Are Phoenix City Hall & the Phoenix Chamber of Commerce trying to illegally influence an election?

Coming to a city near you… Unions, lobbyists, special interests controlling election outcomes.

Out of six ballot-qualified candidates in the Phoenix Mayoral election, two women candidates were excluded from a debate held at a City of Phoenix owned facility on August 15. The debate was hosted by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce (@PhxChamber). One of the candidates excluded, Jennifer Wright is polling at the top of the field. So why would a frontrunner be excluded?

A reasonable person would conclude that this is the same good ol’ boys politics often used by incumbents, unions and special interests to control elections.

In response to this unacceptable and alleged illegal interference with the election process, the 2012 Project, a grassroots organization, hand delivered a notice of violation (ARS 9-500.14) to both the City of Phoenix Mayor and City Manager.

Ron Ludders and Lee Earle, leaders of the Arizona 2012 Project, also requested that either the two excluded candidates ( Anna Brennan and Jennifer Wright) be allowed to participate, or that the debate be cancelled in the name of fairness.

At a press conference outside City Hall , Ron Ludders said, “Three of the four candidates that are running have been a part of city hall….this is an obvious exclusion of anyone that’s a newcomer in the political field.”

The Phoenix City Attorney , Gary Verburg, also released the following statement in response to the 2012 Project’s letter and notice of violation just moments before the scheduled debate:

“Assistant City Manager, Ed Zuercher, has asked me to respond to your letter dated August 15, 2011. The City of Phoenix Convention Center, of which Symphony Hall is a part of, operates as an enterprise leasing space to tenants who are interested in conducting events at the facility. The City has standard rental rates which are charged for the use of the facilities. With respect to the use of Symphony Hall, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has entered into a lease agreement to utilize Symphony Hall and is paying the standard rate for such use. No City resources are being utilized to sponsor or host the event. As the tenant, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce exercises the control and use of the premises during the event. As such, your concerns regarding the participants invited to the event should be addressed by the Chamber.”

Verbur’s statement glaringly fails to address the fact that the City of Phoenix is an active voting member and participant in the arrangement allowing the Phoenix Chamber to host the debate and would neither recuse or exonerate itself from the alleged violation of ARS 9-500.14.

Is this the new form of  ‘voter suppression’ by unions and special interests that has taken control of city governance – silencing a candidate that is polling well? Just ask the four candidates who participated at the debate August 15th who all have union ties and are beholden to special interest groups.

If you you agree to unsustainable union salaries and pensions paid for by the the 2% tax on food, and the endless water bill increases, then vote for one of the four “city-chamber chosen” candidates who participated in the August 15th debate. But if you want an end to the ‘business as usual’ tax-and-spend career politicians, look to Jennifer Wright, who knows that Government does not create jobs, and promises to create a business-friendly environment which will create jobs in Phoenix.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klfGBMxknv4

Jennifer Wright releases new video in race for Phoenix mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 12, 2011
CONTACT: Michael Marshall

PHOENIX, AZ (August 12) – Jennifer Wright, conservative Republican Phoenix mayoral candidate, has released a new campaign video. In her video, Wright points to her political rivals’ shortcomings as reason why they are not fit to lead the City of Phoenix.

The opposition, which has collectively been involved in Phoenix politics for decades, has tried its hand at improving the quality of life in Phoenix and failed. Unlike her opponents, Jennifer Wright stands as the only true conservative in the Phoenix non-partisan election to be held on August 30th. She does not have ties to unions or any vested interests.

Jennifer Wright, with conservative values and a pragmatic approach to governance, vows to create a business friendly climate where Phoenix’s economy will grow and prosper. Jennifer is committed to her core principles for the city: jobs and opportunities, safety and security and fiscal responsibility.

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Sonoran News: It could be the right time for Wright

Our friends over at Sonoran News posted a column that we will repost on Sonoran Alliance. Please be sure to visit Sonoran News on a frequent basis. Here is their latest column:

It could be the right time for Wright
Meanwhile Neely and Gullett duke it out for lead RINO spot

CAVE CREEKSonoran News interviewed Jennifer Wright last week to hear why she’s running for mayor of Phoenix and what direction she’d like to steer the city if elected.

