From the 60 Plus Association
Scott Smith supports the Obamacare expansion which will cost Arizonans hundreds of millions of dollars.
Say NO to Scott Smith
Arizona Politics, News, Commentary and Information with a Blatantly Conservative Worldview Presented by an Alliance of Writers, Activists, Consultants and Government Insiders.
From the 60 Plus Association
Scott Smith supports the Obamacare expansion which will cost Arizonans hundreds of millions of dollars.
Say NO to Scott Smith
Friday afternoon, Mesa resident and city hall activist Gene Dufoe filed a complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State arguing that former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith failed to disclose travel and event gifts, a requirement candidates must follow when seeking public office.
The complaint provides a detailed list of travel expense gifts that Smith did not claim on his personal financial disclosure form when he submitted the forms on May 21, 2014.
Exhibits in the complaint detail expense reports filed with the City of Mesa in the year leading up to his announcement for Governor. Those same gifts are also required to be disclosed with the Secretary of State when becoming a candidate.
Smith’s failure to disclose the gifts draws into question whether he may have any conflicts of interest issues related to seeking the office of governor.
Dufoe’s complaint states:
Whether Mr. Smith was justified in accepting these gifts is not the issue here; the only issue is that he failed to report them. Arizona has several important reasons to require candidates to disclose gifts. One reason is so that voters may assess whether a candidate is beholden to special interests. The disclosure may reveal the leanings of the candidate on policy issues. It also reduces the possibility of corruption, or the appearance of corruption. Here, the United States Conference of Mayors is a policy-driven organization, and voters have a right to know that they have flown Mr. Smith all around the globe, put him up in nice hotels, and fed him at nice restaurants.
With Wednesday’s controversy over the use of government resources during a campaign trip to Yuma now drawn into question, this latest complaint may reveal a pattern of shielding important financial information from the general public.
In 2011, several Arizona lawmakers were caught up in a controversy surrounding unreported gifts received to travel and attend sporting events. That investigation led to the conviction of the Fiesta Bowl CEO, John Junker. (Arizona Republic article)
Due to conflict of interest issues, the Secretary of State’s office will forward the complaint to the Attorney General’s Office for an investigation.
To read the complaint letter, click here.
There’s a rumor going around that Wednesday’s trip by Governor Brewer and three statewide candidates who she has endorsed was piggybacked on to official business – paid for by Arizona taxpayers.
What has given this rumor legs is modern technology.
According to two sources, Michele Reagan, one of the three candidates sent out a tweet including a photo of her on a plane with an official state seal in the background. Once the photo was tweeted it was quickly deleted.
Brewer’s trip to Yuma was covered by local Yuma media.
Holly Sweet of the Yuma CBS affiliate, KSWT reported that Brewer had official business with Yuma city hall before heading to a political rally at the Kress Ultra Lunge with Scott Smith, Randy Pullen and Michele Reagan – all candidates who she has endorsed.
Christy Wilcox also reported on the visit:
The Yuma Daily Sun also covered the event which included a number of photos.
The Governor’s official website also posted nothing about an official visit to Yuma on her public calendar.
All this begs the following questions:
If media reported Governor Brewer making the trip as a meeting with Yuma City Hall, why would that visit not be listed on the official calendar?
Did Governor Brewer, Scott Smith, Michele Reagan all travel together to Yuma?
Did all three candidates travel with Governor Brewer together aboard an official government or chartered plane to Yuma?
If all three candidates traveled to Yuma with the Governor on an official state plane or chartered plane, will their campaigns reimburse the taxpayers of Arizona?
Is Governor Brewer lending the weight of her office to assist those candidates she has endorsed?
Finally, were there any members of the media who traveled with the Governor or the three candidates to and/or from Yuma?
We hope each of the campaigns and the Governor will clear up these questions.
Reposted from the Arizona Daily Independent
What is it with the Tempe/Chandler area?
Former State Senator Harry Mitchell was caught stealing the campaign signs of Gary Richardson many election cycles ago.
This time Obamacare Republican Bob Robson was caught stealing signs from his opponents. And his escape was caught on video.
I’m sure those who caught him will sign an affidavit affirming to the theft.
Here’s the story that was posted on the Arizona Daily Independent. Great job to Mike Richardson for catching him in the act!
