This is just a place holder until I write something.
A collection of articles, speeches, notes and other materials regarding the impeachment of Arizona Governor Evan Mecham. This web site is intended to be a resource for historians, journalists, students and others who are writing articles or books about Evan Mecham.
I was the press secretary for Arizona Governor Evan Mecham for the last eight months of his short time in office (1987-88), when he was the first American governor to simultaneously face impeachment, recall and felony indictments.
Rough notes …
The spark of the idea to post some old stuff about Governor Evan Mecham came when Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was going through impeachment proceedings early this year. There were thousands of news articles that mentioned Mecham, and at least half of them got the facts wrong.
I am not an apologist for Evan Mecham. He made some dumb mistakes and he was too stubborn to see the oncoming storm. But, I am absolutely convinced that he was honest, far more honest than most politicians, and he was not a racist.
Further, Mecham had some very good ideas on how to boost the economy of Arizona — such as building an international cargo airport at Casa Grande, which he liked to point out would be only seven minutes of flight time farther than Los Angeles on flights from Tokyo and that small bit of extra fuel cost would be quickly recovered with Arizona’s much cheaper warehousing expenses.
But, above all, I believed in supporting the ideal of fair and honest elections. I was greatly bothered by contrived political scandals and the subsequent coverage by sensationalist news media. I realize now that until age 50 I had idealistic, utopian expectations for the democratic process. I realize now that almost any political system, capitalist, socialist, whatever, would work if it were not for corruption and greed. But, expecting to find political bodies and governments free of corruption is foolish.
Now, I know that I can’t control political and diplomatic decisions so I don’t much care about them. I do follow some news about current events, but only to learn what might impact family and friends.
I recently found some old disks that had my archives from my time in Mecham’s office, in addition some draft materials from two decades ago when I was thinking about writing a book. Then, I found a program that could read the old WordPerfect DOS files — some garbage control characters, but all the text was there. These old files included my contemporaneous notes. So, I started posting some of the old material along with my notes, which I am updating and adding more material.
Maureen Reagan and her husband, Dennis Revell, were the major factor leading to my becoming the press secretary for Arizona Governor Evan Mecham. Maureen was then co-chair of the Republican National Committee and Dennis was involved in the promotion of Arizona for the Superconducting Super Collider.
In 1986, I had leased a condo in downtown Sacramento. Two days after moving in, I learned that the unit directly above me was the home of Maureen and Dennis, and the unit next door to me was occupied by the Secret Service. My wife at the time had been a model, had owned a modeling school, and was then operating a casting agency and location scouting service. She and Maureen got along quite well, and the four of us occasionally socialized in Sacramento and in Los Angeles, where Maureen and Dennis had another home.
Both Maureen and Dennis were well aware that my political views were to the left of center on many issues. It was understood, but never discussed, that I did not vote for her father in his races for governor of California or for president of the United States. Maureen called one day from Washington to say that she thought I should consider interviewing for the job of press secretary to Governor Mecham. The Doonesbury cartoons lampooning Mecham had just started running and I had read the news about Mecham’s troubles. I told Maureen that I did not think my politics would fit well in the Mecham administration. She disagreed, saying there needed to be more balance in the Arizona governor’s office.
Earlier that year, Maureen had asked me to review the draft of a speech she was writing. After reading the draft, I told Maureen that she would certainly start a media firestorm, considering her position with the RNC and the fact that her father was in the White House. I was wrong. It barely caused a small blip. Here is the only news article I could find at the time.
Reagan’s daughter accuses North, Poindexter of treason
Associated Press, March 7, 1987
President Reagan’s daughter Maureen is calling for the court-martial of former national security advisor John Poindexter and his aide Oliver North, both of whom are military men. Maureen Reagan, who co-chairs the Republican National Committee, accused North and Poindexter of lying through omission. And she told reporters, “A member of the United States military who lies to their commander-in-chief is guilty of treason.”
That’s it. One paragraph. When Maureen died of cancer in August 2001, there was one sentence in her obituary mentioning her call for indictments of Poindexter and North on charges of treason. Quoting her father.
“I gave up arguing with my daughter long ago,” President Reagan explained to Republican leaders in 1987 after the Iran-Contra scandal when his daughter made headlines claiming that Oliver North and John Poindexter, his national security aides, should be court-martialed for treason.
((more to come))