By Craig McDermott, cross-posted from Random Musings
The Arizona Commerce Authority, created by Governor Jan Brewer to replace the state's Commerce Department, was touted as a "public/private partnership" dedicated to bringing economic growth back to Arizona, and with it, jobs for all Arizonans.
The Commerce Department, with its trained and experienced professionals, was deemed to be a failure because of the cratering of Arizona economy.
The Commerce Authority is made up of corporate CEOs and bigwigs. The line of BS spouted in support of thinking behind the change was that the CEOs "spoke the same language" as their counterparts in other parts of the country and could convince them to bring operations to Arizona.
While some (like me!) were skeptical of the group's likelihood of success, it turns out that Commerce Authority has benefitted Arizonans.
Well, at least a few Arizonans, like those associated with the Commerce Authority.
From the Phoenix Business Journal, written by Mike Sunnucks -
...The Commerce Authority had its first official board meeting Tuesday and was successful in creating one high-wage job. The ACA board approved a $300,000 salary, $50,000 signing bonus and a vehicle allowance for new CEO Don Cardon.
Cardon was Brewer’s guy at the Department of Commerce before it got a private label and board. He made $183,000 as Commerce director, according to the Associated Press.
So Cardon, who was a failure as a political hack ("Brewer's guy") heading a publicly-funded government department, is now worthy of a huge pay raise as head of a publicly-funded "partnership? Niiiice....
That story was followed by more news of how the new Commerce Authority is spending the public's money for the benefit of the public
Also from the Phoenix Business Journal, also written by Mike Sunnucks -
The Arizona Commerce Authority is moving into new private offices in downtown Phoenix and will pay $40,000 per month in rent and utilities to lease space at the Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold.
That translates into $480,000 per year.
Not that I'm saying that there is a "cause and effect" relationship here (OK, that might be something of a fib :) ), but it's a rather interesting development in light of the fact that one of the directors of the Commerce Authority is Richard Adkerson, president and CEO of, you guessed it, Freeport McMoran.
So the state that doesn't have enough money to adequately fund education...or infrastructure maintenance and improvements...or health care for Arizona's most vulnerable citizens...or anything that even hints of being part of a social safety net has plenty of money available to funnel some to political hacks and cronies?
The "Recall Brewer" effort may have flamed out, but it seems that the problem was more a matter of timing than appropriateness.
And before somebody starts whining that "policy differences" aren't grounds for recall, this isn't about policy differences.
It's about abuse of office and misuse of public funds.