CQ looks at CD 1

Congressional Quarterly writes about the CD 1 race. Everyone keeps saying that Sydney Hay may be too conservative. What was Rick Renzi? Hardly a liberal but he kept winning elections. If the moderates in the party succeed in getting someone to run against Hay in CD 1 should the conservatives recruit a candidate to run against Bee in CD 8?


Comments

  1. Kralmajales says

    It is not just that Syndney Hay is too conservative, but that her background and profession provides serious problems at this time in history and in this particular campaign.

    My point is that she is a mining industry lobbyist. After K Street and the corruption that led to Renzi’s downfall, Hay’s resume is a stark reminder of the reason why this seat is now open. Her background (along with her politics) will be quite easy to attack and I can envision the ads. She may be a squeaky clean, and she had better be, but the very word (lobbyist) coupled with an industry that has had its brushes with corruption (and certainly environmental destruction) will make her a hard choice over a person like Kirkpatrick who is a public servant.

  2. Mr. Kralmajales,

    You make a good point from your side of the isle. From a GOP perspective she is an advocate for an industry that provides good paying jobs and economic prosperity. Do you want us to import everything from China, including base metals? While the price for minerals is sky high?

    Please correct me if I am wrong but the Navajo Nation extracts quite a bit of coal from the ground and would be in economic trouble without the work.

    http://blogs.reuters.com/environment/2008/03/28/navajo-nation-struggles-to-build-coal-plant/

  3. SonoranSam says

    Ron et al:

    You’re missing Kral’s point – and yes, it’s colored by where he comes from (me too) but facts are facts.

    Rick Renzi has poisoned the well. Why do you think so many top-tier Republicans have looked at the race – and taken a pass?

    Don’t you think they did some polling? What do you think those polls showed?

  4. Sam,

    Good point. All the more reason for the GOP to get behind Hay and give her the best possible chance. With all the other tasks at hand it makes no sense for some faction within the party to keep trying to recruit reluctant candidates to run against a fellow Republican.

  5. To Kral, re: K street and Sydney Hay – Who Cares?

    To SA, re: the CD8 Republican Challenger – the only news outlet that keeps giving Tidball free publicity is you.

    To SA, I read the article and checked out Ms. Kirkpatrick and Ms. Hay’s websites and I think you do this race and CQ a disservice by doing a drive by diss.

    Where is the insider coverage from Bennett that has made SA novel and avant garde? A word from inside the Bennett campaign or a prominent CD1 GOP mod would have discredited the CQ story as just another case of liberal wishful thinking.

    This race is really interesting because of the geopolitical diversity of the district, the personal stories of each of the candidates and the shifting political ground this election year holds. This is after all the year of the rat.

    There is nothing to support the CQ conclusion that AZCD1 leans Demo except the hot air of academics and party hacks save this tid bit:

    “Democrats hold an advantage in voter registration 41 percent to 34 percent, while a quarter of the district’s voters are independent. But Bennett said that internal polling indicated the district would embrace a candidate from either party if he or she represented the mainstream and had strong message delivery.”

    The problem with this is that Bennett isn’t so mainstream. She thinks that we should get rid of the electoral college. A good Hay backer would dig deeper and find out where Bennett is liberal and dangerous to Arizona and America.

    More telling is this buttress to the Bennett’s strength but not to the CQ thesis that the distrct as a hole is leaning democrat. And that is fundraising:

    “Kirkpatrick also holds a lead in fundraising. As of April 1, Kirkpatrick had raised $661,000 and had $465,000 on hand while Hays had raised $268,000 and had $222,000 in cash, according to the candidates’ most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission. Korn, Hay’s primary challenger, had raised less than $20,000 by the same date.”

    Our lack of party fundraising demostrates our party weakness. That stems from our failure to capitalize on our victories in 2002 and 2004. McCain is doing a pretty good job of making the case to America to come home to the GOP with his Selma tour, the gas tax holiday, his foreign policy tour and a recent statement to revitalize the Rust Belt. But ultimately the American destiny is a conservative one and that destiny is more conservative than Senator McCain.

