Back in a September city council session outgoing Tucson mayor, Jonathan Rothschild, was overheard on an open mic being derisively vulgar towards the metro’s one-of-three incorporated municipalities. The council was reviewing P&Z issues surrounding a large new development for north central Tucson, which the mayor characterized, as one “you guys are going to turn into Oro [f**king] Valley”. Needless to say, the proposed project died, as so many before it in the black hole of Tucson’s anti-business matrix.
To say Tucson has an anti-business ethos, born of a sinecured college-town’s blissful navel-gazing and obscene intellectual arrogance …is an understatement.
Combined with the hard-left dominance of a blatantly crooked “at-large” council election scheme, which numerous whole states have outlawed altogether via constitutional amendment, it’s produced a dystopia of poverty & corruption. The urban poor in Tucson are like no place else in Arizona outside a reservation.
Incorporated Tucson’s per capita income is a full 300%+ less than two of its remaining metro companion municipalities, Marana and the aforementioned Oro Valley. Compared to incorporated Phoenix, Tucson’s per capita is a full 240% less. The comparative income numbers for other Phoenix Metro incorporated municipalities, of which there are some 24 cities & towns, only goes up.
Since September 2010, the Tucson Metro has contributed a pittance, just about 7% of Arizona’s total job growth, in 2018 figures analyzed by the Elliott Pollack Company for the Phoenix Metro Chamber.
Meanwhile, slightly less than 40% of the Tucson Metro is still in unincorporated Pima County. This population, nearing 400,000 is comprised of some 12-13 “Census Designated Places” (CDPs), all of which have numbers more than large enough to support municipal incorporation. Several are easily over 50,000 in population.
But these potential Pima municipal incorporations are exactly what the Tucson elite and their political co-conspirators in the County & City absolutely do not want. That political matrix, controlled by elements of the Grijalva Gang and the Tucson municipal hard-left, enjoy their powers to direct vast County sums towards favored projects. Meanwhile, the fall-off in metro infrastructure, policing, and other critical services is staggering.
This “Iron-Triangle” of political corruption long ago solidified into an operating model; today, it’s simply a given.
Moreover, rather than exposing or even criticizing, the dominant local print media, owned by out-of-town interests and full of cheapo UA J-school grads, spends most of its time pandering national distractions for its angry, uber-liberal readership base. (And hastily burying any unpleasantness, like sweetheart insider personnel deals, for the old alma mater). They cheerfully “fly aircover” for their favored political themes & personalities, all the while ignoring the incredible rot these dirtbags have caused.
So, what’s behind all this?
How is it—a place which has such tremendous potential; the 2nd largest metro in one of America’s best states for business, has the state’s flagship university (>80% of its grads leave); located right next to America’s 3rd largest trading partner, in the middle of North America’s Copper Belt (a metal indispensable to the e-Economy), has a natural DoD & research affinity for the coming Space-based economy, and is sitting in a fantastic climate with such great natural beauty which everyone admires and genuinely wants to preserve …..can’t get its act together?
Sellers is a South Park Republican who lives in Oro Valley. His background is federal tech-transfer commercialization.