Arizona Democrats have one more week to run out the clock for Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz. Her veneer of moderation is getting thin, and her gaffes are threatening to end this game in a loss.
Just look at what happened Tuesday morning.
Local radio host Jim Sharpe asked Sinema about hidden camera footage of her staff trashing the state. Sinema said she didn’t know one of the staffers in question. Following up, Sharpe found that the candidate and the staffer were familiar enough to snap this photograph together.
.@KyrstenSinema told me this morning that she doesn’t know a “Lauren Fromm,” named by @Project_Veritas as a Sinema “field organizer” in this video 👉🏼 https://t.co/go5xV3ruLh Of course, even if she does work for her, that doesn’t mean Sinema KNOWS her...but...hmm... 🤔 pic.twitter.com/1TxpTSljbx— Jim Sharpe (@JimSharpe) October 30, 2018
The National Republican Senatorial Committee was quick to call Sinema a liar, and normally that would be a stretch. Politicians pose for hundreds of photos daily. They can’t be expected to remember every face in every frame. Heck, Senate candidates can’t even be expected to know all of their campaign staffers intimately either.
But in this case, Sinema is the candidate, and Sinema has shown herself absolutely less than trustworthy. She promises in public to represent all Arizonans after privately trashing Arizonans as “crazy” and the state as the “the meth lab of democracy.” More recently, undercover video recorded by the activist group Project Veritas shows Sinema staffers admitting that the moderate tone of the campaign is a sham.
“But there are a lot of very conservative people in Arizona, and so she can’t alienate the conservative or moderate voters by being super pro — she is pro-choice,” said Lauren Fromm, the campaign field organizer Sinema claims not to know. “She is very liberal, she’s progressive.”
Arizona isn’t the only state struggling with the question of how to trust an untrustworthy pol. Right now, New Jersey must decide whether to return indicted Sen. Bob Menendez, D-N.J., to Capitol Hill. Earlier in the year, the left-leaning Star-Ledger urged Menendez to resign rather than let the Senate seat fall into Republican hands. A week before Election Day though, their editorial board has urged readers to just “choke it down, and vote for Menendez.”
Republicans should be familiar with this dilemma. They had to answer the same question when Donald Trump was on the ballot two years ago.
But the longer this lasts, the more frayed our collective ethical nerves are going to get. Sooner or later we are going to have to decide whether we want honest politicians or whether we will settle for flagrantly lying ones simply because of their party affiliation. Arizona makes its decision one week from now.