LD18 sign war heating up
On Saturday night, August 9, 2014 at approximately 9:45 p.m. at Dobson and Warner Roads one Bob Robson, of the Robson/Dial get elected whatever the cost partnership, was out in force with an accomplice involved in a sign stealing caper and got caught.
Robson and Dial have been removing and destroying signs for about one month now. There have been in excess of 130 signs missing or destroyed. The signs in question are the public information signs that point out who voted for the Obamacare Expansion debacle thrust upon our state with the red “Arrow of Truth”. The arrows were pointed at the Robson Dial signs to inform the public of who it was in LD18 that did the dirty deed to Arizona and the AZGOP.
Robson was observed performing “Wheel Man” duties while his, still to be identified accomplice, jumped out of the truck to do his apparently well practiced technique of sign mutilation. Robson maneuvered the vehicle to pick up his henchman after he was seen throwing one sign into the bushes and the other into the garbage at Circle K.
Do to great camera work under somewhat difficult conditions, our stakeout man was able to get a video of the henchman and the vehicle that belongs to Robson make their escape, complete with the license plate lettered “ROBSON”.
The police reports have been written and the evidence has been collected. Now we all must do the right thing and expel these characterless individuals from our midst. These guys are supposed to be public officials with some manner of integrity. Not so! They must pay for the crimes [class II misdemeanors] and be punished by losing the up coming primary election.
There can be no more room in Arizona for politicians who prefer to work under the cover of darkness, and who will continue to be professional vote sellers to the best healed special interest groups.
Mike Richardson LD18 PC
Is this the kind of leader you want protecting your tax dollars?
Here are two photos taken by Republican activist supporting Jeff DeWit for Arizona Treasurer.
As you can see the campaign team for Hugh Hallman has blocked or sandwiched DeWit’s signs in order to keep DeWit from getting his message out.
Because this was blatantly offensive, Hallman needs to issue a public apology to DeWit and fire his campaign workers for their unethical practice.
If nothing happens, it will speak volumes to the character to Hugh Hallman – a candidate who will do anything to his opponents in order to get elected.
It’s time to have a little fun and see if our readers can tell the difference between Fred DuVal and Scott Smith. We’ve pulled a number of quotes from or about each candidate on issues important to Arizonans. We’ll post the issue followed by the quote and then let the readers guess who said it. (And no using Google search to cheat!)
COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM
A. “…we cannot continue with a broken system that keeps millions of people living in the shadows of our communities.”
B. “he supports driver’s licenses for young immigrants awarded work permits under a new Obama administration program. He also praised the U.S. Senate’s Gang of Eight for working on comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
A. “My first action as governor will be to rescind Gov Brewer’s Executive Order against driver’s licenses for Dreamers.”
B. “The federal government’s half-steps on immigration are not doing us any favors, taking us further from the goal. These side discussions, such as the driver’s licenses discussion, are a distraction. The end game is a fair and just immigration process that includes allowing our DREAMERS to become legal.”
A. On Gov. Brewer “I think she got 1070 wrong…
B. “It’s not exactly the law I would have written.”
A. “I believe (Arizona’s) College and Career Ready Standards (Common Core) accomplish these objectives, and I support their implementation.”
B. “I fully support Common Core and applaud Governor Brewer’s efforts to ensure the implementation of these vital standards despite opposition from some members of her party.”
C. “And what we have proposed here, whether you call it common core or ready achievement or whatever, I don’t care the label you put on it, we have to do it. …”
D. “Rather than a top-down, one-size-fits-all, Washington, D.C. approach to education, Common Core is a perfect example of how states can lead the way on improving education.”
OBAMACARE MEDICAID EXPANSION
A. “It would be a terrible mistake not to expand Medicaid on federal dollars.”
B. “I supported the governors Medicaid restoration because she did what was best for Arizona.”
TAXES / BUDGET
A. “After the massive cuts to K-12 schools, defunding all-day kindergarten, and ending the once-cent sales tax that funds our children’s schools, the last thing the folks at the Capitol should do is to set another tripwire on our children’s road to opportunity.”
B. “Nothing is more frustrating than seeing a state legislator cutting spending without raising taxes.”
A. “It’s the Senate’s turn to pass energy-climate legislation.”
B. “I welcome the opportunity to join with 1,000 of my peers in this truly bipartisan effort to improve not only the environment, but our communities and our nation.”
A. “…a self-described moderate, said serving in the House would be a “wonderful opportunity to reach across the divide.”
B. “He will allow himself to be called a progressive, but takes pains to note the lowercase ‘p’…”
Feel free to post your answers in the comments!
