Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
I posted weeks ago that Senate President Steve Pierce has said that he does not want "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori back at the legislature (he will deny it, of course). I told you that capitol lobbyists were contributing to Antenori's challenger, former state representative David Bradley, because they do not want Antenori back at the legislature either. And I told you that there is a "Republicans for Bradley" organization because Republicans are disturbed by "Don't make me angry" Frank Antenori's bizarre antics.
Nobody likes you Frank, not even Republicans. Antenori candidacy sees exodus of Republicans:
Republican Frank Antenori already faces a party-registration disadvantage in his run to remain in the state Senate. Now opposition within his own party is compounding the challenge.
Several people close to Republican Gov. Jan Brewer have contributed to Democrat David Bradley, Antenori's opponent in Legislative District 10. The governor herself is not endorsing either candidate, spokesman Matt Benson said.
[Three people from Gov. Brewer's inner circle have contributed to Bradley: Chuck Coughlin, president of HighGround Public Affairs, Doug Cole, vice president of HighGround, and Paul Senseman of Policy Development Group. Coughlin was Brewer's campaign manager. Cole and Senseman both served as her official spokesman. None would comment for this story.]
And some Southern Arizona Republicans are working against Antenori, who's known as a conservative firebrand prone to angry rhetoric.
The Star finally caught up to something I posted about recently:
The latest episode, published Oct. 3 in the Phoenix-based Yellow Sheet Report, featured Antenori railing against Republican political consultant Bert Coleman and Southern Arizona businessmen Don Diamond and Jim Click. Diamond and Click have long been important contributors to Republican political campaigns, but Antenori said they don't like him.
"They know I cannot be bought, and they don't like that," the Yellow Sheet Report quoted Antenori saying. "I'm not their little butt-boy."
Diamond, who contributed $424 to Bradley's campaign in August, said the comment highlights Antenori's problem.
GOP bundler and ideologue Jim Click said "he supports Antenori over Bradley, and that he's phoned Antenori to talk with him, but he doesn't plan on contributing."
"I'm not mad at Frank Antenori, OK?" Click said. "If I was in that district, I would vote for Frank Antenori. He's going to caucus with the Republicans."
Jim Click would support the devil himself if he said he is a Republican. This isn't much of an endorsement.
Resistance to Antenori, who won a House seat in 2008 and was appointed to the Senate in 2010, may be most widespread among moderate Southern Arizona Republicans.
Former legislator Pete Hershberger is working hard for David Bradley, he said.
"This is an election between a moderate Democrat and a far-right Republican," he said. "Antenori does bring out that split between what the Republican Party used to be a couple of decades ago and what it is now."
But Hershberger's greatest complaint is about Antenori's style.
"He's the bully of the Legislature," Hershberger said. "Everything is a fight to him, and you're either with him, or you're not."
Tucson City Councilman Steve Kozachik, who has considered switching from Republican to independent, is also working against Antenori. And Laura "Lolly" Almquist, a former Republican member of the Tucson Unified School District board, said she's supporting Bradley.
The Tucson Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce also voted to endorse Bradley.
In the same Yellow Sheet Report, Antenori called the chamber "squishy, whiny, crybaby, center-left people that don't have any connection to business."
"That's an interesting description for the biggest business organization in Southern Arizona," chamber President and CEO Michael Varney said. "Inflammatory statements like that really indicate to us who we can work with and who's slamming the door on us."
It won't be long before Antenori is gone.