    With the commodities market demanding more precious metals and sky high energy costs and even food shortages, Sydney Hay has a real opportunity to make inroads not just with AZ CD1 but with the rest of Arizona and the country. Because she speaks with credibility on mining, she can lay out a case for mineral exploitation, environmental rollback and expose sustainability for what it really is a buzz word for incremental Maoism in a time when the third world is going through an industrial revolution. Sydney can talk about the importance of bringing mining and energy to the Tribes – an issue of great importance to the Navajo and Apache Tribes – where your author has strong ties.

    Ultimately our party has to be the party of energy independence not through economically contracting schemes under the aegis of conservation but energy infrastructure upgrades suggested under the Bush Energy Bill of 2001 (power grids and refineries) and more importantly mineral and energy exploitation: coal, gulf and Alaskan oil, nuclear and shale oil exploitation. Canadians do it, why don’t we?

    PS to Kral, my prediction: Mr Renzi will survive this trial as another ad naseum example of much ado about nothing accusation that has become perfuctory playbook of the Democratic party. When he does prevail, he may run again.

  6. James,

    We tried to charge Tidball $1,000 for the coverage but he baulked at the price.

  7. Keep it up. I am sure Derek appreciates it.

  8. kralmajales says

    Hey James:

    Interesting points, but Renzi will not get off and I think you vastly underestimate the “lobbyist” issue as well as K Street on this campaign and others. Like it or not, you party did nothing to help itself in the honor department. Corruption has been a clear result fo the administration and its Party’s ties in the K Street mess. Because of it, you have lost innumerable safe seats to open ones this time. Hayworth was one, Renzi another.

    We are frankly licking our chops at the possibility of facing Sydney Hay…a mining lobbyist. What you say about her exposing sustainability and relying on her mining ties to win will undoubtably make it even easier.

    Many here talk a lot about the GOP registration advantage in CD 5 and CD 8…well there is a Dem advantage in this district by, what?, 3%?

    She has to appeal to independents, swing some dems, and hold her base firm. She certainly won’t when members of you party know what I say is true. The fact that she is a mining lobbyist going up against a public servant makes it easy. When her deals start to come to light…it will get easier.

    This is exactly what, I am sure, John McCain’s people worry about with regard to that seat.

    Anyone on your side of the fence agree?

  9. Since my name was involved in the above posting, I thought it important to put a stop to another leftist “drive-by” hit on my reputation.
    The poster, “kral-whatever,” DOES reveal an interesting tactic of the Left…which is to ignore fact in favor of myth.
    Granted, “corruption” has become a staple attack in the arsenal of a challenger…and it is made more effective when the dominant media culture IGNORES the questionable conduct of candidates more to their liking and political preference.
    Rather than succumb to the temptation of pointing out such pertinent facts from (*ahem*) recent Arizona Congressional campaigns, we can use the current example of Sen. Barack Obama and his indicted friend, Tony Rezko. The coverage of their relationship (yes, there IS a relationship…and yes, it extends to a financial interaction involving a sweetheart arrangement for a portion of the land parcel on which B.O.’s residence now stands)has been perfunctory at best–at least from the standpoint of a national campaign. Perhaps that will change…but so far, it hasn’t.
    To bring the point “home”: be careful in defining the political battlefield for your opponents, “kral.” Don’t assume you can go to the well with a false charge of corruption (or “questions” or “links” given voice by your newspaper pals) and think it will work in the 2008 Campaign in CD 1 just because it worked against me in 2006 in CD 5…and if you mention my name again, please be truthful enough to include the perfunctory mention that ALL the allegations of “corruption” against me came to naught when actually examined thoroughly.

  10. SonoranSam says

    Nice show of class on your part, Hayworth.

    First you whine about Kral being “mean” to you, and then you twist Obama’s name into a euphamism for body odor.

    You didn’t lose because of reporting on “allegations.”

    You lost because the Republic aptly described you as a bully, a description that you continue validate.

    Sure glad I don’t list to your radio show. It hasn’t been canceled yet, has it?

  11. SS:

    You don’t need to constantly prove your own arrogance, incivility, and blatant disregard for facts each time you post a response to my comments.

    Let me heartily invite you NOT to listen to my daily broadcast–it is so far above your modest intellectual capacities that it would be akin to
    barnyard critter trying to learn the finer points of the Theory of Relativity.

    BTW, B-O is offered as “shorthand,” not the double entendre of your fevered, non-hygenic imaginings…but I will grant you this: if your leftist pals can ignore the stench of Obama’s relationships with Rezko, Ayers, et al, they will have proven as delusional as you are.

