ID woes plague politicians - East Valley Tribune: Opinion

ID woes plague politicians

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Posted: Monday, July 19, 2004 11:34 pm | Updated: 5:11 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

If crooks worked as hard being honest as they do being crooked, most could have houses on Camelback Mountain.

At least that’s what I’ve always thought.

Now, however, comes proof that some crooks probably couldn’t afford a cardboard box if they had to use their brains in honest toil.

We offer as evidence one Toni Baker and one Paul Hvizda, a girlfriend/boyfriend duo who lived out Peoria way until their recent change of address to the county jail system.

They fell into the arms of the law last week after Baker used a bank card at a Fry’s store in Chandler. Employees became suspicious, as well they should have. The information on the card belongs to Cindy McCain.

Cindy McCain’s husband is a United States senator, best-selling author and former presidential candidate.

Nobody knows how the clueless grifters got the McCains’ financial information, but a Chandler police officer did offer one theory.

“It’s possible that they did not know who the McCains were,” said financial crimes detective Bryan Cox.

Hmm . . . do ya think?

The McCains were not happy about this latest identity mix-up. It has already been a rough year for John McCain in that department as he’s fought to determine whether he is a Democrat or a Republican.

But the arrests did cheer Arizonans who likewise have been victimized by ID theft. If the crooks are too dumb to know who John McCain is, maybe one will get caught trying to pass himself off as George W. Bush.

Meanwhile, another Arizona pol is having his own identity problem.

That would be Wes Marsh, who already has served time in the Arizona Legislature and has filed as a House candidate in District 7, which includes Cave Creek, Carefree and parts of Scottsdale and Phoenix. Two years ago, when he ran for state Senate, Marsh claimed to be a veteran of Operation Desert Storm. That was bunk; he never got closer to the war than a Phoenix National Guard base. Plus, he never could give a straight story as to his residential address.

Now, he claims to be the president of a Phoenix company and a board member of a research foundation and the holder of various professional licenses.

Tribune reporter Rosa Cirianni, slogging down the same Marshy trail she followed two years ago when she unmasked some of his other whoppers, found little truth in his latest claims.

The company and the foundation are defunct. His professional licenses are expired. His substitute teacher certificate never existed.

But you have to give Marsh credit.

The McCains needed help to have their identity stolen. Wes Marsh swipes his own identity, all by himself.

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