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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Relief has set in…at least for a little while. We have a short respite before the presidential election cycle in 2016.  No more daily dozen of political robo calls asking for your money, your vote and virtually your first born child. Politics, as has been said many times, is a rough sport. One has to admire and congratulate all candidates for putting themselves before voters for judgment and eventual approval or rejection.

The old cliché is that every vote counts. There are two stark examples. Nationally, the congressional senate race in Virginia between Mark Warner and Ed Gillespie is still too close to call a winner. 2,132,824 people voted. Warner has 1,072,487 and Gillespie has 1,060,337, a 12,150 vote difference between the two.

In Glendale the Ocotillo race has virtually the same scenario in a tight race between Jamie Aldama and Norma Alvarez. In Ocotillo 1,910 people voted. Of those votes Aldama has 960 votes and Alvarez has 950 votes…a difference of 10 votes. This scenario is not new to Alvarez. In her first election she won by 9 votes. No winner has been declared yet.

What is most disturbing of all is voter apathy. We see it in every election, especially in Glendale. Look at the vote totals by district. In Cholla district 7,080 people voted. In the Barrel district 4,860 people voted and in Ocotillo district 1, 910 people voted.

The last time Glendale reconfigured its districts its goal was to maintain approximately 40,000 people in each district. Slightly over 7,000 people decided who would represent the Cholla district. In Barrel and Ocotillo districts it’s even worse. Nearly 5,000 people decided the fate of the 40,000 residents in the Barrel district and nearly 2,000 people decided the fate of the 40,000 residents of the Ocotillo district.

Congratulations to the winners. You put yourselves before the voters and they approved. It is now your responsibility to represent their interests. Be wary of the temptations to decide that you know what is best or to believe that you have an obligation to pay back the special interests that contributed mightily to your campaigns. Remain humble and respectful of all and their points of view. Above all, listen. Game over…for now.

© 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.

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.

The Glendale General Election is in less than a month and early ballots have been mailed out and voters are beginning to make choices. For the voters of the Barrel district in Glendale’s General Election you do have a choice between two distinct styles and philosophies. Randy Miller, a self employed IT consultant is running against Bart Turner, a self employed insurance agent.

The mantle of fiscal conservatism goes to Randy Miller.  He has taken the time to research the fiscal issues and to do his “homework.” Each has staked out positions on some of the major issues facing Glendale.  Here are the links to their websites: http://randyforcouncil.com/ and http://bartknowsglendale.com/index.html  . Turner is opposed to the current management agreement for the hockey arena. He supports the recent council passage of the extension of the temporary sales tax increase.  Miller has concerns about the management agreement for the arena and does not support the temporary sales tax increase. He believes there are other strategies, such as reining in the city’s operations and maintenance costs, to help solve Glendale’s financial crunch. Each has taken a position on the proposed casino with Miller opposed on the basis of reservation status and the future losses of critical sales tax revenue and Turner supports the casino because he believes it’s time to stop wasting money on frivolous lawsuits.

Both candidates have shown their commitment to Glendale and its well being through their volunteerism. Miller’s has been in support of Public Safety and Turner’s has focused on the arts, historical Glendale and social welfare.

Let’s look at their campaign reports. The last report made by their political committees is the Post Primary Report which covers activity through September 15, 2014. Miller filed a complete report. Turner continues to turn in only what he considers to be relevant pages of the report. Randy Miller has raised $8,621 as of Sept. 15th. Bart Turner has raised $10,408.94 as of Sept. 15th.They are within the ballpark of one another.

Miller’s base of support is the small business, self-employed community.  He held a local fund raiser and received support from Glendale residents. He has loaned himself $6,821 to date.

Turner’s base of support is from former college classmates; members of non-profits with whom he has worked over the years and a meet & greet with locals. His classmates contributed about $1600 to his campaign. The Young Voters Political Action Committee contributed $100. He made an In-Kind contribution, rather than a loan to his campaign of $3,087.61.  

Their campaign expenditures are also similar to one another. Miller spent $$8,319.49 to date and Turner spent $9,122.77 to date. Since I do not live in the Barrel district I do not have any information related to their political mailings.

The choice in this race is clear-cut for the Barrel voter.  Although Glendale races are non-partisan and no political party affiliations are declared it is pretty evident that Miller is a Republican (or perhaps an Independent) and Turner is a Democrat. Do you want a council representative who will be sympathetic to the interests of the small business and the self employed communities? Then vote for Miller. Or a council representative whose support comes from former classmates and members of the non-profit community? Then vote for Turner. Miller has consistently demonstrated an eagerness to learn and a passion for the issues confronting Glendale.

Based upon readily available information to the Barrel voter the choice for this race is:

 checkmark__bottomheavy_140

 Randy Miller

© 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.

The 2014 Glendale Primary Election is now history and as expected there will be runoffs in all three Council districts – Cholla, Barrel and Ocotillo. How did the candidates fare?

In Cholla District the vote totals were:

  • Lauren Tolmachoff                    1,751
  • Gary Deardorff                         1,428
  • Robert Petrone                            531
  • Van DiCarlo                                400

Congratulations to Gary Deardorff and Lauren Tolmachoff who will face each other in the Glendale General Election in November. I will confess to being somewhat of a numbers nerd. Let’s dig a little deeper into the Cholla District.

  • Total number of Early Votes Cast                 3,467
  • Total number of Poll Votes Cast                      643
  • Total number of Votes Cast                         4,110
  • Total number of Registered Voters              20,549

Lauren Tolmachoff garnered 8.5% of the total number of registered voters in the Cholla district. Twenty percent (20%) or 4, 110 of all the Cholla district registered voters bothered to vote. The rest of the candidate field took even smaller percentages of all the voters in this district.

Let’s look at the Barrel District:

  • Bart Turner                                862
  • Randy Miller                               831
  • Reginald Martinez                       660
  • Michael Patino                            439
  • John Benjamin                           263

Congratulations to Bart Turner and Randy Miller who will face each other in the Glendale General Election in November. Here’s how the numbers shake out for the Barrel district.

  • Total number of Early Votes Cast                2,443
  • Total number of Poll Votes Cast                     612
  • Total number of Votes Cast                        3,055
  • Total number of Registered Voters            16,457

Bart Turner captured 5% of the total number of registered voters in the Barrel district. Eighteen percent (18%) or 3,055 of all the Barrel district registered voters bothered to vote. The rest of the field took smaller percentages of all of the voters in this district.

Lastly, there is the Ocotillo District:

  • Norma Alvarez                        503
  • Jamie Aldama                         406
  • Bud Zomok                             225
  • Michael Hernandez                  158

Congratulations to Norma Alvarez and Jamie Aldama who will face each other in the Glendale General Election in November. Here are the numbers for the Ocotillo district.

  • Total number of Early Votes Cast                    1,031
  • Total number of Poll Votes Cast                         261
  • Total number of Votes Cast                            1,292
  • Total number of Registered Voters                  8,619

Norma Alvarez took 5% of the total number of registered voters in the Ocotillo district. Nine percent (9%) of all the Ocotillo district registered voters bothered to vote. The rest of the field took smaller percentages of all of the voters in this district.

These figures should be dismaying and disappointing. There are 45,625 registered voters in these three districts. Out of that number a total of 8,457 voted. That’s 18% of all of the registered voters in these districts. 82% of the electorate were so disengaged or didn’t care enough to vote.

There you have it. Voter choices will be among: an incumbent – Alvarez; community activists – Turner and Aldama; and 3 business people – Miller, Deardorff and Tolmachoff. Let’s hope, although do not count on it, that the voter turnout is better than during the primary. The primary vote totals are scary. It is not just your right to vote. It is your obligation. There are many people throughout the world who wish they had the very right so many callously squander. Remember, dear voter, you get what you vote (or don’t bother to vote) for.

© 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.

Barrel council district candidates are similar to that of Cholla district candidates. Some are articulate and exhibit varying degrees of intelligence. Some are passionate and believe that they want to be part of the solution with regard to Glendale’s financial difficulties. I congratulate them for their willingness to put themselves before the voters to be weighed and measured on the issues of the day. Choices among the 5 candidates will be based on the information publicly available to date that was used in the previous blogs about each candidate.

John Benjamin filed a No Activity Campaign Finance Report. Michael Patino has one contribution of $200 and has no expenditures. Reginald Martinez raised a little over $1,000 and the bulk of his expenses were for printing and refreshments for volunteers who gathered his petition signatures. Bart Turner and Randy Miller have received a few individual contributions. Randy Miller is self funded to date. All have done minimal fund raising. It is surprising that none of the candidates appears to be reaching out to their constituency for campaign support to date. It just may be that candidates prefer to reveal their contributors in later Finance Reports as a means of keeping that information from their opponents.

