I received the email below from a blog reader today. It is an email sent by a Glendale resident to the City Clerk, her assistant; Vice Mayor Knaack and Mayor Weiers. I have withheld the complainant’s name and address.
From: “LSFlatau@q.com” <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: “Darcie McCracken”“<DMcCracken@GLENDALEAZ.com>, “Pam Hanna” <PHanna@GLENDALEAZ.com> Cc: “Yvonne Knaack” <YKnaack@GLENDALEAZ.com>, “Cindy Nossek” <CNossek@GLENDALEAZ.com>, email@example.com Sent: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 9:57:24 AM Subject: Glendale Fire Department Electioneering??
Good Morning Ms. Hanna/Ms. McCracken, Last night, at approximately 5:30PM, I was approached by a young man in my driveway at 6107 W. Desert Cove Avenue. He very specifically indicated that he was with the Glendale Fire Department, and was handing out election material for Bart Turner, who as you know is running for City Council in the Barrel District. Upon further questioning he noted that he was a volunteer fireman and didn’t live in this district, and consequently his actions were permissible. I realize that without the name of the individual that you cannot pursue him personally, but by mentioning the Glendale Fire Department specifically he has crossed an ethical and possibly legal ground. I am quite certain that it is inappropriate to specifically identify the Glendale Fire Department as the agency campaigning for an individual running for City Council. Attempting to influence an election by utilizing the power and prestige of the Fire Department just can’t be allowed. I respectfully request that you immediately notify the City Manager and Fire Chief of this individual’s actions so that all City employees can be advised as to what is or isn’t appropriate during this election season. Your prompt attention and reply to this matter is greatly appreciated.
Respectfully, Larry S. Flatau 6107 W. Desert Cove Ave.
Will anything happen as a result of this citizen’s complaint to the city? Probably not…it’s the city, you know. More properly this complaint should be directed to the State and County Attorney General’s Offices and to the AZ Secretary of State and the Maricopa County Elections Department. If any reader witnesses what is believed to be a campaign violation those above are where any complaint should rightfully go…with a Cc to the City Manager of Glendale.
It is clear that a volunteer with the Glendale Fire Department was going door-to-door on October 20, 2014 handing out campaign literature for Barrel district candidate Bart Turner. He represented himself as being with the Glendale Fire Department. There may be a grey area in this scenario. He said he was a volunteer and not a paid employee. Does that make a difference? Maybe…maybe not.
This action leads to more questions. Was or is he the only fire department “volunteer” going door-to-door distributing campaign material for Turner? If there are others, are they all “volunteers” or are some paid fire employees “volunteering” their time? Did the individual in question have permission from someone within the fire department to use the department’s name?
What is even more interesting is the Glendale Fire Union’s full court press in support of candidate Turner. For many years John Holland was President of the Glendale Fire Union. It was common knowledge that he often personally managed the campaigns of candidates supported by the Fire Union. It is but one example of the extreme influence the Glendale fire union has historically had in Glendale elections. He once told me the union did regular polling of Glendale candidates. No doubt the union still performs that activity. As a result of recent fire union polling they may have discovered that their candidate Bart Turner is in trouble. If that were to be true, that would explain their redoubled, last minute effort on Turner’s behalf. The recent incidents of the use of the nonprofit Hope for Hunger truck to carry and place campaign signs for Turner; Glendale Historical Society (another nonprofit organization) members handing out Turner literature at Sahuaro Ranch (a city owned park); and now a self-identified Glendale Fire Department volunteer going door-to-door for Turner signal that fire is worried that their candidate may not win the Barrel seat.
All of these allegations place a cloud over Turner’s candidacy and should give every Barrel district voter pause. Barrel voters should be asking, why is fire working so hard to get Turner elected? Does their polling show Randy Miller in the lead? Fire’s actions should cause every Barrel district voter to choose Randy Miller as the new Barrel councilmember. Miller has the intellect, the willingness to research issue and the independence to make decisions that are in the best interests not only of Barrel district residents but all of Glendale.
© Joyce Clark, 2014
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