Dude, Did You Just Say That?

For those who don’t know, former midtown Tucson legislative candidate and head blogger at Sonoran Aliance Shane Wikfors is now the spokesperson for the State Republican Party.

Wikfors took to his blog to complain about Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts and Republican activist Kathy Petsas. Wikfors was angry about a blog post by Roberts about Petsas’s effort to, in Roberts’s words, “de-kookify” the Arizona Republican Party.

Wikfors was put out because neither he nor the chairman of the State Party was called for comment. I understand his frustration and he may have a case to make there, but I don’t know that taking to his own blog to respond was the way to do it. Heck, I’m wondering why he still writes over there with his official position with the Republicans.

But a bigger issue is the rather, uh, inartful way that Wikfors chose to characterize the conversation between Roberts and Petsas:

And Kathy Petsas never made any attempt to provide any constructive criticism to the State Party. Not surprisingly, I’ve never seen her come to the office to volunteer. Instead, Ms. Petsas ran off to Laurie Roberts and engaged her in a “bitch session.”

Yep, bingo. He just used the term “bitch” with regards to two women he’s got problems with. Two women that are being assertive even.

You’d think that the official spokesman for the Republican party would pick his words better.

This is part of the problem with spouting off on your own blog. No filter, no editor, but your organization will still be held accountable for whatever you say.

Wikfors ought to pull out a thesaurus before blogging. Or even better, keep the job related whining off the blog all together while he’s on the party’s payroll.

This Quayle is a Mockingbird, Obviously

Ben Quayle is a legislative genius, right? I mean, take a look at this release from his office:

The “Capital Expansion Act” changes an outdated requirement that banks with 500 shareholders or more register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The bill revises the shareholder threshold upward to 2000, in order to make the process of raising capital easier.

“To keep our small businesses competitive, we must make sure they are not held back by antiquated rules. This bill creates jobs by enabling small banks–which make the vast majority of small business loans–to raise capital without the SEC’s costly oversight holding them back.”

Wow, you did that all by yourself?

Wait a second, what’s this that I read? This is from former Republic reporter Billy House, who now writes for the National Journal:

Sniping from both sides of the aisle surfaced on Monday over a decision by House GOP leaders to give freshman Rep. Ben Quayle, R-Ariz., the election-year sponsorship of a jobs bill that some say is—in an already passed version—the bipartisan work of others.

The bill was actually writen by Jim Himes, a Democrat from Connecticut and a Tennessee Republican, Steve Womack. The bill passed last year, but Quayle connived to take the credit for it. This from Politico:

So Rep. Himes was somewhat surprised to hear that a new bill, sponsored by Rep. Ben Quayle (R-Ariz.) and doing pretty much exactly what Himes’ bill would do, would be part of the GOP leadership’s new jobs legislation package… A person familiar with the matter called Quayle’s bill, H.R. 4088., “a total cut and paste job.” This person said “the only substantive difference is that the Quayle bill does not contain a provision requiring a study of the cost-benefit analysis of the shareholder registration threshold.”

It wouldn’t be so bad, I suppose, if Quayle’s press release bothered to give any of the other authors of the bill even an ounce of credit. Oh, by the way, one of the other authors is David Schweikert, who Quayle is running against in an unusual incumbent-vs-incumbent smackdown.

I’m pretty sure that fact is totally irrelevant.

Grijalva Hits at Arpaio

After the jump is a release from Raúl Grijalva demanding the resignation of Joe Arpaio after new allegations that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s office dropped the ball on hundreds of sex crimes cases.

I guess if Steven Segal can’t help out with it, it isn’t that important.

I say new, but the charges are not totally new. Really, they are just getting a new airing after an internal investigation. The East Valley Tribune covered much of this ground before, and earned a Pulitzer for it.

I searched the Arizona Republic’s web site and didn’t find this weekend’s AP story that detailed the allegations. What I did find is a story on Arpaio’s reaction. Well, that’s nice of them.

By the way, the folks at the Republic apparently don’t think Grijalva has any business commenting on Arpaio. Italics mine:

Democratic U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, whose district doesn’t include Arpaio’s jurisdiction, issued a written statement saying the sheriff should immediately resign before more damage is done to public confidence in law enforcement.

