Next week, what’s left of voters who did not take advantage of the early ballot will head to the polls for the special election in Congressional District 8. Luckily for the residents of Oro Valley and Marana they will only be represented by the winner of this election for just over six months. The campaign between Ron Barber and Jesse Kelly says a lot about how the winner will represent the district once he is in Washington. Both candidates have been extremely negative in their campaigning. Winning may be important, but the constant negative ads from them, the organizations that support them and in every other campaign is getting out of hand.

Jesse Kelly’s campaign has been criticized on a number of levels since he resumed his political aspirations this year after losing in 2010. Some of that criticism is warranted, some of it is stretching, but over the last two weeks it was definitely deserved.

After a KGUN 9 interview, where Kelly’s campaign manager John Ellinwood freaked out over a question about an organization that has been denounced by many Republicans, it became clear that Jesse Kelly may not be a good fit for Congress. After all, look at his choice in a campaign manager.

It became worse when Ellinwood and Kelly were asked several times about the endorsement from the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

The question was simple – does the Kelly camp accept this endorsement or not?

Prior to the May 23 debate, on camera, Kelly was asked and instead of answering the simple question he began repeating the same thing over and over again about how this election is about jobs, the economy and energy.

Your platform may be fine Mr. Kelly, but that’s not all that goes into earning the support of constituents when we are considering sending you to Washington. If, in fact, you welcome an endorsement that others such as John McCain have denounced, then as a voter I would rethink voting for you.

Then, there’s the complete lack of respect for a reporter doing her job, and a reporter doing his job at the debate. To be clear, a journalist asking a hard question doesn’t automatically mean they are liberal and is pushing some agenda. The bottom line is this, journalists are supposed to ask the hard questions, they are supposed to see where the candidate stands on issues, they should be asking if a candidate accepts and wants an endorsement from a less than admirable organization.

This method of claiming journalists are liberal because they ask questions you don’t like is getting ridiculous. Answer the questions, be up front with the public, or don’t run for office. What’s going to happen when a hard question is asked once you are in office? Are you going to stand on the House floor and repeat the same sentence over and over again?

To see if it is just KGUN 9 News that gets the disrespectful treatment from the Kelly campaign, The Explorer also asked his campaign manager, John Ellinwood, about the ALIPAC endorsement.  Instead of a simple yes or no to the question, Ellinwood said, “Our campaign is one of 140 Congressional campaigns they have endorsed this year, both Republican and Democrat.”

Again, The Explorer stressed that is not an answer to the question posed, and asked again in multiple emails. It didn’t happen. Instead, Ellinwood said the same statement over and over again.

While early ballots might help Kelly’s campaign, his refusal to answer a simple question raises too many red flags right now, and might make a difference on election day.

—Thelma Grimes

(2) comments


Very weak article that shows a complete lack of understanding of the importance of Congressional action on Obamacare and the Bush tax cuts in the next 6 months. Even Clinton wants to extend the Bush tax cuts.

Can't wait to see what you will write when conservative Jonathan Paton hits the campaign trail here against tax and spender Ann Kirkpatrick whose great trick is the disappearing act she puts on at her town hall meetings when things get hot.

What has Barber answered? That would be nothing. His campaign is centered completely around going after Mr. Kelly while at the same time presenting nothing new and certainly nothing on how to fix the $16 Trillion debt.

If this is the best insight this paper can offer, the paper would do the readership well by not participating in an endeavor that it does not understand.


Ms. Grimes; Let me remind you that just because a question is asked doesn't mean it has to be answered. It is obvious to me that the question asked was a cynical attempt to distract from the issues that the majority of taxpayers are interested in. Immigration is a serious concern but as illegals self-deport as our economy faces a fiscal disaster it is a non-starter with this administration. Most of us take questions from Soros inspired media talking heads reading from prepared script with a grain of salt. Much like POTUS reading teleprompters written by others using the same talking points.

The questions that matter have to do with Wisconsin's failed recall elections which may reflect the country's moods when it comes to unions, Occupy Wall Street dupes, a rogue DOJ under a stonewalling Holder; Fast and Furious and security leaks from within the administration that kill people for political gain, water rights denied Tombstone because of a questionable sighting of a Mexican Spotted owl near that cities water source, and the list goes on.

As for Ron Barber, I can find little information of what he did during Vietnam when many of us were drafted. I see only softball questions from the media and nothing of substance beyond following the party line. Scaring the seniors with threats against medicare is a non-starter. That can has been kicked down the road for as long as I can remember and nobody in the liberal/progressive group has a clue to address it beyond sacrificing our military and taxing the rich. Weakening our security posture and taxing the uber-rich 100% will not make a dent against a 16 trillion dollar deficit.

You talk in platitudes but have no understanding as to economics, fiscal austerity, job cuts in the public sector, borrowing money from China, etc. Why haven't you or the liberals made an intelligent appraisal of why the stock market took off the day the Wisconsin recall votes were counted? The real problem you fail to address has to do with what questions are asked or not asked that is the problem, not the answers you expect to use as a diversion. Either you don't know what a useful idiot is or you don't know what you are talking about. Here is a predictor for you; name the countries referred to as PIIGS and whether or not that is the future of our our country if you insist on talking about only immigration?

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