by Jim Nintzel
There have been a lot of people charging that Arizona gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey is a tool of the Koch brothers, but it turns out that no one has made the case better than Ducey himself.
Ducey, the former CEO of Cold Stone Creamery who won the Arizona Treasurer post four years ago, didn't make the pronouncement at a debate or in a TV ad. Instead, his confession was captured on a secret recording of a speech he made at a top-secret Koch brothers getaway that was captured first by the Undercurrent and then exposed at The Nation in a story that broke yesterday.
The Nation reports:
The tape shared by The Undercurrent with The Nation illustrates how gubernatorial candidates appealed for the blessing not just of the Kochs but of the network of wealthy donors that can provide support both for specific campaigns and for “independent” projects such as a primary-season ad blitz highlighting Walker’s endorsement of Arizona’s Ducey.
As Ducey told the Koch brothers summit on June 16, “I can’t emphasize enough the power of organizations like this.”
On the tape, Ducey talks about what a big influence the Koch brothers have been on him and makes it clear, in his relatively brief remarks, that he's not just trying to win the job of governor in order to manage the state of Arizona. He wants to use Arizona as an experiment to further the ideological interests of the plutocracy that is working to prove that elections are up for grabs by the highest bidder and the winners have a mandate to deliver tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens, crush unions and generally make it impossible for public education to ever recover from the deep cuts they have endured in recent years.
The Arizona Republic has a pretty good roundup of how the Koch brothers' deep pockets have boosted Ducey's political fortunes here. It includes this amusing clip of Brahm Resnick trying to ask Ducey about the revelations, only to have New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie butt in to defend to defend Ducey like he's his big brother keeping him safe from a media elite bully.
It's not exactly a 47 percent moment, but it's clear that Ducey said very different things behind walls of a seemingly secure location—check out the lengths organizers went to ensure that no one but the chosen could hear what was said—than he tells voters on the campaign trail.