At a time when millions of Arizonans have struggled to make ends meet through the Great Recession, there’s one gubernatorial candidate who’s been indifferent to the plight of his paycheck-to-paycheck neighbors.
Former mayor of Mesa Scott Smith, whose net worth still remains undisclosed (although we know it’s well over $100K), pushed hard twice while mayor of Mesa to increase his pay and the pay of his fellow council members.
Prior to the increase, the charter for the city of Mesa locked in the mayor’s compensation at $33,600/year with a $1,800/year vehicle allowance and $960/year phone allowance. To change that compensation, the mayor and council are required to vote rather than send the issue to voters.
Smith made the first push to increase his salary on December 10, 2012 during a regular session of the mayor and council. In the video, Smith argues for increasing his pay and not to reject the recommendations of an independent commission.
During that first attempt, he asks the council to support him for the 118% pay raise and allowance increase of 122%. As the video shows, Smith’s temperament reveals a man on a mission to make more money as mayor.
If you haven’t worked out the math yet, the 118% pay raise would take the mayor’s salary to $73,300/year and the vehicle allowance to $6,600/year. Keep in mind, this is for a part-time mayor and council.
During the first attempt, the vote fails with Smith visibly upset that the council turned down his request.
One year later, On December 9, 2013, Smith makes the push to hike his salary once again using the same commission recommendations. He chides the council, “it was right a year ago and it’s right now.” This time Smith is successful in pressuring the council to raise his and their pay.
The Mesa Charter is amended with the new and outrageous increases but what the average citizen never sees (unless they watch the December 9, 2013 video) is that the mayor and council also voted to make themselves eligible for benefits “consistent with those provided to executive level City employees.” So now in addition to the pay raise, Mesa’s mayor and council are now receiving the same benefits as senior city management.
One comment that sticks out during the debate, is that Smith notes that Mesa is the 38th largest city in the country and its mayor and council deserve to be compensated as such.
Given Mesa’s population is ranked between Tucson and Chandler, we reviewed their compensation rates to see if Mesa ball parked itself proportionally on elected official compensation rates.
Tucson, which is the second largest city in Arizona, compensates its mayor at $42,000/year. Chandler, ranked as the fourth largest city, pays its top elected executive $49,500/year. Mesa ranked third, is well above the Arizona cities above and below it by $23,800.
But we also took it a step further and looked at Mesa in terms of its population ranking among other US cities. Just above Mesa is Kansas City, Missouri which pays its mayor $123,156/year. Right below Mesa, is Virginia Beach whose mayor makes $10,000/year. Quite a variation but more like comparing apples to oranges.
Finally, we reviewed 2012 US Census data to see what the average median income is for the city of Mesa. According to this latest data, the average family in Mesa earns $47,256/year.
For the mayor of Mesa to relentlessly push for a dramatic pay raise during a time when many Mesa citizens remain in financial hardship due to reductions in salaries, hours or even job loss, anyone can see that Smith’s crusade to raise the mayor and council’s salary was not the right thing to do.
Arizona voters are worried that this style of governance will be more of the same business-as-usual. Conservatives reformers are trying to put an end to runaway spending, backroom union deals and corporate cronyism. Scott Smith’s style of management proves he’ll push the former and disturbingly his own self-interest no matter what it cost the citizens he’s supposed to serve.
What Scott Smith doesn’t want you to find out…
2 multimillion-dollar foreclosures, 2 settled class action lawsuits, $78,000 in unpaid tax liens
PHOENIX (August 4) – Former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith wants to make business records an issue in the Arizona governor’s race, but refuses to address questions about his business background. Today, The S Files looks into his record as a homebuilder, including two multimillion-dollar foreclosures and two settled class action lawsuits.
“Scott Smith and his campaign keep underscoring that he ‘pays his debts’ and ‘keeps his promises,’ but, with two multimillion-dollar foreclosures, two settled class action lawsuits and $78,000 in outstanding tax liens, his record shows that couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Melissa DeLaney, spokesperson for the Ducey campaign. “If his plan to “Build a Better Arizona” is anything like his background as a homebuilder, it’s bound to be equally as defective. Arizona voters deserve better.”
