Feathered Bastard

Kyrsten Sinema: Being Latina Ain't All It's Cracked Up To Be

See also: Kyrsten Sinema Identified (Wrongly) as Latino by NALEO See also: Can Kyrsten Sinema Win in Congressional District 9? See also: Kyrsten Sinema's Hilary Rosen Moment, and Her Persistent Verbal Flubbery

My Monday blog item discussing Ninth Congressional District candidate Kyrsten Sinema and the "Latina" label incorrectly granted to her by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials garnered loads of attention in the blogosphere and in some traditional media.

I think my favorite item so far has been from the conservative site TheBlaze.com, entitled, "Congressional Candidate Who Looks Like Lady Gaga Wrongly Identified as Hispanic."

Blaze blogger Eddie Scary topped the title by writing that Sinema "couldn't be whiter if she rolled in flour." Heh. Good one, Eddie.

Some local Latinos are not exactly big fans of Sinema, for a variety of reasons. Sinema has the unusual ability to rub even folks who agree with her politically the wrong way, so there are those Latinos who believe Sinema, at the very least, has allowed herself to be thought of as a Latina by some for political benefit.

"I think she feels it would have helped her politically early on," state Senator Steve Gallardo told me. "That she would be able to appeal to a certain segment of her district."

Gallardo's not the only one who feels that way, though he may be the most outspoken. There's no love lost between the pair, and Gallardo has endorsed state Senator David Schapira, who is vying for the Dems' nod in the CD9 primary, along with Sinema and ex-Arizona Democratic Party Chair Andrei Cherny.

Indeed, speaking with Gallardo, you get the feeling that the main reason he's pulling for Schapira is what's referred to among Dems as the "Anyone-But-Sinema" factor.

"When it comes to Kyrsten Sinema, she will do whatever it takes to advance her political career," Gallardo observed of Sinema. "And this is just another part of it."

NALEO referred to Sinema as being a Latina in a power-point presentation given by NALEO's executive director Arturo Vargas on June 21 before NALEO's annual conference in Orlando, Florida this year, and in its 2011 Directory of Latino Officials.

But the Latina/Latino designation has been Sinema's, courtesy of NALEO, for several years now.

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

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