Thursday, April 26, 2007

Coming: More Renzi

Apparently Grant Woods (the former AZ attorney general, no?), now working as a lawyer for Rep Renzi, revealed a big lump of unreported cash last week to reassure prosecutors that all was on the up-and-up. Will it work?

The Hill:

"Failure to disclose a large payment properly would be a violation of House ethics rules, but more significantly, prosecutors could use it as evidence that Renzi knew the transaction was illegal and tried to hide it."

Think we'll see more on this in tomorrow's Courier?

Talk of the Town: "More than talk, water worries are in the numbers"

In a piece that for some reason didn't make it onto the free site, zoology prof Richard Clark drones on wonkishly about the basics of water budgeting, warning that because we're taking out more than is going in, we're gonna run out.

Pretty basic, I think.

Why is it that our various legislators, supervisors and Councilcritters don't get it? Maybe this piece, a difficult and stodgy read unhelped by a cloudy headline, is an example to answer that.

Editorial: "Laborer bill deserves governor's signature"

In his first words the unnamed Courier editor gives away his highest priority in this issue: "The view."

That's really what it's about, isn't it? We don't mind having the positive effects of the work these people do, we just don't want to see them. We don't even care whether they're illegal, really, only that they're brown and untidy.

Farther down we get a nice little frame for the Governor's decision: if she signs it, she's courting independent voters, if she vetoes it, she's courting Hispanic voters. Of course there's no chance that she'll decide on the basis of whether she thinks it's good law, right?

By the way, guys, it's Immigration and Customs Enforcement, not "Immigration Customs and Enforcement."

Letters: Anarchy, MJ and bags of poop

The letters column today kicks off with a guy who thinks taxpayers need more say in how their money is spent. Here's you clue, Dave: it's called a vote.

In the middle we see a familiar comment from MJ, cross-posting to the Courier online comments system. Go MJ, and I encourage all readers here to do the same.

Finally a Vietnam vet confirms just how awful those peaceniks are by repeating the legend of returning troops being taunted and pelted with shit. Like everyone else I've heard these stories, but also that no one has ever reliably confirmed they actually happened. Anyone have a good source?

A1: "Bill seeks to protect Agua Fria, other sites"

The nice, straightforward information piece by Joanna Dodder comes with a light dessert. This bill has been part of Rick 'Richie Rich' Renzi's new greener strategy, but he's had to hand off to Raul Grijalva and isn't answering phone calls from the press. Awww.

A1 "Great Lakes, Mesa vie for Prescott air service"

The public contention seems to be focused on which passenger air service to use. But about halfway down we learn why it's a public issue at all: the 1.7 or 1.8 million bucks in public subsidies to provide the service.

I'd have liked to see a declarative sentence stating exactly where this money is coming from. If I recall correctly it's all federal, but readers would be excused for inferring that since the City Council is voting on it, it might involve some from our local coffer.

It would also have been interesting to read a response by Mr Lamerson, for instance, to the question of why he supports federal subsidies for business travelers.

A1: "Granite Gate annexation plan opens debate among residents"

Cindy Barks details how once again the City Council is in hot water for failing to discuss changes to a neighborhood with the neighbors before putting them on the public agenda. Architect and former Councilcritter Tom Reilly knows more about this than most, so his surprise at the reaction is likely feigned.

The story's OK, but the headline is misleading, giving the impression that residents disagree with each other, rather than pretty uniformly with the City action.