Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Last month we learned that Tom 'banned for life by the SEC' Horne under investigation by the FBI:
The chief law enforcement officer of the state of Arizona, our Attorney General Tom "banned for life by the SEC" Horne, is under investigation by the FBI for campaign finance law violations. Attorney General Tom Horne under investigation:
The FBI is investigating whether Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne illegally worked with an independent expenditure committee that raised and spent more than $500,000 in 2010 to run negative ads against his Democratic challenger.
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The complaint alleges that Horne coordinated with Business Leaders for Arizona, which raised thousands of dollars from Horne's brother-in-law Richard Newman.
The complaint also alleges that Horne and his campaign were actively engaged with the independent expenditure committee and once elected, that he rewarded its director, Kathleen Winn, by naming her director of community outreach for the Tucson office. Winn earns $98,134 a year.
A remarkably similar scandal has been bubbling up in reporting over the past few weeks involving Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn, a Sheriff Paul Babeu acolyte. I encountered him at hearings of the AIRC last year arguing in favor of a prison-gerrymandered district in Pinal County from which he could run for Congress, according to those with whom I spoke at these hearings. That didn't work out for him.
So Bryan Martyn turned to the GOP political patronage machine run by our Shadow Governor, Chuck Coughlin of HighGround, Inc. and his friend Governor Jan Brewer Boss Tweed. Martyn applied for the job of Arizona Parks Director, a job for which he lacked the necessary experience and qualifications. New Arizona parks chief is short on credentials:
Former Pinal County Supervisor Bryan Martyn, an ally of Gov. Jan Brewer's in the battle for a planned Florence copper mine, was named state parks director last month despite being one of the least qualified candidates for the job, records obtained by The Arizona Republic show.
Martyn beat out 201 other applicants even though he had neither experience in state-parks management nor the preferred college degree for the $129,500-a-year position. A state Department of Administration official screening the applicants questioned whether Martyn met three other major requirements. Records indicate he definitively met only two of the seven qualifications for parks director.
Wait, it gets worse:
Republicans Martyn and Brewer are strong supporters of the Pinal County mine. They also are closely connected through a mutual relationship with Chuck Coughlin, an influential GOP lobbyist who counts Curis Resources Inc., the mine's operator, among his clients.
Coughlin is a longtime friend and close political adviser to Brewer, having run at least six of her political campaigns for offices that include county supervisor, secretary of state and governor.
Coughlin said he had no influence in Martyn's hiring. But he acknowledged in an interview with The Republic that he helped Martyn's wife in February get a job working for Brewer. Mine opponents now suggest the close relationship also helped Martyn become state parks director.
"There are a few connections here, and sometimes you have to read between the lines," said Florence Vice Mayor Tom Smith, who supported Martyn's 2008 election as a county supervisor. "I would like to think they picked him for the job because they picked the best man."
Smith and other mine critics say the Florence Copper Project, for which Martyn and Coughlin both have lobbied, will pollute the town's underground-water supply and discourage future residential development because of its proximity to planned housing projects. But Brewer, Martyn and other supporters say the mine will bring high-paying jobs to a depressed community.
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Matthew Benson, the governor's spokesman, said Brewer had nothing to do with hiring Martyn, though records indicate she ultimately approved it. Coughlin, speaking for himself and the mining company, said neither had influence in Bryan Martyn's hiring.
[P]arks-board minutes indicate Martyn's hiring was contingent upon review by the Governor's Office, and the letter offering Martyn the job as parks director stated that the position was "subject to the approval of the Governor of the State of Arizona."
Parks Board Chairman Walter Armer Jr. confirmed that the board sought Brewer's OK before hiring Martyn.
"It was strictly up to us, but the board has always taken the position of notifying the governor of the selection and getting the governor's blessing before we finalize (the hire) to make sure there's not a major problem between the offices," Armer said.
Here's where the similarity to Tom "banned for life by the SEC" Horne's political corruption case comes in. There is an independent political action committee involved in the patronage, the "Pinal Truth Squad" (sic):
Curis is an Arizona affiliate of Hunter Dickinson Inc., a Canadian company that wants to begin a copper extraction this year near Hunt Highway in Florence.
Curis, in waging its battle, hired Coughlin's influential lobbying firm HighGround Inc. in November 2010, after the firm ran Brewer's successful gubernatorial campaign.
Curis this year also helped fund the Pinal Truth Squad, a pro-mine advocacy group that has paid Martyn an undisclosed sum to criticize mine opponents, including a Florence mayoral candidate.
The state solicitor general, under the direction of the Arizona attorney general, is investigating whether the Pinal Truth Squad violated campaign-finance laws. Martyn was that group's lone director, but he quit the post when he started the parks job May 1.
Martyn has repeatedly declined to say how much he was paid by the Pinal Truth Squad.
While Martyn was working for the Truth Squad, Coughlin was representing Curis and attending community meetings on its behalf.
Coughlin said he and Martyn had a discussion earlier this year, after Martyn applied for the parks job. During their conversation, Coughlin said, Martyn indicated his wife also needed a job.
Coughlin said he did not help Bryan Martyn become parks director, but he took credit for helping Susan Martyn become a receptionist in the Governor's Office by contacting Scott Smith, the governor's deputy chief of staff and state Department of Administration director.
"I helped Bryan's wife get a job. I called Scott Smith and said, 'Here is a wife of an elected official, can you look in constituent services?' " Coughlin said.
Susan Martyn makes $35,000 annually. The Martyn couple make a combined $164,500 as state employees.
Bryan Martyn has additional baggage as well. The Arizona Guardian (subscription required) reported on April 26 New state parks director could be target of AG probe:
Currently, Martin is fighting separate assault charges stemming from a March 10 incident in which he's accused of assaulting a longtime political critic.
The Florence Town Attorney charged Martyn with misdemeanor counts of disturbing the peace and fighting. Martyn, who has denied any wrongdoing, is scheduled to appear in court next month.
The Arizona Republic adds:
Martyn, meanwhile, faces a May 17 hearing in Florence Municipal Court over a single misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct stemming from a March 10 dispute in a Florence park.
Martyn said he disclosed the assault allegation to the parks board during the interview process, and it did not keep him from getting the job.
All of this political cronyism is just a preview of coming attractions now that Governor Jan Brewer Boss Tweed has signed her own bill to do away with the civil service merit selection system and return to the halcyon days of Tammany Hall and the spoils system of political patronage. Overhaul of state personnel system signed into law.
The Arizona Democratic Party sent out this press release on Thursday which includes other recent examples of political cronyism:
Brewer-Coughlin chain of cronyism
Hiring of new State Parks Director latest example
May 10, 2012
PHOENIX, AZ--The following is a statement from Luis Heredia, Executive Director of the Arizona Democratic Party, on hiring of Bryan Martyn:
"The appointment of an under-qualified Bryan Martyn as state parks director is an example of exactly the kind of political cronyism Arizona can expect under the legislation supported by Governor Brewer that creates a new spoils system. Prior to his appointment, Martyn was the hired gun for the " Pinal Truth Squad" which argued on behalf of a proposed uranium mine in Florence. A project supported by the Governor and her long time lobbyist Chuck Coughlin and opposed by many prominent Florence residents.
According to the Arizona Republic Martyn's hiring was "subject to the approval of the Governor of the State of Arizona." Martyn was hired for a job that pays more than $129,000 a year even though he met only two of the seven qualifications listed for the position. It appears his main qualification was serving as a loyal cog in the Brewer-Coughlin political machine.
This seemingly endless chain of cronyism extends from Jay Heiler to Greg Patterson and now to Bryan Martyn.