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Joyce Clark Unfiltered

For "the rest of the story"

Well, Sammy finally turned in his campaign finance report on October 3, 2016…late. Wonder if he was fined? Here is the link to his finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/Post-Primary-ChaviraforCouncil.pdf .

Sammy raised almost as much money as the two mayoral candidates as each mayoral candidate raised and spent in excess of $100,000. This report pegs him collecting $81,180.74 in contributions from special interests and unions outside of Glendale. His total spending to date is $74,301.74. I spent $11,489.70. Sammy, to date, outspent me 6 and a half times to one. He retains excess cash of $6878.27. How long will it take him to figure out a strategy that allows him to pocket that cash? Legally, a campaign committee may only make contributions to other candidates or committees or to non-profits. The excess funds are not to be spent personally.

As Sammy rides off into the sunset hopefully never to run for any office again, we wish him a fond farewell.

Even though I do not take office until December 13, 2016, I have begun to resume councilmember elect activities. I had been invited to attend a neighborhood annual picnic this past Sunday. I had a great time. I connected with residents who I had served previously and listened to their current concerns as well as issues important to them now. This week I will meet with developers on two upcoming residential zoning projects and attend a grand opening for a local business.

I attribute the result of my win to my previous constituent interactions. My campaign support came from individuals living within the Yucca district or within Glendale. To celebrate that win I am joining Mayor Jerry Weiers, Vice Mayor Ian Hugh, and Councilmember Ray Malnar in a victory party on October 21, 2016. To all those individuals who either donated to my campaign, made phone calls for me, walked for me, worked the polls or had yard signs, consider this personal invitation as a way to thank you for your support. I invite you to join all four of us in celebration. I, personally, am excited to be part of a team committed to moving Glendale forward. We ask that you RSVP by calling 623-939-4052 or emailing ianhugh2012@yahoo.com before October 14, 2016 so that we might have a count for food and refreshment purposes.

invitation-5

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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 Glendale city council held its regular voting meeting on September 13, 2016. Sammy Chavira was absent again…gasp. He did participate telephonically. In a Hillary Clinton-esque move he claimed he has pneumonia. If he is ill, I wish him a speedy recovery. Yet, one can’t help but wonder. Pneumonia seems to be the current rage in illnesses since presidential candidate Clinton’s diagnosis.

All items but two were on the Consent Agenda and were voted upon in one motion, quickly. The next agenda item was a land planning issue and was also quickly dealt with. The last agenda item was the Canvass of Votes, a formality without legal standing which directs the City Clerk to record the results of the election, those results having already been approved by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (which does have legal standing).

The backdrop to this agenda item was Sammy’s request to the entire city council requesting that they vote to delay acceptance of the Canvass of Votes. In a September 13, 2016 story entitled Chavira asks council to delay canvass of votes by Darrell Jackson of the Glendale Star, he reported, “Yucca District Councilmember Samuel Chavira is attempting to get other councilmembers and the mayor to stop the canvass of votes at the Sept. 13 council meeting after losing his seat in the Aug. 30 primary. Chavira, who lost his seat on the council to former councilmember Joyce Clark by 46 votes, sent an email to fellow councilmembers obtained by The Glendale Star asking them to ‘delay official canvassing of the election results’.” Here is the link to Jackson’s story: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_55d713b0-79d5-11e6-8a39-5f815c2ea5eb.html .

Jackson goes on to say, Chavira also may have violated Arizona State Statues on open meeting violations by sending the email as the statute states that councilmembers ‘may not send or verbally communicate with (any) councilmembers requesting their assent on a council meeting agenda action item’.”

The Arizona Attorney General’s Office in its handbook on the Open Meeting Law states the following:

7.5.2 Circumventing the Open Meeting Law.  Discussions and deliberations (in person or otherwise) between less than a majority of the members of a governing body, violate the Open Meeting Law when used to circumvent the purposes of the Open Meeting Law.  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. 75-8; Town of Palm Beach v. Gradison, 296 So. 2d 473 (Fla. 1974).  Public officials may not circumvent public discussion by splintering the quorum and having separate or serial discussions with a majority of the public body members.  Splintering the quorum can be done by meeting in person, by telephone, electronically, or through other means to discuss a topic that has been or later may be presented to the public body for a decision.  Public officials should refrain from any activities that may undermine public confidence in the public decision making process established in the Open Meeting Law, including actions that may appear to remove discussions and decisions from public view.   

For example, Board members cannot use email to circumvent the Open Meeting Law requirements.  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I05-004 at 2.  “[E]ven if communications on a particular subject between members of a public body do not take place at the same time or place, the communications can nonetheless constitute a ‘meeting.’”  See Del Papa v. Bd. of Regents of Univ. and Cmty. Coll. Sys. Of Nev., 114 Nev. 388, 393, 956 P.2d 770, 774 (1998) (rejecting the argument that a meeting did not occur because the board members were not together at the same time and place).  Additionally, “[w]hen members of the public body are parties to an exchange of e-mail communications that involve discussions, deliberations, or taking legal action by a quorum of the public body concerning a matter that may foreseeably come before the public body for action, the communications constitute a meeting through technical devices under the [Open Meeting Law].”  See Ariz. Att’y Gen. Op. I05-004 at 1.  This may be true even if none of the members of the public body respond to the email.  Id. at 2-3.  If the one-way communication proposes legal action, then it would violate the Open Meeting Law.  Id.  However, other one-way communications, with no further exchanges, are not per se violations, and further examination of the facts and circumstances would be necessary to determine if a violation occurred.  Id. at 3.” 

If you believe, as I do, that Sammy has clearly violated the Arizona Open Meeting Law, you may go to the State Attorney General’s website and file a complaint. Any citizen can do so. Here is the link to the site which contains the Complaint Form: https://www.azag.gov/sgo  .

The Canvass of Votes was approved unanimously by the city council but it was not without comment. In the same Darrell Jackson article cited above, he reported that Councilmember Bart Turner prior to the council meeting said, “I have concerns about several irregularities about the election and I feel that by canvassing the votes, we are just accepting the numbers presented by the county and not confirming them,” Turner said by phone. “By canvassing and passing the vote, that, then opens the door for any candidate to challenge the procedure. Our duty is to be sure that to the best of our ability, the election was fully fair and respects the manner of all voters,” Turner said. “If I were to challenge the canvass, it wouldn’t be for one candidate of the other, but on policy and procedures that may not have been completely followed. As far as challenging results, that is the responsibility of the candidates.” His rhetoric was virtually parroted word for word by Councilmembers Tolmachoff and Aldama.

The “irregularities” to which Turner referred were: 1. Delayed opening of the voting location at Glendale High School and 2. The “missing” voter data discovered at Mensendick Elementary School. In his illegal email letter to all councilmembers Chavira asked the County Recorder to provide evidence that the voter data was not tampered with. Here is the response from the County Recorder’s Office regarding both issues that was sent per the Glendale City Clerk’s request and distributed to all councilmembers the day before their evening voting meeting. The first incident did not occur at a Yucca district polling site:

“Subject: Timeline of events at Glendale High School poll site on Primary election day 8/30/2016

 Primary election day 8/30/2016

 Sometime after 6:30am I was sent to 51 avenue and Maryland to pick up the equipment of a troubleshooter who was rear ended in a car accident. While moving supplies/equipment from the troubleshooter to my truck, I received a call at 6:51am directing me to go the Glendale High School poll site ( one of the rear ended troubleshooters polling places) and assist the inspector who was by himself, in a wheelchair with limited mobility to open the poll site.

 Upon arrival, I saw his wife, whom he called, putting out the vote here sign. Myself and another troubleshooter who arrived just after myself, assisted in putting the rest of the signage. I saw no voters waiting around, just kids and parents dropping the kids off.

 Around 7:30am a gentleman in a walker came in, signed the e-poll book and voted a ballot. 7:58am call send me to another poll site to swap out equipment.”

