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CONTACT: Melissa Wenzel,


Mailer Calling Out Incumbent Infractions, Union Ties Hitting Mailboxes This Week

PHOENIX, Ariz. (April 21, 2011) – There is little doubt budget battles have brought labor unions to the forefront of American politics. From California to Wisconsin to New Jersey, Americans are seeing city and state governments forced to contend with the unreasonable demands unions place on taxpayers already struggling with the economic downturn. What voters may not realize is how the hand of unions strikes close to home, even as close as the general election for the Town of Gilbert.

Robert S. Graham, local businessman and author of the right-to-work book, Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, has watched unions’ underhanded tactics infiltrate the politics of the incumbent candidates in Gilbert. As such, he is calling out the candidates’ actions in a direct mail piece that will hit Gilbert voters’ mailboxes this week.

“Voters deserve to know the truth about these incumbent candidates. I question their true support of Gilbert when they have supported tax increases in one of the worst recessions our country has ever experienced and accepted campaign contributions from outside union groups,” Graham said. “Why on earth do Phoenix, Mesa, Avondale and Goodyear unions have an interest in a Gilbert town race?”

Mailer highlights:

Linda Abbott

  • Voted for a 6% fee increase on businesses while voting for a 2% cost of living increase for public employees of Gilbert.
  • Voted to put a 17% sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Accepted campaign contributions from local and national unions as far away as Washington, D.C.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

Ben Cooper

  • Supported Prop 406 to increase the sales tax in Gilbert.

Les Presmyk

  • Accepted campaign contributions from public safety unions in Mesa, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Tempe and Avondale.
  • Voted to put a 17% sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

Dave Crozier

  • This year, has only attended 50% of council meetings.
  • Voted to put a 17% tax sales tax increase on the ballot in the form of Prop. 406.
  • Accepted campaign contributions from public safety unions in Mesa, Apache Junction, Phoenix, Peoria, Tempe and Goodyear.
  • Supported three tax increases in defiance of the Citizen Budget Committee’s recommendation of no new taxes.

It should also be noted all four of these candidates accepted donations from a Southwest Ambulance employees’ political-action committee. The donations to their accounts landed the same year they voted to extend the company’s contract with the city despite a request from Councilwoman Daniels to wait until after the election to expand.

“While Arizonans are fighting to keep their jobs, current Gilbert council members are working to pad the wallets of union members at the cost of tax payers,” Graham said. “It’s time Gilbert residents vote to protect their jobs and their livelihoods from the same erosive special interests bankrupting cities across our nation.”



About Robert S. Graham

Robert S. Graham is President and CEO of RG Capital, a successful financial advisory, investment banking/consulting and corporate development business in Scottsdale, Arizona. He has also profitably managed three operating companies and three venture start-ups. Graham has been regionally recognized by AZ Business Magazine as one of the Top Entrepreneurs and nationally, by Boomer Market Advisor magazine as the 2007 Advisor of the Year.

Graham’s book, Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, tackles the labor movement, calling for its complete eradication. Graham spent years studying labor unions, calculating their influence on each state’s ability to thrive financially. His findings, detailed in the book, are surprising and have captured the attention of national and local media outlets and organizations.

For more information about Job Killers: The American Dream in Reverse, visit www.jobkillers.com. To schedule an interview with Graham, contact Melissa Wenzel at 602-579-5204 or Melissa.Wenzel@jobkillers.com


  1. Dave Crozier and Linda Abbott have been dedicated public servants for many years. I have known both of them for more than two decades. Both are active in their faith communities, parents and have been dedicated to principled Republican ideals. Dave and Linda led the way years ago to prove that Gilbert could have its own fire department with paramedics at no more cost over what it was getting from a privatized source. Since then they have both led the discussions in their community, and in the Valley, on cost-effective, high service quality government.
    These are both great Arizonans and my hat is off to them for many years of volunteering to help others.

  2. You may consider them great Arizonans but if their voting records are as written then the City of Gilbert needs to reevaluate who is representing them. And dedicated? Dave Cozier has only attended 50% of the council meetings? Now that is true dedication.

