Sunday, February 15, 2009

Iron in the Air

Tucson, Arizona. Can you smell it? It has a sweet, metallic aroma. When strong, one can actually taste blood in the mouth. A few years ago I ran a small non-profit that everyone (except customers) wanted to destroy. They created the pinata just to beat it to smithereens. The machetes never stopped. I note this only to support my sense of smell for carnage. I smell it now. There is iron in the air.

There’s the vitriolic comments unleashed by Rob O’Dell’s piece at the Star as well as concerns raised by a Carli Brosseau Citizen article, but readers interested in a taste of the front lines are highly encouraged to visit this video and depending on how much twinkie you want, fast forward to about the 25th minute (sooner if you want more, later if you want less) but before minute 30 where it gets going. Watch and then consider the likelihood of Senators Gould, Leff, or Waring supporting Rio Nuevo. Leff used the word “betrayal” on several occasions. Watch for yourself, but no big deal, they’re just the finance committee of the Arizona Senate.

What do I mean by supporting TIF? It’s already passed, right? The legislature passed TIF extension, HB2702 in 2006 (the actual legislation), and if you look at page two line 20 you see the following: UNTIL JULY 1, 2025.

We now see the power of just a few digits. Let’s skip the intricacies of House vs. Senate, and consider the simple amendment to replace 2025 with 2009.

Just like that.

If you watch the video, it isn’t hard to gauge Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jim Waring’s views on Rio Neuvo’s spending $40K to promote a parade. By the way, I can recognize serious cerebral horsepower, and Jim Waring is packing big time.

Suppose said amendment is put forward. Below is the Arizona Senate. I’ll leave the counting to the reader. You need sixteen to defeat it. What Shelko failed to grasp that you should know is that the folks below have recently undergone the gut wrenching exercise of cutting medical aid to the sick, school teachers from already strained K-12 districts, universities to where departments are closing, and child protective services to where brutalized kids will have to wait longer for help. There’s blood all over the floor up there, and 2010 looks worse than 2009.

Start with Paula (District 28) or Linda (District 29) to boost your confidence, but consider yourself warned. The math is not pretty. Seriously, you got 16? Please, post your names.

1. Steve Pierce (R)
2. Albert Hale (D)
3. Ron Gould (R)
4. Jack W. Harper (R)
5. Sylvia Allen (R)
6. Pamela Gorman (R)
7. Jim Waring (R)
8. Carolyn Allen (R)
9. Robert Burns (R)
10. Linda Gray (R)
11. Barbara Leff (R)
12. John Nelson (R)
13. Richard Miranda (D)
14. Debbie McCune Davies (D)
15. Ken Cheuvront (D)
16. Leah Landrum Taylor (D)
17. Meg Burton Cahill (D)
18. Russell Pearce (R)
19. Chuck Gray (R)
20. John Huppenthal (R)
21. Jay Tibshraeny (R)
22. Thayor Verschoor (R)
23. Rebecca Rios (D)
24. Amanda Aguirre (D)
25. Manuel Alvarez (D)
26. Al Melvin (R)
27. Jorge Luis Garcia (D)
28. Paula Aboud (D)
29. Linda Lopez (D)
30. Jonathon Paton (R)


Anonymous Robish said...

Way to go, x4mr! I emailed the Senate Finance Committee chairman asking for the meeting transcript, but you got the whole snarky thing.

I have a feeling this link may make its way to other local blogs. Just a hunch.

2/15/2009 11:38 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Greg Shelko was asked by Chairman Waring if the projects that the City of Tucson put on its list of requests for funding in the federal stimulus bill were "ready to go". Shelko replied that they were, in fact, "ready to go".

Shelko listed the Santa Cruz River Bridge, which is ready to go, more or less, and a 1,000-space parking garage to serve the convention center and hotel. To say that project is ready to go is a bald-faced lie. The City still hasn't completed its $17 million acquisition of Alan Norville's land, which sits in the middle of the area where the 1,000-space garage would be built.

2/16/2009 12:08 AM  
Anonymous Robish said...

There are some cretins on that committee, for sure, but you have to be ready for predictable questions and concerns, if you are Greg Shelko facing the Finance Committee.

The vice-chair of the committee, Barbara Leff, was the author of an amendment to the extension bill in 2006 that prohibited the use of the TIF for construction of a new City Hall or Fire Dept. Headquarters.

So why would you include the City-County Court complex, not even close to being built in downtown Tucson, on your list of Rio Nuevo projects, and tempt Senator Leff to ask you if you spent TIF on a courthouse?

Dumb, de dumb, dumb.

2/16/2009 12:38 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your post is actually saying quite a lot. Frankly, it's nauseating.

I suppose nausea is a valid reaction. When you see real violence it's not like the movies.

It makes you sick.

There is real suffering behind your post. I don't mean the stupid buildings that won't get built, but there is real loss here.

I am sick and angry. Those #$@$% bastards (the cloth). I hope they rot for pilfering $60M+ that COULD HAVE helped Tucson. They are scum.

2/16/2009 10:21 AM  
Anonymous Observer said...

What we passed is not what happened.
Senator Leff

You spent $9 million dollars and didn't build anything.
Senator Waring

I don't know if you are right that this will come to a vote, but if it does, there is no way in hell TIF defenders can count to 16.

I don't think they can get to five.