What became immediately apparent after talking to Wright and her Campaign Director Colleen Lombard the first few minutes, is she is probably the only fiscal conservative in a crowded race of seven candidates, which also includes union members.

Jennifer Wright for Mayor

Jennifer Wright (l), accompanied by her Campaign Director Colleen Lombard, visited Sonoran News last week to talk about Wright’s decision to run for mayor of Phoenix and where she stands on the issues as a conservative, Tea-Party backed candidate. Photo by Linda Bentley

When asked why she decided to run for mayor rather than for a seat on council, she said, “The mayor is only one vote, just like every other member of council,” and, since she lives in Sal DiCiccio’s district, she didn’t want to run against DiCiccio, whom she believes is doing a great job, nor did she want to move to another district.

Wright, backed by 26 Tea Party organizations throughout Arizona, is a lawyer, has a degree in economics, and she has worked at the Goldwater Institute and the Institute for Justice.

As she noticed all the shuttered businesses in the city, Wright stated, “Phoenix is going out of business.”

She said Phoenix city government has grown, while small businesses remain burdened with increased regulations and taxes.

Although Governor Brewer vetoed legislation that would have required cities with populations over 500,000 to competitively bid non-essential city services, Wright believes that’s the right way to go without the mandate to do so.

She said it wouldn’t preclude the city from bidding on services, and if it can provide those services at a lower price in a competitive bidding situation, the city should, by all means, continue to provide those services.

Wright adamantly opposes efforts to reduce the most essential city services and said, “The city needs to stop using police and fire fighters as political pawns to raise taxes.”

She stated the city needs to move in a direction that will create jobs and opportunities by creating a business-friendly environment and cut the barriers, regulations and taxes keeping businesses away.

Wright said she wants to get rid of the 2 percent food tax and the city’s administrative bloat.

Wright was a little disappointed that DiCiccio threw his endorsement behind Peggy Neely, as were a number of Neely’s former District 2 constituents.

When we contacted DiCiccio, questioning his endorsement, he said Neely supported SB 1070, she voted against the food tax and the budget, all of which he called “tough decisions on her part.”

He also stated, “I don’t agree with her on all issues, but I have watched her make some pretty tough calls …”

However, Neely’s support of SB 1070, directly contradicts her support of the illegal use of Community Development Block Grant funds to fund the illegal alien day labor center in Phoenix.

She also didn’t make any tough decisions regarding the food tax or budget. Neely knew council had enough votes to pass those agenda items without her support, allowing her to better position herself as a conservative to her former District 2 constituents.

Sonoran News has reported on Neely’s antics in the past and her way of getting tough on issues is to not be confronted by them. Neely was famous for setting up constituent meetings only to cancel her appearance at the last minute and send a lacky in to cover for her.

She did it so many times, we were able to predict the situations where Neely would duck and cover from her constituents.

Another “conservative” contender in RINO clothing is Sen. McCain’s pal Wes Gullett, a partner at the public affairs consulting firm Hamilton, Gullett, Davis & Roman, whose wife Deb formerly served as chief of staff to both McCain and the termed out, far-left Mayor Phil Gordon.

And, let’s not forget, Gullett was prominently displayed as a supporter on the shameful roster of “Republicans for Janet” Napolitano when she was running for governor of Arizona.

Although she entered the race late and was barred from inclusion in the Chamber of Commerce-sponsored debate, Wright has experienced a groundswell of grassroots support amongst conservative voters in Phoenix.

Can she win? If citizens get out and vote for her she can. The Phoenix Primary Election is on Aug. 30. Ballots are already in the mail.

Statement by Peggy Neely regarding Phoenix Chamber

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Bentz

As I have said to the leadership of the Chamber, the media and anyone who has asked, I welcome Jennifer Wright and Anna Brennan to participate in the debate. The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce is a private organization and they have the right to operate their debate as they see fit. I welcome any invitation to share my vision of jobs, balancing the budget, and transparency with the voters of this City. I don’t recall Ms. Wright complaining about Mr. Stanton being excluded from Tea Party events just as I don’t recall Mr. Stanton complaining about his fellow candidates being excluded from Democratic district meetings.

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What is Peggy Neely afraid of?