  12. SonoranSam says

    Gee: and you wonder why people think you’re a bully.

  13. Full Disclosure:

    I omitted “a” before the term “barnyard critter” in the above post…

    No, SS… this is not a suggestion that inserting the “a” will in anyway equate you with the journalist named Clymer of Campaign 2000 fame…but if the connection is self-evident…well, I can’t help that.

  14. Kral, if Renzi is as crooked as you, Blog4AZ and CBS news allege, then we owe you a debt of gratitude and our party needs to do a better job of vetting our candidates in the election and pre-election phase. But you still have to prove your case.

    Second, mineral and energy exploitation is not inconsistent with creating a high quality living space. Brazil just announced an oil find that exceeds Saudi Arabia. We have enough shale oil in Western Colorado to be energy independent for a hundreds of years. Those are facts.

    The problem with you liberals is you like to usurp moral authority until someone like me presents the facts.

    One more thing, don’t count J.D. out. He is a young man with a future here in AZ. I did not like his anti-immigrant stuff, but I do agree with him that the border needs to be closed. I would love to see him run for Governor and from there who knows? Arizona has a tradition of producing strong national leaders.

  15. SS,

    JD can bully for me anytime

  16. I just love how far J.D. has fallen. From debating on the House floor and feted on Fox as the next big GOP thing to having to defend himself on a local blog from people using pseudonyms.

    Somewhere Twain, Mencken, and Thompson are raising a glass.

  17. Klute,

    Just be happy your welfare checks keep comin’ in!

    Actually, the House was never meant to be anyone’s home…and if you delight in the fact that I choose to defend myself on “local blogs,” all well and good.

    However, your acid-trip fantasy of Twain, Mencken, and Hunter Thompson raising a glass in the wake of my electoral demise is a better theme for one of your “poems” than a convincing “clincher” for a blog comment!

  18. Klute,

    It’s Arizona’s leading conservative forum, if you please.

    I believe JD has a successful afternoon radio show. Probably a lot nicer living in AZ then spending time in a plane between here and DC.

  19. “Actually, the House was never meant to be anyone’s home…”

    Odd you would say this, considering you there for 6 terms, attempted to get a 7th – a violation of the “Contract With America”, if I’m not mistaken.

    “Just be happy your welfare checks keep comin’ in!”

    Cute. I’ll be happy to provide you with my tax returns if you’d like to see exactly how much “welfare” I get.

    “However, your acid-trip fantasy of Twain, Mencken, and Hunter Thompson raising a glass in the wake of my electoral demise is a better theme for one of your “poems”…”

    You know, you’re right. You should come to the show Friday. Heck, I’d buy you and yours a ticket even.

  20. “It’s Arizona’s leading conservative forum, if you please.”

    Duly noted, and deference added. Still, this ain’t no “O’Reilly Factor” when it comes to audience.

    “I believe JD has a successful afternoon radio show.”

    And yet, he didn’t use to have to intersperse his commentary with ads for water softeners.

  21. Klute,

    Regarding our audience – We aim for quality over quantity. Thank you for the compliment in reference to the O’Reilly Factor.

    What do you have against water softeners? Not everyone enjoys mineral laden water and clothes that feel like cardboard.

  22. Ron,

    “Klute,

    Regarding our audience – We aim for quality over quantity.”

    That include me? ‘Cause if so, thank YOU for compliment.

    “What do you have against water softeners? Not everyone enjoys mineral laden water and clothes that feel like cardboard.”

    They’re frivalous. It’s like buying Super Unleaded.

  23. Klute:

    You continue to amaze us all with your wit…especially the reference to water softeners!

    You know, water is not just for drinking…you might try using it for a shower now and again…perhaps even on a daily basis!

    Yours for a “Cleaner America,”

    JD

  24. Klute,

    Of course it includes you. We have a great audience that does an excellent job of keeping us on our toes.

    Now you are picking on Super Unleaded? My engine pings something fierce without it. Have you ever tried the 100 octane stuff? Now that is the juice.

  25. J.D.,

    Just going to belch out old tired sterotypes, are we? You’ve got everyone from cops with the Phoenix PD to college professors to former mercenaries to kids on scholarships from the Goldwater Institute performing locally. I know it’s daunting, but really – join us in the 21st century.

