Who would you vote for today?

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If you were to vote today, who is your choice?

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Disclaimer: The comments in this blog are my personal opinion and may or may not reflect an adopted position of the city of Glendale and its city council.

On July 13, 2018 a new political action committee (PAC) registered with the Glendale City Clerk. The PAC’s name is A Better Glendale. Sounds very benign, doesn’t it. Don’t let the name of the PAC fool you. The registered Chairperson is Tim Hill. Mr. Hill happens to be the Executive Editor of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona magazine and is Secretary-Treasurer Emeritus of the Professional Fire Fighters of Arizona (PFFA). The treasurer of the PAC is Mike Colletto. Mr. Colletto is Legislative Director for the PFFA and is a PFFA honorary fire fighter. Both men have a long history with the Phoenix fire union.

It is not uncommon in any local election to have various big money, interest groups create a temporary PAC for the purpose of influencing an election by supporting a specific candidate. In the opposite, the PAC will go after that candidate’s opposition.

The political function of this PAC, A Better Glendale, is candidate-related independent expenditures. What that means is that Their PAC has one purpose only. They are about to flood the voters of the Barrel and Ocotillo districts with pro Aldama and pro Turner political mailings and anti Strahl and anti Allen mailings.

The problem with these fire union mailers is that they often massage the truth. They look for something, anything with which to denigrate the opposing candidate. They often take a phrase or sentence out of context and then use the exaggeration to smear the opposing candidate. By the time they are done they would have you believe the opponent was the Devil himself/herself. Mailings such as these are rarely grounded in the truth.

So be forewarned. When you receive those political mailings and you will, look for who is paying for it. If it says A Better Glendale now you know it’s the fire union spending PAC money in our Glendale election to support candidates who will support their empire building agenda or to trash candidates who have indicated that they will give everyone a fair hearing.

Take my advice and place them in your circular file otherwise known as your trash can. I ask all voters to do their homework. Ignore the spin. Ignore the hyperbole. If you can, call the candidate and ask what his or her position is on the issue in which you have an interest. In a local election that is easy to do. Local candidates are readily available and eager to talk to voters.

Speaking of fire fighters, as many of you know, Glendale fire fighter Danny Valenzuela is running for the position of mayor of Phoenix. This past spring I had the opportunity to have coffee with Danny. I asked if he was going to resign as a Glendale fire fighter if he were elected. His response was ‘no’.  He believed he could do both jobs adequately. Both are full time positions.

I can tell you as a councilmember of Glendale I am required to attend a lot of events and meetings, both regional and local. Can you imagine the schedule of the Phoenix mayor? Did you know the Phoenix mayor has security at all times? I would love to see members of Valenzuela’s security detail riding on a fire truck with him. You and I know that’s an unworkable situation on so many levels. No matter what responsibilities are assigned to Valenzuela as a Glendale fire fighter he will have a security detail with him. In addition, he will have so many commitments as mayor he cannot adequately fulfill all the hours in his firefighter work week.

It is totally unrealistic for Valenzuela to remain as a fire fighter if he is elected. It’s not as if he will be penniless. As Phoenix mayor he would pull a salary of $87,998 and the job is recognized as a full time job. If Valenzuela continues to believe that he can perform two full time jobs then voters should be questioning his decision making capabilities. If he makes that kind of decision on this issue, what else can he make poor or reckless decisions about?

© Joyce Clark, 2018         

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