Scott Smith for Governor? Beware of “centrist” mayors.


I'm about to do a post that is similar to one I did on Democratic Diva a while back but since that site is down and Brahm Resnik of 12 News in Phoenix just tweeted that Mesa Mayor Scott Smith intends to announce his bid for the GOP gubernatorial nod in Arizona, I'm going to repeat my warning:

There was a guy by the name of Pat McCrory in North Carolina. He was the Mayor of Charlotte, a medium-sized city which had enjoyed a good bit of high tech development in recent years. McCrory was considered a centrist, and was the darling of the Chamber of Commerce and media establishment types in NC. When he ran for governor in 2012, McCrory styled himself as a keen-eyed, business focused pragmatist. At debates and endorsement interviews he swore up and down he wasn't going to indulge the tea party ideologues in the state legislature. He was all about jobs jobs jobs! When he was specifically asked about abortion at one forum, he gave a one word answer – "no" – to signing any bill involving abortion into law. 

It took less than a nanosecond for Pat McCrory to leave all that behind once he was elected Governor. Since taking office he has eagerly signed everything the wingnut legislature puts on his desk, including arguably the worst voter suppression laws in the country and (you guessed it!) draconian abortion restrictions. He added insult to injury by passing out cookies to pro-choice protesters to gloat about his betrayal of his promise. 

Here's how the NC Democratic Party described McCrory's about-face last April:

McCrory: Moderate No More


RALEIGH, NC—NYT Poll Analyst and data guru, Nate Silver, is out with some damning figures that erase the façade of Pat McCrory as a moderate Governor of North Carolina.  Silver’s data blows McCrory’s cover as a moderate and shows him to be to the right of Tea Party darlings such as Govs. Rick Perry, Jan Brewer, Rick Scott and Nikki Haley.

Then-candidate McCrory in 2012 was billed as a “moderate” mayor of Charlotte by many in the media, a claim he didn’t reject.  In his State of the State address, Gov. McCrory deemed himself as an “Eisenhower Republican.”

The North Carolina Democratic Party (NCDP) has held McCrory accountable for signing into law far-right measures, such asgutting unemployment insurancerejecting Medicaid expansion and raising taxes on North Carolina’s working families by letting the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) expire.

“This is what we’ve contended all along and now there’s data to back it up: Gov. McCrory is at the front of the far-right, extreme proposals coming out of Raleigh,” NCDP spokesman Micah Beasley remarked, “The Governor wants to have it both ways, he wants to present a moderate façade to North Carolinians while signing into law every radical proposal coming out of the General Assembly.  North Carolinians need a Governor who will rein in this legislature that continues to embarrass our state nationally and address our state’s stagnant unemployment rate.”

The exchange with WCNC’s Dave Wagner, where McCrory welcomed the comparison of being a “moderate Mayor”:

Dave Wagner:  
“I'm going to play something for you here that was said by Walter Dalton, if you talk to many people here in Charlotte, they'll tell you that Pat McCrory, they believe was a moderate mayor…But your Democratic opponent Walter Dalton is trying to portray you as a changed man, take a listen.”

Walter Dalton: 
I'm not sure that the Pat McCrory we see today is the same Pat McCrory that the people of Charlotte are familiar with. I think that if you look at some of his policies gnaw at what he has embraced through the North Carolina General Assembly, he pretty much was asked one time, is it, have they done anything you don't like? He said he did not like the midnight session, but didn't articulate any other reasons.

Dave Wagner: 
Have you changed your political position at all?

Pat McCrory: 

WCNC- FlashPOINT – May 13, 2012

McCrory should serve as a warning to all the moderates and (even) liberals in Arizona who are swooning over Scott Smith right now. Running a city is a lot different from being the top executive in a state. Opportunities to push radical ideology are much rarer at the municipal level than they are at the state level. 

Here's what we already know about Smith:

1. He's anti-choice. Now, I know some of y'all are thinking, there she goes again with her silly little lady issue! Some folks like to tell me I've made a litmus test about that, as if I'm supposed to find that insulting. Nope, it is a litmus test and I wear it proudly. Happens to be a damn good litmus test. When someone holds the irrational view that women should be forced by law to carry pregnancies to term, it's a really good bet that they hold a whole bunch of other irrational views. Anti-choice is the Red Flag of Wingnut. 


2. He's part of that Fix The Debt astroturf scam. Enough said.