November 9 - November 15, 1995

The Skinny

OR HOW ABOUT "MALIGNANT GROWTH UNIVERSITY?" The twits planning the University of Arizona's so-called "New Campus" are asking for citizen help in coming up with a snazzy name for their project. This is the proposed school the Arizona Board of Regents have said should be established at the old IBM plant way the hell out on the far southeast side, near legendary land speculator Don Diamond's proposed mega-development, the Rocking K Ranch. It's the same proposed campus UA administrators would like to staff with non-tenured professors, the academic equivalent of the temporary workers Microsoft is looking to hire to staff its new phone center, also going in out there, thanks in part to the work of Diamond's best business buddy, Donald Pitt, a former regent.

So how about:

• Rocking K University, featuring the Diamond School of Real Estate • Big Fix College

• Undergrad Dumpsite Academy

Or our personal favorite, due to its accurate assessment:Screw U.

This whole thing would be just another tragic piece of ongoing Arizona political crap if it weren't so funny. Those interested in providing input are asked to call 884-4900, or fax comments (or a picture of your butt) to 884-1058 by Friday, November 10.

DEADBEAT ED? The establishment media reported that Rod Cramer, current aide to Supervisor Paul Marsh, has sued Supervisor "Special Ed" Moore for the $8,000 Cramer claims he's still owed for managing Moore's 1992 campaign. Cramer is represented by attorney Reuben Emanuel, who represented local pollster Alexis Thompson when she sued Moore last year for failing to pay her for items coming from the same campaign. That lawsuit was settled out of court.

Representing Moore in the Thompson matter was local attorney Larry Schubart, who is just co-incidentally the same attorney being paid big bucks by Pima County taxpayers to represent all three GOP supervisors in that giant lawsuit filed by all those wrongfully discharged bureaucrats that will be heard in U.S. District Court in February. Schubart was just given another contract extension by the supervisors in that case, and his billing to date exceeds $200,000.

But that's not all. Justice Court actions totaling $35,000 were also filed against Moore in a group of separate claims made by John Kaur of Digitgraph Computer Services for a whole bunch of other outstanding bills from that same campaign.

Moore claims he's running again. Looks like the first 40 grand he raises will have to go to pay off his last campaign.

We certainly hope Schubart, if he represents Moore again, will charge him the same hourly rate he gets from Pima County--and that Moore will declare that payment on his financial disclosure forms.

ONE MORE SLEAZY TUCSON WATER STORY: Another example of the perfidious behavior constantly exhibited by those fine folks at Tucson Water: Without allowing any of the supposed policy-makers on the Tucson City Council to know, and without notifying the Town of Oro Valley, Tucson Water officials have been negotiating to purchase two of the water companies that serve the Oro Valley area, Cañada Hills and Rancho Vistoso.

Oro Valley officials are livid, and they may try to acquire the water companies themselves. OV Mayor Cheryl Skalsky has publicly stated Tucson Water officials have just plain lied about their activities. Perhaps some member of the Tucson City Council will wake up and put this item on an agenda for discussion. Anything else Tucson Water bureaucrats are doing that we don't know about, people?

IMPACT FEE UPDATE: After two failed tries to get a room big enough to hold all the folks the Southern Arizona Home Builders Ass. packed in, the Pima County Board of Supervisors was finally able to take the first action needed to establish development impact fees to fund transportation needs on the booming northwest side. By a 3-1 vote, with Supervisor Ed Moore absent due to illness, they established a euphemistically titled "Benefit Zone" for the folks getting raped by all that growth.

Supervisor Paul Marsh voted against continuing the process and against impact fees in general, saying money needed for the $155 million in roads for the northwest side could be obtained from a friendly state Legislature if we'd just talk to those nice folks in Phoenix. Now you know why we call him Dim Bulb. And apparently he hasn't noticed we pay those state taxes, too. Reckon he just figures they're a charitable bunch because they gave him a $10,000 annual raise, if he can just win re-election next year.

