Phoenix Business Owner Says Mayor Needs To Keep Campaign Promise Regarding Food Tax

(Phoenix, AZ) It seems there were a lot of questions directed at Mayor Stanton at a community meeting held at the Mayo Clinic on April 23rd. But it wasn’t zoning laws or the need to fix our streets that was on most people’s minds, it was the food tax. In fact some of the residents that attended wanted to know why Mayor Stanton isn’t keeping his campaign promise that he made to repeal it like he did during his campaign. While Mayor Stanton continued to tell residents that the tax is needed to keep fire and police services operating, Phoenix business owner and city resident Nohl Rosen reminded him that he needs to keep his promise to the people.

“As a business owner when I make a promise to a customer, I honor it as that is what your supposed to do because it’s good service. I simply reminded the Mayor that he made a promise to the citizens of Phoenix and that he needs to keep it,” Rosen said.

However, during the meeting which was also attended by City Council members Jim Waring and Bill Gates, it was revealed that the food tax was used to give pay raises to city employees and also fund golf courses.

“When the food tax was put into affect 3 years ago, the citizens were told that it was to keep fire and police services going. Now we find out that the money wasn’t used for its intended purpose. Still, Mayor Stanton during his campaign said he would repeal the food tax and hasn’t done it. That would be the honorable thing to do and also sets things right. Just what is the Mayor waiting for?” Rosen further asked.

Rosen says he’s considering doing more of his shopping in Scottsdale and other neighboring cities to fulfill regular household needs until the food tax is repealed and encouraging others to do the same.

Sal DiCiccio: Phoenix Food Tax, Broken Promises

Sal DiCiccio

Follow me on FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/DiCiccioSal
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Mayor Stanton made an announcement on Thursday that he would not fulfill his campaign promise to repeal the food tax.  Along with many Phoenicians, I am very disappointed in his decision.  The citizens have relied on this commitment and, once again, their city is letting them down.

The middle class and the poor are the ones who will be impacted the most.  What makes this decision even more unfortunate is that over $106 million in pay raises have been doled out to city employees while Phoenix citizens have not seen one penny of relief.

You have my commitment to protect you and your family.  I will continue to push for the repeal of this tax that was passed deceptively with barely 24 hour notice.

The credibility of the City of Phoenix has been damaged.  The ability of people to trust the word of Phoenix officials has further diminished.  As I continue my fight to repeal the food tax, I will also strive to restore people’s faith in government.

AZ Republic columnist Laurie Roberts’ article on Stanton’s announcement

My best to you and your family,

Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix Councilman, District 6
602-262-7491
council.district.6@phoenix.gov

*Any e-mail you send to council.district.6@phoenix.gov will be subject to the Arizona Open Records Law and may be reviewed by the Arizona Republic.

Thoughts on the City of Phoenix LGBT Ordinance

A few thoughts on today’s culture war battle at the City of Phoenix.

I attended the meeting for the purpose of testifying against the tax on food. I signed a card for that specific agenda item having no intention of testifying on the LGBT ordinance.

My position on this has been very clear. I simply do not believe that the City of Phoenix should inject government policy into the personal and private lives of any Phoenicians except when a crime is committed. Some liberals and libertarians would say “keep government out of our bedrooms.” OK, so how about a little consistency by keeping government to a minimum in our private business matters? What the City of Phoenix did tonight was invite a huge conflict between Constitutional rights and individual sexual identity.

By now social conservatives should realize they have lost the culture war on issues related to sexual identity and behavior. The most reasonable position social conservatives can now take is to hold back any level of government from the power position of  picking winners and losers in the conflict between sexual identity and free speech, religious freedom and freedom of conscience.

Locally, social conservatives did not lose the culture battle in Phoenix tonight. Social conservatives lost the culture battle in November of 2011 when it failed to elect conservatives to the Phoenix city council.

We knew this was coming. The signs were there in 2011 when mayoral candidate Greg Stanton made wide overtures to the LGBT community and efforts to align Phoenix with San Francisco values. Anyone who dared to point it out was labeled a bigot. So goes the spirit of tolerance on the left.

(Too often, both sides fail to see this as a debate over public policy rather making it about personal attacks on individuals and their sexual identities.)

Tonight’s meeting was a reflection of the very intolerance those pushing for tolerance decry. Anyone who dared to oppose the ordinance was booed and jeered. No respect for human dignity and certainly no respect for the public policy process.

