US Senate candidate Wil Cardon spoke Thursday night at the Mountain View Tea Party in Mesa. The appearance was a mixed bag.
Attendance was low. When Jeff Flake appeared at the same venue two years ago, he packed the room with maybe 200 or more. Thursday night, Wil had an audience of maybe 30.
But while Jeff Flake was needled by the Tea Party, Wil Cardon was well received – at least there were no antagonistic questions.
Some of what he said, though, troubled me. For example, he said that 99% of politicians are not good for the country, that they get wrapped up in the love of power and aren’t true to the Constitution. But then the brochure I picked up asked me to vote for Wil Cardon to change Washington. Really? If there are only five decent members of Congress in his view, how are they going to do anything more than protest on the sidelines? If his view of the place is that dismal, he’s not going to change anything. No, in my years in politics I have become very familiar with people who think that way. They’re the people who go after fringe candidates as a protest vote. They don’t see their role as being an agent of change, but rather as getting some personal satisfaction out of their protest. While they’re not as dangerous to the survival of the republic as the bad guys, they are somewhat dangerous.
He also bad-mouthed Chris Chocola and the Club for Growth, which didn’t sit well with me. I’m a member of the Club for Growth. He said that the Club for Growth is pro-amnesty. I disagree. The Club for Growth focuses on economic issues, and I don’t see any immigration issues on their list of legislative actions upon which they base their scorecard. It may be accurate to say that they are not anti-illegal immigration. But I wouldn’t call them pro-amnesty. They are also not anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage. They focus on economic issues.
And then he got one question about treaties from a woman who said that she believed that NAFTA gave away American sovereignty. While he didn’t actually say that he agreed with her on NAFTA, he accepted the premise of the question and reassured the audience that he would not give away American sovereignty with any treaty. So is he against free trade? Or did he just lack the integrity to correct a false impression? If he opposes free trade, that does put him at odds with the Club for Growth. And with me, I might add.
Now I’m no great fan of Jeff Flake. From hearing him try to weasel out of his views on illegal immigration and cap and trade, he strikes me as a man easily seduced by the trappings of popularity and power. From hearing in person his flippant dismissal of his breaking his three-term pledge, he strikes me as a man lacking in integrity. But I have seen him switch his vote to maintain his lifetime 100% rating with the Club for Growth. Hopefully he will continue to take pride in that and they can help keep him in line. I say hopefully, meaning I am not entirely sure.
But I’m not going to vote for Wil Cardon. Besides questioning his judgment, I question his ability to carry the general election. Sorry. I see this as a race between two very flawed candidates, and in my judgment, Jeff Flake is less flawed.
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