Last week, during the Arizona Federation of Republican Women convention, Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit was told by event organizers that the Governor Doug Ducey would not attend an event as long as DeWit was present. DeWit tweeted later, “I’m not sure why in politics people can’t have legitimate policy agreements but remain professional. We were elected to do things better.”
In response to a tweet by Jim Small of the Capitol Times: “The bad blood between @JeffDeWitAZ & @dougducey over trust land reform continues,” DeWit tweeted: “I’m for trust land reform. This plan is not that. It is merely a raid on the schools’ funds in the endowment.”
Ducey and his team are known for playing hard-ball politics of the hardest kind, but his latest Diva-style move against DeWit has even former supporters wondering how low can he go.
His past low involved his attack of Superintendent Diane Douglas. Clearly he is not afraid of attacking fellow Republicans if they stand in the way of, or embarrass him in front of members of the various chambers of commerce. DeWit did just that when he told the truth about Ducey’s faux education funding plan.
According to an article in the Arizona Republic, “DeWit went public in his opposition to the governor’s plan weeks ago, which, in his view, will harm education funding in the long run. Ducey disagrees. Since, the pair and their representatives have pushed their positions on the funding plans in various ways. We’ll spare you the details, but at a recent forum, DeWit told a crowd that cleaning up misinformation that Ducey’s office said about DeWit’s criticism was like cleaning up dog crap.”
Ducey is leaving large piles of crap across Arizona while destroying his fellow elected officials of his own party. One of the crap-delivery devices is an invitation to a free meal from the newly formed and opaque organization Kids and Teachers First.
One of Ducey’s salespersons is Tracy Livingstone, wife of Rep. David Livingstone and member of the Maricopa County Community College Governing Board. Livingston is working closley with the head of the organization, Sam Stone, who is best known for telling Republicans to vote for Democrat Ron Barber after Stone’s candidate, Martha McSally, lost in a Republican primary to Jesse Kelly.
The duo are pushing a referendum to force school systems to spend a minimum of 60 percent of their budget on the classroom.
At their free-meal events attendees are asked to be videotaped expressing support for Stone’s group. Those videotapes will then be shared with the governor, according to Stone.
Ducey’s plan to marginalize fellow elected Republican officials while promoting his scheme, shows that while Ducey might be a prima donna, he understands the value of good optics. As much as he understands the importance of optics, his bullying behavior has only served to tarnish his own image.
DeWit told the Republic, “I don’t get it to a whole lot of degrees,” referring to Ducey’s actions. “To him, I’ve never been anything but professional.” One Republican Party insider said “that is the issue; Ducey and his friend Sean Noble are anything but professional.”