    And no explanation of the breaking of your “Contract with America” pledge vs. the House is not a home, then?

  26. Ron,

    And this is why I like SA. I’m probably 180 degrees from y’all politically, but I’ve never felt insulted. It’s stuff like THIS that gives me hope for America.

    “Now you are picking on Super Unleaded?”

    Well, I’m sure J.D. would say it’s all part of my “Destroy America” agenda. But truthfully, it’s a belief that my independent of my superiors in Moscow and Riyadh… Perhaps I’ve said too much.

    “Have you ever tried the 100 octane stuff? Now that is the juice.”

    Too slow. I prefer solid rocket boosters.

  27. “solid rocket boosters”

    Now your talkin’. Let’s warm this planet up some, I hate cold weather.

  28. Klute,

    kicking a man when he is down, no class pal.

    J.D. is welcome here and it is honor to have him aboard.

    You people have still to prove your case against Hayworth!

  29. Oh, Klute, Klute, Klute…

    Your memory banks are a bit faulty. The pledge in the “Contract with America” was to bring ten initiatives to the floor for a vote…not to guarantee their passage!

    We were unable to pass “term limits,” though I DID vote for every measure that would have limited terms to six.

    When that did not pass, and I became the first Arizonan named to the Ways and Means Committee, both Republicans and Democrats suggested to me privately that it was important to the state that I keep building seniority on that committee.

    Of course, the 2006 Election rendered all of that moot (happily, from your perspective).
    So, we both can acknowlege that the People offered the ultimate “term limit” with their ballots. While that “involuntary retirement” has taken me out of the House, thankfully it has not abridged my right to engage in political discourse… nor yours!

  30. J.D.,

    There is something called “the spirit of the law” vs. “the letter of the law”.

    Personally, I agree with your last bit – I’m opposed, in fact damn opposed, to term limits. It’s not Constitutional, the Founding Fathers didn’t deign it important enough to put it in the document, and they had more than enough experience with “lifetime” leaders to give them reason to.

    The point is, if I make a pledge, even if it’s not the law, I keep the pledge. Now, a man can change his mind, but this was a centerpiece of the CwA, there was much hue and cry about it. It just seems hypocritical to me. I had the same problem with Kerry’s positions. Consistency in principle is the watchword for me.

    And hey, I’m all about the political discource, and Jonah Goldberg’s fantasies notwithstanding, this liberal would never attempt to restrict someone’s 1st Amendment rights. The Constitution doesn’t offer a “Satisfaction Guaranteed or Your Money Back!” amendment.

    And James has a point, it was a bit of a cheap shot, so for that, I apologize. If I make a cheap shot, I generally like them to be a little more grandiose.

  31. I’m with JD and look forward to his return to the public arena! Don’t let these bums tease you too much JD, they wouldn’t have the guts to say it to your face. Amazing how brave folks get from behind their keyboards…

    You were an exceptional public servant and we won’t forget it.

    BTW – Love the radio show!

  32. On the topic of audience:

    Sonoran Alliance may not be on the level of Fox News, but I bet the overall audience share compares favorably with anything on MSNBC.

  33. Instead of comparing R’s to each other for their “conservative quotient” or “CQ”, we should be looking to see who fits the community in which they will serve, is electable, and carries the best opportunity for success while maintaining the basic conservative tenants . The conservative mantra is much like beauty, in the eye of the beholder.

    The question is not if Sydney is too conservative; it should be is she too conservative for CD 1. The comparison of Tim Bee to Sydney and their respective “CQ” is not relevant for anything beyond conversation. When it comes to the electorate, it should be do they represent the majority of voters who identify themselves as Republican or conservative in the district they serve. A wise party offers candidates with some diversity that is reflective of the voters.

    Her career as a lobbyist only detracts if you do not view it as advocacy. How many of us can honestly say we are not the beneficiary of a lobbyist in one way or another.

  34. FreeAdvice says

    There’s a great exchange in one of Plato’s Dialogues (someone help me here with which one) where they are discussing examples and definitions of justice. Cephalus says the just man is one who pays what he owes. Socrates then says, “What if you borrowed a knife from a friend, is the right time to give it back to him when he’s about to get into a drunken fight in a bar?” Well, of course not. Same goes for term limits. When other legislators are sticking it to us taxpayers, the last thing a stand-up guy like JD should do is leave.

