McCain, Brewer successfully lobby for newest Phoenix City Councilman Bill Gates

June 30, 2009

Bill Gates (no, not THAT one) selected to fill city council vacancy

Phoenix attorney Bill Gates has become the newest member of the Phoenix City Council, after coming in ahead of 18 other applicants for the post.

Gates, 37, is the in-house counsel for Karsten Manufacturing Corporation which manufactures Ping golf clubs and has lived in District 3 for over a dozen years.

He was elected on a 5 – 3 vote today. Councilwoman Peggy Neely nominated Gates, whom she said she had never met before.

Mayor Phil Gordon, along with council members Tom Simplot, Michael Johnson, Michael Nowakowski and Neely, voted for his confirmation. Council members Claude Mattox, Sal DiCiccio and Thelda Williams voted against Gates.

The daily reports that Gates was also recently appointed by Gov. Jan Brewer to a state regulatory commission, and said he would draw on his long-standing personal relationship with the governor and her family to benefit Phoenix. He grew up with Brewer’s son, Michael.

In recent days, aides to both Gov. Brewer and Sen. John McCain had lobbied the council to select Gates.

Gates will serve on an interim basis until the November special election, when he indicated he plans to run for the seat recently vacated by Maria Baier.


Most recent PAChyderm Coalition legislative rankings

June 30, 2009


The PAChyderm Coalition, a Reagan Republican organization, has just released its weekly cumulative evaluations of legislators. The assessment is updated weekly until the conclusion of the legislative session. This list reflects legislative actions as of 6/27/09.  It was last updated 6/30/09.

Along with the evaluations, Howard Levine writes: There has been a flurry of activity as the session comes to a close. Most scores were fairly stable, but some legislators had large changes in their scores because of some of their votes or because they did not vote. In the Senate, the general trend is that those at the bottom saw fairly large increases and those at the top are slightly lower than last week. The general trend in the House was very little change with some improvement of the lowest scorers. We’ll see what happens in the final two days of the session.

More news than we want. It’s time to step down, Mark

June 30, 2009

 Admitting he lied about his lies, he wants to feed us the same load of horse pucky he tried to serve up to his wife.  She apparently isn’t buying and neither are we. And the people of South Carolina, who deserve better than the abandonment and spectacle in which Gov. Mark Sanford appears to be reveling, should show this fool and his stories of  “sparking” and “crossing the line…but never the ultimate line,” (with anyone but his Argentine girlfriend, Maria) — the door.

His wife, Jenny said that he actually asked her several times to visit the mistress and she refused.

Good for her.

The Post and Courier carries the update to this pathetic saga.

City Council interviews today for District 3 vacancy

June 30, 2009

Since short-termer Maria Baier’s recent resignation from the Phoenix City Council to take a position as state land commissioner, a glut of 19 applicants have submitted their names to fill the vacancy.

The council is expected to interview all applicants and appoint an interim replacement at 2:00 P.M. today in the City Council Chambers, 200 W. Jefferson St.

Baier’s ship-jumping will necessitate a District 3 special election, tentatively scheduled for November 3.  It’s unclear whether the Council members prefer a “benchwarmer,” who has no intention of running in the special election or someone who will run to complete the vacant term which ends in 2012.

“We will know come Tuesday who will be in the race and who will be an interim. I am leaving my options open and want to know who’s all there before I make a decision about where we are going,” Councilman Claude Mattox said recently.

The list of interested applicants includes: Former District 3 council candidates Jim Mapstead, and Jon C. Altman, whom Baier defeated in the council runoff election.

William Bell, Director of the Arizona Department of Administration, retiring in July after serving four governors of both parties.

Former Councilman Tom Milton, a close ally of Mayor Phil Gordon.

Jim Sharpe, a former radio talk show host.

Tee Lambert, a Washington Elementary School District Board member.

Bill Gates, a lawyer and Paradise Valley Village Planning Committee member, recently appointed to the Governor’s Regulatory Review Council.

In February the Council appointed Ahwatukee resident and former councilman Sal DiCiccio, who has longstanding ties to Sen. John McCain and U.S. Rep. Harry Mitchell, to fill Greg Stanton’s seat after he resigned to take a job with Attorney General Terry Goddard

In addition to shaping city policy, the appointee will be integral in dealing with the city’s budget woes and selecting a replacement for retiring City Manager Frank Fairbanks.

