Where’s Waldo? Forget that. Where’s Rich Crandall?
It’s always a challenge to keep up with the elusive and well-traveled Crandall. But he’s just turned up in Cheyenne — as the new director of the Wyoming Department of Education. He’s been there in that position since August 5. But YOU, Mr. and Mrs. Taxpayer, are footing the bill for his health insurance until August 31.
Don’t be surprised. Crandall has issues with ethics avoidance.
Crandall first came on our radar by serving a few terms in the Arizona Legislature. Last year he was AWOL from the legislature very often. In fact he only voted on one-third of the bills that came up for a vote in the 2012 session. Why? Well, he took a part-time job in another state and couldn’t be troubled to devote his full attention to the Arizona Senate.
There were numerous problems with Crandall’s legislative tenure in Arizona, including:
- Crandall frequently voted with – and raised funds with – Democrats rather than Republicans.
- In thug-like fashion, Crandall threatened State Rep. Brenda Barton and warned her not to introduce any education bills this coming session. With disciplinary action from the Senate looming, he apologized. But his character had been displayed when he made up a story to defend his family’s illegal tampering with a Fillmore campaign sign. In violation of state law.
- Crandall voted against good GOP bills attempting to curb illegal immigration five times.
- Crandall voted in support of big unions.
- Crandall has a record of voting against the Second Amendment.
- Fearing a loss to Russell Pearce in another legislative district, Crandall carpetbagged over to Legislative District 16 to challenge Rep. Fillmore for the Senate seat.
- Crandall has voted against the taxpayers, rightfully earning a taxpayer advocacy group’s RINO label.
Voters had a chance to remove him in last year’s Republican Primary. But Crandall, former school board president in Mesa, had a lot of favors to call in, and his friends helped him defeat conservative John Fillmore by some 600 votes. Crandall turned mud slinging and the politics of personal destruction into an art form with his filthy campaigning and negative direct mail war on Fillmore.
In November, Crandall was re-elected to the Arizona Senate — even though he was living in Utah at the time! We’d been calling him Utah’s ambassador to the Arizona Senate. There ought to be a law against living out of state and serving in the Arizona Legislature. But there apparently isn’t. And now we are thrilled to be done with the RINO representation of Legislative District 16.
In his “Meet the Director – A Conversation with Richard Crandall,” article on the Wyoming Department of Education website, Tom Laycock started out with what should have been a warning for Wyoming parents: “Not many in Wyoming know much about the new Wyoming Department of Education Director, Richard Crandall.” We in Arizona know plenty — plenty that should alarm citizens who deserve ethics and professionalism, not to mention a high-ranking official’s undivided attention.
Laycock continued: “But one thing is clear — he has some sort of allergy to sitting still.” Truer words were never spoken. Or written.
Because Crandall can’t seem to focus on where he’s supposed to be. The interview with the Wyoming group didn’t even take place in that state. It happened in Salt Lake City.
Crandall told Laycock he was frustrated with factions within his own party in the Arizona Legislature. He did not tell Laycock that he and fellow RINOs had created those factions and the disharmony with the conservative-base GOP lawmakers. He called good Republican legislation “bad.” And “It was at that point I decided to retire from the Senate this summer and pursue my dream job as a state school chief.” Crandall is a big advocate of the highly controversial Common Core education program, so Arizona should count itself lucky that Common Core has one less proponent in our state.
So where has Crandall been since his hiring? He was headed for Kansas City, Cheyenne, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, New Orleans, Phoenix, and Milwaukee in coming weeks. Perhaps in pursuit of yet another “dream job”? It wouldn’t surprise anyone in Arizona if Crandall’s new gig in Wyoming turned part-time, too.
Now that our Crandall problem is over at last, we call on the Maricopa County Supervisors to select Fillmore, a veteran lawmaker until his primary loss last year, to serve out Crandall’s vacated term and return ethics and full-time representation to a previously disenfranchised electorate.