July 6 - July 12, 1995

The Skinny

DIM BULB PRODUCES MORE WATTAGE: We've derided Pima County Supervisor Paul Marsh regularly and often, even nicknaming him Dim Bulb and calling for his resignation. So when he does something right, it's big news to us.

There isn't going to be a half-cent sales tax in Pima County because Paul Marsh opposes it.

That's the same county sales tax the voters of this county have rejected three times, as recently as last year. The Board of Supervisors can only pass that tax with a unanimous vote, and while his colleagues' positions ranged from outright support of the idea from Mike Boyd to dark hints of opposition from Ed Moore, it was Marsh who settled the question with a definitive statement.

"It should be clear to all that the voters of Pima County have told us they don't want this tax and it's time for its advocates to take a cookie and go to their rooms."

We thank Supervisor Marsh for putting the issue in what should be its final resting place.

BROWN-NOSING AT KUAT-TV: Those who think public funding of TV stations is a bad idea keep getting a boost from the head honchos at KUAT television. Twice now the station's local news program, Arizona Illustrated, has broadcast a real estate report by the head of Tucson Realty and Trust, George Amos Jr. We would like to remind everyone that George Amos Jr. is a member of the Arizona Board of Regents. And the regents, according to the show's credits, are the station's owners. We consider this shameless brown-nosing by KUAT staff and bad judgment by Amos.

And we still find it hard to believe the program's dull weekly feature, "Reporter's Roundtable," includes political consultant Bunny Badertscher. Bunny's supposedly there because she publishes a subscription newsletter called Baja Arizona Political News out of her PR shop, Connect Consulting. While we find Bunny an often cogent panelist, how in the hell does host Peggy Johnson get away with classifying her as a "reporter"? We suspect she's there for the same reason Amos gets to do real estate reports--political clout in Phoenix where budgets get drawn up. It's stuff like this that make taxpayers wary of funding public TV.

AND SPEAKING OF BUNNY: The recent issue of Baja Arizona Political News contained the following item about the Tucson mayoral election and GOP candidate Sharon Collins: "...Collins appeared joined at the hip with Bob Beaudry, the car dealer turned anti-CAP fanatic, who is pushing the city initiative to ban delivery of CAP water for five years. This puts Collins squarely at odds with the Tucson establishment..."

So, Bunny, does the recent four-to-three vote over pursuing the Rocking K annexation mean Tucson Mayor George Miller and three council members are "joined at the hip" with legendary land speculator Don Diamond? Does it also mean that mayoral and council candidates who oppose the water initiative are "joined at the hip" with the "establishment?" Hey, we thought the GOP types were supposed to be the big business suck-ups, not the anti-establishment populists. And by the way, Bunny, you're supposed to be a Republican consultant--or are you merely an "establishment" consultant? Could be a fun November.

Finally, Beaudry isn't a fanatic. He just happens to be dead right about this stinking water issue. People who had to put up with that piss in their homes know that.

AND SPEAKING OF BUNNY'S CLIENTS: Just for the record, for all those GOP types who've lusted after Jim Kolbe's congressional seat--forget about it for a while. Though there has been no formal announcement, Kolbe already has opened his campaign and hired staff. Which leaves a whole bunch of people all dressed up with no place to go, particularly Mikey "The Flaky Waffleman" Boyd, who will have to be humiliated by losing his own primary for re-election to the Pima County Board of Supervisors instead of getting stomped for a higher office.

POST TIME: In April, Mikey Boyd sent a newsletter/questionnaire to the voters in his district at a cost of almost $6,000. The item was never charged to his District 1 supervisor's budget, but instead was charged to the general account for all five supes, which is where it stayed for more than two months, until a staff member of another supe noticed it at the end of the fiscal year. Mikey's staff was called on the issue and signed a document transferring the expense back to his account, a document prepared by the other supe's aide.

Mikey's story was that they "made an error in the mail room." Could be, but normally when most folks spend money on something and don't get a bill for an inordinate time, they check up to see what's wrong--unless, of course, they're a flake. Mikey's best case scenario is that he doesn't pay much attention to his own budget as a county supe--which brings us to the question: How much attention does he pay to what happens to the rest of the county budget if he doesn't check up on his own?

