5/29/2005 11:29:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Well, my brother found out about my blog and told me "You'd better not make any personal attacks on my colleagues!" Geez, here I was hoping to do that. Of course, he hasn't said I can't make personal attacks against him. Feel free to post suggestions in the comments section. Eric wanted me to write about Bob McMahon's plans to put a high-rise apartment building on the current site of the main library. I haven't paid much attention, since I think the plan is a non-starter. Many downtown property owners are already tweaked that the city has opened up so much new space and many of their tenants are moving to those new spaces. I can't imagine that any of them would be happy with that many new residential spaces competing with their own complexes. I saw an interview with City Manager Michael Hein on Arizona illustrated and he was asked about this plan. He offered nothing resembling an opinion on it. This is understandable, since he can't express an opinion until four members of the Mayor and Council tell him what it is. McMahon may feel that he "appointed" Mike Hein, and now it is time to get what he wants. This is probably overreach on this part. McMahon may come up against the institutions that frustrate many developers in this community. In any city, you have ad hoc groups of activists who oppose a road project or who fight to preserve an old building. Because of the official structure of the neighborhood associations and the network of citizen boards, the people that folks love to blow off as cranks or NIMBYs in most communities have actual institutional power (Full disclosure: I'm one of those cranks that serve on a board). I don't think that McMahon has any interest in bringing these people into his plans, and that may be the downfall here. I'm hoping that that is what, in the end, turns Fred Ronstadt out of office. As you see by the blogroll, I am supporting Nina Trasoff. Don't get me wrong though, Steve Farley would make an excellent councilmember as well. I don't want to say that either would be better than Ronstadt, since that would be extremely faint praise. You may have read a few weeks back that Fred's more famous cousin Linda Ronstadt came out for Trasoff. Linda has been a Democrat for a long time (she dated Jerry Brown at one point), but what prompted this was the plans for a big box store in Linda's neighborhood. Linda and her neighbors couldn't get a hearing from the guy. If his most famous relative can't get into the office, what chance do the rest us have? There are numerous instances of Ronstadt not only being dimsissive of complaints, but even becoming angry when talking to citizens who disagree with him (even screaming at one neighborhood association meeting). Did anyone explain to Fred that sometimes the people that pay his salary have the right to tell him when he is full of it? In this week's Range column in the Weekly, Jim Nintzel claims that there are "moderate legislators" mad at Janet Napolitano for breaking her agreement with the leadership. I can't think of any moderate legislators who have any love for their party's leadership, so I find this hard to believe.|W|P|111739431004010895|W|P|Edifice Complex|W|P|prezelski@aol.com5/29/2005 01:15:00 PM|W|P|Blogger eckeric|W|P|I like the idea of a new tower in the downtown area with housing, shops and a high end restaurant. I just hate the location that he picked. The land around the downtown library is one of the few public open spaces downtown. It is good open space not only because it gets used, but also because provides a clean view of the Pima County Courthouse. We don't need one more tower crowding over it, much less three. There seems to be a fair amount of private land downtown that doesn't get a huge amount of use. Why doesn't he go after that before setting the bulldozers against the hill where we light our community Christmas tree.6/01/2005 10:57:00 AM|W|P|Anonymous Anonymous|W|P|Just do it---post something about Tom so we can all point and laugh!!!6/02/2005 12:40:00 AM|W|P|Blogger tucsonteresa|W|P|Is there any danger of a house of worchip going up downtown? Seems Rio Nuevo has included a little something from every category except that one. Just imagine what Tucson would be like if some of us stopped praying for it.6/09/2005 04:29:00 PM|W|P|Blogger Tedski|W|P|Well...there is that Cathedral...
:)5/28/2005 11:57:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|These are the remarks from the Democratic response to the President's weekly address, given by General Wesley Clark. The audio is available at the DNC website.
Good morning, I'm retired United States Army General Wesley Clark. This weekend across the country, we take time to remember those who fought and died in our Nation's wars.

For me, Memorial Day is very personal. This Monday, I will be remembering those in uniform who served in World War II and Korea and inspired me to enter military service in 1962.

Like many others of my generation, I will also be remembering the many times I visited the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. I will remember those who selflessly gave their lives and paid the ultimate price so that we could live in freedom.

And I'll be remembering the names of so many other friends and school mates who fought alongside us. Together we kept our country free.

Today, America continues to face national security challenges. And as Democrats, we are resolved to meet those challenges and defend America from danger.

This starts with making sure that we have the right men and women in service and then equipping, training, and organizing them to be the most effective fighting force in the world.

