ARIZONA, HOME OF THE OK QUARREL

HEY, WE'RE THE GRAND CANYON STATE. WE LIKE BIG SCHISMS.

@body:Feuding parties: Dennis DeConcini versus Dick Mahoney. Nature of feud: Political. DeConcini, an unelectable U.S. senator up for reelection next year, was enraged when Mahoney, Arizona's current secretary of state, began to make noises about running last year.

Recent history of hostilities: Mahoney's sister, Mary, has worked in DeConcini's Washington, D.C., office for more than a decade, and Dick's dad, William, was one of DeConcini's most influential supporters when he first ran for the Senate in 1976. But when DeConcini recently announced that he was getting out of the race, he peppered his press conference with stabs at Mahoney.

Status of feud: Jon Kyl, the Republican candidate in the race, can count on at least one Democratic vote.

Them's fightin' words: "I did not call Dick Mahoney," said the Aerostatic One after announcing his retirement from the Senate. "Do you think I'm crazy?"

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: Dennis DeConcini versus John McCain.
Nature of feud: Political. Arizona's senators, united only by their onetime supplication to Charles Keating, have been going at it for years.

Recent history of hostilities: This summer, the boys tangled over a proposed $190 million federal courthouse for Phoenix (McCain tried to block the DeConcini pet project, calling it an example of Congress' "out-of-control spending practices"). They've also tangled over the need for a regional airport, and, less recently, during the Senate Ethics Committee hearings on their respective Keating intimacies.

Status of feud: DeConcini still has 15 months to depants his foe. Them's fightin' words: During a Senate floor debate over the courthouse, a C-SPAN microphone reportedly overheard DeConcini say, "How would you like to have a colleague like that from your state?"

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: Arizona State University versus the University of Arizona.

Nature of feud: Political. When the territorial pork was first handed out a century ago, Tucson got the land-grant university, Phoenix got the state mental hospital. Decades later, the Tempe school had to take a name change--from Arizona State College to Arizona State University--to a statewide referendum vote, because the UofA patsies in the state legislature and on the Arizona Board of Regents wouldn't get off the pot.

Recent history of hostilities: UofA has had a medical school since 1961. Phoenix is the largest metropolitan area in the nation without one. Recently, doctors from the Maricopa County Medical Center floated the possibility of forming a partnership with ASU to train minority primary-care doctors. Down at UofA, where most of the med-school graduates are ritzy disease specialists, administrators immediately dumped on the idea, concluding that their current statewide monopoly on grant funding was worth preserving. Status of feud: UofA's reputation continues to be somewhat academic-oriented, with well-regarded departments of space, social and behavioral sciences and, of course, basketball. ASU's reputation remains strong in the antisocial and misbehavioral sciences, witnessed by the landlord-tenant dispute between the school and its Theta Delta Chi fraternity (settled when the boys trashed their digs; though the university placed estimates of the damage at a sky-high $300,000, no criminal charges have been leveled at any of the fraternity men) and its domination of this fall's Women of the Pac-10 pictorial in Playboy.

Them's fightin' words: "The goals are admirable," sniffed Dr. James Dalan, dean of the UofA's College of Medicine, at the thought of training doctors anywhere but Tucson. "I just don't see that the answer is a new medical school." @rule:

@body:Feuding parties: Tempe versus Phoenix. Nature of feud: Aesthetic. Airplanes from Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport almost always land and take off over Tempe. Recent history of hostilities: Tempe has spent $1.6 million in legal fees fighting the noise, and continues to block discussion of a proposed third runway for the airport, touting instead the development of a totally new regional airport on someone else's border. Status of feud: Tempe wants half of the takeoffs every day to go in the other direction. But takeoff direction is dictated by wind direction, something that isn't covered in Robert's Rules of Order. Them's fightin' words: "Roger, Southwest Three Two Niner, you're cleared for takeoff!"

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: America West Airlines versus Southwest Airlines.
Nature of feud: Commercial. AW headquarters here and employs some 7,000 locals, give or take a few thousand or so laid-off workers. SW is based in Texas but hubs here, employing some 3,000 residents and making roughly that many landings and takeoffs every day.

Recent history of hostilities: Over the past few years, AW has cut wages of all employees it didn't lay off, decreased its plane-fleet size from 115 to 85, eliminated 15 cities from its route system and conducted fire-sale ticket deals while continuously skirting going belly-up. Meanwhile, SW has been one of the country's very few profitable airlines.

Status of feud: Last spring Herb Kelleher, SW chair, served on a 15-member advisory panel called the National Commission to Ensure a Strong Competitive Airline Industry. Among the panel's recommendations was to limit the ability of certain bankrupt carriers--no names, please--to set prices for the whole industry. Them's fightin' words: "Peanuts?"

@rule:
@body:Feuding parties: America West Arena versus Veterans' Memorial Coliseum. Nature of feud: Structural. Recent history of hostilities: After moving his Suns from the dumpy old Coliseum (on the dumpy old State Fairgrounds) to the shiny, new downtown arena, team overlord Jerry Colangelo tried to get the independently owned Roadrunners, a minor-league hockey franchise, to move, too. Then he tried to buy the team, which would have robbed the state-run Coliseum of its final full-time sports tenant.

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