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The Skinny

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WHAT THE FUCK!

And you thought John McCain was a straight talker! Vice President Dick Cheney brought it on during a photo op on the U.S. Senate floor last week, telling Vermont's Democratic Sen. Patrick Leahy, "Fuck you" (or perhaps simply "fuck off"--press reports remain sketchy as to the precise act that Cheney suggested).

Questioned later on fair-and-balanced Fox News, Cheney said he had no regrets about the remark, which was "long overdue."

"I felt better after I had done it," Cheney explained.

Fuckin'-a right, Dick! And we'd just like to fuckin' say it's about fuckin' time you made it clear you've got the whole fuckin' world swinging from your nuts. All that fuckin' phony civility bullshit is for the fuckin' pussies of this world! And as the recent ass-kicking of a certain Middle Eastern country showed, this administration isn't full of fuckin' pussies!

As the Geto Boys say: Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta.

Of course, within the Republican Party itself, some pussies are making new calls for civility as primaries approach, and GOP's cultural conservatives continue efforts to purge the fuckin' country-club moderates from the party.

Among the weak sisters, according to congressional newspaper The Hill: Rep. Tom DeLay of Texas, who is telling the right wing to turn down the volume--or else. According to The Hill, DeLay warned Rep. Tom Tancredo of Colorado that he shouldn't be turning his PAC, Team America, loose on fellow Republicans if he ever wants to work on a decent committee again.

Team America, which campaigns against illegal immigration on the country's southern border, has plans to support state Rep. Randy Graf in his campaign to unseat 10-term incumbent Congressman Jim Kolbe, according the The Hill. Graf is offering himself as the "real Republican" in the race against Kolbe, who is doing nothing to stop the slaughter of the unborn, the invasion of America and the unholy union of gays.

Deeper beneath the surface, there's lingering resentment in GOP circles regarding the election of Randy Pullen as Republican National Committeeman. Pullen, a two-time loser in races for mayor of Phoenix, managed to harness the conservative vote to topple longtime committeeman Mike Hellon of Southern Arizona earlier this year.

Since then, Hellon's been a sore loser, quietly muttering that some kind of ballot shenanigans might have taken place, and the race might not be over yet. The conservatives who support Pullen dismiss Hellon's gripes the way Republicans in general dismissed Al Gore's whining about Florida.

Given the way the conservatives are organizing within the party apparatus, we wouldn't be surprised if state GOP chairman Bob Fannin, a country-clubber/lawyer/lobbyist, is starting to sweat a bit about keeping his post. Watch out for the fuckin' peasants with pitchforks and torches, Bob!


FRANK REVERSAL

We've noted a few times recently that Congressman Jim Kolbe has been pretty frisky with his franking privileges ever since state Rep. Randy Graf has stepped up to challenge him. Kolbe has been sending out mailers at taxpayer expense boasting of his efforts to strengthen border security and provide prescription-drug benefits.

But we didn't expect Kolbe to actually admit he was campaigning on the taxpayer dime. So it came as a surprise to learn that he has reimbursed the U.S. Treasury to the tune of $5,774.65 for the cost of mailing 14,000 postcards that were a "potential violation of franking regulations."

Graf campaign manager Jim Coniglio delivered this bitch-slap in a release: "Perhaps if Mr. Kolbe had spent less time trying to get re-elected and offering amnesty to illegal aliens, he would not be as disenfranchised from Arizona voters as he finds himself today."

By the way, we hear the Kolbe camp still hasn't decided if they'll make any appearances at forums with Graf. Could it be that the congressman's polling shows him so far ahead that he's just going to sit on his lead and run out the clock?


CANDID CAMERA

As expected, foes of Clean Elections, the state's program for publicly financed elections, turned in more than 275,000 signatures last week for their ballot initiative.

The group, No Taxpayer Money for Politicians, hopes to persuade voters to pass a constitutional amendment that would ban the use of public funds for political campaigns. While not directly repealing Clean Elections, it would certainly cripple it.

Doug Ramsey, a spokesman for Keep It Clean, the committee campaigning against the proposed constitutional amendment, fired off a press release calling the proposition "deceptive."

As evidence, he offered up a link to a Web site featuring a short "hidden camera" video segment that shows a petition passer trying to convince a supporter of Clean Elections that the new law would be good for Clean Elections.

Now, we don't expect every petition passer to be clear on the merits of the proposition they're trying to pass. Many of 'em are just grifters who are collecting signatures to earn a paycheck. Nonetheless, it's an amusing short film. Check it out at http://www.ifilms.tv/specialprojects/.


RANCH HAND-OVER

In yet another example of city-county harmony, the City Council has agreed in principle to sell the A-7 Ranch, located 18 miles east of the city, to Pima County for $1.9 million, which is the total debt the city now owes on the property.

A previous City Council bought the A-7, also known as the Bellotta Ranch, to protect it from development. Council members planned to flip the property to an environmental group such as the Nature Conservancy, but interest dried up once the city held title to the property.

Given that the city was spending some $600,000 operating the ranch and serving the debt at a time of fiscal hardship, council members voted last month to sell the ranch on the open market.

That was enough pressure to get the county, flush with all those new open-space bond dollars, to offer to purchase the ranch.

We recommend the county do a careful background check on any caretaker hired to watch over the property.


DOG'S DAY

City Councilwoman Kathleen Dunbar might not care much for TW reporters, but there's no denying she's kind to other animals. A big sloppy lick to Dunbar for her work to establish a dog park at 2075 N. Sixth Ave., just across the street from the Northwest Neighborhood Center.

Our favorite newshounds, Cricket and Scout, have been enjoying the chance to frolic off their leashes with all manner of canine companions. We were particularly astonished by Sammy the blue Doberman, who regularly manages to scoop up three tennis balls, a rope toy and a flying disc in his mouth, simultaneously. Get this dog on Letterman!

The only problem: The damn sprinklers go off just as the evening is cooling down and most of the visitors are gathering at the park. The result: muddy, wet pooches that can make for a mess on the drive home, not to mention rotting grass and pools of standing water. (Now offering free move-in specials for mosquitoes infected with West Nile virus!)

Then again, some of the dogs really seem to dig getting soaked.

Anyway, we're told the sprinkler timer will soon be re-adjusted.

Dunbar is still seeking donations for a few more park improvements, including permanent benches. For a mere $40, you can get your dog's name on a colorful commemorative tile. For more info, call 791-4711.


SEX CHANGE

In The Skinny's ongoing efforts to properly identify justice of the peace candidate Trini "Muy Macho" Armenta, we misidentified him as a her last week. Our apologies to Mr. Armenta.

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