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 9, 2011
CONTACT: Michael Marshall

PHOENIX, AZ (August 9) – A rare consensus was reached by media pundits, Democratic and Republican leaders this past week. Under the bipartisan agreement, all determined that Jennifer Wright, Republican candidate for Mayor of Phoenix, should be included in the prime-time KPHO televised debated hosted by the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce on August 15 along with all candidates who have qualified to be on the August ballot.

Chairman of the Maricopa County Republican Party Rob Haney issued a press release calling on the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce to reconsider their decision which excludes two qualified Republican candidates from the debate. According to Haney, “The Chamber leaves us with the impression that they are limiting the participants to financially well-connected councilmen and a lobbyist to the exclusion of two new faces to the political scene.”

On a widely respected Sunday morning talk show, Sunday Squareoff, well-known political pundit Chris Herstam declared “[Her exclusion] is ridiculous… money has determined who is in that debate, that is absurd. All six qualified for the ballot, got their signatures, they all six should be in that debate. I don’t know what the Phoenix Chamber is thinking.” Agreeing with Herstam, former Corporation Commissioner Kris Mayes added that she was shocked by the “dearth of coverage in this race.”

The GPCC appears to be sticking to their “foolish consistency” responding to a Facebook inquiry about debate participants on Monday, August 8th, that “Wes Gullett, Claude Mattox, Peggy Neely and Greg Stanton are participating. Unfortunately, Anna Brennan and Jennifer Wright did not meet all of our set criteria.”

Three of the four candidates in the debate have made public statements that they welcome the inclusion of Wright. The only candidate who appears to be against it is Peggy Neely. With Wright gaining in the polls on Neely, Neely is certainly feeling the pressure of Wright, who appears to be poised to overtake second place for a coveted slot in the November run-off. One would have to ponder if Neely isn’t afraid that Wright’s inclusion in the debate would end Neely’s political career.

“The citizens of Phoenix deserve to hear from all qualified candidates and make an informed decision when voting in the Phoenix Mayor’s race,” Wright stated. “The Greater Phoenix Chamber’s exclusion of qualified, and serious candidates because of arbitrary fundraising goals highlights the pervasive problem of money in politics. As an outsider, I am working hard to fight against these vested political interests and take away the power of the purse in influencing politics. I am hopeful that the Chamber will reconsider their decision.”

Wright entered the race on May 6, just weeks before 1500 signatures were due to qualify Wright for the ballot. In three short weeks, Wright was able to gather over 3500 signatures with the help of over 300 volunteers. In the past three months, Wright has gone from a virtual unknown, to a top contender in the Phoenix Mayor’s race – proving her viability. Early voting has begun, with the polls closing on August 30.

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Jennifer Wright Clobbers Competitors in Sonoran Alliance Phoenix Mayor’s Race Online Poll!

Last Saturday, Sonoran Alliance posted a new online poll asking our readers who they would vote for as the next Mayor of Phoenix. Those results are in and the winner is…

Jennifer Wright!

Here is a screenshot of the poll results after a week of voting. (click on image for actual size.)

As you can see, Wright was able to outpace all her competitors winning 54% of the vote. If these were actual results, the Phoenix Mayor’s race would be over since any candidate winning 50% + 1 of the votes does not head to a run-off election.

So we congratulate Jennifer Wright on her online poll victory and watch and wait as the real votes add up.

And other candidates, please continue to send your press releases to sonoranalliance@gmail.com if you want to get your word out.

Don Goldwater Endorses Jennifer Wright for Phoenix Mayor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 3, 2011
CONTACT: Michael Marshall

PHOENIX, AZ (August 2) – Jennifer Wright, Republican Phoenix mayoral candidate, is pleased to announce the endorsement of Don Goldwater, former Republican Gubernatorial candidate and long time conservative voice of the valley.

“This year, Phoenix voters have a choice,” said Don Goldwater. “I know Jennifer Wright. She has the knowledge, courage, determination and foresight to fight to protect the people and our community from the overextended yoke of government and lead Phoenix into a new prosperous future.” Goldwater continued by saying, “We are in the WRIGHT time, the WRIGHT place, with the WRIGHT candidate to make Phoenix and the people WRIGHT again.”

“I am honored to have the support of Don Goldwater, a consistent conservative,” said Jennifer Wright, who is running as the only conservative choice on the mayoral ticket.

