The Corporation Commission does not need to be reformed SanTan Sun News

The Corporation Commission does not need to be reformed

June 24th, 2017 | by SanTan Sun News
The Corporation Commission does not need to be reformed
Opinion
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By Jason Trautschold

 

Howard Fischer’s article in the “East Valley Tribune” on June 4 revealed a serious problem with Arizona’s Corporation Commission: corruption, revealed via bribery allegations against former commissioner Gary Pierce. Some commissioners are now arguing in favor of changing the commission to an appointed position rather than an elected commission, arguing that this will reduce corruption by eliminating the need for commissioners to solicit campaign donations.

Nothing could be further from the truth. If Arizona’s governor appointed commissioners then the corporate largesse that propelled Doug Little and Tom Forese would be bundled and given instead to the governor in exchange for their choice of commissioners, in effect allowing the governor to sell the positions to the highest bidder.

If Tom Forese and Boyd Dunn are serious about tackling the issue of quid pro quo politicians, they would be arguing in favor of campaign finance reform to end private campaign financing and restricting every candidate to use public financing only and allowing each candidate to have the same amount of money available to them. This would end campaigns relying on carpet-bombing the Arizona public with propaganda in order to win.

Ending the term limits on our elected positions would also reduce the corruption in our government. As soon as a politician is elected to their final term, they stop representing their constituents, voting in such a way to please the voters of the next office for which they wish to run. It also promotes the worst of political musical chairs, as popular politicians who serve their constituents well are forced to end their terms, allowing numerous desperate politicians seeking new spots to seek campaign donations. That forms an endless cycle of solicitations and spending on all sides where the only winners are the political consultants and lobbyists who enrich themselves from perpetual campaigns. Term limits also ensure that every elected official is a freshman with no experience, allowing the lobbyists and special interests to reign supreme.

You will never see our elected misrepresentatives advocate for any of these positions because, as Upton Sinclair once wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.” Tom Forese, Doug Little, Boyd Dunn and countless other elected officials require the current corrupt campaign finance system to remain in place so they can continue to act as coin-operated minions of the forces of “dark money.”

Arizona’s deeply corrupted government is a problem. Converting elected positions to appointed ones will not fix this problem. The only solution is campaign finance reform and ending term limits to get the money out of politics. Anyone in a position of authority who says otherwise is being paid to misinform you and is not to be trusted. As a lifelong Arizona resident, our corrupt government breaks my heart, and I hope that you, the informed readers, will demand the appropriate reform from our elected officials.  

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