Governor Doug Ducey of Arizona has been a stalwart champion of unregulated charters and vouchers. He has looked the other way when members of the legislature pass laws to enrich themselves while running charter chains and voucher programs. He has ignored conflicts of interest, nepotism, and self-dealing because, hey, that’s how unbridled capitalism works!

But the state is now knee-deep in scandals committed by privatizers, and guess what? Governor Ducey says it is time to reign in the corruption!

In a debate with his Democratic opponent, David Garcia, Ducey claims he wants to reform charter law. Is it because of the latest scandal, where a legislator (Eddie Farnsworth) sold his for-profit charter chain to a nonprofit and cleared at least $11.8 million in profit plus a contract to manage the nonprofit chain?

Laurie Roberts of the Arizona Republic is outraged that the government is indifferent to charter fraud.

She writes:

Farnsworth says he’s just a businessman who took a risk, followed the law and is now reaping the reward.

“Charter schools have been lucrative to me because I’ve done what every other business has done to make money: I had an idea,” he told Harris. “I put the business plan into place. I followed every law and every contract. I provided a product that is a good product that people wanted.”

“It doesn’t hurt that for most of the last two decades, Farnsworth, along with other legislators who own charter schools, has helped write some of those laws. In his 16 years as a legislator, for example, Farnsworth has voted 12 times to boost “additional assistance” to charter schools (read: himself).

“But there is no conflict, we are told.“

Garcia is an education professor. He has pledged to eliminate the profiteering from the charter se tor. His own children have attended an arts-focused charter school, so he is not opposed to charters on principle, just to the rampant fraud that makes Arizona a national laughing stock.

Despite his support for charters, the Network for Public Education Action Fund Endorses Garcia because Ducey is an ALEC stooge and a voucher proponent. Garcia opposes vouchers and has pledged new dedicated funding for public schools.