Thursday, October 18, 2007

Bee To Complete 2008 Presidency

Tucson, Arizona. Over two months ago, I posted Bee Will Complete Term as if the matter were concluded. As time passed, I drifted from this position and became convinced that he had to resign in January to stand a chance against Gabrielle Giffords for Arizona's Eighth Congressional District, thinking that it would be almost impossible to remain president of the AZ senate AND run for Congress at the same time. Isn't "Resign to Run" meant to eliminate this sort of thing?

Uh, no. Funny how clear it seems with hindsight. My lunch conversation confirmed what I expected, and I am now able to shed some light.

Tim Bee is NOT violating any state or federal election laws. The spirit of Arizona's resign to run is to prevent the double dip of crafting two possibilities at the same time. Termed out officials must leave their offices. Specifically for this reason, the law excludes the the final year of a final term. Officials who are termed out cannot retain their seats and are therefore permitted to pursue the next one. The decision whether to resign remains with the individual.

"Final year" means January 1, 2008. Until then, Bee cannot announce but he can explore and solicit donations without limit. Running for federal office, he must comply with federal law and submit reports to the FEC. He is. Regarding donations, I split with fellow bloggers Sirocco and Roger (pals can disagree) that pre-announcement fund raising has the weight of post announcement activity. I am with Thinkright, Framer, and Tony when they project an influx of funds. Bee will have money.

Tim Bee will complete his senate term. He completes no matter what. He completes if it runs into August, consequences good or bad for his 2008 campaign.

Now it starts to get interesting. A well anticipated assault will be that he commits an unscrupulous act by remaining senate president while running for Congress. The legal matter has been settled, but some may try to angle he violates the intent. He'll address this quickly and probably effectively. Last I checked, Hillary was still a senator.

At the top level, the framing portrays a man so committed to the state of Arizona that he will burn the candle at both ends, not double dipping, but double duty in a noble sacrifice of self for others, working ridiculous hours to do justice to both his office and his campaign, unwilling to abandon his post and force Janet to deal with wingnuts like Pullen, Weiers, Johnson, or Pearce. The "moderate" hero, a beacon of commitment to those that elected him, will not resign even if it makes the campaign more challenging. Expect language along the lines of "Resigning would be easier and safer, but I will not abandon my post. I am not that kind of person. Yes, it will be harder to win, but so be it. I will find what it takes to honor all commitments."

To understand one must disaggregate finer than red vs. blue and recognize that while a repeat of the 2006 fiasco has been eliminated, a GOP split still exists (and not just locally). Randy Pullen would LOVE for Bee to resign. Randy Pullen is one of the reasons why he won't.

If he crafts the message just right, the boat can float and inspire. He faces an extraordinary tightrope against a sharp opponent who has been discussing health care, Iraq, immigration, education, and many other federal issues every day. The foul climate wipes out the normal GOP advantage in CD 8. The race reeks of destiny for both candidates.

I may for many reasons turn out to be wrong, but October 2007 odds strongly point to a race between an honorable and deeply committed Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords facing an honorable and deeply committed AZ Senate President seeking her seat because he authentically believes he can do a superior job. Who best serves the district is for the voters to decide. Anyone talking about this race like it's a done deal for either of them has no clue.

9 Comments:

Blogger thinkright said...

interesting.
I'd also suggest that Bee will be the last Southern AZ Senate Prez for a while & we need him working for Southern AZ benefit.

10/18/2007 2:14 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Good post and I agree. Tim Bee is one of the best Republican politicians in Arizona right now. I'd like to see this election be about having a real choice, and let the voters decide.

10/18/2007 2:25 PM  
Blogger thinkright said...

The actual date would be the first day of the new session. So, not Jan 1, but probably a few weeks later.

10/19/2007 11:19 AM  
Blogger roger said...

Hi Matt,

Before I respond, first where did you find the information to make this conclusion:

"Tim Bee is NOT violating any state or federal election laws. The spirit of Arizona's resign to run is to prevent the double dip of crafting two possibilities at the same time. Termed out officials must leave their offices. Specifically for this reason, the law excludes the the final year of a final term."

Isn't that what he is doing right now, Matt? Crafting two possibilities at the same time? That is a clear as day. He is running for Congress and planning the agenda for the Senate right now. The reason for the law is exactly as you put it and that is why he is violating the law NOW, while he won't be in January.

The point that you need to make is that no one cares...its doesn't serve anyone's interest down here for him to leave. Power brokers in S. Arizona need him in that position. They don't want him to leave no matter how much it hurts his run for Congress. I am sure he will smartly use this to his advantage.

I see this as the only advantage of his staying on...he can try his best to counter one of the advantages of incumbency...he can bring stuff to S. Arizona and his district and try to even up on the advantage of constituency service. That would be valuable to his campaign...he has to have it or I would consider him to be a clear loser in this race.

