It’s Time for Mark Mitchell and Greg Stanton to Come Clean

With the Tempe runoff election rapidly approaching, talk amongst Tempe’s political insiders is that Democrat mayoral candidate Mark Mitchell has lawyered up pretty heavily. Mitchell’s dive into a legal bunker may very well have something to do with what’s actually not happening in Tempe’s western neighbor, the City of Phoenix.

Recently elected Mayor of Phoenix, Greg Stanton, an endorser and high dollar fundraiser for Mitchell, may be stalling on the release of a report revealing a police investigation of the mayoral aspirant that was triggered by an anonymous victim’s email to the entire Tempe Council. The report is rumored to contain damning allegations that junior engaged in behavior so vile and disgusting that it would likely end his political career if not result in legal action. That investigation was handed over to Stanton’s top law enforcer in order to avoid a conflict of interest.

Early voting is already underway in Tempe. One would expect local media would be hot on the trail of any police investigation especially one that involves a mayoral candidate. Or better yet, that the candidate himself would feel obligated to disclose to the voters whether or not he is under any type of investigation.

And what does this say about the character and political motivations of Phoenix Mayor Stanton who appears to be dragging his political feet on an investigation of his political peer and ally?

Something has to give. We just hope it’s not the trust and confidence of Tempe and Phoenix residents who deserve better from their candidates and elected officials.

Both Mark Mitchell and Greg Stanton should stop this political game of avoidance and obfuscation and make an effort to show some real leadership. Mayor Stanton should step aside and allow Phoenix detectives to acknowledge and even release any findings. But even more important, if there really is no there there, Mark Mitchell owes it to his fellow Tempeans to publicly denounce any such allegations if he truly wants to exonerate his name.

City of Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton Expands Efforts for LGBT Agenda

An article appears in the Arizona Republic this morning describing Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s latest drive to expand city authority in the area of  “sexual orientation” discrimination.

Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton’s aides and a group of attorneys are working to draft ordinances that could outlaw discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents. 

The aides and attorneys believe that if rewritten, city laws would also give victims of such discrimination in restaurants and other businesses an opportunity to file complaints with the city’s Equal Opportunity Department for investigation — an option they currently do not have.

The effort comes as the Sheraton Phoenix Downtown Hotel near Van Buren and Third streets tries to recover from threats of boycott by the gay community over a decision by the manager of the hotel’s District American Kitchen & Wine Bar to expel a lesbian couple in late February. 

The hotel is owned by the city and managed under the Sheraton brand through a contract with Starwood Hotels and Resorts. 

Despite the incident at the hotel restaurant, the city’s Equal Opportunity Department, tasked with investigating discrimination complaints by workers or customers at businesses, has received no complaints of discrimination over sexual orientation or gender identity at downtown hotels. 

The department cannot investigate or respond to such complaints anyway because the city has not outlawed discrimination against lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgenders. Such protections exist for the disabled and for ethnic minorities in areas such as employment, housing and public accommodations like hotels and restaurants. 

Stanton’s policy adviser, Brendan Mahoney is leading the mayor’s charge to address any gaps in the city’s human-rights protections. 

He has convened a group of attorneys — some from gay-rights organizations — who are analyzing the city code to determine how the laws could be amended to ensure equal rights for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. 

Mahoney said that, while the incident at the hotel restaurant “certainly brought the issue to the forefront,” the timing of the city effort is coincidental.

“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said.

“This issue was on the mayor’s agenda,” he said. (read entire article)

A few items for discussion here:

Should this even be considered an issue, let alone, a high priority issue for the City of Phoenix and Mayor Stanton? Is this even a serious problem for the City of Phoenix or will it be perceived as an effort to promote LGBT issues?

Was the Arizona Republic article fair or even necessary?

Any sound minded critical thinking person can argue the position that any property or asset the city owns is controlled by the City Council. (He who pays the piper, calls the tune.) But should this effort extend to non-governmental stakeholders or private property owners?

