Sharpe to the Point: Kiss the Cook?

Jim SharpeFebruary 20, 2020
Share This

Dwayne Johnson’s wrestling catchphrase was, “Can you smell what The Rock is cooking?!”

In Arizona, maybe we should be asking, “Can Cook smell what he’s shoveling?”

My answer to that is probably no. Because state lawmaker David Cook (R-Globe) just keeps adding to his already heaping pile of… well, bullpucky. (He is a rancher, after all.)

Case in point: At a time when many question the relationship between lobbyists and legislators, Cook appears to really be enjoying his relationship with one Arizona lobbyist. They’re suspected of having an affair. Even more cozy is Cook’s sponsorship of several legislative bills that his alleged lover, AnnaMarie Knorr of the Western Growers Association, is pushing in the current legislative session.

I don’t approve – but I do understand, because nothing gets me hotter than agricultural legislation. I can envision how their naughty liaison started. He invites her out for drinks to discuss crop rotation and, well, the next thing you know: “Sitting in a tree, k-i-s-s-i-n-g.”

Sorry to go all second grade on you, but I think two married grown-ups acting this way is even less mature. (Cook even allegedly sent her father, Bas Aja of the Arizona Cattle Feeders Association, threatening emails.) Knorr was suspended from her job as the WGA’s “manager of Arizona government affairs.” Maybe she misread the “government affairs” part? (This is like shooting fish in a barrel, people!)

Meanwhile, Cook’s ongoing struggle with the concept of “optics” led him into an odd face-off with KTVK/KPHO political reporter Dennis Welch. When Welch told Cook that his TV stations were in possession of a “trove” of his handwritten love letters, Cook asked Welch if he was suffering from substance abuse.

I have no idea if Welch likes to booze it up – but we know Cook has a history with the bottle. Remember Cook’s 2018 DUI arrest, when he told a state trooper, “You’ll get yours”? I don’t think Cook remembers. Not because his blood alcohol level (.158) technically qualified him for an extreme DUI – but because he received only one day in the hoosegow, instead of the normal 30-day jail sentence for an extreme DUI. What kind of lesson is that?

Cook was kicked off the House’s Public Safety Committee, but that wasn’t punishment, it was logic. Members of a committee dedicated to public safety shouldn’t be making the public less safe, right?

I wish Cook would display similar logic. The way back from the brink is to show contrition and keep your nose clean – not to create new and innovative scandals. Cook’s inability to practice nasal hygiene might explain why he can’t smell his own nastiness – and keeps stepping in it.

And why voters might be preparing a not-so-cold dish of defeat for the Cook. Whether or not that happens, I have a suggestion for the people of his district: When Cook gets a bit tipsy, hide his phone and his pen – and for God’s sake, if you work in the cattle industry, hide your daughters.

Jim Sharpe is the host of Arizona’s Morning News on KTAR-FM 92.3 (weekdays 5-9 a.m.). Visit to find more information about his on-air work.


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.