A Special Message from Ruth McClung

Here is a special message from Ruth McClung heading into Independence Day. Those who have been involved in Arizona politics for a number of years know that Joe Sweeney is defined as a “Perennial Candidate.” He has run under multiple party labels but will never stand a chance to win. (I’m sure any number of Southern Arizona political activists and observers can attest to this fact.) A lesson to be learned here is that conservatives need to get elected to all levels of office starting with the office of Pima County Recorder. Let’s put Ann Rodriguez, on notice that conservatives are coming after her job!

Independence Day and the Lawsuit

Nominating petitions are one of the ways candidates are vetted. According to one Arizona Supreme Court Decision, nominating petitions are “a mechanism which … weeds out the cranks, publicity seekers, the frivolous candidates who have no intention of going through with the campaign, and those who will run for office as a lark …” Because of this, I made a great effort to obey the rule of law stated on each petition form.  When the petition process was finished, we looked at the petitions of all our competing candidates.  When we examined Joseph Sweeney’s petitions closely, we believed 274 of his signatures were not legal, and another 9 signatures were duplicates from another candidate’s petition.  The result was that Mr. Sweeney was significantly short of 381 signatures for being placed on the ballot.  We filed a Petition Challenge in Superior Court on June 10.

What happened then is very alarming!  The Recorder’s Offices of the 6 counties in CD 7 examined our challenge.  Pima County Recorder’s Office claimed 86 of our challenged signatures were “valid” leaving Mr. Sweeney with just over his required 381.  We again examined these 86, and found that 9 of their “validated” signatures were from CD8, and were therefore not legal in CD7.  In my and others opinion, it appears that Pima County bent the rules to get Mr. Sweeney above the signature requirement.  Instead of being neutral, it appears they sided with a candidate.  They sent three of their lawyers to court to fight against us.  One of their lawyers we are told, is a good friend of Rep. Grijalva.  The Superior Court Judge ruled against us, because we were not specific enough in our original challenge, not because of the rule of law.  Ultimately, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Mr. Sweeney too, but we are not sure of their reasoning, as yet.

What does this have to do with Independence Day?  Our Founding Fathers and the people fought against political tyranny – a government ignoring its own laws and taxing its own citizens without due process.  Throughout this petition challenge, we were not singling out an individual candidate to be malicious.  We were upholding the rule of law that is clearly stated on each petition form. In my opinion during the challenge process, we saw the Pima County Recorder’s office ignoring Arizona’s law; and siding with Mr. Sweeney where they should have been neutral. The numbers and the law were on our side, but the lawyers from Pima County used loopholes to bend these laws and to affect the outcome of the Primary Nomination process.  If the Pima County Recorder’s Office is willing to bend things to get a certain person on the ballot in August, can we trust them to be fair during elections?  Our free elections in the United States are at stake, and we need to be extra diligent to keep watch and fight to keep our independence.  During the Primary and General Election, we need volunteers to follow the election process – to keep an eye open for irregularities and voter fraud. Let us know if you are willing to volunteer.

On a personal note: I felt it necessary to try and uphold the integrity of the elections process, and in that regard I believe we succeeded!  Even though the Courts may have gotten it wrong, our campaign to change government one step at a time has succeeded by raising the bar for candidates’ conduct, and by fighting against the status quo of politics as usual. This petition challenge was paid for by me and not by campaign funds, but we are reporting it to the Federal Election Commission for the sake of transparency.  It would be nice if the Pima County Recorder’s Office would be just as transparent in who paid for their lawyers during this challenge.

Ruth McClung


  1. Walt Stephenson says

    Thank you for doing what was right and fighting for justice. Unfortunitly we will have no transparency or justice until we get rid of F. Ann Rodriquez.

  2. Walt Stephenson says

    One thing I forgot to mention. Rodriquez is Rodney Glassman’s co-campaign manager. What a good job to be in. You not only get to advise your candidate how to run for U.S. Senate but you get to count the votes too. The Democrats invented “conflict of interest”.

  3. Walt,

    On this we can certainly agree!

  4. While county recorders are supposed to validate that those who “sign” a petition are registered voters, there is no legal requirement that they make any effort to ensure that the signature on the petition matches the signature on file from the voter’s registration. There’s PLENTY of room for forgery and paid signature gatherers have NO incentive to be upstanding. Remember ACORN? We have plenty of shady signature gathering companies right here in Arizona, like Arizona Petition Partners.

    Our state legislators should perhaps take this issue up and impose signature comparison requirements on county recorders WHEN A CANDIDATE’S PETITIONS ARE CHALLENGED. While this is clearly an anti-free market suggestion, perhaps we should outlaw paid signature gatherers. It would certainly cut down on forgery and election fraud, ensure cranks stay off the ballot, and force politicians to either get their signatures themselves or from their volunteers. I also wouldn’t be against forcing candidates to get signatures ONLY from registered members of their own party. Personally, I’ve had enough of non-Republicans meddling in Republican politics.

  5. You aint seen nothing yet.
    Ms Rodriguez is as partisan as they come with no “True” Repulican counterbalance in her office.
    The Republican Party has been asleep at the wheel for a long time by not insuring that they place an equal number of “TRULY” registered Republicans at the office and at the pols.
    There was a time when the party set the workers up through committee persons and district leaders but that is no longer the case and has not been for many years in Tucson. Several years ago when I questioned her as to the reason why she was filling in the polling positions rather than contacting the party as it had been done in my former state, her reply was ” The Republicans are too lazy and they dont provide me with a list.” Considering that you can change party at almost any time to fill a purpose that is truly a scary way of insuring equal representation at the polls and Recorders office.
    I have bought this up to different levels several years ago and one state official at the time(no longer in office) there reply was that they trusted them.

  6. Jane 001 says

    This is a wake up call. Unfortunately, Republicans have been lazy except that doesn’t mean that has to continue. Kudos to Ruth McClung for standing up for what is right. I will echo Marcus Kelly in the call to end paid petition companies. If not, then make it a law that petitions get additional scrutiny.

  7. This makes me sick. The Santa Cruz County Recorder, Suzie Sainz, and the SC County BOS ALL lack integrity.

  8. Kenny Jacobs says

    Walt, the County Recorder doesn’t count the votes, that’s the job of the elections department. But you’ve never let facts get in the way of a good snark, have you?

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