Would these efforts extend to segments of the faith-based community such as Evangelical churches, orthodox Jewish or Muslim mosques? For example, would these faith-based communities be prohibited from using city parking or other assets unless they adopt policies that codify sexual orientation into their bylaws?

Don’t get me wrong. I am sensitive to this issue (family members) and actually prefer that the government stay entirely out of this arena, but is this issue forcing itself to center stage unnecessarily? Is the LGBT community overextending their efforts on this? It’s no secret that Equality Arizona invested itself into the Phoenix Mayor’s election in 2011. Was that on purpose in order to use the City of Phoenix as a platform to push its agenda?

Would love to hear everyone’s thoughts on this. Please be respectful.

Beware the ‘Independent’ Label, Democrats Use New Branding Strategy

This photo says it all.

Remember the expression, “Look for the Union label?”

These days, “Union” is a dirty word – synonymous with “big government,” “unruly overdemanding government workers” and of course, Democrats.

Using the label “Independent,” Democrats are now attempting to fool voters by taking the “new & improved” branding strategy.

Don’t be fooled. They’re still the same old liberal, nihilistic, big-government, tax and spend amoral creatures.

Phoenix, Tucson, Recall Elections: Predictions Anyone?

Here’s your chance to make predictions regarding the outcome of the elections. (Please keep it civil!)

Weekend Vids: Schapira vs. Kavanagh, Lewis vs. Pearce & Gullett vs. Stanton

Wes Gullett: Stanton keeps lying

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 3, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

New mailer uses claims already debunked

PHOENIX – Career politician Greg Stanton continues his campaign of lies and deception, demonstrating he’ll do anything to become Mayor, including making up his own facts.

His latest attack piece (attached), repeats lies about Wes Gullett that have already been called “false” and “misleading” by the Arizona Republic. Both claims received ZERO stars by the Republic’s Fact Check.

“Greg Stanton is a career politician who will go to any length to get elected, including lying to the voters,” said Gullett spokesman Daniel Scarpinato. “To Greg Stanton, facts just don’t matter. The truth doesn’t matter. If Greg Stanton won’t tell the truth now, just image what kind of lies he’ll tell as Mayor.”

Stanton and outside shadow groups pouring money into his campaign have made false and negative attacks the highlight of his campaign for Mayor. In fact, another outrageous mailer by a union group supporting Stanton includes religious imagery in an attempt to win votes. Stanton has refused to condemn the mailer.

 

A campaign of lies and distortions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 27, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

The truth is passé for Greg Stanton and his allies

PHOENIX – It’s time for Greg Stanton to explain the increasingly troubling pattern of lies and distortions radiating from his campaign and supporters.

Just yesterday, Stanton was busted for the latest time for making an outrageous and unsubstantiated claim that Wes Gullet used his position on the Planning and Zoning Commission to benefit a client. The Arizona Republic Fact Checkers gave that claim Zero stars and called it “misleading.”

“If Greg Stanton can’t tell the truth to voters in this campaign, what should we expect from him if he’s elected Mayor?” Gullett said. “Attack ads and mailers based on Greg’s lies have been universally knock-down by the local media, yet he continues to mislead the public. He’s lost all credibility and it’s time for him to explain his lies.”

Just a few of the mistruths from Stanton and his supporters that have been busted in recent days:

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Gullett: New Leadership to take-on the unions

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Wes Gullett will challenge the status quo; Stanton will be controlled by unions

PHOENIX – Escalating public pension costs, no police chief, taxes on the food we buy.

Phoenix needs new leadership, and today’s morning newspaper is just another reminder of why we need a Mayor who will take on the public employee unions and challenge the status quo.

It’s the labor unions who are stalling progress at City Hall. And with their organizations pouring thousands of dollars into electing Greg Stanton, only Wes Gullett has the ability to stand up for Phoenix taxpayers and reform city government.

“We need to take action. We need a sense of urgency,” Gullett said.

Food tax continues to hurt families

Last night, the City Council rejected a move to repeal the food tax. As Mayor, Wes Gullett will provide the critical fifth vote to repeal this tax. Greg Stanton is stalling action and finding excuses to keep the tax, even as Mayor Phil Gordon – a Stanton-backer – admitted “I don’t deny that there’s money that can be found in our budget.” Just more evidence of Stanton’s misaligned priorities.

