STRANGE BEDFELLOWS: Mayor George Miller's campaign contributions continue to climb. Last week, Miller told The Skinny he had collected more than $40,000 in donations.
Last week, we told you that a lot of GOP bigwigs had donated a big chunk of Miller's cash. It's recently come to our attention that we missed one donation you ought to know about: Ward 1 Republican candidate Ray Fontaine kicked in $100 back in February. Hey, maybe Ray ought to give that dough to himself--that's 10 percent of the $979 his campaign had collected by the end of May.
GOP mayoral candidate Sharon Collins needn't be upset, though. Campaign records show that Ray's wife, Karen Fontaine, had tossed 20 bucks her way in late May.
MISSION CREEPS: Gov.J. Fife Whiteguy's beloved Constitutional Defense Council got back to work last week, hearing testimony from Ed Presley, an attorney representing Nye County, Nevada, which has launched one of those idiotic states' rights/sagebrush rebellion/Wise Use/temper tantrum lawsuits against the feds over the ownership of the federal land in our neighboring state.
Presley, who has an odd tendency to toss around non-sequiturs about Robert E. Lee being a great American hero, hasn't had much luck in getting the support of Nevada Gov. Bob Miller, a Democrat who won't give him the time of day. In a quest for taxpayer money to continue his ill-reasoned crusade, Presley has come to Arizona to see if he can sucker the CDC into kicking in a few bucks to support in his legal action. His reasoning: If Arizona joins the suit, we can take the Grand Canyon and the rest of the federal land away from Washington and do what we want with it--presumably, pollute the air and water, allow cattle to completely devour public lands and strip-mine the mountains, since those are the restricted activities that seem to have folks in such an uproar.
The notion of using our state dollars to promote the Wise Use agenda is somewhat afield of the original aim of the CDC, which was first given $1 million during the 1994 legislative session to study ways to sue the feds over stringent EPA regulations like those contained in the Clean Air Act. But while our Constitutional defenders have basically sat on their asses for the last year and a half, the new Republican whores in Congress are hurriedly gutting every environmental regulation for their Big Business pimps--so the battles the CDC would have fought in court may no longer be necessary.
So now we have the inevitable mission creep, with the CDC looking at half-baked schemes to grab the Grand Canyon away from the feds. What a very fine use of money which might otherwise be wasted on education or health care or even one of those tax breaks we like so much.
Here's another example of the CDC's thrifty habits: CDC chairman Michael Block was in Vienna while our rebellious friend Presley was testifying in Phoenix, so they set up a conference call so he could listen to what the screwball had to say.
Somebody ought to shut the CDC down before they start funding those freedom fighters in the militia movement.
AFFIRMATIVE DETRACTION: Pima County Clerk of the Board Jane Williams has filed a complaint with the civil rights division of the state attorney general's office, alleging the supes discriminated against her when they stripped her of her election responsibilities and cut her pay by $2.18 an hour.
In her complaint, Williams says her "performance has always been satisfactory."
Right, Jane--after all, you only lost about 800 votes up in Oro Valley while providing us with the slowest election returns in recent history last November.
Williams' complaint is a load of crap. She was a political appointee who couldn't hack the work. For her to claim discrimination now is a discredit both to her gender and the African American community.
It may, however, lead to some spirited debates. Williams has always been District 3 Supervisor Ed Moore's girl. She was only demoted by a 3-2 vote when Republican Mike Boyd joined with Democrats Raul Grijalva and Dan Eckstrom to transfer the election responsibilities. Will we see Big Ed come to the defense of this woman so maligned by heartless racists Grijalva and Eckstrom?
BIG ED'S CRAVEN BEHAVIOR: Supe Ed Moore certainly showed his heroic side when Pima County Attorney Steve Neely made his budget presentation before the Board of Supervisors a couple weeks back.
While Neely and his staff made their presentation and stayed to await the response, Moore was silent. Neely left the room on two separate occasions, once to talk to a reporter and once to make a phone call. He finally left for good, believing his
point had been made. Moore waited 20 minutes after Neely left the last time, and then launched an attack on both him and his budget. Moore clearly didn't have the guts to do it while Neely was around.
Moore loves to bully and intimidate--he's especially good at doing that with women. But his behavior indicates that Neely scares and intimidates him. Otherwise, why'd ya wait, big guy?
YOUR ALTERNATIVES TO BIG ED: Yet another possible GOP candidate has surfaced for Ed Moore's Board of Supes seat: Ann Holden. She ran a respectable race in 1993 against Ward 3 Councilman Tom Saggau, made a lot of friends, and would certainly be a contender. She has some advantages over the other two women testing the waters, Amphi School Board member Vicki Cox-Golder and former Marana Mayor Ora "Mammy Yokum" Harn. Unlike Cox-Golder, Holden hasn't alienated Republicans by contributing to Mayor George Miller. Unlike Harn, she hasn't earned the contempt of all those homeowner groups in District 3 by constantly rolling over for garbage dumps, new prisons and developers.
And unlike Moore, she keeps her friends.
THE BLOB CHILLS? First we have massive impact fees socked to the builders by the Phoenix City Council, then we have the Scottsdale Council threatening to cut off building permits. Now we have a poll at least as reliable as the self-serving crap dealt out by the Phoenix media.
Former congressman, Burro Chronicles editor, and radio talk-show host Sam Steiger recently polled his audience on a simple issue--Do you want more growth? Ninety-three percent of his respondents proclaimed themselves "no-growthers," including 11 contractors.
What makes this admittedly unscientific poll noteworthy is that Steiger's audience is not exactly composed of Sierra Club members or Earth First!ers--it's basically hard-nosed conservatives.
There's a rising tide of antagonism against builders and developers that has even reached Maricopa County. Look for it to have a major impact on the 1996 election both there and here.
CACTUS COPS ON PATROL: As of July l, seven new employees with the state Department of Agriculture were assigned the mission of hunting down poachers who vandalize and steal saguaros and other protected plants. State officials estimate about 100 of the big cactus are destroyed or ripped off every year.
Hold it! About 100 a year? We got tons of clearcutting developers all over the state who take out about 100 an hour. Maybe somebody ought to be looking for them.
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