Greg Stanton campaign supplying more content to outside group

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then why is a staffer providing footage to the group?

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

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

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

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



Republic knocks down “lies” from Stanton and his supporters

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Gullett says ad should be removed 

PHOENIX – The Arizona Republic today completely knocked-down statements made by career-politician Greg Stanton, and now by an independent group supporting him. The Republic went so far as to call the claims “lies.”

Wes Gullett is calling on the ad to be removed and for Stanton to stop deceiving the public.

The statements, used in a television ad paid for by an independent group supporting Stanton, originated in press releases and public statements made by Stanton. And they are repeated in a mail piece being paid for by Stanton himself.

“There just is no other way to say it: In asserting that Gullett lobbied the Phoenix council for a $100 million tax to benefit the arts, the ad lies. It also contends Gullett voted on the Phoenix Planning and Zoning Commission on behalf of a client, yet another lie,” the Republic wrote.

The editorial continues: “As The Republic’s Lynh Bui reported earlier this month, however, the Stanton campaign in August issued news releases alleging some of the same claims asserted in the TV ads funded by Phoenix Citizens United.”

“These outrageous claims have now been repeatedly knocked-down by independent journalists,” said Wes Gullett. “It’s time for Greg Stanton and his allies to stop deceiving the public and stick to the facts. Intentionally lying to the voters is not a good sign of how someone will operate as Mayor.”


Congressman Trent Franks Endorses Eric Frederick for Phoenix City Council

CONTACT: Eric Frederick

PHOENIX – Last night, October 17th, Arizona Congressman Trent Franks endorsed Eric Frederick at the Arizona Republican Legislative District 4 Monthly meeting. Eric Frederick is running for Phoenix City Council against incumbent Vice Mayor and Councilwoman Thelda Williams.

Congressman Franks said, “Eric Frederick’s private sector experience sets him apart and will be a priceless asset in office. Phoenix desperately needs a leader like Eric that is willing to reform the way the city does business. His values and strong business knowledge will allow him to fight for the residents of Phoenix.”

Eric Frederick responded to the endorsement by saying, “I am honored to have Congressman Franks’ endorsement. Congressman Franks has seen the way politics as usual is in Washington and how devastating it can be. I am glad he believes I am the leader that can take on Thelda Williams and her Phoenix insider friends.”

Congressman Franks serves Arizona’s second congressional district. He was first elected in 2002 and has served since then.



Wes Gullett: Let’s Get Phoenix Working Again!

Here is the latest campaign ad from Republican Wes Gullett. Be sure to visit Wes’ website and support his effort!

Gullett to Stanton: Come clean on contributions

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

“We cannot trust Greg Stanton to deliver on his promise of transparency”

PHOENIX – Wes Gullett is calling on Greg Stanton to stop spending tainted campaign money until he explains how thousands of dollars were secretly funneled into his campaign without ever being disclosed.

The Arizona Guardian reports this morning that the city is looking into the legality of Stanton taking a $3,000 contribution – more than six times the legal limit – and never even reporting it. The city clerk says they didn’t know about the money until a complaint was filed late last week, according to the Guardian.

“This revelation raises new questions and follows an alarming lack of transparency by Greg Stanton,” said Gullett. “We cannot trust Greg Stanton to deliver on his promise of transparency when he is not even transparent on his own campaign filings.”

Answers on this matter are long overdue. This is the first time the public has learned that Stanton has received a total of $80,000 in contributions stemming from money that was stolen from his account. Last month, the Arizona Republic first reported that in addition to a repayment of $77,000, other money was also funneled into Stanton’s account.

Despite promises of transparency, Stanton has yet to file any disclosures of how he received the $77,000 or this new $3,000. So far, Stanton has even ignored the advice of his own attorney’s on how to disclose the contributions.

Gullett has called on Stanton to come forward about the details of these transactions for months.

Additionally, Stanton never explained what happened to an additional $14,000 that disappeared from his campaign account.


Joseph Villasenor, “Concerned Citizens for Phoenix” Busted on Campaign Mailer!

CONTACT: Eric Frederick Campaign

Team Frederick Responds to Outrageous Attack Mailer put out by former Mayor Gordon Aide

Phoenix, AZ – October 14, 2011 – Yesterday, an attack advertisement against Eric Frederick hit mailboxes throughout the valley. Like other pieces of literature my opponent and her supporters have mailed in this political campaign, this mailer contained outright lies, half-truths and twisted facts. This particular piece was paid for by a group named “Concerned Citizens for Phoenix” which is a political committee formed just 4 days ago that spent $14,000 sending these mailers out. The registered person and primary contributor to this campaign is Joseph Villasenor, a former top aide of Mayor Phil Gordon. As usual, this is a concerted effort by those in the political “in” crowd to try and purchase an election through any means necessary including slandering the opponent.

Incorrect Eric Frederick
On the hit piece, it claims that in January of 2010 I had a judgement filed against me through Maricopa Courts. Upon review of available court documents, the plaintiff on the judgement in question is AHCCCS and lists a defendant of Eric Frederick living in Mesa, AZ. Given that I have never been on AHCCCS to begin with, nor have ever lived in Mesa, AZ, this obviously is a different Eric Frederick. This clearly shows that my opposition is grasping at straws and operating in desperation.

