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El Chisme

Too many F (Anns) dropped; Mayor reveals true 5 T's of Tucson

FUGOV founded, Rothschild drops mic

With the announcement that F. Ann Rodriguez won't seek re-election, a number of our readers and other people who just glance at our headlines when they're posted on Facebook and usually keep scrolling looking for choice corgi memes have wondered just what the eff that F effing stands for.

Rodriguez — who's decided to hang up her sash of office, probably from the ledge over her fireplace — has been in office since around the third Joe Biden presidential bid, and first sought election to the Recorder's Office back in the days that Ronald Reagan was napping in the Oval Office, people who weren't hipsters used record players, and she was still going by her full name.

Ask the question of Ann herself and you'll probably just get a blank stare in return. If you're lucky.

Some of our readers need this spelled out for them, so see here: we need this woman to return our calls for the next 14 months, so we can tell you what's up with our elections. Even people who've worked in her office, and known her for years, have no idea what that initial stands for. But with that being said:

Frankly, even elected public officials are entitled to privacy in certain aspects of their lives.

Look, F. Ann has been known by that initial-middle name combo for decades.

Of course, if it were relevant to any covered-up information, we'd publish her full legal name.

Rightly or wrongly, we've made the editorial decision to respect her wishes to be known in that manner.

Editorially, we generally allow people to be identified in the way that they choose.

Not for nothing, we think that's the correct choice, as long as it's not misleading.

Clearly, a three-decade political career under a well-established public moniker isn't, whatever else you might think of her leadership.

Ergo, we'll keep calling her F. Ann.

Tuscan influence

We've seen a slew of misspellings of "Tucson" lately — mainly as "Tuscon" in emails for dubious "studies" from WalletHubMovatoMillennialHype companies looking for some free links in easy-to-crank-out news stories. The ad industry calls that "earned media," although what anyone does to "earn" coverage of a darts-against-the-wall report on "America's Best Cities for Scooter-Riding Dogs to Eat Avocado Toast" is completely beyond us. TV stations love to turn out a quick bit of fluff when they "inboxed" with that crap, though.

The other offender is the military, which shows an attention to detail that's a bit concerning.

A couple lately have read "Tuscan," which got our hopes up about winning a free trip to Italy where we could play at being Medicis while wandering through museums.

Instead, we've got our own Florence here in Arizona.

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Question begging to be asked

The pending open seat in the Recorder's Office certainly prompts the query: Who's gonna run? A group of hardcore Democratic social media activists are working to draft one Wm. Patrick Burns IV, who's been a perennial write-in candidate for state mine inspector — if a completely unwilling one who's never filed for the office despite getting votes in primaries for both major political parties.

His candidacy would likely be subject to a court challenge, on the basis that his two-letter abbreviated first name disqualifies him from the office.

Plus he'd probably have to give up his gig with the new foundation that outgoing Mayor Jonathan Rothschild is setting up — which is going to be some sort of successor to the Rothschild Foundation and Rothschild Institute for Social Equality groups that he let lapse when he assumed office. Given JR's penchant for snazzy acronyms, call it the Foundation for Understanding, Growth and Opportunity in Values. FUGOV is set to take over part of the old Carlos Murphy's downtown as its offices, next to the O'Valadez Group's burgeoning success-tape empire and Showtime script factory.

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Conspiracy revealed: The true Five T's of Tucson

Speaking of one Jonathan Rothschild, our two-term mayor has finally acknowledged that his plan all along has not been to support his much-vaunted (by him, and, uh, Lisa Markkula, we guess) "Five T's of Tucson." Well, at least not the essential T's he's laid out in public repeatedly since 2015: "technology, trade, transportation, tourism, and teaching."

Instead, at a recent City Council meeting, Rothschild, with nothing left to give, explained that he's been the epicenter of a vast conspiracy over his eight years in office. No, not some Morons on Patrol/Screwy Louie-type garble about abandoned cement plants and tunnels from Tucson to the Vatican to smuggle kids for ritual sex abuse or whatever else Donald Trump's reading about on 8chan tonight.

During a blurted admission that would have caught more attention if City Clerk Roger Randolph hadn't sprinted across the Council chambers to head-first dive in front of the mayor and, sprawling across the desk, hit the kill switch on the live microphone, Rothschild — who paints pictures in profanity as if he were a Botticelli or Michelangelo — made the truth be known.

"The real Five T's of Tucson are: tacos, tequila, titty bars, tattoo parlors, and termite-ridden trailer parks," he said. "We've gained more of most of 'em, and we're holding steady on the rest. Success, bitches!"

But not a soul heard him, because some lady with a brood of children that seem to belong to her, we guess, was babbling some Russian propaganda about 5G changing her "cellular DNA" during the call to the public, even though she doesn't live in Tucson but instead in some northern suburb. (Here's the part where you save us some work and write your own "Five G's of Tucson" joke.)

"And at least we're not fucking Oro Valley," Rothschild sneered, wrenching the microphone from its clip (or is that a magazine?) to dramatically drop it to the floor.

Instead, he hit his toe. "Ouch, damn it! Roger....," the mayor was overheard to say, tossing a sheaf of Foothills annexation plans at the harried clerk as he rushed back to the Council's private conference room, extremely unreliable sources told El Chisme.

