Who is Timothy Schwartz and where did he come from? Here’s a good example why newspaper coverage is so disappointing and more and more people are turning to other sources.
Timothy Schwartz is chair of Republican Legislative District 30 and used this event to get some media face time. His only claim to fame is that he apparently made a motion at a state Republican event a year or two ago to censure Senator John McCain. To say that he is to the right of Genghis Khan would be an understatement. His position within the groups, No More Bad Deals for Glendale and Keep the Promise is as mythical as that of a leprechaun. Gary Hirsch chairs both of those committees and is the only legitimate spokesperson for those two political action committees.
Schwartz’ committee, Glendale Citizens for Voice and Choice is also mythical. It is not a political action committee registered with the Glendale City Clerk or the Arizona Secretary of State. Its existence is a figment of Schwartz’ imagination, as mythical as Schwartz’ self-proclaimed position as spokesperson.
So how did Schwartz get to be spokesperson and quoted in the media? Frankly, he was blustery and loud enough to attract a reporter’s attention. The Glendale Star was the first to give Schwartz credibility by saying, “After turning in what they claim is nearly 15,000 signatures protesting the city council’s vote to approve the West Valley Casino and Resort, a group called Glendale Citizens for Voice and Choice is hoping to have the question placed on the ballot for citizens to have their say.” Too bad no one bothered to fact check first. The referendum petitions signatures were collected by and turned in by No More Bad Deals for Glendale and Keep the Promise. Schwartz magically appeared the day the petitions were to be turned in to the City Clerk. Schwartz’ imaginary political action committee did not collect any petition signatures or turn them in. His only contribution to the effort was to hook up with the legitimate group and offer to carry two boxes of petitions into the City Clerk’s office.
Then Monica Alonzo in her Phoenix New Times blog capacity called Schwartz, self proclaimed leader who did not bother to disabuse her of the notion, and she ran with it saying, “A group calling itself ‘Glendale Citizens for Voice and Choice’ reportedly turned in more than 13,000 signatures on a ‘petition protesting the way the Glendale City Council approved the gaming Casino at 91st Avenue and Northern without notice to the citizenry’.”
It is now a self perpetuating story with no one bothering to check. After all, if one newspaper ran it, it must be true. Then the same misinformation is picked up by other media such as myfoxatlanta.com and yourwestvalley.com. Again, no one bothered to check the facts and assumed that if another media source ran it, it must be true.
Should you believe what you read in the papers? This is but one example how they feed off one another and repeat the same erroneous information until it becomes “fact.” There are other errors within these stories covering the submission of these petitions but why bother giving them legs. The media, in a time honored tradition, will continue its questionable practice of covering events using unsubstantiated “facts.”
P.S. On September 18, 2014 the City Clerk announced that the city is rejecting both petitions citing the two council votes as administrative rather than legislative…meaning the actions are not referable to the voters. Expect this issue to wind up in court.
© Joyce Clark, 2014
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