The second claim is of a Failure to Appear in Court on January 18, 2010. This was a result of a minor traffic stop. The fine was paid and therefore, there was no need to Appear in Court. Claiming that I “failed to appear in court” is an extremely exaggerated distortion of the facts.

The third claim is that I took creditors to court to avoid paying debt. In 2006, a company I worked for called Mortgage Lenders Network went out of business suddenly and without warning. At the time they went under, they did not pay commissions or salaries to any of their employees. Instead of nearly $60,000 in commissions I had earned and expected, I received only pennies on the dollar while simultaneously being forced out of work. In the years that followed, my family and I slashed expenses at our household, worked multiple jobs at times, and made a valiant effort to stay afloat until the mortgage market improved.

In 2009, I opened my own business by taking over an existing office. When that occurred, I inherited all of the contracts, leases and obligations from the previous owner. Due to unexpected costs associated with the office and unanticipated personal medical expenses, in 2010, my wife and I filed for bankruptcy in order to protect my licensing ability for FINRA registration. However, as is allowed under Bankruptcy code, we are repaying every debt we incurred until they are paid off consistent with our ethics and responsibilities. Filing for bankruptcy is not illegal nor “above the law”–it is a way for people to manage the risks associated with opening a business.

It should be noted that my opponent, Thelda Williams, also filed for bankruptcy in 1991 while she was a sitting member of the Phoenix City Council.

Joseph Villasenor

Concerned Citizens for Phoenix
The group behind this attack ad is “Concerned Citizens for Phoenix”. This organization is funded by Joseph Villasenor. Mr. Villasenor previously served as a senior advisor for Mayor Phil Gordon and was relieved from those duties due to a domestic violence charge against him. He now considers himself an “advisor” to the City and continues to perform the dirty work required to maintain the status quo at the City of Phoenix.

The group has already declared spending of $14,000 to send out mailers. It also appears they have violated numerous campaign finance laws. Today, I will be filing a formal complaint with the Arizona Secretary of State’s office regarding these illegal expenditures. I will provide more details on that filing at a press conference today at 4:00 at the AZ State Capitol.

Real Issues
The City of Phoenix faces real issues. I have identified core elements of very needed reform. Many of these reform items including changing the City structure that has proved detrimental to the taxpayers of Phoenix while protecting the politically connected. Issues such as having the City Auditors reporting directly to the City Council and Mayor as opposed to the current structure of reporting to the City Manager threatens to destroy the cozy relationships that exist at City Hall. We also have persistent unemployment, record budgets, Emergency Food Taxes still in place, water rates that continue to climb unchecked, vacant homes in virtually every neighborhood and many more. My opponent and her supporters do not want to discuss these issues. It should be no surprise, then, that my opponent and her supporters will go to whatever extremes necessary to assure victory including lies and deception. Unfortunately, the court systems for pursuing slander charges do not move as quickly as an election.

Tomorrow’s Walk
Tomorrow, we will be having our weekly walk beginning at 9:30 am at the Bagel Gourmet. It is located on Bell Rd just west of the I-17 in the Frys complex. We will have walking lists as well as an opportunity to sign up for phone banking. As has always been the case, the volunteer efforts are the only way we will be able to combat the unlimited funds that my opponent clearly has access to. Please join us tomorrow as we work to bring New Leadership and Fresh Ideas to Phoenix!



Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery Endorses Wes Gullett for Mayor

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

“Wes Gullett understands the issues facing law enforcement.”

PHOENIX – Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery is endorsing Wes Gullett for Mayor, joining a growing coalition committed to reforming Phoenix city government.

“Wes Gullett understands the issues facing law enforcement. He’ll help us rigorously enforce the law and be a partner in keeping Phoenix safe from gangs and drug cartels,” Montgomery said. “Please join me in supporting Wes Gullett for Mayor.”

“I’m thrilled to have the support of Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery. He’s been a leader in prosecuting criminals and keeping our community safe. I look forward to partnering with him to keep Phoenix residents safe,” Gullett said.

Gullett has spoken at length about the need to keep Phoenix safe and support law enforcement. In particular, he has pledged to finally begin the process of hiring a police chief.


Wes Gullett: City forced to explain $200 million in unaccounted funds

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Republic also debunks claims in attack ad, erroneous Stanton press releases

PHOENIX – Phoenix city bureaucrats have been forced to explain where more than $200 million in unaccounted taxpayer dollars are being spent in response to questions raised by Mayoral candidate Wes Gullett.

A report in this morning’s Arizona Republic includes an alarming discovery that the city has budgeted a 10 percent increase in spending – $230 million – despite claims that the budget would only increase by 1 percent. The city was forced to explain how this slush fund will be spent, only after Gullett raised the issue.

Amazingly, Stanton defends this practice and the status quo, calling Phoenix “not perfect – but well run” in a press release today.

