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To Those Who Know Her Tactics… Janet Napolitano’s California Scandal Should Come As No Surprise

December 13, 2017 Frontpage No Comments


PHOENIX — A columnist for the American Thinker website asked in late April, “How does Janet Napolitano do it? How does she continually wind up in places of power, despite her consistent reputation for ineptitude and corruption?”
And those questions occurred before a special independent report revealed in November that Napolitano, president of the powerful, prestigious University of California system of 10 campuses, presided while her office instructed the campuses to doctor their reports for a vital audit to make her look better. The audit followed exposure of her office’s secret $175 million slush fund.
(See page 1 story in the hard-copy edition of the December 7 Wanderer, “Janet Napolitano Scandal: Another Look at Elite’s Heavy Back-Scratching Leaving Nation Bleeding.”)
Two top aides took the fall for Napolitano and resigned while she posed as not having been fully informed of their doings. But one of them, Seth Grossman, soon went on to be hired by American University in Washington, D.C., as chief of staff to school president Sylvia Burwell, Barack Obama’s former head of the Department of Health and Human Services, according to a December 2 American Thinker column.
That column cited a December 1 report in the American University newspaper, The Eagle.
Grossman previously worked for Napolitano when she was secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, before they both went to California.
Earlier, under the wing of Arizona’s manipulative elite, local attorney Napolitano had risen to become Arizona attorney general then governor before newly elected President Obama named her in late 2008 to head Homeland Security. When that federal post seemed to turn into a dead end for her ambitions, she moved on to the UC job in 2013.
Her time unscrupulously wielding executive power in Arizona was only a rehearsal for what was to come. Arizona pro-lifers recall Napolitano in 1999 hustling a 14-year-old ward of the state in advanced pregnancy to Kansas for a dismemberment abortion after the young teen was redefined as a ward of the Superior Court.
To illustrate the legal contortions used as excuses: The minor youngster was said to have a freedom to travel that any minor normally lacks, but she was escorted to Kansas by a Planned Parenthood volunteer and was to be handcuffed if necessary. The Wanderer reported on this in 1999 as it occurred.
If left-wing Napolitano’s shady doings remind one of Clintonian corruption, it happens to have been Bill Clinton while president who gave Napolitano her first big boost in government by naming her U.S. attorney for the District of Arizona in 1993. Some in the Arizona elite had called her name to Clinton’s attention.
Leftists had been thrilled by her earlier — though unsuccessful — efforts to destroy the nomination of conservative judge Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court in 1991. Napolitano acted as adviser to Anita Hill, who accused Thomas of sexual harassment.
Thomas had been a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
As she moved through politics, Napolitano seemed consistent enough in her left-wing beliefs that she didn’t adopt them out of mere opportunism. But it certainly didn’t hurt that some dominant left-wing media willingly cut her slack when she got herself into problems.
Although some California newspapers called for Napolitano’s resignation as UC president over the double whammy of the secret slush fund and doctoring the audit, the state’s largest daily, the Los Angeles Times, editorially came to her defense, in part citing her advocacy for illegal aliens as a reason for supporting her.
There you have the leftist illogic. Lawbreaking Napolitano deserves to keep her job because she stands up for border-jumping lawbreakers.
In an editorial posted December 2, “Closing the book on the UC audit,” the Los Angeles newspaper urged that outraged legislators and the public should just move along “and let her move forward without taint.”
The second paragraph of the editorial favorably cited Napolitano’s “dedicating herself to protecting the university’s undocumented students.” The Times lectured that if California wants a public university system “that continues to command the admiration of the world — and it should — it cannot afford to weaken that system or its chief executive. It can’t micromanage a great university and still have a great university.”
The “supposed slush fund,” the editorial said, actually included “important initiatives” like “legal services for undocumented students.”
Northern California conservative commentator Barbara Simpson told The Wanderer that the Times editorial was even worse than she imagined. Simpson had worked in major television news in Los Angeles and then San Francisco.
The editorial “is just more proof that the paper and its editors are shills for the progressive left and every stupidity they stand for — certainly not a free America and a free press,” Simpson said, adding that Napolitano clearly was lying, followed by the newspaper swearing to her suitability.
“They’re both liars and the (Times) sets up a political cover-ups. Disgusting — and, yes, she does need to face legal consequences and loss of her job. Cal has enough problems without her adding to them,” Simpson said.
Phoenix conservative Republican activist Rob Haney got a hometown view of Napolitano’s activities when she lived here, so he wasn’t startled.
“Janet Napolitano is getting away with the corruption she instituted during her tenure as president of the University of California system because she has made it a high priority that the illegal aliens in her system received favored treatment,” Haney told The Wanderer on December 5, adding that he wouldn’t be surprised if the California auditor who pursued the case ended up in trouble instead.
A mid-November story posted at the San Jose-area Mercury News said: “The controversy stems from a state audit conducted last year. Top officials at UC tried to bury campus criticism of the central office, telling the schools it was not a time to air ‘dirty laundry,’ according to an investigation into what happened that was requested by the regents and released” on November 16.
