Tucson Pays a Terrible Price to be the “Anti-Phoenix”


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.  Contact him at readbill19@usa.net 

About Bill Sellers 3 Articles
Bill Sellers is a resident of southern Arizona. He is active in local politics.


  1. Well I voted there for 35 years for change. But I had to move to Gilbert to see change. When growing up in Mesa, late 60s, Tucson was a @#$& hole then. It hasn’t gotten any better.

  2. Lived here for 30+ years…watching sadly the lack of business growth and focus instead on being a Sanctuary City. Compassion that ignores job growth and giving folks a future instead of handouts is not humanitarianism.

    • NO, but it is a way to get ELECTED/REELECTED just like bho with his free phones. Dont need to be a leader just a promiser and then forget what ya promised when running for the election!

  3. Thd locäl machine & Trump are the same. They only promote the few plus special interest.

    One thought did all of you complaining help Dr. Ed Ackerley so we dont get stuck with Regina? Did you canvass, donate, make callr , email, tweet, facebook pushing for no Regina vote!

    I did…

  4. Democrats, cronyism, and the good-ole-boys, keep this place where’s its been for decades.

    If you think Regina would do anything to upset that apple cart you’re delirious!

  5. my family here since it was a state, actually before… we’ve moved our business out, we’re on the way, most of the family left some years back.. SSDD – my favorite descriptive arrival to Tucson aboard a Southwest Airlines flight, the time about 1430 Hours, the pilot stated, welcome to Tucson and the time is 1971…. so true stuck in Ground Hog day ever since… hey man got a joint dude..

  6. Learned a new word from Bill Sellers article.
    sinecure n. A position or office that requires little or no work but provides a salary.
    Work to rid sinecure government in Tucson.

  7. I worked and lived in Tucson for 5 years in my youthful adulthood
    Absolutely loved it there, but the pay was about 60% of what I could make in Phoenix. We’re talking 1982 – 1987, so this is not a decent development.

  8. This has been true for YEARS not just the last 10 or so. Problem is that people move in from other states like kalif, ny and they complain as to why they left, but then they try to instill the mentallity of the area they came from! Wish there was a waiting period before new comers could vote in this area. The city has long despised any economy here. Back in the 60’s it was the tourist economy (not so much any more) and the claim all we needed was service jobs (motel maids, fast foods, quick mart stores). And they pushed out or flat out rejected any chance of any COMPANY moving in and establishing a presence. Just look back about 20 years or so, IBM came and WENT, slim fast came and WENT, a mexican bean cannery NEVER SHOWED UP much to delight of the democrap left. Everything here is for the BENEFIT of the few, KB, Diamond houses etc, nothing for the little people to live off. $10-12 wages are consdered by the ‘leaders’ to be more than adequate. Yet they claim to care by imposing impossible requirements for higher wages on companies wanting to be here!! These are some of the reasons that the town has no real econmy and never will.

    Now add to the mix the romero clown running for mayor (who will probably be elected by the ignorant and the left). She has a track record of failure at the clowncil, tries to implement even dumber policies (pays $5000 to have vandals paint grafetti on a building calling it art)! Then there are a couple of people running pushing the ‘sanctuary city” idea (anything to get elected)so that this place will be like their beloved left cities (la, sf, chicago, nyc). If people get smart then they will reject all of them but again who is to be considered SMART in this area? Just look at ALL politicians and see what is ruining life here for the rest of the people. Remember many have tried to close DMAFB as being too noisy, they wont let raytheon expand, yet they claim to be for the area. WAKE UP PEOPLE THIS IS THE TIME TO MAKE CHANGES!

    • Sounds like you’ve been here a long time Hank. Well, me too and I think you about covered it all!

      There’s always hope the voters will wake up someday!

  9. The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. When the citizens of Tucson become fed up enough, things will change.

  10. There is a choice. If you are a legal resident or citizen, have children, or a young person beginning your career and looking for opportunity, there could be no worse place than Tucson.

    • “If you are a legal resident or citizen, have children, or a young person beginning your career and looking for opportunity, there could be no worse place than Tucson.” How many of these endangered have the vision to vote for a better future for their families in your estimation?

      • There’s no “vision” nor reason to vote for a better future in Tucson. This is the future and it ain’t changin’. Stay in Tucson and you’ll never be anything except a 2nd class citizen to Grajalva and the liberals.

        • Wow, Phoenix sounds like a wonderful place! You should all move there and take advantage of the splendor!
          Maybe then step up to Los Angeles.

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