The Range


ALOHA, OBAMA! The Range flies home from a weeklong getaway in the exotic and foreign land of Hawaii, where we visited many beaches, enjoyed a tropical drink or two and learned how to surf in the shadow of Diamond Head. Our big political moment came on our second day in Waikiki, when we walked into the Kua Aina Sandwich shop and spotted a vacationing Sen. Barack Obama standing at the counter. Obama, who was decked out in shorts, a T-shirt and a baseball cap, hadn't made up his mind about what he wanted, so he offered to let us go ahead of him in line.

But don't think that makes him a regular Joe--The Range is a member of the Media Elite; hence, the places we eat are elite restaurants; hence, if Obama is eating at the same place as we are, he must be an elitist!


COST ANALYSIS: The Pima County Democratic Party rolls out a new attack against Republican state Sen. Tim Bee, who is challenging Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords: Bee should repay the $99,000 in expenses that were run up by local law enforcement while they were protecting President George W. Bush, who came to town for a Bee fundraiser. Bee says his campaign paid the White House for a portion of the costs of the trip, according to a standard formula established during the Reagan administration. Tucson City Manager Mike Hein says that he doesn't expect the Bee campaign to cough up a portion of the local costs.


BOOZE BLUES: Here's a big surprise: It turns out that intoxicated fans at ballgames are frequently still served alcohol! The killjoys at the University of Minnesota School of Public Health had actors playing drunks in 16 stadiums across the United States to see if they could still get served alcohol, according to the Chicago Tribune. The concession stands served the actors 75 percent of the time, while the roaming vendors served them nine out of 10 times.


SHOW US THE MONEY, AGAIN: It's the latest deadline for congressional candidates to show us the money! For the first time, Republican Tim Bee outdoes his Democratic opponent, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in a fundraising period. Bee reports raising just less than $280,000 in the six weeks between July 1 and Aug. 13, thanks to that fundraiser headlined by President George W. Bush. Giffords raised about $230K.

Bee reported $589,887 remaining in the bank at the end of the filing period. Giffords had $2,147,240 on hand.

MEANWHILE, BACK ON MARS: The plucky Phoenix space probe continues its mission on the arctic plains of Mars. UA Lunar and Planetary Lab officials announce that the Phoenix has dug its deepest trench yet and used its robotic arm to deliver a new sample to the Thermal and Evolved Gas Analyzer aboard the spacecraft. "We want to know the structure and composition of the soil at the surface, at the ice and in between to help answer questions about the movement of water--either as vapor or liquid--between the icy layer and the surface," says Ray Arvidson of Washington University in St. Louis.


SO MUCH FOR THAT IDEA: Guess undocumented workers aren't ready to self-deport just yet! The Associated Press reports that just eight people responded to the federal government's "Ollie-Ollie, in Come Free!" call for illegal immigrants to surrender over the last three weeks and face no penalty other than deportation.

Jim Hayes, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement's detention and removal operations, tells the news agency: "The bottom line is, it is not effective."


OBAMA WRAPS UP DELAWARE: Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama announces that he has picked Delaware Sen. Joe Biden as his running mate in an early-morning text message to supporters. Obama calls Biden "what many others pretend to be--a statesman with sound judgment who doesn't have to hide behind bluster to keep America strong."


NAPSTER ON JOE: Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano, whose name was occasionally mentioned as a potential running mate for Democrat Barack Obama, turns up on CNN to praise Obama for picking Biden for the No. 2 slot. "I think Barack Obama did exactly what he said he was going to do: He picked someone who complements him," Napolitano said. "He picked someone who is of his own mind and will not be a sycophant, and picked someone who is knowledgeable in the ways of Washington, because if Barack Obama wants to effect change, part of doing that is having somebody with you (who) knows the institutions that you are changing."


It's Election Day on Tuesday, Sept. 2. If you're still trying to figure out who to vote for in the primary, you can do a whole bunch of research over at our new political Web site, Or you can just take our advice and vote for the following endorsed candidates:

  • Pima County Supervisor District 1: Republican Ann Day
  • Pima County Supervisor District 2: Democrat Ramón Valadez
  • Pima County Supervisor District 3: Democrat Sharon Bronson
  • District 26 Senate: Republican Pete Hershberger
  • District 26 House: Republicans Vic Williams and Trent Humphries
  • District 27: Democrats Phil Lopes and Olivia Cajero Bedford
  • District 29: Democrats Tom Prezelski and Matt Heinz
  • District 30: Republicans Sharon Collins and Doug Sposito
  • Corporation Commission Democrats: Kara Kelty, Paul Newman and Sandra Kennedy
  • Corporation Commission Republicans: Marian McClure and Barry Wong
  • Congressional District 7: Republican Gene Chewning
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