I'd like to thank two of my blogger buddies, Tedski over at Rum, Romanism and Rebellion, for first bringing this to my attention, and Blue Republic blogger forum for helping me think through this post and laying it out.
Len Munsil, the leading GOP candidate for Governor writes on his blog criticizing Governor Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Terry Goddard:
Arizona is No. 1 in the nation in crime, and has been for the entire time Janet Napolitano and Terry Goddard have been in office. At least two serial killers and rapists are on the loose in the Phoenix area, causing some communities to be "paralyzed by fear." He then goes on to criticize the Governor for being against littering and the Attorney General for filing suit against Wal-Mart for consumer fraud.
Leaving aside the obvious (namely, that we were on top of that list before they came in, which is interesting because Republicans pretty much ran the state for over a decade), I'd like to point out a couple of other things.
First, both the Governor and the Attorney General have pushed for more funds for local police. It is the Republican legislature that has chosen not to appropriate them.
Second, the reason we are at the top is pretty plain-- we have 962 motor vehicle thefts per 100,000 population, way ahead of the rest of the nation. Of course, Arizona's population centers are much closer to Mexico than the population centers in the other border states (except maybe California, which has a relatively short international border), so the reason why is hardly a mystery. In fact, our rate of motor vehicle theft is so out of whack that it is just a smidgen below the burglary rate (so that for every whatever else is stolen, a car is stolen). Ultimately this is a border security problem, which the Governor has been working hard to address (contrary to GOP protestations).
Third, if you want to blame the incumbents for high crime rates, then consider that sheriff Joe has been running his 'tent city' for decades, long before they came in, and a lot more criminals have experienced Sheriff Joe's green bologna than have had anything to do with either the Governor or the Attorney General. Seems like his prisons aren't much of a deterrent-- especially for car thieves.
Fourth, it appears that in Munsil-land, there is only room for certain crimes. So presumably if he becomes Governor he won't bother to tell people not to toss trash on our highways, and he fully supports the rights of retailers to defraud their customers. Heck, if you follow that to its logical conclusion, he will make fraud legal so that it won't show up as a crime, and therefore our crime rate will go down, and he will run again in four years taking credit.
However, these points are relatively minor. The really disturbing thing here is that he is blaming the Governor and the Attorney General for the two psychopathic murderers who have been roiling Phoenix for the past few weeks. Leaving aside the fact that until we catch these guys (and I hope its very soon), we have no idea of who they are or what set them off. So to blame anyone without some level of information is very wrong indeed, and to then use the murders of at least ten people to make political points is despicable.