Considering all the bad news we’ve had in Arizona lately, we are finally getting some good news. Ex-governor Janet Napolitano has resigned her job as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security and is moving to California to take over the struggling University of California system.
Thank goodness she isn’t moving back here.
Her time here as United States Attorney, state attorney general and governor left Arizona in a giant hole. When President Barack Obama called, she quit the governor’s job mid-term and took the first fast train to Washington.
Napolitano, a well-known micro-manager and political calculator, turned law enforcement upside down when she dictated federal law enforcement policies as Arizona’s U. S. Attorney. She set a weak tone that encouraged the Mexican drug cartels to grow into hemispheric mafias and put down deep and forever roots in Arizona. Arizona became the gateway for contraband into the United States.
In the 1990s, as the chief federal prosecutor, she also blew off a chance to go after Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio for civil rights violations. She chose to use civil sanctions on Arpaio who then was allowed to grow into a modern day Sheriff “Bull” Connor, the notorious Alabama sheriff who turned the attack dogs lose on civil rights marchers in the 60s.
After getting a sweetheart deal from Napolitano, Arpaio, who at the time was the most popular politician in Arizona, made the decision not to run for governor, the job Napolitano wanted. Arpaio crossed party lines and supported her.
One can only wonder what kind of state Arizona would be today had Napolitano busted Arpaio?
Her time as attorney general wasn’t much better. With her goal to get to the governor’s office her every move was premeditated to get her up and out of one office and into the next and eventually out of Arizona and to Washington. I always thought she was only using Arizona to satisfy her quest for greater political power.
Napolitano micromanaged and further politicized the Department of Public, an agency that’s been in steady decline ever since she got her hands on it.
Along the way Napolitano brought with her the now disgraced ex-United States Attorney for Arizona Dennis Burke.
Burke, a long time political operative, was Napolitano’s confidant and right hand man throughout her time in Arizona. When Napolitano went to Washington, Obama appointed Burke to her old job. It wasn’t long before Burke, another micro-manager, gave the United States and Mexico the Fast and Furious fiasco that we all know contributed to the murder of U. S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry. No telling how many Mexican innocent citizens, police officers and soldiers have been murdered thanks to the Burke sanctioned gunrunning program?
Burke reportedly lied to U. S. Department of Justice investigators about Fast and Furious and leaked confidential information to a reporter to allegedly retaliate against a Special Agent with the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
For all the claims Napolitano and Obama have made about the border being safer after the feds spent more than $100 billion, there still seems to be an endless supply of illegal drugs going north and billions of dollars in profits from ill-gotten gains going south. Arizona is still a major link in the supply chain of Mexico based organized crime groups. Arizona continues to be major transshipment point for the drugs that fuel the ongoing murder spree in Obama’s Chicago.
Then there are the questions about how Napolitano and her agency botched the process that should’ve helped to identify and possibly stop the Boston Marathon bombers?
There’s no way we’re safer thanks to Team Napolitano and she and the president would have us believe.
For all my friends in California I wish you better luck with Napolitano than we had with her in Arizona and dealing with homeland security issues. I’m glad she’s your problem now and not ours.
Retired Mesa master police officer Bill Richardson lives in the East Valley and can be reached at email@example.com.