The regents decided to let Napolitano keep her job, but California state legislators of both parties expressed their distress. The story in the Mercury News quoted liberal Democratic State Assemblyman Phil Ting, of San Francisco: “The office of the president and the regents need to work very hard to rebuild that public trust. You don’t get to deceive the public and act as if it’s business as usual.”
After the slush-fund scandal began to emerge, veteran California writer Steven Greenhut noted at the American Spectator website on April 27 that “UC inadvertently confirmed the superfluous and politically correct nature of some of the office’s spending, such as $25.2 million over three years to fund the Undocumented Students Initiative.”
Greenhut quoted Napolitano’s office saying: “UC’s initiatives advance several of the state’s highest priorities, including providing resources and support for undocumented students; developing groundbreaking climate solutions and mitigating the university’s carbon footprint; advancing health-related research and programs; and strengthening the state’s relationship with Mexico.”
Napolitano throwing two top UC aides under the bus recalled an incident that occurred soon after she took office as Arizona’s governor in early 2003. Ever the leftist, she chafed at the traditional but politically incorrect name of Phoenix landmark Squaw Peak and decided it must be changed immediately, contrary to an established requirement for a five-year waiting period.
She even sicced one of her aides, Mario Diaz, on the Phoenix Police Department to try to force through the change, then expressed her pious regret that Diaz acted “with a very heavy hand.” Talk-radio programs buzzed with calls for her impeachment, but she had imposed her will.
As Napolitano headed for re-election in November 2006, I wrote a summary for the Intellectual Conservative website of some of her scandals during her four-year first term.
Recounting the name-change incident, I wrote: “The governor’s office put political muscle on no less than the Phoenix Police Department to force one of its officers to resign his position as volunteer chairman of Arizona’s Board on Geographic and Historic Names because he followed regulations instead of her wishes.
“The police officer, Tim Norton, gave a riveting interview on April 18, 2003, to Phoenix radio station KTAR (620 AM) about a phone call he received from Napolitano’s deputy chief of staff, Mario Diaz, who criticized Norton’s failure to quickly accede to Napolitano. Although the governor couldn’t fire him, Norton said he was told to submit an immediate letter of resignation and give the untrue reason of ‘time constraints,’ or else she’d ‘find a way to remove me’….
“Norton said Diaz also phoned his police supervisor and the Phoenix police chief, telling them to urge him to resign. He wouldn’t quit but lost his chairmanship by a vote of state-employee members of the board who, it was said, feared Napolitano’s power,” I wrote.
That incident alone, even muscling the top command of Phoenix law enforcement, would have been sufficient to drive a newbie conservative governor from office, but Napolitano knew she was charmed politically, definitely under the wing of the state’s powerbrokers including the dominant Arizona Republic newspaper.
But even the Republic had to fire a warning shot across her bow lest Napolitano let herself get totally out of hand. In a news-page assessment of the honeymoon period of her first 100 days in the executive tower, fawningly headlined “Governor Energizes Arizona,” the Republic quoted a Republican legislative leader that after Napolitano tried to shush him at a meeting, “She pounded on the table with both fists.”
This story also said Napolitano “always wants an advantage” over opponents, has “a killer instinct,” and “makes no excuses for her in-your-face method of budget talks.”
Two years later during key budget negotiations, Napolitano’s office and GOP leaders agreed that each side would get something it wanted but the other side didn’t. The governor would get $24 million for certain programs, and Republicans would get a tax credit for businesses donating to private-school scholarships, a measure Napolitano previously had vetoed.
However, contrary to her promises, the governor vetoed the tax credit again while approving the spending the GOP had conceded to her. A GOP leader declared in a letter to the Republic, “By this act of perfidy, she brought shame upon herself and her office, and has made the work of the state exponentially more difficult.”

Saving Mountain Lions

Under the indulgent gaze of Arizona’s establishment that told the nation she was a can-do moderate, Napolitano lived it up as a leftist, whether she was saving the lives of roaming mountain lions deemed dangerous to humans, partying with Planned Parenthood, or vetoing informed-consent legislation on abortion that regretful women suffering from their abortions had pleaded for her to sign.
As I wrote in the December 27, 2007, issue of The Wanderer, exactly 10 years ago, strong-arm Napolitano “gave instructions that the state should award benefits to homosexual and heterosexual unmarried partners of state workers and retirees, without legislative review or approval.”
However, you couldn’t say she put this gift to the unmarried under “the Christmas tree” because Napolitano hated those words. Even liberal Arizona reporter Howard Fischer had some fun with Napolitano’s discomfort at this December joy and asked her what holiday did she think the tree symbolized.
“‘I think we’re celebrating a number of holidays,’ the governor responded . . . , while acknowledging that only one religion — Christianity — has a holiday associated with a tree,” Fischer wrote. “ ‘You can call it whatever you want,’ she responded.”
If Napolitano has been brewing yet another scandal along with the “holiday” eggnog in California recently, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise to those who should be in a position to know.

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