Ron Gould’s Candidate view: Taxpayers, voters deserve better from Babeu

From the Maricopa Monitor …

This past Friday (January 20th) an article appeared in this paper about the mismanagement that has taken place in Paul Babeu’s department. This, in and of itself, should be troubling to taxpayers who will ultimately foot the bill for the $3.1 million that Babeu’s office overspent their budget.

However, later in the article it was indicated by Babeu’s official spokesperson that he was in D.C. doing what his spokesperson referred to as “his job as Sheriff.” He then went on to say that Babeu’s trip to Washington D.C. had nothing to do with his campaign for Congress.

That’s simply not true.

There is ample evidence that Babeu was in fact doing work on his Congressional campaign. Amongst this evidence was a news article in the Politico newspaper where Babeu met with a reporter for that paper while in DC and talked exclusively about his campaign for Congress. In addition, it is apparent that Babeu did in fact meet with at least one other group about his campaign for Congress.

Now, I have no problem with a candidate going to Washington D.C. and meeting with reporters and groups who have interest in the race. However, I do have a problem with a candidate having a spokesperson claim that his visit had nothing to do with his Congressional race, when it is apparent it did. And I suspect voters do too.

Mixing official and campaign business may be the norm in Babeu’s former state Massachusetts, where Babeu ran for office at least four different times and worked in a political patronage job for the Massachusetts state treasurer, but it doesn’t make it right.

It is this kind of lax attitude and sense of entitlement that taxpayers and voters despise. They expect those of us elected to office to do our job and do it to the best of our abilities.

I don’t know how Babeu paid for his trip out there. It is logical to assume that if, as his spokesperson stated, he was out there doing his job as sheriff, then it was probably paid for by the taxpayers. If it wasn’t, then good for Babeu.

But if taxpayers paid for it, then Babeu had no business conducting campaign business while on trip paid for by taxpayers.

Coming on the heels of reports that Babeu authorized expenditures in excess of $50,000 to take what can fairly be called a junket to a sheriff’s convention, Babeu needs to explain to voters what he was really doing in Washington.

State Sen. Ron Gould is a candidate for Congress in Congressional District 4. Babeu and Cong. Paul Gosar are all contending for the Republican nomination for that seat.

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