Filler The Skinny

BULLDOZERS FOR VICKI! A few weeks ago, The Skinny reported rumors that an independent campaign finance committee was being formed to help Republican Vicki Cox-Golder in her campaign against Democrat Sharon Bronson and incumbent Ed Moore for the District 3 Board of Supervisors seat.

Looks like we were right again--last week, the Southern Arizona Homebuilders Association sent a postcard to its members, asking them to "help us so we can help you stay in business."

"The winner of the Pima County Board of Supervisors race in the northwest will provide the pivotal vote on the new Board," the postcard reads. "Vicki Cox-Golder's narrow margin of victory in the September primary dramatically reflects how close the race will be against her opponents Ed Moore and Sharon Bronson, both of whom view our industry with disdain."

"To say I hold the industry in disdain borders on slander," says Bronson, a longtime neighborhood activist. "It simply is inaccurate, untrue, misleading, deceptive and that's what these guys do--they practice the politics of deception."

The mailer asks homebuilders to provide SAHBA with lists of employees that live in District 3 so the organization can "provide information about the candidates directly to your employees" and mail out absentee ballot requests. Despite her insistence to the contrary, it sure sounds like the stuccodollars will be working for Cox-Golder between now and election day.

THE LATEST LINE: The Skinny got sunburned recently during a weekend in Puerto Peñasco, where we stumbled across the latest odds on the presidential race in the local sportsbook. The news for the GOP is not good.

Commander-in-chief Bill Clinton is a 1-to-8 favorite to win the election, which means for every $8 you bet, you win a buck. Ever-articulate Bob Dole has fallen to 3-to-1, which we found overly optimistic. Texas meglomaniac Ross Perot is a 50-to-1 longshot, while Ralph Nader and Dick Lamm would pay off a whopping 500-to-1, were either one to win the White House.

LAST CHANCE TO REGISTER: The deadline to register to vote in the November 5 general election is right around the corner. If you're not on the voting rolls by midnight on Monday, October 7, you won't be able to join us in the latest phase of the the grand experiment that is American democracy.

You can sign up at local libraries, El Con and Park Mall, all eegee's locations and most government offices. For the location nearest you, call 623-2649.

PLUTOCRAP: And what's with Jim Irvin? This is the guy who dropped about $350,000 of his own wad in a failed attempt to challenge incumbent Secretary of State Jane Dee Hull a while back.

Seems the ultra-rich Republican Irvin is now a state Corporation Commission candidate; but as of last week, reporters in Phoenix were grumbling Mr. Moneybags was ignoring their requests for interviews, and even refusing to fork over simple info like a résumé. Apparently Irvin's plan is to drop yet another boatload of his own bucks in the form of a saturation ad campaign during the last days before the big vote.

Hey, why bother talking to a bunch of greasy reporters when you can just hypnotize the stupid, TV-addled electorate and buy the damn office, huh, Jimmy?

PASS/FAIL: He's kept his head down and he voted with the teacher's union, so TUSD Board Member Joel Ireland probably hopes we've forgotten about how he screwed parents and the public over at Catalina High, not to mention that funny land deal on the southside involving his brother's real estate firm.

Wrong, Joel baby--we're baaaaaaaaaack!

The guy with the best chance to knock him off would appear to be Bruce Forche, a Vietnam vet and local mail carrier who was active in Gloria Copeland's successful campaign for a seat on the TUSD Board two years ago.

Forche has come out swinging at everything from the padding in TUSD's desegration budget (Excuse us, but when will we be desegregated and why does it cost so much every year?) to the actions of District Supe George Garcia. He's running on a platform of more money for kids, less money for grown-ups, and Ireland may have his hands full.

TWENTY-DOLLAR TEDDY: Pima Community College Board Chairman Ted Koff quietly filed for re-election to the PCC Board this month. You may remember that Koff resigned as Board chairman--but not the seat--when he was busted for allegedly approaching a hooker on Miracle Mile. Koff claimed he was just giving the lady a ride, but the arresting officer found a $20 bill in his shirt pocket.

The charges were dropped after City Manager Mike "The Spike" Brown interceded. You may recall we gave the whole procedure one of our "biggest fixes of the year" awards in 1995.

Koff is running unopposed. But, we hope, not unsatisfied.

THE ANN RODRIGUEZ SHOW? About 2,000 new citizens were sworn in last week at a giant downtown ceremony. As part of the festivities, the Immigration and Naturalization Service requested 2,000 voter registration forms from the office of Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez. The recorder's office reponded by asking to be placed on the program at the swearing-in service, and said they'd bring people to aid in filling out the forms. INS declined to place them on the program, so the recorder's office declined to provide any forms.

After the INS folks called Congressman Ed Pastor's office, the forms turned up.

At the swearing-in, Rodriguez and a mixed group of volunteers showed up, and later claimed in a press release to have registered more than 1,100 people.

So what's wrong with this picture?

First, the forms are self-explanatory and were designed to be. They're hardly brain surgery--people can fill them out without assistance. That was the point in changing the system from the old deputy-registrar method of signing up voters. But Rodriguez worries that the forms cost 12 cents each and says she doesn't want them "wasted." Gee, sticking 2,000 of them in packets going to new citizens would seem like a pretty good use to us.

Of course, the real question is: Was Rodriguez trying to be helpful, or just attempting to grab a spot in front of 2,000 new citizens to promote herself?

The county recorder's office has been treating voter registration forms like they're food in their own refrigerators for quite some time, as the Green Party and several initiative campaigns have discovered. They were given only limited numbers of forms and told when they came back for more that first they had to fill out the ones they had--and nevermind that their volunteers were working in different locations and with varying numbers of people.

All of which is oddly self defeating for an office that claims it wants to register more voters. If it takes 10 forms to get one back, that's $1.20 a voter. Big deal, particularly when you consider the overtime Rodriguez's employees draw for attending events to help people with a system designed to let them do themselves. TW

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