Please note: Some of the information presented here is repetition of information from my previous blog on Cholla and Barrel district council candidates 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 Ocotillo district, please consider passing this series of blogs on to them as another tool to help them evaluate the Ocotillo 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 move on to the Ocotillo district council candidates in alphabetical order: Jamie Aldama, Norma Alvarez, Michael Hernandez and Bud Zomok.

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 or worked with previously and am familiar with their positions on various issues. Others I have never met and so I arranged an interview with them. The same questions were asked of all candidates that were interviewed.

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: . 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.

Jamie Aldama

Campaign Finance Report – Mr. Aldama submitted 14 of 19 pages. Schedules C and E were not included. It would be preferable if he had submitted those schedules and left them blank to acknowledge that he is aware of them. He has no treasurer. He has received 24 individual contributions to date;  6 of his individual contributors are from Glendale –Martin Samaniego for $300; David Penilla for $500; Marshall Pimentel for $60; Chris Thompson for $200; Jerry Cipriana for $100;  and Donnie Morales for $300.

For the reporting of individual contributors the candidate is required to supply an address, occupation and employer name. On 8 of the individual contributors there is no information supplied by the candidate for the contributors’ occupations and employers; the candidate also listed a husband and wife jointly for an$800 contribution. Each spouse is required to be listed separately, not jointly and no address, occupation or employer was supplied. Mr. Aldama filled in the blanks with “Requested” but there appears to have been no concerted effort to get this information for the campaign report.  Mr. Aldama received contributions under $50; cash of $506 and checks of $275 for a total of $781. He also received contributions from 2 Political Action Committees: the Sheet Metal Workers Local #359 PAC for $500; and the Salt River Project PAC for $400.

His expenditures are usual and ordinary. Of note: he spent $730.83 (25%) out of a total of $2,931.30 for volunteer food & refreshments. Presumably the refreshments were for the volunteers who collected petition signatures for him. Also of note: Chuck Foy of Negotiation Dynamics, is his campaign consultant and he has paid him $860.32 to date. We can assume some of that amount was for his website as there is no line item expenditure item for such.

Please remember, Mr. Aldama 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.

Campaign website – his website is:

However there is no contact information provided – no phone; no address; no email address. The visitor can fill in a form on the Contact page.

His website provides you biographical information, a photo gallery, campaign donation info and contact info. He has identified 3 issues: economic diversity, public services and public safety.  In very general terms he supports seeking new businesses, non reliance on sales tax revenues and establishment of Glendale as a destination city. He calls for better review and maintenance of city infrastructure and supports the hiring of more public safety personnel. He offers no specifics regarding Glendale’s debt and does not speak to the sales tax sunset. His comments appear to be vague and not substantive. Mr. Aldama via his campaign manager declined to meet.

Mr. Aldama has lived in Glendale for 45 years and the Ocotillo district for 40 years. He is married. He has participated in Glendale community affairs and is a member of the Glendale Planning and Zoning Commission. He has also served on the Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission. Having worked with Glendale staff he may be sympathetic to their agenda. He works for the Maricopa County Community College District. Is his job flexible enough to allow him the time needed to fulfill councilmember commitments? He does not speak to that issue. He is silent on the understanding that city council has no authority over school districts.

Mr. Aldama has had past personal financial difficulties. In 2005 he had a judgment in the amount of $5,222.62 rendered against him and his wife. Here is the public record link: . I could find no record of release for this judgment on the Maricopa County Recorder’s website. If it has been released it is not posted by the Maricopa County Recorder. He had a second judgment for $140 in 2006. Here is the link: . After payment, this judgment was released by the court a year later. Here is the link: .  How can a candidate with past personal financial difficulties manage Glendale’s present financial problems?

After review of all 4 Ocotillo 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 are expected to win outright in the primary and we can expect a run off in the general election in November.  Next up, Norma Alvarez.

© Joyce Clark, 2014


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