Al Melvin, Tucson State Senator Running for Governor, Misquotes Lincoln -- Doesn't Care

Categories: Election 2014

melvin-sherwood-tweets.jpg
Al Melvin, a state senator running for governor, apparently has never heard of snopes.com.

Nor is he showing interest in debunking anything after he was flambeed by his Twitter followers over the past week and embarrassed in news articles for misquoting Abraham Lincoln.

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The Republican from Tucson hasn't bothered to take down quotes from his Twitter account in which he erroneously attributes to the 16th president as a backhanded way to try to criticize President Obama.

"#azright Abe Lincoln: 'You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich. You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong,'" read Melvin's first tweet misquoting Lincoln on December 27. He followed with:

"#azright0 Abe: 'You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift. You cannot lift the wage earner up by pulling the wage payer down.'"

and

"#azright Abe Lincoln:'You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.'"

For emphasis after the third tweet, he added, "POTUS Obama needs to learn from these words."

From the site, it appears that Robbie Sherwood, a political consultant, former Arizona Republic reporter and former chief-of-staff for Democratic Congressman Harry Mitchell, nailed Melvin's misquotes the same day.

"@SenatorMelvin This is an urban legend. Lincoln never said this, it has been falsely attributed to him. http://www.snopes.com/quotes/lincoln/prosperity.asp ..." Sherwood chided.

melvin-al-gov-candidate.jpg
Al Melvin
True enough, a months-old post on Snopes, a great site for checking Internet-driven BS that everyone should know about, reveals that the quote actually came from a Presbyterian minister 50 years after Lincoln's death. It's part of a list of "cannots" that was put on a pamphlet in the early 20th century and which has been confused with Lincoln nearly ever since for reasons that aren't clear, the site says.

"Klute," another of Melvin's tweet-suckers, tells the senator, "If you can't be bothered to learn truth from falsehood, why should you be even considered for Governor?"

Melvin doesn't acknowledge the responses, and leaves the quotes alone.

A story by Arizona reporter Howie Fischer about the misquotes was published in the Sierra Vista Herald on Monday afternoon, and was followed by other news outlets, including today by the national rawstory.com.

"It sounded good to me," Melvin told Fischer. "If anything, it's an innocent mistake on my part."

Melvin's a former Navy captain who now works as a "trade and transportation consultant." At least, that's what it says on his Arizona Legislature member bio. Maybe that should be run by Snopes, too...

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36 comments
WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

Let's not forget Rand Paul, and his outright plagiarism!

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

I don't know anything about this guy.  Maybe he's an idiot, I don't know.

I do know that it's stupid to judge a person by the fact that he believed the attribution of a printed quote.


Somebody asked me the other day if democracy in the United States is a failure.

The fact that it's this easy to manipulate people into dismissing a candidate without knowing anything at all about his policies shows why it is a failure.  Voters are stupid.



TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

If the guy feels the need to say something he should do so, and take credit for his thoughts, himself. I would guess the guy doesn't have the ability to form his own thoughts. We already have a governor like that.

Jerry Young
Jerry Young

I can feel the pain...millions of Americans are feeling the pain. I don't believe a majority of citizens prefer their elected representatives trample the quality of life of the truly needy, the poverty poor or military veterans with to much government and to many laws. Make your opinion known...search The White House to post directly on Obama's Facebook page. I did.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

It appears that Capt. Al is channeling The Skipper from Gilligan's Island.

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

If everybody who misquoted Lincoln were to be disqualified from politics, we would have no government



squash
squash

This is a perfect example of conservative "truthiness."

Frank Escobar
Frank Escobar

That's cool cuz those maggots only have to do 10% of their job anyways - and the brainless sheeple do wave cheers. But they don't tip a waitress if she forgets the ketchup on the first trip.

car_del99
car_del99

Just one of the many stains , in Arizona's underwear....

James Patrick Harris
James Patrick Harris

'You can't believe everything you read on the internet.' -Abraham Lincoln

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Yet another douchebag we don't need.

He's as useless as Trent franks.

Cozz
Cozz topcommenter

Great, another idiot to replace the idiot we now have as a Governor in Arizona.

Just what we don't need.

mikefrombisbee
mikefrombisbee

I just wonder what Lincoln, Seward, Sumner, Grant, Garfield, T.R., W.H. Taft, Hoover, Coolidge, Wilke, Dewey, Eisenhower, Nelson Rockefeller and Gerry Ford and yes, even Tricky Dick - would think about the tinfoil hat-wearing loonies who have highjacked their party?

