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Arizona: GOP backs losing Steve Huffman over Randy Graf

Illegal immigration supporting Rep. Jim Kolbe is retiring and in the race for his former seat:
...the National Republican Congressional Committee is spending more than $122,000 on television ads for state Rep. Steve Huffman. The primary is Sept. 12...

Huffman faces Randy Graf, a conservative former state lawmaker, and Mike Hellon, a former Arizona Republican Party chairman.
For all the inside baseball, see this blog. The GOP has tried to say that only Huffman could win against the Democrat, but he's campaigned dirty and hasn't received much support from his fellow representatives. And, Graf is well ahead of him in the polls. So, why would the GOP continue to throw money at someone who looks like a loser? Perhaps the fact that Graf is strong on opposition to illegal immigration might be a clue:
The NRCC ad introduces Huffman as "the conservative choice" of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a candidate who backs an immigration policy that "puts security first."
In the unlikely case that you need a translation of that statement, see this:
[Huffman says:] "I'm not willing to run for office and say that all we need to do is secure the border and shouldn't worry about the impact on the economy... I'm not willing to cripple our economy just to play to people's fears."

Huffman then hits many of the points of the moderates: more enforcement, aided by a guest worker program to move would-be workers from deserts and into the process of legal immigration.

"If our Border Patrol can just focus their attention on the bad-news guys who can't come through legally, then their job will be much safer and easier," he says....
Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, the same line was spieled by (in separate articles) John Fund, a WSJ editorial, Tamar Jacoby and David Brooks. Huffman also plays the same semantic games with the word "ammesty" as Bush. And, he was "hand-picked" by Kolbe.

If the GOP wasn't completely corrupt they could find a solution to the dilemma. As it is, they might end up supporting the likely Democratic opponent: former state Sen. Gabrielle Giffords. She's been endorsed by Raul Grijalva, so she probably won't cost the GOP's contributors any money.

UPDATE: The GOP candidates (Graf, Antenori, Hellon, and Jenkins but not, of course, Huffman) have released a joint statement declaring their "unified outrage at the highly unusual actions" taken by the NRCC:
...On March 30, 2006, RNC Chairman Ken Mehiman visited Tucson to attend a local party fundraiser. During his visit, Mehlman held a private meeting with the five declared candidates for Congress or their representatives. Present at that meeting were Frank Antenori, Randy Graf, Mike Hellon, and Mike Jenkins. Steve Huffman sent a representative, his former treasurer, Bill Arnold. At that private meeting, Mehlman made it clear that the national Republican Party would stay out of the primary race, promising to help whomever the voters of the Eighth Congressional District chose as their candidate for Congress in the upcoming General Election. Those sentiments were echoed by NRCC officials during private meetings in Washington, D.C. with some candidates in this race. Sadly, the promises that were made have been broken.

Additionally, the funds expended by the NRCC are monies reserved to defeat Democrats in the fall, and are not used to work against other Republican candidates in the primary. That right is usually - and should always be - reserved for the voters. What's more, these funds are raised from hardworking Republicans across the country, folks who support Republican principles. These donors would be shocked to know that their contributions are being used to defeat credible Republican candidates here in Arizona. We call on the NRCC to immediately stop using Republican fundraising dollars to defeat fellow Republicans. This primary campaign should remain above the belt and outside the Beltway...

Immigration · Thu, 08/31/2006 - 04:21 · Importance: 1

Thu, 08/31/2006 - 05:34
Fred Dawes

Look both of the guys Kolbe and Huffman may as well be hand-picked by mexico city it looks like bypassing the people of the USA Is done all the time for race and political reasons, and if the so called chamber of commerce had anything to say we would become mexico over night.

Facts about this race are not really understood but the fact is one of the boss's of both guys(kolbe/huffman ) is Lopez Obrador who is planning a leftist government who hates our freedoms! old Lopez is mobilizing 26 million mexicans inside and outside the usa, watch out boys its going to be fun watching the bombs go off.