Sunday, January 03, 2010

State Sen. Russell Pearce opposed to financial oversight of elected officials

...or at least, financial oversight of elected officials who he is close personal friends with (or related to)...

From (the money quote is italicized) -
There's bound to be a sense of deja vu when legislators reconvene next week and some familiar bills pop up again at the statehouse, thanks to the budget crisis that dominated last year's session.

Mesa Sen. Russell Pearce's proposal to "codify the constitution" when it comes to the powers of elected county officials could be near the top of the list of familiar bills that failed to go anywhere.


The goal of the bill is simple, according to Pearce:

Once a county board of supervisors allocates a budget to an elected official's agency, that's where the board's financial oversight will end.

"The board of supervisors' responsibility is the budget, not to micromanage an elected official," Pearce said.

Pearce's bill is SB1017. It would require the county supervisors to allocate the budgets for the other county elected officials by lump sum only. The other county elected officials would then have complete discretion in how those budgets are expended. It would also sever the county officials' from responsibility to adhere to any employment, contract, or acquisition standards other than their own.

Perhaps Pearce's bill should be named the "Joe Arpaio/Andrew Thomas Immunity From Responsibility To Society" Act, or perhaps the "Joe Arpaio/Andrew Thomas 'Just Hand Over Your Money And Shut Up' " Act...

And in a "he ain't heavy, he's my brother" moment, as written, Pearce's bill would add a county's justices of the peace to the list of county officers covered by this bill.

Sen. Pearce's brother Lester is a justice of the peace. Hmmm...

Anyway, Pearce proposed the same bill last year, minus the lump sum budget allocations and the JP stuff, as SB1467. Last June, the bill died for lack of a hearing in committee.

Based on this, one could surmise that Pearce's personal motto is "if at first you don't succeed, try, try, again."


Martyrmama said...

Okay, Craig. Posts like this is where the wheels fall off for me. I haven't the chops to keep up with the rest of the class. So here's my question or tie in: Would Senator Pearce's bill be in a round about way enhancing the provision re: party identification for city elections? Remember the big hoopla (well, at least it was big for Tucsonans) about removing the party afiliation from city council elections? So you start from a place where you don't see/know a member of your city council is a fiscally challenged R, then you can't possibly hold it against the larger Rs in the state. And NOW you have ideological driven Rs in city council seats assigning line item expenditures onto the city budget sheets with no transparency, therefore no accountability. Pearce's brother could therefor hire a whole slew of Minute Men to "guard" the boarder and no one would know or be able to do or say anything. Am I way off the mark?

So much for the transparency of local government Kirk Adams promised Arizonans, eh? Oh well...resolutions always made for great toilet paper.

cpmaz said...

No Jen, this one isn't about D vs. R, it's about Pearce protecting his buddy Joe Arpaio from having to deal with the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors.

They don't kiss his @$$ and have things like the budget process and County rules and procedures on hiring and purchasing to rein in some of Arpaio's (and County Attorney Andrew Thomas') fiscal excesses.

Nearly everyone involved is a Republican, so it isn't a partisan dispute per se. It's only some of Arizona's "finest" marking their territory.

Pearce's bill would allow Arpaio and Thomas to set up fiefdoms that are almost completely independent of any kind of oversight. He's trying to undercut the authority of the supes (who aren't exactly angels themselves, but are way better than Arpaio) while building up his friends (and his brother.)

Martyrmama said...

Ah. Thank you for the clarification.

Interestingly, the first word that popped into my mind after reading your reply: Cartel. Curious, no?