CrandallGate: State Senator Digging Huge Ethics Hole for Himself

The coverup is often worse than the original crime.

You can’t ask the late President Richard Nixon if that’s true. But you can ask Arizona State Senator Rich Crandall (Republican-Mesa).

Crandall’s daughter was caught red-handed taking down the campaign sign of his August primary opponent, conservative John Fillmore, in Mesa last Thursday. State Rep. Brenda Barton (Republican-Payson) was driving through an intersection on her way back from a doctor’s appointment with her husband Bruce when they spotted the illegal removal of the Fillmore sign. They pulled up to speak with Crandall’s daughter and her female friend, informing them of the improper activity they were involved in. The women put the Fillmore sign back up, and the Bartons left the scene. Bruce Barton captured photos at the scene.

But then Crandall phoned Rep. Barton and, as Rep. Barton explains:

Within minutes Senator Crandall phoned me on my cell and inquired, “… are you driving around East Mesa today?” His demeanor was quite friendly and after some small talk he inquired as to the signs repeating the story the young woman had told me earlier. I informed him that he should take the matter up with Representative Fillmore.  He made some more small talk about my election and the health of a mutual acquaintance and the conversation ended. I found this unusual since I had not identified myself by name to the two young women.  I thought nothing more of this incident.

Rep. Barton said later that afternoon she returned a call to a reporter from the Capitol Times, who had phoned her to inquire about “…that sign issue between Fillmore and Crandall.” Crandall was quoted lying to the Arizona Capitol Times, fabricating falsehoods.

I learned through this interview that Senator Crandall had alleged I had “abused his daughter … sworn, shouted and cursed” at his daughter (I did not know one of the young women was his daughter) and alleged that I had been following them that day and it was a “set up.” Let me assure you, those who have known me at the Capitol are well aware that yelling, shouting, swearing and cursing are not part of my behavior or social style.  Besides, why would anyone yell at or curse these two young women who were obviously only following someone’s instructions?

During a Phoenix press conference today, Rep. Barton explained that she followed up with a phone call to Senator Crandall and left him a voicemail stating “his allegations were patently false and that I wished for a public retraction and apology.”

Sen. Crandall followed up by leaving Rep. Barton a disturbing and angry, threatening voicemail of his own, audible below:

Crandall is chairman of the Senate Education Committee. Rep. Barton is vice-chairman of the House Higher Education Committee. The coercive threat was clear, and Rep. Barton today announced plans to file an Ethics Complaint in about two days, with the Senate Secretary requesting a hearing of the Senate Ethics Committee to determine if Senator Crandall violated rules of disorderly conduct or any other ethics category. Furthermore, she said:

Ladies and gentlemen, the bottom line is twofold:  A member of the Arizona Senate and Chairman of the Education Committee should not put petty revenge above the good of the people by killing potentially good legislation for Arizona’s school children. Education is a cause Senator Crandall professes to champion and yet he clearly demonstrated that it goes under the bus when it comes to settling his personal scores and that he’ll use his position of trust to do just that. This alone should grounds for his dismissal from Chairmanship of any Committee. Instructing his daughter to commit an infraction of the law and then using his position to make threats, bully and thwart good legislation is clearly behavior not to be tolerated in the Arizona Legislature. This is no longer an issue over sign placement.  This is not about a dad defending his daughter.  Senator Crandell in his own words told his daughter and friend to do the wrong thing. Making up prevaricated stories to change the focus of the real issue to making me the subject of misdeeds.  Then attempting to threaten and bully me into submission, will not be tolerated.

Rep. Barton also said Sen. Crandall spoke down to her in attempt “to intimidate and bully” her “into silence or compliance. Senator Crandall and I are equal; yet he feels he can speak to me in a demeaning and humiliating manner. This is something women have faced for many years.  I do not know what decade Senator Crandall fell out of, but in 2012 that behavior is no longer tolerated – and certainly not by this woman.

Sen. Crandall contacted Arizona Capitol Times and claimed:

“This is all just a campaign tactic. It is very, very clear that Fillmore will stoop to anything to win our election. I’m disappointed at that.”

