Small business woman.

sweet deal.jpg     Gabby touts herself as having successfully run a small business. From what I understand it was more like putting lipstick on the pig before it was sent to the slaughterhouse.

     It does look like she is at least a smart, if disingenuous, businesswoman. She somehow managed to have the City of Tucson take control of an environmentally polluted site so someone else could pay for the clean up. She failed to mention that on her resume of business accomplishments.

Tuesday 10-31-06, 1:30 pm


  1. Randall Holdridge says

    Old News, boys, debunked months ago and well settled in the Dem. primary. But you were busy then trashing Steve Huffman, or was it Jim Kolbe.

    I wonder, does the Graf campaign have anything positive to say for itself? Or is it always and forever to be the mote the in the other fellow’s eye?

  2. Where was this debunked?

  3. Randall Holdridge says

    I for one posted numerous times out of my own personal (and financial) knowledge of the site and business in question.

    I’ll say this only once again then. The City of Tucson eagerly sought control of this property at the instigation of Karen Thoreson, then director of the Rio Nuevo project, from the tire store owners who had purchased it from El Campo, with full knowledge of historical and environmental issues surrounding the property, because Thoreson believed (wrongly) that it would meet near-southside neighborhood requests for a grocery store as part of Rio Nuevo.

    James Keane gone, his assistant Thoreson got tossed out along with Fred Ronstadt and Kathleen Dunbar.

    It’s a terrible site, no doubt, but any fool could see that with his bare eyes, it wasn’t a mystery, and that the city gets the environmental problem for the time being has nothing to do with the Giffords family.

    By the way, it’s not the site in this picture.

  4. Randall Holdridge says

    Again, does the Sonoran Alliance have any last minute surprises that make Randy Graf look good, or at least better, or in any event, tolerable?

  5. One comment–If it had been designated a Superfund site, liability would NOT have gone away, just because it was sold to someone else.

  6. Randall Holdridge says

    As indicated above, it’s not a superfund site, and liability attaches to the owner.

  7. I was going to post a nice lengthy reply to all this, but as it turns out the Star has done it for me.

    In summary:

    1. The city approached the owners with the deal, not vice versa, and pushed it even after the owners initially said they weren’t interested.

    2. The owners in question were Giffords parents (and a partner). She had nothing to do with negotiating the deal.

    3. There was no massive contamination. There was asbestos to be cleaned up from an older building on the site. This was known and expected, and is usual with older buildings.

  8. The fact is that Gabrielle Giffords is trying to hide behind her parents. She proclaims far and wide to all who will listen, that she took over El Campo because her father was too sick to run the company. Now she claims that her father and mother did the sweetheart deal with the City. I do not buy it.

    So apparently we are to believe that her father was too sick to run El Campo but he was just fine to negotiate the El Campo lease to the City.

    Garbage! Basura!!

    Gabrielle Giffords is listed as a manager of the Giffords Management Group, the company that controls El Campo Properties, the company that leased the property to the City. She was in a position to negotiate the lease herself. For her to blame her father and mother is just shameful.

    The property did have environmental contamination, including two huge leaking underground gasoline tanks, three hydraulic lift reservoirs as well as heavily oil stained soil. The City paid to clean all of this up. In addition the City paid to demolish the old buildings on the site.

    But the really noteworthy part of this deal was that the City paid, with taxpayers money, nearly a million dollars in rent to Giffords while they were cleaning up her property.

    How anybody can say that there is nothing wrong here is beyond absurd.

    Think about it. The City pays one million dollars to rent your property while they pay to clean it up?

    Surely you can’t seriously expect anybody to believe that there is nothing wrong with this deal.

    I call upon Gabrielle Giffords to reimburse the taxpayers of the City of Tucson for the money she plundered.

    I really do not care if the responsible City officials were so stupid to agree to this deal. Gabrielle Giffords took advantage of the taxpayers and she should have known better if she wants to run for public office.

    Give the money back Gabby!

  9. If there was any “wrong” to this deal, if the deal was not advantageous to the City, the blame lies with the incompetent City bureaucrats.

    Why not demand that Halliburton return all of the millions that it has ripped off of the American taxpayers??? There’s a real injustice.

  10. Yes, blame the City bureaucrats but blame Gabby too. She should have known that she was taking advantage of the taxpayers.

    This isn’t about Haliburton.

    This is about Gabby Giffords knowingly taking unfair advantage of the taxpayers.

  11. Marco,

    So many inaccuracies in a single post …

    Giffords Management Group most certainly does NOT “control” El Campo Properties. It is shared with Al Roughton’s LLC.

    Further, Giffords came back to take over running the actual business El Campo Tires, Inc. Her father _always_ retained management of the properties. Certainly by 2000 (several years after Giffords took over the tire business) it’s not surprising he had recovered enough to be active.

    The property did NOT have leaking gas tanks. The property had fairly new gas tanks installed by the Circle K on it. The environment reports lists them as “possibly leaking”. If you actually look up the LUST report ont eh ADEQ site, you see the assessment was closed in 7/2002 because no (or minimal) contamination was sound.

    The city did pay to remove the tanks because they evicted the Circle K. That was part of the agreement the city made as part of the eviction.

    The city also evicted the tire company using the building and then demolished hte building. This was entirely a decision made by the city. If the city is going to choose to destroy the building, then it’s not unreasonable to expect them to clean it up.

    I presume the building was demolished to make way for teh grocery store they hoped would go in, but that’s speculation on my part.

    By the way, all of the “clean-up” could have been accomplished much sooner if the city desired. Why they chose to extend it as long as they did is unknown except to the city.

    As has been noted elsewhere, Giffords gets NO money from the lease. Some goes to the Roughton’s, some to her parents, some to a trust in her name overseen by her parents. She doesn’t get to touch that money unless both parents are deceased. Further, her parents can use that money if they wish to. It’s possible she may never see it.

  12. Scott,

    The term LUST means Leaking Underground Storage Tank. There is a LUST file on the El Campo UST’s. The ADEQ refers to the El Campo tanks as leaking tanks that were removed. These leaking tanks were first recorded in late 2001 and they were removed by the city in July 2002.

    Leaking tanks in themselves are environmental comntamination. The contamination was removed by the City on July 2002.

    The Circle K tanks you refer to are another story. One of those actually did contaminate ground water and the contamination was never cleaned up. They were on the El Campo property until the property was sold to ADOT for an I-10 easement.

    Gabrielle Giffords is a manager of Giffords Management Group. She had the legal responsibility to oversee the actions of the company. She clearly had the duty to review and decide about the lease with the city.

    In any case her “exempt trust” is an owner of Giffords Management Group. The trust is caled the Gabrielle D Giffords Exempt Trust. This trust is for the benefit of Gabrielle Giffords.


  1. […] she may run. The contract pumps City of Tucson taxpayer dollars into what basically becomes a subsidy to her family for 55 years after which the family continues to own the property even if developed beyond its $600 thousand […]

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