Best Morality Cop 2012 | Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery | People & Places | Phoenix

No matter how old you get, some people still want to treat you like a child for your entire life. Take Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, for example, who's still preaching the evils of the marihuana. He presses for parents to drug-test their children — especially around the stoner holiday of "4/20" — and asked the county to "opt out" of the state's medical marijuana program, which was approved by the state's voters. On other issues, it's Monty's way or the highway. He issued a warning to anyone filming porno flicks in Arizona that they may be guilty of prostitution. On one occasion, we found him at a religious rally that was billed as a protest against the mandated funding of contraception in employer healthcare plans. Montgomery never actually followed through on trying to get the county out of the state's medical marijuana program, and he hasn't prosecuted porn actors on prostitution charges, but c'mon, man, nobody likes a buzzkill either.

Best Private Practice Lawyer Who Should Be County Attorney

Tom Ryan

Save for when rock-ribbed Republican Rick Romley's been Maricopa County Attorney, those in charge of the county attorney's office have been either political hacks, ideologues, weenies, or all three. In any case, there's one man we'd like to see in the catbird seat, fightin' Irishman Tom Ryan, the Chandler attorney best known for exposing the plot to run Olivia Cortes as a sham candidate in the recall election that removed state Senate President Russell Pearce from office. Like a one-man Irish Republican Army, Ryan takes no prisoners in the courtroom, as was revealed when he put Cortes and many of those involved in this nasty plot on the stand in a complaint he handled pro bono along with Mesa attorney H. Micheal Wright. When Ryan aimed his subpoenas at the ringleaders of the Cortes affair, Cortes suddenly withdrew as a candidate, allowing state Senator Jerry Lewis to prevail over Pearce. Can you imagine what would happen if we had an county attorney with stones like Ryan? Corrupt politicos would be wetting their britches in fear. Which is why likely it won't happen. But we can dream, can't we?

If you're a wackjob surrounded by other wackjobs, are you still a wackjob? The answer is "yes," but in the case of Mesa's Red Mountain Tea Party, there's also strength in collective insanity. Indeed, this noxious collection of geriatric birthers, right-wing extremists, and bigots has become the place in the East Valley for Republican candidates and officeholders to peddle their ideological wares. Congressional candidates, state legislators, U.S. Senators, you name it — if they're from this state and there's an R beside their name, they've probably made a pilgrimage to speak before this collection of hateful grandpas and grannies who think President Obama is a communist from Kenya, racial profiling is a myth, and Sheriff Joe Arpaio walks on water. Yep, there are more nuts here than a Brach's bridge mix, and yet, still, the Republicans come to shuck and jive on the RMTP's stage, because, sadly for us, old crazy white people vote more than the young, the sane, and the brown.

We're gonna miss Sylvia Allen, the state senator from Snowflake who has never been shy about sharing the fact that she's as dumb as a bag of hammers and as bigoted as her disgraced mentor, recalled ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce. Whether it was inviting an anti-Mexican bigot like Glenn Spencer to speak before the Senate Border Security Committee she chaired or famously declaring that the Earth is only 6,000 years old, she always gave us great material, like the way Governor Jan Brewer helps out the writers of The Daily Show. But all good things must come to an end. As of 2012, Allen finds herself in a competitive district and has chickened out of a bid for re-election. Now whose stupid moves will we lambaste? Whose prejudice will we scorn and mock? Thankfully, here in Sand Land, there's always another tinfoil-hat-wearin' politico comin' around the corner, but, sigh, not one who so strongly resembles the cranky bus driver lady character from South Park.

We still don't feel sorry for Olivia Cortes, the hapless Mesa retiree who allowed her name and face to be used in a sinister plot to split the vote in last year's recall in Legislative District 18. That plot was foiled due to the efforts of Chandler attorney Tom Ryan and others who worked tirelessly to expose her as a plant by the campaign of former state Senate President Russell Pearce. Some say she was just being used by pro-Pearce stalwarts, but she let herself be used, just as a shill is used by a card shark. She deserves her infamy and, oddly, a measure of thanks. If she had not been so obviously clueless, the con might have succeeded. But she is and it didn't, and for that, Olivia, we say, gracias for being such a tonta grande ("colossal idiot").

