So you're part of Sheriff Joe Arpaio's public relations dream team and you want to make up for the inmates-burying-the-dead blunder. What do you do? Book the Crime Avenger and his new book, America's Toughest Sheriff, on a national television show where savvy guests trade political one-liners!
Sheriff Joe's April 9 appearance on Comedy Central's primordially hip show Politically Incorrect was a PR disaster from the git-go. The sheriff was a sitting duck for nimble-witted host Bill Maher, comedian Margaret Cho, author Richard Reeves and actor Tom Skerritt (who seemed particularly curious about Joe's pink underwear).
We Maricopans know that it is not a good idea to get between the sheriff and a camera, and Joe proved it during his grand entrance. He lingered in the video frame long enough to prompt Maher to mutter, "You're standing very close to me, Sheriff."
Arpaio held his tongue as Maher guided the quintet through a discussion of the Unabomber. The sheriff finally jumped in to set Maher straight on his favorite subject -- himself.
Arpaio dispenses more disinformation than Tokyo Rose: He overstated the size of his posse by nearly 30 percent -- he claimed 3,500 members; there are actually 2,700. He also said he issues pink underwear because jail inmates had stolen $48,000 worth of white boxers. As New Times has noted, Joe's undie stats are all stretched out -- $48,000 translates into 25,400 pairs of lost skivvies. Also, The Flash wonders how the Crime Avenger managed to lose an additional $8,000 worth of underwear -- he formerly claimed losses of $40,000 -- after the pink boxers were introduced.
But Joe's most blunderous moment came when Maher broached the videotaped beatings of Mexican immigrants in California. Maher gave Arpaio four opportunities to denounce the kind of police brutality seen in the tape, and each time Arpaio said he would reserve judgment until after an investigation. It was a stance that didn't go over well with the audience.
Maher asked Arpaio, "What more evidence do you need -- that when somebody is on the ground going, 'Please don't hit me. I have no gun,' and they're just thrashing him -- that that's wrong?"
Always directly on point, Arpaio shot back, "How do you know they said that? Do you speak Spanish?"
That question earned him a round of boos.
"I can respect the toughest sheriff," Maher replied, "but I can't respect the stupidest sheriff."
Passing Big Business' Acid Test
For once, The Flash couldn't have said it better.
Governor J. Fife Symington III is never bashful about using his elective office for personal gain. The best example is the state's $1.5 million Project SLIM contract, which Symington and his subordinates handed to an accounting firm that forgave the guv's personal debt of more than $80,000.
Zoom to last fall, when the Fifester told a press conference that Sumitomo-Sitix Inc. need not worry about meddlesome state permits for its north Phoenix silicon-wafer plant. The Fifester promised Sumitomo that all environmental permits would be fast-tracked, and that pledge was instrumental in convincing Sumitomo to locate here.
The Valley is convenient for Sumitomo customers such as Motorola and Intel. It's also handy for companies that will supply Sumitomo with chemicals and other products.
One company that expects to supply Sumitomo with hydrofluoric acid--an extremely hazardous compound--is Olin Microelectronic Materials Inc. The Chandler company is the sole supplier of the compound in the Valley.
Olin Microelectronic is a division of Olin Chemicals, which, in turn, is owned by Olin Corporation.
The governor's wife, Ann Symington, is an heir to Olin Corporation and the beneficiary of at least two Olin Corporation trust funds.
Of course, everyone knows that Fife and Ann keep their finances separate.
What's More Musicial Than a Fife?
The Fifester is about to be skewered in an updated version of the fabulously successful Mill Avenue Theatre production Guv: The Musical.
The original musical lampooned former Arizona governors Evan Mecham, Bruce Babbitt and Rose Mofford--along with gubernatorial wanna-be Terry Goddard.
The Fifester was just slipping behind the guv's desk--and still pretending to be law-abiding--during the musical's first run. He hadn't developed into a guv worthy of song and dance.
The production's co-author, Candace Miles, declines to confirm that an updated version is in the works, but she concedes that it's difficult not to whistle new tunes about our bankrupt, grand-jury-probin' guv. "He's certainly cooperating with that idea, isn't he?" Miles says.
Dennis DeConcini retired from the U.S. Senate in January 1995. But, as the Washington Post reveals, DeConcini is still working many of the same issues that occupied him when he chaired the Judiciary Committee's Subcommittee on Patents, Copyrights and Trademarks.
Thanks to a new federal law that forces complete disclosure on the part of lobbyists, we now know that DeConcini is a lobbyist with the D.C. firm Parry & Romani Associates. You say that name rings a bell? Romano Romani was DeConcini's legislative director for many years. The two were on the griddle together in the '80s, when PBS' Frontline revealed that DeConcini was shilling for one of Romani's clients--a company that produced aerostats, the balloons that were supposed to win the border drug war--and that DeConcini had accepted campaign contributions from Romani and others linked to the aerostats. That company won a big federal contract.
As a lobbyist, DeConcini has a client list that is similar to the list of folks who visited his Senate office to lobby him on intellectual-property matters: The Motion Picture Association of America, the Recording Industry Association of America, the Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association, the Newspapers Association of America, the International Dairy Foods Association and drug companies such as Genentech, Glaxo Wellcome, Pfizer and Herbalife International.
DeConcini sees nothing wrong with his activities. He tells the Post that he has yet to lobby on behalf of every firm listed, and adds, "Why should anyone be troubled? . . . I'm not a senator now. . . . People who serve in government often go ahead and work for somebody later. I think that's pretty natural."
Dick Doc: Time Runs Out
The California Medical Board has ordered Melvyn "Dr. Dick" Rosenstein to quit referring to himself as the "World's Leading Authority on Penile Surgery" and to stop advertising his penis-enlargement techniques.
So why is Dr. Dick ("Organ Lessons," March 28) running a full-page ad in the May issue of Penthouse?
A spokesman for the skin mag assures The Flash that Rosenstein had purchased the ad months before the medical board suspended him, and it takes three months' advance notice to pull an ad.
According to California Medical Board spokeswoman Candis Cohen, Rosenstein is not allowed to practice any kind of medicine. He is available for kids' parties, though.
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