Political notebook

Political Notebook: Romero and Rothschild spar over streetcar

2014-07-12T00:00:00Z 2014-07-12T10:22:08Z Political Notebook: Romero and Rothschild spar over streetcarBy Joe Ferguson Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Don’t expect Regina Romero and Jonathan Rothschild to be standing next to each other during the planned love fest kicking off the long-awaited streetcar in about two weeks.

In fact, someone may want to hide the ribbon-cutting scissors.

Councilwoman Romero has taken great umbrage with the invitation Mayor Rothschild sent out on July 1 asking folks to attend streetcar celebrations on July 21 and 25.

“I’m frankly offended that you are sending me an invitation to the culmination of a project that I (and my other colleagues on the council) have been working on years before you got elected,” Romero wrote in an email.

Romero chided Roths-child and his office for intentionally excluding other council offices from partaking in the streetcar party planning.

“This is no way to approach a celebration for a project that ALL (emphasis in Romero’s original) of us on the Council have worked so hard for and taken good beatings from the non-believers,” she said.

While Romero said she has become accustomed to Rothschild’s parsimonious doling out of praise since he took office, hogging credit for the streetcar crossed the line.

“I know that you are not adept at giving credit but this is too much!” Romero wrote. “The invitation to community and VIP’s should come from the full Mayor & Council not just from you. The entire celebration should have ALL (again, Romero’s emphasis) of us recognized for our steady support of this project.”

No word yet on how large the scissors will have to be to accommodate seven pairs of council members’ hands at the ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Sally sets sights on November before primary

Congressional District 2 candidate Martha McSally is reserving major airtime on network and cable television channels just weeks before the general election in November.

But her reservation comes more than six weeks before the Republican primary.

The retired Air Force colonel, one of three Republicans vying to challenge Rep. Ron Barber in Congressional District 2 this November, has reserved roughly $460,000 in ad time in the final weeks of the general election race, a spokesperson for the McSally campaign confirmed.

“Southern Arizonans are looking for a fresh voice representing them in Washington, and this early reservation will ensure that they hear directly from Martha McSally about how she’ll fight for them in Congress,” McSally spokesman Patrick Ptak said in a statement to Roll Call.

McSally joins the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, National Republican Congressional Committee and left-leaning House Majority PAC that have already signed up to spend an estimated combined $2 million on television ads in the district during the final weeks of the campaign.

HOUNDS AFTER HORNE

You can add a couple more attorneys to the crowd looking into whether Attorney General Tom Horne illegally put state employees to work on his campaign.

When the Secretary of State’s Office determined there is enough evidence to warrant an investigation, it passed that word to Horne’s solicitor general, who quickly declared a conflict and passed it on to two other Phoenix-area lawyers.

One is a well-known courtroom veteran. Daniel Barker spent a decade or so in private practice before becoming a Maricopa County Superior Court judge in 1992. After about a decade there, he became an Arizona Court of Appeals judge in 2001, from which he retired in 2011.

The other is Gilbert’s town attorney, Michael Hamblin. He was an attorney for the city of Phoenix for 27 years before Gilbert hired him as its first in-house attorney last year, the Arizona Republic reported.

Horne’s spokeswoman, Stephanie Grisham, explained the selection process this way in an email: “Essentially, the Solicitor General went through a vetting process to find attorneys who have knowledge in this area, who have not been political contributors (to anyone), possess the resources to take on a case such as this, and who have an exceptional reputation.”

The Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission is also looking into the same allegations — an investigation Horne is challenging in court — and so is Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, a political enemy of Horne’s.

Arizona Daily Star columnist Tim Steller and reporter Darren DaRonco contributed to this column.

Contact reporter Joe Ferguson at jferguson@azstarnet.com or 573-4346. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFerguson

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

About this blog

The Arizona Daily Star's Pueblo Politics blog includes stories and related items from the Tucson and Pima County political scene written by Star reporters Becky Pallack and Joe Ferguson.

Have a political topic you would like to see in the blog or suggestions? Email Becky Pallack at bpallack@tucson.com and Joe Ferguson at jferguson@tucson.com

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