Democrats Getting Ugly in Congressional District 1

We just spoke about the mess in Congressional District 1 that is the Schweikert campaign (you can read that coverage here). As Schweikert has slogged through ethics complaints, fines, and disturbing tactics for years, Democrats have continuously lined up to try to oust him, and this year is no different. Numerous significant names with strong financial backing are brawling in an attempt to challenge him in the general election.

Any time there are a few strong candidates attempting to pick off a weak incumbent, the fur is almost certain to fly, and this year is certainly no different.

First there was this billboard put up by a group named “Democracy Rising” that went up in Scottsdale, with a not-subtle insinuation: that Democrat candidates Amish Shah and Marlene Woods are just like Trump and Schweikert when it comes to abortion and gay rights.

Granted, Woods has been endorsed by a national pro-choice group and Shah has had a consistent, moderate Democrat voting record as a member of the legislature, so outside of the fact that in the past they were Democrats, there doesn’t seem to be a kernel of truth here, but hey…politics.

Notable also is that the same group apparently sent this below text about another strong competitor in the race, Andrei Cherny. Cherny started the financial firm Aspiration, which has been active in the climate change space.

The investigation seems to surround an apparent overstatement of the positive impact that they’ve had when it comes to mitigating climate change. Worth noting, but suffice it to say, his firm has almost certainly done more to alleviate the issue than any of the other candidates combined, bloated metrics or not.

So now that we know what candidates Democracy Rising is against, that leaves one very clear candidate that they seem to be doing all of this work on behalf of: Conor O’Callaghan. A former executive in investment banking (i.e. a Wall Street guy), he has the sort of background that much of the Dem base would abhor, so perhaps this plays into this strategy: make everyone else look so bad that you’re the cleanest shirt in the laundry.

Mind you, this is after Arizonans rejected “dark money” via the Arizona Voter Right to Know initiative that was voted in last election cycle and has withheld several challenges. This sort of spending is certainly not aligned with the views of most Arizonans, and certainly not Democrats.

The billboard especially is rather gross, even if these tactics go with the territory. O’Callaghan better hope it works though, because if not he may have ticked off too many people to be allowed back at the political table again. Even though he is likely not personally directing these attacks, it’s hard not to see his thumbprint on them.