Please note: Some of the information presented here is repetition of information from my previous blogs on the Cholla candidates and applies to all candidates. Some of you reading this blog for the first time may not have read the previous ones.

If you have relatives, friends or acquaintances that live in the Barrel district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Barrel candidates prior to casting their vote.

Early ballots are mailed at the end of July, 2014. Candidates (well, most of them) have their websites up, are raising campaign money (or not) and beginning to stake out their positions on Glendale issues.

We move on to the Barrel district council candidates in alphabetical order: John Benjamin, Reginald Martinez, Michael Patino, Randy Miller and Bart Turner. Three of these candidates will be reviewed together and Miller and Turner will be reviewed separately.

All of the information to be discussed will be based on the candidates’ websites and their June 30, 2014 Campaign Finance Reports. Some of the candidates I had met previously and am familiar with their positions on various issues. Others I have never met and so I arranged an interview with them.

We’ll take a look at each candidate’s Campaign Finance Report of June 30, 2014. Here is the link to Glendale City Clerk’s posting of each candidate finance report: http://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/2014PoliticalCommitteeCampaignFinanceReports.cfm . Go to that page and you can choose which candidate’s campaign finance report you wish to read.

Each report totals 19 pages. The first 2 pages are summary pages. Section A will show all contributions from individuals. Section B shows all political committee contributions. Section C shows loans either the candidate made to the campaign or any other loan received. Section D deals with all expenditures. Section E is for In-Kind contributions and Section F shows miscellaneous items.

This could be considered nit-picky but the finance report is 19 pages. Each candidate’s report should consist of a minimum of 19 pages (there may be multiple pages especially in Sections A and D). Some candidates did not submit the minimal 19 pages. It could be assumed that if they had no financial activity to report in certain areas they just did not bother to include those pages. Technically, that is not a complete report. All pages should be submitted and if there was no activity to report in certain categories, the candidate can leave the page blank, draw a line through the page or indicate “NA,” no activity. Even if a candidate has a treasurer who fills out the report the candidate is still ultimately responsible for the accuracy and veracity of his or her filing.

There is another kind of Campaign Finance Report a candidate can submit and that is a No Activity Statement. That means the candidate didn’t receive any contributions and did not spend any money. Some of the council candidates filed this kind of report.

The items to look for are: what individuals are contributing; are they Glendale residents, relatives, attorneys or other professionals; or Political Action Committees (PACs)? Did the candidate loan his or her campaign any money? How much? Are the expenditures typical of a campaign; signs, printing, bank charges, food for fund raising events or volunteers; web site design or hosting? Is the candidate using a paid political consultant? At what cost?

At this stage of the game candidates are often reluctant to reveal too much about their finances. They may ask that large contributions be made after June 1, 2014 to be reported in the Pre-Primary Report or after August 15, 2014 for the Post-Primary Report.

Randy Miller

Campaign Finance Report – He submitted all 19 pages. He is self funded in the amount of $1,500 to date.  He has received 5 individual contributions to date. Two are from Glendale individuals in the amount of $150. Of note, one contribution in the amount of $100 is from Don Rinehart, past CEO of the Glendale Chamber of Commerce. He received contributions of less than $50 and they totaled $70. He has no treasurer. Please remember, Mr. Miller is ultimately bears the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of his report.

Campaign contribution limits have become very generous as a result of recent court rulings. In the last election of 2012, the individual contribution limit was $400. Now it is $2,500. A political committee’s limit is now $2,500 and a Super PAC’s limit is $5,000. The trick for local candidates is to get large contributions. It’s not an easy task.

Mr. Miller’s expenditures are usual and ordinary. He has hired Gail Meyers as his campaign consultant and paid $1,362 to date. This fee probably includes his web site hosting and design.

Campaign website – his website is: http://randyforcouncil.com  . His contact information is:     Randy for Council, 6439 W Townley Avenue, Glendale, AZ 85302                                                                    Telephone : 623-764–4521                                                 Email address: randy@randyforcouncil.com  .

His website provides you biographical information, a photo gallery, campaign donation info and contact info. His Issues page offers a strategy for dealing with Glendale’s financial problems by advocating for keeping the sales tax sunset provision and looking at Operating and Maintenance Costs throughout the city. I did meet with Mr. Miller. In a meeting that took about an hour I asked him and any other candidates with whom I met the same series of questions.

Mr. Miller has lived in Glendale for 14 years and the Barrel district for 4 years. When redistricting occurred in 2010 his home became part of the Barrel district. He is married. He has not participated in Glendale community affairs. He has his own computer business and believes that his work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of serving as a councilmember.

His observation with regard to the relationship between council and staff is that it is best served by doing one’s homework and questioning staff assumptions. He has been highly visible at council meetings and speaks to the council agenda items. He is receiving the police union and former Vice Mayor Tom Eggleston’s endorsements but is relying on neighborhood donations and self-funding. He believes the sales tax increase should sunset in 2017 and is confident that there are other options, such as the sale of city assets and the encouragement of industry location within Glendale, available to offset the revenue loss. He understands that city council has no authority over school districts.

After review of all 4 Barrel district candidates we’ll try to narrow the choices down to 2 people. In this district, as with the other council races, there are so many candidates none of them are expected to win outright in the primary and we can expect a run off in the general election in November.  Next up, Bart Turner.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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