My congressional district in Arizona (CD-7) has seen its share of odd stories already, beginning with long-time Congressman Ed Pastor's announcement that he'll retire at the end of this term. That surprise was followed by a lot of jockeying among Democrats, because the district is heavily Hispanic and a Dem will win. For a while current Congresswoman Krysten Sinema, the only openly bisexual atheist in Congress, acted like she might bolt for this more liberal and safer district, but she decided to stay put in CD-9, leaving front-runners Mary Rose Wilcox and Ruben Gallego to battle it out in the primary.
That was until Cesar Chavez entered the contest. Of course it wasn't the famed (and dead) civil rights leader, but a former double-loser Republican candidate named Scott Fistler (Colbert: "the Hitler of fisting"), who decided to shake things up a bit by legally changing his name, switching parties, and getting enough signatures to join the ballot.
From the beginning Democrats fumed, since the clown show distracted voters and the media from the issues. Also, the race between Wilcox and Gallego is in single-digit territory, and "Chavez" could affect the outcome if only a few votes shifted his way. The real Cesar Chavez's relatives were none too happy either, since the faker was clearly misappropriating a hero's name for his own aggrandizement.
(Odd "last name" interlude: At the same time the "Chavez" controversy was erupting in the news, Wilcox's supporters filed a lawsuit against Gallego, claiming that he changed his name to appear more Hispanic! That boondoggle backfired big-time on Wilcox, making her look stupid and desperate, and her team dropped their legal challenge.)
Please read below the fold for more on this story.
Back to the story: Alejandro Chavez, the labor leader's grandson, filed a lawsuit against Fistler last week, alleging that many of his petition signatures were fake. There's little evidence to support the notion that anything "Chavez" did was real; the crowd of Chavez supporters on his website was actually a photo from a Hugo Chavez rally! Today a judge agreed with the grandson:
A judge has ruled that Cesar Chavez, the former Republican who changed his name from Scott Fistler, will be removed from the primary ballot in the 7th Congressional District because hundreds of his signatures were invalid.Nearly half of this clown's signatures were phony, just like his candidacy. Scott Fistler, to be blunt, is an egotistical loser looking for the attention he couldn't get as himself. Today, in a bizarre courtroom scene, he even acted as his own attorney and promised to appeal the decision. Yeah, good luck with that.
Now, let's get on with the business of electing Ruben Gallego.
h/t to Azazello: Ruben Gallego has a piece currently up on HuffPo: "I Served in Iraq, We Shouldn't Go Back"