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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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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 Cholla district in Glendale’s General Election, sorry but there are no good, clear-cut choices. Gary Deardorff, a self employed financial consultant is running against Lauren Tolmachoff, a self employed realtor.

Both claim the mantle of fiscal conservatism. Deardorff wins on that score. He has years of expertise in finances. Each has taken a position on the proposed casino with Deardorff opposed on the basis of reservation status and Tolmachoff supporting because of the jobs she believes it will create. Neither has a good grasp, due to lack of incumbent knowledge, on the issues facing Glendale. Both candidates’ websites are disappointing. Here are the links to each:http://www.electlaurentolmachoff.com/ and http://www.deardorff4cholla.com/ .

Gary Deardorff’s “Cholla Chats” are lightweight and generally offer feel-good news about events in the Cholla district. Lauren Tolmachoff’s “Blogs” are stale and have not been updated since August.  Neither website speaks to the issues of the Glendale City Council’s penchant for spending money it doesn’t have, Glendale’s debt burden, the Arizona Coyotes situation or the Camelback Ranch Spring Training Facility. It’s obvious as to why they are reluctant to do so. Taking a clear, definitive position on any of these issues will alienate some voters. If you, the voter, want to know these candidates’ positions on the issues you won’t find it on their warm and fuzzy websites.

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. Both candidates filed complete reports. Lauren Tolmachoff has raised $10,675 as of Sept. 15th.                  Gary Deardorff has raised $23,822.00 as of Sept. 15th.

Tolmachoff’s base of support is the farming community and real estate related community. Four of the Hickman clan and one Tolmachoff (all related to farming) contributed. Eight of her contributions came from real estate and related interests.  Two contributions of note are a $1,000 contribution from Louis Olsen, Director of the World Wildlife Zoo; and a $2,000 contribution from the Realtors of Arizona Political Action Committee. Tolmachoff has loaned herself $3,200 to date.

Deardorff’s base of support is from former Mayor Elaine Scruggs’ circle of contacts and friends or loans he made to himself. Scruggs along with others hosted a fundraiser for him. It grossed $2,837 but Deardorff met expenses for it for almost $800. Scruggs donated $50 but also made an in-kind contribution of $123.14. We don’t know what the in-kind was for as Deardorff did not answer that portion of the form. He also did not explain what Robert Campbell’s $200 in-kind donation was for. In fact, his reporting for nearly every donation he received from individuals is incomplete as occupations and employers are not listed. His major source of funding is loans made to himself totaling $19,067.00 to date.

Deardorff’s campaign expenses are twice that of Tolmachoff’s. Deardorff spent $18,340 to date and Tolmachoff spent $9,415.56 to date. Both spent funds on Deardorff’s legal challenge regarding petition signatures. The difference in spending may relate to the number of political mailings by each. Since I do not live in the Cholla district I do not have any information related to their political mailings. I hope they were more informative than their websites.

As I indicated earlier, the choice in this race is not clear-cut for the Cholla voter. Do you want a council representative who will be sympathetic to the interests of the farming and real estate communities? Or a candidate primarily self-funded and garnering the support of former Mayor Scruggs and her friends?

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

                   checkmark__bottomheavy_140 

Lauren Tolmachoff

Next up: Barrel district candidates.

© 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.

My vetting of the Cholla district candidates is done. I congratulate them for their willingness to put themselves before the voters to be weighed and measured on the issues of the day.

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 Cholla district voter universe.

All 4 of the Cholla council district candidates share some commonalities. All are articulate. Sometimes a candidate will pop up and immediately your radar says there is something that is off. Not so with these candidates. My belief is that they want to be part of the solution with regard to Glendale’s financial difficulties. My choice of 2 among the 4 candidates will be based on the information publicly available to date used in my previous blogs about each candidate; plus my personal interviews.

All are self funded to date and have done minimal fund raising. Deardorff and Petrone are the gorillas having loaned their campaigns at least $10,000 each.  DiCarlo and Tolmachoff have made more modest loans under $2,000 each. Does a larger loan indicate more commitment? No, of course not.  It is surprising that none of the candidates appears to be reaching out to their constituency for campaign support to date with the exception of facilitating campaign donations through their websites. But my guess is that political strategy may mean that the candidates prefer to reveal their contributors in later Finance Reports as a means of keeping that information from their opponents.

It is difficult for the voter, based upon publicly available information, to determine how each candidate stands on a particular issue. Deardorff and Petrone have no issues information available on their websites. DiCarlo has taken up one issue, that of Glendale’s finances. Tolmachoff has the most robust site and clearly takes a stand on Glendale’s finances.

All of the candidates acknowledge that Glendale has financial problems. Deardorff, DiCarlo and Tolmachoff support the sunset of the sales tax increase in 2017. Petrone has made no public statements regarding the sales tax and as mentioned above has no issues on his web site as of this date. Petrone has also had a series of past personal financial problems which leads me to question his ability to make sound financial decisions for Glendale. His personal financial decisions have led to court cases and documented judgments against him. His judgments and personal history led to my decision not to interview him as I do not see him as a viable candidate.

All 4 candidates seek to reduce Glendale’s debt burden. Deardorff wants to look at personnel costs and believes there is room to cut those costs. DiCarlo and Tolmachoff believe that selling Glendale’s assets is a viable course of action. All point to Camelback Ranch and want to explore ways to deal with its massive debt.

Deardorff and Dicarlo oppose a reservation, and hence the casino, in Glendale.

Deardorff, DiCarlo and Tolmachoff state that the relationship between staff and council is broken and seek more staff transparency as well as a council united in exploring and solving Glendale’s current crop of problems.

All candidates understand that Glendale has no responsibility or power over local school districts. A Glendale candidate or elected councilor cannot impact education. That is for local school boards. Be wary of any district council candidate promising to “fix” local education for that is simply not true.

All are married and have lived in the Cholla district from 9 to 40 years signaling that they all have roots in Glendale. All are self employed and that does provide them the flexibility they need to fulfill a councilmember’s responsibilities. Only Petrone has served on Glendale’s boards and commissions.

Of Note; Deardorff has received the support of former mayor Elaine Scruggs listed as a member of a Host Committee fund raiser. It was under her watch that Glendale assumed the massive debt with which it must deal. There is an old saying that you are judged by the company you keep. With no other apparent Glendale involvement to balance her influence there is the risk of a second coming of an old strategy…a strategy that drove Glendale over the fiscal cliff. It is because of this issue that he was not picked as one of the two final candidate choices.

Councilmember Martinez has endorsed Petrone and it appears that he will have the endorsement and financial support of the fire union. Fire opposes the sunset of the sales tax. That signals a candidate who agrees with the fire union’s agenda. Another concern with Petrone is related to his service on Glendale’s boards and commissions and it may not play in his favor. His interaction with staff may make him more sympathetic to the current staff agenda. These issues are grave enough to eliminate him as a council candidate pick.

Di Carlo has the experience of a prior campaign. He has experienced the subtleties of staff in dealing with candidates and may have developed a more confident manner in dealing with Glendale staff and current Council.

Tolmachoff has the most informative website with issue specifics in her blog available on that website. She is the only candidate to publicly express her support of the casino.

It seems safe to assume that with 4 candidates no one will take the Cholla 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 Cholla district are:               

                                           Gary Deardorff

                                  checkmark__bottomheavy_140 Van DiCarlo  

                                         

                                           Robert Petrone

                                 checkmark__bottomheavy_140  Lauren Tolmachoff

Please be sure to check the straw poll to the left of this column and vote for your choice as the Cholla district city council pick. You do not have to live in the Cholla district to participate.

© 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.

On June 18, 2014 the court was to decide on the complaints filed by Candidate Gary Deardorff regarding enough valid petition signatures for his three opponents, Robert Petrone, Lauren Tomalchoff and Van DiCarlo to stay on the ballot. In speaking with Deardorff today he stated that he had withdrawn his complaints against all three.

Not so with Robert Petrone’s filing against Deardorff. That was decided. Deardorff can breathe a sigh of relief. His place on the ballot as a Cholla district candidate squeaked by with a margin of 2 good signatures.

It’s strange that Petrone challenged only Deardorff’s signatures. Could it be that Petrone has every reason to be nervous about Deardorff’s candidacy? It appears that Petrone considers Deardorff to be a real threat and he should be nervous. I bet Petrone is spitting nails in frustration right now because he couldn’t knock off Deardorff with a technicality.

I have not heard anything about Alvarez’ campaign manager Chuck Foy’s court filing questioning the residency of Jaime Aldama and Ron Kolb…yet.  Politics is a rough sport, not for the faint hearted. Stay tuned.

© 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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