Earth Notes
9:22 pm
Thu August 24, 2006

Napolitano violates clean election laws

Phoenix, AZ – The commission voted that Napolitano's campaign
committee contracted for consulting services in March
before it had the money to pay for it. That runs afoul
of laws which prohibits candidates from going into debt
-- a law that commission executive director Todd Lang
said also includes obligating a campaign from to spend
money it does not yet have to pay for it. But the
commission, acknowleding other campaigns have made the
same mistake, approved what essentially amounts to a
plea bargain with the governor: She agreed to the
commission's interpretation of the law and vowed not to
break the law again. And the commission agreed not to
impose even the $500 penalty that Lang suggested would
be appropriate. That decision bothered Glenn Hamer,
executive director of the state Republican Party, who
had filed the complaint against Napolitano.

(I am not calling into question the fairness of the
commission personally. But I will say that there will
be a perception out there that the governor got away
with it.)

Andy Gordon, the governor's attorney, said Napolitano
agreed to the deal to, in his words, put this behind
us. In Phoenix, for Arizona Public Radio this is Howard
Fischer.