Such a case can really be found in 2004. In the form of John Kerry. Not loved but viewed as quite competent Kerry was a weak frontrunner for the 2004 Democratic nomination for President, kind of like Ken Bennett who sits atop most polls for Arizona Governor in 2014 but who most observers think we will toppled due to limited fundraising and a boredom factor.
And Kerry was toppled . . . for a while. By Howard Dean before The Scream went too shrill. And John Edwards almost caught Kerry in Iowa, but didn’t have the juice to challenge in New Hampshire. He was apparently saving that for someone else.
But then the Democrats returned to Kerry having yawned about him in the first place. He waged a tough campaign against George W. Bush, like Bennett undoubtedly would against Fred Duval.Read more
And why shouldn’t the Grand Canyon State? After all, the competition is stiff with no income tax states like Texas and Nevada.
Furthermore, the private sector constantly engages in a never ending quest to land the whales. At casinos. In hotels. Country clubs. Restaurants. New homes. Season tix. Sponsors. So if Adam Smith’s disciples understand the benefit of attracting the biggest wallets why shouldn’t government?
If politics is a concern be as radically appealing to aiding the poor as one might be to recruiting the rich. Just like anti-illegal immigration activists should be the biggest proponents for legal immigration and the ingenuity and entrepreneurs it yields, unless their true colors can be found on a Confederate flag.Read more
At a time when Paul Ryan and others are smart to be channeling Jack Kemp and re-engineering GOP messages for the lower and middle classes, it is an appeal to the highest crust that could be a good move here in Arizona.
This week Phil Mickelson is defending his Waste Management Phoenix Open. A Sun Devil, he is the most beloved golfer in Arizona and recently made waves talking about the onerous tax rates in California.
This prompted a national discussion. The Arizona State Legislature should act.Read more
Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.
The last time Paradise Valley paid much attention to the large, empty real estate between Mockingbird and Scottsdale Road and Lincoln and Indian Bend Roads was November, 2008. Then, Paradise Valley voters were wise to pass by a nearly 2-1 margin a mixed-use plan that had a new Ritz-Carlton at its core.
While the entitlement granted by the then Paradise Valley Town Council was aggressive it did not jeopardize the town’s character.
Fast forward to 2014. The developer of the project is now saying its generous entitlement wasn’t, and isn’t enough.
Why? Because what are they to do with a big chunk of their plan now that Scottsdale approved a large new apartment project that will stare into the back of its project? That 4-story project has now been built and opened on the northwest corner of Scottsdale and Lincoln.
The attorney and lead lobbyist for that apartment complex was none other than the same one the Ritz developer employs. And did the Ritz ever state any opposition to the apartment plan? Of course not. Why? Because it knew the increased density in Scottsdale could be used to justify absurd new requests of Paradise Valley.Read more
The cathedrals of Europe tend to be of the religious variety, serving both as cornerstones of faith and tourism.
Here in the United States our cathedrals are the shrines of sport. Wrigley Field. Fenway Park. Augusta. Churchill Downs.
They are magnets for economic impact.
In Arizona we do have a rather Grand, natural cathedral three hours to the north. Closer to home some of the country’s largest municipal preserves located in Scottsdale and Phoenix remind us of the Valley’s special nature.
When it comes to the man made variety we do have a mansion called Wrigley and a remarkable Frank Lloyd Wright winter home. But we don’t have anything that truly captures the bucket list imagination of the tourist besides the general concept of spring training.
The pool at Chase Field was a noble attempt but for the Los Angeles Dodgers pissing a little vinegar in it last year it hasn’t served as much of a discussion point.Read more
Like any monopoly the public school system has constantly fought change, during the past decade in the form of greater school choice.
And it is losing in higher income areas like the Scottsdale School District where some 9,000 students choose charter or private schools.
This is putting enormous pressure on the system there, populated by bureaucrats who don’t know how to innovate. Monopoly and old school is their mantra. Head sanders they are.
They must be taking particular umbrage this Arizona legislative session with SB 1100. Backed by an impressive cross-section of Republican legislators ranging from Barto, Worsley and Pratt to Montenegro, Farnsworth and Yee it is the ultimate addition of insult to the public school injury.Read more
Arizona’s NHL franchise avoided a public vote following the Glendale City Council’s split decision to award its new owners a $15 million payment. Such a referendum election would have likely torpedoed the transition to new ownership since it would have delayed ratification of the city agreement until after the season was to begin.
The saga that has been hockey ownership in the desert was thought to be over, at least for the next five years. But a movement taking place in Ohio raises new questions for hockey fans. There, a group is seeking to unravel via a citizen’s initiative an agreement for local government to fund the arena for the NHL’s Columbus Blue Jackets, a structure that may have some parallels to the Glendale situation.Read more
We ask because of the Arizona Republic headline today raising similar questions about current Maricopa County Board Chairman Denny Barney (Maricopa County chairman in ethics flap). While many Republicans don’t like the Republic, the story reminds us of the import of the fourth estate, especially robust investigative journalism. We digress as we necessarily observe who will be there to shed light on that which was done today if larger media goes away? This blog? Other bloggers? A motley crew on Facebook? Back to our premise.
Barney achieved the near impossible in 2012. Running as a rookie for a coveted seat abandoned by Fulton Brock he ran unopposed. That’s because of the regard the marketplace had for Barney personally, his family and his promise.
Surely his constituents thought the youthful Barney mature enough to avoid the kind of problems described today in which he apparently nudged Maricopa County staff to resolve issues that were costing his development project money.Read more
As we are about to enter the 2014 campaign season television advertisements and flyers will flood mailboxes and airwaves. They will emphasize many words and messages. But nary a one will tout “wisdom.” They should.
Readers are surely familiar with former Maricopa County Andy Thomas’ travails. And they may have read Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts (click here) as well as the paper’s editorial (click here). Both questioned the prosecutorial wisdom of current Attorney General Tom Horne and what amounted to rather paltry charges in his office’s pursuit of former Fiesta Bowl lobbyist Gary Husk. Readers are probably familiar with other reasons General Horne’s conduct can be questioned as well. And while many Republicans don’t love yet another former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, they will still recognize him as a straight shooter. So when he calls Horne’s ethics and conduct into question it is noteworthy.
This all leads us to Andrew Thomas’ successor Bill Montgomery. Although only a practicing lawyer for about a decade he appears to have uncommon wisdom among recent Arizona prosecutors.Read more
Every community has critics. And that’s a good thing, especially in an age of a declining fourth estate. Their eyes, ears and energy can be just what’s needed to shine a light into some darker places.
But in Scottsdale activism has become its own art form, its own sport. While there are certainly problems in one of America’s best cities some of the criticism operates in an existential-like luxury of complaint – kind of like Peter Cook cheating on Christie Brinkley. He was lucky to be married to her before he wasn’t, like Scottsdale residents are fortunate to live where they do, until they don’t.Read more