Sonoran Alliance Endorses Justin Johnson for Phoenix City Council, District 4

Once in a rare moment, does this blog break ranks from the traditional conservative line and go public with an endorsement of someone who really needs to win an election. This happens when the alternative is so unacceptable to the greater good that it necessitates a break in the silence. This is the case in the race for Phoenix City Council, District 4.

JustinJohnsonOn this rare occasion, it is imperative that we break endorsement silence by asking that the voters of district 4 cast their vote for Justin Johnson.

There’s no other way to state it other than Johnson’s political opponent, Laura Pastor, would be devastating to the City of Phoenix.

Pastor opposes immediate repeal of the food tax – which impacts low and fixed income residents of Phoenix and exacerbates the cycle of poverty in a district that so desperately needs relief from government taxation.

Pastor also fails to understand the devastating long-term impact of pension spiking and the need to overhaul the system. Unlike Justin Johnson, Laura Pastor has refused to sign the pledge to end pension spiking.

We even question Pastor’s desire to serve on the council given her commitment to attend board and committee meetings to which she was appointed. Since her last run for office, Pastor has barely shown up 50% of the time. That speaks volumes to her commitment to district 4 residents.

That leaves a far more acceptable, committed and solution-driven candidate in Justin Johnson.

And while we disagree with him on several social policies, we believe he will best represent and look out for the best interest of the residents of Phoenix’s district 4.

Next Tuesday, when you head to the polls in Phoenix District 4, we ask that you adjust your focus to a long-term view for the future of Phoenix. The current council needs one additional critical vote to pass reforms that will benefit all residents of Phoenix and restore economic common sense to Phoenix government.

Please cast your vote for Justin Johnson.

Visit his website at: JohnsonforPhoenix.com

It All Comes Down to One Person – Greg Stanton

A special message from Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio:

Due to my efforts fighting for the elimination of the food tax, pension reform and other government reforms, a liberal group with a secret donor list, is attacking me and the accomplishments we’ve made over the past few years. Unfortunately, this group has chosen to attack me with mailers and emails full of half-truths and some outright lies. Sadly, but not surprisingly, the members of this liberal group tie directly to Mayor Greg Stanton. View the infographic below to learn more about their operation. It’s time to blow their cover!

One Person Stanton 1

One Person - Greg Stanton

 

Arizona Corporation Commission reference link: http://starpas.azcc.gov/scripts/cgiip.exe/WService=wsbroker1/corp-detail.p?name-id=18291457

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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Rev. Jarrett Maupin, Black Leaders Outraged Over Phoenix Councilman’s Endorsement

REV. JARRETT MAUPIN AND BLACK LEADERS OUTRAGED OVER PHOENIX CITY COUNCILMAN MICHAEL NOWAKOWSKI’S “BETRAYAL” OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN VOTERS. MAUPIN, WHO CAMPAIGNED WITH NOWAKOWSKI FOR HIS FIRST ELECTION IN THE CITY’S BLACK CHURCHES, NOW SAYS, “NOWAKOWSKI HAS GONE AGAINST HIS PROMISES TO SUPPORT BLACK LEADERSHIP AND PROMOTE DIVERSITY ON THE CITY COUNCIL BY ENDORSING A WHITE SHAM-CANDIDATE IN BROWN-FACE FOR DISTRICT 8. KATE WIDLAND-GALLEGO IS A WHITE POLITICAL PATSY, AN INTERLOPING POLITICAL PUPPET WITH NO CONNECTION TO THE AREA OR THE PEOPLE WHATSOEVER.” MAUPIN SAYS NOWAKOWSKI IS, “PRACTICING THE POLITICS OF RACIAL EXPLOITATION AND IS BEING INEXPLICABLY COMPELLED TO ATTEMPT A POLITICAL LYNCHING OF PHOENIX’S BLACK COMMUNITY AT THE URGING OF REP. RUBEN GALLEGO.” 

