Republican Evan Mecham may be out of the Arizona governor's office, but he's not about to wash his hands of politics or abandon what he calls his dream of a corruption-free Arizona.
Mecham, the first governor in 59 years to be impeached, was in Pocatello Thursday as part of a speaking tour. The visit was coordinated by the Idaho College Republicans.Although he's out of the political limelight, Mecham said he is involved in a political action committee and is writing a book about his impeachment.
"All they took from me was a job, but I'm still fighting to get rid of corruption in Arizona and because I know I'm right; we'll win this battle," he said.
The 64-year-old former automobile salesman, his soft-spoken manner in sharp contrast to what many consider abrasive demeanor in the past, said national leaders must debunk the idea of increasing taxes to cure the federal deficit.
Mecham said the country must return to its basic underpinnings - the Constitution - to get back on track.
While the jury is still out on what President-elect George Bush will bring to the White House, and the Bush-era in general, Mecham contends Bush will not be running the country.
"Congress controls everything. We must educate people into seeing how it all works, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel."
Mecham acknowledged his impeachment and trial on charges of misusing state funds and concealing a $350,000 campaign contribution may have damaged his credibility. But he said his message was important enough that people overlook his personal shortcomings.
Mecham was removed from office in April after 15 months of controversy involving his administration and his campaign to clean up Arizona. The problems started almost the day he took office in 1987.