Seems libertarian comedian Drew Carey took time off from his new gig at The Price Is Right recently, and delved into Pinal County's vindictive and ass-backwards dancing ban aimed at the San Tan Flat restaurant and owner Dale Bell. Check this video from Reason.tv, an offshoot of the libertarian rag Reason Magazine:
The segment, titled Footloose in Arizona, for obvious reasons, repeats much of what New Times journo John Dickerson reported in his September 13 article Dance Gestapo.
Dickerson really ripped Pinal Co. officials a new one in that piece. Read this excerpt where he exposes the blatant Harper Valley PTA-like hypocrisy of these dumbass county functionaries:
In return for Bell's $1 lawsuit, Pinal County Attorney James Walsh has asked the court to award the county a lien on Bell's land and restaurant if he doesn't pay all dance fines, an unspecified lawsuit amount for "damages," and the County Attorney's legal fees.
So if Bell doesn't pay what could total $189,000 in dancing fines as well as a lawsuit payout and the legal fees of county-paid attorneys, the county could take ownership of his mountainside property and buildings.
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Officials claim San Tan Flat isn't a restaurant but a dancehall. And by Pinal ordinance, outdoor dancehalls are illegal.
"Outdoor dancing is not allowed in any zone in our county," deputy director of planning Dennis Rittenback said during Bell's January hearing. In a New Times interview last week, Deputy County Attorney Chris Roll contradicted that: "I've never heard that it's illegal to dance outside in Pinal County."
What a bunch of assholes. Anyway, Carey's video does the trick, showing how benign this San Tan Flat place is, and how it even won over its one critical neighbor. Dickerson got linked to on the Web page for the item, which is cool. The only way to get bureaucratic boneheads like these in Pinal to back off is to embarrass the fuck out of them.
Anyway, kudos to Dickerson for helping to pique the interest of the Reason Magazine crowd. Now all we need is a 60 Minutes piece, and I suspect the polecats in Pinal might drop the whole dang thing to make it go away.