  35. Ann,

    “in the eye of the beholder” applies to defining a good fit for the district as well. By your definition Kyl would not be our Senator.

  36. FreeAdvice says

    Ron is wrong. Senators don’t represent districts. If they did we’d just have a unicameral legislature.

  37. Actually our legislature does have senators from districts. The exact same districts as the house and it is still a bicameral institution.

    U.S. Senators used to represent states before direct election but now represent the people. One could say their districts are the same as the state boundaries.

  38. FreeAdvice says

    Because the article is about CD’s I did not clarify that I meant US Senators. All CD district lines move, no state boundaries do. Districts reflect population, state’s don’t. My point is that even despite the method of election, a variety of factors show that senators do not represent people, at least not the way reps do.

  39. Antifederalist says

    Free Advice,
    The work you reference is Plato’s Republic. You’re really close on the discussion of justice, but I think the scenario is more along the lines of: is it just to retun a murderously insane man’s knife to him after one respondent stated that it is just to give a man what he is owed. Good reference, hombre! It’s one of my favorite books. I had to read it 3 times between high school and college.

  40. kralmajales says

    Ok J.D….

    Since I ruffled a feather…and YOU say all is well with your record…then great…but you never did address what I said. So here are some things, admittedly off of Wikipedia, but a bit of what surfaced about your time in office…

    Illegal? I don’t know. But I do call it ethically questionable at the least…immoral a the least…and well…corruption.

    Quacks like a duck…shoot it!

    Payments to Hayworth’s wife
    Between 2001 and 2005 inclusive, Hayworth’s wife Mary was paid $20,400 per year by TEAM PAC, Hayworth’s leadership political action committee. In 2002, a spokesman for Hayworth said that his wife handled bookkeeping and many administrative details for the PAC.[5]

    Hayworth’s wife had been the only employee of TEAM PAC after December 1999. Through the end of 2004, the fund had paid $107,000 for her salary and payroll taxes, or roughly 26% of its $411,000 in revenue. The PAC also paid $70,000 to an outside political consultant and a California bookkeeper, bringing fundraising and administrative expenses 43% of the total revenue.[6]

    In 2002, the Phoenix New Times questioned whether a variety of TEAM PAC expenditures were in fact for personal use of Hayworth and his wife.[7]

    Between January 2001 and February 2006, TEAM PAC took in $538,109. Administrative costs for the period were about $165,000, about 30% of contributions during the period, including $102,000 for Hayworth’s wife. As of July 31, 2006, TEAM PAC had received $92,000 during the 2006 election cycle (January 1, 2005 – December 31, 2006) and had $15,000 cash on hand.[8] It was paying Mary Hayworth $2,076 every month. It was also reporting about ten expenditures per month, with half related to her employment.[9]

    [edit] Abramoff and Indian tribes
    Main article: Jack Abramoff Indian lobbying scandal
    In 1997, Hayworth helped stop a proposal to tax Indian casinos, which would have taken $1.9 billion off reservations. In 2002, Hayworth played a key role in preventing a change in the law that allowed Indian tribes to contribute to an unlimited number of federal candidates with an aggregate cap in dollars.[10]

    Between 1999 and 2005, Hayworth received $69,000 from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients, primarily from Indian tribes. $62,000 of the money went to TEAM PAC.[11] Hayworth decided to keep the donations. His chief of staff, Joe Eule, said to the Arizona Republic, “The tribes have told us, ‘We love you. We loved you before we met Jack Abramoff, and we love you after Jack Abramoff, and we think it would be foolish of you to (give back) the money.'”[12] Hayworth was co-chairman of the Native American Caucus in Congress. Hayworth did give $2,250 representing the total of personal campaign donations from Abramoff to Hurricane Katrina relief efforts in 2005.

