Thursday, June 2, 2011

What Do These People Have In Common? Russell Pearce, Ben Aredondo, Linda Lopez, Robert Meza, Paula Aboud

No it's not Mesa. No it's not the same party. No it's the same political ideology but the Fiesta Bowl.

The below is borrowed, taken what every you want to call it from Greg Patterson's the Arizona's Own Expresso Pundit. Now before anybody says that I'm taking things out of context there will be a link to the full story at the bottom. Greg does one of the best jobs I know of at making sense of and pointing the flaws in others arguments.
"....look at the local Fiesta Bowl investigation. The political leaders who accepted donations and took trips have fallen out of favor because the Fiesta Bowl --once an pillar of Arizona's political elite community--has tainted its reputation.

The Fiesta Bowl's new management and the media are looking to shift the blame for the malfeasance of the Fiesta Bowl to the actual victims of that malfeasance...the politicians who were lured into dealings with the Bowl. Actually, I should be more specific, the management is shifting the blame to the politcians and the media are focusing that blame on the Republicans*.

Could the candidates who received the tainted contributions have known that Fiesta Bowl management had criminally laundered Fiesta Bowl funds? Fiesta Bowl officials also invited candidates to football games and claimed that the activity was legal because management had complied with the requirement that all of the members of a single committee were invited. Could the elected officials have known that Fiesta Bowl Management didn't follow up on this requirement?

The answers to these questions are of course "no." The candidates and elected officials could not have known that the Fiesta Bowl was violating the law. Frankly, in the wake of the Citizens United case, it's not entirely clear that contributions by the Fiesta Bowl itself are illegal. The finance and gift laws are so vague and selectively enforced that it's hard to know which ones were broken and when.

And that's the point. The laws that govern politicians are so vague, convoluted and arbitrary that anyone who falls out of favor can be indicted--or at least smeared.....
....the candidates and elected official who were victimized by the Fiesta Bowl management don't deserve to be mocked and vilified in the media.

*Footnote: Remember the stories about Congressman Ed Pastor calling the Fiesta Bowl in order to get Super Bowl tickets for his Congressional buddies? Me neither. How about Ben Aredondo getting all those tickets? Paula Aboud? Linda Lopez? Robert Meza. Nope.

Russell Pearce? Yep, that rings a bell. Pearce appears to actualy be even less culpable than the other elected officialls. He paid for most of his tickets; some of the trips attributed to him were actually taken by others and on at least one occasion he attended an event as part of an official function. Yet, the media have not only focused on Pearce, but they have also mocked his attempts to provide a legal defense for each trip...."
As I told a reporter today if you are going to bring up the problems with the Fiesta Bowl and Russell Pearce you need to bring up everybody that ever received anything from the Fiesta Bowl Committee.

As promised here is the link to the full post.

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