Thursday, March 19, 2015

Il Duce requests personal police force

The AZ Daily Star has two articles on GOPlin governance. (I know, I know - that's an oxymoron.) My vote for the worst of the worst is HB2420, a rather benign bill on reporting requirements, that got hit with a striker amendment in the Senate. (It's the striker that is scary.) This amendment establishes an office of inspector general reporting only to Il Duce. Here's the scoop via select snippets from the Star.

Insisting there’s waste and corruption to be found, a Senate panel on Wednesday approved a request by Gov. Doug Ducey to let him hire someone with broad authority to poke into what state agencies are doing.

Ted Vogt, the governor’s chief of operations, said Ducey wants someone to conduct "full, complete, unbiased reviews and assessments across multiple state agencies to root out fraud, waste and abuse."

Vogt said this person, who would have a badge and could hire a staff, also would "seek out efficiencies" in how government operates.

The proposal is not unexpected. Ducey first broached the idea in his State of the State speech.

"This public advocate would be equipped with a badge and subpoena power to go in, ask the tough questions and be a watchdog for the taxpayers," the new governor said two months ago.

Unlike naming state agency chiefs, the legislation gives Ducey unchecked authority to appoint who he wants without securing Senate confirmation.

The legislation grants extensive powers, including issuing subpoenas to obtain testimony and records. And it empowers the inspector general to go to court to enforce them.

It also makes the person Ducey appoints effectively a representative of every state agency to examine all records of everything from subcontractors to bank statements.

[There remains] the question of having an individual, appointed by the governor, conducting criminal probes meddling in local affairs [despite objections from new GOP AG Mark Brnovich].

So basically what we have here is an individual, appointed by and answerable only to Il Duce, with unlimited powers, both investigative and prosecutorial, to do anything Il Duce wants. And the Senate is poised to create that position.

A standard hue and cry from the GOPlins is about waste and fraud. Here that is the cover for an uber-witch-hunter. The parallel to 1930s Nazi Germany is striking and scary.

The one, slim hope here is that the stricken bill goes back to the House and gets scrapped. (Oh, come on, stop snickering!)

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