2/16/2009 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Definitely an interesting array of viewpoints and perspectives on that committee.

When you are making a presentation to save your job, as Shelko was (make no mistake, that's what he was doing), you'd think you'd familiarize yourself with your audience and what makes them tick.

You might never make any headway with Senator Russell Pearce, but Senators Leff and Waring had reasonable expectations that could have been ascertained in advance.

Then there was the senator who talked about what George Cunningham had described to the Legislature in 1999, and how different this is from that. Few people remember that Rio Nuevo was sold as something like San Antonio's Riverwalk, that they planned to put water in that stretch of the Santa Cruz and make it something of an oasis. That idea got dropped like a hot potato.

2/16/2009 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Remember, they only got 17 votes for the TIF extension in 2006. And that was when the future looked a lot brighter.

None of the Republicans that voted for the extension in the Senate are IN the Senate anymore.

Looks like the City's best hope is to have the State leave enough of the TIF alone to let the City pay the debt service on the December bonds, and just take what is generated over and above that.

Otherwise the General Fund will be on the hook, and the City will indeed be using money that could be spent on fixing potholes and hiring cops to fund Rio Nuevo. As many citizens have long feared.

2/16/2009 11:31 AM  
Anonymous Ralph said...

X4mr once again has no idea what he is talking about. Frankly I think it is embarrassing the way this loser with a grudge has to trash the efforts of others.


Rio Nuevo will move forward, as will TREO, DTP, MTCVB, TCC, SALC, the Chamber, and the other successful people contributing to this town. They have real jobs, and you have a stupid blog.

You're the twinkie.

2/16/2009 12:18 PM  
Blogger Liza said...

Well, Ralph above just goes to show that no matter how f**king incomptent and arrogant you are, no matter how many tax dollars you squander and pour down rat holes, and no matter that you have little or nothing to show after years of blowing smoke, YOU MIGHT STILL HAVE SOME REAL SUPPORT OUT THERE.

Ralph, you must suck your income out of Rio Nuevo or TREO, or you are closely related to someone who does, or you are one stupid mother f**ker.

There's no fourth possibility.

2/16/2009 1:22 PM  
Anonymous Anon 2 said...

I totally agree with Liza.
Ralph is part of the Cloth, no question.
Go back into your rat hole, Ralfie.

2/16/2009 1:38 PM  
Anonymous David said...

Want to see a twinkie do gymnastics?

Watch Ralph try to count to sixteen.

Update the resume, Ralph. Your cloth gig is going bye-bye. When Walmart hires you as a greeter, TREO will take credit for creating the job.

What's that I smell? It's not the iron. Oh, yes, the stench of cloth burning. I say torch the whole acronym charade.

2/16/2009 1:55 PM  
Anonymous Scarlett Letter said...

Robish, love the synergy between this blog and Tucson Choices.
The Cloth has to know it is being watched, observed, dissected.
Tick, tock.

2/16/2009 2:00 PM  
Anonymous Cindy said...

Can you smell it? It has a sweet, metallic aroma. When strong, one can actually taste blood in the mouth.

The mixture of metal and sweetness is the vampire lure that makes teenage girls squeal with delight. Great image. The screaming scarcity of the impending reality should have Tucson cloth terrified. Their worthlessness is so blatant.

The minds and keyboards around this place are sharp and see a lot. Ralph should surf other turf. Inside the frame of this blog, he occurs as what gets spawned when scum has relations with a hog's ass.

2/16/2009 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Robish said...

Making teenage girls squeal with delight is the object of your blog, isn't it, x4mr?

2/16/2009 9:10 PM  
Blogger The Navigator said...

I think Cindy may be a kindred spirit, loving the language of this place, but clearly with some language of her own.

I'm not the political insider. I just react to what gets posted. I took the time to watch some of the video of the meeting in Phoenix, and it was painful. I am embarrassed for Tucson. Rio Nuevo is obviously, and I mean ridiculously obviously, a sham. They rigged a scheme and clearly from the video Phoenix is not fooled. Waring, Leff, and Gould know exactly what's going on.

I do see a scenario that preserves the TIF funding: pure self-immolating groveling. The cloth just throw themselves prostrate on the floor and wail that if the TIF faucet is shut off, Tucson will implode into a retirement community catering to rich old people, moaning that this will hurt the state.

If you're not serving retirees, you're answering phones.

I hope Phoenix holds its ground and tells Tucson to fire the greedy self-serving slime (Snell, Shelko, Lyons, ...) and get people who authentically care about this community.

2/16/2009 9:28 PM  
Blogger Policon said...

The video shows just what a liar's court Tucson tired making of the senate hearing. Even Dixon, a normally truthfull guy, repeatedly stated "there isn't a single Rio Nuevo dollar in my project." That is anything but the truth, as the committee discovered by asking him who built the streets, who cleaned up the garbage dump, who's building the Santa Cruz bridge, who's carrying the land until he takes the deed, etc.

Shelko's decision to pretend he didn't know how much money was wasted on the Rainbow Bridge (just the wasted payments to architect Rafael Vinole exceeded $6,000,000) backfired on him. Apparently he thought he could talk down to the committee the same we he and Mike Hein do to Tucson's city council.

2/17/2009 6:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Where can we find email addresses for each member of the Arizona Senate?

2/19/2009 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Another Anon said...

They are all here.

2/19/2009 8:33 PM  

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