AZ Republic: Dem crook Arredondo “small fry”

What’s insignificant about raw greed and manipulation?

In the skewed, leftwing world of the Arizona Republic, the FBI sting that netted corrupt politician Ben Arredondo, was a “mind-boggling waste of time.”  In this morning’s sole, lengthy editorial the newspaper takes the position that the man who entered into a plea agreement recommending a sentence between 27 months and 51 months in prison is nothing more than “small fry.”

His plea was quite a deal. But he got off easier still with his recent slap-on-the-wrist sentence. Last October Arredondo, 65, pleaded guilty in federal court to two felonies related to public corruption. Each felony count carried a maximum prison sentence of up to 20 years and $250,000 in fines. Up to $50,000 in restitution could also apply. The plea deal included his resignation from the Arizona Legislature.

Among his brazen bad acts, the devious former state Rep. Arredondo sought donations for a college scholarship fund he had ostensibly set up for needy students. He then provided nearly $50,000 from the account to help his own relatives attend Arizona colleges.

Let’s not forget that this “small fry” was indicted on federal counts of bribery, mail fraud, false statements and extortion in connection with soliciting and accepting thousands of dollars in sport and charity event tickets along with other perks from FBI undercover agents in exchange for brokering property deals. The crimes occurred while Arredondo was a Tempe City Council member.

The Republic takes the position that there have been worse cases of politicians who run afoul of the law.  And who do they pointedly name? Two Republican governors, of course.  And “the AzScammers” lumped under that single title so they don’t have to name Democrats such as Senate Majority Whip Carolyn Walker, who holds the distinction of being the first senator in Arizona history to be expelled. In the early 1990’s AZSCAM sting, Walker greedily took $15,000 but asked for $750,000 to start a record company, while angling for gift shop concessions in casino hotels she hoped to bring into the state in exchange for selling her vote. Sen. Jesus “Chuy” Higuera merely wanted the shrimp concessions. Joining them was state Rep. Bobby Raymond, who also went to jail, as did Rep. Sue Laybe, videotaped counting out bribe money like a bank teller. Sting money she took was instrumental in winning her reelection in a swing district. In the sting, votes were being purchased in favor of bringing [non-reservation] Las Vegas-style casinos into the state.

Among the prominent political figures implicated were George Stragalas, executive director of the Arizona Democrat Party and David Manley, chairman of the Maricopa County Democrat Party.

The 13-month long sting resulted in charges of bribery, money laundering and filing false election statements.

Was that also too long and a “mind-boggling waste of time” for an equal betrayal of public trust?

11 Responses to AZ Republic: Dem crook Arredondo “small fry”

  1. State Committeeman says:

    Excellent information here. The liberal newspaper shows its true colors once again. The powers that be at the dispensary of leftist skew, would never name the Democrats who have been caught up in public corruption, but they do name the Republicans. I read this editorial at my favorite breakfast spot which has free editions customers can share. What an perfect example of the tawdry yellow journalism the state‘s largest newspaper has fashioned into a creative work. Thank you for calling them out!

  2. DBCooper says:

    I’ve only lived in Ariz. For 3 years. Never heard of AZSCAM before. Even though this obviously just skims the surface, its interesting stuff. Good site. I was advised to check in here. Will be back.

  3. Vince says:

    I recall that Bobby Raymond and Sue Laybe were both early solicitors of votes in gay bars and throughout that community. They not only garnered votes, but also money on promises of bending over, as it were, for their specific issues.

  4. Braveheart says:

    The Repulsive hates Republicans and loves Democrats. It’s as uncomplicated as that. The newspaper will do whatever it can to give a pass to liberal criminals but holds the feet of conservatives to the fire for far less. That’s why good governors such as Mecham and Symington were removed from office. That’s how it worked for Russell Pearce and that is why this biased newspaper continually beats up on Sheriff Joe Arpaio and Tom Horne. They want all conservatives replaced with liberals.

  5. Ellsworth says:

    If Arredondo’s acceptance of sporting event tickets was no big deal, why is it a sin for Russell Pearce?

  6. eubykdisop says:

    The Arizona Republic is a Gannett newspaper so political partisanship, rather than objective reporting, should be expected.

    “25 Gannett Wisconsin reporters signed Walker recall petitions”

    “posted at 9:50 am on March 26, 2012 by Ed Morrissey”

    “Gannett Wisconsin thought they had a big scoop when they exposed 29 sitting judges in the state that signed petitions for the recall of Governor Scott Walker. Unfortunately, the scoop blew up in their face when they had to admit this weekend that nearly as many of their own reporters had signed the same petitions. Now these 25 supposedly independent journalists in Wisconsin will face disciplinary action for participating in a political process on which they are expected to observe and report.”