News

The ValTrans' for Who?

I received a letter from a man who doesn't trust the people who are running the campaign to push the approval of rapid transit in Maricopa County.

He wondered why the financial war chest, which now approaches $500,000, comes from land owners and contractors who stand to gain most from the project.

I personally see the project as a good thing. But his letter makes me wonder.

When I saw the list of contributors--which was so carefully buried by the Arizona Republic in last Saturday's editions--my suspicions were aroused.

The ValTrans program is being run by Chris Hamel, 34, who once worked for former Governor Bruce Babbitt.

The campaign manager is Bill Meek, ever a vineyard worker for the power brokers. It is Meek who sold us the state lottery that was to pay our taxes into eternity.

The largest contributors have been Phelps Dodge, $50,000; Arizona Public Service, $50,000; and Valley National Bank, $50,000.

When was the last time you ever remember the folks at Phelps Dodge doing something with you in mind?

At a slightly reduced level came these donations:
MeraBank, $29,000; Salt River Project, $25,000; America West Airlines, $20,000; and another $10,000 from the parent company of the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette.

We are told by Pat Murphy, the effulgent publisher of the Republic, that the paper's contribution will not affect its coverage of the coming campaign.

That'll be the day.

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Tom Fitzpatrick