Race to get passionate about in AZ: Randy Parraz for U.S. Senate!
by Zephyr Teachout, Wed Jul 28, 2010 at 02:10:18 PM EDT
I'm writing because I want to get everyone and everything I know to help Randy Parraz, Democratic Candidate for Senate in Arizona, in a tight, tight race for the democratic nomination (to go up against a very weak McCain in the fall).The race is wide open.
He gives me the most hope about national politics of anyone I know. He can win, but its a true case of where word of mouth, small donations, blogs, tweets, facebook, everything makes a difference (website is www.parrazforchange.com).
Here are the basics: he was a community organizer for 15 years, in Texas, in AZ. He comes from working class Sacramento family, went to Berkeley, BOALT, and Harvard Kennedy School and then straight to work in Texas with the Industrial Areas Foundation, studying with Ernie Cortez and Marshall Ganz. And he's been organizing ever since.
He was fighting SB1070 when it was coming up through the legislative process. Last night in a primary debate the big money candidate (who doesn't have more support but has already loaned himself half a million bucks) was hemming and hawing about civil unions, but wouldn't be clear about marriage equality. Randy called him out on it. He just doesn't have a problem being super clear about simple things, like SB1070 and gay marriage. But its not just fluff--he organizes around
the things he believes in.
He understands organizing, and understands power, and is direct, compassionate, and wants to wreak a little havoc in the halls of DC.
What else?--its so hard to prove that a politician is for real when so many aren't. He was targeted for arrest and handcuffed by Joe Arpaio two years before Arpaio became a household name. A Justice of the Peace and the County conclued that Randy's arrest was illegal and ordered the county to pay for the illegal arrest. Volunteers come from all backgrounds--one man recently committed because a while ago, before he was running for office, Randy saw a cop harrassing a crew of workers and took out his video camera until the cop tore up the tickets he was writing and walked away--he has the democratic instinct, the belief that its possible to hold politicians accountable, in such a deep and personal way.
This goes deep for him, what it means to represent people. Plus, he's really funny.
The race is statistically tied--Randy has 10%, the lead has 15%, 47% are undecided. His big competition is a millionaire who wants to buy the race. He does not need millions to win. His numbers are going up in AZ even though he hasn't put out an ad, or run for state office--honestly, its because people who meet him have the same response I do.
If you know anyone who blogs about politics, ask them to follow this race. If you know anyone who lives in Arizona, ask them to volunteer for this race. If you can give $100, please give it now.
Imagine Randy Parraz taking on John McCain in the fall--really getting to him, on the moral issues of immigration, on practical terms with an ability to take down the puffy pretensions. At the very least, its a way for someone out of state to show strong opposition to SB1070.