Sonoran Alliance Blog Cries Conspiracy Over "Involvement" Between Tim Nelson, Arizona Republic and Republic's Lawyer

By Ray Stern

The local political blog Sonoran Alliance posted an article today that claims the Arizona Republic is "censoring news" about one of its lawyers, David Bodney, (pictured), who was also editor of New Times back in 1992.

The author of the article, "Pat," didn't feel comfortable enough with the material to publish his or her last name, so it's possible he or she works for Thomas' campaign. But the charge Pat's leveling against the Republic begins with the premise that the lawyer is an activist who "may have" helped recruit Democrat Tim Nelson to run against Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas. Also, Pat notes, Bodney's name is one of 30 that appeared on an invitation to an October 7 fundraiser for Nelson.

What makes this a "shocking story," according to Pat, is that the Republic supposedly edited a reference to Bodney from a Border Patrol union spokesman's letter criticizing the Republic's endorsement of Nelson for county attorney in the November 4 election. Worse, the Republic refused to print a letter to the editor referencing Bodney that was written by Thomas' spokesman, Pat states.

I called Thomas' spokesman, Michael Scerbo, today to ask him if that was true. Scerbo says the Bodney-Nelson connection was the "primary tone" of his letter to the Republic -- which he says he wrote on his own time -- and that he didn't disagree with Pat's thesis.

Yet Scerbo refused to release a copy of the letter, or even elaborate on what it said or when he sent it.

"Shocking story," indeed. With "facts" like the ones laid out by the mysterious "Pat," backed up by sources that don't provide any source material, this story looks like the work of the most amateur member of Thomas' campaign staff.

If the Republic did "censor" the letters, Pat hasn't proved it by a long shot.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.
Contact: Ray Stern