The media is supposed to be the ‘watchdog of democracy,’ not the media arm of the GOP


Posted  by AzBlueMeanie:

Screenshot from 2013-10-25 06:22:06To its credit, The Arizona Republic has from time to time editorialized against the corrosive and corrupting influence of "dark money" political organizations in Arizona. See today's editorial opinion, How to peel the 'dark money' onion, ostesibly about California's Fair Political Practices Commission settlement with Arizona-based Americans for Responsible Leadership and the Center To Protect Patient Rights. Yvonne Wingett does some decent hard news reporting today as well. 2
Ariz. groups to pay $1 million for not disclosing Calif.
campaign-fund sources

But this faint praise comes with a caveat. The Republic's editorial opinion today, as in previous editorial opinions, always come back to the "dark money" political organizations who have attacked their anti-union, anti-public employee pensions Golden Boy, Phoenix City Councilman Sal Diccicio, whom the Republic endorsed as "the 2013 version of Scott Walker." In DiCiccio race, it's union advocates vs. taxpayers. (Scott Walker has also endorsed Sal Diciccio).

The Republic never reported anything about the "dark money" groups behind the failed city pension initiative in the City of Tucson that I did a series of posts on this summer. See for example, Who is behind the initiative to bankrupt the City of Tucson? Perhaps this is because the Goldwater Institute has now filed a remarkably similar statewide initiative, the purposefully deceptively titled "Responsible Budgets Act," which attacks public employee pensions at all levels of government. Goldwater Institute declares war on public employees. The Republic has been obsessive-compulsive in its campaign against public employee pensions.

Reporting in Arizona on Americans for Responsible Leadership and the Center To Protect Patient Rights since last fall has largely been based upon facts uncovered by California's Fair Political Practices Commission and Attorney General's office, and reported by California and other national news organizations. The Arizona political media has been reporting this story as an observer, not as the dogged pursuer of investigative journalism.

The Republic has never aggressively pursued investigative reporting into the hub of "Koch Brothers Network" dark money political non-profit corporations operating out of Maricopa County. In fact, the Republic frequently gives ready access to its pages to "Kochtopus" organizations such as Americans For Prosperity and the Goldwater Institute. The Republic arguably has been in partnership with the Goldwater institute in its obsessive-compulsive campaign against public employee pensions.

Perhaps the Republic's reluctance to do muckraking investigative journalism into the political corruption that exists in its own backyard is that the Republic has far too long been aligned with the Arizona Republican Party as its media arm. It is failing to perform the role of a "watchdog of democracy" that the Founding Fathers envisioned the media should perform as essential to democracy and worthy of protection under the First Amendment.

Because of its role as the media arm of the Arizona Republican Party, the Republic is reluctant to report that the Arizona Republican Party operates as a wholly owned subsidiary of the "Kochtopus." The current chair of the Arizona Republican Party, Robert Graham, was the founder of Phoenix-based Americans for Responsible Leadership. It's president is the former Arizona House Speaker and failed congressional candidate, Kirk Adams. GOP political consultant Sean Noble, whose DC London firm is a major player in GOP politics, is the bag man for the "Kochtopus" money laundering conduit, the Phoenix-based Center To Protect Patient Rights.

And of course, our Tea-Publican controlled Arizona legislature frequently advances model legislation from "Kochtopus" organizations such as the American Legisaltive Exchange Council (ALEC), the Goldwater Institute, Americans For Prosperity, the Institute for Justice, and a host of other far-right political organizations. This is why Arizona has deservedly earned its reputation as the "meth lab of democracy."

As I have said many times, we need to tear up the "Kochtopus" by its roots and salt the ground to make certain that it never grows back again. These billionaire bastard brothers and their secretive corporate donors who have seized control of the state of Arizona need to be kicked out, and return the government of Arizona to its citizens.

It will require muckraking investigative journalism into the political corruption which exists in this state to create the climate in which political reforms can be enacted to put an end to the political corruption.

UPDATE: The Republic's Laurie Roberts opines today, Why won't Legislature shine a light on dark money in Arizona? Fair enough, but this passes the buck for "Why won't The Arizona Republic shine a light on dark money in Arizona?" This is something in your control to do something about it.

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AZ BlueMeanie
The Blue Meanie is an Arizona citizen who wishes, for professional reasons, to remain anonymous when blogging about politics. Armed with a deep knowledge of the law, politics and public policy, as well as pen filled with all the colors stolen from Pepperland, the Blue Meanie’s mission is to pursue and prosecute the hypocrites, liars, and fools of politics and the media – which, in practical terms, is nearly all of them. Don’t even try to unmask him or he’ll seal you in a music-proof bubble and rendition you to Pepperland for a good face-stomping. Read blog posts by the infamous and prolific AZ Blue Meanie here.