SCOTTSDALE PLAYS HARDBALL WITH DEVELOPERS: While Pima County wonders how to pay for all that infrastructure massive sprawl is demanding, and while the City of Tucson's bureaucracy is cooking the books to make the Rocking K annexation look good on paper, some of our Maricopa County neighbors have figured out the true cost of rampant growth.

Scottsdale has a water problem. They cannot sustain more development without spending more money for more water. To do so, they imposed a rather modest impact fee of $1,000 per new home to cover some of the costs. The homebuilders whined and have taken Scottsdale to court on the issue. The Scottsdale City Council responded by proposing a moratorium on building permits, deciding, rather rationally, there was no reason why the current residents of the town should have to pay more to cover costs of the new folks so the builders make money.

Maybe that moratorium will stick, or maybe the builders can bag enough votes to stop it. But it's refreshing to note that in evil, right-wing, nasty, Republican Maricopa County, pols seem to be figuring out how to handle the corporate welfare problem with the development industry.

INFORMATION IS POWER: There was a memo drafted by Tucson city staff concerning the financial impact of the proposed Rocking K development annexation. The report, dated April 10, 1995, is several pages long, contains some really hokey assumptions, and was widely distributed--to other members of the staff. Only two elected officials were sent copies, Mayor George Miller and Councilman Roger Sedlmayr. The question City Manager Mike "The Spike" Brown needs to answer is: How come you left the rest of the council off the distribution list, particularly the three staunch opponents, Steve Leal, Molly McKasson and Bruce Wheeler? The memo was discovered when one council member asked for the entire file on the proposal, which he received only this week. And Mike The Spike wonders why we accuse him of manipulation.

HOW ABOUT SUCKERQUEST? New Age mumbo-jumbo usually reads pretty high on our bullshit meter, but a flier from something called InnerQuest went right off the scale. The Sausalito, California (where else?), group offers several trips:

PleasureQuest, billed as "a very popular trip with couples and singles!" (leaving who else, hermits?) entails covering yourself in mud and eating grapes under a full moon. They're practically giving it away for a cool $500.

But the HeroQuest appears to be the flagship experience. Combining "right-brain and left-brain techniques" (hey, what about central-brain, you polarized chauvinists) you can spend several days, and up to $800, convincing yourself you're a real hero. On the trip, you'll go over these themes: "to heal the earth, to unify people, to heal others, to create beauty, to be a catalyst for change, etc."

Etcetera? It would seem even the InnerQuest brochure writer couldn't take these ideas seriously enough to write them all down. Well, when you miss the mortgage payment, we're sure the bank will take your "hero" status into consideration.

Also, the similarity of the company's triangle and hovering eye icon to The Great Seal pyramid on the dollar bill holds a special kind of irony for us. There's nothing like truth in advertising.

WHAT'S THE FREQUENCY, FIFE? Remember back when our esteemed Gov. J. Fife Whiteguy III took office and exhorted the people of Arizona to ignore those nasty media reports about his administration?

Well, now he's found a way to take his message straight to the masses: a radio show on Phoenix station KFYI. Last week, listeners were treated to Fife when he filled in for host Bob Mohan.

It's a good platform for Fife, especially when he can control who he's talking to. Take, for example, his conversation with Sierra Club lobbyist Raena Honan.

Honan, a self-described conservative Republican, asked him why he told the Heritage Foundation that environmentalists are "against the free market and the last enclave of socialism." (He also said the movement resembled "a cult." Apparently Symington has added Father Coughlin and Sen. Joseph McCarthy to his burdgeoning, overpaid staff.)

Fife's response: "That speech was, uh, directed at people who think that they own the environmental movement and who are really very intolerant of other points of view..."

Moments later, after Honan bemoaned the lack of a more open dialogue between the governor's office and local environmental groups, Fife showed just how tolerant he was other perspectives by hanging up on Honan and launching into one of his standard rants about federalism and states' rights.

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July 6 - July 12, 1995

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