Haran was referring to the financial influence of what he sees as the pro-illegal-alien faction of the party. But this beak-bearer sees it differently.

"Nah, Bob," he cracked. "This just means you hillbillies won."


Above: Paul Eckerstrom, the AZ Dems' new chairman. Below: Randy Pullen scores a second term as the state's top GOPer.
Stephen Lemons
Above: Paul Eckerstrom, the AZ Dems' new chairman. Below: Randy Pullen scores a second term as the state's top GOPer.

From Camelback High's modest digs, The Bird hopped in his fabulous Thunderbird, and raced down to the Wyndham Hotel, where a revolution was taking place in the venue's tony ballroom. It was a revolution in which the Democratic Party threw off the losing shackles of ex-Governor Janet Napolitano's leadership, gave Chairman Don Bivens a friendly boot, and installed firebrand Tucson Dem Paul Eckerstrom as the donkeys' new jockey.

Not only was this revolution not televised, in the words of Gil Scott Heron, it was totally unexpected. Even to this talon-bearer, who's written incessantly about the Dems' needing to adopt new leadership and a new strategy heading into the darkness of far-right Republican dominance of Arizona.

The Bird had pecked at this problem after the debacle of the 2008 local elections, in which the Dems ended up losing seats in the state Legislature, bucking a national trend that elevated Barack Obama to the presidency. AZ Dems under Bivens, and his second-in-command, executive director Maria Weeg, squandered the momentum, as well as a million-dollar-plus lead in fundraising over GOPers.

The Bird urged Bivens to whack Weeg as a statement that the mistakes of 2008 wouldn't be repeated. These mistakes included not assisting Dan Saban and not focusing all the Dems' resources on Nappy's buddies, like Tim Nelson, who was vying for Death Star commander Andrew Thomas' position as county attorney. The Bird wanted Nelson to win, of course, but he also wanted the Dems to take the state House, as had been promised by Bivens.

The Dems' fat wallets aside, they didn't go for broke with a 30-legislative district strategy mirroring the winning 50-state strategy of ex-chairman of the Democratic National Committee Howard Dean. The state leadership cherry-picked faves and ignored many Dems who were putting their fannies on the line to challenge entrenched Repubs.

Yet, the day before the Dems state party meeting, it looked as though Bivens would be re-elected sans opposition, though many party activists were dissatisfied, disillusioned, and damn angry over the fact that the state GOP was in control and looking to eviscerate education funding. The only name that had been floated earlier was former Pima County Chair Eckerstrom. But the month before, Eckerstrom had told this winged terror he wasn't planning on challenging Bivens, because his home was in Tucson, where he works for the Pima County Public Defender's Office, and he didn't want to move to party headquarters in Maricopa County.

Several politicos and activists encouraged Eckerstrom to run, including Dan O'Neal, head of the Arizona chapter of the Progressive Democrats of America, and Todd Landfried, host of Nova M's tres lefty Desert Politics radio show. New Corporation Commission member Sandra Kennedy, also urged him to go for it.

Eckerstrom, upset over GOP-proposed budget cuts and the Republicans' laying the blame for the budget mess at the Dems' door, announced his candidacy that a.m. He later informed this egret that he didn't think he would win.

Careful what you wish for. Though Bivens had been nominated by none other than Attorney General Terry Goddard, Bivens went down in flames, 324 to 255. The audience rose, cheering in response, and Bivens graciously gave away his seat to the incoming chairman.

"I feel a little bit like Robert Redford in The Candidate," joked Eckerstrom from the podium, "who after winning [a Senatorial campaign in the film] said, 'So what do we do now?'"

The Pima County Dem promised a "15-county" strategy, a move away from Maricopa County-centric politics (he doesn't plan to move to Phoenix from Tucson, he told this tweeter), and a unified party message in 2010.

Regarding Weeg, and whether she will get the ax, Eckerstrom stated that he was going through an "evaluative process" and hadn't decided yet. As for why he won, he opined that his fellow Dems were ready for a more aggressive tact.

