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Jon Hulburd's a Turncoat, and Terry Goddard's Weak. So Who Are This Year's Democratic Role Models?

LITTLE JON

I was raised in North Carolina as a Southern, yellow-dog Democrat, meaning that my FDR-lovin' grandfather would normally rise from the grave and put his ghostly hand bone to my cranium if I even so much as suggested that folks shouldn't vote donkey.

However, after communing with him in the great beyond through my strip mall psychic, my Tar Heel granddaddy's granting me a pass. That is, after I told him all about this "Democrat" named Jon Hulburd.

See, my address puts me square in John Shadegg's soon-to-be-former Congressional District 3, which's currently getting fought over by two rich dudes: Hulburd, the pseudo-Dem who likes dipping into his wife's mega-buck S.C. Johnson-padded bank account for Drano money to spend on his campaign; and Republican Ben "Tater Tot" Quayle, a chip off the old spud, ex-Veep Dan Quayle. (See our October 14 cover story on the race.)

But as somebody who returned home to Raleigh one Christmas to dance on segregationist U.S. Senator Jesse Helms' grave, I can tell you this: If Hulburd were running against the reincarnation of Rasputin in Republican form, I'd be tempted vote for the mad monk's doppelganger.

I could stand Hulburd's insincere outrage over junior Quayle's scribbling for Nik Richie's TheDirty.com under the pseudonym of Boogie Nights character Brock Landers if Hulburd actually tried to stand for some Democratic principles.

But he stands for none that I can sniff out. He unequivocally supports Arizona Senate Bill 1070, has been unwilling to roll back George W. Bush's tax cuts for the über-rich, and, worst of all, would not vote for the DREAM Act, the proposed legislation that would grant children of undocumented immigrants — brought here when they were tykes — the chance to legalize their status if they go to college or serve in the military.

Hulburd's stance on the DREAM Act really sticks in my craw. If a Democratic candidate cannot support the DREAM Act, then why be a Democrat?

Some Dems tell me that Hulburd's faking it, that he has to veer right to beat Quayle and put a D in CD3. After all, the guy once worked for former U.S. senator from Colorado Gary Hart, he of "Monkey Business" infamy. So could Hulburd be that bad? Plus, the donkey-kongs need every Dem they can get, with the U.S. House up for grabs and nearly every Democrat-held congressional seat in Arizona in play.

Hey, I hear y'all. I agree that the lesser of two evils is less evil. Yeah, Quayle's a schmuck. His ad claiming, "Barack Obama is the worst president in history," is one the dumbest political stunts I've seen on the boob tube in any political season. But all Hulburd's got to distinguish himself from Quayle is that he's not Brock Landers, and that ain't good enough.

One last note: Quayle's online, pseudonymic bawdiness is, in this day and age, really no big deal. For all those politically correct Dems crying that Quayle doesn't "respect women" because of his Dirty postings, spare me the drama. You're the same crowd that was so quick to come to the defense of former President Bill Clinton during the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

DEMOCRATIC DESERT

I think we can all agree that Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard would make a far better governor than Jan "Had Did" Brewer. Indeed, I've always liked Goddard on a personal level. The man is genteel, highly intelligent, and well spoken. Which makes his lack of fight all that more frustrating.

Early on, Goddard seemed to think — or his consultants and campaign advisers plucked from former Governor Janet Napolitano's ranks so wrongly informed him — that he would shimmy into the Governor's Office this year as the rightful heir to Napolitano's middling, do-nothing legacy.

And before the hapless Brewer signed neo-Nazi-hugging state Senator Russell Pearce's SB 1070, this pipe dream may have been grounded in fact. With our state mired in budget woes and ranked as the poorest in the nation (save Mississippi) during Brewer's accidental and ineffectual stewardship, Goddard had his white horse primed to ride to our (ahem) rescue.

But Goddard waited too long to engage Brewer. He should have been on the attack in January, not picking out the color scheme for his new office on the ninth floor of the Capitol's Executive Tower. And as Pearce's 1070 began to blacken the political landscape, Goddard should have led a vigorous charge against it.

Instead, as with most Dems, he did not recognize the threat that SB 1070 posed. After Brewer signed the ill-fated breathing-while-brown legislation, he vowed to defend it, even though the law was destined to be enjoined in federal court. Plus Brewer wasn't about to let her rival co-opt her key to re-election. She hired law firm Snell & Wilmer to protect 1070, and Goddard was left with bupkis.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons