Please note: Some of the information presented here is repetition of information from my previous blogs on Cholla candidates Gary Deardorff; Van DiCarlo and Robert Petrone; 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 Cholla district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Cholla 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 begin with the Cholla district council candidates in alphabetical order: Gary Deardorff, Van DiCarlo, Robert Petrone and Lauren Tolmachoff. These 4 candidates share some commonalities. They are running, generally, because they were encouraged by friends or family to do so and obviously, they all believe that they can contribute solutions to fix Glendale’s financial situation.

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.

Lauren Tolmachoff

Campaign Finance Report – Her report consists of all 19 pages. Ms. Tolmachoff loaned her campaign committee $1,200.00. Her treasurer is Rhonda L. Gaul. Please remember, Ms. Tolmachoff ultimately bears the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of her 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.

Ms. Tolmachoff has received one contribution from Glenn Hickman for $150 to date.  She has no campaign consultant. Her campaign expenditures are for usual items such as printing, web hosting and supplies.

The noteworthy take-aways from Tolmachoff’s campaign report are: 1. Her campaign is self funded in the amount of $1,200 to date; 2. She submitted all 19 pages of the Campaign Finance Report; and 3. There are no unusual contributions or expenditures to date.                         Website — her campaign website:  http://www.electlaurentolmachoff.com .                                                    Contact information:  Elect Lauren Tolmachoff, P.O. Box 10072, Glendale, Az.  85318-0072    Telephone:  (602)730-5589                            E-mail: electlaurentolmachoff@gmail.com

Her website provides you biographical information, an extensive blog on Glendale issues, a mission statement, campaign donation info and contact info. Under the Blog tab she does address many of Glendale’s issues.  I did meet with Ms. Tolmachoff in a meeting that took about an hour. I asked her and any other candidates with whom I met the same series of questions.

Ms. Tolmachoff has lived in Glendale and the Cholla district for 9 years. She is married. She has not participated in Glendale community affairs. She is a realtor and believes that her work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of serving as a councilmember.

Her observations with regard to the relationship between council and staff are that she respects the work of staff a great deal but feels that the leadership and policies of councilmembers, past and present, are part of the problem. She indicated that she is not receiving fire or police union support and is relying on neighborhood donations and self-funding. Under her Blog tab she states that the sales tax increase should sunset in 2017. She advocates for the liquidation of city assets as a partial solution to Glendale’s debt problem. She understands that city council has no authority over school districts. She is supportive of the Tohono O’odham’s proposed casino on the grounds of job creation.

Now that we have taken a look at all 4 Cholla 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, candidate picks for the Cholla district.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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