Andy Tobin and "Kid Sharpton" Jarrett Maupin II Make Amends Over "Very Ghetto" Comment

We weren't sure how the meeting would turn out between Reverend Jarrett Maupin II -- once considered the protégé to Al Sharpton -- and state House Speaker Andy Tobin, who called a black Democrat "very ghetto" yesterday.

Maupin had invited us to the meeting this morning at Tobin's, while Tobin (politely) did not, so we got the account from both sides afterward.

As Tobin's spokesman Rey Torres tells New Times, "We made some lemonade today."

Maupin sounded a little upset yesterday after he'd heard Tobin had posted on Twitter that Democratic National Committee executive director Patrick Gaspard was a "very ghetto" individual, but Maupin seemed pretty happy today.

"He apologized for the language that he used," Maupin says. In response to Tobin's explanation that he didn't mean any insult to the black community for his words -- which weren't actually his -- Maupin says, "Honestly, I believe him.

Maupin's a forgiving guy -- evidenced in the past by his endorsement of then-Congressional candidate Ben Quayle -- so it's believable that he didn't get too fired up about it.

Maupin's also somewhat of an opportunist, so he says he also took the time to lobby Tobin to do more work with the black community in the state.

"The door was open, so I took full advantage of that," he says.

Maupin and Tobin also agreed on planning an African-American advisory committee, which Maupin described as a "conversation on the state of black Arizona."

Tobin wasn't such a huge fan of Maupin's other "demand," to have a black "shadow representative," a non-voting representative, like what Congresswoman Eleanor Norton does for Washington D.C.

All in all, Torres says Tobin's "tweet" was a heat of the moment kind of thing -- adding that it's no longer an "issue" -- and it gave Maupin the opportunity to get his concerns heard.

Maupin gave us his laundry list of complaints about the black community getting shafted by the legislature, accusing the Democrats of being too timid sometimes, and noting the lack of black legislators -- the only one being Senator Leah Landrum Taylor.

Thus, Tobin's remark didn't end up being so bad for Maupin, who got to voice his complaints about everything else while he was in Tobin's office.

Maupin tells us he's also not ruling out running for a seat at the Legislature at some point , as he told us one of his big complaints is that Phoenix's black community doesn't seem to be part of the political dialogue, which he'd like to change.

That's complicated a little by his conviction for lying to federal agents, but he has plans for starting that conversation without a seat at the capitol, including "going Jesse Jackson on these folks if [he has] to."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley