Senador, Por Favor, No Cante.

I’m sure some of you have seen it already. Earlier this week, Ted Kennedy attempted to sing a song called “Ay, Jalisco, No Te Rajes” at a Barack Obama rally. I have always had a lot of repsect for Sen. Kennedy (and it’s not the name thing, he’s Edward and I’m Theodore (or Edmond…)), but geez…

If you must see him sing it, you can check it out here.

Or…even better…Jorge Negrete singing it the way it is supposed to sound…

Evan Mecham

0622bad.jpgEvan Mecham died today. I hate to say it, but it is really difficult for me to come up with anything that resembles a eulogy here. Perhaps this is because I am either a dissident Democrat or part of the militant homosexual lobby. His impeachment shortened term embarassed a state that I am usually so proud of. He ruled largely by vendetta and ignorance.

He was governor during my politically formative late teenage years, so I guess you could say that whatever you read here is due to him.

Some good points about him: he served honorably in the Army Air Corps during the Second World War and flew P-38’s and P-51’s before being shot down and held as a prisioner of war for three weeks. He was awarded the Air Medal and Purple Heart for his service. He is also reputed to have sold a young man named Vincent Furnier his first vehicle.

Interestingly, the National Governors Association does not list Mecham on its list of former Arizona governors.

NB – For a complete rundown of Mecham’s term, I urge you to find High Crimes and Misdemeanors: The Term and Trials of Evan Mecham by Ronald Watkins (no relation to Ralph Watkins).

Rick Renzi Rain Whisper

Rick RenziWhat’s good about this blogging enterprise is that some of the work gets done for you. For example, I haven’t had the chance to peruse the Rick Renzi indictment, but one of the R-Cubed Legion has (you can peruse it yourself, I uploaded it here).

One part of the allegations deal with James Sandlin, Renzi’s pal, who owed him $700,000 (Don’t none of you complain when I want to bum gas money off of you). So, Renzi pushed for a land exchange involving a mining company called Resolution Copper. Sandlin was able to make enough money off of the deal to pay Renzi $733,000 (according to the indictment). I suppose that that must have included some interest, maybe a gratuity?

Here’s the fun part: a bank account had to be set up so that the money transfer to Renzi could be hidden. The name of the account: The Rick Renzi Rain Whisper Account. It’s on page 16 if you don’t believe me.

The other set of allegations involve insurance fraud (defrauding a non profit, even!), which may have paid for Renzi’s first race. I’ll post something after I’ve had a chance to look at those.

UPDATE: In a sign that the Republicans learned something from their experience with Tom Delay, The Hill is reporting that John “Merkle” Boehner is asking Renzi to resign.

Mo’s Words: Always Relevant

I recieved a missive from one of my senior correspondents today consisting only of two short quotes:

For several weeks, I have been the subject of leaked stories, conjecture, and false attacks about a land exchange. None of them bear any resemblance to the truth, including the rumor that I am planning on resigning.

Rick Renzi, 10 months ago.

Oh Lord, please make my words gentle and sweet, for Tomorrow I may be forced to eat them.

Morris K. Udall

Another Portrait in Principle

So, John Shadegg made it official…he’s running for re-election after all. This offers us Arizonenses a chance to further enjoy the fruits of the legislative brilliance of Pamela Gorman and Jim Waring.

The talk among political chaterers is that Shadegg’s resignation stunt was done to get himself a position in leadership. So much for “I need to spend more time with my family.”

Steve May run anyway. See…the joke there is that his last name can serve as a predicate.

Some Thoughts On This Whole McCain Thing

John McCainFirst off, I’m going to disappoint many of you (I’m looking at you, Mom) when I say that I don’t believe that John McCain had a sexual relationship with this lobbyist that they are talking about. For one thing, I think Cindy would fry up his testicles with the morning eggs and serve them to him for breakfast if such a thing happened. Also, not believing the charges saves me from picturing McCain having sex with a much younger woman.

Where I think this ends up hurting McCain is it gives license to reporters to finally start asking questions about his relationships to lobbyists. For years, he has been sanctimonious about the relationships between lobbyists, campaign money and access, but his own behavior in these matters has largely been unexamined by the press. In the Times story that broke this, there was a short reference to a bill that opened an air route from Washington to Phoenix. This may have looked like a favor for local company America West, so McCain famously chose never to take the route. He got praised for puting himself above suspicion, but while this was going on, he was accepting corporate flights from people that had buisiness before the senate.

Many senators took advantage of such flights, but they were not trying to be the go-to person on ethics issues and making themselves out to be saints. The fact that the Times went after it, even briefly, means that the fawning media may finally be looking at such things. And these guys, they love the smell of hypocrisy.

Guns Don’t Kill People; Gay People Getting Married on the Other Hand…

The bill (well it’s two bills, actually, but let’s not get all technical) that would put a ban on gay marriage on the ballot next year seems to be making its way through both houses of the legislature.

Bumblebee ManThe amusing moments in the hoo-hah over this item happened last week when people started asking Tim Bee, who is one of the movers behind the bill, if he had bothered to talk to his campaign chairman, Jim Kolbe, about the measure.

Folks still seem to be thinking that this is about Bee trying to get score some points for his race against Gabrielle Giffords. I don’t entirely buy it. For one, Bee seems to be distancing himself from the bill (“Bill, what bill? I don’t see any bill.”). For another, the “Protect Marriage Arizona” initiative had some of its worst numbers in Congressional District 8.

It seems unusual for folks to be pushing for this so soon after PMA failed. By the way, it is the only such initiative to fail nationwide. Also, there hasn’t been any sort of organized movement here, even among our very politically active gay and lesbian community, to overturn the current gay marriage ban (News flash to bill sponsors: it is already illegal here…).

This effort is once again being pushed by the Center for Arizona Policy. A couple of insiders I talked to suspect that they are pushing for this again, so soon after they infamously lost what people thought would be an easy win, because of the Center’s debts. A ballot measure would be a great way for them to raise some money (even better if the legislature gets it on the ballot and they don’t have to pay for signature gathering). It is dishartening to see so much time and effort being put forward just so a right-wing pressure group can pay its bills.

Maybe I’m missing one of Bee and company’s motives here. They may be just trying to prevent earthquakes.

Guns Don’t Kill People; But Untrained People Who Carry Guns Can

As someone who comes from a family of gun owners, I suppose I should weigh in on the latest “Guns in inappropriate places” bill. In the past, such bills would have, for example, mandated that bar and restaurant owners would have to allow people to carry guns in their establishments. Meaning that the right of a property owner to keep his or her property secure in the way they saw fit was trumped by the rights of some żłób whose own inadequacies lead him to carry a firearm everywhere.

The latest incarnation of this bill is Karen Johnson’s that would mandate that universities and colleges would have to allow guns on their campuses. This has caused howls from law enforcement, you know, the guys that would have to clean up after whatever mess this would cause. What do they know, anyway?

I’m wondering why Johnson’s bill is so narrow in its application. What about students at high schools? Elementary school students? Clients at daycare centers? Obviously, she is not as much of a Second Amendment die hard as she allows her supporters to think.

For those who argue that this will make campuses safer, I’d point to this interesting tidbit in Tuesday’s Star about a Customs and Border Protection agent whose gun accidently discharged and wounded a contract worker. Think about that for a minute: there was a guy who was trained, competent and has to get tested to keep his badge, and there was still a problem. Johnson and company are arguing that it would be safe having a Walther PPK in the backpack of a hungover undeclared sophmore.