Phoenix, AZ – Local Civil Rights Leader, the Rev. Jarrett Maupin is challenging Councilman Michael Nowakowski to, “Do the right thing and withdraw his endorsement of Kate Widland-Gallego.” Maupin worked to elect Michael in 2007 to the council for his first term by organizing Black churches to turn out voters at the polls. Sunday after Sunday, throughout South Phoenix, Maupin says he and Michael were “joined at the hip” working the pews in an effort to elect a Latino to the council. There was no Latino serving at the time. Now, with the city’s only Black-held council seat up for grabs, the Reverend doesn’t understand how Nowakowksi could, “Attempt to politically lynch Phoenix’s Black Community by bending to the will of Rep. Ruben Gallego,” who is running his wife, Kate Widland-Gallego, a White political interloper, over against the Black candidate in the race for the city’s 8th council district seat. Michael had traveled extensively- speaking, praying, and asking for votes – in the city’s black churches, at Maupin’s invitation and direction. “He campaigned in our houses of worship on a unity platform. He would read a favorite prayer of Cesar Chavez, quote Dr. King, and now he has thrown all of those promises he made, promises made in God’s House, under the bus. He has turned Si Se Puede and We Shall Overcome into Si Yo Puedo and Me, Myself, and I,” said Maupin. The activist also says the councilman is “For some godforsaken reason, and at Ruben Gallego’s command, trying to ignite racial political fires by backing a White candidate with a Hispanic last-name to confuse voters.” Kate Widland-Gallego, who is not Latina, is also not openly campaigning as White. “Ruben must have convinced Michael that Latinos and Blacks who vote in South Phoenix are stupid. We know what a wolf in sheep’s clothing looks like. Why doesn’t Widland-Gallego run on who she is: a power-hungry, White, SRP booster who never lived in South Phoenix and has no relationship with the district’s minority voters? Can’t she be real about who she is? If she won’t tell her story, I know a preacher who will.” said Maupin.

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NE Valley Pachyderm Coalition – October 12 Meeting

 

Our October 2011 meeting features Prop 13 Arizona Chairman, Lynne Weaver, explaining the Paradise Valley and Cave Creek School district ballots relating to overrides and issuing bonds.

 and

 Phoenix City Council District 1 Candidate Eric Frederick explaining the importance of the Phoenix City Council elections to Republicans in the entire Phoenix Metropolitan area and what you can do to help Republicans wrest control of the city government from labor unions and other big spenders.

 Eric Frederick is an up and coming conservative Republican who is both informative and inspiring. After listening to him, you will not only feel that the future of the Republican Party will be in good hands, you will want to help him make that happen.

We have a local government focus this meeting because that is what the November elections are about this year. Both speakers are solid conservatives who really know government at the school district and city levels, respectively. There will be plenty of time for questions and answers.

Location: Appaloosa Public Library
7377 E. Silverstone Drive, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(Near intersection of N Scottsdale and E Pinnacle Peak)

Date: Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2011. (2nd Wed of Month)
Time: 6:45-7:00 pm meet & greet. Meeting from 7-8:15pm

Contact Information:
Howard Levine,
NE Valley Chapter Chairman
Howard_Levine@rocketmail.com , http://www.pachydermcoalition.com/
480-577-4168

 

Wes Gullett releases plan to cut red tape

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 22, 2011
CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

PHOENIX – Wes Gullett released his “Less Red Tape Means More Jobs” plan this morning, the centerpiece of which is a plan for same-day permitting.

Under Gullett’s plan (attached), a qualified customer can walk into the city and, meeting the requirements, walk away with a permit on the same day. The plan was unveiled at Copper Star Coffee, a local business that has faced significant challenges in obtaining permits in a timely fashion under the city’s current process.

The plan is supported by four current council members: City Councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Tom Simplot, Bill Gates and Jim Waring, who all appeared with Gullett at today’s press conference to support his plan.

“The City of Phoenix must be ready to move with agility to help our business and community partners get back to work – not stand in their way,” said Gullett. “Streamlining government, reforming the permitting process and updating city regulations and procedures to move plans through the pipeline will dramatically reduce the time and cost of doing business in Phoenix.”

In addition to same-day permitting, the Gullett plan calls for all city departments to engage in a top to bottom review of all regulations and delete those that are unnecessary; a comment period and sunset review on all regulations; consolidating the Planning and Development Services Departments with the Economic Development Department to allow for more direct and immediate support for small businesses; expanding online services for permitting and business services; establishing a single point of contact for major development projects; updating zoning ordinances; and reducing permitting fees.

