May 18, 1988
Governor Rose Mofford
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Dear Governor Mofford:
I have respected your personal and public approach to dealing with sensitive problems since you and I first met last October. We have not talked since your first day in office following the vote of impeachment, at which time I offered your administration any assistance you may need from me.
Based on several private conversations you and I had last fall, I am puzzled by a few of the personnel decisions that have been made. Some of the most partisan and dogmatic appointees of Evan Mecham have been retained, while some of the moderate voices have been unceremoniously dismissed.
While I admire your attempts to heal the wounds in this state, I cannot say the same about two members of your temporary staff. I can understand the stress that you and your staff experienced during the first few days of the transition. I cannot understand why some of your staff attempted to undermine my reputation with negative comments to the press. These two staff members, in fact, knew nothing about me personally or my professional qualifications. I believe I did the right thing by never responding in public.
Because these staff members apparently painted me with the same partisan brush as they would use on Governor Mecham, my offers of assistance on several issues were rejected. I would not be bothered if my proposals were dismissed for lack of merit. What bothers me is the possibility that these suggestions were not considered because I had been associated with Evan Mecham.
I plan to stay in Arizona, so I thought you should know that I have not been merely a political in press secretary California and here in Arizona, I take pride in being able to work with all shades of the political spectrum. In addition to my political work, I have extensive experience in computer systems analysis, office automation, information retrieval systems, and marketing and public relations for economic development.
Before, during and now after my time on the staff of Evan Mecham, I served on the board of directors of the Western States Government Technology Conference. I also served as Arizona’s representative to this organization for six months. I have not been able attract the attention of anybody in Arizona state government to take my place on this important inter-state organization. This Thursday and Friday, I will be attending on my own the annual convention of this group in Sacramento, along with 8,000 state and local government representatives. Arizona should be interested in this organization for the potential convention business alone.
With the above said, I would like to revive a couple of my earlier suggestions:
1. Supercollider. I am still baffled as to why my offer to work on the SSC project was rejected. Through Ian Macpherson, Dr. Carruthers said I was too high profile with Mecham and I had “too many friends in the Reagan family.” There apparently was no consideration to the specifics of what I proposed. For example, there is still no in-state SSC news bureau. There is no effort to mobilize grass roots support. There is no apparent effort to gain academic and political support in California and other neighboring states. And, there has been no effort to gain endorsements from California newspapers.
2. Ninth Floor Computers. I had no more luck convincing Andy Hurwitz than I had with Jim Colter or Dick Burke, but the Governor’s Office is being saddled with an obsolete Honeywell computer system which will be scrapped within a couple of years. There is a more efficient, more confidential and more economical system available. More importantly, your office’s computer system is not secure. Beginning last October, I tried to convert the Ninth Floor to an IBM-PC network based system. In addition to efficiency, confidentiality and economy, you would also have complete compatibility with the Legislature and many state agencies.
3. Information Technology. The Governor’s Office should establish a commission on information technology, as many other states have done. Not only is such a commission needed to help plan the state’s system for information management, but such a body also would help promote the image that Arizona government is on the cutting edge of technology. Although many high tech industries are thriving in Arizona, the Arizona state government itself is operating a decade or two behind the state of the art.
My offer still stands.
Kenneth V. Smith