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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

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Final official election tallies for the Glendale Ocotillo district seat show Jamie Aldama winning by 18 votes. This district proves the old adage that every vote counts. It seems fitting as Alvarez won her seat four years ago by a similar slim margin.

Ocotillo district has a majority Hispanic population and the two final candidates were Hispanic. The split in support among Hispanics for the two candidates should send a strong signal to Aldama that he will have to work hard to retain his seat four years from now. Make no mistake, in many ways Aldama is merely a slicker, more polished version of Alvarez. The striking difference is that Aldama blows with the wind. His performance on the Planning Commission showed that he will wait until the last minute to see which side of an issue seems to be prevailing and then vote in that direction. He is not a man of strong convictions.

There remains concern among some Ocotillo voters about his manipulation of his residency requirements. The house he owns is in the Yucca district and is apparently being rented although it appears he has not registered the house as a rental with the City of Glendale. He is currently renting the house in which he now living in the Ocotillo district. The perception is that his action smacks of political expediency. It may be perfectly legal but it creates a sense of impropriety.

Norma, don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Even as a loser Alvarez possesses no sense of grace or dignity. Darrel Jackson’s story in the November 20, 2014 edition of the Glendale Star ably describes Alvarez’ reaction to the loss of her council seat. Her whining never ceases to amaze. She never got it. Alvarez seemed to believe that she was the only advocate in the city for truth, justice and the American way. She pointed fingers at everyone and everything on her way out. Her negativism and lack of positive contributions to the city and her district tipped the balance in favor of Aldama. Alvarez indiscriminately hurled accusations of City Hall corruption but her favorite theme during her four years was her perception of disrespect by anybody and everybody. She forgot that when she was first elected both former Councilmember Phil Lieberman and I befriended her. In fact, there were instances when I delivered her council book to her, went to her home to bring her up to speed on issues and even chauffeured her to and from council sessions. When she and I disagreed on what was a minor issue, she declared I was no longer a “friend.” Frankly her pronouncement was a relief. I moved forward and never regretted her action.

Her actions did not contribute to her public persona as a councilmember. She never once stood up for the pledge of allegiance at city council meetings. She could have. She wasn’t so disabled that she was unable to stand for the pledge. Her deliberate decisions to refuse to attend city events based upon personal feelings was noted and caused ill will among many. Alvarez might have been a stronger voice had she done her homework and used more fact and less emotional rhetoric.

In three weeks new councilmembers will be seated. We wish them well. Make no mistake. They will be under a microscope and their views and votes will be the subject of much blog discussion.

There are coalitions forming that will become more evident as the Glendale mayor’s race shapes up in two years, 2016. Watch out for Councilmember Ian Hugh. While he has been very close to Mayor Jerry Weiers he has also been working quietly to form his own coalition. During this last council race rumor has it that he met with Lauren Tolmachoff and Bart Turner, quietly supporting their council races. Look for a majority voting coalition of Hugh, Tolmachoff, Turner and Aldama. All share the same positions on issues such as the casino and the arena management agreement. Hugh, as Glendale’s downtown homeboy, shares aspirations to become the next mayor as does Councilmember Gary Sherwood. Sherwood has major obstacles to overcome. He is still facing the results of an investigation by the Attorney Generals’ office for alleged violations of the state Open Meeting Law as well as a recall election that should materialize next year. Vice Mayor Knaack is about to retire as councilmember and a year away from that job may be just the ticket to persuade her to run for mayor. We may find that Yvonne Knaack, Jerry Weiers, Ian Hugh and Gary Sherwood all make a run for Glendale’s mayorship in 2016.

Lastly, as Councilmembers Yvonne Knaack and Manny Martinez retire, they deserve our thanks and gratitude for what is often a thankless job. While you may not have agreed with all of their decisions and their votes it is right that you acknowledge that they demonstrated their love of Glendale and made their decisions in what they believed was in the best interest of Glendale. Their dedication to Glendale has been evident in countless ways and it has been recognized by many. So, to Yvonne and Manny…thank you.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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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 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.

Today, November 11, 2014 I checked the Maricopa County elections website to see if there were final results for the Glendale Ocotillo district race for councilmember.

The results are Jamie Aldama received 929 votes and current Councilmember Norma Alvarez received 924 votes. If this isn’t proof that every vote counts I don’t know what is. Aldama prevailed by a margin of 5 votes.

It’s ironic and poetic justice. In  her run for the Ocotillo council seat in 2010 Alvarez won by 9 votes. Will there be a recount? Probably. So it may not be over yet. 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.

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.

There are times when you have read this blog and wanted to say more than a brief comment. From time to time I will post a Guest Blog. Here is another submitted by Bud Zomok, former Ocotillo district council candidate.

If you would like to submit a Guest Blog I ask the following:

  • Do not plagiarize. If you use facts or quotes, please cite the source
  • Be respectful…no hate filled rants, please
  • You must agree to allow me to edit if necessary. I will not change your opinion or content

Higher expectations for Politicians? by Bud Zomok 

Having taken the time to read the post by Joyce Clark titled Aldama…maybe not, I was surprised by some of the responses submitted.   

Let me take a moment to explain my surprise.   

