The Bird Praises and Aerosol Art While Urging State Democrats to Grow a Pair


Whenever this canary contemplates the difference between state Republicans and Democrats, he harks back to a famous episode from the original Star Trek series, entitled Mirror, Mirror. In it, Captain James T. Kirk and others are inadvertently transported to a mirror universe, where the egalitarian U.S.S. Enterprise is replaced with an alternate reality where torture is routine, cruelty is the order of the day, and shipmates advance in rank by assassinating their immediate superiors.

Hey, whatever system works, right? It shouldn't take you too much mental effort to conclude that The Bird means to compare the Arizona GOP to the Bizarro-world Enterprise described above. For state Republicans, winning is everything, and if you don't do it, you might as well whip out the samurai sword and perform seppuku on yourself. Either that, or execute an underling.

The latest example of this is the announcement by the state GOP that Executive Director Sean McCaffrey will be walking the plank by the end of January. "State GOP Executive Director Celebrates Victories, to Depart for New Opportunities," announces the press release, which ticks off the state GOP's modest gains in the state Legislature, and then says McCaffrey will be moving on, perhaps to "set up his own communications or lobbying firm."

In a confab with The Bird, McCaffrey claimed he was leaving of his own accord and on excellent terms with GOP Chairman Randy Pullen. But GOP insiders inform this eagle that Pullen's throwing McCaffrey to the wolves to save his own hide. GOPers are pissed about their losses on the Arizona Corporation Commission, where Dems picked up two seats, and about Democratic wins giving the Donkey Kongs a majority of the state's U.S. House delegation.

Then there was Pullen's blunder in taking $105,000 from the mysterious Sheriff's Command Association, money used, in part, to fund slimy ads against Sheriff Joe Arpaio-foe Dan Saban. The eff-up needlessly exposed the state Republican Party to scandal, say GOP honchos, and pointed out how lackluster Pullen's fundraising efforts have been, since Pullen was forced to return the dolo to SCA point-man and MCSO Captain Joel Fox.

(As this tweeter's column goes to press, the Capitol Times is reporting that Fox has been ordered by the Maricopa County Attorney's Office to pay more than $300,000 for violating state campaign laws.)

"Sean is the sacrificial lamb," one GOP player told The Bird on condition of anonymity. "Sean gives Pullen someone to blame for all his mistakes. Pullen is able to pass the buck, so to speak."

This, despite the fact that you could make the argument that in a year of Barack Obama-led change, the state GOP bucked the national trend, fending off a major Democratic challenge locally with fewer resources than the Dems, who had a bank-busting, million dollar-plus war chest.

Pre-election, the Arizona Democratic Party insisted it'd take the Legislature with its bloated bank account and massive voter-registration drive. But the Dems lost seats in the Legislature. And with Governor Janet Napolitano ditching the state to become Homeland Security Secretary, and Republican Secretary of State Jan Brewer ready to take over, the GOP has a lock on state government for a while.

Still, many Republicans seem queasy with Pullen at the helm as they sally forth toward 2010, a gubernatorial election year.

"It'll be a year when we don't get much help from the national party," The Bird's Republican source noted. "And it really falls on AZ to raise its own nut. Pullen has clearly shown he does not have the ability to do that."

Hence, Pullen's need to find a fall guy before the party's reorganization meeting by the end of January.

Democratic Party Chair Don Bivens is also up for reelection at the Dems' January 24 reorganization meeting. His situation should be far worse than Pullen's, as the local Dems lost in the Legislature, and are currently staring down the black hole of a Brewer administration.

But is Bivens looking to whack his underling, Executive Director Maria Weeg, over the way Weeg executed the Dems' statewide coordinated campaign? Apparently not. Democratic Party squealers peeped to this parakeet about a recent incident where Weeg bragged behind closed doors to her fellow Dems that she thought the state party did swell in the recent campaign, dismal results aside.

This is the same tune Weeg was singing at the Dems' recent November meeting in Tucson, where Representative Steve Farley, policy leader of the state House Democratic caucus, encouraged the assembled to face the reality that "The hard right's in charge, folks."

At that powwow, Bivens did briefly mention the possibility that state Dems should maybe look at a change in strategy. But Weeg's shuck and jive was all sweetness and light, although she was the party staffer ultimately responsible for the state party's losses. In turn, Weeg answers to Bivens, who is elected by the party faithful.

"I just felt that there was far too much smiling," said Democratic activist Ted Prezelski of Weeg and Bivens' speeches at the Tucson event. Prezelski, who publishes the influential Democratic blog Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, said what was lacking was a straightforward analysis of how the state Democrats' 2008 debacle occurred.

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To all the opponents of the speed cameras.

How many times have I heard "If only you traffic cops were out there catching bank robbers and such."

Now they can. So shut the hell up.

dave too
dave too

dec 18th 4pm protest these cameras!!!! come on out, we're doing it for you too.

david cook
david cook

Notice I am NOT david baker. he's a real a hole.!

anyways Thurs at 4pm 12/18 1600 S Longmore Mesa at us 60 come out and protest these stupied Nappy cameras!!1 bring a sign or use one of ours bring the whole family and relatives it will be fun only an hour during rush hour, !! next thin you know the cameras will be taking pictures of our license plates , if the word ARIZONA covered its between 100- and 200$ get that in the mail !! then youll wish youd join us. Public protest be there, ti will be great.!!

Amanda O'Kieffe
Amanda O'Kieffe

Graffiti is nothing more than self expression and these artists are a prime example. We, as a city, need to promote and encourage this type of artwork in Arizona just as we've done with First Fridays.

Mike Amaya
Mike Amaya

I think its about time that Graf artists in AZ get more recognitioon for their work. Seems like any time a citizen hears the word "Graffiti" they think vandalism. That isnt the case. This art form has been recently exploited by major corporations since the 80's, such as McDonalds,CokaCola,and Nike ect.ect. Look at your Verizon telephone. They have wall paper by Keith Harring, hes a graffiti artist or atleast once was. Take a look at the clothes your kids are wearing or look at the shows on Cartoon Network they've all been touched by Graffiti artists! Keep up the good work and continue to give Graffiti art a voice in AZ.





What should be distrubing to you is the the Politicians and Racist get away with...Which one are you ?

David Baker
David Baker

Is this Bird twit a supporter of complete lawlessness?!!! He's in favor of graffiti and taking a pickaxe to speed cameras. And I'm guessing he's for legalized pot, prostitution and porno. What a creep. And I see from his past columns he's even pro-illegal alien. Is nothing sacred to this scofflaw? That the New Times lets him get away with this is very disturbing.

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