    Hayworth had free use of Abramoff’s sports skyboxes for five fund-raisers,[13] the first in 1999. In 2004, some months after Abramoff’s millions of dollars of lobbying fees from Indian tribes was first reported in the news, Hayworth paid the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians and the Chitimacha Tribe of Louisiana nearly $13,000 for the use of the skyboxes. Eule did not respond to repeated calls asking for documentation why the tribes should be paid (the box was in Abramoff’s name) and how it was determined that they should receive equal amounts. Federal lobbying records showed that the Chitimachas were not registered as paying clients of Abramoff when four of the events took place.[14]

  41. kralmajales says

    All of it came to naught…at least the voters in CD 5 cleaned up the GOP act. I hope that the next round of candidates have the character to, AT THE VERY LEAST, consider the APPEARANCE of impropriety in their dealings as a public servant.

    THAT is one very very very important ingredient of ETHICS.

    I know I am only playing into the hands of our new Arizona shock jock by even writing this…so be it. Enjoy the ratings.

  42. kralmajales says

    So again, my question…

    Sydney Hay may be clean as the whitest of snow…and a wonderful person…

    But do you REALLY want to run an lobbyist after Renzi and Hayworth?

  43. kralmajales says

    James,

    You might want to think a bit about who you are loyal to and defend.

    Renzi has been rated among the top 20 most corrupt politicians in America. 30+ indictments…and by GOP appointed prosecutors…these are not liberal agenda seeking hacks. Here, again, from Wikipedia…not perfect mind you, but a great summary…of RENZI.

    Come on…you have EXCELLENT people in your party…don’t defend the worst of them.

    In September 2006, Renzi was named one of the “20 Most Corrupt Members of Congress” in a report by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a non-partisan watchdog group founded in 2005 by former Democratic congressional staffers.[35] Renzi was also listed in the first report by the organization in January 2006, when he was one of 13 named members. The organization said “His ethics issues stem from the outside income earned by his administrative assistant and from legislation he sponsored that benefitted his father”[36]

    [edit] Father’s company
    Renzi has been criticized for consistently introducing and voting in favor of bills benefiting his father’s defense company, ManTech International Corp., a Fairfax, Virginia-based defense contractor.[37] Until his death in February of 2008,[38] Renzi’s father, Retired Major General Eugene Renzi, was an executive vice president of the firm. ManTech had $467 million in contracts at the Army’s Fort Huachuca with options for an additional $1.1 billion between 2004 through 2008. In addition, the company, which has an office in Sierra Vista, Arizona, was the largest contributor to Renzi’s 2002 congressional campaign and the second largest in his 2004 campaign.

    In 2003, Renzi sponsored legislation (signed into law in November 2003) that dealt hundreds of millions of dollars to his father’s business while, according to environmentalists, devastating the San Pedro River. The provision exempted Fort Huachuca, in Sierra Vista, Arizona, from maintaining water levels in the San Pedro River as called for in an agreement made in 2002 with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Renzi claimed he introduced the measure to prevent the closing of the Fort and to promote its enlargement. Neither the fort nor the river is located in Renzi’s Congressional district.

    On October 25, 2006, just two weeks before Election Day, The New York Times reported that federal authorities have opened an inquiry into the case. According to the Times, the “officials said the inquiry was at an early stage and that no search warrants had been issued, suggesting that investigators had yet to determine whether there was a basis to open a formal investigation or empanel a grand jury.”[39] Federal investigators in Arizona said they faced unexplained delays in gaining approval from Washington to use certain investigative tactics in the year before the 2006 election.[40]

    On April 19, 2007, the FBI raided his family business, and he temporarily resigned from the House Intelligence Committee.[4]

    On February 22, 2008, Renzi was indicted on multiple federal charges as a result of the investigation.

    [edit] 2005 land swap
    According to the Phoenix New Times, in 2002 Renzi sold off a half-interest in his real estate investment business to a fellow investor, James Sandlin, for $200,000. Renzi used the money for his 2002 congressional campaign. In 2003, Renzi sold the remainder of the business to Sandlin, for somewhere between $1 million and $5 million, according to financial records, retaining a “future development interest”.[41]

    In October 2005, three years after the business transaction with Sandlin, Renzi announced he’d be introducing a bill in Congress that would include a swap of land owned by Sandlin (not in Renzi’s district) for federal land near Florence. A week after Renzi’s announcement, Sandlin sold his land for $4.5 million, a much higher price than he paid for it.

