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Gambling Department Director Named by Governor Jan Brewer: Mark Brnovich, Legal Scholar

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Legal scholar, activist, prosecutor and private prison official Mark Brnovich has been appointed director of the Arizona Department of Gaming.

Scammers pay heed: This over-achieving barrister is just coming off a stint in the U.S. Attorney's Office in Arizona as a specialist in prosecuting gambling-related crimes.

Followers of private-property-rights issues may recall seeing Brnovich's name crop up from time to time. He's a writer and researcher for the Goldwater Institute who produces online essays about, among other things, why it's an outrage to ban smoking from bars and other businesses.

Here, Brnovich argues that "Blaine Amendments," which prohibit the government from spending taxpayer funds on religious schools, are being used as "weapons in their assault on school choice."

The phrase "school choice," some may remember, is a euphemism for taking money away from the public school system and giving it to, for example, Catholic schools. Though Brnovich's 2003 article implies the Arizona Supreme Court doesn't like Blaine Amendments, the court just last week shot down private school vouchers for disabled kids based on them. 

Brnovich is was also the senior director of state government relations for the Corrections Corporation of America, the private-prison company. He was apparently hired in 2004 as a customer relations director, and also served as head of the company's Phoenix office, where he was charged with drumming up more business. [Correction note: A couple of hours after we posted this article, Governor Brewer's office called to let us know Brnovich no longer works for CCA and hasn't for "years." Spokeswoman Kim Sabow says she doesn't think the prosecutor and prison official jobs overlapped, and frankly, should not have overlapped. To be honest, we had been thinking it seemed like a conflict of interest for a prosecutor to also work for a private prison... In any case, New Times appreciates the call and will correct any factual errors].

In his spare time, Brnovich answers questions for media around the world as an "expert" for www.policyexperts.org. Here are his subjects of expertise, according to the site:

Criminal law and procedure
Government waste
State and local government
Campaign finance reform
American foreign policy and diplomacy
Second Amendment
Judicial activism/judicial reform
Tort and liability reform
Central and Eastern Europe
Initiative and referendum
Constitutional law
Taxation/tax reform
Land use/land degradation
Military strategy
Homeland security/civil defense
Property rights
Environmental regulation
State-sponsored gambling


What do you want to bet Brnovich makes some waves over there at Gaming?

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