Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: Wife took job on East Coast. Dumbest question from former colleague: "I always worked on the premise that there is no dumb question, so I hear no dumb questions." Call-return: We got right through. Flack: Dave Howell.

Place of flackery: Bank of America.
Official euphemism for "flack": Vice President, Corporate Communications.
Flack's boss: BofA director of marketing Robert Lutz.
Time in: Eight months.

Job description: Is the voice talent who records the "beep, beep, beep" noises heard at BofA's ATMs.

Average media calls per day: "It averages about 15 a week." Preflack job: Vice president, news, KTSP, Channel 10, in Phoenix. Flack salary: High five figures. Preflack salary: High five figures.

Memorable spin job: Toasters: good.
Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: Approaching the 20-year mark in TV news and starting to experience the "been-there, done-that" feeling, realized he had never rolled around in millions in bills in a bank vault.

Dumbest question from former colleague: We forgot to ask. Call-return: Approximately five hours. Flack: Jack Lavelle.

Place of flackery: Arizona State House of Representatives. Official euphemism for "flack": Flack of the House. Flack's boss: You and me, pal. Time in: A couple of years. Job description: No one seems to know.

Average media calls per day: Probably none.
Preflack job: Legislative reporter, Phoenix Gazette.
Flack salary: Upward of 50K.
Preflack salary: Upward of 50K.
Memorable spin job: Joe Lane.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: Didn't have much of a choice.

Dumbest question from former colleague: "Busy?"
Call-return: He never called back.

Flack: Frank Lopez.
Place of flackery: Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System. Official euphemism for "flack": Director of Public Information. Flack's boss: AHCCCS deputy director Linda Redman.

Time in: Since June 1988.
Preflack job(s): City editor and investigative-team leader at Arizona Republic. Also an editor for the Mesa Tribune. Also some private-sector flacking.

Job description: Gives out free aspirin to anyone who calls.
Average media calls per day: No average day.
Flack salary: $46,000.

Preflack salary: Probably $50,000-plus as city editor. Memorable spin job: Most doctors now learning English.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "There were a number of reasons."

Call-return: One hour, 28 minutes. (Mitigating factor: We called during lunch.) Flack: Rick Martinez.

Place of flackery: City of Phoenix Aviation Department. He works at the airport.

Official euphemism for "flack": Public Information Officer. Flack's boss: Neilson Bertholf, Phoenix Director of Aviation.

Time in: 11 years. Job description: Measures daily rainfall accumulation while maintaining stable of white paging phones.

Average media calls per day: Depends on the day.
Preflack job: Sportswriter, Arizona Republic.
Flack salary: $50,000. Preflack salary: "Less than that." At the time of Martinez's employment, a Republic sportswriter of his experience could expect to make about $30,000. Memorable spin job: Regional airport: bad.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "One of the reasons I got out of it was, I was basically writing the same stuff all the time, with different names. . . . I couldn't get out of the formula." Call-return: 20 hours, seven seconds. (Mitigating circumstance for delay: We called during the big Sky Harbor blackout two weeks ago.) Flack: Doug Nick (formerly Doug St. James).

Place of flackery: U.S. House of Representatives. Official euphemism for "flack": Press Secretary.

Flack's boss: U.S. Representative Jim Kolbe.
Time in: Two months.
Job description: Tucson-based, he manages reversible lanes on Speedway. Average media calls per day: "Maybe a dozen."

Preflack job: Reporter, KFYI-FM in Phoenix.
Flack salary: In the 30s. Preflack salary: In the 20s.
Memorable spin job: Keeping Jim from being confused with John.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "I read somewhere the other day that there were 4,000 jobs lost in radio in the last few years. I'm 31, and I wanted to find myself in a better position when I'm 40. I know plenty of guys in their 50s and 60s who are working for $5 an hour, 20 hours a week."

Dumbest question from former colleague: Nothing yet.
Call-return: 65 hours, 3 minutes. (We called on a Friday afternoon, while Doug was en route back to Arizona from NAFTA-shredded Washington, D.C. We didn't reach Doug until Monday morning.)

Flack: Maura (formerly M.A.) Saavedra.
Place of flackery: U.S. House of Representatives. Official euphemism for "flack": Press Secretary.

Flack's boss: U.S. Representative Ed Pastor.
Time in: About nine months.
Job description: Snaps towels at Ed's monthly deficit-reduction car wash out back of the Lincoln Memorial. Average media calls per day: "On a slow day, two to three. During NAFTA, 30 or 40."

Preflack job: Reporter, Arizona Republic.
Flack salary: "I'd rather not comment on that." Preflack salary: Probably in the 40s. Memorable spin job: Ed sees the light: NAFTA.

Forsook noble pursuit of truth for flackdom because: "My reason wasn't money." Call-return: We got right through.

Flack: Bruce Sankey.
Place of flackery: Arizona Department of Economic Security.
Official euphemism for "flack": Director of Communications.
Flack's boss: DES director Linda Blessing.

Time in: At DES since January 1993; at the Department of Commerce in same capacity for 15 months before that.

Job description: Makes sure people don't use food stamps to buy tires at Park n' Swap. Average media calls per day: Two or three a day during slow times, but about 15 to 25 a day during recent flurry of child-abuse cases. Says he works 12 hours a day, six days a week (sometimes seven days, splitting 12 hours between Saturdays and Sundays). And he took a pay cut for this.

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