Saturday, February 28, 2009

Let's Shoot Members of Congress!

Posted By on Sat, Feb 28, 2009 at 11:00 AM

Joe the Plumber, leading conservatives out of the wilderness.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Bloodsucking Fiends

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 5:32 PM

New at Facebook: Vampiricus Socialus Tucsonicus

Water Pressure, Con't: Dripping Toward Rate Hikes

Posted By on Fri, Feb 27, 2009 at 4:50 PM

As you may have heard, Tucson Water is still facing a financial struggle, caused by a combination of (a) the crash of the homebuilding industry, (b) the weather and (c) the ongoing economic crisis, which is making people think they should conserve water to save money. (I've been told that one woman called Tucson Water to ask how much it cost to fill her bathtub because she thought cutting back on bathing would make a difference in her monthly bill.)

But when we use less water, our rates have to go up because the city needs enough money to run the utility. It's a pretty fraked-up incentive model, huh?

Regular TW contributor Dave Devine has been following the Citizens Water Advisory Committee as they've wrestled with the rates in recent weeks. He reports that this week, CWAC recommended that the City Council hike rates by 10 percent in the upcoming fiscal year. (Keep in mind that the increase will be spread over a tiered rate structure in which the heaviest users pay more than the average household, so your bill will not necessarily jump by 10 percent.)

The City Council is scheduled to talk about the recommendation at its next meeting on Tuesday, March 3, with a final decision three weeks later.

CWAC also supports raising a water conservation fee of 3 cent per Ccf unit by a penny per unit.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Help the Food Bank, Perhaps Win a TW Anniversary Scooter

Posted By on Thu, Feb 26, 2009 at 10:56 AM

(Click to see the larger version)

FoodBank.jpg

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Anniversary Issue

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 5:35 PM

It's here and online. We hope you enjoy it; honestly, we're proud of it. Feel free to comment on its contents here.

Also ... if you are curious about what the very first issue of the Weekly as like ... you can download a PDF of it here. (Be warned: It's 2.6MB.) Enjoy.

Council Coverage

Posted By on Wed, Feb 25, 2009 at 2:09 PM

The Tucson City Council appears to be mostly on board with City Manager Mike Hein's budget strategy, which involves reorganizing some of the city's functions (such as getting rid of the planning department and having other departments pick up the responsibilities), cutting some spending, dipping into reserve funds and raising some fees.

At yesterday's meeting, council members did have some complaints with Hein; Regina Romero of Ward 1 seems upset that memos written by City Manager Mike Hein are released to the press at the same time that they're sent to council members and Ward 4's Shirley Scott appeared upset that Hein is letting people know that their city job is going away.

Carli Brosseau from the Tucson Citizen reported earlier this week on the various tax and fee increases the city could increase. Oddly, Carli notes in the story that:

The report, obtained by the Tucson Citizen through a public records request, examined ways the city can increase its tax and fee collections to cover its costs.

Hey Carli: Next time, why don't you spare yourself the paperwork hassles and just download the report from the city's Web site? That's what I did when I wrote about the memo two weeks ago.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Misspent Youth

Posted By on Tue, Feb 24, 2009 at 12:53 AM

For the record, I have no recollection of this evening, but that's me in the video. I can only guess that I was dressed up like the late Dr. Thompson because it was Halloween.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Republican John Munger Blames Obstructionist Democrats for GOP's State Budget Cuts

Posted By on Fri, Feb 20, 2009 at 1:51 PM

We just love watching Republican John Munger on the political face-off on Arizona Illustrated. His ability to blame Democrats for everything is sometimes breathtaking.

Wednesday night was a great example. For example, he blamed Democrats for sitting on the sidelines during the state budget negotiations, forcing Republicans to cut education, health care, social services, economic development dollars and everything else the state spends money on. (For the depressing details on those cuts, you can check out my feature story this week.)

Munger's spin: Democrats refused to negotiate with Republicans, forcing the Republicans to go with the most radical members of their caucus to get a budget passed.

Or, as he put in a masterstroke of double standards:

"The problem right now is that the Democrats in the House and Senate in the Arizona Legislature have decided not to oppose--it's fine to oppose ideologically as the Republicans in Congress are doing, opposing something ideologically--but to obstruct, which is a difference. To obstruct what's happening and try to put the Republicans, and resultingly, the state in a bad situation. The Democrats are not casting a vote for anything... . As a matter of policy, they are sitting this out."

This borders on ludicrous. Let's leave aside the efforts that the Obama administration made to include Republicans in the stimulus plan, which is an effort we haven't seen mirrored by Republican leaders at the Arizona Legislature.

The plain truth of the matter is this: Legislature Democrats offered a number of alternatives. The Republicans dismissed them. They completely ignored the budget proposal put forward by Democrat Janet Napolitano before she left town and turned the Ninth Floor over to Republican Jan Brewer.

Secondly, it has been Republicans who have repeatedly insisted in recent years that budget proposals have enough GOP votes to pass. And the GOP have not looked fondly on Republicans who negotiate with Democrats. In fact, any lawmaker who was inclined to work on a truly bipartisan budget agreement would find himself with a big ol' RINO target on his back in the 2010 primary.

And, as Tedski points out over at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, putting Sen. Russell Pearce in charge of the appropriations committee is hardly a step toward bipartisan consensus.

Hey, it would be great if moderate Republicans could work with Democrats to come up with a smarter budget plan. But when everything besides massive cuts has been declared to be off the table, why would any Democrat help give Republicans cover for a slash-and-burn budget?

Munger goes on to say that not a single Democrat voted to save Science Foundation Arizona. Huh? Every Democrat voted against the budget that eliminated $21.5 million in funding for the program, which provides matching grants for science and medical research. The reason it was cut: Five Republicans, including Frank Antenori, David Gowan and David Stevens of Southern Arizona, said they would not vote for a budget that included it. We will grant you that a budget alternative proposed by House Democrats also zeroed out funding for Science Foundation Arizona--and we'd add that it was a bad idea, whether it came from Democrats or Republicans.

Here's the actual video if you're interested in watching.

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