    Renzi told the New Times that he did nothing wrong and that sometime after his announcement he recused himself from the bill after a lobbyist’s questioned his connection to Sandlin. The land swap never became law.[27]

    In 2007 news came of another $200,000 payment that Sandlin made to Renzi, this one in 2005, that Renzi failed to report on financial disclosure forms.[42]

    On October 24, 2006, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona has opened an investigation into the land swap deal. The US Attorney for Arizona, Paul Charlton, had initiated the investigation in September 2006.[43]

    John Wilke in the Wall Street Journal writes,[44]

    “That investigation has now become a formal public-corruption probe by a federal grand jury in Tucson. On Thursday, the grand jury authorized a search warrant of a Renzi family business. Investigators have uncovered evidence that Mr. Renzi received a cash payment from his former business partner, funneled through a family wine company, after a second investor group pursuing an unrelated land swap agreed to pay $4 million for the alfalfa field, according to people contacted in the course of the two-year investigation.
    Mr. Renzi denies any wrongdoing and says that he intends to cooperate with the investigation. The search of the family business, he said in a statement Friday, is “the first step toward getting the truth out.” His lawyer says the cash payment he received was to settle an unrelated debt.
    The case could add fuel to the firestorm over the Bush administration’s firing of federal prosecutors late last year. Paul Charlton, the U.S. Attorney who had been overseeing the case, was among those dismissed at the behest of the White House. A spokesman for Mr. Renzi dismissed as “a political hatchet job” the suggestion that Mr. Charlton’s firing was connected to the probe of Mr. Renzi. On Thursday, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales told Congress that none of the dismissals were politically motivated, and said the Justice Department is committed to battling corruption.”

    On February 22, 2008, a Federal Grand Jury in Arizona handed up a 35-count indictment charging with conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering extortion and insurance fraud.[1]

    [edit] Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy
    Main article: Dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy
    Dismissal of U.S. Attorneys Controversy ( v • d • e )
    Articles
    Main issues
    Timeline
    Summary of attorneys
    Documents
    Congressional hearings
    List of Dismissed Attorneys
    Complete list of related articles

    Administration Officials Involved
    Fred F. Fielding, White House Counsel
    William K. Kelley, Deputy White House Counsel
    William Moschella, Principal Associate Deputy Attorney General
    Brett Tolman, U.S. Attorney, District of Utah, former counsel to Senate Judiciary Committee
    Involved Administration Officials that Resigned
    Alberto Gonzales, United States Attorney General, former White House Counsel
    Kyle Sampson, Chief of Staff to the Attorney General
    Michael A. Battle, Director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys
    Michael Elston, Chief of Staff to the Deputy Attorney General
    Monica Goodling, Justice Department’s liaison to the White House
    William W. Mercer, U.S. Attorney, Acting Associate Attorney General (retains position as U.S. Attorney in Montana)
    Sara Taylor, Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Affairs
    Paul McNulty, Deputy Attorney General
    Harriet Miers, former White House Counsel (resigned prior to publicity surrounding the controversy, effective January 31, 2007)
    Karl Rove, Deputy White House Chief of Staff
    Bradley Schlozman, Director Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys; former Acting Assistant Attorney General for, and later Pricipal Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division; former interim U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri

    U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary
    Patrick Leahy, Chair (D)
    Arlen Specter, Ranking member, former Chair (R)
    Chuck Schumer, Chair: Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts (D)

    U.S. House Committee on the Judiciary
    John Conyers, Chair (D)
    Lamar Smith, Ranking member (R)
    Linda Sánchez, Chair: Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law (D)

    After the land swap controversy was revealed, an unnamed official from the US Department of Justice cautioned the media not to jump to conclusions regarding the inquiry into Renzi, saying it “is not a well-developed investigation, by any means. A tip comes into the department. The department is obligated to follow up … and we do that. People are assuming there is evidence of some crime,” even though that is not necessarily true. The official added, “Be careful. I can confirm to you a very early investigation. But I want to caution you not to chop this guy’s (Renzi’s) head off.”[45]

    According to the Arizona Republic, “The federal official would not discuss whether the Justice Department was being manipulated for political purposes. However, the official said it is unusual for the department to publicly acknowledge concerns about the accuracy of media reports.” In the same story, the official said the Justice Department contacted at least two newspapers about “chunks of stuff in their stories that’s wrong.”[46]

