One of the most extraordinary components of Napolitano’s Arizona legacy has to do with her attempt to monetize state security. With virtually no input from the state legislature, Governor Napolitano used her executive powers to mandate the purchase and installation of speed-limit enforcing “photo radar” cameras which are now dispersed literally everywhere in Arizona - - in the city, and throughout the state’s vast rural regions as well.
Napolitano’s approach to speed enforcement is bad enough for its draconian, big-brother approach. But worse still, in a blatantly cynical move, Napolitano established that citations from the statewide “speed cameras” would carry with them no penalty to one’s driving record - - just a monetary fee. As long as offending drivers are willing to write the check and pay off the government, they can continue to violate speed limit laws with no restrictions on their driving privileges, and the state “profits” all the more.
In 2009 during her last few days as Arizona’s Governor, Napolitano explained that her “speed cameras” were a “solution” to the state’s budget woes. And this should raise concerns for all Americans today: as Governor of Arizona, our current Secretary of Homeland Security took the moral imperative of “public security” and reduced it down to a matter of mere revenue generation.
Had David Broder waited a couple more days before publishing his “I love Janet” piece, he may have seen the New York Times report on January 3rd noting that Napolitano’s “Arizona security experiment” is likely headed for the trash heap. As if the intended purposes of the program aren’t bad enough, Napolitano’s “photo radar” program has also failed to save Arizona from its budget woes, producing less than a third of Napolitano’s projected $120 million in annual “revenues.”
In the aftermath of the Christmas day terrorist attack, there has been chatter about shake-ups among President Obama’s security team. But don’t look for Napolitano’s departure any time soon. She “earned” a secure position in the Obama Administration by defying her long-standing friendship with the Clintons (President Clinton once appointed Napolitano as a “U.S. Attorney”) back in 2008 and endorsing Obama over Hillary. It is political cronyism at its worst - but it is the way things work in Washington.
And this is why we need a security professional heading-up the DHS – and not a politician.
Austin Hill is an Author, Consultant, and Host of "Austin Hill's Big World of Small Business," a syndicated talk show about small business ownership and entrepreneurship. He is Co-Author of the new release "The Virtues Of Capitalism: A Moral Case For Free Markets." , Author of "White House Confidential: The Little Book Of Weird Presidential History," and a frequent guest host for Washington, DC's 105.9 WMAL Talk Radio.