The Range

Emergency Declarations

Maricopa County Congressman J.D. Hayworth flipped his lid last week, blasting Gov. Janet Napolitano's efforts to get federal emergency disaster dollars to pay for the damage caused by illegal immigration.

"While Americans are uniting to help the hurricane-devastated Gulf Coast region, it is sad to watch the governor of Arizona attempt to elbow Katrina's suffering victims aside and make phony claims on federal emergency disaster funding," Hayworth said in a widely distributed press release. "Simply put, the governor of Arizona is no better than the brazen looters who seized on a natural tragedy to plunder downtown New Orleans."

Hayworth said the emergency funds were targeted for natural disasters, not man-made disasters like the ongoing border strife.

"More federal resources are one part of the answer to stopping illegal immigration, but the governor's approach is grossly ill-timed and a shamelessly insensitive political ploy to divert attention from the governor's weak, uncertain position on this issue," said Hayworth, who backed out of challenging Napolitano in 2006 after early polls showed she'd kick his ass. "If she were sincere about addressing the problem rather than always looking for someone else to blame, Gov. Napolitano would use her authority to call up the Arizona National Guard and dispatch them to the Mexican border."

The Democratic Party fired back with its own press release, smacking Hayworth as an out-of-touch politician beholden to special interests--in particular, disgraced and indicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who brazenly looted the Choctaw Indian tribe to fund various projects, including an Israeli sniper school, according to various news reports.

"J.D. Hayworth must not have a very good memory," said David Waid, executive director of the Arizona Democratic Party. "He must have been too busy hobnobbing to read or remember the federal statutes that clearly state that border security is a federal responsibility. That, or he was still basking in the soft glow of prime rib heat lamps at lobbyist dinners to remember that he voted not once, but twice against authorizing the use of troops on our borders to combat illegal immigration."

Bad Vibrations

The Tucson City Council last week voted unanimously to ask city staff to find ways to limit the rapid growth of payday loan companies, which sock borrowers with high interest rates for short-term loans, and often pound them with exorbitant fees when they can't pay them back.

Meanwhile, the Pima County Board of Supervisors looked at stricter restrictions on businesses that carry sex toys and related paraphernalia. Under the old county regulations, businesses that dedicate 25 percent or more of their merchandise to sexually explicit material must follow sex-shop regs, which require them to stay more than 500 feet from schools. Under the new rules, stores that carry 10 percent or more of sexually explicit material will fall under the guidelines, which will also keep the shops away from charter schools and other kid-oriented establishments.

The changes came after Fascinations attempted to open a new store next door to a dance studio on Oracle Road. Fascinations officials have since sued the county.

The two proposals are expected to most hurt those Tucsonans who must borrow money to purchase dildos. And God help them if they need some non-drowsy cold medicine at the same time.

Death at McKale

UA women's basketball star Shawntinice Polk, 22, collapsed at McKale Center on Monday, Sept. 26, and died after being taken to University Medical Center, according to a UA press release. The dailies reported that Polk was killed by a pulmonary blood clot.

"Her loss comes as a shock, not just to her teammates, but to her family and to the UA community as a whole," UA President Peter Likins said. "She was a dedicated student and a star athlete, but most importantly, she was a bright and warm person whom we all will miss terribly."

Growing Green

The Arizona economy continues to outpace expectations, according to the latest report from the Joint Legislative Budget Committee. In August, the state collected $60 million more than anticipated, including $27.1 million more than the forecast in sales taxes and $24.9 million more than the forecast in income taxes. In the first two months of the new fiscal year, the state has collected $1.276 billion, which is nearly $102 million more than expected. The figures add up to $205 million more than Arizona collected in the first two months of the previous fiscal year.
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