[an error occurred while processing this directive] ZEPHYR Magazine
                              T H E
                           Z E P H Y R
                  __     M A G A Z I N E
                 Issue #42                7-20-87
            A weekly electronic magazine for users of 
                        THE ZEPHYR II BBS 
                    (Mesa, AZ - 602-894-6526)
                owned and operated by T. H. Smith
                    Editor - Gene B. Williams 
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                            (c) 1987

   The recall of Evan Mecham has started. 
   This sort of thing has happened only once in the history 
of our state, and then to a judge. Mecham is the first governor 
to be facing it.
   Just what is it all about? Is it true as Mecham fans claim 
that the recall is nothing more than a case of sour grapes 
because Mecham won't tolerate drugs or homosexuality? Is the 
whole thing centered strictly around the cancellation of the 
Martin Luther King holiday?
   Or does it go beyond that?

                     Reasons for the Recall

   The most cited incident is the cancellation of the King 
holiday. Mecham says, justifiably, that Babbitt instituted 
the holiday illegally. He and his supporters point out that 
the holiday will cost the tax payers.
   The important thing to keep in mind is that the surface 
of the situation seems to support Mecham. The full story and 
effects are quite different.
   Almost immediately after the election Mecham declared that 
one of his first acts in office would be to drop the holiday. 
He did just that, despite the fact that he had been warned to 
not do it - at least not right away and certainly not without 
giving the state congress and the public a say in the matter. 
He ignored the advice - which he can legally do in this case - 
and went ahead with his plan.
   The reaction came quick. A huge crowd (10,000 people) marched 
on the Capitol. Mecham not only ignored the people, he was later 
reported (I have no idea how reliable the report is) as saying 
something along the lines, "What do they know? They're probably 
too stupid to understand it the way I do."
   The public outcry became so loud that it stretched all the 
way across the country. Within a month Mecham was known from 
coast to coast. Increasing protests came in.
   The accusation was that Mecham is prejudiced. His reply 
was the ever-famous speech about how many black friends he 
has, and how they all call their children picininnies. He 
further stated that no blacks in Arizona face any kind of 
discrimination, and certainly not from him.
   It was suggested - urged - that the issue be brought to 
a vote. Mecham refused. Later he changed his mind and said 
that he wouldn't stop a vote, but also that he'd have nothing 
to do with it or with the results. There was a strong belief 
that even if it had gone to a vote and had won, Mecham would 
have refused to sign.
   In response to public demand, the State House of Representa-
tives drew up and passed the necessary legislation to make the 
holiday legal. The bill stalled in the Senate, perhaps due to 
the rumor that Mecham was veto it regardless.
   The snowball has grown since then. Part is due strictly with 
the cancellation of the holiday. In actuality it goes much 
   One of his main statements was the cost to the taxpayer for 
the holiday. The effect of the cancellation has already cost 
the state millions. 

   It's still just the proverbial tip of the iceberg.
   On November 9th, before he took office, Mecham declared that 
the major problem of past administrations was a lack of open 
and honest communication. He declared that his administration 
would open itself to the press.
   You know what became of that promise. He has regularly 
bad-mouthed the media any time they dare to print anything 
negative. At one point he shouted that a certain "non-person" 
was to be denied access to any press conference and even 
denied access to the Capitol building. When the Attorney 
General told Mecham, "You can't do that," Mecham's response 
was to talk about what a softie he is, that he would allow 
the reporter in but would refuse to recognize his existence. 
Mecham ended up walking out of more than one press conference 
when the questions took directions he didn't like. On his twice 
weekly radio program he has been known to hang up on callers 
who ask questions he doesn't like.
   In the same speech he talked about the importance of a smooth 
transition of power, with as little upheaval as possible. 
   Just slightly more than a month later the firings began. Mecham 
wasn't even in office when, on December 18th, he demanded the 
resignations of 15 state agency department heads. 
   The day after he took office he asked Susan Williams, who was 
the state's consumer protection advocate, to remain on the job 
at least until spring. This was important because she was 
handling a consumer class suit against APS in the amount of 
$194 million.
   Three days later, Mecham fired her and put Ted Humes in. 
Ted Humes turned around and fired the attorney in charge of 
the case, declaring that he himself would handle the 
cross-examination in the case. Humes is not a member of the 
Arizona State Bar Association, nor did he have any time to 
prepare, even if he had been the best lawyer in history. The 
case became a total disaster. 
   On January 7th, after just 2 days in office, he flatly 
rejected all three Supreme Court nominees presented to him 
by the state congress, and tried to put in someone of his 
own choice - a violation of our state constitution. His statement 
was that none of the three nominees represented the philosophy 
that Mecham wanted.
   Later Mecham attempted to remove 10 appointees from the 
Arizona State Bar Association from the selection committee to
replace them with people of his own. 

