Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
Arizona Secretary of State Ken "Birther" Bennett supplements his state salary with cool "Kochtopus" cash. He is on the payroll of the major bankrollers of the national Tea Party movement and FreedomWorks. Talking Points Memo reports:
Ken Bennett, the Secretary of State of Arizona, receives a $70,000 annual salary. But he also, it turns out, receives $2,000 a month for his work as a board member of the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, a for-profit company founded by a one of the key people behind the tea party group FreedomWorks.
According to a report by KTVK reporter Dennis Welch, Bennett has received tens of thousands of dollars from the Cancer Treatment Centers of America since taking office in 2009. The company was founded by the conservative millionaire Richard Stephenson. There are no state laws or rules that would keep Bennett from serving on the company’s board, and Bennett has disclosed the money in financial disclosure statements. So Bennett sees nothing wrong with the arrangement.
“I don’t think there’s anything inappropriate, in fact it’s an honor for me to serve on a board that’s helping treat people for cancer,” Bennett told KTVK. “I’m on other boards, my whole life isn’t about being secretary of state.”
Well no, it's about running for governor and trying to attract high-roller donors to your campaign. Bennett hasn't done much of a job as Secretary of State, anyway.
[D]espite the fact that Stephenson and other associates at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America have donated more than 30 percent of the money raised so far for Bennett’s exploratory committee for governor, Bennett told KTVK, “I don’t see Mr. Stephenson as a political activist.” [He said it with a straight face.]
Stephenson, who has been described as a “reclusive Illinois millionaire,” founded the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in 1988 and currently serves as chairman of the board. He’s also been a major political donor, and has a longtime association with FreedomWorks.
Stephenson was reportedly an early supporter of Citizens for a Sound Economy, the conservative lobbying group founded in 1984 by the Koch brothers. In 2004, Citizens for a Sound Economy split into Americans for Prosperity and FreedomWorks. Stephenson became a FreedomWorks board member. In recent months, Stephenson has been linked to a mysterious $12 million donation made to FreedomWorks last year. And in the aftermath of former House Majority Leader Dick Armey’s attempted coup FreedomWorks, Stephenson agreed to pay Armey $400,000 per year over 20 years in exchange for Armey leaving the group.
"Kochtopus" cash disqualifies you from serious consideration for political office in my book. Arizonans need to tear up the "Kochtopus" tentacles by the roots in the state of Maricopa, salt the ground and make certain that it never grows back.