The CD 1 Clusterfuck GOP Primary Debate

“You wanna get nuts? C’mon, let’s get nuts!” – Michael Keaton as Batman

nutThis was the theme of the CD 1 Clusterfuck GOP Primary debate on Horizon, hosted by Ted Simons.

The three GOP candidates, House Speaker Andy Tobin, state Rep. Adam Kwasman, and rancher Gary Kiehne used their time to debate who was more nuts conservative than whom. Congressional District One Debate (link to video).

This is how Howard Fischer described this waste of time, GOP hopefuls in CD1 debate who’s more conservative:

“Nobody’s running to the right of me,” insisted state House Speaker Andy Tobin of Paulden during the often-contentious half-hour televised debate. And he said his eight years in the Legislature prove his credentials.

But one-term Rep. Adam Kwasman of Oro Valley charged that record has been one of unnecessary compromise, including Tobin’s vote to put the question of a temporary 1-cent-per-dollar state sales tax on the 2010 ballot. Kwasman was undeterred by the fact voters approved the levy on a 2-1 margin.

And businessman Gary Kiehne attacked both of them for being politicians in the first place.

“I don’t have experience in taking lunches and free trips and tickets to ballgames,” he said, a slap not only at Tobin for getting football tickets from a Fiesta Bowl lobbyist but also Kwasman, who had a group pay for a trip to Israel.

Tobin shot back that lack of experience is hardly a record for voters to consider.

He pointed out that he voted for SB 1070, the 2010 legislation aimed at illegal immigration. Tobin said neither Kiehne nor Kwasman could make that claim.

Kwasman responded with his top ranking as a conservative by Americans for Prosperity, a group founded by the Koch brothers. He conceded that while he was not elected until 2012, two years after that vote, he has the endorsement of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who has been among the most vocal on immigration issues.

“You and I have very different records,” he told Tobin.

Tobin responded by listing all the sheriffs who have endorsed him, including Paul Babeu of Pinal County, no stranger to the immigration issue.

“What else you got, Adam?” he teased.

* * *

“I don’t know what too conservative is,” Tobin said. “Most people that see me say I’m too conservative — except for Adam.”

And Kwasman said he thinks the conservative message will sell in November.

* * *

All that parrying led Ted Simons, who hosted the debate for KAET-TV, to question whether a divisive primary about who is more conservative could make the seat unwinnable from Kirkpatrick.

Exactly, Ted. Thank you! You were the only one at the table who was not nuts.

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