Tuesday, March 29, 2011

SCA Investigation: AZGOP’s Brett Mecum tells candidate, “Pay Constantin Querard $2,000 for Sheriff Joe endorsement”

“I was basically frustrated when I learned that endorsements were for sale.” Jennifer Barber email to FBI agent Kara Smith

If only the walls could talk.

The recently released SCA investigation documents show that Randy Pullen’s money laundering drop house, Arizonans for Public Safety, wasn’t the only off-the-books scheme taking place within the walls of the Arizona Republican headquarters.

Jennifer Barber, a 2009 candidate for one of three vacant seats on the Goodyear City Council, told Arizona Attorney General investigator Mike Edwards and FBI agent Kara Smith that in December 2008, she went to party HQ to meet with the AZGOP’s current executive director Brett Mecum, former executive director Sean McCaffrey and former chairman Randy Pullen.

During this campaign advisory meeting, the three AZGOP executives told Barber that she would need to spend approximately $20,000 to win a council seat. Pullen then left the meeting, which continued for almost an hour.

Mecum and McCaffrey advised Barber that she needed to get as many endorsements as she could. Then, Mecum dropped a bomb on Barber: “Call Constantin and you can get an endorsement from Sheriff Joe for $2000”.


Barber had never heard of Constantin. Mecum gave Barber the phone number for Constantin Querard, the crooked but conservative political consultant.

A couple of days later, Barber called Querard. During the call, there was no mention of the payment for an endorsement but Querard wanted to meet Barber in person where they would talk about hiring him to help her win the election.

Barber said she “got a little freaked” and cancelled the appointment.

One month later, Barber attended Governor Jan Brewer’s inauguration where she had the opportunity to meet Sheriff Joe herself and tell him about her campaign.

Sheriff Joe told Barber that he’d already endorsed a candidate (Wally Campbell) for city council. Campbell’s mailers, signs and robo-calls all prominently featured the prized endorsement by Sheriff Joe. “That guy Wally, good guy there in Goodyear”, Sheriff Joe told Barber.

Problem is……..Wally is a woman.

Barber then knew that Sheriff Joe didn’t actually know her opponent but had endorsed her anyway. The Sheriff said he could probably endorse Barber too, since there were three seats open, but he never did.

Jennifer Barber lost in the primary.

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