It is extremely difficult for the voter to determine how each Barrel candidate stands on a particular issue. Benjamin, Martinez and Patino have no websites. While each candidate may have developed campaign literature that they pass out or mail to the voters, it is just that, voter specific, and may not reach the entire Barrel district voter universe. Turner has a website but there is no publicly available information offered on his positions on Glendale’s issues. Miller has the most robust website and clearly takes a stand on Glendale’s finances. He regularly attends city council meetings and uses the public comment period to discuss issues such as the debt and the sales tax sunset.

Miller acknowledges that Glendale has financial problems and he supports the sunset of the sales tax increase in 2017. He offers several strategies for the reduction of Glendale’s debt including a thorough assessment of Glendale’s O&M costs.  None of the other Barrel candidates have publicly available material that would indicate their positions.

All have lived in the Barrel district for a minimum of 4 years and some have lived in Glendale for far longer but not in the Barrel district. Miller and Turner are self employed and that does provide them the flexibility they need to fulfill a councimember’s responsibilities. The others appear to have regular job commitments that could make it difficult to attend to councilmember meetings and duties.

Only Turner has served on Glendale’s boards and commissions but that may not play in his favor. His interaction with staff may make him more sympathetic to the current staff agenda. Miller recognizes that the relationship between staff and council is broken and seeks more staff openness. He has already demonstrated his willingness to “do his homework” on the issues and to ask meaningful questions.

The candidate picks for the Barrel district are in stark contrast to one another in terms of philosophies of governance. Those voters who are supportive of the status quo should look to Turner. Those voters who are supportive of change and realistic alternative solutions should consider Miller.

It seems safe to assume that with 5 candidates no one will take the Barrel councilmember seat out right in the Primary Election. The two top candidates will face off in the General Election in November. It is not an easy decision for any voter but based upon information publicly available to everyone, this writer’s picks for the Barrel district are:

           John Benjamin

           Reginald Martinez

   checkmark__bottomheavy_140  Randy Miller

           Michael Patino

  checkmark__bottomheavy_140    Bart Turner

© 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.

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.

Bart Turner

Campaign Finance Report – He submitted 7 of 19 pages. He submitted Schedules A and D and omitted Schedules B, C, E and F. Mr. Turner referred to the Arizona Secretary of State’s campaign finance reporting instructions that state if there is nothing to report those schedules may be omitted. Self omission of those schedules can lead to report errors and a candidate may inadvertently neglect to report information. If disciplined enough, all pages should be filed to indicate that the candidate is aware of the reporting requirements and truly has had no activity in those areas by leaving the pages blank, striking through them or using “NA.” He has received 8 individual contributions to date. Two are from himself and a family member in the amount of $200. Three contributions are from Glendale individuals totaling $650 to date. Of note, one contribution in the amount of $300 is from Rodeane Widom, former Executive Director of the Glendale Library system. He has no treasurer. Please remember, Mr. Turner 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. Turner’s expenditures are usual and ordinary and he spent $580.72 on web site hosting and design.

Campaign website – his website is: http://bartknowsglendale.com  . His contact information is: Bart Turner, 8217 N 57th Drive, Glendale, AZ 85302                                                                   Telephone : 623-487-3808    Email address: Bart_Turner@Cox.net.

His website provides you biographical information, campaign donation info and contact info. He does not offer any information on his positions on Glendale’s issues. I did not meet with Mr. Turner as I have known not only Bart but his Mother for quite some time.

Mr. Turner is a native Glendalian and has lived in the Barrel district for 10 years. He has a long and extensive history of participation in Glendale and Arizona community affairs. Most notably he is the current President of the Glendale Arts Council and was a former Chairperson of the Glendale Parks and Recreation Commission. He has been an ardent advocate for children, the poor and minorities.  He has his own property management business and believes that his work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of serving as a councilmember.

As a result of his service on boards and commissions he appears sympathetic to staff’s agenda. While his campaign literature will be used with Barrel voters there is no publically available information on his stance on a variety of Glendale issues. By publically available information is meant that his issue positions are available to anyone, in or out of his district. He believes that his knowledge of Glendale gives him the experience needed to understand and to solve Glendale issues.

Having reviewed of all 5 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, Barrel district picks for city council.

© 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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