"I think people were looking for the party to take more leadership in issues dealing with the budget," he said. "And quit having the Republicans blame us for the budget deficit they created with 20 years of tax cuts."

The party's direction was off in the last election, he noted. Dems wanted a change. As far as doing fundraising from Tucson instead of the capital, Eckerstrom didn't see that as a problem.

"I believe if we give people something to vote for, then we'll do well in fundraising," he asserted.

Hopefully Eckerstrom's election means the D's will get scrappier, ornerier even. They'll need to, if they plan to head off the trunk-swingers in 2010.


The Bird had such a blast covering both state reorganization meetings on the same day that he wishes he could do it every weekend. One contrast between the two mini-conventions, each required by state law, was that the Dems either dressed like they were going to a cocktail party or to a backyard barbecue. The Republicans, on the other hand, always dress like they're going to Sunday school, in strictly off-the-rack attire.

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Karmas a bitch. Pullen and his crowd are riding high now. But theyre doing so with an appeal to fear and bigotry. Long term theyre bound to lose.

Dennis Gilman
Dennis Gilman

Welcome Eckerstrom, Good ridence Bivens and shame on the Republicans and Napolitano!

The Az GOP will do to Arizona what the Bush Administration did to our Nation: Cut taxes on the wealthy, govern in a partisan exclusive fashion, destroy the economy and hand it over to the Dem's in 2006 to clean up.

They already chose to ignore the voices of school teachers, ministers, community organizers, students and fiscally conservative Republicans. Instead, this GOP caters to gun touting Nativist extremists following Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce like the cult followers of Jim Jones. The only differance is they already drank the Koolaid. It must shock National politico's when our State GOP looks at Kyle and McCain as not conservative enough for their own party. Is it any wonder why Huffington Post and the New York Times are linking to Phoenix New Times Articles in their Editorials?

Just what is the GOP's vision for the future of Arizona? A military State where anyone can be harassed because of the color of their skin, jailed for opposing the County Attorney or Sheriff? Excuse me. We are already there. ( MCSA 8, New Times Editors and ACLU Lawyers all have been arrested for nothing more then exercising their 4th Amendment rights). This is indeed the new age of McCarthyism for any moderate and sensible republican that continues to support this party.

They've already promised money to fund more Mexican Hunting Sweeps for Arpaio and his thugs while cutting education, jobs and needed Health programs. Napolitano didn't just desert us, she is selling our failed immigration policies to the Nation. Since our Employer Sanctions Law went into effect over a year ago, not one employer has been convicted. Is that really a model for the Nation? 287 (g) has been a moral failure and has not made us safer or reduced crime. It is nothing more then an attack on the poor and has created a situation where we have 1000's of U.S. born children watch as mom or dad are taken away. It has legalized racial profiling and our Sheriff encourages every one to join in by promoting his Mexican Hunting Hot-Line on our County Vans. Communities are being destroyed. Families live in fear. They may have one family member unable to become a citizen due to the unfair process which targets the poor. Mexico's poor are the one's that have suffered most due to NAFTA. Many had little choice but to migrate or starve. They built this city and are a major reason for its beauty and culture we've all enjoyed. Our years of economic growth would not have been possible without them. Now we show our thanks by promoting Apartheid in Maricopa County. History will look down on this dark period. Without humanity, justice and dignity for all, economic recovery will never happen. True recovery requires balance.

Real immigration solutions require Amnesty. It's not a 4 letter word. We've tried the police state model and it has only helped destroy our economic and moral fiber. We need to stop listening to the fear mongering of racist Nativists that have the ear of the GOP. When all are allowed (and required) to come out from the shadows without retribution, we can solve this issue in a humane manor Martin Luther King and Barry Goldwater would both be proud of. This is the only sensable way to eliminate possable criminals hiding here and will stop victimizing good people trying to share in the American dream. But human rights are no longer important to a political system that caters to Joe Arpaio and Russell Pearce or the Arizona State Legislature. Unfortunately, they are of no concern to Janet Napolitano either.

