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DHS chief accused of using no-fly list for political payback

State treasurer suspects airport blackballing

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Arizona's state treasurer is not-so-subtly accusing President Obama's Homeland Security chief of abusing America's "no-fly" list to satisfy a personal vendetta against him.

State Treasurer Dean Martin told Arizona CBS affiliate KPHO that his name suddenly appeared on the government's list of those banned from US commercial flights after former Arizona governor Janet Napolitano became head of the DHS.

Martin claims the airline blacklisting may be related to his past political rivalry with Napolitano.

"My staff used to joke after my disagreements with the previous governor that I wouldn't be able to fly once she got back in D.C." he told KPHO. "I didn't believe them, but it's actually happening."

Martin said he first discovered his name was added to the list after a two-and-a-half hour holdup at airport security for a flight to Seattle this past weekend. He said there were no hassles the last time he flew last fall.

Napolitano was confirmed United States Secretary of Homeland Security on January 20, 2009. According to department, the majority of names on the no-fly list are "selectees" who represent a non-specific security threat and are allowed to fly after "extra scrutiny."

Martin apparently thinks enough of the connection with Napolitano to drop the idea on the local media.

"I don't know. We'll find out but I do find it really interesting that I haven't been on the terrorist watch list until just now," he said.

Napolitano's office responded to the accusation by saying "Dean Martin is a common name" and added they've made arrangements so any future issue will be resolved by Arizona treasurer entering his frequent flier number.

No word on whether the US government is also on the lookout for possible co-conspirators Frank Sinatra, Joey Bishop, and Sammy Davis Jr. for a series of 1960s casino robberies. ®

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