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DuVal response shows he is ‘unprepared and unqualified’ to be governor

60PlusAntiDuValadThe recent response by the Fred DuVal campaign to an advertisement featuring the son of a businessman killed by terrorists in New York reinforces the fact that DuVal is unprepared and unqualified to be governor of Arizona.

DuVal’s chosen defense – claiming he had nothing to do with the lobbying effort to pardon convicted Puerto Rican terrorists – only raises more concerns. For some reason, DuVal believes distancing himself from the actions of the organization he led relieves him of accountability. The victims see it differently.

The advertisement features Joe Connor describing how his father was killed by FALN (Armed Forces of National Liberation) terrorists in the late 1970s, and the same terrorists were then granted clemency by President Clinton following an aggressive lobbying campaign facilitated by the Interagency Group of Puerto Rico, which was co-chaired by DuVal.

Amy Frederick

Amy Frederick

The DuVal campaign does not dispute that DuVal knew what was going on (a subsequent congressional investigation confirmed that he received multiple emails about the campaign to release the terrorists), but claims that he simply did not involve himself in the troubling issue. At the time, numerous media sources reported that the clemency for16 terrorists was intended to benefit the New York U.S. Senate campaign of Hillary Clinton, for whom DuVal is a longtime ally.

As Edmund Burke famously observed: “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” And yet, fully aware of the aggressive efforts of the organization he led to release unrepentant and murderous terrorists from prison, DuVal’s best defense is silence – the very silence that allowed the lobbying effort to succeed, setting the terrorists free.

Taking positions of leadership then disclaiming responsibility is par for the course for DuVal. For example, when seeking to defend his repeated votes to increase the tuition of Arizona university students, DuVal claims it wasn’t his fault, it was the Legislature’s. Apparently, he was very happy to have the title of chairman of the Board of Regents, but he wasn’t so keen on being accountable for the responsibilities of the office. He held the regents position during a very difficult period for the state of Arizona. With a looming budget deficit, it appears that there may also be difficult times ahead for the state leadership.

And in his well-publicized lobbying career, DuVal has been employed by an impressive array of major corporations. This work included being hired by UBS to obtain state business in New Mexico in 2004 (while DuVal was also serving as director of Governor Bill Richardson’s 2004 Democratic convention fundraising committee). But when this business became the focus of a “pay for play” scandal that ended Richardson’s political career, once again DuVal, in his words, “was not called upon to get involved.”

What does it say about the fitness of a prospective leader that, when faced with difficult challenges in the past, his chosen course of action was to either do nothing or choose to not get involved? In the recent past, Arizona governors have stepped to the forefront to address numerous policy or public health challenges. Resolving the state’s mental health treatment and funding structure is one such issue. The crisis in child protective services is another, and the world Ebola outbreak raises the specter of potential public health challenges in the months and years ahead. These problems are not addressed and solved by those who are “not called upon to get involved,” they are solved by officials who aggressively step forward in troubled moral and political situations to provide leadership.

Arizona could be in for an even more difficult four years if the state were to encounter challenging issues only to have as its leader an individual with a long record of positions in which he chose to “do nothing” rather than step forward and lead. And for Fred DuVal, no example looms larger than when his getting involved might have meant taking a principled stand against the release of convicted terrorists.

– Amy Frederick is president of the 60 Plus Association.


  1. DuVal was in no way responsible for the murders. He along with a panel of people reviewed the case many years after the fact and recommended release of prisoners in their 70s. These smear articles are really desperate.

  2. Ms. Frederick doesn’t really look like a representative of people age 60 and above.

    Nevertheless, how fallacious of her to say that it’s troubling for DuVal to indicate that the historical event she wants to use as a shiny object is irrelevant because he wasn’t responsible for it.

    This shows the desperation of the Ducey campaign that can’t tolerate discourse on its own positions.

  3. As a recent subscriber, I’m surprised to learn that this “newspaper” indulges in Swift Boating as a profit center. If I wanted to read the National Enquirer, I could have done so, and at a more reasonable price than this rag. Do you bear any responsibility at all for what you print?

