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November 10th, 2006

An open letter to Governor Janet Napolitano


Something is still terribly wrong in the state of Arizona

Dear Governor Janet Napolitano,

Governor Napolitano, I hope you will afford me the courtesy of personally reading this letter.  Please listen closely to what I am about to say.  No disrespect, but it is disconcerting to be filtered by twenty-three old staffers that have quite a bit of living before them to do, before they summarily judge their older constituents of the Democratic Party on such limited life experiences.

Governor Napolitano, I have been around longer than you and I believe wisdom does indeed come with experience.  Maybe if you were married and had to raise children, you would understand the plight of families across the state.  It pains me to criticize another Democrat, but I question your belief in Democratic principles, especially when you possess the power to change the status quo.

Governor Napolitano, congratulations on your re-election.  In most political races, anyone would be a better candidate than most right wing conservative republicans that vie for power.  The mid-term elections were a strong message sent by middle class Americans to quit taking our quality of life, our jobs, the Iraq war, corruption and civil rights for granted.   I hope during this term that you truly hope to make a difference in Arizona families and their children’s lives.

I have been a long time loyal Democrat for longer than I care to remember.   We were present for the rally in Tucson that you appeared with President Clinton on Thursday, November 2nd.  Clinton’s speech at Reid Park was inspiring to say the least.  It brought back memories of taking my family to Washington D.C. in January of 1993 for the Clinton’s first inaugural.  I was so hopeful in 1993 after twelve years of republican rule that had already performed profound effects on my family’s financial security and future.

At the same time I was feeling so inspirational on a national level, I was also feeling disillusioned by my states Democratic Party’s lack of concern for Arizona families.  The top Arizona Democratic candidates including yourself seem to be beholding to someone else’s interest other than the people that voted you into office. 
  
My wife and I were at the rally for John Edwards in Tucson in 2004, that you participated in, for the Kerry ticket.  I was even in Washington D.C. on a business trip during Bush’s second inaugural on January 20, of 2005.  Bush made two appearances that night at the Hilton Towers and it seemed like I could not escape the Bush entourage that evening.  The sight of motorcycle escorts, sirens and flashing lights of the Bush motorcade would be seared in my memory as a warning of the impending Bush Administration’s coming implosion.  

Later during the summer of 2005, we would be able to return the favor to George W. Bush by traveling to Crawford, Texas to support and protest with Cindy Sheehan, at the Bush’s western White House.  I believe Sheehan will one day be credited with the initial spark for the Bush regime downfall.  Sheehan exposed Bush’s heartlessness, arrogance and brought forward the anti-war Iraq issue for all to examine in the open. 

And while all this was taking place in Crawford, warm water currents were swirling as the future tropical engine of hurricane Katrina slowly came to life and began to saunter along on its line-up for final approach, with a predicted, on schedule, direct arrival for the city of New Orleans. 

The next month, we chose to attend the anti-war march in Washington, D.C.; that took place near the White House, on September 24, 2005.  Even though it had been seven months since we were forced to file for bankruptcy protection, I do not regret a single dollar that I spent attending such festivities of civic protest.  I was now a very angry person at the republican party and what it had done to my family.  How dare anyone promote and profit from ruining good American families and their lives.   Greed is the worst of all human emotions.

Any kind of protest against injustice is always worth the price of admission against the guilty.  

This election cycle I gave regularly and profusely to Democratic candidates across the country and I must say, I picked very, very well.  It is money well spent towards my children and grandchildren’s future.

As you see, I have done my part for the Democratic Party, but I question what you have done to support ex-military families to help keep from losing their homes in the state of Arizona.  Do we matter to you once an election is over?  Why does the electorate once again become transparent on November 8th? 

Without your support for the middle class, more people like me will choose to distance themselves from the Democratic Party by becoming Independents.  I do not relish the idea of my loyalty, vote and promotion being taken for granted by anyone. 

