At the time Gordon was re-elected, he didn't have any real opposition. His challenger was a guy who'd never held elected office and didn't raise one dime. The status quo was working nicely for all but the angriest gadflies.

That just isn't true anymore.

In the 12 months since Gordon was sworn in for his second term, everything in Phoenix has gone a little haywire. The police union has become publicly, and virulently, hostile toward Gordon and his police chief. The city did a 180 on its carefully drafted plan for illegal immigrants who commit crimes — and now asks drivers at routine traffic stops about their immigration status. Gordon came out against Sheriff Joe Arpaio. And the city's financial stability has been badly shaken, even as the Arizona Supreme Court struck down the massive $97 million subsidy Gordon and the council handed to a Chicago-based developer. This is not the time to assume we have consensus!

Mayor Phil's our guy — but really, does it have to be 'til 2014?
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Mayor Phil's our guy — but really, does it have to be 'til 2014?

I don't think the "consolidation plan" gurus necessarily have an awful idea. But I do think there are two keys to implementing this "plan," should we make any pretense to believing in democracy.

One, we should hold the election in 2011, as scheduled. The mayor and council members elected at that point could simply get an abbreviated two-year term, putting everybody on schedule for 2013. We elected Gordon, Baier, Nowakowski, Mattox, and Williams to four-year terms — no matter how bad the economy, that's all they should get.

Two, the question of whether this plan goes on the fall ballot should be in the hands of the city's voters, not the council itself. City Clerk Mario Paniagua tells me that charter amendments make it to the ballot by one of two ways: Backers must either gather signatures from roughly 15,000 registered voters or persuade the council to make a referral.

Jay Thorne tells me that backers of this plan are "going to start by getting signatures." That sounds to me as if they're going to make a nominal effort and then hope the council steps in to save them from what's sure to be an onerous task.

And that would be bullshit.

The majority of council members would be affected by the plan. They'd get two extra years without having to raise money, hold off challengers, and actually convince voters they're doing a good job. For a politician, that's like getting a new Beemer for Christmas.

And that's why it's essential that they not be allowed to give the gift to themselves. It's our vote and our democracy. If we want to forget about elections for a while, fine — but please, can that at least be our decision?

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7 comments
The Class West
The Class West

This response/opinion applies to both Sarah fenske's article and to the Bird Man Lemons's jail visit:

Despite our differences with "The Caustic Crane," Stephen Lemons,we thank him for alerting us to Barry Ostrager, New York shark lawyer who's involvedin the CityNorth scam engineered by Gordon, et. al. Let us know if Ostrager has somehow included Gordon in the lawsuit. Our gal Cocozza in NYC may make arrangements to meetpersonally with Big O.

Here's contact information (you probably have it) for Mr. Ostrager -see http://pview.findlaw.com/view/... . If this isn't the Ostrageryou wrote about, please clarify. Of course, we have tentatively nicknamed him "OSTRANGLER"in these cases.

Additional - please advise Sarah "Too Nice" Fenske that we are researching federal remedies to stopGordon from getting that extra two years. It appears that many municipal rules/regs are in violation offederal law. Possibly OSTRANGLER can apply a chokehold to Gordon/Phoenix on that one too.

It's over, Bird, especially when "The Class West" can call Joe Arpaio as a witness re: gross negligence of Phoenixin enforcing immigration laws. Of course, we have other claims to fall back on, unrelated to immigration.

Tally Ho, Beakster!

Sincerely,

/s/

The Class West, spokespersons for the plaintiffsin the pending class action against Phoenix.

Proposed class Plaintiffs against Phoenix:

JASON OKONELIZABETH OKONALBERT FERNANDEZRICK GALLEENERBILL STOLLERANONYMOUS, et. al.

The Class West
The Class West

Please pass this on to Sarah Fenske, who politely asked to be taken off our mailing list. Fine, Sarah, now you can join Ray "The Runt" Stern on our subpoena list.

In her current article about Gordon, Sarah "Too Nice" Fenske says,the "...Arizona Supreme Court struck down the massive $97 million subsidy Gordon and the council handed to a Chicago-based developer." Thanks, Sarah, even though you were way "Too Nice."

Well, we aren't "Too Nice" and will give this bit of information to New Yorkshark lawyer Barry "JAWS" Ostrager, hoping that the circling Great White decides to devour Gordon/Phoenixlike an appetizer in his lawsuit. Possibly the "Big O" from NYU will take The Class West's case, even thoughwe'll do fine on our own. Regardless, we'll give O some good "inside" on Phoenix and its shit mayor. Keep you posted.

The Class West, Ray and Ted Medina, TheClassWest@gmail.com

Online and On Time

The Class West
The Class West

In her current article about Gordon, Sarah "Too Nice" Fenske says,the "...Arizona Supreme Court struck down the massive $97 million subsidy Gordon and the council handed to a Chicago-based developer." Thanks, Sarah, even though you were way "Too Nice."

Well, we aren't "Too Nice" and will give this bit of information to New Yorkshark lawyer Barry "JAWS" Ostrager, hoping that the circling Great White decides to devour Gordon/Phoenixlike an appetizer in his lawsuit. Possibly the "Big O" from NYU will take The Class West's case, even thoughwe'll do fine on our own. Regardless, we'll give O some good "inside" on Phoenix and its shit mayor. Keep you posted.

The Class West, Ray and Ted Medina, TheClassWest@gmail.com

Online and On Time

TommyC1
TommyC1

This is just silly.