  3. Jim Torgeson says

    The fireworks have just begun!!!

  4. What could have been says

    And to think we could have had Robert Graham as our AZGOP Chairman.

    • Andy Bernard says


    • Not with less than 10% of the vote, you couldn’t. The AZGOP is in the best position in years. Overhead has been trimmed, fundraising has increased, debt has been nearly eliminated, and the HQ decor has been updated. In addition, the new Chairman has been very engaged behind the scenes doing the hard work without self promoting press releases, the internal processes have been improved, the new website is FANTASTIC, and it has been engaged at the Capitol. That is a good track record for the first 90 days. I recommend that everyone look a the facts, instead of the complaining of a few who are tied to the big business liberal elites. More contributions of time and money to make the party stronger instead of a circular firing squad mentality is what will be required to build on our current successes.

      • John Q – Are you living in a dream world? You have absolutely no idea what you are talking about. And yes it would be good for everyone to look at the facts! Here we goes again, if someone has a differing view they are insulted and branded with no proof. Just because there are people who don’t agree with your dreamworld assessment of the current AZGOP doesn’t mean they are ‘a few who are tied to the big business liberal elites.’ Again, you need to get the facts.

  5. photografik1 says

    “Voters deserve to know the truth about these incumbent candidates….”

    Ben Cooper NEVER supported Prop 406. http://bencooperforcouncil.com/meet-ben/your-questions-bens-answers#question_07

    • GilbertisGreat says

      Thanks for the link to Ben’s website. Ben states that he was not have an “active” supporter of prop. 406. He also states that he doesn’t discuss how he voted. I think we can all agree that what Ben means is he did vote in favor of prop. 406. When someone votes yes on a proposition, I think it is fair to say that he supported prop. 406.

  6. Anti-union says

    We ALL know that Ben Cooper supported Prop 406! He’s just such a good politician that all of his answer’s are wishy washy….people are sick of his non-answers to anything. How hard is to answer a question/issue straightforward? To do otherwise suggests you fear what other people will think and would rather hide the TRUTH!

  7. VoiceInTheWild says

    Yeah, why is Robert Graham dropping all this money in an IE for Gilbert? What property or investment friends is he protecting? What future development deals does he have client investments sitting for the right vote on the town council? Graham had absolutely no chance of winning the AzGOP even if Carmichael and Morrissey weren’t running. His speech was about as aimless as a blind cowboy with straw bullets.
    Really, though, it is Gilbert and what is really happening is Graham is proping up the son of the developer friend, Vic Peterson, some kid boy scout who works for his daddy’s development company that has more lawsuits than a Ford Pinto gas tank.
    Amazing the manipulation that goes on.

    • Maybe because there are good people out there who don’t think about themselves and do want real change. I know it’s hard a concept to put your mind around since so many in politics are only concerned with what’s in it for them.

      What a lame post. Since you evidently don’t know Graham or know his motivation for doing so (even though he’s thoroughly researched and has published a book on the unions and the affects they are having on our society at every level) perhaps you need to stop with the character assassination and innuendos.


  8. Anti-Union says

    How about he just hates unions? Obviously, he has a passion that Unions are bad for business and politics!

  9. Saguaro Sam says

    I support Graham taking on public unions and elected officials who have morphed into bureaucrats. Nice work. However, if Graham was state chairman material he shouldn’t have waited until only three days before the vote to start letting us know.

    • Right on. The people pushing Graham into the race were those who wanted to make sure they had positions at the feeding trough in terms of jobs or contracts. Not a good reason for others to jump on the bandwagon.

  10. Right2Work says

    Listen to what he says. The guy wrote a whole book about how much labor unions are killing America and our jobs. If the guy has the money, let him spend it in a town that is clearly swaying in the wrong direction with union influences.

    I say, go Robert Graham.

  11. Steve Calabrese says

    Robert Graham got into the AZ GOP chair race late, but only because he was begged to run by conservatives who were appalled by the idea of Tom Morrissey as Chairman. Given the dismal record of the AZ GOP since then, it’s understandable why they were freaked out.

    There’s also a lot of Tea Party people who are beginning to get very angry that they were sucked into believing such planted garbage as “Graham is a McCain plant” once they find out Graham was actually a JD Hayworth supporter.

    • Steve, put a sock in it. Conservatives who have actually worked to elect conservatives did not support Graham. Chairman Morrissey is making good progress, however, that progress would be much improved if he did not have to spend half of his time dealing with misleading and outright false accusations from those who supported another candidate. The election is over, in case you did not hear. Even Ron Carmichael has been gracious. All of the flack has been coming from Graham supporters. If he and his supporters cannot rally around the elected leader, they do not deserve to be considered for a leadership role in the Party in the future. In order to be a good leader, you need to demonstrate that you can be a good follower.

      • John Q – Once again you have no idea what you are talking about. The ‘flack’ that you are hearing is coming from many who supported all 4 candidates. Also, people do want to rally behind a leader, but they won’t rally around incompetence, elected or not. Wonder do you rally behind McCain, I mean he is an elected leader. And good followers, don’t make good leaders.

      • Steve Calabrese says

        Screw that. I’ve been to the courthouse. I’ve looked over Morrissey’s divorce records. Thank God I’m a speed reader. It’ll be a cold day in hell before I support a man like him.

        I find it infinately amusing that the man who back in 2007 was bragging about the great work he’s done for John Kyl, John McCain, and Jeff Flake turned around and was claiming to be the “anti-establishment” candidate because that’s what certain factions of the Tea Party wanted to hear – and claimed that anyone who tried to speak the truth about him was somehow part of an establishment conspiracy.

        NOW this man, having won the election, claims to want unity and togetherness in the GOP after what he’s said. Nope. Doesn’t work that way.

        I, personally, supported Carmichael. However, I would have also worked with and followed Hermanson or Graham as well – both decent men. I can work with someone I disagree with. I cannot work with someone who I feel is of low moral character.

        There are two men in the GOP I will never, ever support. One is Grant Woods. The other is Tom Morrissey. I consider both men to be selfish opportunists who will say anything to get elected, and the party would be far better off if they both leave.

        • Horse Puckey! Doing opposition research is one thing. Keeping it up after you had your head handed to you is another. Get over it. The election is over and your guy lost. Support the Party or re-register. It is that simple.

          • Steve Calabrese says

            This isn’t Communism. I will support the Party, but not the person at the head. I will not keep my opinions to myself; I will not follow a person of low moral character for the sake of false unity. The election was a joke. We had a person who was never a member of the Tea Party claim to be the “Tea Party Candidate” and jump in 4 days before the election.

            Like lemmings, we are following him off a cliff as he bankrupts the party and makes us look like fools with his rambling, incoherent answers to tough questions.

            And, for the record, my initial examination of Morrissey’s record was not supported or asked for by anyone else. It wasn’t “opposition research”, it was the effort of one person to try to figure out why there were so many rumors about Morrissey. I didn’t get to see his court record until AFTER the election, when I wanted to see just how much of a mistake we made and to see what type of dirt the Democrats were going to find. The more I dig, the more appalled I am. Ironically, my severe doubts didn’t start until I talked to some opponents of Anthony Miller – people who I would have expected to have supported Morrissey – and I was surprised to hear the venom with which they denounced Morrissey. That made me dig further.

            Tom Morrissey is what happens when a candidate is shoved forward and elected based on emotion rather than any reasonable examination of the facts.

        • Steve, Your public opposition to Arpaio and public support of Carmichael is all I need to know about your evaluation process. I will choose the endorsement of Arpaio, Ash, Haney, Goldwater, Kohut, Oldroyd, Verschoor, Gould, etc. over your incessant whining. If you can’t support the Chairman, please have the grace to keep quiet. What you are doing now is counter-productive and unbecoming.

          PS: When was the last – – or first – – decade you made regular contributions to the state party?

          • Steve Calabrese says

            I oppose Arpaio because he is more interested in arresting political opponents and was more interested in supporting Janet Napolitano over Matt Salmon. That’s NOT conservative behavior. I do support Arpaio’s efforts to defend the state from the Mexican illegal alien invasion.