   January 8th. Mecham has been in office just 3 days. Mecham 
put Ralph Watkinds in as the chief fund-raiser for the Board of 
Regents - right after Watkins promised Mecham that he would 
find ways to erase the huge debt Mecham had run up during his 
campaign. Both denied that there was any connection between the 
promise and the appointment. 
   Maybe. Maybe not. In any case, a couple of months later 
Mecham put Watkin's son-in-law in charge of all state buildings, 
although this person had had no prior experience.

   In mid-February Mecham proposed a 2-year plan to eliminate 
drugs. His idea was to create a totally independent and separate 
legal system for this purpose. It would include an additional 
200 officers and 40 "hanging judges" hand-picked by Mecham. His 
comment was that the primary cause of the drug problem in Arizona 
was due to "left wing" 
   Mecham is told that several parts of his overall scheme aren't 
legal, and that some major parts are unrealistic. They wouldn't 
work even if he did have the legal authority to create the new 
agency, which he doesn't. 

   Mecham nominated Rex Waite as the State Revenue Director. This 
is the guy who is in charge of Arizona's internal revenue depart-
ment. Our taxes. It was then found out that Waite was president of 
a bank that had to close its doors (bankruptcy). Hardly a person 
you'd want to be handling the entire cash flow of a state.
   When this nomination was rejected, Mecham put in one for a guy 
named Russell Ritchie. Once again the Senate turned it down. It 
came out that Ritchie hadn't bothered to file his own income tax 
report, hadn't bothered to renew his driver's license in some time, 
and had been operating a security company without any of the 
necessary licenses. 
   When the Senate turned this one down, Mecham went ahead and put 
Ritchie in the #2 spot in that department - a spot that didn't 
require Senate approval. If the #1 slot opens, guess who takes 
over by default.

   Then came the nomination of Alberto Rodriquez as the head of 
the State Liquor License and Control Department. Rodriquez has 
openly admitted that when he was in power in Douglas, Arizona, he 
"looked the other way" when a local bar was conducting illegal 
gambling operations. He is also under investigation for taking 
part in a murder, and on charges of rape.

   Sam Steiger was put in as Governor's Aide. Steiger had been 
divorced. His wife brought him up on charges of failing to pay 
alimony and support. She started the only movement available to 
her - a garnish against his wages. Somehow this leaked, and all 
of a sudden Steiger was no longer on the payroll. She settled for 
a greatly reduced amount - and instantly Steiger was back on the 
payroll again. 
   On another day, Steiger walked into a meeting of the State 
Medical Board. He said that he was there on behalf of the governor, 
and demanded that the board reinstate the license of a friend. 
This license had been revoked on the basis of bad medical practices, 
tax evasion and fraud, and a few other charges. 

   And most recently, Sam Lewis, another man supported by Mecham, 
was presented with a long string of complaints about the prison 
system concerning visitors. People were being strip searched, 
including a 2-year-old. A new policy was installed by which the 
visitors were not allowed to bring in any food for the prisoners 
unless it was pre-packaged (i.e., junk food). Both policies were 
in effect even when the visiting was to take place in the "day 
room" and in full view of several guards.
   Lewis's response was said to be along the lines of, "Well, 
these people are all of the lower echelons of society anyway."

   Just before the recall movement began to legally gather signatures 
the opportunity was offered for him to read the list of reasons for 
the movement. The chance was given for him to "mend his ways."
   He refused to even look at it, or to talk to those involved.
   Instead he came out and said that he would receive a minimum 
of 60% of the vote - despite a recent poll that showed that Mecham 
has the lowest rating of any governor in history; with only 18% 
saying that he is doing a good job. (Mecham told reporters that 
he hadn't seen the poll.)

   Then comes his journey to Central America, where he took it 
upon himself to meet with the heads of government there to tell 
them how they should be running their countries if they want 
support from the United States. (Now, what in the world is a 
state governor doing even travelling to foreign countries at 
our expense - let alone practicing federal foreign policy?)

