Political notebook: Peace on Earth, ill will 'tween Antenori, Kozachik

2012-12-09T00:00:00Z Political notebook: Peace on Earth, ill will 'tween Antenori, KozachikDarren DaRonco Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
December 09, 2012 12:00 am  • 

'Tis the season to put aside vendettas and seek comity among your fellow man. Unless of course the men in question are named Kozachik and Antenori.

City Councilman Steve Kozachik fired the latest barb in his ongoing feud with outgoing state Sen. Frank Antenori over some comments the soon-to-be former senator made to the Yellow Sheet recently about his political future.

Antenori told the Yellow Sheet he will continue his indefatigable war against the left and ersatz Republicans while he plots his next run for elected office.

But this time, he's taking a more subtle approach.

"I'm going to be tinkering and playing around behind the scenes and causing a lot of grief to a lot of people who will probably not be happy that I'm still around," Antenori told the Yellow Sheet. "I've got things in the works that I don't want to disclose because I don't want people to know what I'm up to. I'd rather snipe from the bushes."

With his re-election looming in 2013, Kozachik shrugs off the fact he could be one of the purported RINOs (Republicans in name only) Antenori is targeting.

"First, you've got to be relevant in order to cause people grief," Kozachik said. "Second, you can't be a bull in a china factory and hope to not be noticed in what you're doing. ... He's like the sniper that stands up from behind the bushes and shouts 'Here I am. Look at me.'"

As for Antenori's clandestine plans, those are the worst kept secret in town.

"Even the party hierarchy is saying that he's trying to put together a slate to take over the reins of the Pima GOP," Kozachik said. "It's the secret that everybody knows about. So much for sniping and nondisclosure."

Antenori said he has made it abundantly clear he has no intention of being a part of Pima Republican leadership, and Kozachik knows it.

"I've said it several times, but he's living in an alternate reality. He's delusional," Antenori said. "And he needs to see a physician so he can be put on medication to deal with it."

In fact, Antenori said, the whole idea emanates solely from Kozachik's twisted desire to see Antenori become party chairman so Kozachik can have an excuse to switch party affiliation before the election.

"I am not going to provide him the political cover to do it," Antenori said. "Show some political courage and do it yourself. ... Just come full circle, Steve, and get in touch with your Democratic self."

Who said the yuletide spirit is dead?

SPEAKING OF PARTY CHAIRS

Pima County Democratic Party Chair Jeff Rogers will hang up his chairman's hat this year.

Rogers has decided not to seek a third term when the party meets Jan. 5 to elect its officers.

"Two terms are a lot," Rogers said. "It was a pleasure to do it, and I really enjoyed it, but two terms is enough. I don't think we've had anybody do two full terms since the 1960s."

Rogers called it the "greatest honor of this life" to lead the Democratic Party the past four years and was grateful to work with so many dedicated people over that time to achieve significant electoral success.

"I think we've done really well down here. In 2010, when everybody else got slaughtered in congressional races we held on to two close seats," Rogers said. "We held on to all but one of our legislative seats in Pima County. And this year we went from 9 up to 11 seats in the Legislature."

Rogers said the party was even able to capture the mayor's office during his tenure, the first time the Dems did that in over a decade.

All in all, Rogers said he can head off into the night with his party well-positioned for the next chairman.

"I think our team can look back on a pretty successful four-year run," he said.

Contact reporter Darren DaRonco at 573-4243 or ddaronco@azstarnet.com.

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

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