Best Example of a Worthless Federal Agency Operating in Arizona

Tie: The FBI and the DOJ

If you need a reason not to pay your taxes, look no further than the Federal Bureau of Incompetence, um, we mean, Investigation, and its parent agency, the U.S. Department of Justice. The most recent manifestation of federal laziness followed the Gilbert massacre, committed by neo-Nazi J.T. Ready. Ready killed four innocents and himself on May 2, after which the FBI told the media that it had an open investigation on Ready. Um, really? So why no action on the two-ton swastika-licker's holding migrants hostage and zip-tying them in the desert? What were you guys waiting for, an engraved invite?Whether it's the DOJ's ditching the criminal investigation of Sheriff Joe Arpaio or the FBI's supposed probe into a right-wing extremist such as Ready, these law enforcement agencies move with the speed of glaciers. Too bad people sometimes end up six feet under while the feds sit on their hands doing diddly about the wrongdoing taking place under their nostrils.

Former state Senate President Russell Pearce wouldn't know the truth if it got down on all fours and French-kissed his big toe. Pearce lied about why he was fired as head of the Arizona Motor Vehicles Division in the '90s (he claims he did nothing wrong, which is wrong), lied about Senate Bill 1070 — saying it's the reason crime is down in Phoenix (it's not), lied about why he lost the recall, insisting it was all a liberal plot (tell it to conservative GOPer and now state Senator Jerry Lewis, the guy who beat him), and lied about his own Mormon religion, claiming that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was okay with SB 1070, in spite of the immigrant-friendly, church-supported Utah Compact. Is there anything Pearce won't lie about? Let's see. There's his name, which is mud, because — you guessed it — he lies so dang much.

Remember when women in politics fought for the rights of their fellow females, birth control rights, abortion rights, equal pay, and all the rest? These days, there seem to be more and more of the pre-Bella Abzug types around, determined to put their sisters back in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant. One of these throwbacks locally is state Representative Debbie Lesko, Republican from Legislative District 9. A tool of the good ol' boy corporate shills at the American Legislative Exchange Council, Lesko might vote to repeal the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution if given the chance. Lesko was the primary pusher of an anti-contraception bill that allows religious employers the right to deny their employees insurance that covers birth control. Birth control? What is this, the early '60s? Lesko's bill was killed in the state Senate the first time around, only to be revived, passed, and signed by Governor Jan Brewer, another antediluvian hack eager to roll back women's rights to the caveman days. Maybe then Lesko would have a rock to write on as large as the one in her head.

For those cynical Democrats who've argued that the recall of ex-state Senate President Russell Pearce only resulted in a Republican replacing a Republican, check out the way state Senator Jerry Lewis, the GOPer who beat Pearce in that contest, voted when it came to state Representative Debbie Lesko's anti-contraception bill, which allowed religious employers to deny their employees insurance that covered contraception: He voted against it, twice. If Lewis had never set foot in the Senate, the end result would have been the same. But the same could be said of every Democratic "nay." And Lewis is not a D. He's an R, and a highly religious member of the Mormon Church to boot. No, the recall did matter, and Lewis' profile in courage on the Lesko bill is just one reason why.

First-term GOP Congressman "Baby Ben" Quayle looks like a punk and acts like a punk. What else can you say about a onetime writer for the R-rated Dirty Scottsdale website who opts to jump districts and run against a fellow R because that's easier than running against a Democrat in a competitive district? That's what happened earlier this year when Baby Ben jumped from Congressional District 9, where he would've faced a pitched battle in the general election against a D. So the wussy kinda-sorta conservative skipped over to CD 6, where Congressman David Schweikert already was set to run. So much for party solidarity. Quayle's a rich weenie daddy's boy who never had a tough day in his life.

Until primary day this year. Whoops. In office or not, this guy will always be a political coward, one for whom both Rs and Ds at large should have complete contempt.

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