“The importance of this plan and what it means for jobs, productivity and business could not be clearer,” Gullett said. “We must lead on these issues and build a foundation on rock – not sand. Otherwise, Phoenix will find itself continuously falling behind other cities that are making reforms to ensure economic development. We cannot afford the status quo.”

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Eric Frederick: “Thelda Williams is ‘Politics as Usual’ at Phoenix’s City Hall”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2011
CONTACT: Eric Frederick

Councilwoman Williams Admits To Not Knowing the Facts

Phoenix – The Goldwater Institute today, released their investigation entitled ‘Money for Nothing’. This investigation uncovered union negotiations, approved by the city council, that allows union members to not only perform union activities on the clock, but also provides salaries to the top Union officials with taxpayer dollars. The fact that union members are able to write these provisions into contracts, without the council members comprehending the agreement, shows how politics as usual is playing out in City Hall.

Thelda Williams, the incumbent Vice Mayor and Councilwoman from District 1 voted for the contracts. In the Goldwater Institute article, she stated that she was “unaware of the provisions.” However, as an elected official it is her duty and obligation to know what is in the contracts before they are voted upon.

Eric Frederick commented on this information by saying, “This is the 2nd time in less than a week that Councilwoman Williams has admitted to voting on something that she didn’t understand. Residents of District 1 and all Phoenicians need to have a representative that can study the information, ask the pertinent questions to make sure we have good policy and then make an informed vote.”

Councilwoman Williams also told the Goldwater Institute that the “concessions the city has made to the unions when the economy was booming need to be re-examined when the contracts come up for renewal next year.” In March of 2010, when the provisions were approved, the economy was already deeply in a recession. Her career politician status in City Hall has blinded her to the struggles of the residents. Her position that the contracts were signed when the “economy was booming” shows how out of touch she is.

Eric Frederick continued his statements by saying, “At a time when the City is raising taxes and fees on the general public while simultaneously reducing services, it is simply unacceptable that these perks continued. Thankfully the Goldwater Institute has uncovered this misuse of taxpayer dollars, but this discovery should have been made by the elected officials we trust to represent us.”

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Jennifer Wright Endorses Eric Frederick for City Council

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2011
CONTACT: Eric Frederick

Tuesday, former Phoenix mayoral candidate Jennifer Wright endorsed Eric Frederick for Phoenix City Council in District 1. Jennifer Wright ran a grassroots campaign that collected over 16,000 votes in a six-way race for Phoenix Mayor. Jennifer Wright’s endorsement adds to the growing number of endorsements Eric Frederick has received including former City Council Candidate Bill Barker.

“Mr. Frederick brings a wealth of business experience and a keen understanding of the business-like reforms necessary to restore prosperity in Phoenix,” Jennifer Wright wrote. She added, “A vote for Councilwoman Williams is a vote of confidence in the status quo… If we want to assure the defeat of the special interests that have long run this city, we must donate our time, talent, and money to help Mr. Frederick restore control of the district, and with it the City, to residents.”

Eric Frederick responded to the endorsements by saying, “I am honored to have Mrs. Wright’s full support. It is time for real leadership to be restored to City Hall, and I am pleased Mrs. Wright recognizes that I am that leader for District 1. My opponent has been entrenched in the city government for the past two decades, the same city government that got us to where we are today. It is time to change from politics as usual to forward leadership that leads for the constituents–not against them.”

Eric Frederick is in the runoff election against incumbent City Councilwoman Thelda Williams. The election will be held on November 8th along with the mayoral runoff against Wes Gullett and Greg Stanton.

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Jennifer Wright Endorses Eric Frederick for Phoenix City Council, District 1

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 21, 2011
CONTACT: Jennifer Wright

PHOENIX, AZ (SEPT 21) – Last night at the Daisy Mountain Tea Party meeting, Jennifer Wright announced her support and endorsement of Eric Frederick in the run-off race in Phoenix City Council District 1 against incumbent Vice Mayor Thelda Williams.

