March 23 - March 29, 1995

[The Skinny]

ARIZONA REPUBLICANS SHOULD REPLACE THEIR ELEPHANT WITH A PIG: State Rep. Bill McGibbon is the chief spear-carrier for raising the out-of-Phoenix legislative per diem from $60 to the $121-a-day maximum allowable under IRS rules, and nevermind the $85 already approved by the state Senate.

McGibbon, who represents Green Valley, parts of Cochise County and a hunk of Southeastern Pima County, says he needs that $121 a day just to keep an apartment in Phoenix, get his laundry done and pay for the wear and tear on his car. (Gee, Bill, if you're driving back and forth so much, why don't you just take your stinking laundry home?)

McGibbon says he keeps his apartment all year at $460 a month and that he's "worn out a vehicle" in the three years he's been in office. What McGibbon doesn't mention is that he's also entitled to 29 cents a mile times the 155 miles from his home to the Capitol for one trip a week, or a max of about $4,675 a year on top of the per diem. Which means at the end of three years, he should have enough money to buy a new car from that source alone.

Currently, legislators get $60 a day for the 100 days they're in session and they can hit the clock for that $60 again any time they're in Phoenix on official business, which, unfortunately, is too often. And it must be very often in McGibbon's case, or he wouldn't have worn out his car and needed a year-round apartment.

State legislators are paid $15,000 a year. They now get another $6,000 tax free for that first 100 days, plus mileage, plus per diem for the rest of the year when they're actually doing something. But McGibbon claims he can't make it on that, or even by raising the per diem to $85.

Pardon us, but that $15,000 a year for a part-time job is better than the median income for Tucson and Pima County--and the rest of us don't get extra, tax-free money just to show up for work, even though we, too, put lots of wear and tear on our cars getting there.

McGibbon is apparently one of those Republicans who, like so many Democrats, just doesn't quite understand what last November was all about: The American people are fed up with politicians lining up at the trough.

If you blithely plan to cut expenditures of state government for everybody else, asshole, then try doing your own damn laundry.

FROM NOW ON HE'LL ONLY FLIP OFF QUADRIPLEGICS: Chief Criminal Deputy County Attorney David White recently had an odd altercation with an elderly citizen. According to a compilation of press reports, White got into it with a 66-year-old motorist, and, in the ensuing debate, the guy smacked White with what was described as a club. The attacker, identified by one source as a retired firefighter with no prior incidents, was busted for alleged assault. He's since been released on his own recognizance.

White stated he'd been cut off by the individual, raced to catch up with him and flipped him off, prompting the guy to follow him home. The alleged perp originally told a conflicting story, but is now quietly waiting to tell his side in court.

Two things worth pointing out here. First, the club was a wooden cane. And second, the 66-year-old man is the father of a Pima County deputy sheriff.

Which leaves us with one really big question. Assuming it all went down the way White says, which has yet to be proved, what in the hell was the chief criminal deputy county attorney doing chasing down a senior citizen so he could flip him off? What kind of judgment--and arrogance--does that sort of behavior indicate?

SEEKING SUCCOR: Continuing his quest to get back on the tit in any capacity, Pima County GOP Chair Rex Waite is applying for the newly created vacancy in the Justice Court left by the appointment of Justice of the Peace Bob Donfeldt to the Superior Court.

The appointment will be made by the GOP majority on the Board of Supervisors. While Waite has no visible qualifications for the $60,000-plus job, that's never stopped this board before. They promised Waite something back in 1992, have yet to deliver, and really don't need him spilling his guts about what went on in the back room when the three GOP board members were cutting deals-- particularly with that big federal lawsuit currently underway that gives us such juicy deposition excerpts (See Mikey The Flaky Waffleman, Part 4). Expect Waite to get his payoff.

But don't expect him to be around too long--he's a lousy candidate. He's been beaten twice for county assessor, once by the abysmal Alan Lang. And he was creamed a few years ago in a city contest by Democrat Janet Marcus, who not only beat him citywide but stomped him inside Republican Ward Two, an area that was even carried once by Alf Landon.

Since justice of the peace is a full-time job, question is will Waite resign as GOP chair if he gets it, or will he just doddle over the two jobs, as is his penchant?

DWINDLING DOGPATCH: Their recent election demonstrates the diminishing power of that place up I10 we used to call Marana.

There were eight candidates for three seats and it took 50 percent of the vote to avoid a run-off. Only one candidate did so, albeit by a half a vote: Cheryl Millner. Running right behind her, but not breaking 50 percent, was her running mate, Bobby Sutton Jr.

