Please see correction below.
Respect Arizona, the group spearheading the recall of Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is suspending its paid signature-gathering campaign due to lacks of funds.
Lilia Alvarez, Respect Arizona's campaign manager, explained that the group does not have the money to continue paying Sign Here Petitions for professional canvassers.
The volunteer campaign will continue, she said, and she claimed to believe that the recall will reach its goal of more than 335,000 valid signatures by May 30.
"People need to take this as a wake-up call," Alvarez told me, "and take responsibility for the effort in order to get this done."
Just two weeks ago, Respect Arizona announced that it had scored 150,000 signatures, 120,000 of them validated by Sign Here as being from qualified county electors.
Still, fundraising has been difficult.
Some potential donors have cited the threatened lawsuit from birther-lawyer Larry Klayman as a reason not to pony up the dough.
That's certainly a lame excuse from these would-be donors as Klayman would have to win an injunction from a judge in order to stop the recall. Given his lightweight legal arguments, that's unlikely to happen.
So what's really going on here? I asked Alvarez if deep-pocket Dems locally had been willing to give or raise money for the recall.
She reluctantly admitted that this has been a problem.
"There are a number of influential Democrats who have not been helpful," she said. "It's unbelievable, really, because this would help them, especially with the Latino vote."
Alvarez declined to name names. However, it's unsurprising that local weenie politicos would wimp out when it comes to taking on Arpaio.
They pulled the same act of cowardice in 2011 when it came to the successful recall of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce.
Only after the recall was successful, and Pearce was defeated by fellow Republican Jerry Lewis, did certain Dems finally concede that, hey, this recall thing was a good idea.
I have heard that former Attorney General Terry Goddard refused to sign the Arpaio recall petition, and was one of many Dems who have not helped with fundraising.
Alvarez declined to comment. Goddard, who is said to be considering a run for AG again in 2014, has yet to return my call for comment. (***Please see correction below.***)
Support of the Arpaio recall should be a no-brainer for Dems, especially those in Maricopa County.
Those Democrats who do not support the recall should be branded as traitors. The removal of Arpaio from power means more to this county and this state than the advancement of any one Democrat's career.
From this point on, the two questions I have for Democrat politicians are: Did you sign the Arpaio recall, and what have you done to support it?
And if the replies are not satisfactory, I have no use for them.
This is why the Democrats are impotent in this state, and why I think I despise Democrats sometimes even more than Republicans.
I mean, who's worse, Arpaio, or the pathetic excuse for a Democrat who does nothing to kick him to the curb?
Can the recall still succeed? It can, but it is now a longer shot than before.
The loss of Sign Here Petitions hurts, in part, because Sign Here was verifying the validity of signatures, a crucial part of the process.
Without Sign Here, volunteers will need to take up the slack.
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I'd rather rely on the certainties of money than a wing and a prayer, but at this point, it seems we have only the latter.
CORRECTION 5:06PM: All apologies to former Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who left me a message a moment ago, informing me that my source was incorrect, and that he is in favor of the recall of Sheriff Arpaio.
"I am supporting Randy and his efforts in the recall," Goddard stated, "and [I] have a signed petition in front of me."
Kudos to Terry for leading the way! Now let's hope all other AZ Dems get on board.