  4. Nice to see the fair and balanced, non-partisan Amy is staying fair:

    VIDEO: Amy Frederick introduces Herman Cain at CPAC 2012

  5. Oh well, I must be involved with the FALN clemency too because I was aware of it at the time! What a ridiculous column. Also, does anyone else find it strange that a “grassroots” retiree organization is headed by someone who is clearly well below retirement age?

  6. A couple of observations. First, Ms. Frederick doesn’t appear to be anywhere near 60 Plus, nor does she live in Arizona. Why she feels the need to meddle in our elections isn’t quite clear. Maybe if they revealed the names of her dark money donors, we might know the answer to that question. So how about it, Ms. Frederick? How about releasing their names?

    Second, if one were to apply her logic, then Doug Ducey really IS responsible for the $34.1M in SBA losses and the 30% failure in Cold Stone franchises because he was “in charge of the organization” when the failures took place (let he who is without sin cast the first stone, Ms. Frederick). What does it say about a leader who blames -his- victims? They paid him to help them. He not only stranded them, he deserted them. That’s hardly an honorable leader, is it?

    Thirdly, if Ms. Frederick wants someone who will stand up and take charge, then maybe she can explain why Ducey bailed on debates with veterans, seniors and the entire southern half of Arizona? Maybe she can explain why he refuses to say whether we will drop Arizona from the ACA and take health insurance from tens of thousands of seniors and families. One would think she cared about seniors, given the name of her group–but then again, she doesn’t appear to be half the age of a senior citizen.

    Finally, it is most disingenuous of all for Ms. Frederick to try to pin the true actions of the Arizona legislature on DuVal just because he was the chairman when it happened when they forced the entire State Board of Regent’s hand, not just DuVal’s. Talk about chutzpah.

  7. Why did you publish an editorial written by someone who is from Pennsylvania, lives in Virginia, and has never lived in or near Arizona? She is the president of a senior advocacy organization and she’s talking about terrorism and Ebola? She also never mentions anything about the candidate she thinks you should be supporting (she may not even know his name).

    This should have been given a pass by the editorial board and should be completely ignored by readers.

  8. So, Fred DuVal was the chair of a committee, but refuses to take any responsibility for what the committee did because now it’s NOT good for him politically? That’s not a leader.

  9. First of all- it’s absurd that people think someone younger than 60 can’t run an organization aimed at seniors…. Last time I checked, seniors retire. They still need representation beyond their working years. By the logic I’m seeing in these comments, the president of ASPCA should be a starving puppy.

    There is a large base of seniors in AZ (SaddleBrooke, Sun City, Sun City West to name a few) and I think she has every right to represent her organization’s base- wherever they reside. Just because you disagree with her politics doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a right to way in. That’s like saying, well, we shouldn’t sell Pepsi in Arizona because the President of Pepsi has never lived or visited Arizona.

    The facts remain: Fred DuVal was the chair of the Board of Regents when tuition was increased. If he disagreed with the increases, he should have fought against them. He didn’t.

    Fred DuVal has lobbied for several companies, including a company that wanted Peurto Rican terrorists given clemency- he knew this would help his friend, Mrs. Clinton. If he had any decency, he would have said no and not taken the lobbying contract.

    Furthermore- even the HuffPo has given Ducey an 83% chance of beating DuVal, so my guess is that these attacks on Ms. Frederick above are those of floundering DuVal supporters.

  10. Apparently people who post comments don’t bother reading, and didn’t bother even watching the ad in question. Nobody said DuVal “murdered” people, the early release was obviously after the crimes were committed. People attack the writer, but no one can refute the facts. DuVal was the co-leader of the group that lobbied for terrorists to go free, he knew about it, and he was OK with it. His excuse now was “he wasn’t involved,” even though he was in charge. Those are facts, folks, get over it.

  11. Why won’t Fred DuVal answer the questions surrounding his involvement in the release of the FALN terrorists? Arizonans deserve honesty and integrity from our elected leaders, and Mr. DuVal’s actions raise questions about his leadership and judgement.

  12. Why won’t Scrooge McDucey answer the MANY questions that he has persistently avoided?

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