The long-suffering Randolph may be ready to hang up his clipboard, we hear. Poor guy isn't even going to have a park named after him, despite his years of service.

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What with our probably ending up with a recorder who has a spelled-out first name soon, and having already had a Tucson city manager stick with his job for a few years and not even get a pierced ear as is required under the City Charter, local government may be in for a total shakeup if we get a clerk who remains in the room during the Pledge of Allegiance.

Here are your signs

There's nothing that'll make experienced campaign operatives sputter as their eyes roll than the topic of signs. Especially yard signs. Candidates and volunteers love 'em. People who get paid to effectively turn out voters know they don't do much good (studies show yard signs might add a point or two to a winning campaign's total). Hand the aforementioned Wm. Patrick Burns MXLVII a beer and ask him about yard signs someday. You'll thank us for the entertainment value.

But a couple of current local candidates are taking an interesting tack on the sign front.

Mayoral aspirant Ed Ackerley — on the ballot as an independent so he could dodge a Democratic-primary dustup he was sure to not survive — is putting his ad-man skills to work. There's a big-ass honkin' truck toting a billboard of his campaign's "Jump In" slogan and Ed's mug around town. In it, he's sportin' one of his own campaign buttons, and a nifty purple tie that coordinates with his logo.

The billboard also reads "Paid for by Ackerley for Mayor." Which seems obvious — but it also seems to not quite measure up to the letter of the law.

Under both state law and the City Code, campaign advertisements must include both the "paid for by" line (followed naturally enough by the name of the campaign or committee that wrote the check) and an "authorized by Candidate X" line (if a candidate authorizes the ad, and naturally enough their name would replace "Candidate X").

Just maybe there's an unauthorized Ackerley billboard truck driving around town.

Also attempting to appeal to rush-hour drivers is Sam Nagy, who got himself on the November ballot as a Republican running for the Ward 1 City Council seat on the West Side. He had to get enough write-in votes to qualify after he failed to get enough nominating signatures to be able to run for mayor.

With his campaign not exactly able to afford a truck, Nagy's taken to holding his own campaign sign on the side of the road. He's been spotted near the Pima County jail, and across town at Broadway and Wilmot. That's one way to get the word out.

This just in from Ducey's office: 'Random lady at Walmart on the appointment of Montgomery to the Arizona Supreme Court'

Gubernatorial aide Patrick Ptak seems to have spent the better part of a week hunting down every complimentary social media mention of the governor's latest state Supreme Court pick, and turning each and every single one of them into a separate email sent to reporters around the state.

At least he's keepin' busy, right?

Couldn't find it with a map

The fine folks over at KGUN are continuing the Tucson tradition of local TV talkers being unable to tell which way is up on a map. If they've ever even looked at one.

While the Star newsroom recently demonstrated with data and stuff that the center of Tucson is somewhere close to eastern New Mexico, your KGunners think that the north side of River and Campbell is "Midtown."

Last month, the station treated us to a story about Trump's tariffs that ... didn't include the word "Trump."

Not to be outdone, the crew at KVOA, who think that the city of Tucson owns the Hotel Arizona (which may be news to Bert Lopez), have a time machine, or something. They reported that the Pima County Republicans filed a lawsuit about the "sanctuary city" initiative. Only they did so a week before that (doomed) suit was filed. Because they read a press release saying it had been, instead of checking it out.

Target market

Speaking of selling sanctuary, or actually, trying to market against it, somebody out there spent some money last month. An unidentified group recruited a focus group to try to figure out what themes would work best to oppose the measure.

The two-hour gig — for men 40 and older who live in the city — paid $125 each, with qualifying questions that aimed at determining who was liberal and who was conservative. The online recruiting form was set up to cull government workers, political activists, advertising staffers and the press from the pool of potential participants.

Among the queries:

As you may know, a sanctuary city forbids state and local law enforcement from cooperating with federal immigration officials. Do you think Tucson should or should not become a sanctuary city?

In your own words, what would you say is the most important problem facing TUCSON today?

Where. to. start?

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About some of your Chisme crew: A. Nonie Maus needs little introduction, as she’s everywhere and nowhere, always. John Behan? He was sheriff of Cochise County during a small incident at the OK Corral, but was also later the business manager for the Tucson Citizen — once taking over the newsroom for several days, armed with a pistol, as he demanded payment from the owners. And Juan D’Orlando is certainly not the publisher of the Arizona Daily Star. Klumpy the Goat (RIP) was one of the Four Ruminants of the Apocalypse, who was always getting roped into something or another. Dylan Smith’s some guy who bought a fedora once but realized it’s too hot in Tucson to wear a hat most of the time and still crank out quality journalism.
Got a juicy bit of info? Keep those cards and letters coming: chisme@tucsonsentinel.com

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What is El Chisme?

Welcome to El Chisme: Actually factual tidbits, gossip, rumors and alternative truths about politics and public life in Tucson. Lovingly compiled and artisanly curated by a small group with widespread sources, who keep an ear to the ground and will let you know what chatter is an omen and what's just for the birds.

Not fake news, but sometimes not the kind of stuff our tipsters really want their names connected with either — let's dish....