Scott Fistler (aka Cesar Chavez) speaks at a Phoenix hearing, June 17, 2014.

Scott Fistler (aka Cesar Chavez) speaks at a Phoenix hearing, June 17, 2014.

It is hard to pass up commenting on a newspaper story titled “Cesar Chavez to be removed from ballot, plans to appeal.”

No, I wasn’t reading The Onion (much). This headline and story comes from the Arizona Republic.

And yes, there is a legal angle: a hearing this week in which the plaintiff alleged that the candidate—named Cesar Chavez—should be removed from the primary ballot for Congress, because … well, that’s where it got (even more) interesting. Here’s how Rebekah Sanders opened her article:

“A judge ruled Tuesday that Cesar Chavez, the former Republican who changed his name from Scott Fistler, will be removed from the primary ballot in the 7th Congressional District because hundreds of his signatures were invalid.”

“Chavez, who acted as his own attorney in a hearing in which he veered from comical antics to tearful testimony, vowed to appeal the decision to the Arizona Supreme Court.”

“He asked supporters to ‘funnel money’ to his campaign and find him legal counsel.”

You’re welcome, readers. Be sure to read Rebekah’s whole story here. And you also should follow her on Twitter (whence she posted updates from the cringe-worthy trial).

(What, you wonder if this went national and if Stephen Colbert covered the Arizona topic? You know he did!)

As Sanders pointed out, the candidate’s name—before his legal shift to adopt the name of a Hispanic American hero—was Scott Fistler.

Scott Fistler, center, speaks at the Urban Choices Phoenix District 4 forum, May 15, 2013.

Scott Fistler, center, speaks at the Urban Choices Phoenix District 4 forum, May 15, 2013.

As it turns out, I had the opportunity to interact with Scott (pre-Cesar) in May 2013. That’s when I moderated two candidate forums for those seeking Phoenix City Council seats. Scott wanted to become the new District 4 representative. (The other debate was for District 8.)

My view of the Phoenix City Council District 4 candidates, May 13, 2013. Scott Fistler is in the center (pink shirt).

My view of the Phoenix City Council District 4 candidates, May 15, 2013. Scott Fistler is in the center (pink shirt).

If you have a few minutes, you might enjoy watching a little of the District 4 forum, hosted by Urban Choices, during which Scott Fistler holds forth in multiple colorful ways (de colores, I guess you’d say?). It was held at the Viad Building in midtown Phoenix.

I also had the opportunity to channel my inner actor; that shtick runs from about 19:20 (until about 24:45).

Here is the District 4 debate with Fistler.

The District 8 forum is here. (It was held at the stellar Levine Machine on Grant Street in Phoenix’s Warehouse District.)

 

Here are two more shots from the forums:

Screen-grab of me moderating the Phoenix City Council District 4 forum, May 15, 2013.

Screen-grab of me moderating the Phoenix City Council District 4 forum, May 15, 2013.

Candidates and moderator Tim Eigo face the audience at the Phoenix City Council forunm May 16, 2013.

Candidates and moderator Tim Eigo face the audience at the Phoenix City Council District 8 forum, May 16, 2013.