I am not going to disagree that he will get a lot of money after he announces. No question. So will Giffords. Will he pull even...No. Is his start now a good one, No. I think Sirroco is right on this one and I think I am as well. Why are folks holding off on him when they have been backing him for so long?

The disadvantages are very clear. He can try to make himself out the moderate in his position as office, but the problem with that is that he already has a conservative record. Maybe he is going to try to temper that some using this session. BUT...a lot can happen in the session...we are about to face a funding crisis...midyear...one that will put a real crunch on his ability to do much for us and he very well may get the blame. The anger will be placed on the legislature...not Gov. Napolitano. His position makes him THE legislature...the go to guy, the guy with responsibility.

I remain confident that Giffords will win this race. I remain confident that she will have a superior campaign. I remain confident that she will be liked enough, viewed as reasonable enough, and the year will favor Democrats. All of these things make even the most well intentioned candidate a loser versus an incumbent.

The side benefit of all this is that the GOP is going to pour money here and in Michell's district. It will detract from the other races. There won't be enough money to go around. Democrats will win Renzi's seat and might even catch Shaddeggs.

There is a lot that can happen to make me out a moron on this prediction. It is early. Issues can change and time can change. But in the climate he faces now, he has to have virtual hatred by the voters for Giffords to beat her.

Look at the last election. How many incumbents were defeated in the House? How many of those that were ended up being defeated by Democrats.

This is going to be really fun.

10/19/2007 12:30 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Just to add, Tim Bee needs this session to moderate his record. I posted something similar to this in response to Liza's interest in possibly voting for Tim. He is likeable, but not moderate on issues of concern to liberal Americans.

Check out his voting record at Project Vote Smart.

http://www.vote-smart.org/voting_category.php?can_id=28381

After you look closely at his votes on extreme measures to prevent women from access to pregnancy termination. Take a look at his interest group ratings on the same site. You will find some moderate ratings...the vast majority aren't just conservative but right wing conservative...not far off from Randy Graf at all:

On abortion, the environment, guns, gay rights, etc etc etc.

I can assure you that Giffords campaign wont at all hold off on edcuating the voters on how out of step he is on many many issues.

10/19/2007 12:51 PM  
Blogger x4mr said...

Hey Roger,

I had lunch yesterday with who I will call "The Wizard." Very sharp, and as he spoke it just fit. Do you really think a guy like Bee is going to break election laws?

THE KEY is that Bee is termed out. If he were not termed out, he would have to resign to declare. He loses his senate seat after this term. TR may have a point about the precise date. It's whatever it is. At some point in January, Bee will meet the condition "final year of final term" and thus gain the right to run just as Giffords has the right to run.

During this odd period between now and then, people like yourself and others can consider the situation awkward, but it is legal, and you can pretty much bet no one cares. Whatever happens between now and January will be long forgotten by June.

The gloves come off in January. If he enters January with over $1/4 M, I think he's poised to rake it in 1Q08. I agree with you that he is unlikely to reach her, but he will get enough to buy sufficient air time and produce quality ads. Other things being equal, Bee would be five times (at least) the threat of the Graf/Huffman/Hellon circus.

Bee is a better campaigner, a better speaker, a better planner and organizer, a more formidable debater, and I think he'll have twice Graf's money.

Both candidates will prove most adept at discussing each other's records. As you are well aware, it occurs inside of the bigger picture, and the GOP is facing an extraordinary mess.

Bush's approval rating now equals that of Nixon at the lowest of his term shortly before he resigned.

10/19/2007 3:45 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Threat? Sure. I buy it. Do I think he can win? No.

More importantly, is he someone I could support? A definite no.

I want to show you all something. The argument is that Bee is a moderate Republican. Here is a moderate Republican or even a liberal one:

Pete Hershberger. Look at his key votes and his interest group ratings that are researched by the non-partisan Project VoteSmart.

http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=28501

Now look at Tim Bee. Same things. Make the comparison.

http://www.vote-smart.org/issue_rating_category.php?can_id=28501

There is no question that he is someone that conservatives can support. He also will get a lot of business support...but so will Giffords. But when you start looking at everything else, the war (unless he is anti-war), foreign policy, the border, and every social issue that matters to liberals. Bee is not your man.

If it is close, I am not sure that the independents are going to swich horses when the waters are so muddy...and they certainly won't when they see his record.

10/19/2007 4:27 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Off the subject for second, something I am curious about. It says Tim Bee received a diploma from the U. of A. On other sites it says he "attended the U. of A."

What was his degree in?

10/19/2007 4:33 PM  
Blogger roger said...

Thanks, but I think I found his major. I think it was AG Econ.

10/19/2007 9:12 PM  

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