The Range

Survey Says ...

Expect to see lots of Republican gubernatorial candidate Don Goldwater between now and Election Day. Goldwater finally qualified for Clean Elections funding, giving him the challenge of spending $453,849 in the week before the Sept. 12 primary. Don, can we send you a rate card?

Despite--or perhaps because of--the fact that he's had no money to run campaign ads, Goldwater still matches up better against Gov. Janet Napolitano than Republican Len Munsil, according to the latest poll from Maricopa County PBS affiliate KAET-TV and Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

The poll found that all GOP gubernatorial candidates are getting spanked by Gov. Janet Napolitano, who leads Goldwater 62 percent to 27 percent and Len Munsil 62 percent to 23 percent, even though Munsil qualified for Clean Elections back on Cinco de Mayo.

Napolitano was clobbering Republican Mike Harris, 62 percent to 23 percent. Harris' most recent campaign finance report, filed last week, shows that he'd lent his own campaign more than $145,000, while raising about $12,700 from other suckers--er, contributors. We'd tell him to turn out the lights in his campaign office, if he hadn't moved out just ahead of eviction last week. Could this guy be any more embarrassing to Republicans? Well, we suppose he could start talking about pickaninnies.

Finally, Napolitano was crushing contractor Gary Tupper 62 percent to 20 percent. Given that Tupper had reported spending less than $18,000 as of Aug. 24, the fact that he's polling nearly as well as Munsil tells you something about the strength of Republican contenders this year.

The statewide poll of 846 registered voters, between Aug. 24 and Aug. 29, has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent.

A recent Wall Street Journal poll conducted by Zogby International has slightly better news for Goldwater and Munsil. Napolitano was beating Goldwater 50.5 percent to 38.6 percent. She was beating Munsil by a slightly larger margin, 51.7 percent to 38 percent. The poll had a margin of error of 3.7 percent.

Of course, those numbers were taken before Munsil's shocking admission that he was not a virgin when he got married! Munsil admitted last week that he and his wife had sex before they were married--and conceived their first child out of wedlock. Well, many have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And besides, Len says it just makes him realize how important it really is to refrain from sex until marriage. Whatevs, dude.

Senate Stretch

Democrat Jim Pederson, who has spent more than $7 million trying to unseat U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl, debuted a new negative ad last week, accusing the Republican lawmaker of selling out to Big Oil.

The Cronkite-8 poll showed that Kyl still had support of 46 percent of the voters, while Pederson was at 36 percent. Eighteen percent remained undecided.

The WSJ poll, which had a margin of error of 3.7 percent, showed a much closer race, with Kyl at 48.3 percent and Pederson at 44.2 percent.

Off the Hook

Federal Judge Raner Collins dismissed the silly charges against Daniel Strauss and Shanti Sellz, who were facing prosecution after they were apprehended by the Border Patrol while transporting three migrants who were suffering from heat-related sickness in July 2005.

Collins said Strauss and Sellz, volunteers with the Tucson-based group No More Deaths, had taken reasonable steps to ensure their actions were within the law, and noted that "further prosecution would violate the Defendant's due process rights." We think he meant "defendants' due process rights," but we're not going to quibble with a federal judge.

In other border-related news: The aforementioned Cronkite-8 poll showed that voters would probably approve several propositions regarding illegal immigration that had been placed on the ballot by the Arizona Legislature. More than three out of four voters in the survey favored Prop 100, which would deny bail to illegal immigrants charged with "serious" crimes; two-thirds favor Prop 103, which would amend the Arizona Constitution to make English the "official language" of the state; 61 percent favor Prop 102, which would prevent illegal aliens from collecting punitive damages; and 50 percent favor Prop 300, which would prevent illegal immigrants from taking adult-ed classes or getting in-state tuition.

Expect Delays

The Regional Transportation Authority announced its first batch of projects, which include a bunch of intersection improvements and pedestrian-safety lights. Construction is scheduled to begin in six months to a year in most cases.

In other transportation news: The Range got a glimpse of what traffic is going to be like between here and Phoenix in 20 years when an idiot driving an SUV that was pulling a trailer full of ATVs rolled three times on Interstate 17 north of Phoenix, creating a 30-mile traffic jam last Friday, Sept. 1. We discovered what kind of darkness exists within our soul when we're spending nearly two hours to cover 10 fracking miles.

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