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"I have been and will be... a citizen legislator, a steward of the office", JD Hayworth
by Jim Kelley on May.07, 2010, under Politics
This evening, JD Hayworth, Republican Party candidate for the US Senate, opened his Tucson campaign office. Attendance hovered over 100 people for about 2 hours. KGUN-9 covered the event alongside the BBC. Yes, the BBC, as in the British Broadcasting Corporation. I wiggled my way into an at length sit down interview with the former Congressman, radio host, television broadcaster, college football player and Eagle Scout. Of course I am reminded by Eagle Scouts throughout Arizona that there is no former to the Eagle Scout moniker, he is an Eagle Scout.
Prior to my time with the candidate, I spent some time talking to the people who came out to greet him. I spoke to a couple from Tucson who owns a local business, Tad Denton, age 42 and his wife Anita, age 37. They have never been active in politics before but have followed it. Tad is a native of Tucson and has some real estate investments and she runs an assisted living facility. They have belonged to the Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, the Better Business Bureau, and other industry groups. They are pretty normal everyday Republicans living their dream as best as possible. I wanted to know what brought them out and what they intended to do. "Well, my city has only one level one trauma center at UMC. It seems all the politicians here care more about illegal immigrants than they do their own citizens." Anita said. "I'm looking for a candidate that will cut the Federal government in half and secure our border. The government has grown way too large and is taking on responsibilities that don't belong to the state." said Tad. I asked them why they supported JD instead of John McCain. "I can relate to JD. As much as we appreciate Senator McCain's service to our country, it is time for him to retire. From his past voting record we just can't trust him anymore" they added.
JD opened the Tucson office by standing on a table outside in the courtyard and opened with a joke. He said he was glad to see the BBC present because when the Daily Telegraph wrote a story about him they called him "the candidate with the broad shoulders, excellent voice projection and Trump like hair." He was proud to announce that his son John Micah Hayworth has been elected to the president of the philosophy club at Notre Dame Preparatory High School in Phoenix and unseated an incumbent to do it. JD hopes it is ominous and prophetic. JD likes to tell the story of the woman and her daughter in Philadelphia at the time the Constitutional Convention was being held. Afterwards, the woman saw Benjamin Franklin and asked, "Dr Franklin, what form of government have you given us?" Franklin replied, "A Republic, if you can keep it." This is probably one of JD's favorite stump quotes because it takes him immediately into his philosophy of government and his view of our tasks and his vision for the future as a Republic. The other Franklin quote he gives is "A democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what's for dinner. A republic is a well armed lamb contesting the vote." JD believes the context of "well armed" means well educated and knowledgeable about the constitution and love for the Republic respecting the rights of the minority. He said "There should always be energetic opposition, not grounded in negativity but on the Constitution itself." He said Obamacare could have been defeated with four words that Senator McCain knew he could say and never did. Senator McCain could have at the time the clerk read the title and the motion made to accept the bill like it had been read, said " Mr President , I object." That would have forced under Senate rules the entire bill be read by the clerk and when he came upon a blank portion under any section, the American people would then know full well that Rahm Emanuel, the president's Chief of Staff, was in Harry Reid's office doing his best to fill in those blanks while Senators who had never read the bill prepared to vote on it.
"To date Senator John McCain, has not signed on as a co-sponsor to Senator Jim Dement's (R-SC) bill to repeal Obamacare, nor has he signed any pledge to do so. All he has to do is go to www.repealitnow.org, and add his name to the petition and ask Senator Dement to be added as a co-sponsor." "Senator McCain talks about his and Senator Jon Kyl's ten point plan to reform immigration laws and secure the border, yet he has introduced no bill to that affect." "In the past the people of Arizona have been skeptical of Senator McCain's behavior, now they are just cynical."
What subsidies would you support and what subsidies would you oppose?
Well the United States Postal Service is constitutionally subsidized, so that one stays. I see the Department of Commerce disappearing except for the National Weather Service and the Census Bureau. Everything else is on the table. The Obama administration has raised discretionary spending 80%. We need to freeze government spending at pre-stimulus levels and cut away at the size of government. We are going to have to make profound cuts in entitlements. We have no choice but to raise retirement age for Social Security.
Who can tell you when you are wrong?
First and foremost my wife. (Immediately, his cell phone rang and it was his wife, Mary confirming that she can tell him when he is wrong). But the people of Arizona can and have and will. Persuasive argument is accepted and I do want to hear it and I will listen to it. I didn't go to D.C the first time to be a career politician. I served from 1994 to 2006. The defeat helped me re-center myself back to my family and gave me time to reflect. I did register as a lobbyist but my primary function in that role was more as a political advisor to people that needed to know how to approach legislation than anything else. I have learned some tough lessons and I am stronger, and my family is stronger for it. I have been and will, with the voters consent again, be a citizen legislator. I will do twelve years and come home. I will be a steward of the office.
What calibrates your moral compass?
The Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am a Christian, which means I am a sinner requiring and requesting the grace of God. The constitution says no religious test is to be given as a qualification for office. It does not say I have to abandon my faith or my religion to be in office. When Winston Churchill, Harry Truman and Joseph Stalin were at Potsdam after World War II, Churchill returned to England for his campaign for the office of the Prime Minister of England. When he lost, he did not return to Potsdam. His wife said "Winston this may be a blessing in disguise." Churchill replied "Well my dear, it is a very well disguised blessing indeed."
If you were a cactus what kind of cactus would you be?
A stately saguaro. They have longevity. (He then repeated a joke that Mo Udall once told him about the difference between a cactus and a caucus. Let's just say I haven't figured out how to clean up the punch line for this article).
So there you have it. JD Hayworth, candidate for the US Senate. I have met him on numerous occasions before this interview. He always remembered my name. He always greeted me enthusiastically. He did not know that I was writing a column at the Tucson Citizen for the last month until tonight. He just thought I was a substitute teacher and precinct committeeman. He didn't hesitate to go on the record and he did not distract from any issue I discussed. I think his experience with various and nefarious players in the political world have honed his instincts but have not dampened his enthusiasm. I saw no cynicism in him tonight. I saw a man who believes in himself, believes all is not lost and believes that there are solutions to everything we are experiencing. He knows he doesn't have all the answers but he thinks he can bring the people who can contribute to solutions to the process, particularly people who have been marginalized by party organizations in the past. His grassroots support from the new conservative activists, the over 400 new precinct committeemen in Pima County as well as the large number of new recruits in Maricopa County give energy to his campaign not experienced for a long time in the Republican Party.
Can JD Hayworth beat Rodney Glassman? The polling shows he can. Can JD Hayworth beat John McCain? I don't know yet. This summer will be the true test. JD Hayworth supporters are younger and have more to lose than John McCain supporters. They use the social media better than McCain supporters. They are more decentralized and cell like. They have a fire in their gut that McCain supporters don't have in my opinion. McCain supporters are the same people that let Obama win. I do know this; most McCain supporters do so out of a feeling of obligation. Hayworth supporters do so out of a desire for change. Change in the party, change in the state and change in the White House. Who usually wins those fights? A hint, as I was leaving the office I scanned the new volunteer sign up sheet, the Denton's signed up.