Letters: Arizona Republican Steve May Listeners take issue with an interview Robert Siegel did with Arizona Republican Steve May. May has recruited a number of people to run on the Green Party ticket in his state. A lawyer for the Democratic Party in Arizona termed his role in this as a cynical manipulation of the democratic process. Listeners complained about May's use of the term "Democrat Party" rather than "Democratic Party," and May himself responds.
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Letters: Arizona Republican Steve May

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Letters: Arizona Republican Steve May

Letters: Arizona Republican Steve May

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MELISSA BLOCK, host:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block with some of your comments about our program.

We received more than a few annoyed letters in response to my co-host Robert Siegel's interview with Steve May. May is a Republican in Arizona who has recruited candidates to run for various offices there on the Green Party ticket.

These are candidates described by the New York Times as drifters and homeless people. But Mr. May denied that and defended his role in getting them on the ballot.

Mr. STEVE MAY: Get to know these people. These are quality candidates. They have every right to be on the ballot. I'm proud of them for what they've done. The fact is voters deserve a choice, and regular people deserve a voice, and if the Democrat Party doesn't like that, too bad. Welcome to the democracy in America.

BLOCK: Well, Faye Walter of Sewanee, Tennessee, said listening to this interview was, in her words: an excursion into the dark side of human nature. In four or five minutes, Mr. May managed to mock truth, homeless people, the democratic political process, Mr. Siegel and his listeners.

Ms. Walter and many others took particular issue with May's habit of referring to the Democratic Party as the Democrat Party. He did it five times during the interview. Jim Lavoy(ph) of Milaca, Minnesota, was upset that we didn't challenge him on his choice of words. Mr. Lavoy writes: Democrat Party is a political slur in common disrespectful usage by demeaning Republicans and has been used since the days of Joe McCarthy.

He continues: What if a Democratic operative had been interviewed and kept referring to the Republican party as the Rethuglicans or some other slur? Would that have been left un-corrected, too? Lavoy adds: At least get a comment from the guy about why he insists on using it.

Well, we did. Here's Steve May.

Mr. MAY: Well, in Arizona at least, the party that starts with a D hasn't been behaving very democratically. So, I used that term. I didn't realize it was so offensive. A lot of my friends and supporters contacted me and told me that I was saying something offensive. And so I'll change. I'm going to call it Democratic from now on, but forgive me if I forget in the future.

BLOCK: You can send us your comments at npr.org. Just click on contact us at the bottom of the page.

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