Yet another Republican takes the fifth (aka "Pulling a Coffman" refers to this) when confronted with an uncomfortable question about his past practices. In this case it was Jesse Kelly, who ran unsuccessfully against Gabrielle Giffords in 2010 but is back in 2012. When KGUN's anchor Jennifer Waddell interviewed Kelly recently she asked a viewer's question about why he had accepted an endorsement from a hate group with alleged neo-nazi ties. Before she could finish an irate campaign manager John Ellinwood interrupted her (as you'll see in the video). Ellinwood would later berate Waddell and continued his "verbal assault" in the hallway and in KGUN9's lobby, "jabbing his finger in Waddell's face, accusing her of unprofessional conduct and using words like "trash" and "sleaze" to describe the question".
Here's her question and Kelly's reply in the interview.
Waddell: I will ask the question and you can address it how you choose. So Joe Evano says, recently you accepted the endorsements of the Americans for Legal Immigrations group -- he's saying this was in 2010 -- Senator John McCain and the Anti-Defamation League have denounced the group for being backed by white supremacists, neo-Nazis and anti-Semites. Why then did you accept that endorsement? This is from Joe Evano.
Jesse Kelly: It was in 2010. This election is about jobs, and the economy, and lower gas prices. Frankly it's completely out of bounds.
Later that same night another KGUN reporter caught up with Jesse Kelly and asked a similar question if he'd accept their endorsement again.
Benito: "Do you plan on accepting that endorsement this time around?"
Kelly: "Our campaign is going to stay focused on lower gas prices using American energy, lower taxes, and creating jobs."
Benito: "Do you plan on accepting that endorsement?"
Kelly: "Our campaign is going to stay focused on lower taxes, lowering gas prices using American energy, and creating jobs."
Benito: "So it that a yes or a no?"
Kelly: "Our campaign is going to stay focused on lowering gas prices, creating jobs, and lowering gas prices using American energy."
Benito: "So no comment?"
Kelly: "Our campaign is going to stay focused on lowering gas prices, creating jobs, and lowering taxes."
Ron Barber, Gabby Gifford's district director who was also wounded that day, is his Democratic opponent. If you're thinking Barber should win easily against such a nincompoop let me remind you that Arizona's 8th district tilts red, and that that state elects the likes of Jan Brewer, Joe Arpaio, and Ben Quayle.