For the first time in twenty-six years, I voted for a republican in an election.  Don’t you consider that just a bit unusual.  It pained me greatly to vote for the republican party, but I felt that the Democratic candidates gave me no other choice.  I could not bring myself to vote for Israel Torres for Secretary of State, since I knew too well his real record at the Registrars of Contractors towards Arizona families.  Our cries for help from Mr. Torres to help protect Arizona families went upon deaf ears.  The ROC was more inclined to help and protect SAHBA builders and contractors than protect Arizona families and their homes.  Why are government officials so scared of the building industry?

I believe it was an incredible mistake to have Mr. Torres head the Registrar of Contractors.  It is obvious to me that Mr. Torres did not care about Arizona families and in fact was more concerned about promoting SAHBA’s and the building industry’s agenda.  Mr. Torres was only bidding his time at the ROC as a stepping stone to higher office.  Where did Mr. Torres get that idea from?  I prayed that Mr. Torres would not be elected and my prayers were answered.  God does indeed work in mysterious ways!

But still; there is something terribly wrong in the state of Arizona!

Governor Napolitano, you were the Attorney General from 1998 until 2002 when you decided to run for Governor.  Did you really do your best as Attorney General during your very short stay?  Was your heart and head really into the task at hand; protecting the Arizona consumer?  Did you only run for this office in order to put a feather in your cap for the real goal of the Governor’s mansion?

During the move in to our new home in 2000, we along with three other families contacted you at the Attorney General office concerning a complaint with developer Richard Schust from First United Realty.  Mr. Schust was rapidly selling home sites for Units #1 and #2 at Salero Ranch, near Tubac, Arizona.  Mr. Schust had roads illegally wildcatted into the development, had sparse road maintenance and then sold a parcel of the development to Asarco mining company, complete with strip mining rights.  Also, there was an old mine present on this land, complete with toxic mine tailings that were leaching and draining eventually into the Santa Cruz River. We waited patiently for your office to respond while native fish died.

Your office eventfully responded with a letter that said that the developer was in violation and that we should hire an attorney to challenge the developer, Richard Schust.  Of course Governor, after the state licenses these real estate and developers, the state will not investigate or even try to prosecute such frauds.  Yes, leave it up to a bunch of cash strapped home owners to demand justice through the civil courts.  

Are pigs flying now in heaven?

Governor Napolitano, did it ever occur to you that the reason builders and developers defraud the Arizona consumers are because there is no investigation or enforcement of promises, rules or laws.  These unscrupulous building industry frauds realize that it is easier and more profitable to see what they are able to get away with, rather than perform as promised.

If the government is not part of the solution, then the government is a major part of the problem that continues to exist.  

Evidently you and your staff were to busy planning your run for Governor, to help families like mine from being defrauded by wealthy and powerful developers who’s motive is exponential profits.  The false and deceptive advertising that these developers promote is fraud.  The state of Florida has nothing over on the state of Arizona when it comes to fraud and abuse of its people!

There is no justice in Arizona!  

Governor Napolitano, on your website you profess on the opening heading in bold type; “Keeping Arizona, Safe, Strong and Prosperous.”  I beg to disagree.  Ms. Napolitano, if you were chosen by Time magazine as one of the five best Governors in America, then are these slogans true or is it just lawyer speak deception?  I am sorry but you can’t have it both ways.  My family was not made safe, my family was not made strong and my family has been made anything but prosperous.  Whatever do you mean with such drivel?

We as a family did nothing wrong except trust a licensed builder and the state of Arizona to protect us.  You, the state government licensed these Bozo’s!  God, I must have been dreaming.  My family has had to endure insecurity, weakness and bankruptcy all because of greedy builders and lawyers.  Who in Arizona Government will choose to keep my family safe, strong and prosperous?  Who may I beg or flung to reach and grasp a pant leg of?  Save us, please!

Governor Napolitano, we have written to you numerous times in the past three years to try and convince to have the Attorney Generals Office to investigate SAHBA and the building industry in this state.  In May of 2003, we lost our land, our home, our credit rating and then visited the wonderful bankruptcy festivities offered to us, because of a SAHBA backed builder in Tucson; McCreary Homes. 

Unfortunately your office only sent us back the “Dear John” letter that professes that there was nothing that you could do about the situation.  Do you really mean to tell us, that you will do nothing to protect Arizona families from being raped by these predators?  We know that we are not the only ones that are going through this nightmare in this state.  Just look at the home building defects to the north in Anthem.

