Sunday, May 22, 2011

Maricopa County Politics: the very definition of "small world"

Item one:  Witness one Mark Goldman, attorney.  A former deputy Maricopa County Attorney, he was heavily involved in the case ginned up by former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas against Maricopa County Supervisor Don Stapley, a political rival of Thomas' biggest political ally, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Item two:  Witness Dennis Wilenchik, attorney.  At one point in time, his firm employed Thomas.  When Thomas became county attorney, Wilenchik's firm received oodles of private contracts from MCAO, essentially using public funds to pay Wilenchik et. al. to serve as Thomas' political hatchetmen "special prosecutors".  Cases included (but were hardly limited to) the persecution and arrest of the publishers of the Phoenix New Times for their coverage of Arpaio and his misdeeds.

Item three:  Goldman, like Thomas, worked for Wilenchik at one point (see the link in the first item).

Item four:  Goldman is the attorney for State Senator Scott Bundgaard in his "domestic violence" case.

Item five:  Jason Rose, the AZ Republicans' resident PR guru, is Bundgaard's PR guy, helping him deal with the fallout from the domestic violence incident.  Bundgaard's case is still pending, in Phoenix Municipal Court, but I'm not sure.  Their records don't seem to be available online.  However, I can find no mention of the case in the Maricopa County court system's records.

Item six: Arpaio incurred fines of over $75K over illegal campaign finance activity when his campaign spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on advertising that supported Bill Montgomery, a Thomas ally, over Rick Romley, a Thomas and Arpaio adversary, in the race to fill Thomas' unexpired term as CA.

All of which leads to item seven:

A Paradise Valley-located fundraiser for Montgomery, scheduled for Wednesday evening.

Organized by Goldman, it boasts a host committee (aka - list of big $ contributors) that includes Goldman, Wilenchik and Rose.

It also boasts of a "special appearance" by Arpaio, and curiously, Joe Miller, the candidate for U.S. Senate in Alaska who lost to Lisa Murkowski, who ran as a write-in candidate.  Maybe Miller will take the time to bring a housewarming gift to his friend Sarah Palin at her new digs in north Scottsdale.

Goldman's political fundraising LLC, GoldmanSmith, was incorporated in April, shortly after folks started figuring out that Bundgaard's "domestic violence incident" wasn't going to go away.  It's got a bare-bones website, and only one event listed - this one.

I don't know what sort of concoction they are brewing up over in PV, but given the ingredients include a number of people with large amounts of money and a personal or professional need for a "friendly" county attorney, whoever is standing over the cauldron better be able to stir with one hand.

The other holding will be holding their nose.

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