Primary Election August 30, 2016 – Affidavit re: Precinct 0513

Polling Location:               Don Mensendick School – 67th Ave & Missouri

Election Night – MPS Site reported no black bag no memory pack received

The first call made was to the Inspector Pat Burgett. She let me know that all materials were taken to the MPS truck by John Bowen, the Inspector for the co-located precinct 0045 Bethany Park

I then called John Bowen at approximately 1030pm.

He advised that he along with another board member, turned in all of the materials for both precincts and that he had a receipts. In our conversation I asked specifically about the memory packs to which he advised that both packs were sealed in their designated pink bubble bag and then those were sealed inside their individual black bags for each precinct.

We then waited for the MPS truck to arrive at MCTEC.

I did not know that the MPS site did not have the black bag for precinct 0513 until they arrived and we unloaded the truck.

After searching the truck and finding that the black bag was not in house, I volunteered to go first thing on Wed morning to the school.

I first called John Bowen at approx. 715am on Wed to let him know that we did not receive the black back with the memory pack and advised for him to please check his vehicle. He checked and called me back to let me know it was not in the vehicle. But he did have the receipts from the MPS site. I advised to bring them to the school to meet me so that we could retrieve the bag.

We agreed to meet at the school at 8am to gain access to the room where the equipment/supplies remained. (band room)

John arrived a few minutes before me, he had a school representative escort him to unlock the room and retrieved the bag as I was walking up to the room. He called me as I was approaching the school to advise that the bag was indeed in the room and that it was completely intact and that the seal was not broken.

John had his receipts. I confirmed that the receipt for 0513 did not have the top 2 items checked off (black bag & memory pack) All other items were marked. I wrote in Green ink pen on the receipt for 0513, the number to the seal that was on the black bag. I broke the seal with John there to verify that the pink memory pack bag was inside the black bag.

I then picked up a coworker (Jaime Sumner) at 8:35am from her home (approximately 2 blocks across the street from the school) and we drove together to the office with the black bag/memory pack.

We arrived with the black bag at approximately 9:15am.”

As Councilmember Ray Malnar said at the council meeting, the people who work the polls are volunteers and human. He felt that while some mistakes had occurred, none had risen to the level of voter fraud or vote tampering. I concur with his assessment. Originally I expressed concern regarding the “missing” votes at Mensendick School but after reading the above Affidavit I am satisfied that there was no vote tampering.

Apparently these answers from the County Recorder’s Office are not good enough for Chavira, Turner, Tolmachoff and Aldama. Yet they accepted the County Recorder’s and Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Official Canvass of Votes. If they were really concerned about Glendale’s election results, why did they vote to accept those very same results? Turner made one interesting remark when he said, “As far as challenging results, that is the responsibility of the candidates.” The only one who can contest the results is Sammy.

In another Glendale Star story also posted on September 13, 2016 by Darrell Jackson entitled Weiers wins, Clark reclaims Yucca seat, Chavira’s campaign manager, Ben Scheel, said, “At this point, we are following very closely and we will keep all our options open,” Scheel said. “We have spoken to an attorney, but are not calling for anything at this point. We just want to make sure all the votes are counted and after the final votes are posted, we will examine everything closely and make our decision.” Here is the link to this story: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_36fc4d94-79c0-11e6-92fd-7f16a95eaf36.html .

Mayor Weiers stated in response to the possibility of a challenge, “Challenge what? The fact is the machine was still sealed and verified and based on any other voting machine, there was no discrepancy. I believe it is fruitless (to challenge) and there is a point where you have to understand that it is time to do what is right for the city.”

Will Sammy contest the results? At this point, I simply don’t care what he does. Mathematically, any action by him will not change the final outcome – quite simply, I won. The margin of my win could change incrementally but the outcome remains the same. Sammy has a steep financial hill to climb in filing a contest to the election. He has to pay for an attorney and he has to pay for any recount should such an action be approved by a judge. The only two grounds, by state statute, that would allow for a recount are voter fraud and vote tampering. He has no proof of either and the burden of proof rests with him. His court adversaries would not be me but the attorneys representing the County Recorder’s Office. That office has clearly and unequivocally stated that all seals on the bags containing the voter data were intact.

It’s time for Burdick and Chavira to publicly concede. Their sound and fury signify nothing but sour grapes and at this point we are seeing not only sour grapes but grapes that have become moldy and rotten. While we are at it…Sammy take your campaign signs down. All signs belonging to losing primary candidates need to be down 15 days after the polls close. That’s Wednesday, September 14, 2016…today.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

Some facts:

  1. Sammy Chavira lost his council seat in the current August 30, 2016 Primary Election.
  2. I am Councilmember Elect of the Yucca district in Glendale.
  3. Yesterday, September 12, 2016 the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve and accept the Maricopa County Recorder’s Canvass of Votes.
  4. The Board of Supervisor’s vote is a mandatory legally recognized action taken as required by Arizona State Statutes. Here are the relevant statutes:

“16-646. Statement, contents and mailing of official canvass

  1. The board of supervisors shall deliver a copy of the official canvass for all offices and ballot measures in the primary and general elections to the secretary of state in a uniform electronic computer media format that shall be agreed upon between the secretary of state and all county election officials.
  2. The certified permanent copy of the official canvass for all offices and ballot measures in a city or town election shall be filed with the appropriate city or town clerk, or in a special district election with the clerk of the board of supervisors, who shall maintain and preserve them as a permanent public record.

16-647. Declaration of election to office; delivery of certificate of election

The board of supervisors shall declare elected the person receiving the highest number of votes cast for each office to be filled by the electors of the county or a subdivision thereof, and the clerk of the board shall, unless enjoined from so doing by an order of the court, deliver to each such person, upon compliance with the provisions imposed by law upon candidates for office as conditions precedent to the issuance of such certificates, a certificate of election, signed by the clerk and authenticated with the seal of office of the board of supervisors.”

  1. The Canvass of Votes Resolution is the last item on tonight’s, September 13, Glendale City Council meeting agenda:
16-392 1 28. 2016 Primary Election Canvass of Vote Resolutions RESOLUTION NO. 5154 NEW SERIES A RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF GLENDALE, MARICOPA COUNTY, ARIZONA, DECLARING THE OFFICIAL CANVASS OF VOTES CAST IN THE CITY OF GLENDALE PRIMARY ELECTION HELD AUGUST 30, 2016; DECLARING THE ELECTION OF THE MAYOR AND THREE COUNCILMEMBERS; AND ORDERING THAT A CERTIFIED COPY OF THIS RESOLUTION BE RECORDED. Staff Contact: Julie K. Bower, City Clerk
  1. This City Council action, whether it is approved or rejected or tabled, has no legal effect on the Canvass of Votes.  There is no state statute that requires a local jurisdiction to approve or reject the Canvass of Votes. The Glendale City Council vote is no more than a formality and ministerial. If necessary, I expect the Glendale City Attorney to verify this fact at tonight’s council meeting. Can you imagine the chaos that would ensue if each jurisdiction could reject the Canvass of Votes and overturn the voters’ decision? Only the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, by state statute, can vote to accept or reject the Canvass of Votes. By state statute, the Board of Supervisors vote regarding the County Recorder’s Canvass of Votes is a legal and binding action.
  2. Yesterday, September 12, 2016, Sammy sent the following letter to all Glendale City Councilmembers:

“Fellow Glendale Councilmembers,

I am greatly concerned by the election process that took place on August 30th. As my opponent, Joyce Clark, has already pointed out in previous correspondence, Glendale voters need reassurance that every single vote has been counted. (More about this statement further down in this blog.)

The loss of custody of a memory card containing voter completed ballots from the Don Mensendick polling location for over 12 hours brings into question the integrity (sic), and assurance are necessary to remove any shadow of doubt.

I am requesting the Maricopa County Recorder provide evidence to the City of Glendale and its residents that while the memory card was out of custody, it was not tampered with (sic). I am also currently working with the County Recorder to endure Glendale has not had ballots being dismissed due to signature irregularities or other reason (sic) without proper cause and procedure, as is being alleged in other parts of the county.

Until the County Recorder is able to provide this evidence I urge the Glendale Council to delay official canvassing of the election results with respect to Mrs. Clark, myself and Glendale residents.

Regards,

Councilmember Samuel U. Chavira”

  1. Sammy Chavira is in violation of State Statutes regarding the Open Meeting Law.  A councilmember may not send or verbally communicate with all councilmembers(or even another councilmember) requesting their assent on a council meeting agenda action item. The Canvass of Votes is an agenda action item scheduled for tonight, September 13, 2016. His letter to all councilmembers is the clearest and starkest example of an Open Meeting Law violation I have ever witnessed. I had no concern, as Sammy stated, as to whether every vote was counted. Rather in my communication to the County Recorder’s Office I suggested the very opposite.
  2. I sent the following email to the City Clerk when I learned of the situation at Mensendick School:

8/31/2016 12:18:50 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time

Hello Ms. Bower,

Thank you for providing information.

However, I am concerned as I suspect all other affected candidates are, about the integrity of these ‘missing’ ballots. Would you please forward this email on to Helen Purcell, the County Recorder, with the following question:

Ms. Purcell,

I understand the ballots from one Yucca district were ‘missing’ and have been discovered. I also understand they were ‘locked up’ overnight.

Please provide me with some proof of the integrity of these ballots. I don’t see how they can be legitimately counted when they were under no one’s supervision or care for an estimated 12 hours or better.

Respectfully,

Joyce Clark”

  1. Yesterday, September 12, 2016 I viewed the County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. Here is the link: http://maricopa.siretechnologies.com/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=3072&doctype=AGENDA . Steve Gallardo (a buddy of Sammy’s), District 5 Supervisor, asked about the “Mensendick school situation.” The County Recorder’s Office explicitly stated that the bags holding the voter data had their seals unbroken and intact. I am reassured and satisfied by their explanation of events. I accept the County Recorder’s explanation as true and valid. It seems Supervisor Gallardo accepted their explanation as well and was also satisfied as he seconded the motion to approve the Canvass of Votes. The motion was approved unanimously. There was no follow up questioning by Supervisor Gallardo nor did he make a motion to reject the Canvass of Votes.
  2. Yesterday afternoon the County Recorder’s Office sent to all councilmembers via the City Clerk its assurance and verification that the Mensendick ballots were not tampered with. Each councilmember has the evidence that Sammy requested from the County Recorder.
  3. The only way that Sammy can contest my win is to seek court action. Sammy has already been advised by an attorney that he has no case and will not win in court. It is his burden to prove that the Mensendick ballots were tampered with and that he cannot do.

Why did Sammy get his buddy, Supervisor Gallardo, to ask about the Mensendick situation only to have Gallardo approve the Canvass of Votes? Why did Sammy violate the Open Meeting Law with his request of all councilmembers to table their acceptance of the Canvass of Votes when council’s action has no legal effect? Why is Sammy so willing to deny the will and choice of Yucca district voters?

Sammy is embarrassed that he lost. Sammy is angry after he and his special interests flushed so much money down the toilet. Sammy is unwilling to accept the Yucca district voter’s decision.

Sammy is willing to use any means, foul or futile, to overturn the voice of the people. Sammy is unwilling to accept the voters’ rejection of his record: his abuse of taxpayer money; his failure to attend city council meetings; his failure to hold district meetings; his disdain for the law regarding a simple traffic ticket; and worst of all, his failure to return his constituents’ calls and to represent them. He lost because he didn’t do his job. He thought he was entitled. He was arrogant and exhibited a lack of respect for the very people he was supposed to serve.

Sammy is a loser. He lost the election. He needs to get over it and there is no expectation that he will do so gracefully or honorably. And while he’s at it…Sammy, it is way past time to take down your campaign signs. By law they are to be removed within 10 days. It’s now 13 days and counting. But then again, the law, whether it is the Open Meeting Law or Canvass of Votes, doesn’t seem to mean much to him.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

I’m going to take one moment to brag. In 2000 I ran for councilmember of the Yucca district as a write-in candidate and beat my opponent, the incumbent Martin Samaniego. No other candidate in the State of Arizona has done that. Sixteen years later, I ran for councilmember of the Yucca district and beat my opponent, the incumbent Sammy Chavira. No other candidate in the State of Arizona has defeated two incumbents for the same position.

The results are now final and both Mayor Weiers and I have won our contests. They were close elections. I garnered 1591 votes and Sammy had 1545, a margin of 46 votes. Mayor Weiers received 13,172 votes and Burdick had 12,767, a margin of 405 votes. Again, every vote counts.

Why were both races so close? I am not a political analyst but I think it comes down to 3 factors.

The first factor is money. Chavira raised $79,435.74 and spent to date $57,905.98. I raised $13,081.80 and spent $8050.53 to date. Chavira’s campaign outspent me 7 times to date. Burdick raised $108,376.00 and spent to date $98,779.15. Weiers raised $130,226.95 and spent $85,423.66 to date. I suspect the final figures will be greater once we see the Post Primary Campaign Finance Reports due to the City Clerk by September 29, 2016.

The amount of money spent on these two Glendale races is incredible…$250,159.32…a quarter of a million dollars just by the candidates’ campaign committees. Now add in the Independent Expenditures by Political Action Committees (PACs). The Truth and Leadership PAC appears to have spent $45,000 in opposition to Mayor Weiers and myself. The Fire Fighters Interested in Registration and Education spent $13,000 in opposition to Weiers and me. I have not been able to find the figures on what the Revitalize Arizona and Residents for Accountability PACs spent but I would estimate at least $50,000. Now the figure combining candidate expenditures and independent expenditures balloons to an estimated $350,000. That is stunning for local races.

With that kind of money both Chavira and Burdick send out scads of campaign mailers touting their credentials with fire…one as a Phoenix fire fighter and one as a retired fire chief. For many voters who don’t really pay attention to elections and just show up at the polls, what’s not to like? Fire fighters are heroes who save us. Both Chavira and Burdick banked that this alone would cause the uninformed voter to vote for them.

The second factor is involvement. Sammy is a strong case in point. Although I did not raise the kind of money that he did, I possessed something far more powerful…the interest, support and commitment of so many Yucca district residents that invested themselves in my campaign. Sammy, just as he had performed his job as a councilmember, was AWOL. He paid a company to get his petition signatures. He paid the same company to distribute his campaign material within the district and…are you ready for this? He paid each poll worker (and there were many) $120 plus lunch and dinner, to work each voting location. I had volunteers, citizens who did all of these things willingly and fervently.

The third factor is indefensible records and lies. Burdick and Chavira had records of previous service that they simply could not defend. Burdick never stood up to the fire union as chief and ceded his authority to it. Burdick admitted publicly that he lied about Weiers’ record upon advisement of his campaign consultants. Chavira used the same rhetoric against me that he used in his last campaign. They were lies then and they were lies this time. It’s like the boy who cried wolf. He couldn’t sell his lies a second time around. Sammy’s lack of service as a councilmember angered many Yucca district voters. Burdick’s and Chavira’s lies and exaggerations were deliberately used as smoke screens, to divert the voters’ attention away from their own poor records.

I will have two more blogs on this campaign’s analysis upcoming. One will be on the politics of the actors/supporters of this election and the other will be on the performance of the County Recorder’s Office. Once they have been posted we can all return to the issues facing Glendale. My blog will continue for those who have expressed concern that once I was elected, I would cease to write. I appreciate your continued readership during this campaign season. I bet you are glad Glendale’s races are over. I know that I am.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

There is no doubt that Sammy raised a ton of money for his campaign. Upon review of his campaign finance report filed on August 26, 2016, 99.9% of his money does not come from Yucca district residents or even Glendale residents for that matter. Here is the link to his campaign finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/PrePrimary-ChaviraforGlendale.pdf .

Where did Sammy get his money? Can you say special interests? Here are a few that should be of interest. Jacob Long gave $750 and his family attorney, Jim Miller, another $500. They benefitted recently with the approval of Stonehaven (between 83rd and 91st avenues; Camelback to Bethany Home Road). Stonehaven is a planned residential subdivision of over 1,200 homes with 46% of the lots being 5,500 SF (less than Glendale R1-6 standard of 6,000 SF lots). Sammy approved Long’s development with gushing words of praise. Gee, I  wonder why?

There were 3 Glendale residents who contributed: John Phebus, an attorney with offices in north Glendale gave $1000 (I wonder who he represents?); Tom Schmitt with no occupation or employer listed (it is a requirement per Arizona campaign law) gave $200; and Reginald Martinez gave $50. That’s it. No other Glendale or Yucca district resident thought enough of him to contribute.

But guess who did? Why, the fire fighters, course. Three individual fire fighters, from Mesa, Phoenix and California contributed a total of $500.  The big money ( a total of $11,300) comes from Fire Political Action Committees (PACs):

  • International Association of Fire Fighters          $6250 (the maximum allowed)
  • Avondale Fire Fighters                                           $ 500
  • Casa Grande Fire Fighters                                      $ 500
  • Gilbert Fire Fighters                                               $ 500
  • Glendale Fire Fighters                                           $2000 (violation of federal Hatch Act?)
  • Los Angeles, CA  Fire Fighters                                 $ 500
  • Prescott Fire Fighters                                             $ 250
  • Sedona-Verde Valley Fire Fighters                           $ 250
  • Surprise Fire Fighters                                            $1000
  • Tempe Fire Fighters                                              $1000
  • Mesa Fire Fighters                                                  $ 750
  • Peoria Fire Fighters                                                $ 500

I decided to run a grassroots campaign. If district residents and Glendale residents wanted me back they would support me. Here is the link to my campaign finance report: http://glendaleaz.com/Clerk/documents/PrePrimary-ClarkforCouncil.pdf . My campaign donations came from:

  • 21 contributions of $100 or more were from Glendale/Yucca district residents.
  • 10 contributions of $100 or more were from outside of Glendale. They were from friends, former colleagues and retired Glendale employees.
  • 22 contributions of $50 or less were from Glendale/Yucca district residents.
  • 5 contributions of $50 or less were from outside of Glendale. Again, they were from friends, former colleagues and retired Glendale employees.
  • I did receive 3 unsolicited PAC contributions totaling $1200 from 3 police associations that came with the endorsements I received from the Arizona Police Association and the Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.
  • No special interest money or PAC money was sought.

In terms of Sammy’s campaign expenditures, they paint a picture. He paid Ben Scheel of Bright Consulting another $5,570.85. Sammy did not plan or participate in his own campaign. He paid someone else to do it. He paid the LA Machine $7324.00 for field operations. Sammy did not walk his district. He paid someone else to do it.

Just as Sammy has been invisible as a councilmember and unresponsive to the people of his district who he is supposed to serve, he has been invisible as a candidate. He paid to have someone run his campaign and he paid someone to walk his district. In his three campaign reports now filed, he has not received a single donation from a Yucca district resident.

Sammy is about big money from special interests. That is who he will vote for and represent. Not you, not the people of the Yucca district.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST CHAVIRA VIDEO. IT WAS INDEPENDENTLY PRODUCED AND NOT PAID FOR OR AUTHORIZED BY CLARK FOR COUNCIL. IT IS TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN.

I have never seen local Glendale campaigns as dirty as they have become in this election cycle or the tremendous amount of outside, special interest money being spent on them.

 Case #1: Another Sammy lie. At the Glendale Women’s Club Forum on August 4, 2016 Sammy claimed responsibility for securing $5.5 million dollars in Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) grant funding. He said it was the result of his trips to D.C. Not so. There is not one scintilla of evidence produced by Sammy on his 2015 receipts for any D.C. trips stating they were for UASI grants. Scouring the City of Glendale website, in 2015 the Glendale Police Department (GPD) received $100,000 of UASI funding. No record of any grant for the Fire Department could be found. USAI grants are sought through and the funds are awarded to cities by the Arizona Department of Emergency Management. Sammy did turn in receipts for two meals with Phoenix fire officials and stated they were for “UASI regional funding.” All Glendale UASI grants are sought through and administered by personnel with the Glendale PD (GPD), not Sammy.

Case #2: Sammy’s unusual connections. Revitalize Arizona and Residents for Accountability are two PACs that have made independent expenditures in opposition to Mayor Weiers and me.  OpenSecrets.org says this on their website about Revitalize Arizona, This PAC does not exist in the 2016 election cycle. Try another cycle.” Residents for Accountability appears to be a shell PAC administered by the Torres Law Group, the same Torres Law Group that Sammy paid approximately $1700 to check petition signatures. It is registered in Tempe but has not been active since 2013. It is not registered with the Glendale City Clerk despite the fact that it has provided “major funding to Revitalize Arizona” for all of its mailings in Glendale.

When a PAC does independent expenditures in support of or opposed to a local candidate it must register with that community. In this case, that would be Glendale, since it is spending money in opposition to Mayor Weiers and me. I checked the Glendale City Clerk’s website as of August 6, 2016 and its list of registered PACs. Would it surprise you to find out that Revitalize Arizona quite recently was added to the Glendale City Clerk’s list but Residents for Accountability is not on her list? I wasn’t.

As for the required legal prohibition from consulting with a candidate or a candidate’s campaign committee keep in mind that BILL Scheel (Sammy’s consultant in 2012) of Javalina Consulting is using these two PACs as well as the Truth and Leadership PAC for nearly all of Chavira’s campaign mailers. BEN Scheel has been paid $1500 to date by Sammy as his campaign manager.

There appears to be a web of interconnectivity between those working on Sammy’s campaign or spending money in support of Sammy’s campaign.

Case #3: Sammy violates federal law. Sammy and those working for him deliberately placed Sammy’s campaign material in mailboxes in the Yucca district on August 6, 2016. It is a violation of U.S. postal regulations to place material that has not been mailed and has no postage in mailboxes. I am surprised that his consultants did not advise him not to do so or that Sammy allowed it to occur.

Case #4: Sammy lies…again. Sammy has consistently, deliberately and willfully misrepresented the truth. He uses not one single fact to substantiate his accusations. In other words, he is lying. He conveniently ignores City Manager Ed Beasley’s misrepresentations to city council (and Beasley’s inner circle who abetted him) and he ignores the actions of former Mayor Scruggs and her merry band of “yes-men” councilmembers who voted in the majority on everything Beasley and Scruggs wanted.

I, on the other hand, did not have to manufacture a single word. Sammy had self-inflicted wounds. The facts regarding Sammy’s abuse of taxpayer money was reported by the Arizona Republic and TV Channel 15. The facts about Sammy’s legal issues with his Glendale traffic ticket was reported by the Glendale Star. The facts regarding Sammy’s dozen absences from city council meetings and workshops are readily available from city council minutes on the city’s very own website. I didn’t have to make anything up.

These facts demonstrate a man lacking in ethics as a result of his own actions. He has disgraced the position of Yucca district councilmember. Add his lies and exaggerations about his record and his determination to smear me. This is a man who desperately wants to be re-elected and will resort to whatever is necessary to make that happen. The only way to try to make that happen was to deflect voters’ attention away from his record of misdeeds and inaction. He simply cannot defend it.

He truly believes, and is absolutely relying on his belief, that Yucca district voters are stupid and ignorant or that they will overlook his transgressions. He has been totally invisible to his residents and has done nothing to assist them yet he’s counting on their vote by using platitudes and wonderfully trite phrases. He has emphasized his fire fighter status assuming that because he is a fire fighter, voters will vote for him.

He can’t see to accept the fact that he has failed in his responsibilities to not only the people of his district but to the people of the community as a whole. He fails to realize that his abuse of power, lies and deceptions have made district voters very angry.

This has been a year of hanky panky by the fire-sponsored candidates in Glendale. The fire union has been low profile this election cycle but we should wonder about how much money they have spent in support of Burdick and Chavira. I suspect we won’t know until the next campaign reports are filed with the City Clerk on August 26, 2016.

This is a year of change and Yucca district voters have decided they can’t afford Sammy financially or ethically.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT THE LATEST VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN AS SAMMY CHAVIRA AND ANTHONY LEBLANC, CEO, SHARE A MOMENT PRIOR TO CHAVIRA’S FLIP FLOP VOTE FOR A $15 MILLION DOLLAR A YEAR ARENA MANAGEMENT CONTRACT

The countdown is on. Today is August 10, 2016. In 20 days all Early Ballots will have been mailed or will be turned in to voting sites and on August 30, 2016 voters will go to the polls to vote.

As did all candidates, I have walked and telephoned, delivered campaign fliers, had Meet ‘n’ Greets, participated in media interviews, planned the design of campaign mailers and mailed them out. I have posted on every social media site and even posted mini-videos. Campaign signs have been planted in residents’ yards and on nearly every street corner in the district. I exhausted the first supply of yard signs and had to order more.

I raised $9,640 – just $360 shy of a goal of $10,000. If you can give just a little bit thermometer w new numbers July 28 2016more I will have enough to cover bills still coming in. All of your $25, $50 and $100 donations added up and are a testament to the power of the people. Please send whatever you can to Joyce Clark, 8628 W. Cavalier Drive, Glendale, AZ 85305. Please make your check out to “Clark for Council.” If your contribution is over $50 by law I must have your name, address, employer and job title. My thanks to all who have donated as well as those who send me a contribution now, when it is needed the most.

The most amazing thing happened during this campaign. Not only have I had an opportunity to renew old friendships but nearly every contribution I have received has come from Yucca district residents or city-wide residents. I am so proud of that accomplishment but I am also very humbled and grateful to see the level of faith and trust so many of you have placed in me.

There are so many differences in our candidacies for the Yucca district city council position. I haven’t raised nearly the campaign cash that my opponent, Sammy Chavira, has raised but his first two filed campaign committee reports show that his money has come from only one source — special interests – the majority of cash and independent mailings from unions. Nearly all of my campaign donations have come from people like you.

There are stark differences in our campaign styles as well. Sammy has relied on his job as a fire fighter to provide you, the voter, with a reason to vote for him. But that is exactly why you should not vote for him. His full time job as a fire fighter has caused him to fail to carry out his responsibilities as a councilmember. Sammy has offered you, the voter, a laundry list of generalities in terms of his goals and accomplishments. Sammy has not bothered to list anything factual. Sammy can’t point to his record because it is so blemished and unethical.

We are judged “by the company we keep.” Sammy’s best buddy on city council was former Councilmember Garry Sherwood, recalled and disgraced. Many to this day believe that Sammy flip flopped on his campaign pledge and voted for the Coyotes deal so that Sherwood would support the casino.

  • Sammy has been invisible and failed to do his job as your councilmember.
  • Sammy has abused your trust in him by abusing taxpayer dollars on lavish trips.
  • Sammy thinks he’s above the law.
  • Sammy has offered a campaign platform devoid of anything concrete.
  • Sammy has presented only platitudes and generalities.
  • Sammy has a full time job as a fire fighter and no time to be a full time councilmember.
  • Sammy is offering the same, tired promises of 4 years ago and will fail to deliver on them just as he has done during his one term.

You deserve better than this. I pledge my accessibility and accountability. I’ve done it before and will do it again. I offer you my 5 E’s of Ethics, Economy, Engagement, Environment and Equity. I will post every taxpayer dollar spent from my councilmember budget. You deserve no less.

You have a choice. You can choose between Sammy’s years of inaction and my proven record of action. You can choose to “get your voice back” or you can have councilmember silence on the issues that concern you the most.

Here’s a simple comparison for your consideration:

  Sammy Joyce
Presented Biography No Yes
College graduate ?? Yes
Listed accomplishments while serving No Yes
Listed community involvement Yes Yes
Presented specific platform No Yes
Source of campaign contributions Special Interests The People
Current job full time fire fighter retired
Abused taxpayer dollars with travel Yes No
Held district meetings 1 in 4 years Min. of 2X a year
Attended neighborhood meetings No Yes
Returned your phone calls No Yes
Attended council meetings Missed 12 in 1 term Yes, faithfully
Active participant at council meetings No Yes
Failed to appear in court, driver’s license suspension as a result of a traffic ticket Yes No
Flop flopped on Coyotes vote Yes No

 

I have done all the things necessary in a campaign to convince you to support me…walked and talked, mailed and met. Now it is up to you. All I can do is wait and hope that you, the voter, recognize the real, basic differences between us and how we will represent you. I ask for your vote by Early Ballot or on August 30th.

Can you afford Sammy any longer?

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

Another Sammy mailer arrived today. All that special interest money allows him to mail out a gazillion campaign mailers. That’s ok. He will pay them back big time should he be elected.

This one touts his primary occupation as a Phoenix fire fighter. If you were electing a fire fighter then perhaps this campaign mailer would be pretty effective but he’s running as a councilmember. He’s hoping his fire fighter status will do the job that he can’t and get him elected.

His full-time, six figure job as a fire fighter is exactly why he has no time to fulfill his responsibilities as your district councilmember. After all, he collects $35,000 as a councilmember and that amount is not persuasive enough to get him to show up for council meetings and workshops. He missed a dozen of them, more than any Glendale councilmember in history. That’s why he doesn’t return your phone calls. That’s why he doesn’t hold district meetings. That’s why he hasn’t done anything.

Sammy has no record to fall back upon other than a record of abusing $25,000 of taxpayer money, his invisibility as a councilmember, and his flaunting the law with his Glendale ticket, failure to appear in court and his driver’s license suspension. Don’t forget his recent violation of federal law by placing campaign material with no postage (did not mail through the postal system) in citizen’s mailboxes. Complaints have been filed with the U.S. Post Office.

Many of you no longer get the Arizona Republic and may not have had the opportunity to read Paul Giblin’s story about Sammy’s taxpayer abuse published on March 4, 2016 in the Arizona Republic. I am offering the complete article to you now. It’s fairly long. Grab a cup of coffee or a Pepsi and sit down to read.

Chavira headline_Page_1AGlendale Councilman Sammy Chavira charges $24K in trips in 3 years to taxpayers

Paul Giblin, The Republic | azcentral.com 9:47 a.m. MST March 4, 2016

On Dec. 17, 2014, Glendale City Councilman Sammy Chavira received a cheery email from his friend Ruben Gallego, who had just been elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.

Gallego and his wife invited him to attend Gallego’s inauguration in Washington, D.C., via an email sent from Gallego’s campaign account to Chavira’s personal account.

Nineteen days later, Chavira arrived in Washington — and the charges started piling up: $1,282 for airfare on US Airways; $685 for two nights’ lodging at the JW Marriott hotel near the White House; $78 for a room-service steak burger and other meals; $30 for a couple of cab rides.

Chavira’s bills totaled $2,075. He expensed it all to Glendale taxpayers.

A few months later, Gallego invited Chavira back to Washington to watch Pope Francis’ address to Congress. Chavira expensed $1,933 to Glendale taxpayers for that trip.

Glendale allots thousands of dollars to each council member for travel annually. Its travel policy dictates that expenditures should only be incurred for “clear business needs” that benefit the city.

Those trips were among 13 out-of-state trips that the first-term councilman expensed to Glendale taxpayers since taking office in January 2013, according to documents obtained by The Arizona Republic through public-records requests.

The Republic also found:

Chavira expensed six trips to the nation’s capital. During one, Chavira, who works as a Phoenix firefighter, charged Glendale taxpayers for a $420 seafood dinner for several guests, including two of his Phoenix Fire Department supervisors and a supervisor’s spouse.

Chavira made three trips to the Los Angeles area, including two for economic-development purposes, though documentation of those ventures is vague.

The councilman regularly racks up hundreds of dollars of airline fees for late changes to his flight plans and for baggage — doubling, tripling and quadrupling original charges. One postponed flight allowed Chavira to attend a party that then-Councilman Gary Sherwood hosted the night of his recall election. Sherwood lost the recall.

Chavira and Sherwood shared the lead as the most frequent fliers on the council. They charged taxpayers for 13 out-of-state trips each since 2013, though all of Sherwood’s trips were to attend conferences.

Glendale has lax controls over council members’ travel expenses, allowing each member to spend as much as $18,000 a year to attend conferences and to cover office expenses, with few restrictions. 

Chavira and his assistant scheduled and canceled three interviews with The Republic to discuss the matter. Finally, Chavira agreed to answer emailed questions, but instead he outlined the goals of his travels in general terms and did not address specific questions about the expenses.

“I’ve never hidden these trips. I’ve documented each and every trip, per city policy. I believe the trips are consistent with my role as an advocate for our city, Glendale residents and our business owners.”

Councilman Sammy Chavira

“I made these trips on behalf of the city for legitimate purposes — to pursue economic development opportunities; to cement valuable relationships; to help improve Glendale public safety and to secure our city’s share of federal funds and grants,” he stated in the email.

Overall, he billed $24,307 for the 13 trips.

Council members police their own expenses

Each council member controls an $18,000-a-year expense budget, according to Glendale’s City Council guidelines. One stipulation is the money must be “for city business only.”

Ultimately, each council member is responsible for certifying that his or her travel expenses are for city business, said Brent Stoddard, the city’s director of intergovernmental programs.

Vice Mayor Ian Hugh said elected officials should be prepared to defend their spending.

“The council has a lot of leeway how they spend it, but you then have to answer to the public on the rationale why,” he said.

Hugh is one of two sitting council members who haven’t expensed any out-of-state trips since 2013. Ray Malnar, who replaced Sherwood in November 2015, is the other.

Kevin McCarthy, president of the Arizona Tax Research Association, questioned how Chavira could justify the Gallego and pope trips as official city business.

“It’s staggering to me that people don’t get it — that taxpayers not only aren’t going to support it, but it undermines their confidence when this sort of stuff happens. It should be a given that it’s inappropriate to use taxpayer money for personal travel,” he said.

Inauguration trip

The invitation to Gallego’s inauguration included these events: an all-day open house at Gallego’s congressional office in the Longworth House Office Building, a ceremonial swearing-in at the Jones Day law office, a televised swearing-in back at the Longworth building and a happy-hour reception at the Hawk ’n’ Dove restaurant and bar.

It wasn’t clear from emails which events Chavira attended.

Gallego, a Democrat, is serving his freshman term in Congress. His 7th Congressional District covers parts of Phoenix and Glendale, including approximately 8 square miles of Chavira’s district.

Chavira’s expense report noted that the purpose of the trip was “Congressional Swearing in for Ruben Gallego.” In his email to The Republic, he stated that he was invited as an elected leader.

“With that said, my trip to Washington was about far more than the inauguration. That trip also included numerous meetings related to the Urban Area Safety Initiative, a program meant to help urban regions like Glendale and the Valley work to combat terrorism and lower crime,” he stated in the email.

He did not provide documentation for those meetings, but he would have been on a tight schedule.

According to his expense report, he was scheduled to arrive at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport at 7:47 p.m. the day before the inauguration, and leave at 10:25 a.m. the day after.

Seeing Pope Francis

Eight months after the swearing-in trip, Chavira accepted an invitation from Gallego to travel to Washington again to watch a broadcast of the pope’s address to Congress. Chavira expensed a $1,933 trip from Sept. 23-25, 2015, records show.

An assistant for Gallego offered Chavira a ticket for a seat to watch the broadcast on the West Terrace of the Capitol.

Chavira responded, “Thank you! I am very blessed and honored to have you think about me!”

The next day, Chavira’s assistant asked Gallego’s assistant if a second ticket was available, because Chavira wanted to bring a guest. The emails did not specify whether Chavira was given a second ticket.

Chavira’s expense report stated that the purpose of the trip was “Invited to see the pope in D.C. by Congressman Gallego.”

In his email to The Republic, Chavira stated: “While my trip to Washington D.C. in 2015 included attending the pope’s appearance in the Capitol, this was not just ‘a trip to see the Pope.’ My agenda for that trip included multiple meetings focused on using fire fighters to impact the prevalence of sex trafficking and to help victims of sex trafficking.”

His meetings included those with Gallego and U.S. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., he stated in the email.

Gallego’s assistant Christina Carr told The Republic that Chavira and Gallego met briefly in the congressman’s office on the day of the pope’s speech to discuss local issues and the papal visit.

Sinema’s assistant Macey Matthews said Chavira and Sinema did not have an official meeting, but they talked briefly at the Capitol on the day of the pope’s visit. “She doesn’t remember the specific details of what they discussed,” Matthews wrote in an email.

Chavira’s expense reports show he was on a tight schedule then, too.

He was scheduled to arrive at Reagan National at 4:08 p.m. the day before the pope’s speech, and leave at 10:30 a.m. the day after.

“Clearly, any travel that an elected official does on behalf of the city should be related to city business.”

Ken Strobeck, League of Arizona Cities and Towns executive director

Cities use various guidelines to define legitimate travel, said Ken Strobeck, executive director of the League of Arizona Cities and Towns, an organization that represents municipalities before the state Legislature.

“Clearly, any travel that an elected official does on behalf of the city should be related to city business,” he said.

“I take kind of a biased view on this. I think a lot of people say, ‘Oh, you shouldn’t be traveling,’ ” Strobeck said. “You don’t find a whole lot of wisdom just if you go into the same office every day and don’t ever get any outside ideas.”

State and national conferences offer valuable training and educational programs, he said.

Strobeck declined to comment about whether the Gallego and pope trips should be considered city business.

Dinner with Phoenix bosses

While Chavira serves as an elected city councilman for Glendale, he works as a firefighter for Phoenix. He’s also involved with the Urban Area Safety Initiative, a federal program that provides grants to further municipal and regional preparedness for terrorism and major disasters.

Chavira expensed a $3,236 trip to Washington on Oct. 8-10, 2014, for meetings associated with the grants program.

During the trip, he charged Glendale taxpayers for a $420 dinner for himself and several guests at Johnny’s Half Shell, a seafood restaurant with views of Capitol Hill. They had four orders of shrimp cocktail, 1½ dozen oysters, four orders of seafood stew, halibut, scallops, gumbo and more.

According to Chavira’s expense report, the dinner party included Phoenix Fire Chief Kara Kalkbrenner and Assistant Chief Scott Krushak, plus Kalkbrenner’s husband, Phoenix Director of Homeland Security and Emergency Management Kevin Kalkbrenner.

“If he was traveling as a Phoenix firefighter, I don’t know how you charge any of that to the city of Glendale. I’m not really sure what the details were of that trip — and yeah, a $400 meal is ridiculous.”

Glendale Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff

Other dinner-party guests included Phoenix Police Executive Assistant Chief Dave Harvey and Phoenix Councilman Daniel Valenzuela. Former Glendale Fire Chief Mark Burdick, who has since resigned and announced his candidacy in the Glendale mayoral race, also attended.

Phoenix Fire Deputy Chief Shelly Jamison said Kara Kalkbrenner felt there were no improprieties in allowing a subordinate to pick up the bill.

“The group did accept Chavira’s offer to pay and apparently understood that it would be reimbursed by city expenses,” Jamison said.

Glendale City Councilwoman Lauren Tolmachoff said she has several questions about the matter.

“I don’t really know what that was about. If he was traveling as a Phoenix firefighter, I don’t know how you charge any of that to the city of Glendale. I’m not really sure what the details were of that trip — and yeah, a $400 meal is ridiculous.”

Trips to California

Concerning the California trips, Chavira noted in expense records that the purpose for a trip to Montebello, Calif., in November 2015 was “Economic Development-grid projects & special events in CA.”

He wrote that the reason for a trip to West Covina, Calif., in October 2015 was “Light Rail and bring LA restaurant to CB Ranch in CA,” a reference to Glendale’s spring-training park Camelback Ranch.

In his email to The Republic, Chavira stated that the trips combined multiple opportunities.

“I met with the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI), which is an excellent model for innovation and entrepreneurship that I hope to implement in Glendale. Additionally, these two trips involved meetings with a number of political and sports-world leaders concerning the possibility of partnerships back home in Glendale,” he stated.

Chavira did not include names of business, political and sports leaders with whom he met. Officials with the clean-tech concern did not return messages about the matter.

The October 2015 trip followed an introduction Chavira facilitated between Glendale resident Luis De La Cruz and officials at Glendale’s spring-training stadium.

De La Cruz is the majority owner of Manuel’s Original El Tepeyac Café, a Los Angeles restaurant known for its five-pound burrito. During the meeting, De La Cruz proposed the idea of El Tepeyac selling items at Camelback Ranch stadium, according to De La Cruz and stadium President Jeff Overton.

The group met at Camelback Ranch on Sept. 1, 2015, but no deals were struck. In October, Chavira sampled the food at El Tepeyac in Los Angeles and De La Cruz introduced him to officials at the clean-tech incubator, De La Cruz said in an interview.

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox play spring-training games at Camelback Ranch.

Brian Friedman, the city’s economic-development director, said he did not accompany Chavira on the trips and that the councilman didn’t coordinate with him about them. Friedman said he is unfamiliar with the term “grid projects.”

By comparison, Mayor Jerry Weiers coordinated with Glendale economic-development officials on three of his five business-recruitment trips. Those three trips were affiliated with the Greater Phoenix Economic Council, while the other two were associated with Lockheed Martin, the aerospace company that manufactures F-35 fighter jets that are based at Luke Air Force Base in Glendale.

No other council members expensed similar trips.

Additional costs for late and change fees

Chavira frequently incurs charges for changing his flights and rebooking them at higher fees on short notice. In addition, he nearly always checks two pieces of luggage, incurring $120 or more in luggage fees, even on short jaunts.

For example:

On a trip to Nashville, Tenn., for a League of Cities conference on Nov. 4-6, 2015, change fees and other fees increased a $394 airfare to $895.

On a trip to Montebello, Calif., for light-rail meetings on Dec. 4-5, 2014, change fees and other fees pushed a $342 airfare to $652.

On a trip to Austin, Texas, for a League of Cities conference on Nov. 19-22, 2014, change fees and other fees jacked up a $243 airfare to $1,039.

On a trip to Washington, D.C., for another League of Cities conference on March 7-12, 2014, change fees and other fees elevated a $425 airfare to $1,436.

Since taking office, he has charged taxpayers a combined $3,136 in rebooking fees and other airline fees, records show.

Fellow council members have noticed that Chavira is a heavy traveler, Tolmachoff said. For example, he arrived a day after most other council members on the Nashville trip, but checked at least two pieces of luggage.

“It’s like, how in the world can you even bring that much stuff with you? I mean, I don’t know. Maybe he needs a lot of hair products and that sort of thing,” she said.

Chavira did not submit baggage-fee receipts for the Nashville trip. Instead, he submitted three documents for lost or missing receipts, a common practice for him.

One document for the Nashville trip accounted for $60 in baggage fees for the outgoing American Airlines flight on Nov. 4. A second document noted an additional $75 in baggage fees for the same flight. A third document logged $60 in baggage fees for the return flight two days later.

American Airlines typically charges $25 for a single checked piece each way, $35 for a second and $150 for a third.

Nothing in Chavira’s expense reports account for the discrepancies.

Chavira stated in the email to The Republic, “I’ve never hidden these trips. I’ve documented each and every trip, per city policy. I believe the trips are consistent with my role as an advocate for our city, Glendale residents and our business owners.”

Tolmachoff, who is in her first term, said she was surprised by the city’s lack of controls over travel expenses.

The city has covered three out-of-state trips for Tolmachoff since she took office in December 2014. All were for conferences.

“We have to turn in our receipts and sign for everything, but it’s not like other places where I’ve had expenses that I turned in where people were actually reviewing it,” she said.

Good for you. You read the story to the end.

We can’t afford Sammy or his ethics.

PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN ABOUT CHAVIRA’S MOMENT WITH ANTHONY LEBLANC, OWNER OF ICEARIZONA BEFORE VOTING APPROVAL OF THEIR $15 MILLION A YEAR MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

The August 4th edition of the Glendale Star ran the following under Letters to the Editor.

An open letter to Mark Burdick

“Dear Mr. Burdick:

We are writing you in response to your comments to the editorial staff of The Glendale Star. Specifically, your astounding admission that you were knowingly and deliberately attempting to deceive the voters of Glendale by misrepresenting the record and accomplishments of our current mayor, Jerry Weiers. You explained that your advisors told you that you needed to lie in order to have a chance of winning the race, but this, in no way, relieves you of the responsibility of your deceit.

Your campaign consultants may have advised you to lie, but you willingly agreed to do it. You stood before the people of Glendale and lied. You wrote editorials to newspapers that contained lies. And even after being confronted, you doubled down on the lies.

It is our belief that while a campaign over legitimate policy differences is healthy and worthy of our city, you have run the most dishonorable race imaginable. You cannot lead a city if you cannot be honest with the citizens of that city. Nor would we want you to.

Accordingly, we believe that, through your dishonest actions and gleeful confession, you have disqualified yourself as a legitimate candidate for mayor and we ask that you withdraw from this race. It is unfair to subject the voters of Glendale to another month of lies masquerading as a political campaign.”

Respectfully,

Ray Malnar, Councilmember

Ian Hugh, Vice Mayor

Bobby Casares

John LeGendre

Larry Rovey

Ron Kolb

Norma Alvarez

Adela Guerra

Laura Hirsch

Bobby Gonzalo

Bill Kelleher

Richard and Mickey Lund

Randy Miller, USMC Ret

Tom Traw

Jeff Blake

The reason I have posted this Letter to the Editor is Sammy Chavira, who supports Mark Burdick for Mayor (and after all, why wouldn’t he…they are both in fire; one a former Chief and the other currently a Phoenix fire fighter) took a page out of Mark Burdick’s style of campaigning. He took a kernel of truth and misrepresented it beyond recognition.

Another pro-Chavira mailer hit the streets today. This time paid by Revitalize Arizona with major funding by Residents for Accountability. It’s my understanding that a PAC that spends money on behalf of a Glendale candidate must be registered with the Glendale City Clerk. As of August 4th, neither of these PACs is registered with the Glendale City Clerk according to the City Clerk’s website. In fact, OpenSecrets.org says, “This PAC does not exist in the 2016 election cycle. Try another cycle.” The Residents for Accountability PAC is registered with the City of Tempe but was only active in 2012 and 2013.

It’s another one of those pesky “Independent mailers” supposedly unknown to candidate Chavira nor coordinated with his campaign committee. Haven’t we seen this disclaimer before with his previous mailer? You bet we have. If one had the time to dig deep enough the connections between these two PACs and Sammy would be discovered.

Sammy’s mailer takes one fact: that I chaired the Risk Management and Workers Compensation Trust Fund as the city council representative. That is a fact and is true.

Sammy’s mailer implies that I was a participant or condoned the misappropriation of taxpayer dollars while serving on this board. That is not a fact and not true.

I served as Chairperson of the Board during my last year of council service in 2012. An audit of the money in the Risk Management Trust Fund and Workers Compensation trust fund was conducted in 2012. The misappropriation of funds by city staff members that had the responsibility of managing the funds on a daily basis had occurred several years earlier.

I was not chairperson of the board at the time of misappropriation but I did chair the board when it was discovered and when the solutions to fixing the problems were crafted. The board immediately released its findings with a series of corrective measures to prevent it from happening again — to the city council which accepted the recommendations unanimously.

Sammy’s mailer also says, “…helped lead a spending spree that nearly bankrupted our city.” It’s just another Burdick-like lie. Boy, I wish I had had that kind of power! Things would be a lot different.

No, the spending spree lies at the feet of former Mayor Elaine Scruggs and her band of crony councilmembers. She had the majority of votes on council that approved much of it and included former Councilmembers Yvonne Knaack and Manny Martinez, both of whom have endorsed Mark Burdick.

The mailer goes on to say, “…she called the auditors ‘nitpicky’.” Lie. I did not. I was shocked to learn of the misappropriations and supported all of the conclusions in the auditors’ report. I did say that I thought some of the irrelevant details in the report were “nitpicky.” One word – yet taken completely out of context.

Again, let me remind you all of the accusations against Chavria are fact based upon his decisions and actions and reported in detail in various media, both TV and the newspapers.

As was stated in the above letter, it is unfair to subject the voters of the Yucca district to another month of lies masquerading as a political campaign.”

Sammy has done the same that Burdick has done by misrepresenting the record and accomplishments.” Is it any wonder that Sammy is endorsing Burdick? There’s an old adage, “Birds of a feather flock together.”

These men are part of a “flock” that has no place in the leadership of Glendale.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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.

PLEASE CHECK OUT OUR NEW VIDEO TO THE LEFT OF THIS COLUMN ABOUT CHAVIRA’S MOMENT WITH ANTHONY LEBLANC, OWNER OF ICEARIZONA BEFORE VOTING APPROVAL OF THEIR $15 MILLION A YEAR MANAGEMENT CONTRACT.

Several friends received Sammy’s first campaign mailing and gave me copies. As I forewarned this mailer was paid for by Truth and Leadership, a Political Action Committee (PAC).  Its Chairman is Bill Scheel, of Javalina, a consulting firm. He managed Chavira’s last campaign in 2012. It is registered as an Independent Expenditure Committee.

An independent expenditure committee, by law, may not consult, share information or its plan of action in support of a candidate, with the candidate. That means no personal contact with a candidate.

The mailing clearly says, “Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s campaign committee.”

One has to wonder if Bill Scheel, chairman of the Truth and Leadership PAC, and Ben Scheel of Bright Consulting (paid $1500 on 5/13/2016 by Sammy for campaign consulting) are relatives.

The mailer was also paid by “major funding provided by United Food & Commercial Workers Union of AZ Local 99 PAC” (Stan Chavira works for the UFCW). Is this yet another relative? The major funding for the mailer from the UFCW is in addition to another $6250.00 it already contributed to Sammy’s campaign. It’s eerie…Bill and Ben Scheel and Sammy and Stan Chavira. It makes you wonder.

Are we to assume that Sammy Chavira has never discussed funding for or the content of this mailer with his relative Stan Chavira and are we also to assume that Bill Scheel and Ben Scheel (are they also relatives?) never discussed this mailer either? Ben Scheel is Sammy’s current campaign manager. So how would that work? If these actions occurred – and we don’t know if they did – that would be collusion and a direct violation of the Truth and Leadership PAC’s requirement to be a truly independent expenditure committee.

Let’s give Mr. Bill Scheel of the Truth and Leadership PAC an “A” for creative writing in fiction. Mr. Scheel describes Sammy as an “independent voice.” Pure fiction easily seen if you ever watched Sammy in action (or non-action) at the council meetings he did attend. Sammy and former recalled councilmember Gary Sherwood were in lock step on many issues including Sammy’s deciding vote to approve the $15 million dollar a year arena management contract with IceArizona. So much for any voice from Sammy as he has become legendarily known for not offering anything meaningful at council meetings other than to thank everybody for any and every thing. So much for an “independent voice.”

Mr. Scheel, in bold text, offers you, the voter, two tag lines: “Yes to stopping special interests” and “No to cutting public safety and quality of life.” It sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? Saving Glendale — all by himself. Sammy has looked out for the interests of every major contributor to his campaigns, from this campaign as well as his 2012 campaign. Sammy didn’t stop IceArizona, a special interest group, did he? Perhaps it was because he’s a full time Phoenix fire fighter and doesn’t have time to listen to his constituents.

We wouldn’t expect Sammy to ever say no to cutting public safety because his interest and agenda, as a fire fighter, is to other fire fighters including those in Glendale. But if it’s for the citizens of his district he settles for crumbs. His action to approve a 7,500 square foot trailer as the West Branch Library has certainly been devastating to the quality of life for all Yucca district residents. He settled… for less than any other Glendale resident enjoys with the Foothills Branch Library ( 4 times the size of the trailer library west Glendale residents will get…eventually) and Velma Teague Branch Library (twice the size of the trailer library) .

His approval of the John F. Long application for the residential project known as Stonehaven with 46% of the lots being only 5,500 square feet has a real impact on Yucca district residents’ quality of life as they see their property values lessen. He didn’t protect the district’s quality of life with his yes vote for Stonehaven. He settled.

Bill Scheel, chairperson of the Truth and Leadership PAC, Patrick Barrett (another campaign consultant being paid handsomely by Chavira in the amount of $4,000 to date) and Ben Scheel ($1,500 to date) are masters at using smoke and mirrors to divert the voters’ attention away from Chavira’s transgressions and failings.

They deliberately use buzz phrases like “led the charge” or “stood up to special interests.” They have no choice but to paint Sammy as a hero to divert voters’ attention away from his misdeeds. They don’t want you to remember about his nearly $25,000 thousand dollars worth of unethical travel on the taxpayers’ dime. Yes, you read that correctly. He used your tax dollars as his own personal check book to take trips and to entertain his Phoenix fire bosses with an extravagant dinner ($420) – all of these actions are wholly unrelated to his responsibilities to Glendale.

They don’t want you to remember his speeding ticket and failure to appear in court or his subsequent driver’s license suspension and hundreds of dollars in fines. They don’t want you to remember that he called it “a minor glitch.” They don’t want you to remember that he paid his fines only after being questioned by the media.

They don’t want you to remember that he held only one district meeting during his term in office, or that he has been absent from a dozen council meetings, the equivalent of 6 months of absent time for which he continued to be paid; or that he doesn’t return constituent calls. Because if you remember these things you will not vote for him.

They have shown utter contempt and disrespect for the voters of the Yucca district. They assume you are ignorant or perhaps stupid. They assume if they put in writing that Sammy is a hero and you receive a slick campaign mailing saying so, since it’s in print, you will believe it.

They don’t know how smart Yucca voters are and they certainly have not gauged the level of anger people feel about Sammy’s misbehaviour.  It looks as if Sammy is just another sleazy politician who believes he can charm you enough so that you will ignore his unethical actions.

It’s up to you, with your vote, to show Sammy and his paid, hired gun consultants and the fire PACs that will pour thousands of dollars into Sammy’s campaign, that you will no longer vote for Sammy as a councilmember. We simply cannot afford his outrageous spending of taxpayers’ money or his lack of ethics any longer.

© Joyce Clark, 2016

FAIR USE NOTICE

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 tohttp://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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