“Phoenix taxpayers who are struggling in this economy continue to pay the price for taxpayer giveaways to the unions and a lack of leadership at City Hall,” Gullett said. “Once elected, I will be the fifth vote to repeal the food tax, and I’ve put forward a detailed plan to pay for it without impacting vital city services.”

Cost of pension soaring 

Today’s Republic reports that for the second straight year in a row, Phoenix residents will pay more than $100 million to maintain the city’s ailing pension system. Costs will rise $3.6 million next fiscal year, bringing the cost to $110 million.

Only Wes Gullett has put forward a comprehensive plan to take-on the public employee unions and reform this system for the long-term, transitioning city employees to a 401K. His plan was cited in endorsements from both the Arizona Republic and the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Greg Stanton has failed to put forward a plan that deals with the fundamental problems with our pension system, preferring to kick the can down the road.

“Gullett recognized from the beginning the need to reform the city’s unsustainable pension system, something Stanton was slow to accept. While Stanton takes a cautious, go-slow approach, Gullett presses for making the transition to a 401(k)-style plan,” the Republic wrote. “His leadership is more likely to bring the changes necessary to give employees a good retirement plan without overburdening taxpayers.”

Phoenix still doesn’t have a police chief 

The former police chief of Phoenix resigned months ago, yet the search for a replacement has barely begun. Phoenix has had an “acting police chief” since early March. Gullett called for a national search to begin at that time. While Stanton won’t commit on this issue, he has outlined more than 40 ways to grow government on his own Web site.

“The most sacred responsibility of government is public safety,” Gullett said. “If we do not feel safe in our homes, our places of work, schools and public venues we cannot succeed as a city in the long-term.”

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Wes Gullett Releases New Ad: “Don’t let them get away with it”

Greg Stanton and his allies have proven they will say or do anything to protect the status quo. Even the Arizona Republic has said the ads they are running are flat out lies. Don’t let them get away with it. Vote for Wes Gullett for Mayor and let’s repeal the food tax and get Phoenix working again.

Greg Stanton campaign supplying more content to outside group

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 25, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Stanton and union allies will go to any length to stop reform

PHOENIX – Career-politician Greg Stanton says he has no connection with Phoenix Citizens United and Educate Phoenix, groups running ads smearing Wes Gullett that have been called “lies” by the Arizona Republic editorial page and labeled “false” by the Republic Fact Checkers.

But for the second time, these groups are using materials supplied by the Stanton campaign in their desperate attempt to stop reform at City Hall.

A new ad (attached) on the airwaves includes video footage taped by a Stanton staffer, Chase Williams, at a Gullett event from September.

Williams obtained the footage used in the group’s latest ad at a September 10th Gullett meet and greet at the Pomegranate Café in Ahwatukee. Williams is pictured in this photo taping the event. Previously, these groups have used false information from Stanton press releases after they were removed from Stanton’s Web site for lies.

“Greg Stanton and the unions will clearly go to any length to protect the status quo, their $3.7 million taxpayer subsidies and stand in the way of reform,” Gullett said. “Greg Stanton has called for transparency – well, now it’s time for Greg Stanton to be transparent about his coordination with these two groups that are lying to Phoenix voters.”

On October 15, a Stanton spokesman told the Republic “there isn’t any connection between the political-action committee and the campaign.”

Then why is a staffer providing footage to the group?

In addition to Greg Stanton’s lie, the group’s lies have been repeatedly knocked down by the Arizona Republic.

On October 20, the Republic editorial board wrote: “There just is no other way to say it… the ad lies.”

The Republic Fact Check graded the content of the ad “False” with zero stars.

And in today’s Republic, columnist Laurie Roberts writes: “Phoenix Citizens United – whoever that is — has teamed up with Educate Phoenix – whatever that is — to basically lie to you in hopes of scuttling Wes Gullett’s bid to be mayor.”

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