Tribune contributing columnist Mark Scarp shares his opinion on issues in the East Valley.
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Mark: Does taking tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars in charter school funds in executive ?? salary count? I find it amazing that our legislature purposefully omitted any kind of financial audit requirements for charter schools much less teacher accrediation standards. The 64 dollar question is will he vote with Steve Yarbrough on charter school funding or will he recuse himself? I won't hold my breath on that one since they just have their Mormon buddies do the dirty deed for them.
Samkat: First off, I favored neither Pearce nor Lewis, although I did say in print that (1) voters who didn't like Pearce should vote against him in 2012 when he was up for re-election and (b) since there was a recall election, Lewis was not going to win it unless he made Pearce's conduct in office the main issue (he didn't, but he won anyway!) While I agree with you that there needs to be more accountability in charter school funding, such a audit requirements, I'm afraid I don't think the public is going to see Lewis' earning a salary -- whose amount can certainly be debated -- from the state to run a charter school system as having the same bad ethical smell as Pearce's accepting expensive trips from an entity that is *not* his employer to far away football games for himself and his family. To me, the issue with Russell Pearce's taking Fiesta Bowl tickets is quite different: Although it is legal under current law for Pearce to have accepted such a gift, nowhere can it be found that it's in a senator's job description that he *must* accept them. And the voters seemed to have agreed with that notion. --Mark Scarp
By Mark Heller, Tribune
By Mark Scarp, contributing columnist
By Jerry Brown, contributing columnist
Guest Commentary by Bill Richardson
Guest Commentary by Shawn Thiele
East Valley Tribune
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