Even more relevant was who took gas and who were blown out completely--former Mayor Bill Schisler, former council member Robert McCrea, and incumbent Councilwoman Betty Horrigan, all three from Old Marana. And, ironically, all three were big proponents of the annexation policies that did them in.

On May 14, along with that controversial referendum over New World Homes, Marana voters will get to pick again from the four remaining candidates--Sutton; another Continental Ranch resident, Bill Gordon; incumbent Ed Honea; and another old Marana resident, Marie Farenga. Gordon and Farenga are the candidates of Alliance Marana, while Sutton (and the elected Millner) would appear to go along with the pro-developer faction.

And on April 25, Marana has yet another election, when Mayor Ora Harn and Vice Mayor Sharon Price face nursery owner Dick Kelly and former public administrator Sandy Brisbine. Harn and Kelly are from old Marana, Price and Brisbine are from Continental Ranch, so this one will be determined by issues transcending geography.

HATE CRIMES HYPOCRISY: Without going into a lengthy discourse on why many of us think the current view that hate crime are somehow worse than most other crimes is a bunch of BS, we only report the following as an example of the hypocrisy of certain hate crime legislation supporters:

The Pima County Board of Supervisors, without a dissenting vote, approved setting up a series of hate crime ordinances. Which only goes to prove Gen. George Patton's dictum, "When everybody's thinking alike, nobody's thinking." It also goes to prove that at least the GOP majority on the board has missed what part of its own re-organization accomplished.

Gwen Sanders, who is black, was once an aide to former County Manager Enrique Serna. She was demoted and placed in the County Finance Department, where she was allegedly smart-mouthed by the director of the county's money operations, Carol Bonschalk.

An investigation by the Arizona Attorney General's Office supported Sanders claims she had been discriminated against and that Bonschalk had used racially demeaning language both about and in front of Sanders. Sanders is currently pursuing the matter via civil suit.

So here we have Mikey, Big Ed, and Dim Bulb exhibiting their concern over racially motivated crimes, but displaying absolutely no concern when the AG finds one of their bureaucratic hacks engaging in allegedly racist behavior.

And where, we might ask, are those two friends of the downtrodden, Supes Danny Eckstrom and Raul Grijalva, while all this is going on? Both Democratic members of the board have so blended into the furniture that they resemble potted plants more than viable opposition members. Hey guys, you could make a motion once in a while, and one of you could second it and that would make for discussion that could prove embarrassing for your opponents. Or is it all just too much bother?

STOP THE PRESSES! KYL ACTUALLY MAKES A SMART MOVE: We've been waiting for the daily press to get around to this, but to no avail. U.S. Sen. Jon Kyl has placed veteran University of Arizona professor Hank Kenski in charge of his Southern Arizona office and operation. Kenski and Kyl are old friends and former college debate partners. As we usually spend most of our time talking about sleazebags and dummies, it's nice to report something positive--Kenski and his equally competent wife Margaret are a class act, and Kyl made a bright move. Amazing.

AT LEAST SOMEONE AT THE STAR IS DOING HIS JOB WELL ENOUGH TO HAVE A FAN: We mentioned an altercation that occurred between Arizona Daily Star reporter Joe Burchell and Joseph Carter, the husband of Pima County Board of Supervisors Clerk Jane Williams. Not only did Carter accost Burchell in front of the board hearing room, but county security personnel had to break up what appeared to them to be a threatening situation.

A security report on the incident states Carter was overheard telling Burchell, "I'm going to fuck your life up," and, "I'm going to punch your fucking eyes out."

Burchell has since filed a restraining order against Carter, "prohibiting him from having any contact with (Burchell) or his family by phone, letter, in person, or through a third party except legal procedures." Burchell asked that Carter "not interfere with respondent's access to public hearings and public records at his office or the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors office, or at meetings of the Board of Supervisors."

The altercation was apparently in response to coverage given Carter and his wife concerning the many times she allegedly had interceded on his behalf to seek employment, both private and public, since Williams has been in office.

GOD IS A GAL: Tired of the same old vengeful God of the Old Testament and the hooting doomsayers/TV personalities who've sprung up to spread His message of intolerance and reasonably priced Christian vacation resorts for the whole family? We are, too. Which is why we're going to hear Rita Nakashima Brock, who's published a number of essays and sermons on feminist theology. Brock doubtless will discuss the growing God-as-Mother point of view that has so upset today's sleazy soldiers of divine patriarchy.

She speaks at a noon luncheon on Monday, March 27, at the Arizona Inn, and at a 5:30 p.m. dinner the same night at St. Mark's Presbyterian Church, 3809 E. Third St. The cost for each event is $10. For more info call 325-1001.

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March 23 - March 29, 1995

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