Ally in Wonderland, Part 357
Pima County Supervisor now facing investigation by Arizona Attorney General
The email controversy surrounding Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller now has her under investigation by the Arizona Attorney General's Office.
And if our sources are correct, it's a serious problem for Miller, who is in the midst of a reelection campaign. Miller is facing Republican John Winchester in the Aug. 30 primary race and Democrat Brian Bickel in the November general election.
For more than a month, Miller has been denying that she uses her private email to conduct business—a claim that is clearly contradicted by the pile of email messages that former employers have turned over to the press and county officials.
There's a technical term for that: big fat liar.
Miller's problems stem largely from her own paranoia, which has been well documented by her own former employees. It was her looney belief that Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry was following her every keystroke that led her to advise her staffers to use personal email rather than the official Pima County system.
As she put it in one email to a former staffer: "I am positive they are reading our emails. ...They could very easily (and legally) use a keystroke recorder to get the password. ...they can use that to record anything you type and see what the password is."
The problem for Miller now is that she and her remaining staffers (another one, Ryan Cunningham, quit the office earlier this month) have insisted in correspondence with Clerk of the Board Robin Brigode that they have not used private email for conducting official county business.
In a comment to KVOA News, Miller has tried to weasel around Arizona's public-records law by stating that the "conduct of county business requires the engagement of at least 2 other supervisors which is the requirement for a quorum. A quorum of an elected body is necessary to conduct county business. Anything discussed outside of a quorum of the board of supervisors is not conducting county business. This is a character assassination designed to influence the outcome of an election. I will leave it to the voters to decide."
Unfortunately for Miller, that's not the definition of a public record under the state's public-records law. And because she is claiming that these public records don't exist, she is denying the public a chance to review them, which is a huge no-no in the legal arena.
To help her understand statutes a little better, the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to have a little refresher on what public records are at next week's Tuesday meeting, which should be another one worth watching.
Miller remains defiant, however: She is promising, via her Facebook page, that her critics "will fall in the hole you dug for me."
Would that be one of those Marana potholes she has so much trouble around?
McSally: No Trump Endorsement
But Southern Arizona Congresswoman says she might vote for him
Congresswoman Martha McSally told The Skinny last week that she won't be endorsing Donald Trump in this year's presidential race, although she might vote for him.
"I have never endorsed a politician in my life and I'm not going to start now, so you can ask me for the next three and a half months, but it's not happening," McSally said. "Who we each vote for is our responsibility as a citizen and a voter and, in that role, have a vote just like you have a vote and I personally believe that is between me, God and the ballot box."
The two Democrats who are competing in the Democratic primary, former state lawmakers Matt Heinz and Victoria Steele, have both worked to link McSally to Trump, as has the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. They're hoping that Trump will prove so unpopular with voters that he'll affect down-ticket races.
After Trump clinched the nomination, McSally said via a prepared statement that she would spend time between now and Election Day evaluating Trump's character to determine if she could support him.
But she said that she "utterly disagreed" with Trump's recent comments in an interview with the New York Times that the United States might not come to the aid of NATO allies if they hadn't fulfilled their financial obligations to the alliance. Trump's answer to a question about a hypothetical Russian invasion of a Baltic state left many national-security experts unhappy and had political observers noting that Trump appeared to be currying favor with Russian President Vladimir Putin and expressing concern about Trump's financial ties to Russian oligarchs.
"The NATO alliance is held together (by the concept of) an attack on one is an attack on all," McSally said. "That's what makes up the alliance. So we strongly need to adhere to our Article 5 responsibilities."
When ssked if there were specific policy areas where she agreed with Trump, McSally said she hadn't been paying much attention to his campaign.
"He's been saying a lot of things," McSally said. "I don't sit there and watch evening TV, watching speeches of politicians. I just don't have the time. I think he is, in general, tapping into a frustration that is across the political spectrum, that they're feeling like—and this is especially true about the middle class and they can't figure out what the diagnosis is—but, 'No matter what we can do, we can't get ahead.' And these are complicated issues but there's a lot of frustration."
McSally added that she had "voiced several concerns about how (Trump) chooses to speak, the way he's spoken about veterans and Hispanics and women and others. That's just not how leaders carry themselves. But I don't think people should dismiss what he is hearing from people about the level of frustration, about lack of opportunity, and concerns about safety and security. How you deal with that, what you think the solution is—hopefully we can get to where that's a battle of ideas of public policy solutions for complex problems as opposed to a WWF tournament."
Zona Politics with Jim Nintzel airs at 8 a.m. Sunday on the CW Tucson, Channel 8 on Cox and Comcast and Channel 58 on Dish, DirecTV and broadcast. You can hear the show on KXCI, 91.3 FM, at 5 p.m. Sundays or watch it online at zonapolitics.com. This week's encore show features Arizona Daily Star cartoonist Dave Fitzsimmons; Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll; and retired General Hoyt "Sandy" Vandenberg Jr. and Bill Westcott, who will discuss plans for a USS Arizona memorial on the UA mall.