The pension funds that Governor J. Fife Symington III stiffed for $11.4 million are turning up the heat in his federal bankruptcy case. Attorneys for the union pension fund managers, San Francisco-based McMorgan & Company, have mailed more than 15 deposition notices. Formal subpoenas will follow.
Pension fund attorney Mike Manning says the first deposition should occur later this month. Manning says he plans to videotape the testimony, and Symington's attorneys are "vigorously protesting" the taping. But federal bankruptcy rules allow depositions to be videotaped. And don't forget--the Fifester has repeatedly said he just wants to be treated like any other bankrupt deadbeat. Lights, camera, action!
Time was, Chris Bucholz and the Fifester were staunch allies. They worked together in an effort to recall former governor Evan Mecham.
That was back when Fife had money, and he donated some of it to the cause. Bucholz took that money and produced anti-Ev campaign products, including the exceedingly popular "Mecham for Ex-Governor" bumper stickers. More than 20,000 of them were printed.
Fife's investment had staying power. Bucholz, a 32-year-old professional signature gatherer and graphic artist, has resurrected those distinctive red, white and blue bumper stickers. The design is identical to the anti-Ev piece, but now the stickers read "Symington for Ex-Governor."
Bucholz, a Republican, says he ordered the anti-Fife stickers because there is overwhelming demand. "When I'm out on the street circulating petitions, everyone comes up and asks if I have a Symington recall petition," Bucholz says. (No serious recall effort has been launched.)
But Bucholz has had marketing problems: Nobody will publish an image of the bumper sticker or a phone number people can call to obtain one.
"The Republic, from what I understand, kind of likes Symington," Bucholz says. "Dolores Tropiano was going to take a picture of [the sticker] and put it in that [Clancy & Co.] column, and then her editors wouldn't let her do it."
The Flash's will. Call 404-2905.
Cry Me a River
Tempe's $1 billion-plus development, the tax-supported Rio Salado Project, is negotiating with one of the nation's most notorious union-busting construction companies to build a 200-acre lake, a 1,000-room hotel and adjacent commercial development.
The Tempe City Council has voted to negotiate a development agreement with a consortium of companies, including Fluor Daniel, an Irvine, California-based construction firm. Fluor Daniel is known for excluding union craftsmen. The National Labor Relations Board is conducting hearings in Phoenix stemming from union complaints over Fluor Daniel's hiring practices at Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station. After Fluor Daniel assumed the Palo Verde maintenance contract in June 1994, it slashed wages and benefits and hired replacement workers from out of state, union officials say.
Tempe vice mayor Dennis Cahill, who is an organizer for the bricklayer's union, says Fluor Daniel's hiring practices were not discussed during preliminary negotiations with the city. Cahill says he expects Fluor Daniel "to be a responsible partner" with labor.
"If I found they refused to hire our competent and highly trained craftsmen purely because they belong to a union, I would go ballistic," he says. "I would be their worst nightmare.