Thursday, November 02, 2006

Last Minute Desperation--Take Two

Not sure if this is necessary, but, well, disgusted enough to address this last minute Graf trash ad one more time. I don't have the resources to investigate the details of this kind of thing, so I just said what I said yesterday (see below). Well, our local papers have now looked into this. Here in Tucson, the Arizona Daily Star was so enraged they made it an opinion piece, and the Citizen, after doing its fact checking, chimed in here, both replicating your humble blogger's assertion yesterday that this is the embarrassing last minute lunge that shows the true colors of people that know they are losing, and instead of taking the loss with a display of character and dignity, they are showing themselves to be ugly and mean spirited.

I am actually really disappointed by this, and that's authentic. I have spoken with Randy Graf for more than just a few minutes. If we run into each other, we smile, say Hi, and shake hands. I have spoken with RT Gregg more than Graf. Based on those interactions, while we disagree on many issues, in particular social issues, I did have a degree of respect for both, especially Gregg, and considered them dignified human beings.

Not any more.

What makes this doubly sad, from my perspective, is that this was not necessary and will not affect the outcome. This is bad sportmanship, pure and simple, coming from someone who was once in professional sports.



Blogger Liza said...

It seems as though the facts are that Giffords parents as well as other owners of this land entered into a lease agreement with the City of Tucson that nets them 160K yearly until 2055. Gabrielle will inherit this from her parents, potentially netting her several million dollars.

Well, I'm sorry to break this to the public, but cities cut bad deals all the time. In this case, they had grandiose plans for Rio Nuevo, they cut deals like this, Rio Nuevo didn't happen as envisioned, and here we are.

There's no point denying this is a "sweetheart deal." It is. I would just chalk it up to government incompetence. It happens all the time.

11/02/2006 10:10 AM  
Blogger Marco Alatorre said...

Naturally Gabrielle Giffords denies any knowledge of this "sweetheart deal". It is convenient to blame her parents.

But she can't deny knowledge about it now. Does she still want to be a part of this raw deal for the taxpayers?

Will she stand up and tell the voters that she is going to keep all the taxpayers money, even though it is a sweetheart deal?

Will she give the money back?

Gabrielle Giffords is running for Congress, she wants to represent the taxpayers from whom she received windfall profits.

Enough of her denials.

At first she denied that she even benefitted. Now she denies that she had anything to do with the deal and she scranbles to have her name removed as a manager of Giffords Management Group the entity that controls the partnership that owns the property. But here name is still there as a manager at:

Why is Gabrielle Giffords trying to hide the evidence?

She looks guilty as hell to me!

11/02/2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Liza said...

marco alatorre,
There is no evidence that this was anything but a deal cut between landowners and bureaucrats. It's not a backroom deal, it's not illegal, no crime was committed. Bureaucrats often negotiate poorly on behalf of the citizens. Why? Because there is little or no oversight and the citizens do not find out about it most of the time.

This deal says absolutely nothing about Gabrielle Giffords. The fact that her parents made the deal and she is likely to benefit is just the way it is. Why is it such a revelation that bureaucrats are seldom frugal with taxpayer dollars?

Why did the Graf campaign wait until now to talk about this deal and embellish it with falsehoods about contamination? If they had brought it out sooner and stuck to the facts they could have swung some "undecideds." People would be angry with the bureaucrats and would accuse Giffords of guilt by association. I'm sure Karl Rove would agree. Doing it this way just makes the Graf campaign look like they are grasping at straws.

Anyhow, enoough said. This won't hurt Giffords even slightly.

11/02/2006 1:04 PM  
Blogger Marco Alatorre said...

You don't consider leaking underground fuel tanks contamination? You don't consider asbestos contamination? You don't consider heavily oil stained soil and asphalt contamination?

Gabrielle Giffords is listed as one of three equal co-managers of Giffords Management Group, the company that controls El Campo Property Rentals the compoany that rented the property to the City.

Do you really expect the people to believe that the three co-managers did not discuss and agree to the deal beforehand?

11/02/2006 2:38 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...


Let's try this again, with feeling.

I happen to know the underground fuel tanks were there before the Giffords family took over the property. Even discounting that, however, subsequent surveys found no evidence of leaking. Thats a matter of public recrod.

