Be Like Bill: Here’s To More Wisdom In The GOP

As we are about to enter the 2014 campaign season television advertisements and flyers will flood mailboxes and airwaves. They will emphasize many words and messages. But nary a one will tout “wisdom.” They should.
Allow us to explain using the example of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery.bill-montgomery-professional
Readers are surely familiar with former Maricopa County Andy Thomas’ travails. And they may have read Arizona Republic columnist Laurie Roberts (click here) as well as the paper’s editorial (click here). Both questioned the prosecutorial wisdom of current Attorney General Tom Horne and what amounted to rather paltry charges in his office’s pursuit of former Fiesta Bowl lobbyist Gary Husk. Readers are probably familiar with other reasons General Horne’s conduct can be questioned as well. And while many Republicans don’t love yet another former Maricopa County Attorney Rick Romley, they will still recognize him as a straight shooter. So when he calls Horne’s ethics and conduct into question it is noteworthy.
This all leads us to Andrew Thomas’ successor Bill Montgomery. Although only a practicing lawyer for about a decade he appears to have uncommon wisdom among recent Arizona prosecutors.
For example, following excellent investigative journalism by the Arizona Republic that led to a political uproar over Fiesta Bowl indecencies Montgomery found himself under great pressure to do something, anything to impugn those who were bowled over wining and dining Fiesta-style. The media in particular was foaming at the mouth.
So what did Montgomery do? Nothing. Oh, he did craft some excellent reform proposals we are still waiting to be adopted. But he argued persuasively against prosecution, saying the law was not on his side. To stop the nefarious activity change the laws he opined. By so doing he showed unusual restraint. Everyone is not Ben Arredondo. While Don Stapley, Gary Husk and others recently targeted may have flown too close to the sun from time to time did they ultimately deserve the expense and legal jihad they faced? No. Nor did the taxpayers.
It takes wisdom to understand the fine line between aggressive, decent prosecutions, and those that are not. Thanks for reminding us of your example Mr. Montgomery, even as the Fiesta Bowl is in the news, for other news.