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Is Harry Mitchell a bigger crook then J.D. Hayworth?

by Dan Nowicki Friday, Oct. 20, 2006 at 2:16 PM

Is Harry Mitchell a bigger crook then J.D. Hayworth?

Tempe's Harry Mitchell is a crook!! But is he ha bigger jert then JD?

Harry Mitchell admitted swiping of an opponent's polticical signs.

Harry Mitchell admitted supporting disgraced Tempe City Court Judge Stephen Mirretti's who stole millions from the Tempe Court and used it for high class hookers and gambling in Las Vegas.

Harry Mitchell admitted trading Tempe city parking spots Arizona Cardinals football tickets.

Harry Mitchell admitted blocking a Tempe proposal to force lobbyists to register.

Hayworth and Mitchell both up to no good

Oct. 19, 2006 12:00 AM

Editor's note: Assistant Editorial Page Editor Dan Nowicki offers up-to-the-minute commentary and news on The Republic's Plugged In political blog at Here are some of his latest highlights from the world of Arizona politics.

Here's the best indicator that the congressional race between incumbent Rep. J.D. Hayworth, R-Ariz., and Democratic challenger Harry Mitchell is tightening and the corruption issue is resonating in District 5:

Hayworth has launched an aggressive counterattack against Mitchell, dusting off assorted controversies dating to his days as Tempe mayor and state senator.

During a Tuesday taping of Scottsdale Republic Forum - a program that runs on Scottsdale's CityCable Channel 11 -Hayworth hammered Mitchell on distant brouhahas and scandals related to Mitchell's admitted swiping of an opponent's signs, supporting disgraced Tempe City Court Judge Stephen Mirretti's early release from prison, trading city parking spots for Phoenix (now Arizona) Cardinals football tickets and for blocking a Tempe proposal to force lobbyists to register.

Hayworth also leveled a more serious charge that Mitchell was indifferent to the Tempe Public Works Department's discrimination against Hispanics that "happened on his watch."

A new Hayworth TV spot revisits some of these topics and calls Mitchell a liar. (Mitchell has had his own share of hard-hitting TV ads, including one that also accuses Hayworth of lying.)

Hayworth's media savvy was apparent during the taping of the hourlong forum, which starts airing locally today on the Scottsdale public-affairs channel. (C-SPAN was expected to air it Wednesday night.) His furious attack had Mitchell defending his Tempe record the whole time during the segment on "ethics reform."

Mitchell said Tempe never had ethics or lobbyist problems and said he knew nothing about the discriminatory atmosphere in the Public Works Department while he was mayor. Mitchell accused Hayworth of distortions and even called him "rude."

Mitchell acknowledged writing a letter with regard to Mirretti's parole but said any allegation that he wanted authorities to go easy on the notorious compulsive-gambler judge is "completely false."

Mitchell even sarcastically suggested that Hayworth go digging for dirt in his high school record.

Will Hayworth's strategy work? Well, on the TV show, he kept Mitchell off-balance and the name of corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff never even came up.

Former two-term Sen. Dennis DeConcini, D-Ariz., has a book coming out that includes his reflections on the "Keating Five" scandal that involved him and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

In Senator Dennis DeConcini: From the Center of the Aisle, DeConcini says he holds no "grudges" but he comes across as bitter toward the media and still seems eager to stick it to McCain.

"I came away disturbed that the press had somehow transformed this situation into a criminal case and that I had to defend myself," DeConcini and co-author Jack August write in an uncorrected proof copy of the book. "The Keating Five were 'guilty' of something, and this notion spread quickly through Arizona, though we were not found guilty of anything."

DeConcini, who served from 1977 to 1995, adds: "One cannot fight 'City Hall'; as I learned, the press is 'City Hall.' "

DeConcini, McCain and Sens. Alan Cranston, D-Calif., John Glenn, D-Ohio, and Donald Riegle, D-Mich., were suspected of improperly pressuring federal thrift regulators on behalf of financier and developer Charles Keating's Lincoln Savings and Loan, which ended up collapsing in 1989 as part of the larger U.S. S&L crisis. According to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Web site, the Lincoln bailout "cost the taxpayers over billion."

The Senate Ethics Committee eventually rapped all five senators to varying degrees.

"During this time, I seriously considered resigning from the Senate because I was so upset at being accused of unethical practices," DeConcini confesses in the book, which the University of Arizona Press will publish Nov. 16.

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