Social conservative did turn out at the meeting – certainly not in number. And those who did engage were speaking a different language to the huge LGBT majority who did turn out (probably with plenty of advance notice). Two different languages because there are two different worldviews – one based on faith, the other clearly sexual and secular in nature. There were translators in the testimonials – individuals who know the difference and can communicate between the two worldviews – Cathi Herrod from the Center for Arizona Policy, an attorney from the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Rev. Jarrett Maupin spoke. These individuals are bilingual on issues that tangle logic and emotions.

And there was a tremendous amount of emotion – mostly from the LGBT – about living with a sexual identity that conflicts with traditional societal norms. Who was going to argue with the dozen of transgendered individuals who gave personal stories of rejection, anger and sympathy?

Which brings me to my personal feelings on the whole matter.

My pastor, my church, my Jesus preaches love. The Word commands us to love God first and to love our neighbor as ourselves second. There are two commandments in the New Testament. That’s it – pretty simple. My pastor (who happens to oversee five campuses in Phoenix Metro) reminds us to look past a person’s self-identity and love them no matter what. We are to love them like Christ would love them – regardless of their sin(s) (I’m not going to name them here. You can look them up.) But most important, we are to bring others into a real and living relationship with Christ allowing Christ to work in their lives toward God’s glory.

This is where I separate matters of faith from the role of the state (in this case the City of Phoenix).

If I were Mayor of Phoenix I would have rejected the idea of injecting my sliver of government into the personal and private lives of individuals. To do otherwise is asking for the wailing and gnashing of teeth. This seems to be the only position a reasonable community of people can hold without forcing a cultural conflagration to take place.

Entangling sex and politics is a messy business as we learned tonight. Hopefully our politicians will take note and keep social engineering to a minimal melodramatic level in the future. Political social conservatives lost tonight but true Christianity continues to love on.

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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.

Wes Gullett: ‘Thank You’

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

This has been a long journey together.

I started this campaign nearly a year ago as a long-shot outsider up against the status quo, and with your help, we turned this into a serious, aggressive campaign that forced the politicians to talk about issues they didn’t want to talk about.

While we may not have gotten the result we sought, I want to you to know that your generous support for my candidacy is something I will always remember. This campaign was made up of many people who worked hard every day – you put up signs, opened your homes and talked to your neighbors. For that, I will forever be grateful.

And our efforts were not in vain. Together we created a voice for Phoenix taxpayers who are frustrated by the status quo and who were looking for something different. We changed the dialogue, and I hope, changed the future.

I talked a lot in this campaign about making Phoenix the greatest city in America.

I truly believe that, and while I may not have won this election, I’m still committed to that.

Again, thank you to all friends, old and new, who joined me on this journey. I could not have done it without you.

Sincerely,

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.

 

Wes Gullett to call for an end to automatic pay increases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 1, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

PHOENIX — Mayoral candidate Wes Gullett will announce plans on Wednesday to end automatic annual pay increases for city employees, part of a compensation and benefit reform plan designed to save taxpayer dollars. Gullett will be joined at a 1:30 p.m. press conference outside the Historic City Hall by City Councilmen Sal DiCiccio and Jim Waring.

The 2011-2012 budget included pay increases for 89 percent of city employees, at a cost of $28 million. In some years (for example, 2009-10) almost 100 percent of employees received a pay increase.

Gullett’s plan would treat pay raises as an incentive for performance, rather than an entitlement.

When: Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2011; 1:30 p.m.

Where: West side of Historic City Hall, 200 W. Jefferson

Contact: Daniel Scarpinato

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More endorsements for Wes Gullett

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Congressmen Jeff Flake and Paul Gosar endorse Wes Gullett

PHOENIX – Arizona Congressmen Jeff Flake and Paul Gosar have endorsed Wes Gullett for Mayor of Phoenix, adding to a broad-based coalition that now includes all Republican members of Arizona’s congressional delegation.

“I am proud to endorse Wes Gullett for Mayor,” Flake said. “Taxpayers deserve a government they can afford. Wes will control spending and bring fiscal sanity to Phoenix City Hall.”

“The leadership of Phoenix is critical to the vitality of our entire state. That’s why I’m endorsing Wes Gullett for Phoenix Mayor,” Gosar said. “Wes has a detailed Seven Point Jobs Plan that will help attract new businesses and industries to our state. At a time when so many are struggling, Wes understands that it’s critical to get people back to work and keep government spending under control.”

“I’m honored to have the endorsements of Congressmen Flake and Gosar,” Gullett said. “I look forward to partnering with them to bring high-quality jobs to the entire region, which will help Phoenix.”

For a full list of endorsements, go to wesgullett.com

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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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