The Arizona Republic
Sinema’s tiny tattoo marks big finish in Ironman race
T... It may be inconspicuously placed on her ankle and smaller than a nickel, but U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema’s newly acquired permanent ink stands for a big achievement.
In honor of completing her first grueling Ironman race in November — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and 26.2-mile run — she used her Facebook page to unveil the tattoo of the race’s logo on her leg. Getting a tattoo is a tradition among Ironman participants. She is reportedly the first member of Congress to finish an Ironman-sanctioned race.
The Phoenix Democrat faced obstacles during the competition, such as when a tumbleweed rolled across her path and caused her to tumble from her bike. But don’t blame the tumbleweed: The mishap occurred as she was riding along Beeline Highway, which happens to be in GOP Rep. David Schweikert’s district. So clearly, it had to be Schweikert’s fault, a Sinema supporter joked.
Sinema endured the competition pain for 15 hours, 12 minutes and 34 seconds, so we’re guessing she found the session with a tattoo artist a breeze.
Expect to hear plenty about this now that state Rep. Carl Seel, R-Phoenix, has scrapped his ambition to run for the Arizona Corporation Commission and will seek a fourth term in the Legislature next year.
Seel has been persistent in his belief that the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, the state’s Medicaid program, is getting ripped off due to “waste, fraud and abuse.” And now he’s pushing a new angle, fortified by a recent visit to the borderlands in southeastern Arizona courtesy of House Majority Leader David Gowan’s “elect me speaker” tour of his district.
“They’re finding more prayer rugs in the desert and more Chinese newspapers,” Seel said of reports the tour received from Cochise County Sheriff Mark Dannels.
He believes this may point to more Hezbollah and al-Qaida involvement in Arizona. These organizations are funding their operations through Medicaid fraud: sending in a false medical bill, getting paid by Medicaid and using the proceeds for nefarious purposes, he said.
All this could end, Seel said, if the Legislature would approve his legislation to fight waste, fraud and abuse. Plus, it could save the state a bundle.
He said he’ll keep “pummeling” on the issue. If it doesn’t work this year, that’s all the more reason to seek a fourth term when, he hopes, a more conservative speaker will finally give him a committee chairmanship and allow his waste-fraud-and-abuse legislation to move forward.
Maricopa County’s sole Democratic supervisor, Mary Rose Wilcox, has never been chairwoman in her 21year tenure on the Board of Supervisors. She likely never will, given the board informally rotates the one-year chairmanship among the majority Republicans.
But a leadership post awaits this lonely Dem: In 2015, she is on track to become president of the County Supervisors Association of Arizona. Last month, Wilcox became the group’s president-elect and will lead the group of 61supervisors statewide.
State Mine Inspector Joe Hart has found a potential gold mine. But it’s in the state Constitution, not hidden in the Superstition Mountains.
While other statewide officeholders, such as the governor and attorney general, are limited to two consecutive terms, not so for the mine inspector.
In their wisdom, voters in 1992 extended the inspector’s term to four years, from two.
Hart, nearing the end of his second term, could stay in office for another two terms, voters willing and the creek don’t rise.
Hart has filed paperwork to seek a third term next year, and no doubt, he’ll be mining his experience as he seeks a return to office.
» Quote of the week “What the hell was going on?” — Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, speaking on radio station KJZZ-FM about his reaction to the discovery of more than 6,000 Child Protective Services files that had not been investigated.