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Political Notebook: Napier seeks apology, end to 'dirty politics' in sheriff's race
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Political Notebook

Political Notebook: Napier seeks apology, end to 'dirty politics' in sheriff's race

Democrat Chris Nanos, left, calls Republican opponent Mark Napier’s demand letter “political theatrics.”

Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier is demanding a public apology from his longtime political opponent, Chris Nanos.

Napier, a Republican, says claims the fellow candidate made against him are “dirty politics.”

A letter from Napier’s attorneys addressed to Nanos, a Democrat who is running to unseat Napier in November, says the former sheriff has “intentionally, and with actual malice, disseminated complete falsehoods and defamatory statements about Sheriff Napier.”

The letter addresses a billboard near I-10 and I-19 that claimed Napier was found guilty of perjury, labeled the sheriff as a “proven liar” and depicted him with a Pinocchio-like nose. It also addresses claims Nanos has made on social media calling Napier a liar.

Clear Channel Communications, LLC, who owns the billboard, “determined that the statements did not meet their advertising standards and immediately removed the billboard as soon as they learned of the falsehood,” according to the letter.

“This has gone far beyond what we might begrudgingly tolerate as dirty politics and have exceeded the bounds of my normally benevolent disposition,” Napier said in a statement Monday.

Napier is threatening to sue if Nanos doesn’t “provide a written apology for the defamatory statements,” “post a public apology” in a half-page ad in the Arizona Daily Star, permanently take down the Facebook page and website both titled, “No More Napier,” and agree to no longer make “false or misleading statements about me in perpetuity.”

Napier is also asking his opponent to “strongly consider immediately terminating your candidacy for Sheriff.”

In an emailed statement, Nanos labeled the letter as “political theatrics.”

“Given Marc (sic.) Napier’s numerous past practices of intimidation and bullying, Sheriff Nanos is not surprised by his attempt to gain publicly (sic.) with political theatrics such as this,” Nanos said.

Nanos said he looks forward to future debates and that voters will decide for themselves who is truthful and has integrity for the Pima County Sheriff’s position.

“Due to inferred threats of litigation, Sheriff Nanos will not respond any further on the matter,” he said.

Pascua Yaqui tribe lobbies for closer early voting site

Roughly two months before the November general election, members of the Pascua Yaqui Tribe are calling on Pima County Recorder F. Ann Rodriguez to restore their early voting site.

Chairman Peter S. Yucupicio pleaded for an amendment to the early voting plan during this week’s Board of Supervisors meeting, saying the nearest location — about 7 miles from the old site and off the reservation — is insufficient for many members who rely on public transportation.

“That is not something — countywide, statewide, governmentwide, in any government — to do to people who simply want to exercise their right to vote,” Yucupicio said, adding that it will take roughly two hours for some to get to the polls.

Rodriguez offered a 13-bullet point statement to the retort, which says that it’s too late to make changes to the early voting plan, citing election security as the most-important issue. She added that she appeared at a tribe council meeting in 2018 as to why there was no early voting site, and that this would be the plan for 2020.

She added that she made recommendations to the board, including organizing a ride-sharing option to help people get to the polls, which were not considered. She said that members of the tribe, which are spread out throughout Pima County, are located within 3 to 12 miles of the polls; that’s significantly less than members of the Tohono O’Odham nation, which has a larger geographical area, where some have to drive up to 63 miles to get to a voting site.

Despite the retort from Rodriguez, the effort has gained support from Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, who sent a letter to Rodriguez advocating that the voting site be restored.

“Indigenous communities in Arizona have a long and painful history of both implicit and explicit forms of discrimination, including facing undue barriers to voting,” Romero said. “While I am aware that your General Plan for the Primary and General Elections was approved this past April, I urge you to amend this decision. It would be deeply unfortunate if disparities in ballot access were simply dismissed and allowed to perpetuate.”

During Tuesday’s supervisors meeting, Chairman Ramon Valadez said an item discussing the issue would be included at a future meeting.

Simon, popular dog of ex-supervisor, dies

Simon, the rescue pup who became a fixture around the Pima County Administration building after he was adopted by former supervisor Ray Carroll, has died, according to the Pima Animal Care Center. He was about 15 years old.

The miniature schnauzer was one of the first dogs to be rescued from PACC back in 2012 under a new model to try give “every pet a chance to live their best possible life.” He became the unofficial mascot of the 2014 bond campaign to fund the PACC building, helping raise thousands of dollars at dozen of support events.

But, above all, he was a constant companion to Carroll, who took him everywhere. He was there when Carroll retired from the board in 2016, and followed him to the Green Valley Justice Court, where Carroll has since presided.

“Simon has participated in hundreds of weddings and has been the ring bearer sometimes, but usually just as a reminder that every nice couple deserves a good dog,” Carroll said in the Facebook post. “I gave them a preview of what a good pound dog could end up like.”

“My heart is filled with gratitude for PACC as I say goodbye to the little guy who rescued me.”

Stephanie Casanova

Justin Sayers

and Jasmine Demers

Justin Sayers

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