Is anyone out there paying attention to what is going on in our state? It’s just a question. Because if you need proof that “power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely,” all one need do is look to Arizona politics where we have ZERO checks and balances — ZERO!
Republicans have been in power for the last 40 years, and currently control every statewide office.
Now mind you, if Democrats were in power for the last 40 years, I suspect we would be having this same discussion. But as someone who has advocated for “good government” for almost 20 years — I can say with certainty — that I have never witnessed political corruption, and abuse of power like we are seeing in the Arizona Republican party.
Not only do we have one Republican politician under investigation by the FBI, last week we found out that another Republican is being investigated by the FBI. Attorney General Tom Horne, for alleged campaign finance violations relate to an independent expenditure committee that supported his race for attorney general.
Independent expenditure committees are now the weapon of choice of polarizers like Joe Arpaio, who recently gave testimony during an appeals hearing over the firing of MCSO employee, Joel Fox. Fox was fired for allegedly lying about his involvement in a group that gave thousands of dollars for an advertisement attacking Dan Saben, the sheriff’s 2008 opponent. Now we are reading about Horne’s alleged involvement in a similar scheme.
But no worries. Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, the rising Republican star and protector of the status quo, has their back as any hope that Montgomery would be “fair and balanced” and keep partisan politics out of his office went up in smoke when he gave cover to his political cronies in the Fiesta Bowl scandal. And again last week with his “put up or shut up” comment aimed at the Department of Justice and their report that accuses the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office of widespread discrimination against Latinos.
Heck, even I had high hopes for Montgomery, and grew to like him while we were on the campaign trail together in 2010. Sadly, once elected, he turned out to be another Andrew Thomas — a go-along-to-get-along lackey of Arpaio. Someone should tell Mr. Montgomery that it is not wise to hitch one’s political star to a guy who is under investigation by the Feds. Just ask Andrew Thomas, who my be disbarred tomorrow for his roll in helping Arpaio target and harass his political enemies.
But all is not lost as We the People will finally get our day in court. The time has come to call Arpaio’s bluff and get all the evidence out on the table once and for all — for all the world to see. It’s the only way we will be able to put an end to his reign of terror over this state.
In the mean time, Arpaio, who will continue to blame this all on a vast left-wing conspiracy, may be heading to victory in 2012 as he is armed with a multi-million dollar campaign war chest and two announced opponents, Paul Penzone (D), and Mike Stauffer (a Republican turned Independent). In a three-way race, Arpaio could pull off another win.
If successful in 2012, Arpaio may be hoping that the investigation into his abuse of power, that started under the Bush administration, will all go away under a Romney administration.
But what enquiring minds want to know is this: What will happen to a newly elected Sheriff Joe Arpaio under a newly elected, second term Obama administration?