Southern Arizona Machinations & Prognostications

Interesting predictions coming from our kindred-blogger in Southern Arizona, James Kelly at The Cholla Jumps. Here’s Jim’s latest post:

The weekend has heated up with rumors flying all over the place…. 

Political alliances are being formed and many being broken, The Tea Party and The Occupy Wall Street folks are actually agreeing on certain points.. 

The largest previous benefactor of the Pima GOP has taken back the reins of the party telling a moneyed audience ” I’ll take care of the party, you take care of the candidates..” 

The Pima Democratic Party begins to move away from the Progressive Socicalists, will Raul Grijalva and his machine survive the political purge? Will that political survivalist Chuck Huckleberry swing right? 

Ruth McClung comes roaring back, Clear Channel Communications will help redefine her as a centrist as she mulls support of Gabby Giffords/ Mark Kelly campaign. 

Is Sharon Bronson done, will Gabby Saucedo Mercer get a come to Jesus moment to run against her? 

Redistricting for the Congressional Districts are going to go to court, a federal judge will draw the lines for the 2012 races. But what about the Legislative Districts? Those will most likely stand. Who is in, who is out? Look for old LD 26 and 28 to be battlegrounds. 27 and 29 will continue to be safe for the Democrats. The old 30 will look similar to its present state with a few more Eastside Republicans packed in. 

The Dems and the GOPers are identifying their sacrificial races as I write. 

Jonathan Rothschild is out, Rick Grinell is in. Shirley Scott is looking to see what she wins from the machine after she loses her race. SunTran anyone? RTA Commissioner? The verdict is still out on Cunningham/Rawson match-up, as of today Rawson has the edge but Cunningham still has the family connections to give him something after his loss. Commissioner of Soccer/Sports Authority job? 

Rio Nuevo news is interesting. As the State takes back control of the TIF, look for a business consortium to buy the lease ( at a discount) from the City of Tucson for the Giffords Family Trust property at 22nd and I-10. Do’t want that thorny issue of taxpayer money funding a Gabby Giffords/ Mark Kelly campaign again.


In the immediate aftermath of Saturday’s tragic shooting at the Tucson shopping center, the one person that citizens would expect to focus on a quick response to the violence, conduct a thorough investigation, and focus on finding the culprit is none other than Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik.  Certainly, this occurred within his jurisdiction, therefore his office is the primary law enforcement agency to deal with this crisis.

 Jared Loughner’s actions, the taking six lives including Federal Judge Roll, critically wounding Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was diabolically evil; and our hearts and prayers go out for the survivors and family members of the slain. Most people on both sides of the aisle forget political alliances, and are coming together in Tucson and across Arizona in support of the families.  We stand united against propagators of hate, such as the Westboro Baptist Church. In fact people from all over the state, many from the Tea Party movement are gathering together to protect the funerals from Fred Phelps’ lunatic fringe, with no political speech or sloganeering.  The Arizona Legislature unanimously passed and Governor Brewer signed a bill in record time to create ‘funeral zones’ to protect the families from additional grief. These are the actions of citizens who care about their friends who have suffered from the actions of that Saturday morning.

So HOW does this sheriff respond to this crisis?  The Democratic Pima Sheriff makes public statements, immediately after the shooting, attacking Rush Limbaugh, and right wing talk radio!  He blames the ‘political discourse’ for inciting this despicable violence!  He doesn’t stop there; appearing on Fox News to continue his claim that the shooter was ‘inspired’ by the conservative talkers, the Tea Party movement and Republicans in general.  Finally he admits there is not ONE shred of evidence to support his claims.  How is that for the chief law enforcement officer in Pima County and one of the few Democratic Sheriffs in the state? 

However, as the facts and details surrounding Loughner become public, a starkly different picture emerges.  Almost immediately we hear from those who knew him well or attended class with him, describe a very troubled, anti-social high-school dropout that couldn’t hold a job, complete his college courses and caused others to feel very uncomfortable and even fear for their safety.  THEN we find out that Loughner was a registered Democrat, and listed Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto among his favorite books!  Now I’ve read the Manifesto, I know it well; however I wouldn’t ever call it one of my favorite books!  Further, even his friends describe him as a “pot-smoking leftist”.  Is this someone you would believe to be an avid listener of Rush Limbaugh or a Tea Party radical?  No, none of this makes sense, if we are to believe Sheriff Dupnik’s rantings on the very afternoon of the attack and later on Fox News. 

Yet, more facts emerge that the Dupnik would rather keep hidden from public scrutiny. Loughner has had several brushes with Dupnik’s department over the years, including vandalism charges where he paid a $500 fine and complete some diversion program to wipe the conviction off his record.  It’s been reported that he has also make numerous threats to various public figures.  More than once have these death threats been made, including against Congresswoman Giffords.  One asks, why wasn’t he questioned, or even detained?  Why wasn’t Loughner adequately dealt with?  Instead as Jim Kelly in his blog “The Cholla Jumps” wrote regarding Dupnik that, “…his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system”.  It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County.”  The killer’s mother, Amy Loughner works in the Parks and Recreation Dept. and since 2002 the Director of a County park. 

Oh!  Now it becomes a little clearer. A fellow employee of the county has a troubled son, and he gets ‘special treatment’!  Would anyone else been given ‘kid glove’ treatment?  Clearly not.  I don’t question a mother intervening on behalf of her son, but the Sheriff has the duty to recognize the threat and deal with it appropriately.  Dupnik completely failed in his duty as the Sheriff.  The result is six precious lives needlessly snuffed out, and tremendous suffering of Congresswoman Giffords and others whose lives are forever altered. 

Then Sheriff Dupnik compounds his failures by deliberately and in a despicably cynical display of partisan deceit, attempts to divert attention from those failures by attacking conservatives both in the media and the public. He does this to cover up for those failures, knowing full well his compatriots who care nothing about the truth will pick up the cue and echo his dishonest statements; knowing full well he is lying to the public.  I expect nothing less from propagandists and provocateurs like Paul Krugman and Bernie Sanders; no one expects intelligent and responsible analysis from them. However, from the Sheriff of Pima County, Dupnik, sworn to uphold the law and protect the public he serves, we expect and deserve more.  He miserably failed all Pima County citizens, especially these victims, as well as his oath of office. For that he will be remembered long after memories of these events grow dim.