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Flashes

Hey, Anyone Can Have an Off Decade
The Flash has been accused of being an uncompassionate, callous guy--probably justifiably--but even he can't help but feel a twinge of pity for our pathetic, indicted, bankrupt Governor J. Fife Symington III.

Let's face it--the Fifester is refusing to quit his job because it's the only one he can get right now. He's got no money with which to do deals (he always used other people's money anyway). His credit is not robust. And who would hire him? Coopers & Lybrand?

No, the Fifester will remain in office because it's his best and only hope of picking up a paycheck. This realization was undoubtedly just one of many portentous events that washed over the governor last week. Though he prefers to portray the fighting bantam rooster, even the Fifester has an emotional threshold.

And that's why he sought, and was granted, a delay in giving day three of deposition to the union pension funds probing his bankruptcy. Symington was scheduled to be deposed by pension fund attorney Mike Manning on Monday, June 17, but the date was reset for Wednesday, June 19.

"He was feeling kind of low," Manning says.
The pension funds are expected to continue investigating the governor's use of multiple financial statements--a practice that became the foundation of the 23-count federal criminal indictment handed up by a grand jury on June 13.

Sheriff Joe, Downloaded
When Sheriff Joe Arpaio published his autobiography, we thought he had pretty much conquered the final frontier of self-promotion. TV, talk radio, personal appearances. That's about the end of the line, right? Wrong: Along comes the World Wide Web.

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Let's pay a visit to the Crime Avenger in his virtual office (http://www.primenet.com/arpaio). Right off the bat, we're greeted by a jumbo-size lawman's badge that would dominate the page if it weren't for the outsize photo of Arpaio himself.

"The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office," an explanatory message informs us, "headed by the famed Sheriff Joe Arpaio, is the most talked-about and nationally recognized sheriff's office in the country today." Why is the name Arpaio on the tips of everyone's tongue? Because he is "innovative," his home page informs us; in fact, it enumerates a slew of "leading-edge" accomplishments, including the boast that "few others can say they have women in tents or on chain gangs." Boy howdy! Women in bondage!

If the dryness of the printed word leaves you longing for the Crime Avenger's own dulcet tones, there's a lengthy sound clip to be downloaded in which one can hear Arpaio "speakin' to you in CYBER-space," as he puts it, emphasizing certain words but not others, as if someone, possibly Captain Kirk, had vandalized his script with random underscoring.

It is unsurprising that there's a special section where the sheriff posts an archive of his greatest press releases. One heralds his "Prostitution Posse Program." In preparation for the mission, we're told, Arpaio schooled his posse of 2,000 volunteers in key areas: "From surveillance techniques to blood pathogen instruction, posse volunteers learned all about professional streetwalkers. It promised to be challenging, yet fun . . . a program each would long remember."

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