Friday, February 29, 2008

Is Gov. Napolitano lying about radio ads promoting herself?

"This traffic report brought to you by Governor Napolitano (and your tax dollars paid for that statement with my name, thanks, be sure to remember to vote for me when I run for U.S. Senate.)."

The blog Red State Arizona criticized Napolitano earlier this week for running radio ads immediately after traffic reports, which said "This traffic report brought to you by Governor Napolitano." Napolitano has made no secret that she plans to run for McCain's Senate seat and getting her name out pleasantly in public for free without running into campaign finance laws has been something she's fond of taking advantage of.

The governor's spokesperson Jeanine L'Ecuyer denied that the radio ads mentioned Napolitano, telling the Yellow Sheet yesterday, "Neither of them says the governor's office sponsors this traffic report." She denied it again today to the Yellow Sheet, saying that the guys reading the ads must have strayed from the script and ad libbed the governor's name in there.

However, L'Ecuyer said they canceled the ads immediately after the blog post complained about them! If there was nothing to hide, why did they cancel the rest of the ads?

This isn't a very smooth coverup. What are the odds that two radio guys are going to both ad lib and throw the Governor's name into an ad? I don't know about you, but if I was reading an ad from the Governor, I sure wouldn't deviate from the script. And do you really believe that a right wing guy working at KFYI would choose to go out of his way to give the governor any extra specific mention to help promote her? Heck no. According to the Yellow Sheet article today, a "political veteran" contacted them and verified that he'd heard the ad, and the governor's office verified that the ad had been played on at least 3 radio stations.

If the Governor's office is lying about the ads - and it wouldn't be too difficult to get a copy of the actual script from the radio stations - not only will she have wasted tax dollars on promoting herself, but will have lied and gotten caught. With the state budget in the tank, her excessive spending on promoting herself could seriously hurt a future Senate bid. The blog Arizona Political Heat has started investigating her frequent out-of-state trips, and espressopundit and Sonoran Alliance have done plenty of posts documenting her excesses. Of course, as we saw when Napolitano scapegoated and fired former Veteran's Home head Patrick Chorpenning when problems were found with the State Veteran's Home, Napolitano will react to getting caught lying about these ads by firing L'Ecuyer. Who needs enemies when you have friends like Janet Napolitano?

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