Posted by: Donna
MSM: "Sure, this maniac is about to blow up the world but Democrats left a spot over there when they cleaned the house so both sides!"
— Donna Gratehouse (@DonnaDiva) January 29, 2017
My eternal struggle
Remember last summer when the Associated Press broke this bombshell story about the Clinton Foundation and teased it with a tweet about how half the people who met with Secretary of State Clinton had been donors to the Foundation and oh my lord what a scandal it was? Of course, it turned out to be a totally bogus smear job, thanks to AP being snookered by a right wing pressure group, Judicial Watch. The story was a big old nothingburger but it did lasting damage to the Clinton Foundation, which has done a lot of good in the world, and AP’s irresponsible reporting probably contributed to Clinton’s Electoral College loss in November.
A similar thing has happened to the Arizona Democratic Party, due to allegations made by former Executive Director Sheila Healy, who was terminated by the party after the election, in a lawsuit she filed against the party over a bonus. Healy claims she was fired for her opposition to “self-dealing” by State Party Chair Alexis Tameron. The Party claims Healy was fired for poor performance.
Evan Wyloge of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting wrote an article about the lawsuit, which appeared in the Arizona Republic on Wednesday, January 25th, three days before the Arizona Democrats’ Reorganization Meeting the following Saturday.
Healy said she objected to awarding a “large direct-mail contract to a close friend of Ms. Tameron,” and “expressed concerns about the cost of a sizable digital contract awarded to Ms. Tameron’s husband.”
Tameron’s husband, Adam Kinsey, is a partner at Saguaro Strategies. Campaign finance records showed the Arizona Democratic Party paid $124,000 to Saguaro Strategies from its federal campaign account.
Whoa! That looks really, really bad, doesn’t it?
As you might imagine, this was a hot topic at the reorg meeting, with a lot of the Democrats in attendance highly upset over the allegations and questioning whether they should have confidence in Chairwoman Tameron.
Tameron and party Treasurer Rick McGuire addressed the issue prior to conducting the election of new officers. They explained how the deal with Saguaro Strategies for a program to increase small donor contributions was negotiated through its principal Andy Barr, not Adam Kinsey, and that the contract was approved by multiple parties, including Treasurer McGuire. McGuire explained, using Power Points, how the Saguaro small donor program exceeded expectations, raising nearly $1 million for the party from that source alone, nearly 10 times the amount of the prior year. Oh gee, not looking quite so sinister now, is it?
Not everyone was assuaged by their explanation, judging from some of the conversations I had later, but Tameron won reelection for Chair easily. But damage was done to both the image and fundraising ability of all the Democratic Party organizations, just as happened to the Clinton Foundation. Except this time it’s one of our own (Healy) feeding it.
As for Evan Wyloge, I don’t have a beef with him reporting on the lawsuit. That’s his job. But, journalists, you have to finish the job. Wyloge has not done any follow-up to his story (that I could find online) and did not even attend the Democratic meeting where he could have heard the explanation about Saguaro (he did go to the Republican one held the same day). The technical term I have devised for this type of reporting is “dropping a dookie”.
Wyloge basically dropped a big ol’ dook on the lawn of the Democratic Party and left us to deal with it. This is an ongoing pattern at the national and local level with the media where charges against Republicans (such as, oh say, Donald Trump being in cahoots with Vlad Putin in interfering with the election) must be carefully vetted and precise forensic evidence presented before the public can even know of them but all that’s ever needed to drop dookies by the planeload on Democrats is a whiff or appearance of impropriety, however bogus (Clinton Foundation, Comey letter, this AZ Dem lawsuit, Planned Parenthood “sting” videos, et cetera and ad nauseum).
As it is, this shit has gotten old, but now that Orange Hitler is in charge of the country and the Republicans in charge of Arizona are busy stripping the copper wires out of the joint, it’s simply unconscionable.
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