    Shortly after initiating the investigation of Renzi, the US Attorney for Arizona, Paul Charlton, was added to a list of US attorneys the Justice Department wanted to remove, in an effort that would become the dismissal of U.S. attorneys controversy. In February 2005, Charlton had been on the “retain” list of Kyle Sampson, Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez’s chief of staff, but “by September of 2006 — after it became clear that Charlton had launched an investigation of Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz, — Sampson included the Arizona prosecutor on another list of U.S. attorneys ‘we now should consider pushing out.'”[47] Sampson made the comment in a Sept. 13, 2006, letter to then-White House Counsel Harriet Miers.[48]

    On March 19, 2007, the White House released 3,000 pages of records connected to the controversy, including emails sent by Charlton to the Justice Department about his dismissal. On Dec. 21, 2006, Charlton sent a message to Bill Mercer, the third-ranking official in the department, writing, “Media now asking if I was asked to resign over leak in Congressman Renzi investigation.” Charlton never received a response.[49]

    The Wall Street Journal explained further allegations: that the Department of Justice intentionally delayed part of the investigation of Renzi until after the November 2006 election. They wrote:

    The delays, which postponed key approvals in the case until after the election, raise new questions about whether Attorney General Alberto Gonzales or other officials may have weighed political issues in some investigations….

    Investigators pursuing the Renzi case had been seeking clearance from senior Justice Department officials on search warrants, subpoenas and other legal tools for a year before the election, people close to the case said….

    …the investigation clearly moved slowly: Federal agents opened the case no later than June 2005, yet key witnesses didn’t get subpoenas until early this year, those close to the case said. The first publicly known search — a raid of a Renzi family business by the Federal Bureau of Investigation — was[n’t] carried out [until April 2007]….[50]

    Further, the Journal noted that investigators had lobbied Washington for clearance to tap Renzi’s phone for months. That clearance was only given in October of 2006, but unfortunately for the investigators, word broke of the investigation soon after, disrupting their wiretap.[50]

    On April 24, 2007, Renzi stepped down from the House Financial Services and Natural Resources committees, as more revalations connected him to the U.S. attorneys controversy. During that afternoon, Paul Charlton, the US Attorney from Arizona who was one of those fired, related to a House investigators that Brian Murray, Renzi’s top aide, called Charlton spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle shortly after news of Renzi’s investigation became public, asking for information on the case. Charlton, in turn, notified the Department of Justice about the call. Justice, in turn, had not previously notifed Congress of the contact.[51]

    [edit] Employment of Patty Roe
    In December 2005, Renzi hired Patty Roe, the wife of Jason Roe, the chief of staff of Representative Tom Feeney (R-FL), as his full-time administrative assistant. In that position, she is paid $95,000 per year. Renzi also pays her $5,000 per month ($60,000 per year) as a fundraising consultant (she ran her own consulting business before being hired by Renzi).

    To be in compliance with the rules, Roe must be doing all her fundraising work before she clocks in to work as Renzi’s administrative assistant, or after she checks out, and she can’t make or receive a single fundraising-related call in her House office. Renzi’s spokesman Vartan Djihanian said that this is the case: “Whatever fundraising she does,” he said, “is on her time.”

    Roe also received about $30,000 in fundraising fees in 2006 from four other House members: Tom Feeney; Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart, both of Florida; and Patrick McHenry of North Carolina. Renzi’s office said those payments were for services rendered in 2005. There is no evidence that Roe’s activities are not in compliance with House ethics standards.[52]

    [edit] Reported floor fight
    Renzi is an opponent of embryonic stem cell research. In May of 2005, he engaged in an argument on the House floor with Congressman Mark Kirk (R-IL) The argument ensued after Renzi had learned that Kirk and the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership commissioned secret polling in the districts of Renzi and other members of Congress who oppose stem cell research. Renzi said, “I was yelling at him. I told him it’s absolutely unprecedented that Republicans would pay for a push poll to attack another Republican on such a core belief of mine… You’re not going to change my view on the issue, as a father of 12.”[53]

    [edit] Funds from DeLay’s PAC
    Renzi also received $30,000 in campaign contributions from former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s ARMPAC.[54]

    [edit] Indictment
    On February 22, 2008 Congressman Renzi was indicted on multiple federal charges.[55] The charges include conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering extortion and insurance fraud.[1]

Leave a Reply