Mr. Van DiCarlo expressed comments about the policy currently in place by the county as “grossly unfair”.  That may be the case but these are the current rules that the county has created and until those rules are changed one should expect politicians to follow the rules that have been established.   

Mr. DiCarlo, you once expressed in an article as a candidate that you believe a candidate should represent the interests of the voters and not their own interests.  I find that commendable as it means as a candidate one would to take the time to talk and listen to the voters in order to understand their interests. 

Yet in your reply you make the following two statements, “could the two complainants be paving a way to step in as the official runner up” and “that you have little or no respect for those who attempt to get their nose in the door by exploitation.”   

Exploitation?  

It’s interesting that an attempt to have a politician follow the rules is deemed exploitation.  And, did you have that same lack of respect for Mr. Aldama when he, too, filed complaints against candidates early on in the election?  

I saw Mr. Aldama’s challenges as way of ensuring that any citizen who wanted to run in the Ocotillo District was actually eligible to run. I would assume Mr. Aldama would want to ensure he too is doing everything according to the required process in his current race.   

I would pose one question to Mr. DiCarlo. Have you taken a moment to talk with either me or Mr. Hernandez before writing your comments?  Doesn’t that fly in the face of your campaign statement? Didn’t you make comments based on your own interest or assumptions without checking the facts? 

The letter submitted to the County and Attorney General was not submitted to require Mr. Aldama to stop his campaign. It was done to ensure he follows the rules set by the, city /state/ or in this particular situation, the county. 

Surely you as a past candidate are not supporting the idea that candidates should be able to pick and choose what part of particular policy they wish to follow or ignore.   As a past private investigator I would assume you must have had to follow specific rules in the investigative process and had you not followed those rules (even if you didn’t agree or did not know the rules existed) it would have possibly caused the information you secured to be ruled as not admissible.

Mr. DiCarlo, be assured I have moved on, but moving on does not mean one should turn a blind eye to the current requirements of running for any political position.  If anything we should expect “any” citizen who runs for a political office to at least know the rules and follow them.  

I hope we never get to a point where we allow our desire to replace an incumbent to translate into allowing politicians to pick and chose what rules/laws will apply to their campaigns. We are a country of rules and laws and if we don’t like those rules and laws then we need to work to change them, but choosing to ignore them should never be an acceptable option.  

Bud Zomok

© 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 Ocotillo district in Glendale’s General Election you have no good choices. Norma Alvarez, the incumbent and retired, is running against Jaime Aldama, who works for the Maricopa Community College District as a Coordinator. The Ocotillo voters must choose between an old, worn out Chevy or a brand new, slick Chevy. The trouble is that the make is the same.

If you go to their websites you will find that they are warm and fuzzy without much substance. Both candidates support the Tohono O’odham casino. Aldama’s site on the issues offers generalities on economic diversity, public safety and public services. Alvarez’ site doesn’t offer anything but why should it. The general public has had four years to observe her negativity on nearly every issue. Here are the links to their sites: http://www.jamiealdama.com/  and http://www.normaforglendale.com/ .

Both candidates have shown their commitment to Glendale and its well being. Aldama has shown his community commitment through his volunteerism on Glendale’s Boards and Commissions and Alvarez with her many years as a Glendale employee in Glendale’s Community Action Program (CAP). CAP is a pass through agency that doles out federal funds to those who are economically distressed.  

Let’s look at their campaign reports.  Both candidates filed complete reports. The last report made by their political committees is the Post Primary Report which covers activity through September 15, 2014. Jamie Aldama has raised $16,545 as of Sept. 15th. Norma Alvarez has raised $11,480 as of Sept. 15th.

Aldama’s base of support is big money donors (a few of which are Glendale residents) and Political Action Committees (PACs).  Of the donors listed only 4 are from Glendale and in some instances he does not list his donor’s job occupations or employers. He has loaned himself $2,500 to date. The PACs contributing to his campaign are: the UFCW #99 for $2,000; the Peoria Police Officers Association for $500; and the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees for $1,000.

Alvarez’ base of support is from her husband, Fernando for $2,500. In other words, she gave her campaign $2,500 in a form other than a loan. Other notable contributors are Jason and Jordan Rose, attorneys, for $500; and the owner of Gonzalo Tours for $1,400.

Aldama has outspent Alvarez nearly 2 to 1. Aldama spent $15,611.44 to date and Alvarez spent $9,399.62 to date. All candidates had expenses for bank charges and websites. Alvarez has no such charges listed.

The choice in this race is difficult for the Ocotillo voter since there is no real choice…the new model vs. the old model.  Although Glendale races are non-partisan and no political party affiliations are declared it is pretty evident that Aldama and Alvarez are both Democrats. They share the Democrat philosophy of big government and big spending.

It boils down to a choice between the devil you know and the devil you don’t know. The Ocotillo voter knows exactly what he or she will get with Alvarez – more negativity and cheer leading for the Tohono O’odham.  She has made it clear that she only supports transparency and the voice of the people when it fits her positions on issues.

Aldama, if you have viewed his performance on the Planning and Zoning Commission, has a tendency to express his position after he sees which way the wind is blowing. He will be a follower, not a leader. That may be a good thing as city council has too many self-styled leaders these days.  Aldama may end up as the latest swing vote on many Glendale issues.

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

 checkmark__bottomheavy_140

    Jamie Aldama

© 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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