Conservative Blogs Don't Make a Peep on SCA Scandal; Arizona Republic Follows Story in Opinion Pages

Sonoran Alliance, one of our favorite places to check for news by and for conservatives, doesn't have a word to say about Steve Ellman, Dave Hendershott and the SCA. Not surprising, of course. Many of the anonymous SA writers appear to be strongly allied with -- or even employees of -- Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, the political buddy of Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Still, we were hoping to read something.

Even less surprising, naturally, is the omission of anything SCA-related on Arizona's Intellectual Conservative blog, where Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas' employee Rachel Alexander posts. But, in fact, none of the conservative blogs we comb through for news tidbits made a peep about the county's mini-Watergate. 

Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Len Munsil is writing about Judge Sotomayor's hearings.  Sean Noble, well on his way to recovering from his car accident, expounds about a George Will column that caught his fancy and his spleen-removal surgery. Greg Patterson of Espresso Pundit, who was so worked up over the treatment of Mustang Mecum, doesn't breathe a word about the SCA.

We'd complain about the lack of coverage in local, liberal blogs, if we knew of any good ones. (Yeah, we wouldn't mind if you pointed us to your favorites...) We saw nothing in Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, though "Tedski" can be forgiven because he lives in Pima County.

The scandal did get some fresh legs in today in the Arizona Republic, which ran an article in the opinion pages asking about the SCA, "...who, exactly, was in charge of this creepy organization?" (In a bit of verbiage creep, Republic columnist EJ Montini also refers to the SCA as a "creepy organization.")

The Republic editorial board is rightfully concerned about finding out what Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott had "to do with the creation of the SCA and its sleazy ads."

We appreciate that the Republic seems to be reading our blog -- the opinion article referred to Steve Ellman's ties to one of the other businessmen listed as SCA contributors, a fact not brought up by the Republic's news article about the scandal.

Other Valley newspapers, like the East Valley Tribune and West Valley View, don't yet mention the scandal at all, for some reason.

In other SCA news today:

You may have wondered what the state's top cop, Attorney General Terry Goddard, is doing about the revelation that Arpaio's top people, his buddy Steve Ellman and the out-of-state fat cats were the contributors to the once-secretive SCA.

We asked Anne Hilby, Goddard's spokeswoman, about that. She replies:

... I cannot comment on the Fox matter you asked about. Our office is still reviewing the Fox matter referred to us by the Secretary of State's office.

Also, deeply interested readers may want to peruse the long-winded comments by Captain Joel Fox on our blogs posts this week about the SCA. See the samples of his comments below.

On how fat cats knew where to donate to the SCA:

In all honesty, I don't know these guys, and I'm not really sure how it got all spread around, but is it really hard to believe that there are people out there that are wealthy, Republican, like cops and dislike the media?

In some parts of the country, you can't throw a rock without hitting one.

How about wealthy business people naturally travel in similar circles and one told another, who told another, who told another, until it finally got all the way around.

And so what?

SCA is obviously not secretive, and never was, or else nobody would have heard of it.

Just cuz you didn't know doesn't make it a secret.

In another comment, he makes light of the fact that he's hiding the meaning of the name "SCA," fails to explain Black's purchase of (Black certainly ain't talking) and fails to answer our previously raised question about why the SCA shared a P.O. Box with the other political action committees he set up with Black:

As far as Larry Black's domain names, I'm not really sure why he would buy them. I do know that none of them have been used for SCA. The bank account just says SCA, and there are other donors besides Sheriff's commanders, so, like I asked you before, what's the point? My favorite was "Second Chance Apples", but you can believe whatever you want. It seems to have become "Arpaio's" command committee lately, anyway, but really, it's just SCA. Does the name of the account prove something to you? Of all the things, why would I hide the name of the account?

In the following section, think about the great follow-up questions Fox raises: Who was he talking to about the PACs and the SCA account? What made Hendershott and Steve Ellman choose the SCA account over the more legit PACs that Fox and Black had created?

At the same time I was spreading around the SCA account, I told people about the PACs, but nobody really wanted to give money to my PACs. I didn't really care as much about them, anyway, and I didn't really push it, either, so I just closed them. Nothing would ever come of them anyway...and I didn't think it would be ok to put the SCA money into the PACs, since the donors had that option to begin with, and chose otherwise.

In the next section, Fox explains why he donated the money to the Republican Party.

Along about July, 2008, the whole thing just kinda collapsed into a big lump. No money in the PACs, and the money I did have, I couldn't do what I wanted with it. As far as I was concerned, the whole thing was pretty much a waste of time, but all I really did up to that point was spend 15 minutes at the bank setting up an account, so no biggie. I probably should have thought about it more, but I just wanted to get everything closed out and done with, so I sent the first 80k to the Party. A few days later, I got another check for 25k, and after sitting on it for a couple weeks, I sent that to the party, too.

Don't you think he's leaving something out in that explanation, maybe a few things? We sure do. It simply does not ring true. And we already know Fox lied about Hendershott's involvement.

As we pointed out in a post yesterday, Fox wrote in February that,

None of the money came from Arpaio,or Hendershott or Arpaio's campaign, or anyone associated with Arpaio's campaign, nor did it come from any corporation or labor organization or any other illegal contributor. It was all private funds, solicited over a period of about 2 years.

Fox now claims we quoted him of context:

As you noted in your article, we were talking about the donation to the Republican Party, not all donations to SCA.

As you can see, Fox's quote about Hendershott was not taken out of context.

Honestly, we wonder whether the false, written statement about Hendershott qualifies Fox for the county attorney's Brady List for discredited officers.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.