There are two problems here. One is that Grijalva’s district includes a chunk of Maricopa county, Arpaio’s jurisdiction. Secondly, being outside of the jurisdiction didn’t stop the editors of the Republic from wringing their hands about Clarence Dupnik and his supposed incivility back in January.

Anyway, Grijalva’s statement after the jump.

Continue reading


I’m a bit confused about the Arizona Republic’s endorsement of Wes Gullett. I kinda thought they’d endorse him, but it’s their reason that confuses me.

Greg Stanton is too “tied to the existing power structure.”

I suppose I could think that haven’t noticed that the guy that Stanton is running against has been a lobbyist and political operative for decades, trading on his insider connections. I’d assume that except for one thing: they mention Gullett’s lobbying career and that his wife worked for current mayor Phil Gordon among his qualifications for office.

Certain connections are better than others, I guess.

Further Redistricting Follies

As the latest congressional map passes into the “draft” phase and thus officially open to public comment, I want to give some credit to Rhonda Bodfield of the Star who was willing to call out some of the whinier and mathematically inert arguments from Republican office holders. I expected an editorial complaining about “both sides,” but Bodfield was willing to point the finger where it deserved to be pointed.

Friday, the Arizona Daily Sun up in Flagstaff went even further:

But it gets even worse. Governor Brewer contends the redistricting commission could have just “tweaked” the existing map, which conveniently shows five Republicans in the House.

This despite a 25 percent growth in Arizona’s population in the last decade and the addition of a ninth seat.

What’s really upsetting Republicans is the fact that they don’t control the redistricting process, which was taken by voters out of the hands of the Legislature and placed under an independent commission.

Good call on that. The commission is supposed to start from scratch, and Brewer should know a bit about that given she was once in charge of our state’s election laws. Even with that, it’s hard to see how the lines could have just been “tweaked” given the addition of the new seat.

However, this credit doesn’t extend to the Arizona Republic. No matter how vacuous, surly and fact free the arguments from our Republican friends are, they have been happy to reprint them. Laurie Roberts actually had to dial back the assertions in one column, one in which she says that Republicans got “screwed.” “Screwed” in a scheme where four out of nine districts would be solidly Republican, by the way. The original column is down, but the corrected column still contains such gems as this one:

Republican Paul Gosar lives in one of the state’s few competitive districts. So, the IRC is moving Republican-dominated Yavapai County out of his district. That district also swaps out some Republican-friendly spots east of Phoenix, to be replaced by some Democrat friendly turf in Tucson.

Oh, the horrible crime to Paul Gosar!

I’ll set aside the assertion that the IRC’s job is to kowtow to Paul Gosar. But hey, “Democrat friendly turf in Tucson”? What, did he get Sam Hughes? Barrio Viejo? Fourth Avenue?

Nope. Oro Valley and Marana, which Bodfield noted aren’t exactly Democratic bastions.

Gosar would pick up Marana, which has about 7,700 registered Republicans to its fewer than 5,000 Democrats. Oro Valley? About 12,000 Republicans to 7,000 Democrats.

By the way, he’d also pick up Saddlebrooke.

Robert Robb’s arguments are a bit better, but still rest on a premise that Republicans get “screwed” when four out of nine are in safe districts, and a couple would be running in competitive districts.

It’s all interesting to watch, but are these guys conceding that Republicans don’t do well when they have to run in a competitive district?

Thomas Hearing

It’s been hard for us bajaarizonenses to follow the goings on with Andrew Thomas’s disciplinary hearing. For us, I’d like to recommend Yvonne Wingett Sanchez’s Twitter feed. She’s been covering the hearing for the Arizona Republic and the details on her feed are borderline obsessive. For those who need a good starting point, check out this article she wrote earlier this month.

Keep in mind that it wasn’t too long ago that a significant number of “responsible” leaders in this state thought this guy was a fine choice for higher office.

Shadowy Men From a Shadowy Planet

Props to E. J. Montini for yesterday’s column about the group that is spending money in Phoenix’s mayoral election. Who provided the money for this group doesn’t need to be revealed because of the recent Citizens United decision.

The group, by the way, is unsubtly named Arizona Citizens United.

You may be wondering what they are paying for. It’s simple: push polls directed at Greg Stanton.

