Steve Meissner is a political junkie whose addiction goes back a half-century. He was born in Brooklyn but realizes that he should've been born in Arizona.
He won several national awards and worked as a reporter, editor and columnist for several newspapers, including Newsday, The Cleveland Plain Dealer and the St. Louis Post-dispatch, but his heart and soul belong to Arizona's Sonoran Desert. That's why most of his career was spent covering politics for the Arizona Daily Star.
After pissing off one editor too many he became a spin-doctor for several state agencies in Arizona. He did some time, too, as a registered lobbyist and legislative staffer.
Now that he's retired from journalism and state government he gets to wave his Freak Flag as a writer, blogger and all-around progressive pain in the butt in a bright red state full of political clowns and lunatics.
He lives in Phoenix, which is almost the Sonoran Desert, along with his long-haired son, his overweight Sheltie, a feline who brings new meaning to "look at what the cat dragged in," and a beautiful woman who is far too good for him.
Read his books. Learn how Arizona makes its political chorizo.
The Cactus Caucus
Bill Leña is a baby harp seal cast adrift in a sea of predators known as the Arizona Legislature.
All he wants to do is survive. That requires him to out-manuver lunatic legislators, cunning lobbyists, drug dealers and Brooklyn wise guys – all of whom want to tell him how to vote.
If he wants to keep breathing the desert air he must figure out a way to keep them happy. To do so he must maneuver the political clown car in a direction it doesn’t want to head. All he has is his limited wits and his sense of humor –along with help from an Apache assistant, an eco-babe warrior, and the ghostly presence of an uncle whose unscheduled death put him in this mess in the first place.
For nearly 35 years Steve Meissner has watched this circus as a bureaucrat, lobbyist, staffer and award-winning political writer. Now he shares the inner workings of the factory that churns out political chorizo in this crazy but wonderful state.