That means our men and women in uniform should be paid fairly and they and their families should be taken care of while they are fighting overseas or serving at home. We should be spending every penny that they ask for on things like body armor and armored vehicles to keep them safe.

Our Armed Forces today are an institution that we can be proud to be of. They stand for so much of what we can believe in as Americans: for courage and honor, integrity and public service.

We as Democrats want to ensure that Americans in uniform receive the benefits they deserve. We insist that Reservists and National Guard members receive health insurance for themselves and their families through TRICARE, the military's health care system, just as the active force does.

And just as importantly, we have got to keep our promises to veterans and provide them the medical care they need. That means fully funding the Veteran's Administration system.

As Democrats, we stand for a strong Armed Forces and we stand for a strong foreign policy too. We believe in using every means at our disposal to protect our nation and to advance our values. That means using diplomacy, international law, allies, our economic might and yes, as a last resort, we'll use force. But when we do so, we'll do it the right way.

We'll go in with a plan that works from start to finish and that gives us the power to prevail on the battlefield and after.

As Democrats, we know that we need to expand America's active duty forces by tens of thousands so we can effectively fight the war on terror and meet other challenges as well. And, we're committed to do so.

When it comes to taking care of men and women in uniform, I often read that some Members of Congress complain that the budget is too tight. But budgets are always tight and that's no excuse to neglect the needs of those who serve; their families or America''s veterans.

It is just a matter of priorities. What could be more important for government than taking care of the men and women who keep our country safe and strong? I believe as Democrats, we have our priorities right.

And so on this Memorial Day, when the country comes together to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice, let's say our prayers for the families and the loved ones of those who lost their lives in answering their country's call.

Especially now, with our nation at war, I'm asking each and everyone one of us to reach out to these families across America. Tell them we honor their sacrifice. Tell them we stand with them. Tell them we love them. And, if it's right, pray with them.

And then let's do more. Let's resolve this Memorial Day to do all we can here at home.

Those in uniform are bonded with is across this nation. That's why we honor their sacrifice on Memorial Day and we should be resolved not to let them down.

Thank you for listening.

