No one should be surprised that Arizona’s governor, wealthy Republican Douglas A. Roscoe Jr., aka Doug Ducey, attended yet another conference sponsored by a Koch brothers front group.
As Howard Fischer reports, in the gubernatorial election the Koch organization American Encore spent more than $750,000 on attack ads against Democrat Fred DuVal. Another $650,000 was plowed into pro-Ducey efforts.
This is chump change in the multi-decade effort by right-wing reactionary billionaires to take control of American politics and game policy to their ends. Jane Mayer of the New Yorker does an excellent job of exposing its reach in the book, Dark Money.
The Democrats, much less liberals, have nothing that can compete.
Arizona politics were once quirky and local. Since at least the 1990s, Arizona has been a mere outpost of the national vast right-wing infrastructure. The bills passed by the legislature are written by ALEC, the NRA, or national other “conservative” pressure groups.
Meanwhile, Republican control of the state is complete. Every statewide office is held by a Republican, creatures who would be anathema to John Rhodes, Barry Goldwater, Burton Barr, Betty Adams Rockwell, or the pragmatic female legislators known as “Sue Nation.”
Every disaster that coexists with warm, spectacular sunsets, and championship golf belongs to the decades of governance by the extreme right in Arizona. They own it. And yet, every election, no price is paid.
The "sensible center" of St. Janet? The vaunted demographic typhoon where Hispanics will rise up and vote Democratic? Nada.
The bottom line is that Arizona can’t have nice things, be it protected spaces, good jobs, commuter trains and Amtrak in metro Phoenix, decently funded schools and universities, you name it, because of the right’s chokehold on politics.
In theory, Arizona’s low taxes and “pro-business” policies should have yielded one of the strongest state economies, not one of the weakest. The “hidden hand” of the market would have prevailed over “throwing money at education” — but we have the charter schools racket and among the worst schools in the nation. On almost any list of social or economic well-being, Arizona ranks near the bottom.
And if you question it, you hate Arizona.
The puppetmasters don’t even know where Arizona is. It’s just another red blotch on the growing map of conquest.