Governor Napolitano, do have any idea of what is like for a family that includes three children to have their home taken away from them because they could not keep up with the legal fight to have their defective home repaired?  Do you have any idea of what is like to move four times in three years because a family now becomes a gypsy rental clan?  Do you have any idea what it is like to no longer have the anchor of a home when the Christmas holidays approach and your children come home from college to visit another rental unit?  Can you imagine how it feels?  Can you!  Where are the family traditions?  Where are the family values?

Is family instability an Arizona family value!?  

Governor Napolitano concerning marriage, do you have any idea how much stress that is forced upon a person’s 26 year marriage by losing your home and filing bankruptcy?  Do you even have an ounce of a clue?  Trust me madam, you have no idea how much pain this has caused my wife and I.  Do you even care?  You could not pay me enough to volunteer to go through this.  Are you Governor Napolitano and the state of Arizona willing to pay for our marriage counseling bills for this nightmare?  Who protects Arizona families? Who protects Arizona children from builders, developers, lawyers and insurance companies? 

My family has never felt so abandoned and so unprotected from such vultures by their government!  What was done to us by builders, associations, lawyers and insurance companies was criminal.  It would have been easier to take my family and line us up and shoot us in the back with AK-47’s and then recover from our certain injuries, rather than to be slowly raped by a builder and his insurance represented lawyers.

America; the land of the free and the home of the brave and ex-military families like mine to be raped upon!  Can there be any more shame for such a hollow red state and its special interest politics?  

Corruption has no favorites among party politics.  There is only one republican Party in Arizona and it has two symmetrical, right wings!  After all, didn’t this state vote again to retain neocon Senator Jon Kyl?

Governor Napolitano, is there some written law in the Arizona Constitution that the Attorney General cannot ask questions, cannot investigate and cannot prosecute the building industry?  Where is the unwritten code that says that our top government leaders cannot pull back the building curtain facade to investigate fraud and corruption?  Does the building industry wield that much power over government officials to silence them so easily? 

Does the building industry allow you and Attorney General Goddard to remain in power by not challenging your re-elections, so long as you choose not to regulate, investigate and prosecute their fraud and corruption?  Why are both you and Attorney General Goddard so silent on the issue of building, legal and insurance fraud?  Why is your unofficial policy toward the building industry to see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil and just pretend that everything is okay?

Isn’t this just like the state and federal government turning and looking away over the immigration issue as businesses hire illegals left and right in the building industry in this state?  Not one of our top officials had anything to say in their campaign websites about combating licensed defective builders or builder fraud.  It must all be by design!

This past June was the 30th anniversary of the assassination of the Arizona Republic’s investigative reporter, Don Bolles.  Didn’t Don Bolles give his life to investigate building fraud and corruption?  Weren’t the murders who participated in this despicable act all from the building industry?  Was Mr. Bolles life all just a waste since the corruption that he pursued in the 70’s is now rampant once again in the twenty-first century?

Governor Napolitano, I do not understand your Administrations ambivalence toward the nightmares that are taking place in the building industry in this state?  Why do you choose to remain silent?  As Martin Luther King once proclaimed, “There comes a time when silence is betrayal.”

I have heard only deafening silence and I feel oh, so betrayed!

With another term and four more years in office, will you finally choose to step up to the plate and fight for Arizona families and their children?  Please do not act like the soulless, rubber stamp, republican Congress that turned its head away from obvious corruption and chose to not investigative through formal channels.  We have already seen how that play ends.  Please do not pretend that you do not see or hear the evil that is taking place in this state?

And on this upcoming Veterans Day on Saturday, November 11th, please tell me how my twelve years of military service to my country and as an officer, is supposed to make me feel patriotic when my home and dreams have been ripped away from me and my family?  How will you honor my service to this country, except with your silence?

All it takes for evil to exist is for good men and women to remain silent!

I have lived in this state full time for over the last ten years and I can only categorize the time as a certified nightmare.  Please Governor Napolitano, if you have an ounce of decency and justice, do not let this stand.

Sincerely,

- The Arizona Refuge; a real fighting Democrat

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