When Did Theft Become Offensive?

Laurie Roberts posted a great article this morning pointing out the ridiculous hypocrisy of folks who complain about the designs on Starbucks holiday coffee cups while ignoring the utter theft of their tax dollars taking place right under their noses.

This theft includes what has happened to funding for public education in Arizona for the past decade.

I only take issue with one point Laurie made:

“…our leaders recently agreed to give Arizona’s 1.2 million public school children $3.5 billion of the $3.8 billion they are owed under a Maricopa County Superior Court judge’s order.”

Arizona guv Doug Ducey and the state capitol rats aren’t “giving” anything. They are TAKING value from the trust set up upon Arizona’s admission to the United States intended to benefit public education and using it to REPLACE money that should have been paid from tax revenues to the schools, but instead was DIVERTED to various crony capitalist interests.

That’s not unlike what Scottsdale mayor (and Arizona guv Doug Ducey ally) Jim Lane has done (with a complicit, 100% “Republican” city council) in shorting the city’s infrastructure maintenance to the tune of about $1 BILLION over the last decade. Now the city is borrowing (via bond election just last week) tens of millions of dollars to fix potholes and build fire stations.

Jason Rose, PR guy
Jason Rose, PR guy

Where’d that infrastructure money go? Noble efforts like subsidizing polo matches for the mayor’s political PR hack, Jason Rose; Subsidizing Super Bowl parties for Fashion Square Mall; and a $4 million cash subsidy every year to a private “cultural arts management” business…which can’t survive on free rent and ticket sales, and managed to get a $650,000 bonus check Tuesday night.

Of the double-handful of folks in attendance at that meeting who were not city staffers, fewer than half were taxpayers who don’t work for that city contractor.

More importantly, I didn’t see any representative of Laurie’s employer, The Arizona Republic, in attendance. Maybe said employees were among the dozen or so viewers of the city’s government access Channel 11 on Cox Cable, or they were streaming via their computers while soaking in their hot tubs.

But maybe the Republic’s reporters weren’t watching after all. I didn’t read anything in the Republic about the hour-long city council fight over the cultural arts funding subsidy.

Mi-Ai Parrish, publisher of the Arizona Republic

And just maybe the reason you didn’t read about it is that despite semi-annual claims from the Republic that they are reinvigorating their “government watchdog” efforts (the latest by newly-anointed publisher Mi-Ai Parrish), the Republic actually receives some of the largess, too! For example, the recent “AZCentral Food and Wine Experience” got a Scottsdale taxpayer-funded subsidy.

And as regards the cultural arts contractor, aka, the Scottsdale Cultural Council: The Republic got nearly $284,000 in “independent contractor” work from the Cultural Council in 2014, and the Cultural Council spent another $543,000 on “advertising” (presumably also to the Republic, but it’s not broken down on the Cultural Council’s IRS reporting). Numbers for 2015 have not yet been reported.

There are 827,000 reasons right there why you haven’t heard anything about it from the Republic.

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