As the New York Times reports, about as audacious as it gets:
Mr. Pearcy and other drifters and homeless people were recruited onto the Green Party ballot by a Republican political operative who freely admits that their candidacies may siphon some support from the Democrats. Arizona’s Democratic Party has filed a formal complaint with local, state and federal prosecutors in an effort to have the candidates removed from the ballot, and the Green Party has urged its supporters to steer clear of the rogue candidates.
“These are people who are not serious and who were recruited as part of a cynical manipulation of the process,” said Paul Eckstein, a lawyer representing the Democrats. “They don’t know Green from red.”
But Steve May, the Republican operative who signed up some of the candidates along Mill Avenue, a bohemian commercial strip next to Arizona State University, insists that a real political movement has been stirred up that has nothing to do with subterfuge…
The Democratic Party is fuming over Mr. May’s tactics and those of at least two other Republicans who helped recruit candidates to the Green Party, which does not have the resources to put candidates on ballots around the state and thus creates the opportunity for write-in contenders like the Mill Rats to easily win primaries and get their names on the ballot for November. Complaints about spurious candidates have cropped up often before, though never involving an entire roster of candidates drawn from a group of street people.
“It’s unbelievable. It’s not right. It’s deceitful,” said Jackie Thrasher, a former Democratic legislator in northwest Phoenix who lost re-election in 2008 after a Green Party candidate with possible links to the Republicans joined the race…
It isn’t the first time that the Green Party has been openly used by the GOP, but given the disaffection with both parties strongly registering in polls, you can certainly understand why they’re trying wherever they can. It’s still surprising to see it happening quite this blatantly, though–feeling a little cocky? Obviously, in Colorado, the third-party candidates are set to split Republicans, not Democrats. And Democrats didn’t have to recruit Tom Tancredo.