By Craig McDermott, crossposted from Random Musings


Normally, I am loath to comment on any primary race, even a Republican primary race – the “lesser of two evils” is usually still pretty evil.


However, I will make an exception when the observation that I make is about the conduct of the candidate, and not the content of his/her positions on the issues*.

* – An exception to that exception: When a candidate self-identifies as a Democrat but holds positions or exhibits an attitude toward the public that says “Republican”.

Then, they’re fair game…

The race that is the subject of this post is actually a three-way race for two seats (AZ House of Representatives), but the principle is still applicable.

In Legislative District 1, centered around Prescott, there are three candidates running for the two Republican nominations to the House –

Noel Campbell, an incumbent (the other House incumbent there, Republican Karen Fann, is running for the AZ Senate seat there; she’s unopposed in both the primary and the general)

Chip Davis, a long-time Yavapai County supervisor

David Stringer, a businessman

This isn’t about any of the positions on issues (suffice it to say, I wouldn’t vote for any of them).

Nope, it’s about one of them.

Campbell, the incumbent, is running as a “Clean” candidate.  In the two campaign finance reports that he has filed this year, he reports raising $2070 from individual contributors, and making $0 in loans to his campaign. (Note: to run as a Clean Elections candidate for a seat in the legislature one has to obtain $5 contributions from at least 250 voters in the district)

Davis reports raising almost $43K from individual contributors and $10K in a loan to his own campaign.

Stringer reports raising $0 from individual contributors and loaning his own campaign more than $89K. (Relax – he’s got the money to afford this; his financial disclosure statement indicates that he has more than $1 million in cash and assets available)

Stringer *has* accepted at least one outside contribution for his campaign –

Thanks to the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting for shining a light on this

“American Federation for Children” sounds good in an “Awww shucks, they’re for kids” sort of way.

However, a little research turns up the fact that AFC is an “astroturf” (fake grassroots) group that exists to push for the privatization (and profitization) of education in the U.S.

From SourceWatch

The American Federation for Children (AFC) is a conservative 501(c)(4) advocacy group that promotes the school privatization agenda via the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and other avenues. It is the 501(c)(4) arm of the 501(c)(3) non-profit group the Alliance for School Choice.  Former Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, who was charged with multiple crimes stemming from abuse of his office, is on staff at ASC as Senior Advisor to its Government Affairs Team.

In the organization’s own words, ASC is “a leading national advocacy organization promoting school choice, with a specific focus on advocating for school vouchers and scholarship tax credit programs.”

The anti-public education bent isn’t something that’s new to Stringer.

From his own campaign website

Stringer became especially active when he helped spearhead the campaign that lead to the defeat of the 2013 PUSD school bond and budget override.