   He got various minorities made at him even before he took 
office. After being in office about a month he publicly declared 
homosexuality as an "unacceptable lifestyle." More recently he 
blamed the high rate of divorce, juvenile delinquency and some 
other problems on women who work, stating that they should stay 
in the home where they belong.
   Through all this some 31 conventions have been cancelled. 
We're not talking just a few disgruntled racial groups, either. 
Among the groups who have said they would not come to Arizona 
until Mecham either straightens out or is out of office are 
National Newspaper Publishers Association, the Public Broadcasting 
Service, (you know how Mecham feels about the media), the United 
Methodist Church, Unitarian Universalist Association, Baptist 
Convention, the American Federation of Government Employees, the 
US Forestry Service, Women in Corporate Foundations, National 
Intramural Recreational Sports Association, Hispanic Association 
of Universities and Colleges, Warner/Elektra/Atlantic Records, 
Polygram Records of London, (he hates rock and blames it for 
everything from drugs to AIDS to . . .), the Federal Bar Association, 
Planned Parenthood, NBA, National Interfraternity Conference, 
Democratic National Party Finance Committee, Public Education Fund, 
and so on. 
   If you have the idea that all the trouble and cancellations 
are racial, look over that partial list. The head of the Department 
of Tourism has come out, saying that the situation is getting worse 
and worse and will continue to do so. He had prepared a speech and 
as is common, released a copy of the speech to a Gazette reporter 
so that the basic body of the speech could be published as timely 
news. Heller then got a call from Mecham - and all of a sudden the 
speech was completely modified to leave out any and all comments 
concerning the loss of tourism from cancellation of King Day.
   In addition to the loss in tourism, Exxon has cancelled 
educational grants. More is almost certain to come out (or 
disappear) in time.
   Mecham supporters point to the estimated cost of $2 million 
for the new election as reason to stop the recall. Cost to the 
state already has far exceeded this. (Imagine the income from 
31 conventions and some 20,000 conventioneers. That's well over 
$2 million just in the dollars spent and wages earned by Arizona 
citizens from just these conventions and just this year. The loss 
of other business is impossible to calculate.)
   Then there are the other losses incurred. The withdrawl of 
educational grants by Exxon, for example. Conventions also tend 
to get attendees to think about expanding in Arizona. That 
represents and even greater loss in business and in jobs.
   The best experts say that he has already blown any and all chances 
for the $4 billion plus Supercollider project.

   The recall began legally July 10th. Over the first weekend 
there were 20,000 signatures gathered. It's bound to gain 
   It's a sad thing, too. All that is needed is for Mecham to 
stop for a moment and listen to the citizens he is SUPPOSED 
to be serving. To realize that he can't force his own ideas 
and philosophies down our throats whether we like it or not. 
And that he can't keep putting friends into office when those 
appointments are to the detriment of the state.
   People and groups from all over the country are mad at him. 
The citizens of his own state have started a recall movement - 
something that has NEVER happened to a governor before. A poll 
show him to be the least popular governor in the history of 
   None of that has sunk in.

                      How Does Recall Work?

   By state law someone elected to office has to be given 6 
months before a recall movement can officially begin. (This 
right to recall an official who is not doing his or her job 
is guaranteed in our state constitution.)
   This is what is to come.
   The citizens have 120 days to gather enough signatures from 
registered voters. (This gives the official a guaranteed and 
additional 4 months in office.)
   These petitions are then turned over to the Secretary of 
State so that the number of signatures can be counted and 
verified. By law 10 days are allowed for this.
   From there the petitions go to the various county recorders 
where the signatures are verified as being legitimate. This 
means that the signatures and information are compared to the 
registered lists. The county recorders have 60 days to complete 
the job. (At this point, the official has been in power for 
a year and 10 days.)
   Assuming that the correct number of signatures are recorded 
and verified (216,746 in this case - although a minimum of 
350,000 signatures is needed to provide the number and the 
margin), the Secretary of State goes to the official (the governor 
in this case) and offers the choice of stepping down or forcing 
a new election. The official (Mecham here) has 5 days to make a 
   Once that decision has been made, the Secretary of State has 
between 100 and 120 days to call for the new election. (Now the 
official has been in power for 1 year, 4 months and 15 days, 
plus whatever additional time is for the actual election, tally 
of the vote, and transfer of power if needed.)

                        Getting Involved

   The general phone number for the Recall movement is 371-1127. 
Their address is 1309 E. Northern, Phoenix, 85020. They can 
certainly use volunteers to help and donations.
   A nice way to make a donation is in buying one of the 
items they're selling as collectable memorabilia. 
   T-shirts (small, medium, large or x-large) sell for $10 
each. They're white with "Mecham for Ex-Governor" on them. 
   "Mecham for Ex-Governor" bumper stickers run $1 each, as 
do pins.
   And of course, the best way to get involved on a small 
scale is to sign the petition. Keep in mind that you have to 
be a registered voter for this - and that even if you are a 
registered voter, if you didn't vote in the last election 
you'll have to register all over again.

