The Arizona Republic

Sinema’s tiny tat­too marks big fin­ish in Iron­man race

- ... at­ted up The “H” in AHCCCS means “Hezbol­lah” ... You can’t al­ways get what you want Here we go again ... Com­piled by Repub­lic re­porters Mary Jo Pitzl, Michelle Ye Hee Lee and Re­bekah L. San­ders. Get the lat­est at

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.

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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.

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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.

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pol­i­tics.az­cen­tral.com.

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