Friday, February 22, 2008

Renzi Indicted

From AP -
Republican Rep. Rick Renzi was indicted Friday on charges of extortion, wire fraud, money laundering and other matters in an Arizona land swap scam that allegedly helped him collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in payoffs.


The indictment accuses Renzi of using his position as a member of the House Natural Resources Committee to push the land swaps for [business partner James W.] Sandlin, who was also charged. It comes after a lengthy federal investigation into the land development and insurance businesses owned by Renzi's family.

The lengthy legal document says Renzi refused in 2005 and 2006 to secure congressional approval for land swaps by two unnamed businesses if they did not agree to buy Sandlin's property as a part of the deal.
About damn time.

...Not yet sure what this means in the CD1 race - if Renzi resigns, there will be a special election to fill his seat for the remainder of his term; however, there's no guarantee that he will resign before he's convicted.



AZW88 said...

The AZ GOP will send 3 names to Janet, and she will appoint someone, must be a republican, to fill his seat until the Nov 08 Election.

That is IF he resigns. He only is forced to resign, I believe, if he is convicted. I suspect the national GOP will push him into resigning. They can't afford more bad pub from ANOTHER dirty Congressman...

cpmaz said...

I was pretty sure about this, but I checked with the Governor's office and read the relevant section of state law to be sure -

A vacant U.S. Senate seat is filled by appointment by the Governor until the next general election; a vacant U.S. House seat is filled via a special election.

Section 16-222 of Arizona Revised Statutes:

16-222. Vacancy in the office of United States senator or representative

A. When a vacancy occurs in the office of United States senator or representative in Congress by reason of death or resignation, or from any other cause, the vacancy shall be filled at the next general election. At such election the person elected shall fill the unexpired term of the vacated office.

B. For a vacancy in the office of representative in Congress, if the next general election is not to be held within six months from the date of the occurrence of the vacancy, the governor shall call a special primary election and a special general election to fill the vacancy. The special primary election shall be held no less than seventy-five nor more than one hundred five days after the occurrence of the vacancy, and the special general election shall be held not less than thirty-five nor more than forty-five days after the special primary election.

C. For a vacancy in the office of United States senator, the governor shall appoint a person to fill the vacancy. That appointee shall be of the same political party as the person vacating the office and shall serve until the person elected at the next general election is qualified and assumes office.

In short, with a Congressional vacancy, the Governor calls the special election to fill the seat, but doesn't appoint someone to fill it; with a Senate seat, no special election, just an appointment.