Is Al Melvin trying to “confuse his liberal constituents”?

by David Safier

I was one of many people who was floored when Al Melvin was given the absolute lowest rating in the Senate by the very conservative Pachyderm Coalition. The Pachyderms went so far as to call him a RINO (Republican In Name Only), which is the vilest epithet you can throw around in those circles.

Surprise was also registered on the conservative blog, Gila Courier, and more than a little derision of the Pachyderms for putting Melvin far below the Republicans it refers to as "all four remaining members of the Napolitano Eight."

I guess Howard Levine, the Pachyderm treasurer, was a bit miffed, since he chaired the committee running the evaluation. In a string of comments at the end of Gila's blog post, he made it clear that Melvin sponsored and supported "nanny state bills" purely to win votes from moderates. The portrait he paints of Melvin's motives is less than flattering.

Al Melvin is apparently trying to position himself to head off any liberal opposition to his 2010 reelection bid.


I discerned Al Melvin’s motives by listening to his explanation of why he sponsored the bills he sponsored. He could have pulled these bills with a resulting improvement in his rating, but he adamantly refused to because these bills position him well with local newspapers and other liberals. This is based on a personal conversation with Al Melvin – not just a guess at his motives.


Just because Al Melvin sponsored them to confuse his liberal constituents (Al’s word – not mine) so they won’t think he’s too conservative, does that suddenly make these bills “Republican” this year? In case you’re wondering, the answer is NO.

[Bold face added]

It kinda makes ya think, don't it? Does Melvin care about stopping people from using cell phones in cars, or smoking when children are in the car, or letting people ride in the backs of pickups, or are these just tactics someone helped him devise (the name Constantin Querard comes to mind) so Melvin has an answer when people say he's too conservative?

0 responses to “Is Al Melvin trying to “confuse his liberal constituents”?

  1. Brian Clymer

    When I read in the Arizona Capitol Times that Al Melvin was sponsoring those bills, it seemed clear to me that this was just his ploy to hide his right wing conservative views. I also thought of the closing scene in Psycho when Tony Perkins is in his cell in a straight-jacket and tries to convince us that we have nothing to fear from him by telling us, “I’m so harmless that I wouldn’t even hurt a fly.”

  2. Al didn’t beat the BETTER candidate, Cheryl Cage, by many votes last November. He also is smart enough to know that a district like his (I live in 26, too, by the way) is going to be one where the decisions made by the GOP leadership he kowtows to are not going to play well in 2010. Thus, he’ll put out the false signal that he is a “centrist” because of fringe bills like the ones cited in this post. However, he will also do the bidding of his Maricopa County masters and vote the way they tell him to on the budget and other substantive pieces of legislation so as to avoid the same kind of primary challenge that brought him to power. No one is going to be fooled by this cynical strategy and Al will go down in 2010. He is a puppet and a plaything for Russell Pearce and Bob Burns, not an independent voice fighting on behalf of the interests of his constituents.

  3. I’ll call Mr. Melvin’s method “doing a Brewer”. I imagine this could well be his method by which he thinks he is going to sham voters into thinking he is “doing something” to make Arizona a better place. Of course he could be simply one more nanny-state Republican. Neither explanation would surprise me.

    If only Mr. Melvin was one.