Bill Clinton Coming to Phoenix for Andrei Cherny, Candidate for State Treasurer

Ex-Prez Bill Clinton is coming to Phoenix next Monday to stump for buddy Andrei Cherny, a former Clinton adviser who's running for State Treasurer.

For a donation of a whopping $840, locals can sign up for a quick "meet-and-greet" with the former president. People affected by the recession can opt for a lottery system, according to a Cherny news release e-mailed this morning: $25 donated to Cherny between now and Friday and noon wins a chance to be one of one lucky peons who gets to join the "small group" meeting Clinton.

Cherny's bio says the candidate went to work for the Clinton White House at age 21, before going on to become an assistant attorney general. His Web site sports a column by Al Gore, who admits he doesn't "usually get personally involved on behalf of candidates for Arizona State Treasurer."

Support by political heavyweights like Clinton and Gore does seem odd for the relatively low-profile treasurer's office. Apart from the occasional cry that the financial sky is falling, the treasurer's job is mainly to handle the state's money as it goes in and out, kind of like the banker in a game of Monopoly.

Cherny plays up the bully-pulpit aspect of the office in his Web site, saying the treasurer's role is:

not just to keep the state's books or raise alarm bells when the ledgers are out of line, but the person responsible for directing our state's investment decisions, setting an economic strategy for the state and pushing it through the Legislature to put it into action.

The treasurer isn't really that influential. But Cherny and his Democrat supporters probably see the office as a great stepping-stone for something higher up the chain.

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