Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, left, and Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning, current President of the National Association of Attorneys General (photo by Marjorie Tharp, NAAG)

So I was in the Fort Lauderdale Airport …

I’d wager that no good blog post ever began with that phrase.

In any case, on Monday I strolled a humid terminal, clutching a call list in my hand. On a layover on my trip to Washington DC, I checked my office messages and scrawled them onto the back of a business card. And then I started dialing.

One call was to Molly Edwards, the Arizona Attorney General’s press secretary, who had left me a message about a story idea. I punched in her number, and waited, sweat beading on my forehead while Everglades-like moisture washed over the traveling public. And there was me, without my pontoon boat.

“Hi, Arizona Attorney General’s Office. This is Molly.”

“Hi, Molly, is Terry there?”

Long pause.

“Terry? You mean Terry Goddard?”

That snapped me to attention like the climax of Cape Fear. No, not Terry Goddard, the Attorney General himself.

As I read my call list, I had let my mind wander. Two calls down that list, I read the name “Terry,” another attorney who had left a message. Conflating the present call and a future name, I had inadvertently asked to be put through directly to the AG—all before I had even had the courtesy to identify myself.

“No, not Terry Goddard,” I said, “I mean Molly. I mean you.”

Good one, so suave. HANG UP NOW, my mind demanded. Call back in 15 and she’ll never know.

“Yeah,” said Molly, laughing, “most people don’t call and ask for Terry himself.”

Maybe it was the kindness of her laugh that led me to soldier on.

“Sorry, Molly. This is Tim Eigo at Arizona Attorney, returning your call.”

Good so far. But not for long.

Me: “When I said ‘Terry’ I was thinking about another call I have to make.”

Molly, after a confused pause: “You mean you weren’t calling me back?”

Me, defeated: “No, no, I was … it’s just that … How are you? What’s up?”

Gracious as always, Molly went directly to the subject at hand. Terry Goddard had won a national award, bestowed on him by the National Association of Attorneys General.

We may cover this important award in an upcoming issue. But for now, here is the AG’s press release, complete with insights from other Arizona notables.

And as for this Arizona dry-heat correspondent, I’ll aim to be more alert on calls when it’s above 80% humidity. Damn the dampness—no more clammy-calling.

Office of Attorney General Terry Goddard

 Terry Goddard Honored with Highest Award from Nation’s Attorneys General

(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 17, 2010) Attorney General Terry Goddard received the prestigious Kelley-Wyman award last night from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) at the organization’s annual summer meeting in Seattle, Washington.

The Kelley-Wyman Award is the association’s highest honor and is presented to the Attorney General who has done the most to advance the objectives of the association. It is sometimes referred to as the “Attorney General of the Year” award. Goddard was selected to receive this honor in recognition of his work on the $94 million Western Union recovery, as well as his leadership on a number of law enforcement initiatives, including mortgage fraud and the multi-state tobacco settlement.

“Attorney General Terry Goddard demonstrates the collegial and collaborative efforts that NAAG strives to facilitate among its membership,” stated NAAG President Jon Bruning, the Republican Attorney General of Nebraska.

“His guidance and perseverance led to the groundbreaking agreement among the four Southwest border states and Western Union that will provide substantial resources for law enforcement to combat money laundering,” Bruning added. “General Goddard has been instrumental in combating Mexican drug cartels that threaten the security of the U.S.-Mexican border. He has worked with Mexico’s top law enforcement officials to increase cross-border cooperation.”

“AG Goddard very much deserves this prestigious award,” said Paul Charlton, former U.S. Attorney for Arizona. “Terry has taken on the drug cartels, human smugglers, and border crime in effective and creative ways. He is a thoughtful prosecutor whose good work has now been recognized nationally by his peers.”

“As a border Sheriff, I know how hard the Attorney General has worked to provide resources to local law enforcement in the battle against the drug cartels,” stated Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. “He understands that only through close partnerships with local law enforcement, the federal government, and Mexican law enforcement officials can we truly win the battle against these criminals. I congratulate the Attorney General and his team for winning this prestigious award.”

“Attorney General Goddard has led the way in working with local law enforcement and prosecutors in fighting drug cartels and border crime,” said Sheila Polk, Yavapai County Attorney. “I applaud NAAG for selecting him for this prestigious award.”

“I would like to thank my fellow Attorneys General for this recognition of the great work we have done fighting border crime and mortgage fraud,” Goddard said. “This award is a welcome pat on the back to the hard-working men and women of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office and our law enforcement partners. For almost eight years, I’ve had the privilege to work with my fellow Attorneys General across political and regional divides to find common ground to benefit our citizens. We have a proud tradition among the AGs of independence from outside pressure and dedication to the law.”

The National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) was founded in 1907 to help Attorneys General fulfill the responsibilities of their office and to assist in the delivery of high-quality legal services to the states and territories. The Association fosters interstate cooperation on legal and law enforcement issues, conducts policy research and analysis of issues, and facilitates communication among the states’ chief legal officers. . The Association’s members are the Attorneys General of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, the Commonwealths of Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands, and the territories of American Samoa, Guam and the Virgin Islands.

Goddard is the third Arizona Attorney General to win the Kelley-Wyman Award. Prior winners were Grant Woods in 1994 and Gary Nelson in 1970.

For additional information, contact Press Secretary Molly Edwards at 602.542.8019.