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Western Free Press: Brad Zinn Interviews Jennifer Wright, a Declared Candidate for Mayor of Phoenix

Western Free Press’ Brad Zinn interviews Jennifer Wright, a declared candidate for Mayor of Phoenix.

 

Western Free Press is dedicated to generating public dialogue on Arizona’s most important issues and figures. 

Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee Announces Initial Endorsements for Phoenix City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 30, 2011
CONTACT: info@arizonataxpayeraction.com

(Phoenix, AZ) – The Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee announced its initial endorsements for Phoenix City Council today setting the stage for voters to make clear decisions in the August 30th Election. Early ballots will be sent out next Thursday, August 4th.

Candidates were asked a variety of questions related to tax rates, types of taxation, city budgeting, unions and the growth of city government. The survey is available online at: http://arizonataxpayeraction.com/documents/surveys/city/ATACCityCandidateSurvey2011.pdf.

This initial round of endorsements includes the following candidates:

Phoenix Mayor – Jennifer Wright
Phoenix Council, District 1 – Eric Frederick
Phoenix Council, District 5 – Charlie Ellis
Phoenix Council, District 7 – Janet Contreras 

Shane Wikfors, Treasurer for the political action committee remarked, “Voters have an obligation to elect the best candidates who will protect the taxpayers of the City of Phoenix.” He added, “We believe these are the best candidates to lead Phoenix government back to fiscal sanity and away from the unhealthy relationship with government unions.”

The PAC is expected to make additional endorsements over the next week including in the race for Phoenix Councils, districts 2 and 3 and, in the mayoral and council races in Tucson.

The Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee (ATAC) is the largest taxpayer advocacy political action committee in Arizona. ATAC recently participated in and won a landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision eliminating the matching funds provision of Arizona’s “Clean Election” law.

For more information about the Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee, please visit www.ArizonaTaxpayerAction.com or email the committee at info@arizonataxpayeraction.com.

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Jennifer Wright Garners More Endorsements from Leading Conservatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2011
CONTACT: Michael Marshall

WRIGHT GARNERS MORE ENDORSEMENTS FROM LEADING CONSERVATIVES WHILE THE GREATER PHOENIX CHAMBER OF COMMERCE SNUBS WRIGHT FOR DEBATE

PHOENIX, AZ (July 28) – Mayoral candidate Jennifer Wright is pleased to announce the endorsements of several more conservative leaders, including Arizona State Senator Andy Biggs (R-22); Arizona State Representatives Judy Burges (R-4), Jack Harper (R-4), Carl Seel (R-6), and David Burnell Smith (R-7); John Corey Wentling, Chairman of Arizona Citizens Defense League; and Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, a.k.a. “Joe the Plumber.”

The additional endorsements signals ever-increasing momentum in the Wright campaign. In just a few short months, mayoral candidate Jennifer Wright has gone from virtual unknown to primary contender in the Phoenix Mayor’s race, with leading political pundits predicting Wright is poised to make it to the November run-off election.

At the same time, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce has opted to exclude Wright from the August 15th televised debate they are hosting on KPHO, citing Wright’s failure to raise $50,000 by May 31. Wright entered the race on May 6, turning in her signatures to qualify for the ballot on May 30, and chose not to begin active fundraising until June, when she qualified for the ballot.

“While I respect the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce’s right as a private organization to select debate participants, I am deeply disappointed in the Chamber’s decision. Phoenix voters deserve to hear from all candidates who have qualified for the ballot in order to make an informed decision regarding the mayoral election,” stated Wright. “Money alone should not be a reason to exclude someone from a debate. This exclusion symbolizes everything that is wrong in politics, and everything society is fighting against on a local and national level.”

Today’s endorsements comes on the heels of the previously announced endorsements of Arizona State Senate President Russell Pearce (R-18), former Congressman J.D. Hayworth (R-AZ), Arizona Senator Linda Gray (R-10) and the support from Arizona Freedom Alliance, a group comprised of 26 Arizona Tea Party organizations.

Campaigning on a platform of creating an environment where jobs and opportunities flourish, communities are safe and secure, and city government is run with fiscal responsibility, Wright has been hailed as the only true conservative in the race for Phoenix mayor.

A lawyer, economist, mother and activist with the Tea Party, Wright is seen by many as the most likely candidate to challenge the field of entrenched political interests running for the office of Mayor.

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