Rocket Scientist Ruth McClung Shaking Up AZ-07

Katie Pavlich

10/14/2010 9:12:15 AM - Katie Pavlich

Rocket scientist Ruth McClung is heating things up in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District.

McClung is running against incumbent Raul Grijalva, who is a co-chair of the Progressive Caucus and Representative of Arizona’s 7th Congressional District. This district is historically Democrat with a 2-1 Democrat to Republican voter registration, but recent polls conducted by Summit Consulting Group as well as Magellan Data and Mapping Strategies show Republican challenger Ruth McClung in a dead heat with the congressman.

In the Summit survey, McClung is leading Grijalva 39-37 with 24 percent undecided, while the Magellan survey shows Grijalva leading McClung 40-38 with 13 percent undecided.

Grijalva has held a seat in Congress since 2002 but hasn’t done much for the district he claims to represent. In fact, he called for economic sanctions against his own state earlier this year when Gov. Jan Brewer signed tough immigration legislation, better known as SB 1070, into law. Grijalva also has close ties to open-border groups like Derechos Humanos and is vocal advocate for amnesty.

“We're asking organizations -- civic, religious, labor, Latino, organizations of color -- to refrain from using Arizona as a convention site, to refrain from spending their dollars in the state of Arizona,” Grijalva said to Keith Olbermann in April.

Arizona-7 has one of the highest unemployment rates in the country, and Grijalva’s inaction as a representative and his calls for a boycott of his own state have only made the problem worse. McClung believes the people who elected Grijalva and Arizona deserve an apology for his boycott calls, but she isn’t holding her breath.

“I’ve never heard a real apology about the boycott,” she said in a phone interview. “He’s trying to make excuses for it saying it really wasn’t that big of a deal and people are upset.”

McClung says now that voters are paying attention, Grijalva is trying to make up for lost time by doing things he should have been doing for the past eight years in his district, but that isn’t stopping the grassroots movement behind McClung from pushing forward.

“It’s really about going out and meeting people,” she said. “We’ve made phone calls, sent out literature and will be blasting the airwaves once we get the funding we need.”

McClung has been endorsed by John McCain, Mitt Romney, Sarah Palin, Michelle Malkin and will be getting a boost from Tucson Tea Party co-founder Robert Mayer, who has organized a money bomb for McClung, at goodbyegrijalva.com, scheduled to drop today with hopes of giving her the extra funds she needs leading up to election day.

As of October 5, Grijalva still owed the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee $140,000 in DCCC dues, possibly resulting in the DCCC not yet officially jumping into the race to support Grijalva, but McClung has a feeling they will be supporting him soon.

“We’re out there fighting, we’re neck and neck. The progressives are coming out to defend him and the conservative grassroots are coming out to defend me.”

UPDATE: News broke this week that Grijalva helpedsecure diplomatic courtesy letters for the anti-Iraq war group Code Pink to visit Fallujah back in 2004. Code Pink gave $600,000 worth of humanitarian aid to America's enemies on the trip.