Politico Mafioso's Jeff Vath, the GOP's "Badass Blogger," Dies following Ulcer Surgery
In addition to Mary Anne, Vath is survived by two stepchildren, six grandchildren, his mother and a brother. Mary Anne said she was still looking for a venue at which to celebrate Vath's life, and would make an announcement about that in the near future.
I appreciated Vath for his humor, his veracity, and his willingness to slaughter sacred cows. Though he was approached more than once by folks wanting to purchase or finance Politico Mafioso, he always turned them down, believing that it would compromise the blog's voice.
His team of savvy, merciless writers, who go by such handles as "Iron Fist" and "The Only True Conservative," have savaged the likes of former Maricopa County GOP chair Rob Haney, ex-state party chair and Tea Partier Tom Morrissey, and current county chair and certified wacko A.J. "Judas" LaFaro.
Their enemies refer to the "McCain mafia" members as RiNOs, or "Republicans in Name Only."
But considering the source of that insult, Vath and his co-bloggers took the label as a badge of honor.
"Jeff loved attacking the `Darth Vaders,' the bullies who intimidated our current elected officials," one close friend of Vath's explained. "He would scold them repeatedly for `eating their own,' using fear politics. And [he] was not fond of Tea Parties hijacking the state Republican Party or their constant name calling to reasonable Republicans who disagree [with them]."
I should also mention that Vath and his writers were often way out ahead on stories that the mainstream media eventually followed. I always gave Vath credit where credit was due, but I can't say the same for others in the Fourth Estate.
When I visited Vath in the hospital this past weekend, he was in a medically induced coma in intensive care. Just a couple of weeks ago, he had called to tell me about the wraparound he had made for his vehicle, which bore a title I'd helped give him, "The GOP's Bad Ass Blogger."
Vath's passing is a reminder of the brevity of life and the importance of investing each day with meaning.
No we didn't agree on everything. He was no fan of President Obama, and I have been no fan of Governor Brewer. But we could recognize a common foe and join forces to battle it.
If the GOP had more people like Vath, Arizona would be a better state, and the GOP would be a better party. Rest in Peace, amigo.