Category Archives: Arizona Republic

Arizona Historian Jack August Passes Away

From last month came some sad news: celebrated Arizona historian Jack August Jr. passed away on January 20. August had been working on a biography of former Governor Symington that was apparently nearly two-thirds complete.

From the Arizona Republic article:

He also “pursued” Republican former Gov. Fife Symington for six or seven years in the hope of writing his life story, says Symington, who adds that he initially was not interested in the project.

Then he met Jack.

“I decided I really liked him,” said Symington. The two began working together about three years ago and became good friends.

And from the New Times article:

“He was into every aspect of my life,” Symington explains. “He’s such a unique person. It would be very, very difficult for anyone to kind of pick it up and keep going. I’m really going to miss him.”

[…]

But the good professor — whose death now is mourned by Arizona’s political elite, from Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan to Phoenix’s Democratic Mayor Greg Stanton — was at heart a Phoenix boy, who never lost the common touch, and was as much at home with paupers as with princes.

Symington Endorses McCain’s Re-election

Dan Nowicki wrote a recent article in the Arizona Republic about the re-election support Senator John McCain has received from three former Republican governors of Arizona, including Fife Symington. McCain faces a difficult and crowded Republican primary on August 30 and announced the support of the former governors today. In addition to ringing endorsements from former governors Hull and Brewer, Symington offered his own backing of McCain:

“History will record John McCain as America’s foremost defender of freedom in the early 21st Century,” Symington said. “His deep personal courage, his sharp intellect and his unwavering dedication to America have made him so. There is only one John McCain, and he must be returned to the Senate to continue his life’s work of service to the people of Arizona.”

Read the rest of the article here.

Jeb Bush’s Arizona supporters include Dan Quayle, Fife Symington

Arizona supporters of Jeb Bush’s presidential campaign include former Gov. Fife Symington, as reported by Dan Nowicki in the Arizona Republic. Here’s an excerpt of a statement provided by the campaign to the paper:

“…since leaving office Jeb has been a successful private sector leader, creating jobs and opportunity. As we have painfully learned over the last 7 years, we need a president with a proven record of getting results beyond being a talking head on a television.”

Read the full article here.

Montini: Symington deems attacks on Hillary political

EJ Montini wrote recently about Fife Symington’s KTAR 92.3 FM appearance in which he discussed his take on some of the investigations into Hillary Clinton. Here’s an excerpt:

I’m a Republican, and I don’t intend to vote for Hillary, but I’ll tell you one thing, this whole experience I’ve been through, people have no idea what it’s like to be threatened, to have your liberty threatened…to have the FBI and the Justice Department basically lay you out completely and do a life audit on you and what you did every minute of the day for 20 years of your life.

Read the rest of the article here.

Symington Looks Back

The Arizona Republic recently invited Fife Symington to reflect on his time in office. Here are a few excerpts:

“One defining characteristic of the human mind is a conception of time. We alone among Earth’s creatures seem to have this. And, generally speaking, the more active the mind, the more clearly one sees how quickly the days and years pass.

Time, not money, is the hard, unprintable currency of the human economy. We cannot store it up for ourselves and our progeny. It can only be spent — spent in service of those we love, what we value, what we envision. It’s often said with airs of worldly sophistication that time is money.

It’s more true that both time and our sense of it are beautiful works of God.

Read more here.

Ex-Governor Pursues New Ventures

Marking the 10th anniversary since leaving office, Fife Symington recently gave an interview with the Arizona Republic that discusses his activities over the past several years. Here’s an excerpt:

Symington never went far from the Esplanade, often using the Ritz dining room for meetings with visiting dignitaries, friends and business associates. Franco’s opened on the ground floor of the growing Esplanade in 2003, with Symington as pastry chef. Attired in a white chef’s smock, he knocked out tiramisus and his signature chocolate Governor’s Cake in the location where he had headquartered his real-estate empire years earlier.

Today, Symington maintains offices there with his four partners in the Symington Private Equity Group. Ventures include the Symington Group, a political consultancy that consists of himself and partner Camilla Strongin; various early forays into solar projects, a technology he finds promising despite initial reservations; and venture-capital investments. He has what he calls a “tag-along interest” in the Ruth’s Chris and Macaroni Grill franchises in Hawaii, and a hospital payment program operates out of a small room in the suite of Symington offices.

For the rest of the article, click here.

Symington Loses Vote in Precinct Hostile to McCain

In his first-ever political defeat, former Gov. Fife Symington lost his bid Tuesday to become Republican chairman of McCain’s home legislative district in north-central Phoenix. Symington was not considered conservative enough to defeat District 11 incumbent Rob Haney, a retired IBM manager who took over the organization two years ago and has been outspoken in his criticism of McCain.

“This factionalism has hurt GOP candidates, and it cost (Hesselbrock) his seat,” Symington said. “A district chair should bring Republicans together, not make war on one of your important national officeholders and a potential president. This does not bode well for the district in terms of a Republican future, in my view.”

Symington said District 11 Republicans should be trying to come together to reclaim ground lost in the last election, not picking fights over ideological differences.

“The vitriol is very high against McCain, which is just nuts,” Symington said. “The general public understands, or needs to understand, that just because that kind of noise is coming out of District 11, it doesn’t indicate a lack of support for McCain. That viewpoint is prevailing in that small bubble, but McCain is enormously popular.”

Click here to read the rest of the article.

Fife Could Drum Up a Fight for Napolitano

“According to Symington, he and current Gov. Janet Napolitano would be

‘complete opposites.’

Indeed, Napolitano ran for office in considerable part by condemning the fiscal policies of the 1990s, mostly the handiwork of Symington.

A full-blown debate about those policies would be instructive, particularly since the facts are on Symington’s side. No other candidate would be likely to directly challenge Napolitano’s mythology about what preceded her.”

For the rest of the piece, click here.