Elections

J.D. Hayworth Rejected by Hispanic Republican Group Over ALIPAC Endorsement; Apparently ALIPAC Supporters Used Words Like "Wetback" and "Pepper Belly"

The Hispanic Republican group Somos Republicans says it's "rejecting" Senate candidate J.D. Hayworth over an endorsement he accepted from the anti-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration.

ALIPAC is a controversial organization for a few reasons: It has the support of cuddly organizations like the Ku Klux Klan and former "Grand Wizard" David Duke, which has prompted Hayworth's primary opponent, Senator John McCain, to call for Hayworth to "disavow" the endorsement.

Somos Republicans isn't thrilled with the whole Klan association, but its beef is more about some of the language ALIPAC supporters use on the organization's Web site -- namely "wetback," "taco bender," "wetback roundup," and "pepper belly."

Check it out here.

We called ALIPAC organizer William Gheen and had to listen to a blast of profanity and his asking us to contact him by e-mail in the future so he could shove a hard copy of our questions "up [our] ass." He threatened to "sue the shit out of" New Times for even asking about racist language on the Web site.

Gheen says the language was posted by other people, not members of the group's executive board, although he admitted to using the term "wetback" in the past.

Dee Dee Blase, founder of Somos Republicans, says, among other things, she doesn't trust Hayworth because of his dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff (it should be noted that Hayworth was never charged with any wrongdoing regarding his ties to Abramoff). She says she also doesn't like his stance on immigration, naturally.

"We're pissed," says Blase. "We're pissed at [Sheriff Joe ] Arpaio, we're pissed at [state Senator] Russell Pearce, and we're pissed at this lunatic [Hayworth]."

Blase says, by condemning Hayworth, her group is not necessarily endorsing McCain. She says that it's more about Hispanic Republicans "continuing to reject hate-mongering."

Jason Rose, Hayworth's communications director, tells New Times that Hayworth has no plans of rejecting the endorsement because the comments on the group's Web site don't necessarily come from the group's members. 

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
James King
Contact: James King