Monday, April 02, 2012

Horne and Patterson: Electeds behaving badly

It was a rather eventful day for a couple of Arizona's elected officials, and not a good kind of "eventful" -

- News broke that Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is under investigation by the FBI.

From Arizona Public Media, written by Fernanda Echavarri -

Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne is under investigation for allegations of campaign finance violations and unethical conduct.
A complaint filed with the secretary of state’s office says Horne, his brother-in-law, a political consultant and a former representative of an independent expenditure committee violated state and federal campaign laws.

According to an Arizona Republic article written by Yvonne Wingett Sanchez, some of the other people involved were Richard Newman (the "brother-in-law" in the quoted passage, Nathan Sproul (a political consultant, and a rather infamous one at that) and Kathleen Winn (the director of the independent expediture committee and later a highly-paid employee of Horne's office).

The investigation is ongoing, and more details are sure to come out in the coming weeks, and while an investigation is hardly a conviction, is anybody really surprised that a guy who received a lifetime securities trading ban from the SEC, lied on legal documents about going through a bankruptcy, and hired a woman who is a close friend to a lucrative job with the AG's office that for which she apparently wasn't qualified could have done something like violate campaign finance laws?

- While the investigation into Horne is far from over and more info is sure to come out, the report from the investigation into the actions of State Rep. Daniel Patterson was released to the public today, and it documents behavior that ranges from simply "colorful" thru "unprofessional" to possibly "criminal."

From the Tucson Weekly, written by Hank Stephenson -

The ethics investigation into Rep. Daniel Patterson has culminated in a lengthy and damning report (complete with extensive footnotes) recommending Patterson's expulsion from the House of Representatives.
The expulsion recommendation in the report, prepared by Stinson Moris Hecker LLP and delivered to the Ethics Committee and Patterson over the weekend and made public today, is based on a long list of ethical, moral and possibly legal breaches by Patterson, including, but not limited to:
• A broad-based distrust and fear of him by members and staff
• A legacy of ignoring House rules, decorum and professionalism
• Verbal abuse and harassment and physical threats of those who disagree with him
• Past and continued violation of court orders
• Lying about bills
• Frequent marijuana use
• Manipulation of his former campaign manager and girlfriend Georgette Escobar
• Seeking sex from a lobbyist in exchange for his vote

It's clear that Patterson has issues that go deeper than his penchant for assaulting the women in his life, as damning as that alone would be.

The report has re-energized calls for Patterson to resign, including that of House Democratic leader Rep. Chad Campbell.

And mine. 

It's long past time for Patterson to step down and deal with the personal issues he needs to deal with, and if he won't do it on his own,  the rest of the House membership should show him the door.

The full report is here, courtesy Arizona Public Media.

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