As the Fife Turns
Yes, loyal Flashes readers, it's time for another gripping installment of As the Fife Turns. In this episode, we ask the burning question: Have Arizona Republicans had enough of J. Fife Symington III? Are whispers of "Recall Fife" heard across the desert?

According to e-mail from a Tucson group calling itself The Ghostbusters, the recall petition is being readied. But are these rabble-rousers to be taken seriously? And aren't they worried they'll get slimed?

The New York Times waded into the Fife-capades on Monday with a 30-inch story titled "Arizona Fiscal Crisis: Personal and Political." It quotes one of Fife's lawyers as saying, "About all they [Fife and Mrs. Fife] own together is a television." The Flash had been under the impression the Magnavox had been pawned so they could do Europe.

But thank heavens they'll have a TV to watch the upcoming 60 Minutes segment on the governor. According to the governor's minister of information, CBS' liberalmediaelites committed a "political drive-by shooting" of Fife during an interview last week. What a shocker! Those interviews are usually so jocular.

Things are so wacky that Arizona Republic editorial windsock Paul Schatt was compelled to explain why the Republic hasn't laid a glove on Fife. It's because he hasn't been indicted yet! Should someone inform him otherwise, though, Schatt intends to look into it.

Republicans are wringing their hands at the prospect of having another of their governors evicted.

Did someone say Governor Hull?
Arizona House Speaker Mark Killian canceled a trip to an out-of-state conference where he was scheduled to be on the program. Legislative leaders and other GOP elected officials are said to be huddling furtively. Are contingency plans being made?

Barbara Barrett, the Fifester's opponent in last year's Republican gubernatorial primary, tells the Flash that Fife's recall might be necessary to get Arizona politics back on track.

"If it is in the best interest of the state, I would consider [supporting] it," says Barrett.

And what is in the best interest of the state?
"The most important thing, in my view, is that Arizona get back on track with leadership of which we can be proud," says Barrett, who was soundly defeated by the Fifester in the primary.

Has Fife done us proud?
"It's a tragedy for Arizona that our leadership is under such a cloud again," says Barrett, sounding like a candidate she was and may be.

With the exception of revisionist Sam Coppersmith, the Democrats are loving every minute of this. Not that they're capable of profiting from it.

They're really nostalgic, though. Symington had barely announced his personal bankruptcy when "Don't Blame Me, I Voted for Eddie" bumper stickers appeared. Suddenly, Eddie Basha for Governor paraphernalia has become a hot commodity. Basha's former campaign manager, Rick DeGraw, says he's received calls from folks looking for Basha buttons, tee shirts and campaign literature.

DeGraw says, "I told them, 'Well, you missed your chance last year, guys.'"
Don't forget to enter Flashes' Date of Indictment Pool. (Tiebreaker: How many counts?)

And be sure to tune in next week, when Morley Safer asks Annette Alvarez for an exclusive at the Ritz.Feed The Flash: voice, 229-8486; fax, 340-8806; online, [email protected]Reference: