Please note: Some of the information presented here is repetition of information from my previous blog on Cholla candidates Gary Deardorff and Van DiCarlo; and applies to all candidates. Some of you reading this blog for the first time may not have read the previous ones.

If you have relatives, friends or acquaintances that live in the Cholla district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Cholla candidates prior to casting their vote.

Early ballots are mailed at the end of July, 2014. Candidates (well, most of them) have their websites up, are raising campaign money (or not) and beginning to stake out their positions on Glendale issues.

We begin with the Cholla district council candidates in alphabetical order: Gary Deardorff, Van DiCarlo, Robert Petrone and Lauren Tolmachoff. These 4 candidates share some commonalities. They are running, generally, because they were encouraged by friends or family to do so and obviously, they all believe that they can contribute solutions to fix Glendale’s financial situation.

All of the information to be discussed will be based on the candidates’ websites and their June 30, 2014 Campaign Finance Reports. Some of the candidates I had met previously and am familiar with their positions on various issues. Others I have never met and so I arranged an interview with them.

We’ll take a look at each candidate’s Campaign Finance Report of June 30, 2014. Here is the link to Glendale City Clerk’s posting of each candidate finance report: http://www.glendaleaz.com/Clerk/2014PoliticalCommitteeCampaignFinanceReports.cfm . Go to that page and you can choose which candidate’s campaign finance report you wish to read.

Each report totals 19 pages. The first 2 pages are summary pages. Section A will show all contributions from individuals. Section B shows all political committee contributions. Section C shows loans either the candidate made to the campaign or any other loan received. Section D deals with all expenditures. Section E is for In-Kind contributions and Section F shows miscellaneous items.

This could be considered nit-picky but the finance report is 19 pages. Each candidate’s report should consist of a minimum of 19 pages (there may be multiple pages especially in Sections A and D). Some candidates did not submit the minimal 19 pages. It could be assumed that if they had no financial activity to report in certain areas they just did not bother to include those pages. Technically, that is not a complete report. All pages should be submitted and if there was no activity to report in certain categories, the candidate can leave the page blank, draw a line through the page or indicate “NA,” no activity. Even if a candidate has a treasurer who fills out the report the candidate is still ultimately responsible for the accuracy and veracity of his or her filing.

There is another kind of Campaign Finance Report a candidate can submit and that is a No Activity Statement. That means the candidate didn’t receive any contributions and did not spend any money. Some of the council candidates filed this kind of report.

The items to look for are: what individuals are contributing; are they Glendale residents, relatives, attorneys or other professionals; or Political Action Committees (PACs)? Did the candidate loan his or her campaign any money? How much? Are the expenditures typical of a campaign; signs, printing, bank charges, food for fund raising events or volunteers; web site design or hosting? Is the candidate using a paid political consultant? At what cost?

At this stage of the game candidates are often reluctant to reveal too much about their finances. They may ask that large contributions be made after June 1, 2014 to be reported in the Pre-Primary Report or after August 15, 2014 for the Post-Primary Report.

Robert Petrone

Campaign Finance Report – His report consists of all 19 pages. On the heading of his first Summary page he failed to fill in the name of the office he is seeking and an email address. Mr. Petrone loaned his campaign committee $10,000.00. He has no treasurer. Please remember, Mr. Petrone ultimately bears the responsibility for the accuracy and veracity of his report.

Campaign contribution limits have become very generous as a result of recent court rulings. In the last election of 2012, the individual contribution limit was $400. Now it is $2,500. A political committee’s limit is now $2,500 and a Super PAC’s limit is $5,000. The trick for local candidates is to get large contributions. It’s not an easy task.

Mr. Petrone has received 4 contributions from individuals in the amount of $4,600. He received $900 from David Penilla, an attorney; $1,000 from Simon Kottoor, owner of Sunshine Group Home; $200 from Goodman & Schwartz, a political consulting/lobbying firm; and $2500 from Sovereign Consulting. Petrone employed Sovereign, the same consulting firm that contributed $2,500 to his campaign. He paid Sovereign $1,155.00 for signature collection and verification. The balance of his campaign expenditures are for just one campaign item, signs.

The noteworthy take-aways from Petrone’s campaign report are: 1. His campaign is self funded in the amount of $10,000 to date; 2. He has received 4 contributions in the amount of$4,600 to date; 3. He failed to provide complete information on the Summary page of the Campaign Finance Report; and 4. While he received $2,500 from Sovereign Consulting, he also turned around and paid the firm $1,155 for signature collection and verification. He used information provided by Sovereign to challenge Deardorff’s number of valid petition signatures signaling that he considers Deardorff to be his greatest threat. He appears to have personally collected petition signatures but also used this company to get signatures as well.

Website — his campaign website is http://www.citizens4petrone.com  . Contact information: Citizens4petrone, 19626 N 73rd Ave., Glendale, Az. 85308                                                                                                                 Telephone:  623 451 8328    E-mail: citizens4petrone@aol.com

His website provides you sparse biographical information, a photo gallery (just 1 photo), campaign donation info and contact info. Mr. Petrone offers nothing regarding Glendale issues. Throughout his website he often makes reference to his service as Chairperson of the citizen Planning & Zoning Commission.  It appears that he is relying on that service and the endorsement of Cholla Councilmember Martinez to provide him credibility. I have not talked to Mr. Petrone but I have met him at past city functions and have observed his work on the Planning Commission. I did not meet with him because in a previous blog dated April 22, 2014  (here is the link: Glendale Cholla district council candidate Robert Petrone http://wp.me/p3aHul-wG  )  I discussed Mr. Petrone’s past personal financial difficulties. Those difficulties seem to indicate that he has had problems in managing his financial affairs and seriously diminish his viability as a serious candidate.

Mr. Petrone has lived in Glendale and the Cholla district for almost 40 years. He is married. He has participated in Glendale community affairs most notably as Chair of the Planning and Zoning Commission. He has his own landscaping business and believes that his work schedule is flexible enough to accommodate the demands of serving as a councilmember.

His relationships with staff demonstrated by his service on boards and commissions indicate his sympathy for staff’s agenda. Although the fire union will not declare support for candidates until after the Primary Election, Mr. Petrone seems to be first in line to receive their support. He has offered no website stance on the issues of Glendale’s finances, the sales tax sunset or the proposed casino.

After review of all 4 Cholla district candidates we’ll try to narrow the choices down to 2 people. In this district, as with the other council races, there are so many candidates none of them is expected to win outright in the primary and we can expect a run off in the general election in November.  Next up, Lauren Tolmachoff.

© Joyce Clark, 2014

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