The Senate Appropriations Committee chairman wants to hold a public hearing to determine if Maricopa County officials are properly appropriating money.
"We have a fiduciary responsibility to step in," said Sen. Russell Pearce, R-Mesa, noting that state government disburses money to the state's 15 counties.
Pearce's concerns were prompted by two groups of public-safety officers - the Maricopa County Association of Detention Officers and the Deputies Law Enforcement Association - who allege that the county is misusing $196 million in surplus funds while simultaneously making service cuts to cover a $76 million revenue shortfall.
The article goes on to note that Russell Pearce's son, Sean, is a member of the board of the Deputies Law Enforcement Association. According to the Association's website, Pearce the son is a vice president. Based on a statement on the front page of their website, DLEA is fronting for Joe Arpaio in one of his many battles with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors. In this one, he is trying to exempt his office (MCSO) from the budget cuts that loom for all other County operations.
Anyway, just to remind Pearce the father of a couple of things -
1. As the chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, he is one of the primary crafters of the state's budget.
2. That budget has a gaping maw of a deficit.
3. The budget that he helped craft didn't address the state's deficit. In fact, it made it worse. Pearce and his associates focused on giving tax cuts to corporations and the wealthy instead of balancing the budget.
4. And just a quick reminder, in case a reader isn't from Arizona (or *is*, and has been hiding under a cactus for the last 8 months or so), the latest budget is still sitting unsigned on the Governor's desk. And it's basically the same budget that she had to mostly veto two months ago.
Just a thought: Russell Pearce may not be the best choice to be the public face of the "fiscal responsibility" crowd.
Anyway, this kerfluffle is less about "fiscal responsibility" than it is about Arpaio's friends having the time on their hands to join him in his fight to wrest control of the County from the Board of Supervisors.
And so Political Silly Season continues...