“Mr. Frederick brings a wealth of business experience and a keen understanding of the business-like reforms necessary to restore prosperity in Phoenix,” declared Wright.

On the August 30 municipal election, Vice Mayor Thelma Williams failed to obtain more than 50% of the vote in District 1, which forced a run-off against challenger Eric Frederick. Frederick has been campaigning on the premise of working hard to bring jobs to Phoenix, making decisions based on fiscal responsibility, eliminating taxes and fees, and providing “Forward Leadership” to help Phoenix rise again to national prominence.

“By electing Frederick over an entrenched incumbent, the citizens of Phoenix can send a strong message to our city leaders that we will no longer tolerate business as usual,” Wright stated, adding, “A vote for Councilwoman Williams is a vote of confidence in the status quo – and with it increased taxes, increased water rates, and excessive union labor contracts.”

Wright continued by pointing out that Williams is heavily backed by union interests who have reportedly committed in excess of $150,000 to assure Williams’ reelection. According to Wright, “If we want to assure the defeat of the special interests that have long run this city, we must donate our time, talent, and money to help Mr. Frederick restore control of the district, and with it the City, to residents.”

Early ballots for the run-off election will be mailed October 13 and voting centers will be open November 5, 7, and 8. The last day to register to vote for the November election is October 10.

Wright is a former candidate for Mayor of Phoenix whose insurgent campaign shocked political insiders and resulted in a virtual three-way tie for third place with two well-known politicians. Wright, a relative newcomer to politics, practices family and criminal law with Bain and Lauritano, PLC.

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To find out more about Eric Frederick, visit his website at ElectFrederick.com.

Breaking! Eric Frederick makes runoff against Thelda Williams!

Great news for conservatives keeping an anxious eye on the Phoenix District 1 race between Eric Frederick and Thelda Williams.

The City of Phoenix Election Departing is reporting tonight that incumbent Thelda Williams has not reached the 50% plus 1 votes needed to avoid a runoff election. This news comes to Frederick supporters who have held their collective breath for three days waiting for final ballots to be tallied. Because Williams failed to make the 50%+1 threshhold, she will now face Frederick in a November runoff election.

Initial Election Results on Tuesday

Election Results - Friday

 

Conservatives now have a reason to rally behind a conservative candidate who stands in complete contrast to the incumbent Williams who has managed to get re-elected in one of the most conservative Phoenix council districts. While on the council, Williams has cast several significant votes that have raised taxes on food, water, increased salaries for city unions and subsidized CityNorth.

Should Frederick win this critical race and Wes Gullett succeed in beating Greg Stanton for the mayor’s seat, Councilmen Sal DiCiccio, Jim Waring and Bill Gates will have additional strength and support to pass and implement meaningful city reform.

This race is critical and I would encourage conservatives in Phoenix to get involved in this race by volunteering and contributing to Team Frederick. I would also encourage some high profile endorsements from Congressmen Trent Franks and Ben Quayle for the one candidate who will work for true government reform.

Eric Frederick’s website is at www.ElectFrederick.com. You can also contribute to his campaign at this link.

[Election Results]

Phoenix election results: Republicans prepare to retake Phoenix

Yesterday, the City of Phoenix wrapped up its first round of elections by finalizing who will fill at least three council seats.

(See Results)

Former State Senator, Jim Waring and current councilmen, Bill Gates and Michael Nowakowski easily won their primaries with Waring overcoming interim councilman Bryan Jeffries and Gates fending off a challenge by Steven Gross. Both districts traditionally elect Republicans but in District 7, Democrat Michael Nowakowski won handily against conservative populist challenger, Janet Contreras.

In District 1, it appears that incumbent Thelda Williams may hold on to the 50% plus one votes to win re-election from newcomer conservative challenger, Eric Frederick. Frederick’s supporters are holding out hope that uncounted ballots will deprive Williams the 50% plus one margin for Frederick to continue into a runoff election against her. Ballots will continue to be counted with an unofficial final result announced Friday.

Union-supported Democrat Daniel Valuenzuela may have anchored 42% of the vote in Council District Five but he most certainly will face a runoff against either Republicans Brenda Sperduti or Eric Sloan. At last count, only 27 votes separated both Republicans with Sperduti holding the lead. Tea Party activists had high hopes for Charlie Ellis who finished in 4th place.

