Arizona Republic Political Reporter Jumps Ship for Post in Secretary of State's Office and the Repub Seems a Little Bitter

Arizona Republic political reporter Matt Benson was pegged last week as the newest addition to Secretary of State Ken Bennett's office.

Benson, who has been a reporter for at the Republic since 2005, has joined Team Bennett as the secretary's communications director. The move, however, seems fairly sudden, and the Republic seems more bitter than sad to see him go.

In yesterday's paper, Benson's former colleague Mary Jo Pitzl, the paper's lead legislative reporter, penned an article about wasteful government spending at the hands of Republicans in state government.

In her article, Pitzl brings up a new $60,000 Republican caucus room in the Senate, a $65,000 economic study in the House, and -- lumped in with all these other "wasteful" expenditures -- her former colleague's new assignment in the Secretary of State's Office.

According to Pitzl, the state will be dishing out $70,000 in taxpayer money to have Benson on staff, in a position -- she suggests -- that isn't needed when the state is facing such a dire fiscal crisis.

In other words, Benson is probably getting a pretty nice pay raise, while Pitzl and the rest of the Republic staff are out one veteran reporter. Sound like sour grapes?

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