Since my column this week has been published a little early, and since I've been meaning to use the blog to pimp the column, as well as vice versa, here's a little intro to my exploration of the wacky world of ALRA, the Arizona Latino Republican Association.
The column details some interesting facts about ALRA veep Constantinos Eliades (aka, "Dino" Eliades), a name I had often wondered about, after it appeared on the back of three petition sheets for sham recall candidate Olivia Cortes.
See, I have Cortes' entire petition to place her name on the 2011 recall ballot in my extensive files on recalled, disgraced state Senator Russell Pearce. Proving that, for a polemicist at least, it never pays to throw anything away.
The identity of the mysterious voice behind pro-Pearce robocalls that went out days before the recall election's close is also revealed, or so it seems.
Judge for yourself from the audio clips, which you can access on page two of the column.
Amusingly enough, the Arizona Capitol Times recently detailed the combined efforts of ALRA and the Arizona Republican Party to sign up Hispanics.
The CapTimes reports:
"Jose Borrajero, a spokesman for ALRA, said the group has about 200 members, and that although it has been around for about 10 years, a significant ramp up has taken place in recent months."
Not from what I hear. Internal squabbling and dissatisfaction with the dictatorial leadership style of ALRA president Rey Torres is actually driving some members to leave the organization, such as it is.
Torres, you may recall, is spokesman and footsoldier for Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin. And he's the same guy who earlier this year booted Channel 12 reporter Melissa Blasius and her cameraman from the state House floor.
Mister sweetness and light he is not.
As far as the GOP and ALRA being able to chip away at Latino allegiance to the Democratic Party, good luck with that project, dudes and dudettes.
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Give me a call in about 50 years, which is how long it will take for Latinos in this state to forget about Senate Bill 1070, Governor Jan Brewer's headless bodies in the desert, Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Hispanic-hunting sweeps, and the fact that the Arizona GOP made 1070's primary pusher, Russell Pearce, second vice chair of the state party.
This, after Pearce's historic, 12-point recall defeat. In other words, the tuskers are hella slow to get the message.
UPDATE August 15: Guess what? Borrajero fessed up to CapTimes in a story filed this a.m. And so did Eliades. Heh. Just remember where you heard it first.