Allister Adel, the current appointed Maricopa County Attorney secured some low-cost political advertising courtesy of Cox Cable this week.
Under the guise of promoting “Keeping Families Safe,” Ms. Adele shrewdly positioned herself in three well-produced ads as a caring mother and public servant championing causes such as stopping domestic violence and preventing unattended child and pet deaths in unairconditioned vehicles.
Ms. Adele and her team maintain that these ads (scheduled to run until October, just before the November 3 elections) are Public Service announcements.
Cox Communications, according to reporting by AZ Mirror’s Jeremy Duda, apparently agreed with that assessment saving the County Attorney Office a little over $100,000 in production and advertising costs.
The three Democrats vying for their party’s nomination to run against Ms. Adel see things differently.
They do not see a County Attorney, who invoked her children in one of the ads, narrating a Public Service Announcement.
They see a politician gaming the system for low cost-high exposure political advertising.
Responding to a request for comment by Blog For Arizona, they all offered their views of the Adel ads.
Julie Gunnigle commented:
“Public office should not be used for personal gain. Period. If our unelected County Attorney did care about preventing a conflict of interest, she easily could have made public safety the focus of her ads rather than self-promotion. Not only did she waste $80,000 of taxpayer funds, but she has also demonstrated a lack of poor judgment and an ability to play fast and loose with the rules — two traits Arizonans do not need in a County Attorney.”
Will Knight wrote:
“I wish I could say I’m surprised because our unelected interim appointee is out here defending government “efficiency,” even when that means the wrongful arrest of peaceful Black and brown protesters. But that’s the ugly truth behind some people who only pay lip service to fiscal responsibility. Many of those protesters victimized by Adel’s brand of “efficiency” now have legitimate lawsuits, maybe even a class action, and it’s going to be a terrible burden on the taxpayers.”
“So I’m not surprised, and neither should anyone else be, that her fiscal and ethical compass is so skewed that she’s willing to spend nearly six figures of public funds — and during a pandemic that is already straining public resources, no less — on thinly-veiled self-promotion during an election.”
“This is textbook corruption, and this is why the people are going to show her the door on November 3rd.”
“What I am surprised about is that Cox Communications, a private business, would also push the envelope on campaign finance legality to help a candidate who, with her refusal to seek justice for Antonio Arce, sent a clear signal that she has no intention of seeking justice for Dion Johnson.”
“I want to hear Allister Adel and Cox Communications say it with me: Black Lives Matter.”
“We shouldn’t hold our breath, though. We already can’t breathe.”
Bob McWhirter relayed:
“These so-called “public service announcements” by interim County Attorney Alister Adele harken back to the tactics of Andrew Thomas. This is purely and simply using public monies to further a political campaign. Again, it is yet another example of misusing taxpayer dollars. It’s time for a change.”
“Because of these tactics and the misuse of public resources, I was happy to write the bar complaint that got Andrew Thomas disbarred. When I’m County Attorney I will not mix politics with public service in the criminal justice system.”
It should be obvious to most observers that Ms. Adele, using the power of incumbency and her position, manipulated the system to get some cost-effective exposure to the public heading into the election.
As the three candidates competing for the honor to contest her in November stated, it is wrong and Cox should not have given the County Attorney’s office a discount rate and favorable schedule.
This is another example of how the current campaign finance system is corrupted and should be reformed. The citizens need public servants who believe in changing the system, cleaning up our Democracy, and replacing the people that abuse it.
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