Further, the land owners paid for removal of the fuel tanks.

The asbestos was exactly what one would expect to find in a building as old as it was. Nothing abnormal about it.

Giffords Management Group is not "control" El Campo Property Rentals. It shares control with Al Roughton's LLC.

Finally, considering the "three co-managers" of GMC were Mr. Giffords, Mrs. Giffords and Gabby, yeah, you can bet Mr. Giffords got together with Al, his long-time partner, and did all the negotiations on the lease. Gabby managed the company, but Mr. Giffords always continued to oversee the property issues (there and elsewhere).

11/02/2006 3:14 PM  
Blogger Marco Alatorre said...


You are in error. The ADEQ has a LUST file on the El Campo underground storage tanks. LUST means leaking underground storage tanks. Just go to the ADEQ web site, under Tank Programs and type in Leak # 5290.01 and hit Search. You will see documentaltion of the file there. You can also call ADEQ for confirmation of the leaking tanks. Just give them the Leak ID # 5290.01

In addition I spoke with the lead engineer on the tank removal and she told me that her engineering firm removed the tanks and they were leaking. The City confirmed that they paid for this work under an EPA grant.

One further thing that she told me that hasn't come out yet is the fact that there used to be a Circle K on the South West corner of the El Campo property. It had a leaking undergroud storage tank that actually did contaminate ground water.

But El Campo got out of responsibility for this obvious environmental contamination because ADOT condemned the property for I-10 highway use.

Sorry, but Gabby has been bragging that she took over for her father. Now she wants to deny that she had any part of this sweet land deal.

Sorry, I don't believe it.

11/02/2006 5:01 PM  
Blogger sirocco said...


It's my understanding LUST files are created for anytthing they investigate.

I actually looked at that file, even before seeng your response. Did you look at the code associated with it? It means there was no or minimal contamination involved. They closed the issue in July 2002.

So given your source, I have every reason to believe the tanks were leaking, but the leakage was minimal.

The city did take over some of the land for the expansion. Whether that land was contaminated or not I don't know, although the ADEQ report doesn't mention it.

Gabby DID take over the business for her father. The business is NOT the same as the property management, which she never oversaw. You can choose to believe that or not, doesn't matter to me. However, I was close enough to have first-hand knowledge.

Further, given every person contacted about the negotiation confirms on thr record Gabby had nothing to do with the lease, you can believe as you like, but you have no actual facts to support you.

Of course, that hasn't stopped Graf either.

11/02/2006 8:15 PM  
Blogger Marco Alatorre said...


No, LUST files are created when a leaking underground storage tank is found.

And no, the code associated with the file means that it CURRENTLY has no or minimal contamination, not that it never had contamination. That is to be expected because the site cannot be closed until the cleanup has been done.

The presence of ANY leaking is considered to be environmental contamination. Its presence requires that an extensive and expensive Phase II Environmental Assessment be done, paid for by the taxpayers.

Actually, I do have facts that indicste that Gabby was part of the lease deal. The fact that she was a manager of Giffords Management Group means that she had a legal and fiduciary responsibility to know what her company was doing. She is on record with the Corporation Commission as being a manager of Giffords Management Group.

It is simply not credible to claim that she would not have been a part of discussions relating to negotiation of the lease. She WAS a manager after all!

11/03/2006 7:30 AM  
Blogger sirocco said...


As I noted on another site, I bow to your superior understanding of the process. My understanding resides solely on some internet reseach last night.

Having conceded that, I'll make the same point I made in that other post ... as part of the contract, the city had a full year to assess the site and terminate the lease if they wished to do so. They chose not to exercise that option, so apparently they felt whatever issues they found were minor.

Further, it's not like this came from nowhere on them. They had the assessment in hand and made an informed decision. Nothing about the site was in any way a surprise.

Now, what the city hoped to do with the cite in terms of development (a gorcery) may not have worked out, but that is the city's fault, not the Giffords.

By the way, I do not claim Giffords knew nothing about the arrangement. Her office and her father's were right next to each other, and I am sure they discussed it.

I do claim she wasn't actively involved in the negotiations, that those were left entirely in her father's hands.

11/03/2006 9:22 AM  

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