THE BUZZ ABOUT BEE: Newly installed Pima County Supervisor
Ray Carroll, appointed to the seat less than two
months ago, had better be ready for a crowded field in the GOP
primary when he runs for re-election next year in comfortably
Republican District 4.
Already, Brenda Even, widow of the late John Even, whose untimely death left the vacancy that Carroll filled, is planning a campaign to carry on John's "legacy"--whatever the hell that was, since he only served long enough to cast a deciding vote to grant a developer a rezoning for massive development at Canoa Ranch near Green Valley.
We've also heard Republican Ken Marcus, who also applied for the job, is looking at his campaign options. Marcus, who had the support of Democratic Supervisors Sharon Bronson and Dan Eckstrom, is said to be a fiscal conservative with an environmental bent. He's also a political novice who has never campaigned for public office.
But the surprise entry in the race may be state Sen. Keith Bee, who may just be done with the statehouse. Although popular with his District 9 constituents, Bee has upset some members of the GOP caucus at the Capitol for his failure to vote the party line on certain educational, environmental and tax-cutting issues.
Although rumor has it Bee is really interested in a congressional seat, the county supervisor job would be a smart move for several reasons. With Arizona's term limits law, he'll be forced out of office in the next few years. He'd also see a pay raise, from the $15,000 he now earns as a senator to the $52,000 he'd make as a supervisor. He'd see a boot in his pension as well, since that's based on the pay of the last office held before retirement.
Bee would make a formidable opponent for Even, Carroll and Marcus, but he can't announce yet because of Arizona's cockamamie resign-to-run law. Plan on hearing more after the first of the year.
BOYD WATCHING: We think we've figured out who started all those rumors that GOP Pima County Supervisor Mikey Boyd was being considered for Arizona secretary of state should Gov. J. Fife Deadbeat III get whacked for fraud, thus constitutionally triggering the succession of current Secretary of State Jane Hull to the top spot. Near as we can tell, it was Boyd himself who started spinning that scenario.
Everyone--with the possible exception of Boyd aide Ron St. John, Boyd's mother and hapless Tucson Citizen "political columnist" David Pittman--has known for some time now that Boyd will not be getting the job should Hull move up.
Our sources in the GOP tell us that when Hull visited Tucson last week for a GOP gig, Boyd, along with St. John, begged for an opportunity to introduce her. Following his introduction, Hull graciously thanked him--and mentioned she'd been reading a lot about him in the papers these days. Much of that press coverage has been right here in The Skinny, and it has concerned Mikey's shameless slavering for the secretary of state gig.
We're told by numerous Skinny fans in the audience that Mikey and St. John knew exactly what she was referring to--and they weren't pleased by the comment. All we can say is: Thank you, Madame Secretary, for your attention.
BOYD WATCHING, PART II: It may just be that even Mike Boyd has realized he's not going to land that secretary of state job. The latest rumor among Capitol lobbyists is that Boyd may now be mulling a run for the Arizona Legislature. Anything to get out of town, huh, Mike?
TRIAL AND ERROR: Law-enforcement types had been whispering lately that the conviction rate in Pima County had nose-dived since Barbara LaWall took over as county attorney.
But when we tracked it down, we found LaWall to be the victim of the sloppy statisticians who compiled the Arizona Courts Data Report for 1996.
They simply goofed when they reported that out of the 591 cases the Pima County Attorney's Office took to trial for fiscal '96, a whopping 305 defendants were acquitted. The truth is that out of that total, only 86 defendants were acquitted--big difference.
LaWall has asked the Data Report morons to correct the error, complaining their failure to do so could unfairly tarnish the reputation of her office. And LaWall assures us the conviction rate will remain high.
Oh, and just a note: The Maricopa County Attorney's Office, with many more people and umpity-ump more resources, only took 546 cases to trial and had 97 acquittals during the same period.
BATS IN OUR BRIDGEWORK: Pima County is building a big bridge to carry Avra Valley Road over the Santa Cruz River. And part of that construction consists of making two bat abodes under the bridge.
The bat homes are required as a condition of the federal permit by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In their paperwork, the feds have even attached lengthy instructions and sample plans for the bat homes.
While there are some in the Pima County Department of Transportation and Flood Control who think the idea is a little batty, others point out that bats consume lots of bugs--something Avra Valley farmers should favor. Still others see the pro-bat requirement as just another example of federal encroachment on local government.
There may be some merit in that last complaint, considering the piss-poor record of the Corps of Engineers and their previous projects that so often screwed over the environment. But it's nice to know that for once, at least, they're in the business of preserving wildlife instead of destroying it.
POOR SPORTS: Arizona Daily Star sportswriter Greg Hansen recently followed up on a Phoenix magazine's plan to name the 50 leading sports figures in Arizona history. He took issue--correctly, we thought--for eliminating from their list people who weren't born in Arizona, which knocks off people like Pop McKale, Lute Olson and Fred Enke Jr.
But then Hansen gave us his own list--and eroded his own credibility by placing at the top Phoenix sports entrepreneur Jerry Colangelo.
For those Tucsonans not entirely familiar with Colangelo, he's like the Don Diamond of Phoenix, getting the local government stooges to subsidize whatever he wants. Taxpayers foot most of the bill for the America West Arena, which houses the Suns, and now are paying the tab for a new stadium up there to house the expansion Diamondbacks baseball team. Diamond does land deals, while Colangelo does jocks--buying and selling, with you providing the infrastructure.
Hansen puts him at the top his list of sports "greats" and calls him "the most influential man in Arizona sports in the 20th century." Wow--by that logic Adolph Hitler was the most influential western European in the first half of the 20th century.
We don't know if Colangelo has a PR spot open that Hansen has his eye on, or if Hansen's just morally bankrupt. But to rate a high-rolling sleazebag like Colangelo ahead of hardworking coaches and players is disgusting. Colangelo has gotten away with picking the public's pocket thanks to a soft press. Hansen is just the latest example. For shame, Greg.
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