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Cesar Chavez selling autographs, motivational speeches to raise legal funds

Cesar Chavez

Cesar Chavez testifies in superior court June 17, 2014. (Photo by Michael Schennum/The Republic)

Claiming he’s “the most well known Cesar Chavez alive today,” congressional hopeful Cesar Chavez has turned to the web to raise funds so he can hire an attorney who could help appeal a judge’s decision to remove him from the ballot in the 7th Congressional District.

The fundraising effort includes a menu of “services” that Chavez is offering in exchange for donations. They range from an autograph for $10, political consulting services for $10 per minute and motivational speeches for $5,000, plus the cost of his hotel and travel expenses.

And for $2,000, donors can get a “NAME CHANGE WITH CESAR CHAVEZ.”

Chavez, who changed his name from Scott Fistler in November 2013, said that means he would guide someone through the process of petitioning the court to have their name legally changed.

“I could help somebody, give them the legal forms, give them an example, and show them how to do it,” Chavez told the Arizona Capitol Times.

Chavez services

 

Chavez was disqualified from the CD7 ballot June 17 after a Maricopa County Superior Court judge ruled that roughly half of the nominating signatures he collected were invalid.

Following the court hearing, Chavez vowed to appeal the ruling – he has until June 27 to do so – but pleaded for donations to his campaign. Chavez represented himself in court on Tuesday, and said he hopes to hire an attorney to aid in his potential appeal to the Arizona Supreme Court.

Reached Thursday, Chavez sounded less than certain about whether he’d appeal the judge’s ruling barring him from the ballot.

“I’ve got some people checking signatures, and they’ll give me their opinion. Probably by the 26th or the 27th I’ll know furthermore,” he said. “I’ll have a better idea about whether or not my team wants to appeal or let it go.”

Chavez said he doesn’t know if anyone’s donated to his campaign since Tuesday’s ruling.

The “Cesar Chavez for U.S. Congress 2014” website now boasts a list of facts about Chavez, who it claims is “with out [sic] a doubt the most popular figure in Arizona alive today.”

Chavez also touts on his website that he “brought awareness to an otherwise boring political snooze fest” and “creates jobs and gives writers a reason to live,” among other “facts” listed on his campaign’s website.

 

Chavez also attacked his opponents in the CD7 election for “spending millions on high profile lawyers just to challenge a candidate who is a military veteran who has a passion to effect change.”

Following the June 17 hearing, Chavez singled out former state Sen. Ruben Gallego – a former Marine who served in Iraq – as the source of the legal challenge against his campaign.

The challenge was filed by attorney Jim Barton of Torres Consulting & Law Group on behalf of Alejandro Chavez, the grandson of Hispanic labor icon Cesar Chavez. Barton’s clients include a labor group supporting Gallego’s campaign.

The updates are a significant change to Chavez’s website, which weeks ago heavily featured photos showing demonstrators rallying for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.

The name “Chavez” was seen on balloons, signs and t-shirts of activists in the photos, which have since been removed.

Chavez said June 17 he didn’t change his name to mimic Hispanic labor icon Cesar Chavez, but because he admires athletes such as boxer Julio Cesar Chavez and because his dog enjoys Cesar brand dog food.

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