Legal beagles say lots of things to tout projects in front of city councils. But there may be no greater Houdini of Hot Air than Snell/Smell & Wilmer’s Nick Wood. Currently, he’s espousing the merits of Attesa outside Casa Grande in Pinal County. It’s a proposed combination of racetrack, automobile country club and other things motorsports. To listen to Wood talk of the project is to think it’s a cure for cancer. And it must be with the sly attorney’s sleight of hand trying to pass new Pinal County ordinances that will allow his client to get into the pockets of taxpayers for his client’s private business. But hasn’t Wood taken us here before? And weren’t taxpayers devastated?
Readers may recall that Wood similarly touted what may be the most infamous city subsidy during the past two decades in Arizona. Here is a link to a recent Glendale Star article. Not too long ago he stood before the Glendale City Council and talked of a “Main Street Commons” to surround the Camelback Ranch spring training facility for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox. Its shops and sales tax revenues were supposed to pay for the initial city contribution to the complex. It didn’t work out that way and Glendale taxpayers are still suffocating from the approximate $200 million taxpayer contribution towards one month of baseball each year.
So perhaps it’s understandable that Wood knows his advocacy of Attesa to be so specious that he has helped orchestrate a cabal to oppose the Apex Motorsports Club in Maricopa. Unanimously approved by the Maricopa City Council and involving no taxpayer subsidies Attesa apparently has found its own horsepower to the south so deficient that it and its lawyers (Nick Wood and former Arizona Attorney General Grant Woods) and consultants (Joe Villasenor) have engaged in deceitful and ethically-challenged broadsides against Apex sufficient to make Bernie Madoff look like Sir Thomas Moore.
It’s tough to be both laughingstocks and truth dodgers but the Attesa apparatus led by the goofy Dan Erickson has amazingly fused the notions. Indeed, the extent of the conspiring and untruthfulness may have violated Arizona law.
For now the lesson in all of this is that when Nick shows up to play a slick trick on your community we strongly suggest you knock on Wood. Fortunately, the drivers of Pinal County in the form of Supervisors Tony Smith, Steve Miller, Todd House, Pete Rios and Mike Goodman have been around the block more than once or twice, and need not rely on good luck to recognize hucksters in their midst.