Tucson strikes back against the hacktacular Doug MacEachern

ScreenshotThe Rush Limbaugh of The Republic, Doug MacEachern, has his panties in a bunch over a Democratic Party press release  regarding Tea-Publican congressional candidate Martha McSally leaving a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the A-10 early to attend a fundraiser for her campaign. Do Dems really want to make issue of McSally fundraiser?

A cursory Google search reveals that the only media to pick up the press release was the Arizona Daily Star in Tucson. McSally leaves Armed Services Committee hearing to go to fundraiser (updated). I suspect this really isn’t about politics at all.

MacEachern recently wrote the latest in his series of “I really hate Tucson” jeremiads (the feeling is mutual, asshole), Tucson, where bad fiscal ideas thrive, to which Tim Steller of the Daily Star responded by stopping just short of calling Dougey a douche-bag. Steller: Here’s a good one — a Phoenix pundit says we’re the ones living in hell:

Most of you were probably too busy outside, enjoying a beautiful Sunday in Tucson, to get the word from a Phoenix pundit that you were actually in hell.

That’s the word Arizona Republic columnist Doug MacEachern used to describe Tucson in an out-of-nowhere condemnation of the Old Pueblo.

I hesitate to dignify a piece that read like the sudden resolution of a long bout of constipation, but here’s his precise wording:

“Once you force yourself to come down off picturesque Ina Road and Skyline Drive up in the Catalina Foothills, which is where all of Tucson’s most well-heeled liberals live, you must drive downward into, you know, hell. Which is to say Tucson proper. Which in nearly every respect is a basket case, especially financially.”

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What’s so peculiar about MacEachern’s piece is the contortions he goes through to make the broader point that Tucson sucks — a point too many locals seem eager to embrace these days.

He starts by calling Speedway “the ugliest main drag in America.” This appears to be a reference to Life Magazine’s infamous, 1970 description of Speedway as “the ugliest street in America.”

But no, when I spoke with MacEachern Tuesday, he told me he was referring to his own, more recent experiences on Speedway and judging it based on its being Tucson’s “main drag.” Now, I don’t think Tucson really has a main drag, but whatever Speedway is, it’s just not that ugly. It’s a normal commercial artery of which there are hundreds up in the Phoenix area and dozens here.

Next, MacEachern says how terrible our traffic is: “Tucson is a community that somehow created for itself a suffocating, twice-daily, rush-hour gridlock without actually having a lot of cars or places for people to work at.”

Ignore that dangling preposition and ponder that a person from the Phoenix area is saying how terrible our traffic is in Tucson. Yes, our traffic and lack of freeways can be frustrating, but compared to Phoenix? MacEachern told me that his experience is that whenever he drives into Tucson, he runs into tangles of traffic congestion.

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Those complaints, valid or not, are really just an appetizer to the main course of MacEachern’s column: Critiques about Rio Nuevo and Mexican American Studies. Those issues again? Yes, some people — especially ideological conservatives here and in Phoenix — are desperate to hold onto them as examples of the hopelessness of Tucson and Democratic rule.

“In Tucson,” MacEachern teases, “ ‘Rio Nuevo’ is Spanish for, ‘Where did my freaking $230 million go, you incompetent thieves?’”

Dougey must suffer from dementia in his advanced age and has forgotten this report from Josh Brodesky at the Daily Star back in 2011,  Josh Brodesky: Rio Nuevo is troika’s plaything:

Hard to imagine the public ever saying yes to Rio Nuevo in 1999 had they known it would become the shared toy of Jonathan Paton, Jodi Bain and John Munger. The three are handling Rio Nuevo like kids handle Tonka trucks, smashing it into anything and everything they can. I’ll take that sentence back if they grow up. Call it an olive branch.

Do Rio Nuevo Chairwoman Bain, Board Member Paton and former GOP chairman Munger have the best interests of Tucson taxpayers at heart? They’ll say yes, of course.

But just look at the tangled web they’ve woven to save Rio Nuevo: a threat of lawsuits against the city, demanding repairs in 30 days to the Tucson Convention Center (or else!), and now the new vision for downtown redevelopment that businessman Fletcher McCusker is peddling.

The “Troika” are all conservative Republicans appointed by the conservative Republican leaders of the Arizona legislature. Not a Progressive or Liberal among them. They have since been replaced by the current board that is actually getting things done. (Paton, unbelievably, was hired back on as the board’s lobbyist).

As Steller says, ” it’s 2014. Rio Nuevo has an independent board, and its finances are available for viewing online. It’s time that MacEachern and others move forward and at least find new examples.”

MacEachern has demonstrated a barely concealed bigotry towards all things Mexican in his columns for years.

MacEachern, who was obsessed with the debate over Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American Studies program, insists on going back to re-fight that favorite battle and updating it with some sinister plot lines.

“Earlier this month, administrators at TUSD’s Davis Bilingual Magnet School held a schoolwide rally, ostensibly to honor the late labor activist Cesar Chavez. But really, as it turned out, it was to get the kids charged up for demonstrating at that evening’s Tucson City Council meeting, where the council would consider adding a new paid employee holiday honoring Chavez.”

His sources for this information are vague. So I asked our City Hall reporter, Darren DaRonco, if any kids were at the council meeting when the holiday was approved. He said no, and certainly none demonstrating. [In short, MacEachern just made shit up.]

What MacEachern’s complaints seem to boil down to is that he thinks Tucsonans are self-important about their city, when it is actually poorly governed by ostentatious progressives.

“That’s exactly the self-inflated bubble I wanted to burst,” he told me. “Tucsonans have an image of themselves as more righteous than the Philistines on the other side of the river.”

Hey, the truth hurts, Philistine.

The Tucson Weekly also took its shot at the Rush Limbaugh of The Republic, Here’s Your “Tucson Sucks” Article of the Week: “At least we know that the wealthy people aren’t the problem…if only we could get all those pesky poor people south of River on board. But then again, if Tucson could get its shit together, Doug MacEachern wouldn’t have an easy, go-to column to write when he’s out of ideas.”

What a hack. I can’t believe The Republic hasn’t forced him into retirement — or just fired him. chickenbunkerMacEachern has diminished the value of The Republic for years.

As for Martha McSally, she has had time to speculate about the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 on the tee-vee machine, McSally weighs in on missing Malaysian airliner, but she continues to hide in the “chickenbunker” refusing to provide substantive answers to any “Questions for Martha McSally.”