Political Pied Piper Leads Mill Rats to AZ Capitol

September 8, 2010 | 3:41 PM | People | By Staff

Hope you enjoyed your break from the wacky world of AZ Politics. OK, break’s over. Turns out an infamous local politician has a new pet project: helping Mill Ave’s homeless people (aka Mill Rats) find jobs.

Sounds great, right? Well, turns out the politician in question, a former Republican legislator, convinced a trio of street people (including the stylish Tarot Card reader pictured at left) to successfully run as write-in candidates for the AZ Green Party. Only problem, the AZ Green party wants nothing to do with these “sham” candidates and is suing to have them removed from the ballot before the elections in November.

Oh, and the politician, Steve May, was once described as a “Gay Right-Wing Mormon” in a Phoenix New Times cover story. Just another day at the office here in the political Wild Wild West.

The hullabaloo started building steam a few weeks back when the Arizona Republic reported the AZ Democratic Party was alleging voter fraud in the recent primary elections. Long story short, it takes only one write-in vote for a candidate to secure a spot as a Green candidate in the upcoming statewide elections. So Steve May, a former Republican legislator who’s running again in 2010, convinced several of Mill Ave’s famed street people to become candidates the day before the election. Naturally, the Dem’s and Greens are outraged, saying May’s a big meany trying to help out fellow Republicans by sapping votes away from viable opposition candidates.

Steve May, right, a Republican, recruited three street people, from left, Thomas Meadows, Anthony Goshorn and Benjamin Pearcy, to run as Green Party candidates in Arizona

But what does May (pictured at right) say? He was just palling around with his homeless friends on Mill Ave and the idea to run for elected office sort of caught on. According to the NY Times, “Gathered around [May] was a motley crew of people who were down on their luck, including a one-armed pregnant woman named Roxie whom [he] befriended sometime back and who introduced him to the rest.” …“Did I recruit candidates? Yes,” said Mr. May, who is himself a candidate for the State Legislature, on the Republican ticket. “Are they fake candidates? No way.”

Sounds pretty believable to us. But before you dismiss Steve May as some smarmy-smart political hack, know that he’s not your usual right-wing warrior. A former Army lieutenant and AZ State Legislator, he’s also an openly gay Mormon, who was kicked out of the Armed Forces for publicly discussing his homosexuality. Which immediately makes him more principled than any politician we’ve ever met.

In other words, meet your new AZ State Treasurer, Thomas Meadows (pictured in jester hat above). Be sure to greet him as such when he hassles you for money a Tarot Card reading the next time you’re on Mill.

Photos and photo caption via the NY Times



Continuing the Discussion

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