Offensive assertion links Mormon Church to increased suicides
Randy Lovely is the Arizona Republic’s chief editor and VP of News. When he arrived, it was “with his partner, “ ensuring his sexuality was front and center from day one.
Noticeable changes were the increasing reports and puff pieces on topics involving homosexuality — whether editorially pushing against the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, in favor of same-sex marriage or promoting the gay advocacy group No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice, which supports leadership roles for gay men, lesbians and others in Christian church services. The daily advocates for same-sex partners health benefits. The Day of Silence solidarity in Arizona schools is given the kid glove treatment.
Recently, the newspaper has been fixated on “gays” in the LDS Church. Articles on fallen-away Mormons such as state Senator-elect Kyrsten Sinema, and former legislator Steve May make news.
But not just any such duos will do. The focus is now on a specific couple of lovebirds named Flake and Salmon who declare they want to marry and start a family. Those surnames have a particular resonance since they are not only well known in Arizona’s political community — Republican community. They are also names that are prominent in the state’s multi-generational Latter-Day Saints arena.
So, via the most recent newspaper report, we introduce you to Matt R. Salmon and Kent Flake, who are now on a mission — of a different sort. The men are described as “huddled at Pioneer Park across the street“ from the festive Christmas Lights ceremony at the Mesa temple with other members of the Phoenix Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Coalition, to hold “a suicide-prevention outreach and candlelight vigil aimed at preventing gay Mormon suicides in Arizona.”
How odd that the newspaper presents gay Mormons as more likely to take their own lives than others in the homosexual population. Where is the corresponding report on Catholic, Buddhist, Baptist, Presbyterian and Jewish homosexuals? Where are the facts to substantiate such a wild claim?
The Phoenix New Times, a tabloid-style publication, previously covered the Salmon/Flake duo with an attitude and exceedingly flashy photos.
The frost is barely off the AZ GOP’s pumpkin before we witness the far reaching internal squabbles, begun by the vindictive McCain supporters. The upshot is the organized coup which rendered Republican chairman Randy Pullen ineligible to retain his chairmanship. Pullen, McCain and Kyl all reside in Distinct 11, as do their unwavering nemeses Maricopa County Chairman Rob Haney and County Executive Director Tom Husband.
And like water oozing from a pipe fissure, the applicants for his post are not only pooling up, but seeking endorsements with which to wow the crowd of state committeemen at the upcoming January meeting to elect Pullen’s successor and other state party officers.
The candidates are vying for the big kahuna: Being able to waive a banner declaring the support of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Such an endorsement implies the candidate, like the sheriff, is a strong defender of a truly secure border, not hypocritical campaign blather in the mode of McCain.
Yet one who is doing just that is perennial candidate Vernon Parker, who is keeping the phone lines sizzling by calling conservative lawmakers and other elected officials touting Arpaio’s support.
Arpaio and Parker employ the same strategist. But former PV appointed mayor Parker is solidly in McCain’s camp — an integral piece of information not forthcoming from Parker. In fact Parker was instrumental in taking out Tom Husband as a precinct committeeman when he was County Chair, disqualifying him to continue in that role.
The election is weeks off. Other candidates are sure to enter the fray. An early endorsement has the potential of locking in support one might later regret. It also can sway others in a direction they might not have taken if all facts were known.
Let’s take a reflective step back and hold off on endorsements that could bring on a major case of buyer‘s remorse.
There is plenty of time.
While the rest of us eat turkey during Thanksgiving week, the Washington Post does a fine job exposing the pork on which Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl and his D.C. cohorts prefer to feast.
Within three days of Republican senators — along with incoming senators-elect — renounced earmarks, Kyl slipped in a $200 million gift to settle claims by black farmers and American Indians against the federal government. The measure was added by Kyl to a larger bill sought by none other than President Barack Obama and supported by Democrat senators Max Baucus, (MT) and Jeff Bingamon (NM). In all, black farmers will get about $1.2 billion to settle fraud-laden claims that the Agriculture Department’s local offices discriminated against them.
