Elections

Special Report: Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Doug Ducey Hails From an Infamous Ohio Organized-Crime Family

Most of Doug Ducey's professional life has been spent in sales of one kind or another.

So when the 50-year-old entrepreneur turned politician was given a chance to sell himself at an exclusive June retreat sponsored by billionaire siblings Charles and David Koch, naturally he emphasized the positive.

According to secret recordings of the event recently made public as part of a special report by The Nation magazine and the YouTube channel The Undercurrent, Arizona's state treasurer had attended these Koch brothers summits before and knew the audience consisted of potential big-money contributors.

Ducey spoke their language. He talked up the success of Cold Stone Creamery, which he and his partner sold in 2007, boasting that the company grew from a few stores to "1,440 in all 50 states" without any assistance from the public sector.

"We did it without government," he told the summit's attendees. "We did it without subsidies. We did it without tax incentives for chocolate-dipped waffle cones."

Ducey's audience chortled. Delivered with a touch of humor, this evocation of independent, can-do capitalism was the perfect pitch to the crowd of plutocrats, facts to the contrary notwithstanding.

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Stephen Lemons and Lance Williams