Coming to a city near you… Unions, lobbyists, special interests controlling election outcomes.
Out of six ballot-qualified candidates in the Phoenix Mayoral election, two women candidates were excluded from a debate held at a City of Phoenix owned facility on August 15. The debate was hosted by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (@PhxChamber). One of the candidates excluded, Jennifer Wright is polling at the top of the field. So why would a frontrunner be excluded?
A reasonable person would conclude that this is the same good ol’ boys politics often used by incumbents, unions and special interests to control elections.
In response to this unacceptable and alleged illegal interference with the election process, the 2012 Project, a grassroots organization, hand delivered a notice of violation (ARS 9-500.14) to both the City of Phoenix Mayor and City Manager.
Ron Ludders and Lee Earle, leaders of the Arizona 2012 Project, also requested that either the two excluded candidates ( Anna Brennan and Jennifer Wright) be allowed to participate, or that the debate be cancelled in the name of fairness.
At a press conference outside City Hall , Ron Ludders said, “Three of the four candidates that are running have been a part of city hall….this is an obvious exclusion of anyone that’s a newcomer in the political field.”
The Phoenix City Attorney , Gary Verburg, also released the following statement in response to the 2012 Project’s letter and notice of violation just moments before the scheduled debate:
“Assistant City Manager, Ed Zuercher, has asked me to respond to your letter dated August 15, 2011. The City of Phoenix Convention Center, of which Symphony Hall is a part of, operates as an enterprise leasing space to tenants who are interested in conducting events at the facility. The City has standard rental rates which are charged for the use of the facilities. With respect to the use of Symphony Hall, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has entered into a lease agreement to utilize Symphony Hall and is paying the standard rate for such use. No City resources are being utilized to sponsor or host the event. As the tenant, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce exercises the control and use of the premises during the event. As such, your concerns regarding the participants invited to the event should be addressed by the Chamber.”
Verbur’s statement glaringly fails to address the fact that the City of Phoenix is an active voting member and participant in the arrangement allowing the Phoenix Chamber to host the debate and would neither recuse or exonerate itself from the alleged violation of ARS 9-500.14.
Is this the new form of ’voter suppression’ by unions and special interests that has taken control of city governance – silencing a candidate that is polling well? Just ask the four candidates who participated at the debate August 15th who all have union ties and are beholden to special interest groups.
If you you agree to unsustainable union salaries and pensions paid for by the the 2% tax on food, and the endless water bill increases, then vote for one of the four “city-chamber chosen” candidates who participated in the August 15th debate. But if you want an end to the ‘business as usual’ tax-and-spend career politicians, look to Jennifer Wright, who knows that Government does not create jobs, and promises to create a business-friendly environment which will create jobs in Phoenix.