For those not familiar with push polling, it is a call to a voter that seems like a poll, but instead it’s an excuse to level attacks at an opponent. No reputable polling firm will do this for a campaign and it’s considered a low tactic.

The kind of tactic that a candidate behind by double digits so few weeks out from election day would use. Someone like Wes Gullett.

The attacks made against Stanton include the accusation that he’s a career politician and a lobbyist. This is an odd attack to be made on behalf of Gullett, who has been a political operative and lobbyist in this state for decades.

I’ll leave it up to you the reader to judge if this is hypocrisy or total lack of self awareness.

Stanton is also attacked for supporting public art. The funny part is, Gullett supports art too. He even recently lobbied for a huge tax increase to pay for art. It’s something that he’s proud of or avoids mentioning depending on which constituents he’s talking to.

Any more projecting like that and the man would be eligible for an IATSE card.

If you are curious about what firm is making these calls, it is called Elkhurst Communications, based in Louisville, Colorado which appears to be just a voice mail box.

“The Good People of Arizona…”


A potential candidate in the recall election against state Sen. Russell Pearce was struck in the groin with a padlock thrown from a pickup while he was out jogging, Mesa police said.

Connected? I don’t know. Is there some rash of people throwing padlocks at random joggers in Mesa?

Pearce has a record of stirring up his supporters, so if this incident ends up being connected to the recall, I would be three shades less than surprised.

Of course, the Republic and the conservative blogs will blame Clarence Dupnik.

Whither the Star?

The Tucson Sentinel announced yesterday that 40 people have been laid off by the Star. By this morning, that number has been updated to 52.

The Star, by the way, calls this a “realignment.” I suppose because nobody buys the term “rightsizing” anymore.

We lost the Citizen a couple of years ago, and now the Star will be even more hobbled than it is now. I have read crowing from the right and the left, but we need to keep in mind: if this continues, we could be a region of a million people without a daily paper. I’m sure the Republic will be happy to sell more papers down here, but cover local issues? Don’t count on it.

Whatever problems I have with the Star, this is not a good day for Tucson.

Yee Haw: Mayor’s Race Roundup

I’ve tried to do some poking around about the poll that Jim Nintzel reported on last week. The poll, according to Nintzel (they didn’t poll me for some reason), was a computerized survey asking people their feelings on Jonathan Paton and Democratic mayoral candidate Jonathan Rothschild. Interestingly, filed Republican write-in Rick Grinnell’s name went unmentioned.

Paton is out of the country right now. That, combined with the fact that he has told folks close to him that he is uninterested in running, points to him not being behind this thing. These sorts of automated polls are relatively cheap (one source told me that they can cost as little as $500), so it wouldn’t have taken a great deal of resources to put something like this out there.

So, a few things this could be:

– Even with Grinnell being the only one to step up right now, there is a faction of Republicans unhappy with him as the candidate. There was a contingent of Republicans unhappy with Ron Asta and Shaun McClusky too, which is what led to Grinnell to try to help independent Pat Darcy on the ballot. Heck, that could be one reason why they aren’t happy with Grinnell as a candidate. I kinda hope this turns out to be the case, because irony is one of the things that keeps us bloggers going.

– The question about Paton is more about gauging his support should he run for congress again. This seems to make some sense given the question about the Tea Party. This doesn’t mean Paton is behind the poll, by the way. Potential opponents would want to know such things too.

– This is all an attempt to see if Tucson voters can distinguish one Jonathan from another. I’ve heard talk that they asked ID questions on Jonathan Richman, Jonathan Swift, Jonathan Livingston Seagull and Jonathan Bornstein. Okay, I totally made that up.

And, up in the Valley of the Yakes, they are looking South and are once again perplexed. Linda Valdez wrote a column poking fun at those crazy Tucson voters (because Maricopa County’s version of democracy is a model of civic engagement and sanity), and pointing out the foibles of local Republicans. Her editors tried to put the best face on it by refering to a Republican “spark” (id est Grinnell’s candidacy) in the headline. The real entertainment comes in the comments about the article, complete with misspelled Tucson bashing and, of course, references to illegal aliens. I particularly like the complaint that we elect Hispanics to local office. This is what’s considered a “problem” to these people. I’m sure it isn’t about race, right?