Anti-semitism in Arizona Gop Race
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Anti-semitism in Arizona Gop Race

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Sen. Barry Goldwater (R.Ariz.) declared yesterday that the opponent of candidate Sam Steiger for the Republican nomination for U.S. Senator in Arizona is engaged in anti-Semitism and he is “very concerned” about it.

Steiger, who is Jewish and who has been in Congress 10 years, and John Conlan, a Congressman for two terms, are battling for the seat of retiring Republican Senator Paul Fannin. Both Congressmen are staunch conservatives with almost identical voting records. The primary date is Sept. 7.

Goldwater was asked by the Jewish Telegraphic Agency to comment on the campaign after the Wall Street Journal reported that many Arizona Jews are “uneasy” over the “gutter-style way a religious issue has entered the race.”


Goldwater, an elder statesman in the GOP since his campaign for the Presidency 12 years ago, told the JTA that “first of all, we have heard Conlan is using anti-Semitic remarks about Steiger” and that “Conlan is calling him a Jew in an uncomplimentary way. This is very unusual in Arizona.

“We are very concerned about anti-Semitism creeping into any campaign and I don’t want to be associated with anything like that,” said Goldwater. “I am merely mentioning that I will disavow that in the Republican Party as long as I am around.”

Referring to what the Journal called the “very strong” support for Conlan by an evangelical Protestant movement, Goldwater added that “my Episcopal bishop is terribly critical of this Christian movement. Senator (Mark O.) Hatfield (R.Ore.), who is a very religious man, is opposed to the concept of trying to mix the word Christian into elective politics.”

Goldwater said that the movement backing Conlan “has vast sums of money–over a hundred million dollars, they tell me.” Conlan has been endorsed by Billy Graham and the head of the Arizona Billy Graham crusade is his chief fund-raiser, the Journal reported.


According to the Journal article by James P. Gannon, Conlan denies that there is anti-Semitism in his campaign. “Nevertheless,” the article added, “many Arizona Jews apparently are uneasy about Mr. Conlan’s strong pitch for greater political involvement by Christians so that more “God fearing people’ will be elected to office.”

The Journal quoted Donald Hall, a University of Arizona professor who quit as Pima County. (Tucson) Republican chairman recently over the religious controversy that “the Jewish community is frightened out of its will by Conlan” Conlan said he is an “independent Protestant” who denies any bigotry, the Journal reported. It added “He freely acknowledges that his frequent speeches to church groups and evangelical rallies are meant to encourage a ‘rising awakening’ among Christians that they must become more politically active.”

Steiger has a piece of paper with a newspaper clipping that; the Journal reported, says “quit working for that Jew–remember, you have been warned.” The Journal said Steiger says “that paper” is one of numerous anti-Semitic calls or messages sent to his Tucson campaign office. “I have been in Arizona politics since 1950 and the Jewish business has never surfaced before,” Stelger is quoted. “I am sure John (Conlan) did not instigate this but it reflects the kind of people his campaign attracts.”


In discussing the leadership roles of Jewish citizens in Arizona Republican affairs, Goldwater pointed out that Harry Rosenzweig, a Phoenix businessman, served longer than any other of Arizona’s Republican chairmen and that the “most successful Arizona state treasurer is. Bert Kruglich. I’m a U.S. Senator and I’m half Jewish,” Goldwater exclaimed.

Steiger’s aides in Washington and Phoenix, when interviewed by telephone by JTA, were reluctant to discuss the matter. They said the Journal’s account was “fairly accurate” and noted Rosenzweig is Steiger’s financial coordinator. Rosenzweig left the state chairmanship 18 months ago after serving 10 years in that post. Kruglich, also in business in Phoenix, is the coordinator of a fund-raiser for Stelger, who has been endorsed by 46 members of Congress. The majority of Jews in Arizona are Democrats.

Steiger, 47, studied animal husbandry at Cornell and received the Silver Star and Purple Heart while a tank platoon leader with the U.S. Army in Korea. He is a rancher and horse breeder in Prescott. The Journal said he is as “subtle as a blunderbuss.” It described Conlan, 45, a lawyer in Phoenix and a former U.S. Army captain, as “a master of poison-dart remarks and leader of a controversial get-Christians-into-politics movement.”

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