The Tony and John Show

Ten years of greasing the wheels for a real estate big shot make Tony West a spooky choice for voters

That explains why Tony West's campaign finance reports read like a Who's Who of Arizona Developers--Del Webb, Troon North, the Pivotal Group, Value Properties. Thumbing through those reports, I counted at least $28,000 coming from eight developers--a hefty contribution to West's total campaign chest of about $121,000.

Don't forget, Stiteler is West's campaign finance director.
Tony West has said that if he is elected to the Corporation Commission, Stiteler will not exert any undue influence.

After looking at his 10-year track record of intervening for Stiteler, what do you think?

Tony West attended his friend George Leckie's memorial service last week at Saint Barnabas on the Desert Episcopal Church in Paradise Valley. John Stiteler was one of five men who eulogized Leckie.

A failed businessman, Leckie had found a government job as Fife Symington's chief of staff, but was forced to resign from state government in disgrace. After Leckie and Symington's accountant were implicated in a state bid-rigging scandal, the state made Leckie pay a $25,000 fine and sign papers promising not to meddle in state government for three and a half years. Leckie was acquitted on bid-rigging charges at the federal level after his accomplice had died and could not testify against him.

And then Leckie died. About 150 people attended last week's memorial service. Charlie Keating and convicted felon J. Fife Symington III, lobbyists, Christian Coalition politicians and real estate speculators were there with West, and a few of the decent folks who had served with Leckie on the Phoenix Country Day School board or knew him from other associations. Symington talked about what a great public servant Leckie had been for the state; his wife Ann read from the Bible.

Then John Stiteler, gray-haired, tan, fit and looking very much like a television weatherman, stepped up to deliver his eulogy. He talked about Leckie's love of gambling and joked about how Leckie's concept of heaven on earth would be Arizona "without reporters."

Tony West stared at his ex-boss during the eulogy.
The duo, viewed in that context, made it clear to me that Tony West shouldn't be elected to the Corporation Commission.

But don't worry about West; he can get a job in the private sector.
After all, he's got a lot of friends.

Contact Terry Greene Sterling at 229-8437, or online at tgreene@newtimes.com

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