SOLCITO LANE INVESTORS LLC
In January 2010, a $4.2 million note was called by a bank with regards to the development of a property by Solcito Lane Investors LLC. Scott Smith is co-owner of Solcito Lane Investors and he personally guaranteed the loan. The property sold at auction in April 2010 for $3.5 million – resulting in a $700,000 loss to the lender.
GW INVESTORS I, LLC
In May 2009, a $5.54 million note was called by a bank with regards to the development of properties by GW Investors I, LLC. Scott Smith again personally guaranteed the loan. The property sold at auction for $2.5 million, resulting in a $3 million loss to the lender.
2 CLASS ACTION LAWSUIT SETTLEMENTS
Scott Smith’s homebuilding company, Great Western Homes, settled two class action lawsuits with residents of Stonegate Estates, located in Mesa.Both cases were eventually settled but, curiously, no details on the settlements are available.
The plaintiffs claimed that Great Western Homes’ poor building standards led to:
State Representative Paul Smith filed the following complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office along with the Citizens Clean Election Commission regarding illegal campaign coordination between the Scott Smith campaign, Better Leaders for Arizona and Randy Redd. In the complaint, Boyer alleges that Smith’s campaign and the independent expenditure committee illegally coordinated an attack against Doug Ducey using ads. The complaint states that Smith’s committee and Better Leaders for Arizona violated Arizona Revised Statute § 16-911.
Here is the complain in entirety:
August 1, 2014
Arizona Secretary of State
1700 W. Washington St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Citizens Clean Elections Commission
1616 W. Adams St.
Phoenix, AZ 85007
I submit the following campaign finance violation complaint against the following individuals and committees:
1. Scott Smith
Smith for Governor
PO Box 5057
Mesa, AZ 85211
2. Jim Simpson
Better Leaders for Arizona
6022 N. 51st Place
Paradise Valley, AZ 85253
3. Randy Redd
52 W. Red Fern Rd
San Tan Valley, AZ 85140
In late July, 2014, Better Leaders for Arizona, an independent expenditure committee making expenditures in the Arizona governor’s race, released on its website a video advertisement featuring Randy Redd. Mr. Redd is a failed Cold Stone Creamery franchisee. The advertisement included commentary from Mr. Redd complaining about his failed experience as a Cold Stone Creamery franchisee. Mr. Redd blames his business failure on gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey.
On August 1, 2014, the Smith for Governor Campaign issued a press release featuring Mr. Redd. The press release tracks the same talking points that Mr. Redd used in his advertisement with Better Leaders.
The definition of independent expenditure is found at ARS § 16-911. That statute provides that an expenditure is not “independent” if:
1. Any officer, member, employee or agent of the political committee making the expenditure is also an officer, member, employee or agent of the committee of the candidate whose election or whose opponent’s defeat is being advocated by the expenditure or an agent of the candidate whose election or whose opponent’s defeat is being advocated by the expenditure.
2. There is any arrangement, coordination or direction with respect to the expenditure between the candidate or the candidate’s agent and the person making the expenditure, including any officer, director, employee or agent of that person.
4. The expenditure is based on information about the candidate’s plans, projects or needs, or those of the candidate’s campaign committee, provided to the expending person by the candidate or by the candidate’s agents or any officer, member or employee of the candidate’s campaign committee with a view toward having the expenditure made.
The facts illustrate several reasons for your agency to open an investigation to see whether the Better Leaders video and Smith press release are not “independent” of one another. Both communications featured the same person, Mr. Redd, who complained about his failed Cold Stone franchise. In both communications, Mr. Redd follows the same basic script. In both communications, Mr. Redd blames Doug Ducey for his personal business failure. Both communications were released close together in time.
Applying the facts to the law also justifies an investigation. By providing services to both committees, Mr. Redd may be acting as a member, employee, or agent of both by supplying them with similar information about his experience. He may be directing information on what content about his failures that each committee should include in the ad, based on the “plans, projects or needs” of Smith’s campaign. It is reasonable to believe that the Smith campaign helped direct the Better Leaders expenditure through Mr. Redd and a pass-through, by requesting that they post the video a few weeks prior to Smith issuing his press release. It is also reasonable to believe that the Smith campaign worked directly with Better Leaders to coordinate this “double punch,” with Better Leaders’ video followed by an aggressive press release and media campaign by Smith.
In conclusion, I ask that your agencies open an investigation into Better Leaders, Smith, and Mr. Redd based on the apparent lack of “independence” between the video and press release.
The contents of this letter are based on my personal knowledge. I declare under penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct.