Blogging from PHOENIX psburton – – – A local Phoenix tea bagger and talk radio shock jock who served a few terms in congress during the Bush/Cheney era, only to lose a rock solid GOP seat because he dispatched campaign staff to a synagogue, on a high holy day to inform its members that evangelical Christians, like their boss were better Jews than they, is now telling folks John McCain is too old to continue serving as a Senator.

J.D. Hayworth a staple of local talk radio for the evangelical right, birthers and birchers since being booted out of congress, is attempting to stir up the tea party patriots with prognostications he may join a tidal wave of “true” conservatives assembling to take back the country from those darn socialist commies types, who used what amounts to voter fraud to steal the presidential election of 2008.

While a majority of credible political pundits look at the polls and say Hayworth has little if any chance of beating John McCain. What may have started out as a shock jocks attempt to bolster ratings revenue has drawn the attention of a former Arizona attorney general and federal election authorities. Seems blatant radio politicking violates those pesky federal election laws.

Senator McCain, known for being a tad persnickety about playing by the election rules has already voiced desire to seek re-election, it may explain what compels him to waste resources defending against the irrepressible radio personality who the conservative Arizona Republic editorial board denounced with the observation “Hayworth is shaking down his listeners with all those ‘taking on McCain’ fantasies.”  McCain’s generic 20 point lead over challengers almost doubles when Mr. Hayworth’s name is thrown into the mix.

Former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods who even served as a chief of staff to Senator McCain and evidently knows of what he speaks, filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) alleging Hayworth is “illegally using his radio-talk show to promote his potential candidacy for McCain’s senate seat. Woods revealed that Hayworth is utilizing more than half a million dollars of Clear Channel time to promote his candidacy, declaring, “You can’t use the public airwaves…to explore your candidacy for public office ad nauseam, and I stress the nausea.”. Hayworth’s response to a serious allegation of violating election law was predictable tea bagger deflection, he called Woods an “ambulance chaser”  saying “You’re even lower than some bacterial forms of algae, and that’s saying something”.

While most pundits assume he is simply using the possibility of a run to bolster his radio show ratings. CQ and Swing State Project do take the possibility more seriously, Hayworth did recently manage to rake in more than $110,000 at a fundraiser headlined by Sheriff Joe Arpaio. The money went toward paying off lawyer’s fees to keep Hayworth out of jail during the Jack Abramoff corruption scandal.

Talk of a Hayworth for senate campaign first came after Rasmussen released data showing a statistical primary tie between Senator McCain and Hayworth, While it’s not clear if Hayworth or his corporate employer clear channel were the ones who paid for the stats mentioned on his show the next day, what most journalists do agree on is the fact Rasmussen polling is about as credible as vanity publishing and astro-turfing P.R firms who create fake grass root support for corporate interests.

Still as a rank and file democrat I for one express gratitude to those “true” conservatives who have been helping us turn  seats held by republicans since the civil war, and since it was actually Mr. Hayworth’s style of in your face evangelical racism that caused his otherwise red district to turn blue in 06, I can only hope the F.E.C takes it’s sweet time in clamping down on Mr. Hayworth and clear channel radio for its blatant use of air time to engage in cracker barrel politicking.

Well that’s my view, yours may be different. 

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