By Amy Silverman
By Olivia LaVecchia
By Monica Alonzo and Stephen Lemons
By Chris Parker
By Michael Lacey
By Weston Phippen
This slick operator who sold himself to the voters as a sound businessman is finally unmasked as a complete failure and a fraud.
@body:But it is Symington's handling of the Native American gaming issue that has sealed his fate with the voters.
He rushed headlong into the issue without looking first, and he will be decapitated by it.
Knowledgeable observers recall that it was a similar gaffe by then-governor Howard Pyle that brought about Pyle's demise.
The Mormons never forgave Pyle, and he was defeated in the next election.
Symington not only injected himself in the Native American issue, but he then made the fatal mistake of picking Burton Barr as his negotiator.
Symington didn't realize that Barr is well-known by the Native Americans as a slippery pol who has carried water for the dog-racing tracks in this state for decades.
Barr, they realize, can't be trusted. Those who didn't know about his connection to the dog tracks will remember how he sold everyone out on the Indian School land swap.
While supposedly working in the best interests of the City of Phoenix, Barr suddenly turned up as the ally of the Florida corporation seeking to wrest the property away from the Native Americans.
To make the whole thing even more incongruous, Barr is the man who served as Terry Goddard's closest adviser in the Goddard-Symington gubernatorial campaign.
@body:You could make a highlight film of Symington's appearances during which he has announced victory in the face of certain defeat.
There was the day he shouted defiance at the government because the Resolution Trust Corporation was suing him for his role in the Esplanade project.
All Symington had done was engage in "blatant self-dealing" while he got away with millions of dollars from Southwest Savings and Loan.
He spoke for more than an hour, slipping and sliding his way through a question-and-answer period.
First, he claimed the Esplanade was worth "several hundred million dollars."
But he had earlier fought an assessment saying it was worth $78 million, and was unable to explain why it is valued on the books by the Maricopa County Assessor's Office at $48.9 million.
Finally, he announced he was going to devote the rest of his life to fighting the RTC. "Some people play golf for recreation," Symington said. "I'm going to recreate myself by going after the RTC."
The last thing we heard was that Symington's lawyers were in federal court trying to slip their way out of the suit on a technical point.
This is a governor who has been forced to circle his wagons so tightly that it is impossible for him to govern.
The only thing he has time to do is to slip through the fire lines every once in a while for a rendezvous with Annette.