Governor J. Fife Symington III still has three years left inoffice, but gubernatorial wanna-bes from Eddie Basha to Mark Killian are starting to make rumblings about running for the seat in 1998. None has gone so far as to make signs and bumper stickers or issue a press release.
Except for Phoenix attorney Dan Maynard, that is.
Earlier this month, signs andstickers proclaiming Maynard's candidacy popped up all over north-central Phoenix. Maynard's intentions were news to a lot of folks--including Maynard!
Reached at his law firm--Johnston, Maynard, Grant and Parker--Maynard says he has nodesigns on Symington's job, but, rather, is the victim of an elaborate practical joke.
Maynard has received dozens of calls about the professionally produced signs and stickers, and is destined to receive more. Last week, the "Committee of 'Dan Maynard for Governor'" announced his candidacy in a tongue-in-cheek press release issued on his firm's stationery.
Rumor has it that the phantom gubernatorial campaign is payback for a prank Maynard played on a friend last year.
A loyal Flashophile forwarded an October 30 article from the Chemical and Engineering News stating unequivocally that Arizona is about to go bankrupt.
The Washington, D.C.-based weekly mag (circulation: 150,000) states, "Every important piece of social legislation seems headed toward greater state control and responsibility. No matter, for example, that one state, Arizona, is about to declare bankruptcy because of its inability to fund its own governing responsibilities."
Later in the piece, the writer, Wil Lepkowski, alludes to "near-bankrupt Arizona."
He must be confusing our government with our governor. Arizona's current budget picture is among the nation's rosiest (although tax cuts could make revenue a serious concern in coming years). The state has an operating surplus of $50 million, not to mention its $200 million "rainy day fund."
When The Flash asked Lepkowski where he'd heard that Arizona was nearly bankrupt, he said he'd read it in the New York Times. Pressed for more specifics, Lepkowski said he didn't have the Times story handy, and it would probably take him an hour to find it.
Under The Flash's withering examination, Lepkowski finally broke down and mumbled, "I was afraid someone was going to call me on that."
Damn straight, Yankee-boy! And that someone is The Flash.
Lepkowski's editor promised the magazine would print a correction, meaning proud Arizona residents can rest assured that engineers and chemists everywhere will learn that the Grand Canyon State is in full fiscal bloom.
And let it be known that no Eastern liberal media-elite rag can casually impugn the integrity of our great state!
That's our job.
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