State Treasurer Dean Martin’s two most prominent attributes are coming under fire from Gov. Jan Brewer’s campaign, which mocked his persona as Janet Napolitano’s nemesis while poking fun at the slogan that touts him as a “familiar name.”
The Brewer campaign on March 1 unveiled an online video attacking Martin for his votes on Napolitano’s budgets. The video criticized Martin for voting for three of four Napolitano budgets as a state senator, and even sponsoring 15 budget bills for the departed governor in one year. Those votes helped Napolitano increase state spending by $3.7 billion.
The original Dean Martin (the one who sings) provided the soundtrack to the video, which featured the crooner’s classic song, “That’s Amore.”
Martin has long boasted of his battles with Napolitano, which culminated with a televised spat during her last week as governor in January 2009. The treasurer is fond of pointing out that he was among the first state officers to predict the looming fiscal crisis Arizona faced, a dire warning that led Napolitano to dub him “Chicken Little.”
The online video mocks Martin’s oft-spoken line that Arizona would have been much better off if Napolitano and others had listened to his warnings.
“Dean Martin claims that he saw this financial trouble coming,” the video says. “He should have. His big spending created the problem.”
But Brewer campaign aide Doug Cole said Martin’s portrayal of himself is misleading. Martin may have had a couple of showdowns with Napolitano as treasurer, but his days in the Senate are where his record made a difference, Cole said.
“Treasurer is basically an administrative job,” Cole said. “You don’t set policy, and you don’t make laws. But when was head of the Finance Committee for years in the Senate, three out of four budgets he voted for. So that’s his record.”
Martin’s campaign and Treasurer’s Office staff said he was out sick on March 1, and he did not return messages left with his campaign.
– By Jeremy Duda