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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : editorials May 26, 2016

10/31/2013 3:43:00 PM
Editorial: Renzi chapter should be a wake-up call for all voters
Rick Renzi
Rick Renzi

Rick Renzi should be the poster boy for why party-line voting is the scourge of American politics today.

He was elected to serve in the Arizona's First Congressional District simply because he was a Republican. In its original incarnation, CD1 was a Republican stronghold and Renzi was carrying the GOP banner.

Even though his primary residence was not Arizona.

Even though he had never before held political office.

Even though he really was not qualified for the job, and was highly ineffective the entire time he was in office.

He won because he was a Republican in a Republican-controlled district. His legacy we know all too well now. He was money-driven. He was self-serving. He was corrupt. He was convicted of extortion, bribery, insurance fraud, money laundering and racketeering and has been sentenced to three years in prison.

Renzi's legacy should be a wake-up call for all of us.

Just because you are a registered Republican or Democrat does not obligate you to cast a party-line ballot.

In many ways, we've become lazy and uninformed voters more bound to political ideology than to the merits, and lack thereof, of the individual candidate.

The Rick Renzi chapter of Arizona politics was one of the saddest in the history of the Grand Canyon State.

His was a classic example of party loyalty exclusively for the sake of party loyalty.

We need to pay closer attention to who we vote for instead of what we vote for.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, November 3, 2013
Article comment by: Miss Informed

The wake up call for me is that Renzi received a minimal sentence after being convicted of 17 felonies. The topper is that he does not live in AZ and should never have been allowed to run for office in this state:

A jury convicted former Rep. Rick Renzi of 17 out of 32 counts in his federal corruption trial in Tucson, Ariz., Tuesday, including convictions for wire fraud, conspiracy and extortion stemming from his time in office.

The convictions are more than five years in the making Renzi decided not to run for re-election in 2008 and gave up his committee assignments under pressure from then-Minority Leader John A. Boehner, R-Ohio, but continued to declare his innocence over the years.

Renzi was found guilty of 17 felonies including conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, extortion under color of official right, racketeering, money laundering and making false statements to insurance regulators, the Justice Department said in a statement.

A co-defendent in the federal land swap scheme, James W. Sandlin, 62, of Sherman, Texas, was found guilty of 13 felonies, including conspiracy, honest services wire fraud, extortion under color of official right and money laundering.

This is truly disgusting, what a joke!!!

Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Article comment by: Peter, Yavapai County

Mecham, Symington, Renzi, Pearce, Horne. How do these guys get elected?

They get elected because Republican voters vote the ticket. Their simplistic "logic" is: any Republican is better than any Independent or any Democrat. Apparently, this is not true.

It not only happens locally, it happens nationally. The GOP suports unqualified candidates all over the country. This does not serve the voters.

Running Sarah Palin, Christine O'Donnell, Michelle Bachman, doesn't help anyone, most of all the Republican cause. We need higher quality candidates from the GOP!

The best case was running Sharn Engle for U.S. Senate in Nevada against the mostly unpopular Harry Reid (who had a 35% approval rating at the time). He could have been unseated had the GOP run a reasonable candidate. But they backed Engle, who is mildly insane.

There's still time to put together a ticket to attract Independent voters in 2016. One thing we know for sure: Obama/Biden will not be running. But the GOP mantra: Anyone but Obama did not work before and will not work again. The GOP has to put forth a solid ticket with a clear, positive message. Blind negativity doesn't cut it.

Posted: Saturday, November 2, 2013
Article comment by: Free Speech, Free Press, etc...

With all this freedom...lets keep looking for

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

Don't forget the Keating Five.

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: J M

@ Frank Lee Confused

Ev Mecham -
Elected by quirk - a politician obnoxious enough to be impeached by his own Republican party - something Democrats would probably never do.

Fife Symington -
Convicted under circumstances nebulous enough that a higher court threw out the conviction - pardoned shortly thereafter by a Democrat President.

Russell Pearce -
Another rejected Republican politician nearly as screwball as a certain Democrat congressman presently serving Florida named Alan Grayson.

Rick Renzi -
Currently residing where all crooked politicians should be - and too few are.

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: M J

tsk tsk...
let us not forget State Rep. Ben Arredondo, D., indicted on federal charges of bribery, mail fraud, extortion and lying....

sorry ... i didn't know it was restricted to only az....
but then again....
who do you think you are to give me restrictions on any thing i write???
or to be even more frank....
i could care less what your "restrictions" are...

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

Well, what do you expect when the first criteria for both major and minority party candidates these days is whether said nominee is willing to run?

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Frank Lee Confused

Arizona Republican wake calls through history:

Republican Governor, Ev Mecham - impeached

Republican Governor, Fife Symington III - felony conviction

Republican Congressman, Rick Renzi - felony conviction

Republican State Senate President, Russell Pearce - obnoxious recalled

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Slater slater

Just the dividends in the Stock Market on the
money he stole makes him my new favorite
politician in Az so far.You go Boy.

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Gene Pool

Uhhhh, MJ? Who are you playing with?
And what does any of that have to do with the damage Renzi did to the Republican Party in Arizona?

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Renzi beat primary challengers

Renzi, through slick marketing, was able to sell himself to the voters of this district ahead of other Republican challengers.

Recall when he was elected the first time there were a number of other Republican choices.

So at least in the primaries you could vote Party line and not vote Renzi, if you saw through the superficialities of his campaign.

The principles of the party are important. The stand you take on the issues are important. These issues are what Renzi used to help sell himself.

But the Renzi fiasco shows the issues become meaningless if the character of the person is corrupt.

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: M J

barry obama was elected and was not qualified for the job... twice...
and because of ocare .... or zerocare.... will go down in history as the worse pres we have ever had......

speaking of rotten politicians....
Ex- congressman jessie jackson jr checked into federal prison yesterday for stealing $750,000 from campaign funds ..... He was money-driven. He was self-serving. He was corrupt. His wife is also going to prison....

this little exchange we are having is called tit for tat.....
and with the massive amount of demorats in prison... we could go on for a long long time....

your serve.....

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