And, Jeff Flake, the ever-grinning, self-absorbed pinup boy congressman from the East Valley who has made his political career a mantra of his abhorrence of earmark “pork” was all too happy to go along with this taxpayer funded excess. His willingness to spend exorbitant amounts on programs for illegals, as he routinely partners with one of the most radically liberal members of congress and skipped out on the highly significant Cap & Trade bill exemplifies what he is actually about.
The knowledge that talk is cheap, and no one holds your feet to the fire, is the glue that forges the bond between AZ Sens. Kyl and McCain and U.S. Rep. Flake.
In fact, the Obama administration’s Interior Department sought only $56 million for Indian land and water claims in Obama’s proposed budget for this year and no money for Kyl’s project, or those sought by Baucus and Bingaman.
But, what the hay, it’s all in the holiday spirit and we the taxpayers are footing the bill.
We take a moment to reflect today on the many blessings we enjoy as citizens of this great land, and wish the abundant bounties of this uniquely American holiday to each and every one of our readers.
Do yourself a favor and read this inspiring Thanksgiving Proclamation by President George Washington.
Yes, today’s editorial is correct. The Arizona Republican Party has a major rift. But the battle for control to which the lone and lengthy editorial devotes much space and anxiety, is not quite as portrayed.
The state party made historic gains in the recent November general elections, as evidenced by the stunning upsets in Congressional Districts One and Five, where liberal incumbents were turned out and replaced by conservative newcomers. In two other districts, Democrat tensions ran high as liberal incumbents teetered on the brink of defeat. Republicans also swept into the new legislature with super majorities in both chambers and a Republican attorney general, while retaining the governor’s office, secretary of state, treasurer, superintendent of public instruction and control of the corporation commission. On the county level, the new county attorney is a Republican, supported by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
If these impressive wins are indicative of a weakened party, it’s news to the Republicans who worked diligently to ensure such massive victories — reflected under the able, two-term leadership of state party chairman Randy Pullen.
The rift within the Arizona Republican Party shows itself through intra-party wrangling over leadership, as evidenced by the power plays in district elections for state committeemen, who in turn elect the state chairman and officers at the January state convention.
There is no vague malady here. The source of the internal woes has a name: John McCain. It is McCain, who along with surrogates Jon Kyl and Jeff Flake have done their best to guarantee the fissures. McCain, with the acquiescence of his willing cohorts, is the polarizing virus affecting the Arizona Republican Party. The potent contagion is the costly and divisive issue of illegal immigration advocacy, which McCain obscured by veering right as he waged his $22 million campaign against conservative and tea party favorite J.D. Hayworth.
The newspaper disingenuously gives cover to off-the-reservation Republicans and those who conspire with Democrats, such as Grant Woods, who endorsed a liberal Janet Napolitano clone for Attorney General. The editorial states such actions can be viewed as less than heretical in this “environment.”
The newspaper is wrong.
Vernon Parker has announced his intent to run for chairman of the Arizona Republican Party.
Despite the stunning GOP upsets in Congressional Districts One and Five and near wins in two other congressional districts, Parker has declared that he is the candidate who can unite the Arizona Republican party. Republicans also swept into the new legislature with super majorities in both chambers.
“That’s been the problem with the party,” Parker said regarding factions within the AZ GOP. “I have a vision for where the party should be going, and that is to work with all facets of the party, and more importantly to make sure we maintain our core values.”
Parker, a onetime appointed Paradise Valley Mayor, is actively pursuing endorsements, saying he would announce several next week.
Just this year, Parker briefly campaigned for Arizona governor. He abruptly left that race to mount a campaign for Congressional District Three. Parker lost in the August primary garnering only 17 % of the vote, and is now moving to his third campaign this year.
Here is Parker’s most recent announcement.