Morning Poll: Did Republicans Steve May and Jim Weiers Recruit Green Party Candidates Just to Mess With Dems?

Stephen Dubner, half of the writing team behind the upcoming movie (based on the book), Freakonomics, calls it an example of "unbranding" in a New York Times blog post today.

Whatever the name for recruiting candidates of a third party to suck votes away from Democrats, Steve May and Jim Weiers -- both Republicans -- seem guilty of it. The former and current state lawmakers, respectively, are under investigation by election officials following a complaint filed by the Democratic Party.

A New York Times article yesterday outlined the scandal in rich detail, showing how Weiers and May probably plucked unknowns, transients, and "Mill Rats" (from Tempe's Mill Avenue) to get themselves on the November ballot as write-in candidates for the Green Party. The apparent ploy worked, since state law requires candidates to garner only a single write-in vote to make the ballot.   


The theory guiding the alleged conspiracy theory is that some voters will check off whoever's in the Green Party slot on Election Day, and that those voters would otherwise choose the Democrat. It certainly makes sense.

According to media reports, Weiers and May are pleading innocent to charges that they're gaming the system. But in the court of circumstantial evidence, they look as guilty as O.J. We're wondering what you think: Is there any way these guys aren't lying?

But first, a look at responses from our last poll -- What will the new lawsuit vs. Sheriff Arpaio accomplish?

Out of 53 total responses, an equal number -- 19 -- chose "a knockout blow" and minor consquences only. The optimists prevailed: There were only 15 clicks for "nothing."

And now, here is your morning poll:

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.