But the real excitement occurred in the Phoenix Mayor’s race where Democrat Greg Stanton won almost 38% of the vote. Grouped behind him were five Republicans who combined, secured the remaining 62% of the vote. Republican Wes Gullett captured the highest number of votes at 20.54% guaranteeing him a spot in the runoff election. Following Gullett, were former councilmen Peggy Neely and Claude Mattox. Tea Party candidate, Jennifer Wright, who entered the race at the last minute finished with 11.47% of the vote with unknown Anna Brennan finishing last with almost 5% of the vote.

Republicans now have clear choices in the runoff election to be held in November with Wes Gullett at the head of the ticket. (Incidentally, I believe we broke the story of Wes Gullett entering the mayor’s race right here on Sonoran Alliance.)

Greg Stanton is known as a progressive San Francisco-style liberal Democrat which allows Wes Gullett to run the remainder of the campaign demonstrating a far more mainstream approach of governing the 6th most populated city in America. If Republicans consolidate votes from each of the other campaigns behind Wes Gullett, it is very likely Gullett will be the next Mayor of Phoenix.

Now my editorial.

It’s time to solidify support behind Wes Gullett. Phoenicians cannot afford a liberal progressive mayor like Greg Stanton. Stanton would bring a San Francisco, Gavin Newsom governing-style to Phoenix which would ultimately bankrupt the city. The good news is that Councilman Sal DiCiccio and Bill Gates have another conservative voice and ally on the council in Jim Waring. Should Thelda Williams win re-election (which appears likely) having Jim Waring join the team of conservatives will hopefully put pressure on Thelda to behave herself on votes regarding taxes on water, food and corporate subsidies.

Heading into the runoff set for November will be an exciting exercise in rallying behind a mayoral candidate who is dramatically ideologically different from his liberal Democratic opponent. Depending on who earns second place in district five will may also spark some excitement. Republican Eric Sloan could turn that race into a union vs the taxpayers campaign but a Sperduti win would deflate conservative hopes for reform against the union candidate, Valenzuela.

For those who find their campaigns at the end of the line, don’t rule them out of future political endeavors. This may very well be the beginning for several of them. Politics is oftentimes seen as a war of ideas and their campaigns may only be one battle in the effort to win the overall war.

Congratulations to Wes Gullett, Jim Waring, Bill Gates and the Democratic opponents! Thanks to those who gave it their best effort: Peggy Neely, Claude Mattox, and Jennifer Wright. Now it’s on to the runoff election in November in the battle for Phoenix.

Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Charlie Ellis in the race for Phoenix Council

Congratulations to Phoenix Council candidate, Charlie Ellis, in securing the endorsement of Congressman Trent Franks.

The following statement was released from Congressman Trent Franks:

“I am sincerely honored to endorse Charlie Ellis for Phoenix City Council in District 5. Charlie is solidly prolife, fiscally conservative and supports taxpayers and a smaller government, both locally and nationally. Charlie Ellis is an honest and committed American who deserves our support.”

Trent Franks

Charlie Ellis is running for Phoenix City Council in District 5. His website is located at www.CharlieEllisDistrict5.com.

City of Phoenix Elections – My Picks

The City of Phoenix Elections are finalized tomorrow with the polls closing at 7 PM. Several people have asked me who I would vote for if I were a resident of Phoenix. Here are my picks and a little advice as the outcome.

Mayor: Jennifer Wright
I have know Jennifer for over a year and believe she is what the City of Phoenix needs right now. She is an extremely hard worker ( worked with her) and there is no doubt in my mind that she would give 110% to the job. She is very conservative and I believe she would be a strong advocate for Phoenix taxpayers. She was the only mayoral candidate who completed and returned the Arizona Taxpayer’s Action Committee candidate questionnaire – which earned her an endorsment. (Disclaimer: I serve on the political action committee.) But a word of healthy caution. While we all like to rally behind our own candidate choices, we must remember that whoever wins tomorrow – and my guess is there will be a runoff – we all need to get behind that candidate in the runoff election.

