Oh, gawd. Before the uninformed and bigoted sockpuppetry of Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal took over the state's airwaves and front pages last week, policy wonks here were entertained by the candidacy of "Cesar Chavez" in Congressional District 7, the seat being vacated by long-time Democratic Congressman Ed Pastor. Not only was candidate "Chavez" not the famous (and deceased) civil rights leader, he was a two-time losing Republican politician named Scott Fistler who changed both his name and party affiliation, and gathered enough signatures to get on the August primary ballot. Or so he thought.
Democrats were concerned: First, the Candidate Formerly Known as Fistler drew attention from substantive issues to the controversy itself. The press wasn't talking about what separates the Democratic candidates from one another, or from Republicans; no, they were talking about this dickhead.
Also, AZ-07 is heavily Hispanic and a Democrat will win, so the Democratic primary is the race that matters. Former county supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and legislator Ruben Gallego are locked in a tight contest that is in single-digit territory, so a vote for a candidate who's trying to fool people could turn the race (not that other politicians don't try to fool people).
Happily, a lawsuit filed by the grandson of the real Cesar Chavez led to a recent hearing during which the faker was booted from the ballot, because nearly half of his petition signatures were phony. Just like his candidacy.
But wait! "Chavez" says he'll appeal the ruling, and to do that he needs cash. Maybe he'll even hire a real attorney, since he thought he could play lawyer at his hearing, and that turned absurd. So he's taking his performance art to another level, and his business plan appears as professional as his candidacy. Want his autograph? $10. How 'bout dinner with the man himself? $50, plus the cost of the meal of course. Courtesy of New Times, where I guess they're paying someone to visit this jackass's website, here's the rundown:
Autograph: $10I'm looking forward to his motivational speech, because a man of such wisdom and success certainly has a lot of material to work with. Maybe he'll join Tony Robbins on the circuit. Same with political consulting; with his vast and winning experience he's the guy I'd hire! And when I'm ready to change my name to Humphrey Bogart, I'll be sure to call him to accompany me, since no one's done it better.
Photo with Cesar Chavez: $20
Personal Appearance: $1000 (plus hotel and travel)
Motivational Speech: $5000 (plus hotel and travel)
Political Consulting: $10 per minute (local)
Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner with Cesar Chavez: $50 (plus cost of meal)
Name Change with Cesar Chavez: $50
The New Times article also includes more gibberish from his website, listing "FACTS" you should know about "Cesar Chavez," including: "The most well-known Cesar Chavez alive today." Well, that's probably the only true thing he's said, and that's certainly a reason to vote for him. And if you ain't had your fill, the factoids let us in on a little secret: "Cesar Chavez has a book coming out in the near future."
Rush to Amazon and reserve your copy. It only remains to be seen whether he'll write under a pseudonym. Hemingway perhaps? Nah, this is more like Lewis Carroll.