The turnout numbered only about 600 this time--in a room that holds more than 2,000. Most in attendance were developers' shills and most of their arguments against impact fees were ludicrous--like how a paltry $1,500 fee would destroy "affordable housing" and "hurt minorities." Some proponents observed that houses quit being affordable when the taxes and assessments keep going up, and that "minorities" get to pay those, too.

One new approach yet to be publicized that may have died stillborn: the real estate transfer tax, suggested by one developer. This brilliant proposal would place a de facto impact fee on everybody's house. And we're told the land speculation wing of the Tucson Board of Realtors, led by Bill Arnold, was ready to go along.

We hope this one surfaces again, so the real estate guys finally wake up to the fact that 90 percent of all houses sold in the Tucson market are existing homes. The willingness of a few idiot real estate types to tax all existing home sales just to suck up to a few homebuilders might finally trigger a revolt among members of the Board of Realtors.

TALES OF GOP INEPTITUDE: That the local Republicans are in great trouble is nowhere better illustrated than by the total incompetence exhibited not only by some of their recent council candidates, but by the behind-the-scenes folks' total inability to perform basic functions political parties are supposed to handle. First, volunteers in their phone banks spent a week calling county voters who couldn't vote in last Tuesday's city election. That they'd pulled the wrong precinct sheets was bad enough. That it took them a whole week to notice is amusing as hell.

Then they sent an absentee ballot mailer, with labels supplied by the state GOP, to 30,000 households. Several thousand of these went into county precincts. And we've been told none of the labels contained basic information like apartment and trailer lot numbers, meaning they were undeliverable as bulk mail.

Apparently the bozos in charge at county GOP headquarters can't walk and chew gum. Which makes all Republicans yearn for the days when Linda Barber was GOP chair and the basic things got done.

AND SPEAKING OF GOP TYPES: Political consultant/Arizona Illustrated panelist Bunny Badertscher is running for an office among Pima County Republican Women. Which makes her a triple threat--GOP volunteer, ersatz journalist and hired gun.

Normally, those who run campaigns don't hold office in volunteer political groups--they wish to avoid the little problem of potential conflicts of interest. Badertscher will be handling a number of local campaigns in the 1996 election. And probably interviewing some of her clients on Arizona Illustrated, as she already has. Tacky, tacky...

WE INTERRUPT THIS DRIVEL...The hard-driving newshounds at KGUN-TV, Channel 9, interrupted regular programming last Friday for a special live report--Willie the Dog was being liberated from the Mean Guy who'd obtained him from the dog pound and who had refused to return him to his rightful owner, a Sad Little Boy.

For one terrifying moment we thought we'd somehow been sucked alive into one of those trite comic strips, the kind where the likable hero's plight takes on cosmic significance for an entire breathless metropolis. Right then and there we vowed to stop drinking booze while simultaneously watching Maury Povich. But as the report wore on, we realized THIS WAS ACTUALLY HAPPENING!!! in what most of us consider normal reality.

We like to drink heavily while watching daytime TV--it helps us forget. Maybe that's why we missed KGUN's special live report when the crazies blew up that Amtrak a while back. They did do a special report for that real story, didn't they?

DON'T EVER ASK HIM FOR A TRUE STATEMENT AGAIN: First, Gov. J. Fife Deadbeat III takes the stand in his bankruptcy case last week and says a press release issued by his office shouldn't be admitted as evidence because it was "a little propaganda paper" and wasn't a statement given under oath.

Then, a day or two later, he appears on the radio and says people should get their news from TV or radio because the newpapers are biased against him. (These are, we might add, some of the same newspapers that endorsed him in 1994.)

Gee, Fife, is that because television and radio are airhead media incapable of covering a story this complex?

Or is it because newspaper reporters are no longer willing to print your admitted LIES? We all now know Fife lies to the press and lies to the people. Is it any stretch to believe he lied when he asked for those million-dollar loans?

Ignore Fife's advice and keep reading the papers, folks. We think the shithammer is finally ready to fall.

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November 9 - November 15, 1995

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