|W|P|111730685221075767|W|P|Gen. Wesley Clark's Radio Address|W|P|prezelski@aol.com5/26/2005 09:29:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|Hoy es jueves, which means the Tucson Weekly is out today. A couple of stories in there caught my eye that I'd like to file under the "Cranks Always Win" category. In other words, you keep up the fight long enough, people will eventually hear you. One is the story of John Brakey, a Democratic Party activist on the West Side of Tucson. I worked a bit with John durring the presidential campaign. He saw me up in Phoenix and showed me mounds of evidence, including a CD ROM he had produced, that pointed to what he felt was voter fraud in his precinct. I wasn't sure what to make of it. Sometimes, there is that point where you get inflicted with too much stuff all at once, and its hard to digest. John has been telling his tale to anyone that happens to get close to him. Well, John was persistent, and it looks pretty obvious that there was, at the very least, rank incompetence among the poll workers in his precinct. At worst, I'll let you judge that. If there was no outright fraud here, it shows that our elections need to be run in a more professional way. I remember the first election I voted in, I was 18, and I was actually running for precinct committeeman, so my name was on the ballot even. One of the poll workers told me to get out of the line so the grown-ups could vote. I can totally see this sort of silliness developing into something far worse. There is an article in this week's issue that is a follow up to one last week regarding a incinerator, wait, I'm sorry, they don't want to call it that. I am supposed to call it a "gassifier" (insert fart joke here). A company wants to build this thing in Cochise County. The claim is that this thing will cause no, thats a big "N" "O", emissions. Given the rules about conservation of matter, this is impossible (setting aside what happens to materials like heavy metals). The only person on the Board of Supervisors out there willing to oppose it is Supervisor Paul Newman (not pictured above). Paul can be a bit of a goofball sometimes, but he also cares deeply about the future of the communities out there. One night after a Calexico show, he was going on and on about this. The man was livid. It is good to see a long time pol who can still get angry about such things. The back-slappers and glad-handers that have the web of conflicts of interest that caused this thing to get as far as it has can't stand him, which actually leaves him freer to oppose them. He has been doing research on the technology and the company. His big question: if this thing is so great, why are y'all putting it out in Cochise County instead of a larger market? Makes one wonder.|W|P|111716991362972565|W|P|In the End, the Cranks Always Win.|W|P|prezelski@aol.com5/25/2005 03:25:00 PM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|As much as I believe Governor Janet Napolitano to be an extremely intelligent and capable politician, she has benefited a great deal from the narrow mindedness and bullheadedness of her opponents. This week, for example, I heard a report about the number of vetoes that the governor has issued. It is more than twice as many as the next highest tally for all Arizona governors (Gov. Hull). The reason for this is simple, when she vetoes something, it is almost guaranteed to come back to her desk a few weeks later. As if, somehow, she will have changed her mind. The guys in charge of the legislature seem to believe that the public is fully behind every pin-headed measure they put forward, and all of this public anger will be inflicted on poor Janet. It hasn't happened yet, she and her veto pen are just as popular as always. I think it would help if a few of the Republican members took their noses out of their ALEC newsletters and asked actual Arizonans what they think. Two of her vetoes towards the end of last week stuck in the craws of the Republican leadership. They are claiming that Napolitano lied to them. I doubt she did, and such an argument will only hold sway if the public trusts them in the first place. Both vetoes were because the leadership, as usual, thought they could pull one over on the governor. Both could have been easily avoided by the leadership. On one, all the governor wanted was a "sunset" provision in a tuition-tax credit bill. These are common in tax-credit bills. For some reason, it was not included here. It probably didn't help much that the leadership was bragging after the passage that they cajoled governor into supporting "vouchers", there is an excellent way to build comity. The other veto was regarding the Flores lawsuit on English language instruction. All the governor asked was that the Democrats be included in the negotiations on the bill. You'd think that wouldn't be hard. I guess it was. Well, these are the same guys that tried to prevent Democratic members from asking questions and even offered deals to a few if they wouldn't speak on the floor. One of her more interesting vetoes was of a bill requiring an ID to vote. This was another example of these guys attempting to pass the same bill over and over again. The bills provisions were clearly illegal, and there is little evidence of "illegal aliens" wanting to vote in Arizona elections. It seems like the typical recipie for Arizona legislation: no real problem that exists, and a solution that is unworkable, illegal and possibly catastrophic. The basic premise of the bill is flawed though, we can't get actual citizens to vote, and someone who is trying to hide from la migra is putting his name and address on a government list? Give me a break. Of course, that doesn't keep the talk radio types from claiming that Napolitano and Grijalva were elected by "aliens." I can see the conversation among the desperately poor in Chiapas or Guerrero: "Hey, Miguel, when are you going across?" "Soon, man, I'm going to work the chicken plants in Arkansas." "Naw, I ain't doing that. When I go across, I'm going to stay in Tucson, so I can vote for that Napolitano and Grijalva." "Really? I get to vote for them? Well, heck with the good money then. I'll stay in Arizona. Do I get to vote for Ted Downing?" Such are the fantasies of the far right.|W|P|111705994486972658|W|P|I'll Chew You Up and Spit You Out|W|P|prezelski@aol.com5/26/2005 11:19:00 AM|W|P|Blogger eckeric|W|P|Yeah, in my neighborhood you can kind of get a sense the status of some of the folks there. For instance, they are afraid when city workers or anyone else comes to the door. I very much doubt that anyone is going to go to a place a public as polling place and try to vote.5/24/2005 09:21:00 AM|W|P|Tedski|W|P|So...yesterday I officially started a blog, Ted's Polish-Mexican Page, and I may as well have a "political" blog to go with it. What the heck. You need to know my politics first, eh? I've been in political life since I was 14, when I worked on the losing re-election effort for Rep. James McNulty (D-Bisbee). From then on, I was a volunteer for numerous campaigns, most notably for Corporation Commissioner Richard Kimball, who lost a race for the US Senate against some guy named John McCain. The shallowness of that race caused Kimball to want to see what he could do to elevate the dialog, an effort that eventually led to Project Vote Smart. I worked as a paid staffer for the campaigns of Corporation Commissioner Renz Jennings (we won that one), General Wesley Clark (lost, but I was the only one to carry a county for him) and also for the Arizona Democratic Party. I also was a candidate for the obscure and not always existing office of Pima County Charter Committee back in the last century. Basically, I'm left of center, but not left enough for my lefty friends. I'm opposed to the death penalty, but okay with most gun ownership. I think people should have the right to organize unions, but I am pro-free trade (when its actually free trade though). In other words, I am as ideologically muddled as most. I can't guarantee copious posts on here. But, poke around and see what I say.|W|P|111695277183491529|W|P|Oooh yes...a political blog...|W|P|prezelski@aol.com5/24/2005 10:20:00 AM|W|P|Blogger Mike|W|P|i am not much of a political person all though i do vote and feel everyone should. i learned a lot about politics from the dukes of hazzard. if you want to watch the trailer to the upcoming movie jump on over to www.mythmker.blogspot.com5/25/2005 10:57:00 PM|W|P|Anonymous Tasha|W|P|Muddled is good. It means there's hope for us all. :)