As the #REDforED movement moves forward, whether you support its call and actions or not, there’s a much larger problem at play here that needs the attention of everybody.  

In government and politics things are rarely what they seem.  This is no different. In exploring the funding of public education in Arizona I have stumbled upon some eye-opening problems with how our state government is set up and how what should be considered corruption is fully legal.  

Arizona has little to no oversight or legislation preventing conflicts of interests between our elected officials and their duties to serve the public.  While this is being exposed with education right now, once this comes to a close, regardless of outcome, these conflicts of interest will then turn to erode some other service Arizonans rely upon.

Let’s look at the defunding and derision of public education.  One key player (of many) is Steve Yarbrough. I do not wish to question or attack Mr. Yarbrough’s politics, but simply point out how our legislative system in Arizona is drastically flawed.  

Steve Yarbrough is the president of the Arizona State Senate and comes from District 17, basically the Chandler area.  Senator Yarbrough is also the president of The Arizona Christian School Tuition Organization (ACSTO) where he earns a base salary of $125,000 for his service to their organization.

That salary is chump change compared to the billing ACSTO received by a company called HY Processing.  For whatever services HY Processing does for ACSTO, they received over $600,000 in compensation in 2014.

This company, HY Processing, is owned by Steve Yarbrough and his wife.

The cash cow gets fatter, though.  Yarbrough owns the building where ACSTO rents office space, for over $52,000 a year.  

All of this is just one of the STOs related to Yarbrough.

Whether public education or private education is the key to securing a stable society in Arizona, it is clear that our elected officials have a massive conflict of interest on this account.  

Stepping even further back we can see that this is perfectly legal.  Where else is it happening? Unless we can get some saints, uninterested in power of money, from the Pope, simply replacing these legislators will only exchange who is being hurt by these conflicts of interest.

9 thoughts on “The Real Problem – Conflicts of Interest

  1. David Hendry says:

    daviidhendry@hotmail.com
    I heard Yarbrough is no longer head of ACSTO you may want to check. As a lifelong Republican I’m as outraged as can be that my party has moved away from being “the party of principle” (Sen Jeff Flake’s phrase) to just another bunch of avitars for monied interests. Keep reminding us all as to corruption and let’s press for change

  2. Linda Valder says:

    There are no state laws against this in Arizona apparently. As citizens, we need to press for conflict of interest laws for elected officials, and for a strong code of ethics for state leaders

  3. L Hammoudeh says:

    The same was just brought up in regards to the Madison School District Governing Board member Matthew Gress. He is employed as Governor Doug Ducey’s Strategic for planning and budget I believe. Some of the parents thought that there was definitely a conflict of interest as far as funding education etc and he works for the governor.

  4. Linda Olson says:

    How do we press for conflict of interest laws? Would it require an initiative? I can’t see these law makers creating such a law for themselves.

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