Meet the 'Street People' Recruited by Republicans for Arizona Elections

Ben Percy, Thomas Meadows and Anthony Goshorn are all running for statewide office on the Green Party ticket in Arizona. All three are "street people." And all three were recruited not by the Greens, but by a Republican operative. Huh?

Republican operative—and state legislature candidate—Steve May convinced Percy, Meadows and Goshorn all to run. But not because he thought that by putting Green Party candidates on the ballot he might help siphon off votes from Democrats! No, no, no way. It's just an effort to get more eccentrics involved, since there really aren't enough crazy people currently participating in Arizona politics. (That is a "joke"! No one sane is currently holding elected office in Arizona.)

Of course, crybaby Democrats think that, uh, non-traditional candidates like Percy—or, say, like the roommate of a Republican legislator's daughter who is now running for state senator with the Green Party—are "not serious" and are simply pawns in "a cynical manipulation of the process." Yeah, right! What could be cynical about nominating a "street person" to run for office in the hopes that voters will be so ill-informed they might vote for the guy in the jester cap? Why, it's downright idealistic!

But don't take my word for it: You judge for you! Here are the three charming Green Party candidates profiled by The New York Times:

Ben Percy
Office: Arizona Corporation Commission seat
Campaign Office Location: Starbucks on Mill Avenue
Trademark: Fauxhawk
Stump Speech: "Dressed up spiffily, he described himself as the illegitimate son of a stripper who had had run-ins with the law and a tough childhood but who had pulled his life together."

Thomas Meadows (pictured)
Office: State treasurer
Skills: Tarot card reader
Trademark: Jester cap
Stump Speech: "'This is not the land of the free,' he told the loungers on the sidewalk, pitching himself for treasurer. 'It's the land of what's for sale.'"

Anthony Goshorn, a.k.a. "Grandpa"
Office:State senator
Platform: "Against higher taxes and for God in the classroom"
Trademark Huge beard
Stump Speech: "The other night, he was supposed to debate his Democratic and Republican rivals in the race but after seeing only the Democrat on stage, he decided to watch from the back. 'I got a bad vibe,' he said."

There are, of course, still questions: Is what May is doing ethical? Is it illegal? Should it be? Is it fair to condemn someone for doing something within the boundaries of what is allowed? Is it right to laud someone for taking advantage of voter ignorance and apathy? Should we just be totally cynical about this and call it the funniest thing that's happened in politics this year? Or should we be really whiny?

And, most importantly, how on earth did May "befriend" the "one-armed pregnant woman named Roxie" who later introduced him to his candidates?

[NYT]