The reason for the staggered elections is plain as the nose on a Clydesdale. With staggered elections you normally don't stand much chance of losing all of your EXPERIENCED council and/or mayor in one election. Having been a council member at one time in another city, I can tell you that even with six months of attending meetings prior to election, I was not up to speed on the issues and was very ignorant of many of the processes needed to do the job. It took another six months for me to feel comfortable with the issues coming before council and having a good idea of what my vote needed to be for the good of the city and the people. During that time I leaned heavily on the experienced members of council to learn the nuances of the position.

There is no way on God's green earth that we should consider not having staggered election cycles.

I see this as a nothing more than a ruse for keeping Mr. Gordon in office until another, loftier position at state level becomes available. I don't think the people of the City of Phoenix deserve the responsibility of floating him for another two years past his LEGAL term limit.

I will gladly speak long and loudly in defiance of such a move.

Emil Pulsifer
Emil Pulsifer

Nice hatchet-job, Sarah.

"In the 12 months since Gordon was sworn in for his second term, everything in Phoenix has gone a little haywire. The police union has become publicly, and virulently, hostile toward Gordon and his police chief..."

Um, isn't this the same police union, PLEA, led by Mark Spencer, who went on the Valley's right-wing talk-radio airwaves to spread the hysterical and erroneous claim that the Mexican Army was invading Phoenix?

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com...

And isn't the "virulent hostility" merely Spencer's wacky anti-immigrant criticism of Mayor Gordon and the chief of his own police department, Jack Harris, for failing to be sufficiently gung-ho on the anti-Mexican immigrant front? Which leads us to the next item.

"The city did a 180 on its carefully drafted plan for illegal immigrants who commit crimes � and now asks drivers at routine traffic stops about their immigration status."

The Phoenix Police Department had always questioned felony suspects as to their naturalization status. The new policy caved in to pressure from PLEA, from rabid nativists threatening (hollowly, we now know) a recall of Mayor Gordon, and from a society of professional, right-wing, Washington, D.C. meddlers calling itself Judicial Watch, which had threatened to sue Phoenix unless rules governing the Phoenix Police Department were modified to permit greater targeting of illegal immigrants.

The new policy applies to misdemeanor suspects, but only those arrested, which does NOT include "random traffic stops". It does allow officers who suspect that someone not arrested for a crime is here illegally, to forward information to their supervisors about their suspicions.

I'm not sure how the first two items make your case, Sarah. If Gordon made PLEA angry by failing to persecute suspected illegal immigrants, then surely he mollified them by changing the PPD operations order.

Also, I'm not sure whether your description of PLEA as "the" Phoenix Police union is accurate. Aren't PPD members eligible for other union representation?

In any case, PLEA has a longstanding reputation as a right-wing, reactionary body (or rather, as a body led by right-wing, reactionary individuals, to the dissatisfaction of is rank and file membership). See for example the dissatisfaction regarding PLEA's leadership stance in the case of burned PPD member Jason Schecterle, which outraged the rank and file:

http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com...

"Gordon came out against Sheriff Joe Arpaio."

So, are you actually saying that this was bad?

"And the city's financial stability has been badly shaken..."

So has the financial stability of most major cities. There's this little thing called a major recession and another little thing called a housing industry collapse, Sarah. Maybe you've read about this?

So, what are we left with? Gordon opposed Arpaio's racial profiling (good for him) but caved to special interest pressure in making (largely cosmetic) modifications to PPD policies regarding the questioning of criminal suspects as to their immigration status. To me, this sounds like Gordon is providing much needed leadership, while being enough of a political pragmatist to throw the troglodytes a bone once in awhile.

"As it turns out, no, they can't, not outside of Castro's Cuba anyway. . . But here's what I managed to piece together. The "election consolidation" plan � and yes, they really have given it that Pravda-esque name � has been discussed for a while among the sort of civic types who discuss these things."

Why are conservatives so absurdly imaginative when it comes to what they fancifully term "socialism" or "communism"?

My standard answer to this is that it's because they're fucking morons. Unfortunately for this thesis, Ms. Fenske has in the past demonstrated herself to be a talented and intelligent writer.

My second answer to this is brainwashing. I doubt that Ms. Fenske listens much to talk-radio (except as a guilty pleasure), but it is possible that she was the recipient of yet another brain-fart by one or another of the prolific, right-wing paper mills that are forever trying to influence the mass media by distributing their "studies" and "opinion papers" and "analysis" to journalists and editors.

My guess is that Ms. Fenske was the recipient of such a gift, saw in it a chance to indulge her conservative partisanship (tongue in cheek, I believe), while using ready-made material to create an easy "story" -- or rather, non-story.

Enquiring minds want to know, Ms. Fenske...

Impeach Gordon
Impeach Gordon

"We elected Gordon, Baier, Nowakowski, Mattox, and Williams to four-year terms � no matter how bad the economy, that's all they should get."

Correction - less than 100,000 voters elected corrupt, cowardly Gordon and crew. So using the collective "we" as in "We The People" is incorrect.

Impeach this bum atall costs. I've heard there are plans in the works. Hooray!

Jimmy Dorazio, Phoenix

Chris Long
Chris Long

Corrupt and dirty politics at its worst...

Aggrandizing behavior by corrupt and self-serving politicos who want to keep raking the ea$y ca$h for a while.

Sleazy.

 
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