Tag Archives: Danny Morales

GOP Holds 2d Secret Candidate Forum — Refuses to Let Reporter Attend

pima county tea party patriotsThe Pima County Tea Party Patriots held the second secret GOP Congressional Primary Debate among Republican candidates for Tucson’s CD2 — but refused admission to this reporter for the Blog for Arizona.

The covert rendezvous took place last night at Pima Community College Northwest campus on Shannon Road under heavy police guard. I saw candidates Brandon Martin and Danny Morales lurking by the front door, but front-runner Lea Marquez-Peterson skipped the closed event. The registrar said 80 people were expected to attend and about 60 were let in.

But not this reporter. “Frank,” a guy with double hearing aids fussed around at the registration table and said to wait. Then the word came, “you can’t come in.” I inquired further and a guy weighing 300 pounds in a T-shirt made out of an American flag said, “You’re the guy who came to the forum last month.”

“Yes, I am,” I said. He was referring to my attendance at the GOP’s March 24  secret CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum at the Oyster Club. It seems the Tea Party Patriots read my report Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum and knew me on sight. They probably also read Tim Steller’s newspaper article in The Daily Star about my report.

That’s real paranoia. I’ve attended and reported on half a dozen Democratic candidate forums with no problem, including the Feb. 25 forum in Green Valley, which attracted 400 attendees.

But the Tea Party “Patriots” and the GOP don’t want a free press attending their events, even when the speakers are candidates who are running for elected public office. 

Consider what might be reported! That the candidates want Special Counsel Robert Mueller to be fired? That in the wake of mass shootings, gun laws should be loosened? That the US should pre-emptively launch a strike on North Korea? That the DACA recipients should be rounded up by ICE and deported? All of these ideas were supported by the candidates at the last forum.

It is clear that the once-vaunted Pima County Tea Party Patriots have degraded into a splinter group, becoming a secret society like the Illuminati or Scientology.

Meanwhile, I recommend you attend Thursday’s CD 2 Democratic Candidate Forum sponsored by Represent Me AZ. You’ll hear real candidates who are not afraid to let their opinions be known in public, and who welcome reporters to attend. It will start at 6:30 pm on May 3 at Catalina High School, 3645 E Pima St., Tucson, AZ 85716.

More info is at https://www.facebook.com/events/462727204182164/.

Listen to the Recording of the Secret Republican CD2 Candidates Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

I have published the audio file from the Saturday, March 24 forum for GOP candidates running for Congress in Tucson’s CD2. Click here to listen to it.

The recording starts with a question about school gun violence, with candidate Lea Marquez Peterson finishing a sentence and some static. The next voice is Danny Morales (he has a high voice) saying he is a certified peace officer. Next is Brandon Martin (with the lower male voice) talking about the Constitution. The second female voice is Marilyn Wiles talking about better enforcement of gun laws.

To read the written report, click Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum.

The questions posed to each candidate were:

  • What is your position on “chain migration” and have you always felt this way?
  • How do you expect to represent Arizona without becoming a part of the establishment?
  • Since we live on the border describe your position on stopping illegal immigration and are you in favor of a border wall?
  • Given the recent successes Democratic candidates in special elections across the country, why do you think you can defeat the Democratic candidate in this race?
  • What form of government is the US? What is a republic?
  • What is your position on DACA and your solution for Dreamers?
  • How would you rejuvenate our economy here in Southern Arizona without increasing government jobs?
  • If negotiations fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea and Iran?
  • The Air Force recently narrowed the list to four bases for the next F-35 Wing, with Davis Monthan being one of the four. Are you for F-35s at DM?
  • Would you join the House Freedom Caucus and who in the House would you enjoy working with?
  • Would you introduce a bill to change Congressional benefits and insurance and withhold payroll payments without a balanced budget?
  • Have you ever used illegal narcotics, marijuana or cocaine?
  • Are you taking out of state contributions and from who?
  • What changes would you suggest be made to the census? Should we declare if you are a citizen or not?
  • Given the current political uncertainty, please give a few examples of your topics and your approach to a divided executive versus legislative government, versus the current one-party majority that we have now that may exist after your swearing-in. (The question was thrown out as unintelligible.)
  • Do you support term limits?
  • If President Trump fires the special counsel, would you support him or do you view this as an impeachable offense?

Fear Dominates Secret Tucson GOP CD 2 Congressional Candidate Forum

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

GOP Congressional candidates Danny Morales, Lea Marquez-Peterson, Marilyn Wiles and Brandon Martin.

You could smell the fear in the room at the Pima County GOP’s secret CD 2 Congressional Candidate  Forum at the gaudy Oyster Club in Tucson. The candidates were asked how they could win in light of recent democratic victories, and how they could govern without dominating all three branches of government.

Lea Marquez-Peterson repeatedly pleaded for donations, noting with alarm that “Nancy Pelosi has already been in Arizona and made a half-million-dollar ad buy!” and that front-runner Ann Kirkpatrick had raised more money than she did.

Only 40 people attended the event, which the Republicans tried desperately to keep secret. The GOP tried to ban reporters, to prohibit photos, and to require all cell phones to be turned off. The forum was so secret that candidate Casey Welch didn’t show up.

Only one serious candidate

Candidate Brandon Martin complained, “I hope we can speak in bigger venues.” (Last month, more than 400 people attended the Democrats’ Congressional candidate forum in Green Valley.)

Martin and candidate Danny Morales battled to take the more arch-conservative position. Candidate Marilyn Wiles didn’t really have many positions. Marquez-Peterson appeared to be the only serious candidate.

None of them proposed any idea to actually help people. They were all against things — like “chain migration,” not becoming “part of the establishment,” against the “Dreamers,” against raising taxes, and against the Mueller investigation.

Guns, Guns, Guns

Noting that hundreds of thousands of people were currently in the nationwide March For Our Lives against gun violence, the candidates had differing ideas for gun safety. Marquez-Peterson and Wiles called for better background checks. Morales called for arming teachers. Martin actually said, “We don’t have a gun problem. They don’t jump off shelves and shoot people.”

Firing Mueller

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