Al Melvin: I’ll tell you what you can read in my district!

by David Safier

It looks like Sen. Al Melvin is a staunch defender of the First Amendment — except in restaurants in his district.

The Republican lawmaker, who was just re-elected to a second term representing Legislative District 26, tried to bully an Oro Valley restaurant into getting rid of a Tucson Weekly rack that makes the paper available to patrons.

We're told that Melvin entered the diner last week, ordered a cup of coffee and asked to speak with the owner. When she came over to find out what was on his mind, he began complaining that the Weekly was a leftist paper that was too critical of Republicans, and that he wanted the rack gone.

The owner of the restaurant politely declined to get rid of the paper, so Melvin paid for his coffee, skipped his breakfast and said he wouldn't be coming back.

From what I heard from one person who was in the restaurant, Melvin didn't pull the owner aside and talk with her quietly. He berated her in front of all the customers, then stormed out. Classy.

So this is how things are supposed to be in Melvin's world. Shouting your hatred of the President is fine. So is calling Democrats traitors. But allow a free weekly newspaper Melvin doesn't like to offer its wares in your establishment, and expect the Wrath of Al to come down upon you.

I write an occasional column in The Explorer, a free weekly carried in LD-26. I wonder if Melvin will insist my half page is ripped out before it's offered on news stands.

0 responses to “Al Melvin: I’ll tell you what you can read in my district!

  1. Mr. Mevlin is a vile, petty, little man. I’m still shocked that this guy won re-election in LD26. He’s rude at forums, both to members of the audience, and to his fellow candidates. He voted 100% of the time against education, and for all his animal rights speak, he joined with Russell Pearce to push for a pharmeceutical company in Chandler, Covance, that tests on primates. That company had 16 violations of animal abuse in 2007.
    When the next candidate against him emerges, I will work day and night for him/her.

  2. Cap’n Al is truly paranoid. It is very interesting to read his tweets on his web site, He wants lots of Rep volunteers at the polls to prevent fraud; is there any evidence of fraud? The Reps have started to take the country back from “secular-socialism”, whatever that is. To quote a tweet: “We must always remember 9-11. The much debated mosque must never be built at Ground Zero. Proponents want it as a sign of triumph over us.” He apparently thinks he represents only the conservatives in LD26, not every constituent. I have asked twice to be put on his e-mail list, but never got a response, probably because I am a registered Dem. The incident at the restaurant is typical for Cap’n Al, remember at the Saddlebrooke candidate forum he accused the League of Women Voters of bias because of some statements on their national web site and an audience uproar at an unfounded accusation of Cheryl Cage.

  3. That thing! That slithering blob coming towards us! What is it!!?? It’s Melvin!!

  4. Robert.
    I don’t know the name of the restaurant, and I imagine the owner would probably rather not get into the middle of a political free-for-all. So unless she wants to name herself, I’ll leave things as they are.

  5. David,
    Please tell us the restaurant that Melvin is boycotting so we can go there.

    I think I will volunteer to make the sign “Melvin Free Restaurant”.

    Your blog is one of few good things about Arizona.

    Robert Springer