Others vying for the job are: Aaron Aylsworth, Vaughn Beasley, Judi A. Butterworth, Christopher Lee Klugman, Douglas L. LaPedes, James Larson, Eugene Alexander Mattics, Gibson McKay, James W. Riley, Clifford Sherr, Greg Tripoli and Judith Tunell.

A map of District 3 can be seen here.

Mesa selects Vicki Myers as interim police chief

June 30, 2009

Vicki Myers, Operations Commander with the Mesa Police Department, has been named interim police chief until the city finds a permanent replacement for Chief George Gascon, who is leaving to assume the chief’s position in San Francisco.

 Myers is a 17-year police veteran who spent nine years as chief deputy with the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office in Mason, Michigan before moving to the Valley in late 2007.

 The East Valley Tribune carries the complete report.

U.S. Supreme Court reverses high-profile decision by Sonia Sotomayor

June 29, 2009

In a 5 to 4 vote today, the United States Supreme Court narrowly ruled in favor of white firefighters in New Haven, Connecticut, who said they were denied promotions because of their race. The decision reverses a decision by Judge Sonia Sotomayor and others that has come to play a large role in the consideration of her nomination for the high court. The Washington Post reports.

An overwhelming majority of every ethnic and gender demographic — 71 percent — in a recent poll of Americans oppose the position that Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor took on the affirmative action case.

In the case, Ricci v. DeStefano, Sotomayor sided with the city of New Haven, which threw out the results of a test used to promote firefighters when no blacks achieved a score high enough to merit promotion. Watch this brief video regarding the firefighter’s reverse discrimination suit.

Valley transit fees skyrocket 40 percent

June 29, 2009

Bus and transient trolley (light rail) fares will be rising sharply across the Valley beginning Wednesday.

Increases are said to reflect Valley Metro’s rising costs amid declining sales-tax revenues. The transit system “must meet a goal of recovering 25 percent of its operating budget through fares,” according to a report in the daily.

The question is, who sets the “goal” and what are the penalties for falling short?

The base fare for local bus and rail service will climb 40 percent, from $1.25 to $1.75; the base fare for express buses will rise 57 percent, from $1.75 to $2.75.

Tenure: A teacher speaks

June 29, 2009

Among today’s letters to the editor in the daily newspaper was this offering by Amy Helseth, a self-described tenured third-grade teacher.

Her thoughtful letter is besieged with comments which can be seen following her opinion piece. The commenters take her to task, question her veracity, and pointedly remind her that the phraseology that is currently in use is “continuing status” rather than the word “tenure.”

Longtime educators choose to obscure the term, aware of the negative regard in which the policy of a permanent job guarantee is held — particularly in today’s uncertain employment climate, with so many American workers losing their jobs and homes.

Find the missing word

June 29, 2009

The article in the daily began this way: Two years after engineering the nation’s toughest employer-sanctions law, state Sen. Russell Pearce has taken the lead in a new round of anti-immigration reforms that could have long-lasting effects on Arizona.

One would require school districts to collect data on any student who can’t prove legal residency. Another would require state and local officials to enforce federal immigration laws, thus making sanctuary [city] laws illegal.

The report, centered on Sen. Russell Pearce (R-Dist.18), is rife with the term “anti-immigration.” 

The missing word is “illegal.”

Out of work? Pfizer offers free Viagra to lift your spirits

June 28, 2009

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer Inc. has recently announced it will give away more than 70 of its most widely prescribed drugs, including Viagra, for up to a year to people who have lost jobs since Jan. 1, and have been taking the drug for three months or more.

The announcement came as unemployment rate topped 8.9 percent in April.

Of course, Pfizer stands to benefit, too — by keeping its customers, and with a tax write-off that will cover much of the cost of the giveaways. The move also buys the world’s largest drug-maker some good will as the Obama administration seeks to nationalize the American health care system.

The program is intended to build customer loyalty and keep patients from switching to cheaper brands or generics through the worst of the recession and could help retain those taking top-seller Lipitor, which will begin competing with generic versions next year, according to a FOX News report.