Jukes
Jukes

When I moved to Tucson eight years ago, my Realtor was showing me houses in a long marathon.  I had already sold the house I lived in back East and wanted to get my purchase settled quickly.  I mostly looked at newer homes because I wasn't in a time position to be thinking about renovations.  But I did want to see an older one in my price range for comparison purposes.

We went to see a for-sale home from the '70s era which was being shown by its owner, a Realtor calling himself Captain Al Melvin.   Captain Al greeted us wearing a Naval officer's cap and followed us around at a creepily close distance, talking non-stop the entire time about the wonders of the home (which was not only old but a complete MESS) and his late wife (whose photos were everywhere in the dim, crowded rooms).  We beat a quick retreat and my Realtor was very apologetic.  "He's been a Realtor in town for awhile but I had no idea he was so crazy," she said. 


Imagine my shock when a short time later, the very same Captain Al was running for State Legislator from the district I bought in.  I knew his mental state hadn't improved in the interim when I attended a candidate's forum.  The candidates were asked to make a brief statement about their general positions and the first two were well-spoken.  When it was The Captain's turn, he raised a hardback copy of Bill O’Reilly's book Culture Warrior in the air and shouted, "You can sum me up this way: I am a culture warrior!"


Well ... at least he left the hat at home.  Other than that, nothing seems to have changed. 

shadeaux14
shadeaux14

Does Arizona exist in a pocket in which the rate of evolution is slower?


Or do Republicans have a recessive trait, which through excessive in-breeding, has become dominant, which just makes them evolve more sloooooooooowly?

Flyer9753
Flyer9753 topcommenter

HAHAHAHA...  Republicans make is so easy to laugh at them...

rickaz59
rickaz59

You can fool most of the Republicans, all of the time.


Did you hear him on KJZZ's morning news?  He said he's not sure about the politics of the ASU history professor and Lincoln expert (quoted by Howie Fischer's Capitol Media Services story).  After all, ASU named its journalism school after Walter Cronkite, and Cronkite was not a real American.

WhoKnows
WhoKnows topcommenter

As is said on that plummbing commercial:


"What a Melvin!  We won't send any Melivins to do the work.."

valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@TommyCollins 

So no politician should ever quote any of the great minds who came before?

I'm not sure that really makes sense.  Did you give it much thought?


MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Mike, that's insulting to Alan Hale, the original skipper on Gilligan's Island.

MaskedMagician1967
MaskedMagician1967 topcommenter

Oh boy Mike I could just imagine what TR, my favorite Republican president, would think.

Jukes
Jukes

@robert_grahamcrackerUnless he's had a facelift since I saw him last, that's one of those "glamour photos."  And, BTW, for some obscure reason, he only served as a U.S. Navy officer from 1997 to 1999, some thirty years after he graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.  I have nothing against the Academy; one of the best bosses I ever had in my career was educated there.  But Captain Al is not one of their finer products.  It's yet another stain on the Arizona electorate that he has defeated two fine, better-qualified women to get the seat he holds now. 

DPSnAZ
DPSnAZ

@shadeaux14 

You may have a point there, shadeaux. This Senator and a number of other folks in line for the Governorship may very well come from a long line of family reunions and have no idea of the tricky nature of recessive alleles that are hovering in the background. Combine this with the intellectual bubble these people are obviously living in, and - e.g. - there's Senator Al Melvin for you

TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@valleynative That was not my intended implication, VN. If any person wishes to quote anyone else, I'm good with that. One of my favorites is, "Plans are nothing; planning is everything."- Dwight D. Eisenhower.


That said, my intent was simply that if the man offered his thoughts in his own words he wouldn't have to worry about how correct the quote might be, and in some cases, folks might actually value what he has to say, rather than hearing him having quoted someone else.


You see, I used a quote and I'm not a politician.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@burt@valleynative 

I had considered attributing my statement to Al Gore, but decided too many New Times readers wouldn't understand.


TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay Say what, Don? You mean you don't vote for someone because you see "Romney/Paul in 2012" on a bumper? :-)


TommyCollins
TommyCollins topcommenter

@valleynative@TommyCollins Nope, we don't. There was no indication in the story that he did anything but send quotes out... it might be that he did. I don't know him, and I don't have further information. I'm not in the Tucson area so I can't really say that I have had any personal observations of the guy.


valleynative
valleynative topcommenter

@TommyCollins 


So you're saying that it's ok to use quotes, as long as you also express your ideas in your own way.  That's fine, but do we have any reason to believe that he didn't also offer his own thoughts in his own words?   Nothing about him seems to have been considered newsworthy except his mistake.


danzigsdaddy
danzigsdaddy topcommenter

@valleynative wouldnt understand the statement or wouldnt understand Al Gore? because i dont think even Al Gore understands Al Gore

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