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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Campaign finance reports were due by 5 PM on Thursday, September 29, 2016. As of this posting (after 5 PM on Friday, September 30, 2016) Sammy Chavira’s campaign filing report has not been posted by the City Clerk. Why, you say? Because Sammy has not turned it in. Sammy apparently believes that the laws that everyone tries to uphold do not apply to him. It’s not terribly surprising considering his attitude toward a simple traffic ticket. He failed to appear in court and subsequently had his driver’s license suspended. In addition the Campaign for Truth and Leadership committee and Fire Fighters interested in Registration and Education PAC have not turned in their latest and now overdue campaign finance reports either. These organizations spent a considerable amount of money in support of Sammy’s reelection.

The amount of money spent on the Glendale mayoral race is truly astounding. Burdick reported spending $121,489.60 and Weiers spent $107,356.97. The total for these two races is $228,846.57 or slightly over a quarter of a million dollars. What bumped up the numbers was for the first time there were TV ads, notoriously expensive. Burdick led the way with TV ads beginning during the Republican convention in mid-July and they were run repeatedly and relentlessly until August 30, 2016, the day of the Primary Election. Weiers had no option but to run his own series of TV ads.

It appears from now on a person should not consider running for mayor in Glendale unless he or she can amass a war chest of a minimum of $100,000. That will put many would-be candidates out of the race. It’s a shame that it has come to that.

There could be as many as four aspirants in the 2020 election for mayor. Many suspect that former Councilmember Yvonne Knaack still harbors ambitions. Add to that Councilmembers Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama, all of whom seem to be jockeying for a run. Throw in a dash of former Assistant City Manager and major player in the Burdick failed contest, Julie Frisoni. During the election season some voters received a survey call asking for a favorable or unfavorable opinion of Julie Frisoni. Many considered it strange since she wasn’t running. It seems she may be preparing for a political future and could decide to run against Lauren Tolmachoff for the Cholla district seat or perhaps…gasp…mayor. A Cholla city council seat  seemed a far more likely proposition if Burdick had won the mayoral contest but despite the outcome Frisoni and her backers may decide to give it or a mayoral race  a try in 2018.

In the other races more modest sums were spent: Vice Mayor Ian Hugh spent $26,815.31; Councilmember Ray Malnar spent $11,696.13 and I spent $11,489.70. Collectively that amounts to $50,001.14. However, we do know from Sammy’s previous campaign report that he had already spent $57,905.98 and we will await seeing what shows up in his overdue report. So far, the collective total for council races is $107,907.12. Anywhere from $10,000 to $40,000 is a typical amount that is usually spent on a Glendale city council race. In its previous campaign report, The Campaign for Truth and Leadership spent $45,218.56 (donated to it from the United Food Workers). The committee is now terminated. The entire amount was not spent on pro Burdick and pro Chavira mailers or anti Weiers or anti Clark mailers (about $30,000). Some of the funds (about $15,000) was spent in support of Larkin and Andrade.

Let’s total what we know has been spent in Glendale’s elections per the latest submitted campaign finance reports. Two candidates spent $228,846.57 on the mayoral races; $107,907.12 was spent on the 3 city council races; and another $30,000 was spent by an Independent Committee. That totals $336,753.69. I suspect Sammy’s missing report will show additional expenditures of about $20,000 bringing the total spent in this round of Glendale elections to somewhere in the neighborhood of $350,000. That’s a surprisingly large amount of money to spend in a Glendale election cycle and has never occurred before.

I don’t have an answer to this escalation of political spending. A friend suggested that perhaps there should be a cap of maybe $50,000 for a mayoral race and $20,000 for a council race. It’s intriguing. It would cause the candidate to spend wisely and effectively. This person believes it would force candidates to have more interaction with voters and perhaps more reliance on social media which costs relatively nothing. What’s your take on the state of Glendale races?

© Joyce Clark, 2016          

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This site contains copyrighted material the use of which is in accordance with Title 17 U.S. C., Section 107. The ‘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 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 material. 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 other day in my blog entitled “A little bit of this…a little bit of that” I related that Republican Senator Sylvia Allen of Snowflake, Arizona had introduced a bill whose sole intent is to gut the Arizona Open Meeting Law.

Arizona’s Open Meeting Law is designed to prevent elected officials, such as members of the Glendale city council from meeting privately and secretly to discuss actions that they will be voting upon. Allen’s bill would allow such private and secret meetings to occur without penalty.

We should all be wondering if there is any connection between the current Attorney General’s investigation of 4 Glendale city councilmembers: current councilmembers Gary Sherwood and Sammy Chavira and former councilmembers Yvonne Knaack and Manny Martinez.

The allegations surrounding these four councilmembers are centered on their actions prior to the July 3, 2013 vote of approval, by these very same four councilmembers, of the IceArizona management agreement for the city’s arena.

It was a time when then Acting City Manager Dick Bowers had sent a Memo to all councilmembers raising concerns about the deal. Allegedly in an effort to shore up a pro-IceArizona majority vote, these councilmembers met privately with IceArizona’s attorney Nick Wood right after a council executive session. Allegedly Sherwood shared executive session information with Wood and then emailed a summary of the deal’s status to Councilmember Martinez (who did not attend the private meeting) with an admonition to destroy his email. Let’s not forget now Assistant City Manager Julie Frisoni’s role in all of this. There is at least one email floating around in which she shares positive talking points of the IceArizona deal to the four supportive councilmembers exclusively. Those councilmembers who she assumed were not in support of the deal did not receive her email.

It’s awfully coincidental that while these four Glendale councilmembers remain under investigation by the Attorney General’s office, at least 4 of SB 1435’s sponsors are Glendale representatives: Senators Judy Burges, Don Shooter, Kimberly Yee and David Livingston. Senator Debbie Lesko of Peoria is also a sponsor of the bill.

You don’t suppose Sherwood had a conversation about his current difficulties with any of these sponsors? Nah…it’s just coincidental.  Below is a full list of SB 1435’s sponsors:

Email is an easy action nowadays. Simply copy and paste the email addresses from above. Please let them know that allowing elected officials to meet privately and secretly on legislation that will come before them will do nothing to further good government and it kills what little transparency we have. Tell them the days of secret, backroom deals are over. Kill the bill.

© Joyce Clark, 2015

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.

Note: I said that I was taking a hiatus for about a week but this blog begged to be written before my hiatus. It is timely now. See you back here after July 15th.)

Norma Alvarez

Norma Alvarez

There are two words that apparently are not in Councilmember Alvarez’ dictionary — grace and dignity. On July 3, 2013 the Glendale Star published a story entitled Alvarez sets deadline for departure by its Editor, Carolyn Dryer. Here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/headlines/article_d7f30530-e413-11e2-8882-0019bb2963f4.html.

Norma publicly exploded after the affirmative vote by a majority of council for the RSE arena management deal. She laid the blame for the lease management’s acceptance at the feet of the entire council by saying,“It’s our fault, letting them (Coyotes prospective owners) do what they want to do.”

The city paid approximately $500,000 for an external audit. In the minds of some councilmembers such as Alvarez, it’s purpose is to fix blame. In the story Alvarez claims the audit will reveal all kinds of dastardly deeds performed by ??? and she says, “I’m waiting for the audit. You’re going to be surprised.” She also hinted that she will resign after the results of the audit are made public and said further, “It’s going public. So, I’m going to wait for that.” She claimed that she told the auditors an ear-full and she probably did but how much was hearsay and how much had a factual basis? You can be sure the audit will be fact based and may not include all of Norma’s titillating tales. If that is the case, you may see a second eruption from Mount Norma.

Sherwood

Gary Sherwood

She then went on to trash her fellow councilmembers. She claimed discrimination by her peers because “I have never been included in this council from the first day I’ve been in. I’m not ‘one of the boys.’” She accused Councilmember Sherwood of usurping the Mayor’s role during the month-long Coyotes negotiation process with, “I’m tired of this person walking around and talking like he’s the mayor. Jerry (Mayor Jerry Weiers) has been courteous to him.” Sherwood did take the lead on the Coyotes negotiation and his rubbing elbows with the likes of NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, Assistant NHL Commissioner Bill Daley, RSE’s Anthony LeBlanc and Daryl Jones and attorneys Grant Woods and Nick Wood (no relation) had to have made Sherwood feel warm and fuzzy all over. I’m sure his ego was stoked as all of these principals whispered sweet nothings.  She also accused Sherwood of inserting himself into the search for the City Manager process by “When Sherwood got the applications, he called her (new city manager hired Tuesday, Brenda Fischer),” Alvarez said. “We didn’t call anybody; that’s why we have HR. He (Sherwood) came back and told us this is the best person.” While not illegal, as far as I know, it is a highly unusual action by a councilmember.

Chavira photo

Sammy Chavira

There were no kind words for Councilmember Chavira either. A little past history is in order. When Sammy ran in 2012 Norma stood “toe to toe” with Sammy’s bid. She funneled money and workers to his campaign and did everything in her power to assure his election.  With regard to Sammy’s positive vote for the Coyotes’ deal she said, “But he’s a disappointment to the people of Glendale. I know people in Glendale who say they are going to make sure he never wins again.” (More about Sammy’s vote in a future blog.) I would think Norma feels betrayed by the very person she was instrumental in getting elected. If nothing else Norma has a long memory and the resources to make good on her promise about Sammy’s future.

There’s more but you will have to read the article for yourself to capture the full flavor of the outrage Norma expresses. Every councilmember, in any community, has at one time or another, experienced back stabbing, betrayal and countless other unpleasant actions from their peers. It’s not usually aired in public because most have a sense of grace and dignity and realize that it’s part of politics. Alas, they are not words in Norma’s vocabulary.

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