Are they a concern to Obama? Only if we can make him listen to someone other then Janet Napolitano.


The racist comments here speak for themselves. Guess these are the rank and file of the Republicracker Party. Wake up, white people. Its the age Obama. Your era is over.

Johnny Newton
Johnny Newton

What a bunch of liberal hooey. Randy Pullen is a man of principle, a man with the intestinal fortitude to oppose our traitorous U.S. Senators, both of whom would sell us out to the Mexican government, and allow the armies of unbathed, disease-carrying illegals to continue to invade our sovereign soil. Because men like Pullen, Arpaio and Thomas are at work, the brown menace is ebbing, flowing back to its source like the tide. God bless all three of them. They just may be the saviors of the Republic.

Dave Sullen
Dave Sullen

Randy Pullen as chief GOP strategist and fundraiser?!!! Enjoy your 2 years in control tards. You guys lucked out this time cause the Dems wussed out. 2010 will be different and if all you guys got is hating Messicans and cutting education spending, the state GOP is DOOMED!

Former Republican
Former Republican

Pullen represents the worst of the Republican party in AZ and why Arizona regressed, while the nation moved for change going forward. The party is split and as long as the Pullen mentality reigns it does not bode well for AZ, a state sinking into a deeper hole by the day.


Big Bird, you have flown into one too many windows trying to get out of the heat.

I always enjoy a good conversation about masturbating...not sure what all the big deal is. How come the republicans don't want it on tv? Must be trying to protect something.

But the problem with Saban, dumbass, is that he couldn't wait 4 hours to be done with his shift before he ran home to shake hands with Mr. Johnson. Good heavens...was it [i]that[/i] urgent?

Maybe he was just excited to be in uniform. But I don't think he has to turn it in at the end of the shift, so maybe he could've just waited until the weekend?

What do you suppose would happen if a compadre called for urgent backup? Would the energetic Mr. Saban stop mid stroke and run out the door with a pup tent in his pants?

Then again...it's probably small enough you wouldn't notice.

Nuthin wrong with a little self pleasure now and again...I'm sure you are quite well versed in a variety of techniques...but I'll bet you never stopped in the middle of the day to take a long lunch and rough up the usual suspect.

Nobody in the world would ever care if the guy spent every single day off from 13 years old until now in 20 hour marathon wanking sessions and then bragged about his blisters, but the guy gets so in touch with himself that he can't even wait until the end of his shift has a problem, big bird...a real problem.


Little balls... said Randy, "I have nothing more than little balls. Lisa, of course, has none, but she does have ethics, morals, and intestinal fortitude, of which I have none".

Randy Pullen is proud of himself for his crap ad on Dan Saban, huh? Dan Saban is a very good person and would have done a great job as Sheriff.

Randy Pullen can't take pride in his part to get arpaio re-elected. Time will heal this wound and Pullen will be the festered infection that is eradicated along with arpaio.

You so-called Republicans who voted for him should certainly be ashamed of yourselves.

Juan Mendacity
Juan Mendacity

The problem is that Americans get paid too much. That's why them Messicans come over here. We ought to get rid of the minimum wage law and have a maximum wage law instead. (Business owners and managers will be exempt, because they lead by excellence and need to be motivated.) Don't you folks know that the more you get paid, the higher the price of the goods you buy? Employers just add your wages to the cost of what they sell. So, instead of asking for a raise, everybody should ask for a wage cut. This will be a boon for the American consumer because then they'll be able to afford more crap from Wal-Mart at even cheaper prices. Is there a logical flaw with this argument? I don't think so. Whatever you do, don't even think of joining a union. They're pure evil. If you MUST ask for a raise, just say "pretty please" and hope for the best. If you don't have any luck, quit your job and run around to each of your employer's competitors in turn, saying pretty please to each one. Just remember that as a new employee you'll be starting out at the bottom of the ladder. Sucker.

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