Democrats Suggest Foul Play in Arizona House Race
Here’s a strange saga, even for a campaign year.
It seems that over the weekend officials with the Arizona Democratic Party discovered a credit card belonging to the campaign of Rep. John Shadegg (R-Ariz.) beneath a desk in their Tempe office. The find led Democratic officials to press, quite reasonably, for an explanation as to how it got there.
The answer (perhaps) came Monday, when Ryan Anderson, Shadegg’s deputy campaign manager, revealed that he’d visited the office to purchase a Barack Obama bumper sticker. The card must have fallen from his pocket, Anderson said, when he pulled out his cash.
If it’s not strange enough that a Shadegg aide would be buying Obama promotional loot, there’s also this little tidbit: It appears that Anderson tried to disguise his visit by creating a not-so-effective alias on the contribution form.
Emily DeRose, spokeswoman for the Arizona Democratic Party, explains in a statement issued yesterday:
“Records show that a person with the name ‘Bryan Anderson’ filled out a contribution form, which is a legal document that the Arizona Democratic Party uses to report contributions to elections officials,” DeRose said. “The purchase of a bumper sticker is a contribution. ‘Bryan Anderson’s’ address is a near-match to Ryan Anderson’s. Every number in the street line of the address is one digit off.”
On Monday, Anderson told the Arizona Capitol Times that he was simply buying a piece of history.
Democrats, though, aren’t convinced. Instead, they’ve asked Shadegg to fire him.
“Why would Anderson need to lie if he was just there to buy a bumper sticker?” DeRose asked. “Why would a Republican campaign operative go to a Democratic office to buy bumper stickers when they’re online? This story just doesn’t hold water.”
No word yet how this odd tale will affect the election, but Shadegg doesn’t have much room to play with. The Cook Political Report, an election handicapper, says Shadegg has the edge but also indicates the race has tightened within the past month. Stay tuned…