Thursday, May 17, 2012

State Representative Ben Arredondo indicted in FBI sting

On Wednesday, a federal indictment of State Representative Ben Arredondo was released. 

It alleges that Arredondo accepted slightly less than $6300 in tickets to sporting events and charity events in exchange for influence used on behalf of the givers of the largesse, FBI agents working undercover as representatives of a fake company seeking to do business in Tempe.

The matter is still unfolding, and more news will break before it is over.

Arredondo will have his day in court, and as someone who knows and likes him, I hope he is innocent and fends this off.  However, if he's guilty, he should face the appropriate penalty.

Senate Minority Leader David Schapira, from Tempe, like Arredondo, has called for Arredondo's resignation, while House Minority Leader Chad Campbell of Phoenix expressed both shock at the charges and that Arredondo should be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.

Having said all that, I've got a few thoughts on this:

- While if the allegations in the indictment are proven true it will be more than a little disappointing, it won't be all that surprising.  Arredondo was one of a number of elected officials named in the report from the Fiesta Bowl organization concerning its scandal.  The elected officials received trips and tickets to college football games prior to voting on matters that affected the Fiesta Bowl.

- Speaking of the Fiesta Bowl scandal, most or all of the electeds named in that report are probably finding that their digestive systems have turned into masonry production systems (aka "they're $hitting bricks") right about now.  Wednesday's indictment may not be related to the Fiesta Bowl scandal, but the behavior cited in it is very similar.  Just a guess here, but many of them

- The next elected on the feds' menu may not even be a state legislator.  They're still going "round 'n round" with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, an investigation of Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne relating to some interesting campaign finance activity, and Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is the subject of an investigation into allegations that he had some PCSO employees do campaign work, for his now-abandoned run for Congress, while they were on the job.

- Assuming that there is merit to the feds' allegations, the question will become "who's next, and for what?"  After the Fiesta Bowl scandal broke, a number of bills were introduced by the Democrats in the legislature to tighten the ethics rules on gifts, etc. from people with an interest in matters before the lege.

Turns out some of the other legislators *really* like their freebies - the Republicans killed each and every attempt to clean up the legislature.

In other words, it's not "if" but "when" there will be a next time.

3 comments:

Thane Eichenauer said...

As far as Joe Arpaio is concerned I won't be convinced that the federal indictment means squat until either Arpaio is in jail or out of office.

cpmaz said...

Thane, on this we agree.

Unknown said...

Article and Video: Jesse Kelly Says Health Care Is A “Privilege You Earn” http://j.mp/IrWsia

Article: Jesse Kelly Would Privatize Social Security http://j.mp/JPVE4E

Article AND Video: Jesse Kelly trying to hide endorsement by extremist racist group?? http://j.mp/KEEkxX All about ALIPAC http://j.mp/KLBcAj

Article: "Corporate Personhood" Citizens United Endorses Jesse Kelly in Special Election http://j.mp/w4YGg8

Article: Jesse Kelly, Arizona Congressional Candidate, Claimed Not To Know Where Stimulus Funds Went http://j.mp/LISvHf

Article: Jesse Kelly Trying To Walk Back His Call to Eliminate the Minimum Wage http://j.mp/HYa1SG

Article: CD8 candidate Jesse Kelly’s economic platform similar to Communist nations http://j.mp/zBKXth

Article: CD8 Republican Jesse Kelly Calls For New National Sales Tax http://j.mp/xNFoui

Article: Giffords Opponent, Jesse Kelly, Held June Event to “Shoot a Fully Automatic M16 to “Get on Target” and “Remove Gabrielle Giffords” http://j.mp/zsqdwJ and http://j.mp/A5to9a

Article: More Jesse Kelly Lies About Medicare http://j.mp/IUOmPk

Article and Video: Jesse Kelly: "Oil Is A Renewable Resource" http://j.mp/xlm23i

Article: Jesse Kelly Supported by Groups Tied to White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, in 2010 AND 2012 http://j.mp/HR9RfR

Letter: Tucson Tea Party Co-Founder: 13 Questions for Jesse Kelly that must be answered before you vote http://j.mp/zCtsMM

Article: Jesse Kelly's firm benefited from stimulus he criticized http://j.mp/MV8LGK

Video: Jesse Kelly's ENTIRE platform http://j.mp/JjkdXr

Simply put, Jesse Kelly has neither the brains, credibility or honesty for public office, the will for fighting or the compassion to represent the people of southern Arizona either CD8 OR CD2.