What A Maroon

Robert MurrayRobert Murray would make an excellent Republican candidate.

Why?

Well, in yesterday’s briefing regarding the tragic events at the mine he owns in Utah, he denied the mounting scientific evidence that the mine collapse was not caused by an earthquake. Then, he took the opporitunity to deflect any criticism by attacking labor unions, environmentalists, foreigners and the press. He slipped up and forgot to blame the gays or Hillary Clinton (wait, he bashed Clinton before).

Obviously, he is using this disaster to boost his profile for a suprise entry into the Republican presidential race.

NB – His condemnation of labor is particularly galling, since among the first groups to send rescue teams was the United Mine Workers, and the families of the trapped workers have praised them for their support.

Well, Not So Much

I love looking for fissures among the Republicans as much as the next guy. Heck, I try to encourage such things. Then I go and get a bucket of popcorn and watch the fun. I’m thinking of calling them as home, “Hey, I saw Tim Bee talking smack about you at the bus stop…”

The Yellow Sheet noted last week that House Majority Leader Tom Boone is getting his own press flack, a guy named Alan Richardson. Although the article (which is only available by subscription) noted that Speaker Jim Weiers approves the hiring, they still tried to stoke the story that there is some deep split between Boone and Weiers.

Well, there may very well be a split between them, but I find it unlikely that Richardson was hired as an attempt by Boone to shiv Weiers. Why? Because it was Weier’s decision to do the hiring. “Hey, I hate you, here is a staff member so you can get into the paper more.”

I do however find two interesting things here. One is that Richardson’s last job was as spokesman for embattled Maricopa Schools chief Sandra Dowling (“embattled” is part of her title now). Trying to spin using a school for homeless kids as a family revenue source as a good thing probably got too much for the guy. It’s probably easier to spin Republican Legislative policies as well thought ought and good for the state. Not that much easier, but no one is being indicted.

Me being all whiny here, but the Republicans get two press flacks, hired at impressive taxpayer funded salaries, when the Dems get only one that is hired for, in one capitol observer’s words, “dog food money”? Is the workload for a guy working for 33 members twice as big as the workload for someone working for 27? I’ll have to remember that one when a member, or a house spokesperson, complains about bloated bureaucracies with overpaid workers. I guess that the Democrats are just that much more efficient with the people’s money.

St Cajetan

St Cajetan

Today is the feast of St. Cajetan. Although born wealthy, Cajetan was a fierce advocate for the poor, going after his age’s equivalent of payday lenders. He was a popular saint among the early Jesuit  missionaries in our region, and his name is on both a mission (San Cayetano de Calabazas) and the San Cayetano mountains that you see along I-19 on the way to Nogales. Tumacácori Mission was consecrated to him during the Jesuit period (the Franciscans reconsecrated it to St. John later) and San Xavier Mission features a statue of him as well.

The band Cracker had a song called “St. Cajetan” on their debut album. Dave Lowery admited to me once that it was the name of a church he saw once and just liked the name.

Say What? (Pt. 2)

The Star ran an editorial a couple of weeks ago urging citizens to get registered and file for early ballots because, gosh darnit all, this election is muy importante.

(They didn’t really say it that way. Heaven forbid the Star use a bit of Spanish in their editorials for fear of causing apoplexy in the likes of Harry D. (Dog Dude (Blue Heeler)))

The editors at the Star seem to have caught a case of what medical experts have taken to calling Doasisaynotasidoitis. They will, for the second election in a row, run no endorsements in the primaries. Granted, this isn’t the most exciting election this year. However, in one race, the one in Ward 1, the primary will decide the election as there is no candidate filed from any other party. With the retirements of José Ibarra and Carol West, one third of the council will be brand new come January. You’d think that the state’s second largest daily would take an interest in such matters, but no dice.

Say What? (Pt. 1)

The main reason, at least as reported by our dailies, for John Kromko’s truncated campaign for mayor is that he didn’t believe he could raise the money for a run.

Eh? We have a public finance system for elections in Tucson. Yes, it is a matching fund system, but I find it hard to believe that a man with Kromko’s once feared organizational abilities couldn’t have raised the money for a decent campaign with matching funds. Third party candidates have managed to do so before in Tucson; I bet it’s even easier when you don’t have to compete with the Democrats.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

I failed to note that last week Greg Patterson over at Espresso Pundit summed up my feelings about the news helicopter crash up in Phoenix. What “news” were they really covering? Was it really worth dying for? That these sorts of risks are taken and resources are put on the line for nothing more than sensationalism is particularly galling in a state where our top journalism award is named for Don Boles.

Chauncey BaileyFor some perspective, check out the obituary of Chauncey Bailey. Bailey was a tireless advocate on behalf of the African American comunity in Oakland and nationwide. Thursday, he was gunned down because of his coverage of a group that was threatening violence against local store owners and had been connected to a string of violent crimes. A far cry from trying to get the best angle on the latest car chase.

Farley and the MTA

Steve FarleyWord has gotten back from me from the National Conference of State Legislatures meeting in Boston that our own Steve Farley has been using much of his free time riding the local public transit system. No word on what happened when the conductor told him “one more nickel.”

NB – So, my New England Revolution haven’t lost a game at home since May. My brother shows up in Boston, and they lose 3 – 0 to the hated DC United. Don’t let that guy go anywhere.

Kromko for Mayor?

John KromkoYesterday, former State Representative John Kromko filed to run as a write-in candidate for the Green Party’s nomination for Mayor. Apparently, presumptive Green nominee Dave Croteau is planning on dropping out.

The Greens fall under the city’s “new party” rules (they didn’t run any candidates in the last city election), which means that if Kromko manages to snag a minimum number of votes in the Green Party’s primary, he would appear on the November ballot as the Green party nominee. That minimum number would be the same as the number of signatures required to become a candidate through the petition process, 1/10 of 1% of the votes cast for the winning candidate for governor by Tucson residents. I couldn’t find how many votes Janet Napolitano got just within the city (she got 195,305 county wide), and Croteau turned in 311 signatures when he filed his paperwork to run.

There are a couple of questions about whether this actually works. Early balloting starts next week, so Croteau’s name may still appear not withstanding his withdrawl. If this is the case, what happens if Kromko’s write-in total doesn’t beat Croteau? I’ll have the crack R-Cubed research staff check this one. (See UPDATE below)

Kromko is likely doing this in an attempt to boost his omnibus anti-everything initiative. But, his presence in the race certainly makes what looked to be a dull city election a heck of a lot more interesting.

UPDATE: The R-Cubed Crack Research Team went into action mere moments after the post went up on the intertron.

According to the City Clerk’s office, 111 signatures would be necessary to file as a “new party” candidate for mayor. This also would be the number of write-in votes necessary for someone to get the nomination. There are 995 registered members of the Green Party in Pima County. They, along with people registered in no recognized party, would be eligible to vote in the Green Party primary. Kromko could even get Democratic, Republican or Libertarian supporters to re-register over the next couple of weeks, and they would be eligible to vote for him so long as they do so by 30 days before the primary date. These folks would miss out on the thrilling Glassman-Reuss primary battle, however.

CORRECTION: The post originally showed a much lower total for Napolitano than she recieved. It was based only on votes she recieved at the polls, which under reported her total by over 100,000. This has been fixed. As usual, R Cubed regrets the error.