Cross posted from the Arizona Eagletarian
In a perfect world, our political processes would revolve entirely around polite discourse on the relative merits of public policy differences. And we could be assured that candidates emerging from primary elections would be the best possible options to choose from for any given public office.
Do we live in a perfect world?
While this year’s primary election did eliminate two very bad candidates (Horne and Huppenthal), the tragic reality is that we have had to pay the price of having those two dunderheads serving since 2010 in the offices they sought for reelection.
Arizona has had to endure, in the slightly more distant past, Evan Mecham and Fife Symington. One, a car dealer and myopic racist, the other having been tried, convicted and eventually pardoned for fraud in his business dealings. In all four cases, far too many voters initially either did not know or consciously chose to overlook relevant information about the candidate when it was available before they took the office and made fools of the voters who put them there.Instead, this year, Arizonans have Doug (Scrooge) McDucey who has put more energy into hiding relevant facts, truth and reality about his life and business dealings than he has in being open to questions from journalists, voters and debate moderators.
McDucey has refused to disclose information voters have a moral right to regarding the business deal that made him a multi-millionaire. That’s relevant.
McDucey has refused to be forthcoming about his “broad coalition” of supporters which include a sheriff who has been operating his department unlawfully for two decades; the primary instigator of SB1062; and two Hispanic members of the Arizona House of Representatives known to be prone to selling out their legitimate constituents.
McDucey has refused to discuss the fact that 30 to 43 percent of the Stone Cold franchises he sold (I know, Cold Stone) went belly up, leaving YOU the American taxpayer on the hook for the millions of dollars those would be entrepreneurs borrowed to enrich Scrooge McDucey.
Yet, we have the Arizona Republic, which for undisclosed reasons, endorsed McDucey in an editorial that has so many massive holes in it, they couldn’t use it for mosquito netting on a swelteringly humid night during monsoon season.
So we have some — including Arizona Democrats — who now balk at the publication of a shocking history of McDucey’s family by the Phoenix New Times and the Center for Investigative Reporting.
How trite is it for people to have to recite the adage that they who forget (or ignore) the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them? From another perspective, it has been said by many that the lessons of history repeat until they are learned. Or, as Yogi Berra used to say, it’s “Déjà vu all over again.”
Anyway, the concern, as expressed, was that a candidate had no control over the actions/crimes of the family members. Which is, of course, true. Especially in McDucey’s case because he was just a child when his mother’s parents and siblings were involved in illegal gambling and moonshine operations in Toledo, Ohio. But was the association relevant for its influence on McDucey rather than his influence on his criminal relatives?
But in this case, the candidate has claimed that his family was an important part of his childhood. Doesn’t that make it fair game for voters to consider that family’s history when evaluating the candidate. At least those members of the family that influenced him as he grew up.
In fact, it’s a complete abdication of one’s duty as a citizen to make informed decisions about voting when they consciously refuse to consider the factors that made the candidate who he is.
Here are some of the things McDucey has said about his family (from the New Times special report),
“I don’t come from any political background,” Ducey told attendees. “I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. My dad was a cop. I’m very much a product of the Midwest and the working class.”
“My mother’s parents, my Gammy and Pa, were a very big part of our lives when I was young,” he writes. “It was in that environment that the importance of family was instilled in me.”
The candidate’s maternal grandfather, William Scott (a.k.a. Bill Scotti), was a convicted bookmaker who partnered with members of the Detroit mob.
His son Billy Scott, Ducey’s uncle, was a high-profile sports bookmaker in Toledo who did time in federal prison in Arizona before fleeing to the Caribbean island of Antigua, where he became an online gambling kingpin. […]
Both public records and Ducey’s family’s digital footprint have been helpful in understanding the candidate’s relation to a world that sometimes resembles Once Upon a Time in America or The Sopranos, depending on the generation involved. […]
Known only to a few on stage, Madeline Burk’s father, Ducey’s long-dead grandfather, William Scott, worked for years in the gambling operation of his more prominent brother, Tony Paul Scott. […]
Several Toledo Blade stories from the 1960s and 1970s name William Scott (Ducey’s grandfather), his wife Madeline senior (Ducey’s grandmother), and their son Billy (Ducey’s uncle) as partners in what could be considered the family business.
But sharing such negatives does not help close a deal. As they say in sales, “Never answer an unasked question.”
So Ducey didn’t delve into the downside of Cold Stone’s rapid growth.
Similarly, when he discussed how, as state treasurer, he successfully campaigned against a proposition that would have made permanent a temporary one-cent state sales tax, Ducey didn’t mention the mess the state’s budget currently is in or how Arizona faces a massive $1.5 billion deficit over the next two years, which the sales tax would have helped ameliorate.
Ducey normally does not offer up adverse information about his state, his accomplishments, or his personal history. What politician does?
How many politicians have been CAUGHT selling out the public for profit and power? How many more did so without getting caught?