District 1: Eric Frederick
Eric has worked very hard on this campaign to explain to the voters that he will not be like the current incumbent who voted for CityNorth, the 2% sales tax on food, the water rate hike and budgets that gave the government unions what they want. Hands down, Eric Frederick is the choice for City Council in District 1.

District 2: Jim Waring
I’ve know Jim Waring for several years and his voting record has demonstrated a commitment to taxpayers. Jim has worked extremely hard as a challenger to unseat the incumbent who is the head of one of the biggest government unions. I believe Jim Waring will carry over his strong advocacy for smaller, leaner, more responsive government to the City of Phoenix.

District 3: Bill Gates
Councilman Bill Gates has done a good job while serving on the council. I believe he deserves another term but I also believe he deserves some help in numbers. Both Sal DiCiccio and Bill Gates have done their best to hold back the current council but this election affords the opportunity to strengthen those numbers and get the City of Phoenix back on track.

District 5: Charlie Ellis
Charlie Ellis would make a great addition to the Phoenix Council in a district that has been hurting and requires someone with more of a conservative populist approach to governance. Charlie has worked this campaign hard meeting with a diverse cross section of people across the district. He will add a grassroots voice to the council once elected.

District 7: Janet Contreras
I have also know Janet Contreras for some time now and have seen her in action. Janet would also bring a strong populist, grassroots, citizen-advocate voice to the Phoenix Council. This is just what the City of Phoenix needs at a time when government unions are attempting to extract more money from the taxpayers while people are hurting. Janet deserves your vote.

Proposition 1: VOTE NO
Passage of Proposition 1 will allow the City of Phoenix to circumvent the Arizona Constitution’s limit on government growth. That constitutional provision limits a large portion of city government spending to a population plus growth formula. Every election cycle, cities such as Phoenix, ask the voters to usurp that constitutional limit so that it can actually spend more than the conservative population plus growth formula. Well, it’s on the ballot again. This time, the voters of Phoenix should vote NO on Proposition 1 (more info).

Disclaimer: These are my personal endorsements and not that of Sonoran Alliance (which has not issued any endorsements).

 

Jennifer Wright Signs 10-Point Contract With Phoenicians

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 22, 2011
CONTACT: Ami Francisco

PHOENIX, AZ (August 22) – Phoenix mayoral candidate Jennifer Wright unveiled today her ten-point contract with Phoenicians putting taxpayers first in city governance and eliminating the influence of special interests in City Hall.

“Jennifer is truly a citizen candidate with no questionable ties to lobbyists, developers, unions, or other special interests groups that rob tax dollars for pet projects,” stated Ami Francisco, Wright’s campaign manager. “For once, we have a candidate that is not interested in personal gain, but in restoring prosperity for Phoenicians.”

Under to the Wright Contract, Wright has committed to eliminate the food tax while safeguarding essential services, end the practicing of subsidizing big business at the expense of small, remove burdensome barriers to business growth and development, and end sanctuary city policies.

“As Mayor, I will make decisions based on what is right for Phoenix and right for the taxpayers,” declared Wright. “For far too long, city leaders have put personal self-interests first costing taxpayers in the form of a regressive food tax, exorbitant water rates, and diminished services.”

Six candidates are vying to be Phoenix’s next mayor. Of those, three have been on the City Council over the past decade and created the problems we are facing, while another candidate spent the past decade demanding taxpayer dollars for his clients.

Wright is the only candidate that not only has no questionable ties, but also has the skills to examine onerous regulations and complex budgets to get businesses back to work and eliminate wasteful spending.

“Unlike my opponents who created the problems Phoenix is facing, I commit to work for Phoenicians first, not special or self-serving interests,” proclaimed Wright.

Wright’s Ten-Point Contract is detailed below:

The Wright Contract with Phoenicians:

As mayor, I commit to the citizens of Phoenix do the following:

  1. Repeal the food tax, and to reject any and all tax increases proposals;
  2. Safeguard essential city services, never using them as pawns in order to garner support for tax increases;
  3. End corporate welfare by standing against proposals that give unfair advantage to one business over another using taxpayer money;
  4. Eliminate city roadblocks to small business growth and development and retool the Development Services Department to help shepherd businesses through the city process, not stand as a barrier;
  5. Put taxpayers and citizens first, not special or entrenched interests, including rejecting demands from unions and lobbyists that go against what is best for Phoenicians;
  6. Eliminate sanctuary city policies that put not only citizens at risk, but also law enforcement;
  7. Use facts and data to make decisions, not emotion and rhetoric, and include diverse opinions to develop innovative solutions to the city’s complex problems;
  8. Implement internet-based open-book accounting methods that allow all Phoenicians to see how taxpayer money is obtained and spent;
  9. Move Phoenix elections to coincide with state and national elections to both reduce costs and increase citizen involvement and move Council meetings to the evenings while also televising and streaming them on the internet;
  10. Assure that all city contracts, including union contracts, are in the best interests of the taxpayers.

# # #

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.

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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.

Sal DiCiccio: Food Tax for Pay Raise Scandal – Ultimatum

“If there was no food tax, there would be no pay raises,” DiCiccio said. “It’s as simple as that.” – The Arizona Republic, June 14, 2011

Yesterday, I issued City Manager David Cavazos an ultimatum directing that any and all information regarding the food tax for pay scandal be given to my office (see memo below). I have in my possession documentation that shows that the AMOUNT of the employees’ pay raise was not given to the Council or public until the food tax passed, all public hearings were held and all Council votes had occurred.

We have requested repeatedly over the past several months if the April 21, 2010 memo was the first time that the public was told the actual amount of the pay raises. In a letter to City Attorney Gary Verburg, we asked if this was the first time the public was made aware of the total amount. He wrote that the city could find no other documentation.

I have contended that City Manager Cavazos purposely withheld this information from the public, and the memo dated April 21 will prove that assertion if no other documents are produced from the city manager. Almost all these pay raises go directly to government union workers.

For the past two years, the public was never told of government employee pay raises until they were approved. Here is a recap:

  • In 2010, Council passes a food tax with barely 24 hours’ notice — no mention of pay raises.
  • 15 public hearings held — major cuts to seniors and children in budget — no mention of the pay raises and amount budgeted for pay raises.
  • Council passes the budget on a 7-2 vote. No mention of pay raises in presentation. City manager acknowledges pay raises in budget only during questioning by me. No AMOUNT given to the public.
  • Council passes on a 9-0 vote MOUs for labor — no mention by management of amount of pay raises.
  • About 2½ months after the food tax passed, all public hearings are held and all votes taken by Council, city management releases the actual amount of the first year of pay raises: $29 million. 

Remember, the Council was facing a $270 million shortfall in 2010, the worst in city history. Pools were closed, library hours cut, senior programs and after school programs were dramatically reduced.

Had the city manager given the public the actual dollar amount of the pay raises, the public would have ousted everyone.

In 2011, essentially the same game was played on the public. I started asking for the exact amount of the second round of pay raises in January. It wasn’t until all 15 public hearings were completed and AFTER the Arizona Republic asked for the amount did staff finally release that information. Worse yet, two hours before the Council voted on the budget, the city manager released the two year total cost of the pay raises: $33.8 million.

If the April 10 is the first documented time that you and elected officials were given the true value of the pay raises – and the city manager has presented no evidence otherwise — then your government, your city, purposely kept information that would have been critical to your decision on the food tax and the budget.

Some have called it “phony math” to lump two years of pay raises together. But a second year of a pay raises on top of a first year all cost the taxpayers more money, and are hardly “sacrifice.” What’s phony is threatening critical core services, passing a huge new tax and NEVER telling the public about pay raises. 

Letter to City Manager David Cavazos:

Dear David,

This letter will serve as my final request for you to provide any and all documentation showing the first time the public was given the full amount of the pay raises other than the April 21, 2010 memo to me. Please provide that documentation prior to 12 noon on Wednesday August 10, 2011. If no documentation is provided, then I and the public will conclude that the public was given the information about the $29 million in pay raises only after the food tax was passed, all public hearings held and the Council voted on all budget matters.

Thank you for your cooperation in this public request.

Sincerely,

Sal DiCiccio
Phoenix City Council, District 6