DiCiccio Endorses Peggy Neely

CONTACT: Paul Bentz

Neely for Mayor continues to build governing coalition 

Phoenix – Today, Councilmember Sal DiCiccio joined the growing chorus of supporters for Peggy Neely and “The Phoenix We Want.”

“I am so pleased to have my former colleague Councilmember DiCiccio join Councilmember Johnson in support of my bid for mayor,” said Peggy Neely, “I am proud that the people who have worked with me in the trenches to support our quality city and begin the process of reform are giving me their vote of confidence to help preserve what is best about Phoenix. I am looking forward to working with them to build a coalition dedicated to improving our city.”

Councilmember Sal DiCiccio, representing District 6, stated, “Peggy Neely has a strong track record standing up for the taxpayers of Phoenix – not the unions and city hall special interests. I fully endorse Peggy. She is the right person who will make reforms that put taxpayers first and create more transparency; and Peggy will repeal the food tax – the same tax used for pay raises and bonuses to government employees. Phoenix gave huge pay raises and cut services to kids and seniors and we both believe that is wrong. Peggy and I don’t see eye to eye on every issue, but we both care about the people of Phoenix and believe we can be much better.”

“As Mayor, you must build a solid governing coalition based on working well with your fellow councilmembers,” concluded former Mayor Skip Rimsza, “Peggy Neely is proving she can bring people together to find solutions. She is building a strong coalition for the City of Phoenix dedicated to serving the taxpayers.”



Peggy Neely Pledges to Repeal Food Tax

CONTACT: Paul Bentz

Pullen: Neely the Best Candidate for Fiscal Reform

PHOENIX – Last year, Peggy Neely opposed the food tax and voted against the budget because of the lack of transparency. Today, Neely pledged to repeal the food tax – a move supported by former Arizona Republican Party Chairman and former candidate for Phoenix Mayor, Randy Pullen.

“Peggy Neely is the best candidate to promote fiscal reform,” said Pullen, “Employee pay raises have been given in a time of national and local austerity while city services have been cut. It is time for someone to shine a light on the budget process and make sure that City Hall is serving the taxpayers instead of themselves. Peggy is the right person to get the job done.”

“The food tax was proposed on a Monday and voted on a Tuesday,” said Neely, “Revenue was found to fill the budget hole before other alternatives were even offered. It is time to repeal the food tax and give Phoenix citizens an honest budget that protects the services that are important to our residents and lives within our means.”

Peggy Neely has proposed extensive budget reforms in her comprehensive policy plan titled “The Phoenix We Want,” which includes zero-based budgeting, finding efficiencies within all departments, regionalization of public services, and other cost savings.



Skip Rimsza: Union Control of Phoenix City Hall at Stake in Phoenix Mayoral Race

We missed this one from a few days ago…

CONTACT: Skip Rimsza

Phoenix voters will decide whether labor unions should continue to control City Hall when they vote for a new mayor next month, according to a letter written by former Mayor Skip Rimsza.

Rimsza, who served as Mayor from 1994 through 2004, called the upcoming mayoral contest a “watershed election where voters will decide who City Hall will serve.”

He said three of the candidates in the race, Greg Stanton, Claude Mattox and Wes Gullett all have ties to labor unions with a lot to gain from a Mayor sympathetic to their cause. But he said the interests of union bosses are not always the same as those of the city’s taxpayers.

He pointed to recent controversial actions as proof that union labor bosses are calling the shots within Phoenix city government, including the Council’s approval of pay raises amidst budget cuts and last year’s passage of an emergency food tax. Both decisions benefitted city labor unions.

“Mr. Mattox is supported by the largest public employee union in the city and stood with them by voting to support the food tax increase and the pay raises,” Rimsza noted.

“Mr. Gullett was a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is the largest public employee union in the country. Nationally, they pushed for the boycott of Arizona. Locally, Mr. Gullett tried to get Maricopa County government to bargain with his union supporters,” he said.

“And Mr. Stanton was an ardent opponent of SB 1070 and is supported by several labor and union groups such as the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Union and the AFL-CIO affiliate Maricopa Area Labor Federation, who together have stood against Arizona and supported boycotting the state,” Rimsza added.

Rimsza said the City has some of the best employees in the nation, who work hard to keep residents safe and to improve the quality of services despite budget constraints. “However, the Union Bosses, who feed off their union dues have become out of control because they are out to serve their best interest – not the taxpayers of Phoenix,” he warned.

