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Smell Test

Know what Phoenix's mayoral contest conjures up? That South Park episode titled "Douche and Turd," a send-up of the 2004 presidential election in which South Park Elementary School has to give up its original bovine mascot after ponytailed PETA protesters invade the campus. The replacement choices students get to vote on: A giant douche versus a big ol' turd sandwich.

Similarly, with the Reverend Jarrett Maupin kicked off the ballot over disputed signatures, we're left with a turd sammy, a.k.a. Mayor "Phony" Phil Gordon, and a giant douche, a.k.a. Steve Lory. Everyone knows why Goober Gordon's a dingleberry dagwood. The guy's done next to nada about rising crime, the mess light rail's created, security at Sky Harbor, yadda yadda yadda. Yet, he's raised close to $1 million for himself, much of it from big developers, law firms, etc. who have business before the city.

RED Development, the firm that'll be tearing up Patriots Square Park to create the $900 million CityScape project, gave Fast Money Phil more than $7K through donations from execs. As New Times scribe Sarah Fenske reported in her column, French transit firm Veolia just received a retroactive fee increase from the city worth a whopping $1.5 million a year ("Taken For a (Bus) Ride," August 9). And Veolia execs gave Philly Cheesesteak a total of $3,200. Score!

Why does phony Phil need to raise $1 million? Maybe he wants to give back to the community. Donate his largesse to the poor. Screw that! He wants to be The Guv, baby! (Despite his recent denials.) And that's a tall order for a man with no charisma and a piss-poor record as Phoenix mayor. So he needs all the scrilla he can scrape up. Moolah he raises now, he can use later.

His competition is lawyer Lory, who got into the race after his Blaze nightclub was closed down by city inspectors for various violations. Lory's a soft-spoken cat who sounds like he's got marbles rolling around in his pie-hole. His presence onstage practically makes Goober Gordon sound like Winston Effin’ Churchill. But he had one thing going for him in the beginning: He seemed honest, and he wasn't Phil. No one really took him seriously, though. Maybe that's why he felt as if he had to sell his soul to the Satans of anti-immigration politics.

Lory's DJ gal pal, Liz Jordan, is shilling for Lory's newfound knee-jerk politics on ads running on KTAR, just as she once radio-shilled for Lory's Blaze nightclub. The irony? Blaze was a hip-hop club that catered to a mostly Hispanic and black crowd. Jordan's voice once reeled in clientele with the offer of penny drinks. Now it agonizes over the horror of Phoenix's "overloaded lifeboat" of illegals.

Lory sees no contradiction. He asserts that those who partied at and worked at his club were second- and third-generation Americans. More than that, "People who're minorities, they're against all immigration," he recently told this incredulous ibis.

"I talk to these people," the mush-mouth intoned. "I'm just as friendly with them as talking to you. I feel very comfortable to go down to [Phoenix City Council] District 7 or 8 and walk up to anybody at a bus stop and talk to them about any of this stuff, and I have."

According to Lory, most minorities are fed up with other minorities who're here illegally. Indeed, Lory stated that up to 60 percent of Hispanics voted for restrictive propositions such as Prop 300 in 2006. When challenged as to where he obtained such a stat in light of us still having a secret ballot in this country, Lory would only say, "I have heard it from sources I believe are correct."

Lory also spat the oft-repeated anti-immigrant rhetoric that Phoenix is a "sanctuary city," which is a steaming pile so high it could dwarf the old Dial Building on Central.

Lory referenced Phoenix police Operations Order 1.4, which basically states that the local gendarmes won't round up illegals in paddy wagons. But the PD does work closely with both the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement). Indeed, when this Toucan Sam spoke with ICE flack Vinnie Picard, he stated that ICE has officers embedded with Phoenix police, and that ICE and the cops enjoy a "good working relationship." The PD has a detailed protocol outlining how it alerts ICE when necessary. The phrase "sanctuary city" implies a policy openly implemented by a municipality. That would include a direct order protecting aliens from arrest and deportation, a situation that doesn't exist here.

This "sanctuary city" crap is the rhetoric of extremists, the "black helicopter" crowd, who believe a North American Union with a currency called the Amero is in the works for America, Mexico, and Canada. The fact that Lory's adopted it shows just how much wing-nut ass he's kissing, and how much Kool-Aid he's drunk. Last June, he spoke at an anti-illegal demonstration that featured Mexican-maligner Russell Pearce, the Mesa state rep, and white supremacist J.T. Ready. Lory's also listed as an attendee at an upcoming September 8 event for brown-basher Rusty Childress' motorcycle club the American Freedom Riders, who normally get off on spouting abuse at day-laborers up in Cave Creek. (Real tough guys!) Lory claims not to have made a final decision on whether he'll make that scene.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons