On September 30, 2016 the Glendale Star reported former mayoral candidate Mark Burdick was fined $619.59 for violating state statute. Here is the link: http://www.glendalestar.com/news/article_37133b8c-8431-11e6-8aee-c743b27a385d.html .

Glendale City Attorney Michael Bailey shipped the investigation over to Scottsdale City Attorney Bruce Washburn to avoid any conflict of interest.

Every candidate is required to include “paid for by” and the name of the campaign committee on all campaign literature. Burdick violated the law. He sent out a hit piece on Mayor Weiers and failed to include attribution to his committee.

As for the $600+ in fines, can you say unbelievable? Burdick is claiming that the cost of the campaign mailer including postage was $1,239. Washburn says, “You have provided me with an invoice indicating the cost of the mailer was $1,239, which you have informed me is inclusive of postage and all other related costs.”  

Let us assume for a moment that Burdick’s claimed expense of $1200+ was for postage only. At 40 cents per piece in postage (not printing) that accounts for a mailing to 3,075 homes citywide. Glendale has an estimated 90,000 registered voters. A candidate usually sends mailers to high efficacy voters. That would diminish the numbers considerably and probably be approximately a third of the 90,000 registered voters or about 30,000 voters. The cost to mail a campaign piece to 30,000 voters citywide would be about $12,000. This estimated cost does not include the design of the piece or the cost of printing the piece.

Burdick is claiming one tenth of this estimated cost. Ridiculous. The cost of production and mailing one piece of campaign literature to high efficacy voters in the Yucca district in this election was over $1600. I suspect but have no proof, that Burdick’s mailer, to produce and mail citywide, would have cost somewhere between $12,000 and $18,000.

The penalty of the violation can be up to three times the cost of the mailer. Washburn gives Burdick a “get out of jail” card by saying he believed the violation was not done on purpose. In criminal cases, not civil cases, motive and intent matter. Shades of FBI Director Comey refusing to refer Hillary Clinton for prosecution to the Justice Department because he could not determine “intent.” Has intent become the new buzz word to absolve wrong doing?

Burdick’s fine should have been far more substantial, anywhere from $12,000 to $50,000. Instead he received a slap on the wrist by having to pay $600+. I guess there are different standards for different people and lady justice stopped being blind a long time ago.

NOTE: My next blog will be on the most recently filed (due September 29, 2016) campaign finance reports. Sammy Chavira, once again, flaunts the law, by as of this posting, having failed to file his campaign finance report. Then again, the Campaign for Truth and Leadership (fire committee) and Fire Fighters interested in Registration and Education PAC have not filed their campaign finance reports either. Both of these groups sent out campaign mailings in support of Sammy.

© Joyce Clark, 2016        


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