Rimsza has endorsed Peggy Neely for Mayor and said in his letter that she is the only candidate “with a track record of asking hard questions, supporting fiscal responsibility and bringing people together, which has always been the culture of Phoenix leadership.”

Click here to read Rimsza’s Editorial.



Gullett Releases New Ad “Dust-Storm” in response to Neely’s Desperate Attacks

CONTACT: Tony Bradley

Phoenix, AZ – Professional Politician, Peggy Neely, has started to attack her opponents in desperation to hide from her own failed record as a Phoenix City Councilmember. Neely is hiding from championing the plan to build a 40 million dollar ‘Road to Nowhere,’ voting to increase the City’s water rates by more than 100 percent, giving away millions in failed subsidies for CityNorth, and spearheading the creation of the only taxpayer-funded day labor center in Arizona.

ANNOUNCER: Close your windows…Because here it comes… Another massive dust storm. This one from Professional Politician Peggy Neely. Desperate and down in the polls, Peggy’s attacks are as nasty as the dirt on your windshield. And she’s using a 100-mile wall of dirt to hide from her own record. Hiding from the Road to Nowhere. Her taxpayer-funded day labor center. Her votes to increase water rates by 100%. After 10 years of failing to have a plan to create jobs, smoke and mirrors are all she has left.

ANNOUNCER: Only Wes Gullett has a Seven Point Jobs Plan to clean up the mess and get Phoenix working again. Learn more at WesGullett.com.

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Neely Makes Desperate Attack on Wes Gullett

CONTACT: Tony Bradley

Phoenix, AZ – Peggy Neely, whose campaign for Mayor is stalling amidst allegations of bloated office spending, criticism for championing the plan to build a $40 million “road to nowhere,” voting to double the city’s water rate during the 10 years she was on the City Council, giving away millions of dollars in failed subsidies for CityNorth, and for leading the effort to build a day labor center in her district with taxpayer money, which contributed to Phoenix being labeled as a sanctuary city, has now attacked Wes Gullett for “Union” ties.

“Through a surrogate (who was supported by public employee unions), Mrs. Neely is trying to negatively link me to labor unions. This is a ridiculous charge and only illustrates the desperation of her campaign,” Gullett said. “My company did work for the Service Employee International Union in 2005 in a specific case of trying to provide employees in Pima County, who were already unionized, the ability to choose competitively who would represent them. That holds true with my consistent position of being an advocate for competition, whether in the business market place or in a union hall. Since that time, Mrs. Neely has taken thousands of dollars of union contributions that she is now using in her current campaign for Mayor. It is utter hypocrisy for Peggy Neely to pretend she has a history of being anti-union or even promoting competition in the free marketplace. Her history has been about picking winners and losers and we can’t afford to have those policies in the Mayor’s office,” stated Gullett.

“To accuse me of being sympathetic to Union bosses is a joke. As Mayor, I will be a firm and forceful negotiator with the City’s public employee unions. I will promote policies that are in the best interest of the taxpayer, focus on creating jobs by implementing my Seven Point Jobs Plan, reform government by cutting the cost through finding efficiencies and labor cost savings. I have consistently called for the elimination of the food tax, fought against the water rate increase and proposed lowering permitting costs for new, expanding small businesses and opposed providing merit and longevity pay increases to 90% of city employees,” said Gullett.

“For Mrs. Neely to now attack unions, after she lined her campaign coffers with their contributions, shows that she will go to any length to win this election. It is the epitome of hypocrisy and desperation for a candidate who has actively pursued public employee union support for more than a decade to now say that any connection to unions is somehow negative. Mrs. Neely should wipe off the mud she has splashed on herself and talk about the issues. The reason for her attempted smear of my campaign comes directly from the fact that Phoenix’s largest business organization, the Phoenix Realtor’s Association, has endorsed my campaign which is embarrassing to Mrs. Neely, who is a realtor,” concluded Gullett.

Gullett’s company, FirstStrategic, has worked for hundreds of clients during the past nine years. Mr. Gullett’s principal job at the firm has been as a strategic planner. He has advocated for Phoenix Children’s Hospital, the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), Northern Arizona University and the Salt River Project.



Peggy Neely: Look for the Union Label

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, July 6, 2011
CONTACT: Paul Bentz

Union ties to Stanton, Mattox, and Gullett put special interests before taxpayers.

