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Greg Stanton, Phoenix Mayoral Candidate, Called "Front-Runner", "Candidate to Beat", and "Enemy" By Tea Party, GOP Leaders

Greg Stanton is the people's newest "enemy." Coming soon. This film is not yet rated.
Greg Stanton is the people's newest "enemy." Coming soon. This film is not yet rated.
Phoenix New Times Photo Illustration
​​The Republicans won't invite Phoenix Mayoral Candidate Greg Stanton to their candidate forums. And they, along with Phoenix Tea Party-types, are branding him as "the real enemy of the citizens of Phoenix."

Why? 

It's because Stanton is "the candidate to beat for Phoenix mayor" and the "front runner" in the race for the Mayor's Office. At least that's how the chair of the Republican committee in Legislative District 20 and the head of the North Phoenix Tea Party describe Stanton. 

The two political leaders sent out e-mails intended to rally the troops to show up at Stanton events and ask him "some real questions, maybe even shoot a little footage where possible."

Shooting footage? Got covert ops going? But that's just how it goes given that the Stanton camp got its mitts on these internal e-mails.  

Jeni White, Chair of the LD 20 Republican Committee, sent out this e-mail on June 16:

Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2011 17:04:38 -0700
From: townhall@principlesinaction.com
To: bill.baxter@freescale.com; lemonsplash1@gmail.com; wwharris@msn.com
Subject: Action Opportunity: Greg Stanton's scheduled appearances

As I'm sure you've heard, multiple Republicans in the race notwithstanding, Greg Stanton is the candidate to beat for Phoenix mayor. He's a liberal Democrat, he's Union-owned, and he's the frontrunner. Below are a link to his schedule of events and a list of the next few that don't charge at the door. If anyone you know is interested in showing up and asking him some real questions, maybe even shooting a little footage where possible... it looks like he's going to be a very busy boy this Saturday. Please pass this along if you're so inclined -- preferably without my contact information on top since the subject is him, not me. :)

What kind of candidate is Greg Stanton? 

- Endorsed by police union.
- Endorsed by LGBT special interest group.
- Proudly says he would have voted for the food tax.
- Waves away criminal charges when the perpetrator is connected enough.
- Protested SB1070 in the parking lot of the Heard Museum last year.
- Tagged by the DLC in 2003 as one of the country's 100 "Rising New Democrat Stars".


The next day, Wes Harris, chairman of the North Phoenix Tea Party, responds with this e-mail:

From: WES HARRIS
Date: Fri, Jun 17, 2011 at 9:02 AM
Subject: FW: Action Opportunity: Greg Stanton's scheduled appearances
To: WES HARRIS
Cc: Jennifer Wright , Wes Gullett

Hi,

Here is the schedule of the real enemy of the citizens of Phoenix...Greg Stanton.  If you can show up at any of these events to respectfully ask the appropriate questions, please do.  Jenni is right on...he is a front runner and must be forced to voice his true stand on the issues which have been revealed by his past actions.  Remember, he left his City Council elected seat to take a high paying job with the then Democrat Attorney General Terry Goddard.  He is a liberal professional politician and nothing more...interested in advancing his career and not us.  I would recommend Saturday June 25th as the event we should attend. 

Wes

Wesley W. Harris
wwharris@msn.com;
http://www.originalnorthphoenixteaparty.ning.com;
Go to http://www.wethepeopleaz.com; and sign up to be informed.
visit our blog: http://www.harristimes2011.blogspot.com

It seems that GOP and Tea Party leaders are so worried about how well Stanton's campaign is going that they are on a mission to expose him for the "real enemy" that he is -- endorsed by the police, supported by Equality Arizona, a civil rights organization defending the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and named one of the country's top 100 rising new stars in the Democratic party.

White's reference to Stanton's waving "away criminal charges when the perpetrator is connected enough" is about Mindy Shields, daughter of high-powered lobbyist Billy Shields and Stanton's former campaign treasurer. 
 
Mindy Shields allegedly ripped off Stanton's campaign of nearly $80,000. Stanton went to the cops in October 2010 and reported Shields, but told the Arizona Republic in February that he was "not desiring to pursue further prosecution." 
 
But that didn't wave away the criminal charges, as White suggests.
 
Mindy Shields, who lost her job at the University of Arizona, was indicted on May 17 on a felony-theft charge, an offense that carries, at minimum, a three-year prison sentence. 

Julie Erfle, a community leader and wife of slain Phoenix Police Officer Nick Erfle, spoke out on Stanton's behalf.
 
"This type of rhetoric is irresponsible and counter to respectful debate," she says in a press release issued by Stanton's camp. "We should be more interested in the content of one's speech and the direction of one's policies."

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