Rep. Fillmore has already filed a criminal complaint against the women who removed his sign.

Sen., Crandall keeps digging a deeper hole as he told the Arizona Capitol Times …

“(Fillmore is a) lying SOB, trying to make a story where there isn’t one. For him to attack my daughter and her friend is just low.”

The Arizona Conservative has previously endorsed Fillmore over Crandall for the Legislative District 16 Senate seat. Crandall has in the past conducted fundraising with Democrats, and his voting record is not up to conservative standards. This incident and Crandall’s behavior prove that he is not deserving of election to public office. He would put his personal anger ahead of what is best for Arizona’s school children, and that kind of selfishness and vindictiveness has no place in public policy.

We have also endorsed Rep. Barton for re-election because she has a long and strong record of integrity.

Tucson Doctor Points out Obamacare’s Flaws

By Dr. Jane  Orient
Washington Times
July 13, 2012

As soon as the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare, people started celebrating that their worries soon would be over.

The front page of my local newspaper reported on a 31-year-old with metastatic colon cancer who had hit the $300,000 maximum payout on his insurance. This possibility had not occurred to him when he bought his insurance plan.

Did he get care? Well, yes, but he had to raise money between chemotherapy treatments. This was exhausting and very difficult for a person who was so weak and sick. Now all Obama-compliant health insurance will have to provide coverage with no lifetime maximum, so everyone will have to pay higher premiums.

A caller to a talk-radio show rejoiced that he could now get insurance for his baby, who was born with a rare heart defect called tetralogy of Fallot. Open-heart surgery to correct this defect is widely available, and this baby almost certainly will be able to receive a state-of-the-art procedure.

The catch is that the family will have to pay for it. Charity, high-risk pools and special programs for congenital heart disease are some ways to help. The Obamacare way is to force all insurance subscribers to pay higher premiums.

Under Obamacare, all “necessary” and “appropriate” treatment will be “covered.” Before we shout “Hallelujah!” let’s ask, “What does this mean?”

Those words are even harder to define than “tax.” They will be defined by bureaucrats with one eye on the budget and the other on population health statistics. The actual decisions will be iplemented by puppet physicians with divided loyalties. Giving too much care may jeopardize their “bonus,” their ability to meet payroll or even their jobs.

The reformers who will be in the 150-plus federal agencies write scholarly papers on how we “waste” too much money on patients in the last six months of life. Realistically, a young person with aggressive cancer has a very dim outlook. Out of love or compassion, you might be willing to spend your money to give that patient a chance. But you might not want the insurer to take money out of care that you might need yourself. The bureaucrats who are responsible for society’s money also have to protect their own their lavish salary and perks.

As for babies with disabilities, the reformers’ Complete Lives System gives them a very low priority. They cost a lot, and society hasn’t invested too much in them yet, so why not give them “comfort care”? Or why not “prevent” the problem with prenatal diagnosis and abortion? Almost 90 percent of babies with Down syndrome are culled out in this way already, drastically reducing the demand for pediatric heart surgery. Innovation is not to be expected with the new taxes on medical devices and the new focus on “wellness” research.

Nevertheless, you may ask, aren’t we still better off with more coverage?

You may be shocked to learn that the answer is no. The price of coverage is not just sending the insurer money that you otherwise might devote to your own or your family’s care.

You may unknowingly relinquish your right to get more care, or more timely care, than your insurer allows. If the insurer covers a certain treatment but denies payment in your case for lack of medical necessity” or sufficient benefit (say your cancer is too advanced or you are too old) you may not be permitted to pay for it yourself.

The same is true if the insurer only allows a payment too low to induce anyone to perform the needed treatment.

A doctor who is enrolled in Medicare or Medicaid can go to prison for accepting more than the government-determined fee or for doing what the government determines to be too many procedures, even at the allowed fee. Managed care contracts, though not yet bound by the threat of prison terms, also restrict your doctor’s ability to care for you.

“Coverage” may make you feel more secure, but it also can mean less care and poorer care despite higher cost.

Dr. Jane M. Orient practices internal medicine in Tucson, Ariz., and is executive director of the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (