I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling a little more 99-percent-ish than usual.

Whatever your sentiments in regard to the nationwide (and perhaps global) Occupy movement that began with Wall Street, I think many of us recognize the impulse that propels it: A sense of complete power and invincibility among a select few, while the mass of us are tossed upon the shifting seas.

The seas got even choppier yesterday, when an Arizona prosecutor announced his findings in regard to the Fiesta Bowl scandal: No one—at least, no elected officials—will be prosecuted in the ticket probe.

(I stress the “elected officials” part because one person—the Bowl’s former chief operating officer—has already been indicted. In November, a grand jury handed down charges against Natalie Wisneski, the bowl’s second-in-command. Time will tell whether anyone above her takes a fall. She has pleaded not guilty.)

I do not question the judgment of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, who made yesterday’s no-charges announcement. He indicated that “inconsistent laws, vague reporting requirements and a requirement that prosecutors prove a defendant ‘knowingly’ violated the law as factors in his decision.” (Not everyone accepts that explanation; read the words of those interviewed by the Phoenix New Times here.)

Nor do I doubt Montgomery’s conclusion that the reporting requirements are vague and make legislators’ action a moving and squishy target. Given those circumstances, he acted as a responsible prosecutor and declined to file charges.

The Occupy movement’s itch starts to ache, though, as Montgomery offered his recommendations for the future:

“Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery intends to ask the Arizona Legislature to pass sweeping reform, including an outright ban or severe restrictions on gifts for lawmakers, following his investigation into the Fiesta Bowl scandal.”

The story, which you can read here, continues:

“Montgomery said he will pressure lawmakers to:

  • Ban all gifts or require the disclosure of all gifts above a certain amount, perhaps $25.
  • Change state statutes to say what gifts are permissible.
  • Increase the frequency of reporting of gifts to quarterly from annually.
  • Create a Web-based reporting system so it’s easier for the public to see what gifts politicians have accepted.
  • Adjust penalties for knowingly or intentionally not reporting gifts to a felony from a misdemeanor.
  • Create a ‘reckless standard’ act that is punishable by a misdemeanor or civil penalty for those who violate the reporting requirements but don’t do it knowingly or intentionally.
  • Increase campaign-finance disclosure requirements.”

Hmmm. Let me return to my assessment of what gives the Occupy movement legs: A powerful and invincible few, and the storm-tossed us.

Former Fiesta Bowl head John Junker (Tom Tingle/AP)

I wish Montgomery luck as he sternly suggests to the few that they should make themselves a bit less invincible. Perhaps the better angels of their nature will prevail, and we will see such legislation in the coming legislative session.

In the meantime, if you or I want any Fiesta Bowl tickets, we’ll have to get them the old-fashioned way: By buying them.

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John Junker (Tom Tingle/AP)

How long, do you think, it will take to get Fiesta Bowl activity back to business as usual?

  • A week
  • A month
  • A year
  • We’re back now. Nothing’s changed.

I leave you to vote silently. I have my own opinion.

This week’s series of stories by the Arizona Republic is a feather in its cap, really excellent reporting. It is likely, in fact, that some journalism awards may be in the offing for the reporters and editors involved. Congratulations to Craig Harris and everyone else over there.

But long-term change at the Bowl, or in the bowl structure overall? Hmmm. Our answer is likely to come at the Altoids Hold-Your-Breath Bowl.

The possibility for long-term change dropped like a poorly played ball when it was disclosed that top BCS official Bill Hancock (and other BCS officials) had himself received gifts from the Fiesta and Orange Bowls. Suddenly his tough talk morphed into words of caution and not pass-rushing to judgment.

Hancock’s earlier warnings, uttered just days earlier, that they “take these allegations seriously” seem like ancient history today.

Of course, a criminal investigation is a different matter. It is likely that this much smoke will lead to at least a small fire of an indictment or two.

But the entirely predictable lesson that we—and other Bowl executives—are learning is that the now-disavowed business practices worked—and worked well—for a really long time.

It reminds you of a decades’ worth of bad mortgage-lending practices. Even though they were later revealed to be corrosive, there is no denying that they made billions of dollars for many people for a long time. So which lesson do you think the industry will remember? Corrosive? Or billions?

So now we move from Junk Bonds to Junk Sports.

A pretty good roundup of the Fiesta Bowl scandal appears in yesterday’s Arizona Capitol Times. Among the facts regarding the 276-page investigative report, the following line struck me: “[T]he investigation report said now-ousted bowl chief John Junker thought it prudent to cozy up to elected officials.”

Yes, hubris and overreaching appear to have caught up with Junker and others. But his oh-so-prudent decision to cozy up to elected officials? That appears to have been a master-stroke, and exactly the uncomfortable factoid that will make lawmakers and bowl executives charge after these improprieties with less than full-throated zeal.