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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

A frighteningly good time

Posted by Joyce Clark on October 21, 2014
Posted in City of Glendale  | Tagged With: , , , | 1 Comment

Image4I have known Bill and Gracie Tolmachoff for nearly 20 years. They are friends of mine.  They also happen to own and operate Tolmachoff Farms located on the west side of 75th Avenue, just south of Bethany Home Road (5726 N. 75th Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85303). Here’s the link:  www.tolmachoff-farms.com.

They embody the true spirit of entrepreneurship. They took a working farm barely making ends meet and while keeping it as a working farm added amenities that make it a major tourist attraction…not to mention theImage2 countless school field trips they host on a regular basis. This month, with Halloween soon upon us, they are also open on Friday and Saturday nights from 7 PM to 11 PM hosting their Field of Screams (www.azfieldofscreams.com ).

It’s a wonderful place for a family activity day. The kids can see and interact with farm animals, participate in farm related activities and go onImage3 farm related rides. You can go to their site for further information on times open, ticket pricing, events and discount coupons.

It’s also the very best place to get fresh produce in season. My family can attest to the corn, squash, canned jams/relishes and tomatoes consumed with gusto. There’s also fresh squash and about anything else you can eat that’s in season.

Tolmachoff Farms is a rare gem in the midst of an urban area. It’s well worth the trip for the whole family, especially the little ones. Halloween’s almost here. Why not plan to take the family to pick out that special pumpkin for carving the scariest face imaginable.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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” <lsflatau@q.com> 

To: “Darcie McCracken”“<DMcCracken@GLENDALEAZ.com>, “Pam Hanna” <PHanna@GLENDALEAZ.com> Cc: “Yvonne Knaack” <YKnaack@GLENDALEAZ.com>, “Cindy Nossek” <CNossek@GLENDALEAZ.com>, mayorweiers@glendaleaz.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.

Glendale, AZ  

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

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

After posting the infamous photo of a Hope for Hunger truck being used to haul campaign signs that have fire endorsing Barrel candidate Bart Turner, another incident was relayed to me. This time it involves members of Glendale’s Historical Society, another 501c3 nonprofit organization.  Mr. Turner is a member of this group but has been inactive for quite some time…until lately…it’s campaign season, ya know.

The Glendale Historical Society has a location at Sahuaro Ranch Park courtesy of the City of Glendale. Sahuaro Ranch Park is a city property. Apparently some members of the Historical Society were handing out campaign material for Mr. Turner. As in the case of the use of the Hope for Hunger truck for campaign sign deployment, members of the Glendale Historical Society cannot participate in an election or advocate for a candidate, especially on city property. The IRS clearly prohibits such activity and it puts a nonprofit’s organization in jeopardy.

It raises other questions. Someone from the city runs Sahuaro Ranch Park. Did that person give his or her blessing to this activity or merely look the other way? Who paid for the campaign literature that was handed out? Members of the Historical Society or Bart Turner’s campaign?

If it was members of the Historical Society that action becomes a double no-no. If it was Turner’s campaign he bears the ultimate responsibility for the action. It is the responsibility of each candidate to know campaign law and to follow the law.

Most probably the Historical society members were asked to pass out the campaign material or took it upon themselves to help a friend. There is no reason for them to know campaign law. However, candidates should know at least one essential no-no: contributions from corporations and nonprofits are not allowed. Ignorance in the eyes of the law is no excuse.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

image1a

This photo was sent to me within the hour by one of my blog readers. Take a good look. This afternoon these two gentlemen were seen putting up campaign signs and there are more in the bed of the truck. Do you see the logo on the truck? It is a Hope for Hunger truck. Hope for Hunger is a 501c3 non-profit corporation. It was started by and is run by Randy Rodriquez, a Glendale fire fighter. Make no mistake. It does good work in the community. It distributes food to thousands of people annually. It fills an extraordinary need.

So, what’s the problem? “Nonprofit corporations with a 501(c)(3) tax exemption cannot participate in or contribute money to political campaigns. If they do, the IRS can revoke their nonprofit status, and can assess a special excise tax against the organization and its managers.” (http://definitions.uslegal.com/n/non-profit-corporation/) In addition they cannot endorse candidates.

In other words, organizations described in section 501(c)(3) are prohibited from conducting political campaign activities to intervene in elections to public office. The Internal Revenue Service website elaborates upon this prohibition as follows:

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Let’s for a minute assume the two gentlemen putting up a fire endorsement sign for Barrel district candidate Bart Turner are in no way connected to the 501c3 nonprofit, Hope for Hunger. There still remains the issue of the use of a nonprofit’s equipment, in this case a truck, for a political campaign.  It, instead of money, is an in-kind contribution. You can barely see but there are more campaign signs in the bed of the truck.

For years the Glendale fire union has been a major influence in political elections in Glendale. This time, someone may have crossed the line by using a nonprofit’s equipment for political purposes. That’s what’s wrong with this picture.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

FAIR USE NOTICE

This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democratic, scientific and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Section 107 of the US Copyright Law and who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use,’ you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

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