The Range

Caught in the Web

Holy high-tech hijinks! Gov. Janet Napolitano's re-election campaign is under investigation by the Citizens Clean Elections Commission over her campaign Web page.

Republican Party officials complain that Napolitano cheated by setting up the Internet site before she received her $454,000 check from Clean Elections for her unopposed primary campaign.

"There is little doubt in our minds that the governor violated Arizona campaign-finance laws, and we are confident that the commission's investigation will validate our original complaint," Arizona Republican Party Executive Director Glenn Hamer press-released. He did not add that the GOP was clearly desperate for an issue.

Officials with the Napolitano campaign say they did nothing wrong, but it's no big deal if they did.

The Web site in opportunities to join Arizonans for Janet or Seniors for Janet (hey, why not both?), a photo gallery of Janet in action across the state, and the news that she is "changing the way state government works--from how it buys paper and pencils to how it provides health insurance."

But unlike Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil--at is not yet blogging. C'mon, Janet: We want the Nablogitano!

Border Beat

More blah-blah-blah about illegal immigration this week! We start with the news that Arizona lawmakers put the finishing touches on an omnibus illegal-immigration package that's facing a sure veto from Gov. Janet Napolitano. The big question: Will lawmakers have the votes to put the whole frackin' thing on the November ballot?

Next: The U.S. Senate passed its own immigration-reform package, which includes a temporary-worker program, more Border Patrol funding and a chance for illegal immigrants now in the country to earn a shot at citizenship. That final proposal led Congressman James Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., to declare on NBC's Meet the Press that the package was dead in the House.

What do Arizonans think? The latest poll from the Maricopa County PBS affiliate KAET-TV and the Arizona State University Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication shows that Arizonans more or less support the proposal floated by President George W. Bush, who has evidently gotten something right for a change. The survey of 351 registered voters showed that 86 percent supported hiring an additional 6,000 Border Patrol agents, 85 percent wanted to crack down on companies that hire illegal immigrants, 70 percent want more National Guard troops in supporting roles on the border, 59 percent wanted a guest-worker program and 79 percent said they opposed automatic citizenship for illegal immigrants now in the country. Oddly, a KAET poll released in April showed that 43 percent supported allowing illegal immigrants now in the country to become citizens, while only 16 percent said they should be shipped out of the U.S.A.

Also: 54 percent of those surveyed said they supported the Minutemen's effort to build a wall along the border, while 32 percent opposed it, and 14 percent had no opinion. Speaking of which, volunteers with the Minutemen spent their Memorial Day holiday constructing a wall on private ranchland. They expected to finish a wall along the entire U.S.-Mexico border sometime in 2145.

In a final bit of news from down south: Thanks to an act by the Mexican Congress, brides in that country will no longer have to recite the epistle of Melchor Ocampo as part of their wedding ceremony.

Hugh Dellios of the Chicago Tribune reports: "Unlike many Mexican brides over the last 147 years, Veronica Mendez did not vow that she would not 'exasperate' her new husband, nor promise to treat him 'with the reverence due to the person who supports and defends us.' Nor was her husband, Gustavo Garcia, told to treat her 'with the magnanimity and generous benevolence that the strong must have for the weak, essentially when this weak creature gives herself unto him.'"

See Ya in Court!

Republican legislative leaders scored a victory when the Arizona Supreme Court agreed to hear a lawsuit claiming that Gov. Janet Napolitano exceeded her authority when she used her line-item veto to reject portions of a bill giving pay raises to state employees. Although the line-item veto power is limited to appropriations, Napolitano vetoed provisions that stripped certain civil-service protections from higher-paid employees while signing the rest of the pay package into law. Republicans responded with a lawsuit claiming the vetoed legislation was a policy issue that didn't involve spending.

The Last Picture Show

It's curtains for certain for the AMC Catalina 6 theater at Campbell Avenue and Grant Road, which shut its doors earlier this week. Regional Transportation Authority critics are expected to blame the closure on plans to widen Grant Road as part of the transportation plan passed last month.

All Hell Breaks Loose

The Weekly World News brings us a story this week that was--predictably enough--ignored by the mainstream media: A demon known as Eee'gee-Marrschal was nearly reborn in a Flagstaff courtroom when a prosecuting attorney exposed the limbo-trapped hellspawn's recently unearthed skull to air. But Matthew Daemon, the well-known seeker of obscure supernaturals, was able to stop the demon's growth by pouring two jars of salsa on it.

"Habanero and jalapeño peppers," Daemon was quoted as saying. "It's like pouring salt water on an open flesh wound! Eee'gee-Marrschal's body is so busy fighting the hot salsa, it's retarding the resurrection process."

Daemon was able to seal the demon's skull in an airtight bag with duct tape.

"What was supposed to have been Eee'gee-Marrschal's moment of rebirth had turned into a marinade of failure," according to WWW reporter Robert Greenberger.

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