Until Next Time

   Just a little over 200 years ago America was born. The reason 
was simple. The government of the land would tax and tax and tax 
the people - they got taxed on what they earned, and taxed on 
what they bought, and taxed on what was left to their heirs. There 
were always plenty of excuses for raising the taxes. The government 
just wasn't able to make ends meet; the empire defenses had to be 
sufficiently maintained; the politicians needed more money to make 
sure that they stayed honest and didn't take bribes.
   In addition, laws were passed that protected the politicians 
and their friends. Scandals were rampant. The people starved 
while the bigwigs lived in luxury, driving around in what served 
in those days as chauffered limosines.
   The politicians of the day wanted nothing to do with the people 
and considered them too stupid to even take part in the making of 
the laws. Theoretically, any average man could become a part of 
the lawmaking process. There was a House of Lords and a House of 
   It just wasn't working. And there came a revolution. Followed 
by the founding of a new country, based around the principle of a 
government of, for and by the people. No more politicos who would 
pass laws without common consent. No more ignoring the will of the 
people, even when the people were "too stupid" to understand all 
the facts.
   If a politician ignores a small group for the sake of the 
larger general populace, he's doing his job. When he takes the 
time to listen to the people, and act on their wishes, he's doing 
his job. 
   When the politician ceases to do this, and ceases to serve the 
people, it is the right of the people to put him out of power. In 
fact, it's their duty to do so - or risk losing what America 
stands for. 
   If that's not enough to stir your interest, think what kind of 
world you'll be living in 20 years from now if apathy continues.
   20 years ago, when I was 17, the national debt was about $350 
billion, or about $1700 for each man, woman and child. 20 years 
before that it was almost exactly the same. 20 years before that 
it was a mere $16 billion - which came down to just $131 per 
capita, and about one day's operation of our present government. 
About 20 years before that there were no income taxes at all, 
and yet no national debt. 
   At this time the national debt is approaching $3 TRILLION, 
and close to $10,000 per person. Some experts have predicted 
that the national debt will double in the next decade or so. 
(Reagan's pet project, Star Wars, could do that all by itself, 
by the way.) 20 years from now, if things keep going as they 
are going, it could easily begin to double and re-double 
every 10 years.
   Right now our country is operating with 30 days grace, 
period. We're 1 month from national bankruptcy. U.S. Savings 
Bonds are no longer available, and won't be until and unless 
Congress votes to raise the national debt limit once again. 
   They don't have much choice. Raise the limit, or chuck 
America down the tubes due to a long string of 5c plastic 
washers that ended up costing us $75 each, chauffered limos, 
a 32nd exercise facility in D.C. for the Congress, an office 
building put up without doors, political pay raises to the 
tune of 85% and more . . . and making those responsible into 
national heroes.
   Still bored? Still uninterested?
   Less than 100 years ago everything you earned was yours. 
Now nearly half disappears in taxes, and about half of what's 
left gets sucked up before it can get to your children. Even 
so we live within 30 days of having to "close up shop."
   What will it be like 10 years from now? Or 20? 
   If you're now 17 and unconcerned with politics because it's 
so boring, by the time you're 37 will there be anything left to 
be concerned about? Or will your country have been sold down 
the river until there's nothing left because of general apathy.
   Mecham is the proverbial small potatoes. He's a symptom only 
of the overall problem - of politicians who have the idea that 
they can do whatever they damn well please.
   The recall in actuality is little more than a statement. Mecham 
WILL be recalled. That's a lot different from being thrown out of 
office. There is no doubt at this point that enough signatures will 
be gathered to force a new election. Mecham will refuse to step 
down, which means his name will automatically go on the new ballot. 
Enough Mecham fanatics are around to vote for him again. And there 
are no other viable candidates. It's a very good bet that Mecham 
will once again win by default. 
   He'll stay in office because of the "politics is boring, and I 
don't want to think about it" attitude. 
   North wanted to scrap the Constitution and replace it with 
martial law. He's now a national hero. He and his comrades took 
$25 million + of your tax dollars contrary to the law, and are 
pushing for $350 million more. Give North his way and the draft 
will go back into effect so that all of you younger users won't 
have to worry about voting or politics. You'll be in the jungles 
of Nicaragua dodging (hopefully) bullets and land mines and maybe 
coming home parcel post.
   Ahh, but North is a hero for selling weapons to Iran that are 
used to blow up villages in Iraq. Meanwhile a man in California is 
doing 20 years for selling radios to Iran.
   They get away with it because the people let them. Apathy. 
   Politics is boring, and I don't care to hear or think about it. 
So, I'll just go bury my head in the sand and hope it goes away.
   Raise my taxes again? Well, I guess they have to. Gee, they're 
only pulling down $120,000. That's poverty wage! They need an 85% 
increase in salary, plus another $1 million in benefits such as 
free postage and exercise facilities that aren't used.
   And who better to run the state department of revenue than a 
guy who hasn't paid his in years? Jeez, this guy doesn't even feel 
the need to get a driver's license! But he's a politician, and I 
don't care.
   So crime in the Phoenix area is quickly approaching the #1 slot 
in the country. At least Mecham will blackball any homosexuals from 
finding work. Let them collect welfare instead. And let all women 
stay home, barefoot and pregnant. That's the natural order of 
things, right?
   Besides, I don't care to think about it. 
   They haven't stepped on my rights - at least not too much . . .

   . . . yet!

Zephyr Magazine is © Gene Williams. All rights reserved.