momentum. Congress needs an eternal flame lit under its collective arse and it is the responsibility of the people to make sure that it stays lit.

11/27/2006 12:12 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...


Can't comment on what was said in patagonia, as I was not there. I can say my experiences and impressions regarding the winner are completely different from yours.

I _can_ point out you misrepresent the vote in question in 2003 ... but you know that already, you simply choose to only read part of it, or read into it that which makes Giffords look the worst.

11/27/2006 2:19 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I hope this is the last time I ever quote the 2003 Senate Concurrent Resolution 1026. Yes, the resolution covered more than just a commendation to President Bush for the invasion of Iraq. And my question to you is this - so what? Can you read and understand what you read?

"1. That the Members of the Legislature express their unequivocal support and appreciation to the President as Commander-in-Chief for his firm leadership and decisive action in the conduct of military operations in Iraq as part of the ongoing global war on terrorism.

2. That the Members of the Legislature express their gratitude for the members of the United States armed forces who are serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom and recognize their excellence, patriotism and exceptional bravery.

3. That the Members of the Legislature extend their prayers and best wishes for the families of the United States military personnel who are serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

4. That the Secretary of State of the State of Arizona transmit copies of this Resolution to the President of the United States, the Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, the President pro tempore of the United States Senate, the Secretary of the United States Department of Defense and the news media of Arizona."

What is it about #1 that you don't understand, sirocco?

Giffords publicly supported the invasion of Iraq. It did not cost her the election because, as it turns out, very few people in CD8 think like I do.

11/27/2006 3:40 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Just to be crystal clear with you, I "misrepresented" nothing as the direct quote above from the resolution we are speaking of indisputably proves.

What is not clear is what supporters such as yourself have to gain by not being able to just simply admit when black is black and white is white. For crying out loud, the damn resolution is online.

11/27/2006 3:49 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I have to say, I really don't understand all of this criticism of Jeff Latas after the fact. Kralmajales was doing it over on George Tuttle's blog, and I was pretty clear with him that it was unnecessary and unappreciated.

I wonder how many of us give much thought as to what a Herculean effort it must be to run for a political office. It literally consumes the lives of the candidates for a significant period of time. In addition, political candidates are subjected to a type of public scrutiny that few of us would be willing to tolerate.

As it turned out, Latas generated very little support for his campaign and Giffords and Weiss were the front runners from the day they entered the race. The Latas campaign showed me that a very decent and qualified citizen doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell against an experienced politician with a following and a big wad of cash. In fact, he didn't even stand a chance against a local celebrity. I'm not surprised but I just wonder how often these decent, qualified people will be willing to offer themselves to these political contests if the inevitable result is that you just can't win.

Why add insult to injury? In fact, why not just thank him for the personal sacrifices he made to be a candidate? Maybe his campaign influenced some of the issues in a positive way, particularly the opposition to the Iraq War.

I think that Jeff Latas is a very courageous and decent man. I would have been proud to have been represented by him.

11/27/2006 4:14 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...


I am more than familiar with the resolution.

Given the timing of when it occurred, and the presence of items 2, 3 and 4 in the resolution as well, I stand by my statement your characterization, which was focused solely on point 1, is a mis-representation of the matter.

Re. Latas, I agree with you, Latas does seem to me a courageous and decent man, and while I did not vote for him in the primary, I certainly would have made the maximum monetary donation to his campaign plus whatever other support I could provide had he been the Democratic candidate. I am very pleased to know he is remaining active within the political community.

Having said that, I don't think x4mr (or most anyone) has been critical of Jeff in anywhere near the same degree you have been critical of Giffords (and Weiss, for that matter).

11/28/2006 11:00 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

I am "critical" of a person who commended George Bush for invading a country without cause? Indeed, the timing of this resolution was such that anyone who dug a little deeper than Fox News and most of the rest of the corporate media would have some serious doubts about signing such a statement. If that is "criticism", then, yes,
I am very critical.

War is serious business, sirocco. Tens of thousands of innocent people have died in Iraq. I have one question for you. Do you enjoy being alive? Do you enjoy getting up and doing whatever it is you do everyday? Well, so did they.

11/28/2006 11:48 AM  
Blogger sirocco said...


I am well aware of the costs, risks, dangers involved in warfare.

I think you are more than welcome to be critical of Giffords (or any other candidate).

I was simply pointing out the level and intensity of your criticism of Giffords has been far higher than any directed at Mr. Latas by x4mr.

11/28/2006 1:52 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

I'm just not as eloquent as x4mr.

I have written several books, but people tend to refer to them as "user manuals." I'm still trying lose my cold, harsh, and brutally direct writing style and morph it into something more eloquent.

11/28/2006 3:43 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...

Woot! Double digit comment count!

You, BTW, are perfectly eloquent. There is a lot to be said for making your opint in a direct, concise manner.

11/28/2006 6:39 PM  

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