PHOENIX – Tax increases. Pay raises. Boycotts. The taxpayers of Phoenix are under fire from organized labor union bosses. From the food tax increase to the boycott of the Major League Baseball All-star Game, union leaders have been hurting Phoenix while looking out for their own self interests. In this watershed race for Phoenix Mayor, voters have a choice between a candidate who will serve the taxpayers and those who will serve the special interests.

The Neely for Mayor Campaign launched a new video today titled, “Look for the Union Label.”

“We are at a crossroads. Voters can choose between someone who will represent their interests and someone who will serve the system,” said Peggy Neely, “Phoenix has a long track record of hiring skilled staff and offering quality services to the taxpayers. We have come to expect great things from the City of Phoenix and earned a respectable reputation. However, when the taxpayers start seeing actions such as cutting services while granting pay raises, it is clear that the system is serving itself. We need to make sure that union interests are not being put ahead of public services.”

Greg Stanton

  • Opposes SB1070
  • Endorsed by the United Food and Commercial Workers Union – who helped lead the Arizona boycott
  • Endorsed by Maricopa Area Labor Federation – Affiliated with AFL-CIO which condemned SB1070
  • Would have voted for pay increases (Arizona Republic, June 8, 2011)

Claude Mattox

  • Supported by the largest public employee union in the City of Phoenix
  • Voted for the food tax increase
  • Supported this year’s budget and pay increases (Arizona Republic, June 8, 2011)

Lobbyist Wes Gullett

  • Worked for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) to organize medical workers to unionize at Maricopa County Hospital
  • SEIU helped lead the Arizona Boycott
  • SEIU lead the effort to move Major League Baseball All-Star Game


Friday Poll: The Race for Phoenix Mayor


This Friday’s poll is now up and we’re asking who you would vote for as Mayor of Phoenix. You can vote via our sidebar or by clicking here.

The poll will be up one week and will limit voting based on cookie/IP address.

If you have an idea for a poll, please email us at sonoranalliance@gmail.com.

Neely Shines at Citizens of Phoenix Debate

CONTACT: Robert Johnson

PHOENIX – Former Phoenix City Councilwoman Peggy Neely shined yesterday at the candidate debate hosted by the group, Citizens of Phoenix. Neely displayed the breadth and depth of her understanding of the issues in the first meeting of the five mayoral candidates.

“I am pleased with the results of the debate,” said Neely. “It was a wonderful opportunity to share ‘The Phoenix We Want’ with the citizens and my vision for more jobs, a balanced budget, and increased transparency. Most importantly, I had fun.”

The debate ranged on a number of issues including neighborhood preservation, public safety and jobs. Neely discussed working closely with neighborhoods on issues such as preserving open space, addressing water rates, and pushing for increased efficiencies across the city.

“Last year, I pushed for efficiency studies in departments across the city including police, fire, courts, and the water department,” said Neely. “Streamlining the size of government is something we will never stop doing. We will always look for new ways to get the job done – to reinvent an old process. Changing things in government is never easy. The system wants things to stay the same – it fights change. But some things have to change. They need to change.”

On the topic of jobs, Peggy made it clear that she is no stranger to attracting businesses to Phoenix.

“My focus is on jobs, jobs, jobs. My priority as the Mayor of Phoenix, my focus each day as I go to work, my commitment of time and energy will be on jobs. I will work as Mayor to attract business and investment to attract high wage employers,” said Neely.

During her time on the city council, District 2 has been a strong leader in job creation attracting companies such as Republic Services, Mayo Clinic Hospital, W.L. Gore and Associates, American Express, Axway, APL, Ryan Companies, and Penske Automotive Group/ Chauncey Ranch Auto Boutique developing thousands of jobs and attracting regional and national headquarters in Phoenix.

“I think Peggy scored major points with her experience in creating jobs,” said Kathy Landis. “It was really clear that she was the candidate with the most real experience. It is that kind of leadership we need for the city as a whole.”

Neely stuck to the issues and responded with real actions she took while on council and the plans contained in her extensive policy agenda. She also pointed to the need for accountability and transparency in local government and the need for the Mayor and council to go above and beyond in being open and accountable for her actions.

“When it comes down to it,” explained Ken Cada, “Peggy is the only candidate with a real plan. The voters of Phoenix deserve real plans – and Peggy delivered.”