June 15 - June 21, 1995

The Skinny

MR. EXCITEMENT, INDEED: Republican County Chairman Rex Waite stepped on it in triplicate during the recent Tucson appearance of U.S. Sen. Bob Dole, R-Nixonia, proving once again how big a putz he is.

First, Waite took it upon himself to invite all kinds of folks to the $1,000-a-plate fund-raising breakfast without checking with the Dole folks. When the Dole people tried to explain to these folks that the tab was a grand, most understood, but a few got miffed. They should try being unhappy with Waite, who had no authorization to give away what wasn't his.

Then he got to play master of ceremonies for part of the time as the crowd of more than 1,000 waited for Dole. Waite introduced Democratic Tucson Mayor George Miller, but failed to introduce the GOP candidate for Mayor, Sharon Collins, or any of the Republican Council candidates.

Finally, he was quoted in USA Today, and later in the Tucson Citizen, as saying: "Clinton is Mr. Excitement and people vote for excitement--we don't have anyone who can rival him as a politician." That one has GOP leaders fuming--maybe because it's true.

Waite, who is becoming as big an embarrassment to the GOP as his inept predecessor Kate Lynch, has spent most of his term trying to get himself appointed to some position--any position--with Pima County. Now maybe he's trying for a job with Miller.

One thing's for sure--we doubt if he'll be working for any GOP presidential hopefuls.

THE WHAMMY ON MAMMY: The unanimous vote by the Marana Town Council replacing as mayor Ora "Mammy Yokum" Harn with Councilman Eddie "Earthquake McGoon" Honea wasn't the smooth transition the other media reported it to be. As we noted earlier, the deal was made weeks ago to dump Mammy, and she was still maneuvering up until the night of the meeting to keep the post.

After being defrocked, albeit politely, Mammy now claims she's "considering" running against Pima County Supe Big Ed Moore in next year's GOP primary. She's backing off from her original position the day after she survived a recall attempt last month, when she told reporters she was definitely running.

What may keep Mammy from formally announcing (whatever the hell that is--we thought telling the press you're running should count) is the Marana town ordinance that converted their non-paid council to a token dollar-a-year stipend for the purpose of inclusion in the state's "resign-to-run" law.

Harn not only supported that ordinance, she said then "...the reason I'm going to vote yes is that I have come to the conclusion that I do think it is in the best interest of the town, when somebody is running for another office for them not to be holding a council position when they do that. I vote YES."

We suspect Harn is waiting for Town Attorney and chief rationalizer Dan Hochuli to come up with a legal opinion that will allow her to weasel out of quitting the council to run for Supe.

DEVELOPER BROWN-NOSING CONTINUES: The recent successful referendum attempt by Alliance Marana to overturn the 400-plus acre clearcut rezoning given New World Homes by a majority of the Dogpatch Council occurred after a lengthy legal fight. You may remember that the Dogpatch powers-that-be decided the type size on the referendum petitions was too small and rejected them, igniting the lawsuit won by Alliance Marana.

One of the many shabby deals the Town Council cut with the developer was an agreement that Marana would be represented by New World's attorney, Si Schorr, at the "developer's expense," a blatant moral conflict of interest, if not a legal one.

To date, Schorr has billed Marana about $84,000--and he's been paid. The town has been reimbursed by the builder to the tune of about $60,000, which adds up to an interest-free loan to New World Homes. Only the story doesn't stop there--and considering the fact that Schorr is still collecting from Pima County for those Alan Lang hearings from a year and half ago, his billing may not be over yet either.

There's still the small matter of the $41,000 in attorney's fees and costs awarded to Alliance Marana for winning the lawsuit. The Town of Marana paid that item three months ago, and New World has yet to repay one dime. Does this mean another long-term interest-free loan, or are the Marana taxpayers just supposed to eat this part of the cost of the town's ill-advised and anti-democratic attempt to screw over their voters?

GARBAGE IN: Mike Costello, regional division manager for Waste Management Inc., is the latest addition to the board of Tucson Clean and Beautiful. We're sure this will further the objective view that organization has on the effectiveness of our curbside recycling program. And we're sure Mr. Costello will not allow his industry's policy of seeking inordinate amounts of money to haul the stuff around to interfere with his judgment.

WAFFLE NO MORE? At a recent Town Hall meeting in Pima County Stupidvisor Mike Boyd's foothills district, Pat Cellentrano stood up to ask a question. Cellentrano's with Neighbors Against Annexation, a group which has quickly formed to oppose the City of Tucson's Rillito North annexation.

Cellentrano asked Mikey what he was going to do to help stop the annexation. Mikey looked him straight in the eye and said, "Nothing."

We just love it when our pols take a stand--even if they're wrong. If this keeps up, we'll soon be calling him Mike "The Duke" Boyd.

UNCLE SAM'S BIG PLAN: Security types at the Federal Building in Tucson's downtown government complex moved into high gear shortly after the Oklahoma City bombing, asking city officials to bag the line of parking meters on the narrow street which curves in front of the federal facility.

Wow, we can all sleep safer now.

If someone wanted to harm people in the Federal Building, there are endless ways to achieve that end--including simply driving the old truck bomb into the now-vacant parking spaces.

Then again, these militia types appear to be so pathetically stupid, it might just work.

SIGN OF THE TIMES: Citizens for Public Representation has opened a Tucson office and is looking for folks willing to beat the streets and collect signatures in its referendum effort.

The group is working to reverse one of Gov. J. Fife Whiteguy III's pet bills, HB 2319. Passed in the final week of 1995 legislative session, the law gives the governor power to ax his own appointees to more than 100 state boards and commissions overseeing the environment, working conditions, real estate values, education, the lottery and other regulated areas.

Critics of the bill are an odd mix of sportsmen, environmentalists and political watchdog groups including Ducks Unlimited, Anglers United, the Sierra Club, the Audubon Society and Common Cause, but they all agree on one thing: The law would destroy independence and force board members to be nothing more than lackeys of the governor.

To put the issue on the ballot, the group must collect at least 56,481 valid signatures before July 12. If they crack that nut, the law will be put on hold until the 1996 elections, when voters will decide its fate.

Unfortunately, the effort is stalling. Campaign organizers describe the current tally as "not encouraging."

They ask anyone who wants to brave the sizzling summer heat and collect signatures to call 740-0380 to volunteer.

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June 15 - June 21, 1995

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