            I supported Carmichael because I believed him when he said he would not make endorsements of candidates for GOP primaries, and also because I thought he would be an excellent fundraiser. Carmichael was too much of a gentleman to address Morrissey’s morality shortcomings, which also were not immediately evident in the few days we had to make a decision.

            I would have been pleased to see Bruce Ash as Chariman. Although I did not think that Ash would work as hard to unify the Party as Carmichael would have, he is a man of unquestioned moral integrity who would have been an excellent fundraiser. Indeed, even Carmichael himself recognized that; he was quite open with his intention to use Bruce Ash as a GOP fundraiser if he was elected and Ash’s health allowed.

            My opposition to Morrissey is NOT based on Morrissey’s political views – how can it be, when it seems the sole basis of Morrsisey’s views is simply catering to whichever side is in power at the moment? My opposition to Morrissey is based on a belief that he is a morally unsound individual. Serial marriages, accusations of corruption and abuse of the legal system, constant changes of politcal views, and smearing opponents for behavior that he himself has exhibited are not the traits I look for in a GOP leader. Sooner or later, Democrats and the media are going to expose him. I can only hope that enough people in the GOP recognize what Morrissey is and do something about that before it happens.

            As for me, I haven’t donated a dime to the state party. I don’t have much money, and donate time and very limited funds at a more local level. I did help out at the State GOP a bit in the 90’s, mostly doing phone banking stuff. Back then, I lived down the block from the GOP building so it was pretty easy to drop in and help out. Unlike Morrissey, I have not lived off the government all my life, and don’t have a fat government pension and social security check to fall back on. Not sure why I matter so much to you, Ben. Quite frankly, I’m nobody. A relative non-entity. The problem is that Tom Morrissey is also a nobody, a relative non-entity, who seems to have somehow been elevated to the head of the AZGOP for no other reason than he was in business somehow with the husband of a former Tea Party leader.

          • WOW! This post by Steve says it all. A person who dedicates his life to serving America in public safety as a US Marshal and fighting the drug cartels is the object of a slur from Calabrese as “living off the government.” What a dopey, irrational jerk! I will now discount anything this idiot has to say on any subject.

  12. What could have been says

    @Saguaro Sam – Graham is more state chair material than what the AZGOP has now. What does it matter that he got in the race days before? If I remember correctly so did Morrissey and how’s that working out for the party? It’s all about voters doing their research and knowing who they are voting for. Unfortunately many just voted as they were told using fear as a motivator. And as Steve stated above they were sucked into believing such planted garbage as “Graham is a McCain plant.”

  13. Steve Calabrese is a solid Republican that has the guts to speak his mind. I am proud that he is part of the AZ Republican party and hope he stays involved.

    Most of the people that throw rocks in this blog are worthless punks that dont care about the Party, Arizona or their fellow Republicans.

  14. Rock (et) Thrower says

    Too bad that local politics is so personal…duh. Unions are not personal. They are behemoths, leviathans bent on the detriment of the individual and the apparent and short-term benefit of the majority.

    But when politics is too personal, funny things happen. You tend to support your friends, and encourage others to do so, even when their positions, behavior and stupidity overwhelm common sense.

  15. Rocket THrower, I totally agree. I support friends and encourage others to do so even when their positions behavior and stupidity overwhelm common sense cause I am a Real AZ Republican.
    You should take your pinko commi ways back to whatever Iowa trailer park you came from, and take Morrisey and the Smiths with you.

  16. The Town of Gilbert is a great place to live because of the great people who live there–not because of Linda Abbott, Les Presmyk or Dave Crozier–probably in spite of them. One of the worst things these folks did–in addition to the things mentioned by Graham–is to allow a large apartment complex to be built at Power Rd and Germaine Rd. In 2008, the Gilbert Police Dept reported that almost 25% of all police calls in Gilbert came from that one complex. It got so bad the police set up a permanent station there. Oh, yeah, if you hadn’t guessed, the complex is Section 8 housing. Abbott, Presmyk and Crozier are not bad people, but they have worn out their welcome on the Council. Any one who purposely would work to bring in one of the worst unions in the country, SEIU, doesn’t deserve your vote.

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