Donna Gratehouse, who blogs at Democratic Diva and elsewhere on all things Arizona, sends us this.
Mark Udall is a U.S. senator in Colorado, but he is also an Arizona native and the son of the late Morris K. Udall, a beloved and iconic Arizona senator and 1976 Democratic presidential primary candidate. Sen. Udall toured his home state last Saturday to stump for Richard Carmona, who is running for Arizona’s open Senate seat, and motivate campaign volunteers and staff in what has been a tough, but promising, campaign season for Arizona Democrats.
At the gathering at the coordinated campaign office in north Phoenix, Sen. Udall told the overflowing crowd to ignore pundits and super PACs and focus on getting the vote out for Carmona. He described Carmona’s Republican opponent Rep. Jeff Flake as someone who will “bring ideology to the Senate,” in contrast with Carmona’s pragmatic can-do attitude.
Dr. Carmona will get right to work on jobs, immigration reform and an ‘all of the above’ energy policy.
Sen. Udall reminded the crowd that President Obama got us out of Iraq, saved the U.S. auto industry and confirmed two women to the U.S. Supreme Court, among many other accomplishments, and was able to accomplish a lot in his first term in the face of a mountain of opposition from the GOP.
When you’re out there talking to voters, remember that Osama bin Laden is dead and Detroit is alive.
On the topic of voter suppression by Republicans, Sen. Udall had some scathing words: “They’re doing it because there’s only so far you can get by appealing to hate. It is disgraceful that the party of Lincoln would resort to this.” But Sen. Udall expressed confidence that a strong ground game and get-out-the-vote effort could overcome the most aggressive voter suppression efforts. The volunteer canvassers I spoke with echoed that sentiment, reporting positive experiences with the voters they have contacted throughout the campaign. Democrats are cautiously optimistic about Carmona’s race, as recent polls have shown him and Flake in a virtual tie. Democrat Paul Penzone is polling a mere few points behind Joe Arpaio, in what has become the most competitive Maricopa County Sheriff’s race since Arpaio was first elected 20 years ago.
Speaking of voter suppression, Democrats and Latino voting rights activists in Maricopa County cried foul when it was revealed that the county elections office printed voter ID cards in Spanish with an election date of Nov. 8, 2012, rather than the correct date of Nov. 6. About 50 cards were handed out before the error was caught. The puzzling mistake is the sort of thing that could be chalked up as a simple human error, but Hispanic residents here are understandably skeptical, given how their voting rights have been under attack in Arizona and elsewhere for years.