Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com
Last Saturday the ASU Center for the Study of Race and Democracy hosted an event, “Delivering Democracy Lecture 2015”, headlined by Anderson Cooper. I know many people who attended it and, from what I understand, it was a fine presentation. One of the main sponsors was Arizona Public Services (commonly known as APS, the state’s largest private utility company), which was apparently lauded several times during the event for its generosity. Which is interesting because it was only a few months ago, during the 2014 midterms, that APS (under the rubric of “independent expenditure” Save Our Future Now) dumped an astounding amount of dark money into Corporation Commission races to defeat Republican candidate Vernon Parker in the GOP primary and Democratic candidate Sandra Kennedy. What the aforementioned people have in common is that they are both African-American and also that the hit pieces and ads run against both were crudely obvious Willie Horton-style racist characterizations as far as many people (myself included) were concerned.
If there’s a doubt that Parker and Kennedy were targeted by APS because of their race, let me remind readers that both were running as teams with white candidates. Parker ran with former legislator Lucy Mason, who is a pro-renewable energy Republican. Save Our Future Now spent just over $30K in opposition of Mason but about $830K opposing Parker. But if you think that’s an alarming disparity, get a load of this (arrows helpfully provided by your author):
Jim Holway, who was every bit the solar enthusiast that Kennedy was, somehow didn’t rate a dime of oppo money spent against him while Sandra Kennedy warranted $1.3 million. If you think that Jim’s being about as white as Anderson Cooper has nothing to do with that, I’ve got an aging nuclear power plant to sell you round about Tonopah.