Arizona has not one, but three Communist Party affiliated Congress members.
How could a libertarian leaning state like Arizona have any communist affiliated representatives?
Most Arizonans have no idea that Arizona even has a Communist Party local.
It all started with Lorenzo Torrez (who died in 2012), one of Arizona’s most influential ever politicians. Never heard of him? Neither have 90% of Arizonans.
In 1974, Torrez moved with his family to Tucson where he served as chair of the Arizona Communist Party for more than 30 years. He also led the party’s Chicano Equality Commission and was a member of the CPUSA National Committee.
He built the Arizona CP into an influential organization in all the progressive movements of Arizona.
Torrez helped establish the communist run Salt of the Earth Labor College in Tucson, which continues today.
Steve Valencia, president of the labor college, told the People’s World, “Lorenzo changed the political landscape of Arizona. For him, the liberation of the working class and equality for the Mexican American people were inherently tied together.”
Torrez was also a “pioneer in the struggle for Mexican American political representation,” Valencia added. “I always say: Before Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva, there was Lorenzo Torrez.”
Pastor and Grijalva are Arizona’s first two Mexican Americans members of the U.S. Congress. But Torrez ran for Congress before they ran, and also ran against Republican Senator Barry Goldwater.
“Lorenzo told us it is time for these majority Latino districts to be represented by a Mexican American,” said Valencia. “He wanted voters to see a Latino name on the ballot.”
When Pastor declared his candidacy, Torrez rallied the Tucson Communist Party club to join in the effort. Pastor’s victory in 1991, set the stage for Grijalva’s election in 2002.
Today, Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva are members of the far left Congressional Progressive Caucus.
Grijalva was involved with the Communist Party well before 2002, as this article he wrote for the Party’s People’s World in 1993 proves.
Both Pastor and Grijalva have been champions of the illegal immigrants “rights” movement – a movement that Lorenzo Torrez helped to found in California and Arizona and then helped to coordinate across the entire Southwest.
The third Arizona Rep. with provable Communist Party ties is Phoenix-based freshman Kyrsten Sinema.
While she likes to pretend moderation these days, Sinema is a hard core leftist with past ties to several extremist groups – including of course the Arizona Communist Party.
Here she is in 2003, putting her name to the Arizona Communist Party’s May Day greetings page – right over that of Lorenzo Torrez and Steve Valencia.
To find out more about Arizona’s communist connected Congress members, read Trevor Loudon’s new book “The Enemies Within: Communists, Socialists and Progressives in the U.S. Congress.”
“The Enemies Within” was released August 20, 2013, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.