Filler The Skinny

WE MUST CONFESS: One of our favorite local publications is the Good News, that supposedly divinely inspired monthly tabloid, a supplemental publication of Good News Radio Broadcasting, which operates a couple of Bible-thumping stations hereabouts.

Especially appealing in this month's issue is the personality profile of Danny Harnden, Channel 4 Eyewitless Spews weekend sportsgeek.

Our favorite part tells how Danny was "born and raised Catholic...never missed a day of church growing up. Still, he said he knew absolutely nothing about the Bible as he turned 18...." But later, when he attended ASU, he was befriended by a member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. And you can guess the happy conclusion: By the end of the year, "Danny had become 'sold out' for God." The article also describes Danny as "a new Christian" after his collegial enlightenment.

All of which raises a couple of questions:

1. We've met some really stupid sportscasters, but is Danny such an abysmal airhead that he learned nothing about the Bible during all those boyhood masses and Sunday school classes? What the hell was he doing, playing with himself?

2. By describing Danny as a "new" Christian, is the Good News politely referring to the Roman Catholic Church as being full of "old," and therefore "bad," Christians?

We think that last point is important because there's a very unhealthy tendency in Christianity--and, hence, Western Civilization--to demonize others, and especially the Jews who rejected Jesus' supposed message. ("Supposed" because the first Gospel wasn't written until at least 50 years after the Big Guy's death, er, ascension--and who knows what politically expedient bullshit was added to the story.)

Anyway, we're wondering if the "new" Christians who get their rocks off at the Good News are playing that same old demon game, the tragic consequences of which we've seen in our own century--unless, that is, you're one of the morons who believe the Holocaust was faked.

And we won't even go into the article's discussion of Danny's 11,238 days without sex (Hey, is masturbation "sex"?), which would undoubtedly make a humdinger of a ratings series.

RALPH NADER'S LONG ROAD: Consumer advocate Ralph Nader has agreed to become the Green Party presidential candidate. He'll be on the ballot in a number of states, including California--and maybe Arizona.

Or maybe not.

Under the new provisions of Arizona law relating to independent candidacies, Nader needs 7,813 valid signatures from voters not registered in a recognized political party--which neatly eliminates Democrats, Republicans and Libertarians. The law is designed to force independent candidates to secure a much larger percentage of signatures from a smaller voter universe than candidates from the established parties must collect.

Greens considered petitioning for party status again, but eventually rejected the idea because, at the time, they had no real candidates. When Nader came along, they chose the independent option because they believe he's a strong motivator for both petition passers and signers.

They may be right, but they face a tough road. Arizona's Republican-dominated legislature, bent on screwing over Ross Perot or maybe Pat Buchanan, tightened down independent candidacies with a process that could very well be unconstitutional. In screwing over Nader, they inadvertently screwed themselves, too: A Nader candidacy would clearly suck more votes from Bill Clinton than Bob Dole.

STAR ONE, CITIZEN ZIP: In an amazing burst of incompetence, the Pima County Board of Supervisors recently failed to acquire a quorum to implement the zones necessary before the county could collect transportation impact fees from developers. Supervisors Mikey Boyd and Dan Eckstrom both had somewhere else to be that evening, and Supervisor Raul Grijalva's plane was delayed returning to town. So developers will be able to avoid paying those rather anemic impact fees for another three months.

Both of our town's daily papers got it right, but differed on the amount involved. The Citizen ran a front-page story by Jennifer Katelman claiming it would cost the county $750,000. The Star ran a Metro-section story by Hippolito Corella stating the amount was $75,000. So who was right?

Corella of the Star, by a digit. The correct amount of the loss was $75,000.

BUT THE CITIZEN TIES IT UP NEXT DOOR: A Star story by Keith Bagwell put the proposed city budget at $645,000,000. Meanwhile, a Citizen story by Christina Valdez put the amount at $661,000,000. So what happened and who was right here?

Valdez and the Citizen. The proposed budget is, well, proposed, and last-minute changes often jack it up before it's adopted. A good way to check is to read the public notices the City of Tucson runs in--you guessed it--the Star and Citizen.

DOGPATCH GOES BONKERS AGAIN: The Marana Town Council is in the process of pissing away all that sales tax revenue they're extorting out of Pima County residents they don't serve. Seems they plan to build a new office complex to hold all their new employees. Dogpatch leaders are now bragging they'll have 100 people on the books soon.

Marana has a population of about 5,300. To compare them to the nearest similar community, Oro Valley has a population of just under 20,000 and 145 employees, including the 12 who work for the two water companies they just purchased. Marana has no water companies.

Of the 100 employees Marana brags about, 28 will be cops, leaving 72 others. OV has 44 commissioned officers, leaving 89 non-cop slots. So Dopatch would almost achieve parity with Oro Valley, a town with four times Dogpatch's population. And Dogpatch cops spend most of their time as a high-grade security force for the shopping centers that generate the town's tax revenue.

So while the Marana School District starves and increases class sizes, and while the Pima County residents who supply most of Marana's sales tax revenue drive crowded roads and wait longer for Sheriff's deputies to respond to their calls, the bozos on the town council who caused the problem with their massive growth policies are building a huge bureaucracy to satisfy whatever massive delusions of adequacy they possess.

CORRECTION: We reported that GOP county chairman and county assessor candidate Rex Waite mailed his and County Treasurer Jim Kirk's nominating petitions out at GOP expense. Waite tells us he paid for the mailing himself. OK, but that still leaves some questions unanswered.

Why did Waite include only Kirk's petitions and not those of other GOP candidates? Isn't the Pima County GOP's mailing permit there for all Republicans? Shouldn't the mailer have stated it wasn't paid for at party expense? As county chair, Waite's supposed to be neutral and not favor one candidate over another, least of all himself, regardless of who's paying the tab. TW

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