Friday, March 30, 2012

Political Roundtable: Health Care, Street Troubles, Bus Fares, Contraception Legislation & More

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 8:42 PM

On tonight's Political Roundtable, Pima County Democratic Party chairman Jeff Rogers and Republican strategist Sam Stone talked about health-care politics in the state and the latest at the Arizona Legislature, as well as the challenges that the city of Tucson and Pima County face in fixing streets and funding mass transit. There's a little bit of political gossip in there as well, so tune in, why don't you?

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If You Have Nothing Better to Do, the Democratic Caucus Is Tomorrow

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 5:00 PM

Quick quiz! Which weekend contest is more scripted to pick a certain winner? Saturday's Democratic caucus to determine which presidential candidate will get the state's delegates or the match between The Rock and John Cena Sunday at Wrestlemania 28?

I'm still a Republican, so I'm not invited, but if you're up for a pep rally, the info is below the cut. Since the event isn't on pay-per-view (score one for Wrestlemania!), someone let me know how it turns out:

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City Hall to Turn Off Lights Tomorrow Night

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 4:30 PM

Tucson, it’s time to turn the lights off.

As part of the World Wildlife Fund’s global “Earth Hour Celebration,” Tucson was chosen to star in the annual event aimed at supporting climate change. To do this, city officials will switch off Tucson’s City Hall lights on Saturday at 8:30 p.m. for one hour. The celebration will take place in El Presidio Park.

“We have been very impressed by how the city of Tucson has been looking squarely at these problems and starting to think through solutions,” wrote Matt Farrauto in an email interview. Farrauto is with the WWF. “It’s really impressive that the city is going the extra mile to make sure that citizens have an opportunity to learn what they have discovered about the local impacts of climate change in Tucson.”

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Russell Pearce Embarks on a New Stupid Quest

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Russell Pearce and his former pal, JT Ready
  • Russell Pearce and his former pal, JT Ready

Full disclosure: I work for an alt-weekly, and I occasionally write for the Phoenix New Times, so I'm generally predisposed to root for my independent media brethren. However, I feel relatively safe saying that I would have thought Russell Pearce's attempt to hurt the New Times by boycotting their advertisers will go nowhere fast, especially since I imagine most of the movie-going public filling Harkins Theaters every weekend aren't all that concerned about a squabble between a former legislator and a weekly newspaper. However, that didn't stop blogger-turned-Regent Greg Patterson from speculating:

First, New Times itself has changed. We think of New Times as liberal, but it's really more anti-authoritarian. The paper was certainly a pain in Napolitano's backside. Now that the state has a Conservative Governor and Legislature, New Times' anti-authoritarian outlook is also a hard left outlook. The paper has also become a one note tune that's anti Arpaio all the time.

These changes will not be lost on advertisers. After all, Arpaio/Pearce supporters can go to, say, Dan Harkins and rightly say that New Times is trying to destroy them personally. We can debate how much popular support Arpaio/Pearce enjoy, but the number is not small. If Arpaio/Pearce supporters simply stop attending Harkins theaters, that would be noticed. If they start demonstrating in front of Harkins Theaters that would be huge. Harkins would be foolish to risk even one protest for whatever benefit he gets from New Times ads.

Which leads to the second point. New Times has picked up some "respectable" advertisers. Nothing against car alarms, breast augmentation and tatoo removal but those industries are unlikely to care about Russell Pearce's views on anything. Car dealers, restaurants, movie theaters and yes, breast augmentation surgeons however, will be sensitive to large pro-Arpaio crowds in their parking lots. Pearce is smart enough to use the Alinsky rules and will target, freeze personalize and polarize individual advertisers—and not just in Mesa. Shutting down the Harkins megaplex at Scottsdale and the 101 on the opening night of each summer Blockbuster would be a powerful message.

I'm pretty sure that if advertisers are OK with what's in the back of the book each week in the New Times, they'll be OK with swipes at Arpaio and Pearce, but I suppose time will tell. I wasn't really too much into the Limbaugh boycott (who really cares what that guy says anymore or who tries to make money advertising to his listeners?) and I imagine this attempt at action will be far less impactful, even on a regional level.

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You Should Download a Free (Giant) Giant Sand Track

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 3:00 PM


You'll have to wait until June 11th to hear Howe Gelb's latest creation, this time under the name Giant Giant Sand, "Tucson" in full, but thankfully has a free track "Forever and a Day" to download. Go get it.

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Finally, a Hip Hop Game Show

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 2:00 PM

As a long time fan of game shows, I welcome any new offerings in the genre, even if the concept for Hip Hop Squares seems directly ripped off from a series of not-terribly-funny sketches from In Living Color:

MTV’s sibling MTV2 network has greenlighted a reboot of veteran game show Hollywood Squares. Titled Hip Hop Squares, the new show will premiere May 22 and star Nick Cannon; Jackass‘ Bam Margera; Kat Graham; DJ Khaled; rappers Fat Joe, Biz Markie, Ghostface Killah, Mac Miller and MGK; and the Pittsburgh Steelers’ LaMarr Woodley, among others. Radio DJ Peter Rosenberg will host, Nicole Lyn as DJ. “The show will refresh an iconic format and create a fun, dynamic series that’s unpredictable, heavy on personality and much more ‘party’ than ‘game show’,” said Paul Ricci, Head of Programming for MTV2. Hip Hop Squares is under license from CBS Television Distribution, which owns rights to the original.

I welcome Ghostface's appearance anywhere; he really could be the modern Paul Lynde, although I suspect Mr. Mariah Carey will get the center square, regrettably.

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Hollywood Prepared to Insult Your Intelligence Again

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 1:00 PM


Yesterday, the Pitbull song (sigh) from the soundtrack of Men in Black 3 (double sigh) came on the radio and I said to my wife, "Did anyone ask for this movie to exist...was anyone actively wondering what magical events were left unseen after the second movie?"

I take it back MiB3. Compared to Triplets, a proposed sequel to 1988's Twins, your cinematic cashgrab might as well be The Seventh Seal:

One of these things is not like the other. Actually, none of these things are like any of the other…and that’s what made the premise of Ivan Reitman’s 1988 film Twins work. But how do you further capitalize on the hilarious assumption that Arnold Schwarzenegger and Danny DeVito are twin brothers? Add in Eddie Murphy as a long-lost sibling and call it Triplets. DeVito talked about the possibility of a sequel in an recent interview with Steve. Currently, there is no director attached, but Reitman will produce the project via his Montecito Picture Co. The sequel is in the process of recruiting writers as no substantial creative talks have occurred yet.


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Political Roundtable: Healthcare Politics, US Senate Race, Bus Fares, Sorry Streets & More!

Posted By on Fri, Mar 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Tonight on Arizona Illustrated's Political Roundtable: Pima County Democratic Party Chairman Jeff Rogers and Republican strategist Sam Stone join Arizona Public Media reporter Andrea Kelly and host Jim Nintzel to talk about the politics of healthcare in Arizona, the latest on the U.S. Senate race to replace the retiring Jon Kyl, a proposal to raise bus fares in the city of Tucson, the sorry state of Tucson's streets and the latest at the Arizona Legislature. Tune at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 6!

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