“We can’t continue to play this shell game with taxpayer money,” Gullett said. “This is the game Greg Stanton played for nine years on the City Council and would continue to play as Mayor. It’s actually frightening that someone who wants to be Mayor would just believe everything city bureaucrats put in front of him and refuse to ask any tough questions.”

The story also outlines in detail Wes Gullett’s plan to immediately repeal the food tax and pay for it. Gullett outlines specific savings for finding more than the $50 million needed to repeal that tax. Stanton continues to find excuses to keep the tax on the books for at least another two years, removing money from the economy and hurting families who are struggling to get by.

“I’ve put forward specific plans to get rid of the food tax and pay for it,” Gullett said. “Greg Stanton refuses to because he needs this tax to pay for his big government agenda.”

The Republic also debunks an attack ad against Gullett that is airing on television based on erroneous press releases by the Stanton campaign.

The story knocks down an oft-repeated claim by Stanton that Gullett is lobbying for a $100 million tax for the arts. “Gullett isn’t lobbying for the tax,” the story states.

Additionally, the story highlights that Gullett never worked for the Phoenix Association of Realtors, despite claims by the Stanton campaign that he did.

In fact, the only candidate in this race who has voted to benefit a client he was being paid by was Greg Stanton, as reported by the Republic in a separate 2007 investigation. According to the story, Stanton actually voted eight times to benefit his client, and even used his office and taxpayer resources to profit – a violation of state law.

“Stanton also used city email, newsletters and meetings to talk up partnerships among Phoenix, the Maricopa colleges and Arizona universities,” the Republic reported. While getting paid by his client, Stanton made sure to put himself in positions where he could have influence over pet college causes. He chaired the council’s education committee and sat on the panel advising GateWay Community College.

It’s not clear whether Stanton ever stopped these practices before quitting his job on the Council. Once caught, Stanton actually defended the unethical practices, despite an outside expert telling the Republic, he was “not acting impartially.”

At a recent debate, Stanton admitted the violations.


Wes Gullett does some Myth-Busting!

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Reformer premieres first television ad in the runoff for Phoenix mayor

PHOENIX – Wes Gullett has premiered his first television ad in the runoff for Phoenix mayor, running on local network stations and cable.

Titled “MythBuster,” Gullett pokes fun of his uncanny resemblance to Adam Savage, host of “MythBusters” on the Discovery Channel.

And just like the ginger-haired host, Gullett does his own myth-busting of the naysayers at City Hall who are advocating for the status quo.

“The status quo isn’t working,” Gullett says in the ad. “They raised your water rates. They created a food tax. And they continue to waste your money. While too many families in Phoenix are struggling to make ends meet.”

“Greg Stanton spent nine years at City Hall, and I’m here to clean up his mess,” Gullett says. “It’s time for a businessman, not another career-politician. Let’s get Phoenix working again!”

Mythbusters® is a registered trademark of Discovery Communications Inc. Does not imply endorsement by Mythbusters®, Discovery Communications Inc., or Adam Savage.


Ahwatukee Foothills News endorses Wes Gullett for Mayor

CONTACT: Daniel Scarpinato

Newspaper calls Wes Gullett the “new blood” City Hall needs

AHWATUKEE – In the newspaper’s first endorsement ever, the Ahwatukee Foothills News gave its nod this morning to Wes Gullett for Mayor of Phoenix, the latest sign of momentum for Wes’s campaign to reform City Hall.

“Gullett is a businessman who understands what it takes to make business thrive our community,” the newspaper wrote. “He has a plan to cut red tape for small business owners, which is the life blood of Ahwatukee.”

The newspaper’s editorial board wrote that “City Hall needs new blood” and said: “Gullett will work well with those already on the council to make the changes necessary to rein in government spending by trimming the city budget and putting forth a sensible plan for pension reform that has worked for corporations across the nation.”

The endorsement is particularly significant given that Gullett’s opponent, Greg Stanton, represented Ahwatukee for nine years on the City Council, eventually quitting to take a job as Terry Goddard’s lobbyist.

The newspaper called Gullett’s Seven Point Jobs Plan “no-nonsense” and “easy-to-understand.”

The editorial also praised Gullett’s pension reform package, calling it “realistic.” In particular, the Ahwatukee Foothills News found that Gullett’s plan to transition employees to a 401K is “necessary to pay the price that has been kicked down the road by previous governments in the interest of not passing a larger expense to future generations.”

“This is just further evidence that Wes Gullett is the best Mayor for Ahwatukee and the entire City,” said City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, who has also endorsed Gullett. “We need someone who is going to challenge the status quo and fight for the needs of all of Phoenix – not a few select special interests at City Hall.”

“I’m honored to have to support of the Ahwatukee Foothills News and Councilman DiCiccio,” Gullett said. “Ahwatukee is a vital and important part of our city, and it’s wonderful to have so much growing support in this great community. My reform package will support small businesses and bring vibrancy back to all parts of our city, including Ahwatukee. Let’s get Phoenix working again!”

To read the entire endorsement editorial, go here.