Arizona Eagletarian

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Saturday, October 4, 2014

Quaking in his boots, is Brnovich trolling for Dark Money?

On Thursday, lawyers for Mark "I am NOT a CROOK!" Brnovich sent a cease and desist letter to the Felecia for Arizona campaign because Brnovich and his people apparently are deathly afraid of the effectiveness of Rotellini's campaign ad.

The letter from Brno's lawyers says, in part,
Mr. Brnovich is a respected attorney, public servant and military veteran. He has spent years serving our community in his profession and building a positive reputation. Sadly, your campaign's recently-published, false and outrageous Advertisement threatens to injure the reputation he has worked so tirelessly to cultivate and protect.
As an Arizona attorney, you are well aware that under Arizona law, it is unlawful to engage in defamation of another's character and reputation.
The key, however, is whether or not the "Advertisement" (I'm not sure why they capitalized it) is true or false. Attorney Brian Bergin in a show of bluster claims it's false and tries to prove it line by line.

However, this line, "And Mark Brnovich lobbied to bring more of them (the rapists and murderers) to Arizona" is TRUE. But Brno's intimidation attempt (the cease and desist letter) goes on,
Clearly the Advertisement asserts that there exists a connection between Mr. Brnovich's efforts [it was LOBBYING] on behalf of Corrections Corporation of America and the tragic 2010 murder of Linda and Gary Haas. by three inmates from the Kingman Arizona State Prison [sic there is no period at the end of this paragraph].
The only logical interpretation of the Advertisement as a whole is that Mr. Brnovich's lobbying activities led to the transfer of dangerous criminals to Arizona who escaped from prison and killed Mr. and Mrs. Haas. 
THAT claim -- on what is the only logical interpretation of the ad -- is bullshit.

The ad does not say or imply that Brnovich's lobbying activities brought those criminals to Arizona.

The ad DOES say Brno "lobbied to bring more to Arizona." THAT is true.

The implied meaning, as I see it, is that Brno put the pecuniary interests of the stockholders of CCA ahead of the safety of Arizonans. This example of what happens when violent criminals are warehoused by private, for-profit prison corporations poignantly demonstrates the tangible ramifications of making public policy and laws which prioritize profit as more important than the safety of Arizonans.

Then we have chumps like John Kavanagh who -- without documentation to support their false myths -- vigorously maintain that private prisons cost taxpayers less than when the state operates the facilities, because private prisons don't have to pay the same benefits and pensions that go to state employees. The salient fact in that cost benefit analysis, besides the cost of the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Haas, is that the profit component of the contracts given to CCA and other private prison operators generally outweighs (is heavier, or greater than) the cost of labor burden paid on behalf of state employees.

Additionally, because of the profit motive on the operator's part, any and every opportunity to cut costs without disclosing what measures were taken to do so, are implemented. That's a hell of an incentive for prison managers. Especially when the warden's compensation includes bonus incentives for those cost savings. The recent VA medical system scandal is analogous and clearly illustrates the damage done to stakeholders [i.e. Arizona citizens] when improper incentives are built into such systems.

The Arizona Republic's story on Brno's massive insecurity... er, on the cease and desist letter, includes this unrelated tidbit.
State records show Brnovich did lobby against that 2006 bill. However, state prison records show the inmates who escaped in 2010 and then murdered the Haas couple had been sentenced in Arizona for their original crimes. The legislation would not have applied to them.
In fact, the letter had documentation attached showing that the individuals who escaped and killed the Haases had been convicted in Arizona, not another state. Apparently, it is true these prisoners were not imported, but that is beside the point.

The Republic however, being corporate media, wants to protect corporations, not citizens of Arizona. It does NOT matter where the prisoners committed their prior crimes and were convicted. The facility that housed them and from which they escaped was operated by a for-profit corporation.

Again, the ad says that Brno lobbied to kill a bill that would have prevented private prisons from importing more violent convicts from other states. The bill Brno wanted killed was killed.

This all boils down to the fact that Mark "I am NOT a CROOK!" Brnovich demonstrated that for him, profit was more important than public safety in Arizona.

In Brno's lawyer's letter, the "nut" if you will is in this,
The only logical interpretation of the Advertisement as a whole is that Mr. Brnovich's lobbying activities led to the transfer of dangerous criminals to Arizona who escaped from prison and killed Mr. and Mrs. Haas. As you and your campaign know, and knew when manufacturing the Advertisement, there is not a shred of truth to those allegations. 
There may not be a shred a truth to what lawyer Bergin wants people to believe the ad says and means, but what the ad actually says and means hits the target with laser precision.

That's why Brnovich is all bluster and no muster. There's not a snowball's chance in Arizona in August that Brno will take this matter to court, or if he does, there's no chance he will succeed in getting the ad declared unlawful. Which is why Rotellini campaign spokeman David Leibowitz told the Arizona Republic reporter Alia Beard Rau,
We will not pull it down off the air and we will not be deterred by Mr. Brnovich's legal bullying," he said. "His past as a private prisons lobbyist who worked to kill legislation that would have stopped more killers and rapists from being imported into Arizona for profit is well-documented. So is the horrific safety record of the private prisons -- including the private prisons under Mr. Brnovich's watch when he worked as state director and a lobbyist for CCA.
Put another way, the gist of the response might just be, "Go fuck yourself, Mr. Brnovich!" Just like Kavanagh who claims he's a victim of Dark Money, Brnovich and his lawyers are claiming he's the victim of a false attack that's damaging his reputation.

Make no mistake, Brnovich is the victim of his own choices and decisions. For an opposing candidate or a blogger who sees through crap like that to make Brno publicly accountable, is fair game. If he regrets those decisions, that's what he needs to say. But he has nobody to blame but himself.

Of course, now that Mr. Bluster no Muster has put the cease and desist letter out there for public consumption, if he backs down, he admits defeat. So, look for him to try to SPIN the situation. But really, he took a dump and now he's going to jump in it and wallow until the election is over and he goes home with his tail between his legs.

In the meantime, it appears Brno was seen yesterday at a DC airport.

Could he be trolling for Dark Money to help his floundering campaign?


If you want to get a real taste of what Brnovich is all about, as well as Brewer's privatization push (which will look tame compared to Brno and Ducey if those two get elected), feel free to dig into this 650 or so pages of documents obtained by an investigative reporter as a result of a public records request made to Brewer's office.

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