Why didn't Arizona WINS--a political organization devoted to electing female candidates--endorse the reelection campaign of the state's highest-elected woman, U.S. Representative Karan English?
"I just can't stand her. I think she's an embarrassment and a failure, and probably gonna set women back God only knows how long by her stupidity," says Marcia Cech-Soucy, who founded Arizona WINS last year. WINS stands for Women's Initiative for National Seats; its political action arm is called Arizona VISION PAC.
Cech-Soucy, a local political activist, worked on English's 1992 campaign. She isn't involved this time around. But she insists it isn't bad blood between herself and the congresswoman that cost English the endorsement. A committee of six Arizona WINS members, evenly split among Democrats, Republicans and Independents, endorsed six candidates for the following offices: Republicans Jane Hull, secretary of state; Barbara Barrett, governor; and Bev Hermon, First Congressional District; and Democrats Carol Cure, Fourth Congressional District; Cindy Resnick, U.S. Senate; and Debbie McCune Davis, Corporation Commission.
"The decision wasn't left up to me," Cech-Soucy says. "It's that simple. It was a consensus, and the opinion was she's really gone national. She gets all her support from outside the state. She seems to be happy with that."
English has received support from Emily's List, a national organization that raises money for Democratic candidates.
Laura Hesberg, English's campaign press secretary, says, "We have no comment. We don't know what it is."
Cech-Soucy says she asked English months ago if she would like to participate, and English declined.
"The sentiment was, we ran her as the girl next door in 92--an inside Arizona person, and [now] everything's national. All her campaign staff's national. . . . She certainly didn't need our piddly contribution," Cech-Soucy says. Along with its endorsement, Arizona WINS donated $100 to each of the candidates.
After the September 13 primary, Arizona WINS will endorse candidates for the general election.
Does English have a chance at getting an endorsement in the general? Cech-Soucy doesn't think so.
"No. No. No. No. But you probably shouldn't say that."
@sub:No Beating Around the Bush
@body:The voters expect mudslinging among candidates, but now it looks as though lobbyists are doing the dirty work, too. Central Phoenix state legislator Susan Gerard got hit last month in a letter from Jim Bush to former legislators Burton Barr and Jane Hull. All four are Republicans.
". . . Over the years," Bush writes, "it has been a delight to support and to work with such good friends as Ruth Peck, Stan Akers, Leo and, of course, yourselves. Susan Gerard doesn't belong in the same tent and shouldn't even call herself a 'Republican.'"
Bush, a lawyer with Fennemore Craig and lobbyist for Phelps Dodge, came up against Gerard and her followers in the House of Representatives--known as the Sue Nation--on a number of issues, most notably Governor Fife Symington's pet school-voucher program. Bush favors vouchers; Gerard doesn't.
The Phelps Dodge lobbyist blasts Gerard for her opposition to pro-mining legislation, too, then concludes:
". . . Jane, you asked me when I was going to stop 'bashing the Sue Nation'? The answer is I'm not! I am not afraid of her or her tribe.
"With the exception of Sue Glawe [lobbyist for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Arizona], I don't know of an industry lobbyist that would be unhappy to see her lose--and I'm talking about those people that Republican candidates uniformally look to for help. To some it's getting tiresome to be kicked in the pants and then be expected to forgive and forget at election time.
"As you know, I have never been shy about letting people know where I stand." Really?
@sub:Incredible, Selective Memory
@body:It began as a typical lunch between reporter and political candidate, on a sunny day in May on the patio at Sam's Cafe. When the bill came, the reporter stuck her American Express card on top of the bill and left it on the table for the waiter. She thought it odd when the candidate, state legislator Greg Patterson--now a Republican candidate for the Arizona Corporation Commission--took her card from the table. He stared at it for a few seconds, then handed it to the reporter.
Patterson promptly read the 15-digit number back to the reporter. Cute parlor trick. The reporter didn't think much of it until she ran into Patterson three months later and he repeated the number.
Patterson has been practicing this memorization technique for 15 years. "There are letters assigned to each of the ten digits," he explains. ". . . Your [credit card] number starts with 3731. Well, 7 is K. . . . 37 is MK, as in Mack truck. 31 is mat, so you get M and T. Mat. If I can picture a semitruck running over a mat, then I can get Mack mat. And I know that's 3731."
He adds, "I correspond the letters with numbers, I change that into standard pictures and put that together as a movie . . . then you just basically kick them back."
Does it work for memorizing words? "I try to memorize names and I certainly memorize words. My vocabulary in French and Spanish is decent because I link things back and forth to each other," he says.
Perhaps the technique doesn't work for linking campaign contributors with their occupations. On a recent filing, Patterson neglected to include the occupation and employer of 41 of his 43 contributors. He amended the filing four months later, but a few were still missing.
It's often difficult to track down a contributor's occupation, but Patterson's list included high-profile lobbyists like Kevin DeMenna, Bob Fannin, Jack LaSota and Don Isaacson--men who spend so much time at the Capitol, they are often mistaken for legislators.
Patterson says he remembers the names and jobs, but thought his campaign treasurer--his wife, Deborah--had completed the forms correctly. And as for the reporter's American Express number, now committed to Patterson's memory? Rest assured, he says, he never memorizes the expiration date.