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8th January
2009
written by Sean Noble

Howie Fischer is a nightmare for any politician, press secretary, campaign manager or spinmeister.  He is the dean of the Arizona Capital press corps, and one of the best reporters I have ever had the pleasure (and displeasure) of dealing with.

If you hold a press conference, and Howie deems it important enough to attend, he will be the first question, and you can bet it will likely be the toughest question of the day – and the press conference usually goes downhill from there.

He likes to say that he is an “equal opportunity a**h**e” and that is the absolute truth.  I have personally been on both ends of that equation – and it happened on the same day. 

I was the Victory Chairman for the Arizona Republican Party in 2006 and the Democrat Party filed a complaint saying that I was inappropriately working to help the Republican nominee, Len Munsil.  Howie asked me some tough questions and then went to the press conference the Democrats staged.  There, Chuck Blanchard (the Dem party lawyer) and David Waid (the Dem Party ED/Chairman) were saying all sorts of unkind things about me, and then Howie says to David, “so you are accusing Sean of working to help get Munsil elected?”  Waid said yes, to which Howie asked, “And how exactly is that different than what you are doing for Janet Napolitano?”  (pause for the chirping crickets) 

Waid and Blanchard were both rendered speechless and then the entire press corps, who had tromped over the Dem HQ for the presser, turned against them realizing that their complaint was a bunch of garbage.  I loved Howie that day. And I still do (or at least until the next time he’s grilling me for a story).

The folks at The Arizona Guardian did a great profile story on Howie, and I thought I’d link it here because I could.  Whatever technical difficulty they were having last night has been resolved for now, so their news is now accessible again.

Here is a tidbit that you won’t read in the profile of Howie, and he might get mad at me for exposing this, but turnabout is fair play:

As of 2006, Howie has been a high-propensity, primary-voting Republican.  I kid you not.  And he’s an early voter to boot.  From the straight analysis of vote history, Howie Fischer and I are the same animal.  Welcome to the twilight zone.

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