How Does a Government Official Say “Fvck You?” – “Trust me.”

The local leftie rag The Tucson Citizen does, I must admit, an excellent job of watchdogging the state and local governments. In last weeks edition they had this article on the state’s underhanded effort to start selling off property currently belonging to the finest shooting range in the state, and some say in the entire Southwest – Ben Avery. Here’s a taste of the article:

You’ve heard the one about Arizona having two kinds of people: real estate speculators and those in government who want to be.

In Arizona, it’s all about dirt. Who has it. Who wants it. Who can peddle it.

On 1,650 acres in north Phoenix is the Ben Avery Shooting Facility, a well-planned, clean, efficient and well-used collection of 35 gun and archery ranges. To some, it is a shooter’s mecca, one of the finest shooting facilities in the country and a paradise that is insulated on a chunk of remaining Sonoran Desert.

To others, it is money that can be mined with new houses and an auto mall.

State taxpayers own Ben Avery, which attracts 150,000 shooters a year. The range’s fate is in the hands of the five members of the Arizona Game & Fish Commission, who are appointed by the governor.

And despite recent protestations, the commission has dangled the multi-range facility to developers who would build houses to add more Phoenicians and pour cement and asphalt for new car emporiums.

A Game & Fish committee was seeking solid direction that day from the appointed, yet powerful, members of the commission. And it was another classic ingredient of Arizona real estate: What should the study tell us?

“The committee wanted direction from the commission as to whether (Game & Fish) should be at Ben Avery as long as possible and develop accordingly or should the perspective be opened to work with developers to see what long-range opportunities were in selling the property as a large chunk,” the minutes note. “In the next 5-10 years, the Ben Avery property could be worth $100,000 an acre.”

In the world of money talks, $165 million did more than scream. It grabbed the Game & Fish commissioners.

Go read. Try not to have anything breakable nearby.

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