PHOENIX – Arizona Governor-elect Doug Ducey is repaying his out-of-state dark-money backers today by hiring controversial Koch Brothers bag man Kirk Adams as his new chief of staff. Former House Speaker Adams, who helped orchestrate a campaign-style war on Arizona’s emerging rooftop solar energy industry on behalf of mega-utility Arizona Public Service, has been a top Koch operative since his unsuccessful run for Congress in 2012.
Adams and his frequent associate Sean Noble operate a series of Koch-backed political non-profits that underwrote Ducey’s successful run for governor, kneecapping his Republican primary opponents with vicious attacks and helping build a more than 2-1 spending advantage over Democratic challenger Fred DuVal. The out-of-state money bombs began falling on Ducey’s political foes shortly after he pledged his fealty and admiration to the Koch’s at secret meeting in California that was caught on tape.
Adams and Noble also made national news in 2012 when they were accused of “laundering” political money and slapped with a record $1 million fine by the California Fair Political Practices Commission for failing to disclose campaign contributions. Their legal troubles opened the first real window into the labyrinthine world of the ‘Kochtapus’ political money machine. At that same time, Adams and Noble were financing a campaign led by Ducey to defeat an extension of a voter-approved 1-cent sales tax for public education, and waging their then-secret war on solar energy in the sunniest state in the Union. For video of Adams trying, but failing, to defend his actions on behalf of APS, click here.
This move is no-doubt a big win for the Kansas billionaire libertarian industrialists, who spent hundreds of millions of dollars financing the Tea Party and buying political influence in numerous states to reduce regulations on pollution, privatize education and degrade workplace rights. For Arizonans who value good public schools, clean air and water, workplace safety and high-wage jobs, installing the Koch Brothers on the 9th Floor is not such good news.