From: Tucson Councilman Paul Cunningham

Re: An open letter to my Ward 2 constituents, the mayor and City Council and my fellow citizens who like cheap gossip.

I'd like to address questions you may have about your councilman's behavior at a certain bar in San Diego because apparently what happens in San Diego doesn't stay in San Diego.

On Tuesday, the Star reported that I made "a string of alcohol-fueled inappropriate sexual comments to a number of top female city officials at a bar in San Diego." Alcohol-fueled? Who talks like that? Plowed, blasted and snookered I can understand, but "alcohol-fueled"?

Councilwoman Karin Uhlich said I should consider resigning. Well, I say Uhlich and all of the other judgmental busybodies (Regina Romero and Shirley Scott) should consider sticking their big noses elsewhere. Or maybe we should just take this outside of council chambers and settle this man to man. Am I in trouble for that now? Was that an "inappropriate" comment? Oh, I'm so-o-o-o-o sorry, ladies. And another thing, if you hadn't rained on my "Let's build an arena" parade we'd have the perfect venue for our amazing match. Opportunities squandered!

Let me back up and tell you where I was and what happened. I can't remember where I was and I have no idea what happened. I do recall that I received a "scholarship" to go on a junket to San Diego. I prefer to call such outings economic-development trips, and this one was organized by Tucson's Regional Economic Opportunities, a swell group that works hard to claim credit for nearly every good thing anyone else does.

After a hard day of meetings led by San Diego developers making fun of Tucson, a group of us went to a bar. I don't remember the name of the bar. Could've been the Rusty Nail or Captain Petey's.

An assistant city manager, our economic-development manager and our business advocate were there. They are swell gals. I don't recall anything I said to them after I said to the bartender, "I'd like another drink and put a tiny sword in the pineapple." The rest is a blur. What's the big deal? I never sent anybody a picture of my you-know-what like that congressman did. And I never bit anybody either. Not like our late, great Mayor Jim Corbett did. I had my staff research this dude. He was an awesome fellow Demo-crat. Way back in the '70s, he was attending a conference of mayors in Washington. The guy got hammered. Wearing his socks and a cowboy hat, Corbett showed up at the door of two women staying at the conference hotel. They shared some witty repartee and he bit one on the thigh. Can you believe that? On the thigh! She had pictures of her wound! He didn't remember it that way, naturally.

Let me make this perfectly clear. I had my socks on the whole time at that bar in San Diego.

When I woke up the next morning all I found was one of those tiny drink umbrellas in my pocket, Mike Tyson's tiger and a baby. And this was Day One of a three-day fact-finding trip. That left me just two days to return Tyson's tiger, replace my missing tooth, find the baby's mother and still attend all of our economic development meetings. And you wonder why I hate red lights.

When I got home, Mayor Rothschild told me to apologize for my behavior. I said maybe San Diego and the rum should apologize for getting me into this awful mess. He just looked at me like I was pothole, or worse, a weed-infested traffic median. So I called a number of officials to apologize for whatever it was I did.

I said, "'Hey, if I did anything or said anything wrong, I apologize. If I hit on you or puked on you or danced on the bar or whatever, I am totally sorry. By the way does anyone know how I lost my tooth?"

Looking forward, I have considered entering rehab at The Maverick, King of Clubs. It has a 2-for-1 treatment program that starts at 5. And I have also been working with Scott, Romero and Uhlich to pass a resolution condemning alcohol-fueled inappropriate sexual comments. It's not easy because we all favor ethanol fuel and the city attorney said "inappropriate" is too specific. We have yet to take a position on appropriate sexual comments.

I am sorry my behavior overshadowed the tremendous benefits of our trip to San Diego. We learned a lot. For example, having a stadium downtown is really good for economic development. And having an ocean nearby helps a lot. Did you know that? I sure as heck didn't. Cheers!

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