Republic knocks down “lies” from Stanton and his supporters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 20, 2011
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.”

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 13, 2011
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.”

DEBUNKING AD
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.

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Senator Lori Klein’s Statement Regarding Handgun Incident

The following statement was issued by State Senator Lori Klein regarding the allegation that she intentionally pointed a handgun at Arizona Republic reporter Richard Ruelas on January 10, 2011:

Thank you for your inquiry, but I will not be giving any more interviews on this topic. It makes little sense to contribute to a media feeding frenzy that is driven by a few individuals who never miss the opportunity to advance an anti-2nd Amendment agenda.

What I will do is recap the events so that you can draw your own conclusions based on the events as they occurred.

I was asked to show the reporter my weapon so that they could take pictures of it. I ensured that the chamber was clear before displaying the weapon. That is basic gun safety and something that I do instinctively, just like virtually every gun owner.

The photographer, who was behind me at the time, asked me to show him the laser sight and I did so, turning it on and shining it on the wall in front of me (away from the photographer). During this demonstration, the reporter came and sat down in the sofa in front of me, placing himself in the line of the laser sight.

He noticed the light, then I noticed the light, then I turned it off.

I apologized and let him know that he was safe because I keep my finger out of the trigger guard. Again, that is basic gun safety. If he was uncomfortable as a result of this, he did not indicate any discomfort at that time. But I have learned several lessons that I will never forget. First, it doesn’t matter if a reporter or anyone else asks, I won’t be showing anyone my gun. It may help them take a better picture but my gun isn’t a fashion statement or accessory, it is a life-saving tool to keep me and my family safe. Second, if anyone wants to see a demonstration of any of my gun’s features, it will have to take place at a gun range. Such a demonstration would be of far greater value to them in any case as it would allow them to see more, do more, and better experience the enjoyment and security that hundreds of thousands of Arizonans enjoy as a result of our Second Amendment freedoms.

I hope this helps to answer any questions you have on the matter.

 

Arizona Republic runs ‘Special Report’ on Guns in Arizona

Curious about the timing of a “special report” and an article in the Arizona Republic yesterday. Especially since the event mentioned in the article took place six months ago.

It appears that the Republic decided to do a a special report – “ARMED: A Culture of Guns” – over the next few days which obviously ties this article and the gun culture in Arizona to the Giffords shooting.

But why talk about guns in Arizona now? Is it because we just passed the six-month anniversary of the Giffords mass murder shooting?

In recent weeks, the Obama Administration’s ATF has been under fire for its involvement in selling guns to Mexican gun runners. Will there be any mention of that? (The special report does not indicate any interest in that aspect of the report.)

Could there really be an agenda in running this “special report” right now? Is it a slow news week and the Republic needs something controversial to fire up sales? Or, is this report meant to distract criticism from the Obama Administration’s ATF by “laying down fire” against our own Republican legislators? Or is this just another shot at the those who respect and honor the Second Amendment?

The sidebar in the Arizona Republic states the following about the series:

On Jan. 8, six people were killed and 13 others wounded in a mass shooting near Tucson. As a debate about gun safety raged across the country and in Arizona, where state lawmakers ultimately passed new laws easing restrictions on gun owners, The Arizona Republic began examining the role of the firearm in state politics, commerce and life. The goal: to bring context to an issue that has been debated longer than Arizona has been a state. What’s your view? Join the discussion at facebook.com/azcentral.

I’ll assume the Republic is sincere in their intentions but this reader and Second Amendment advocate, and many like myself, will certainly be reading over the next few days. Even more important, we will be voicing our opinions about the future of firearms in Arizona law and public policy.

I encourage you to do the same here and at the Republic’s Facebook page.

Statement by State Senator Scott Bundgaard regarding erroneous reports by Arizona Republic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 26, 2011
CONTACT: Jason Rose

PHOENIX, ARIZONA. FEBRUARY 26, 2011.

“Shame on an azcentral.com reporter for posting a story without even phoning me first. Here’s what might have been learned if that reporter had the decency and professionalism to do so. Last night, I was a participant in the National Kidney Foundation of Arizona ‘Dancing With The Stars’ charitable event to raise money for this fine organization. Other participants included Governor Brewer’s Chief of Staff Eileen Klein, Gallagher and Kennedy Partner Mike Gallagher, Arizona Corporation Commissioner Gary Pierce and his wife, and numerous other business, political and community leaders.

I am proud to have helped raise thousands of dollars for this charity, so much so that my girlfriend, parents and other family members were in attendance. While I may not have won the competition it was a wonderful night for a wonderful cause. Perhaps my fault was failing to ask my girlfriend to meet with Kurt Warner’s wife about how to understand and support a spouse or partner for a ‘Dancing With The Stars’ competition.

Upon leaving the event I was accused of inappropriately touching my dancing partner, in front of my parents and family mind you, and she proceeded to throw my clothes and other things out of my car on a freeway as I took her home. I stopped on the freeway to retrieve these items. As I was doing so my girlfriend yelled that she was going to take my car and moved into the driver’s seat. I immediately returned to the car and asked her to get out. She refused. I had no choice but to pull her from the driver’s seat which resulted in marks on her knees. I had also had no choice but to stop her from punching me and risking highway safety, all of which resulted in a black eye for me and a busted lip (photos available upon request). The authorities arrived as I tried to retrieve my belongings from the highway. I have never inappropriately touched a woman and never would. Period. I was not intoxicated. There was no ‘domestic violence.’ Such conduct is offensive to me as it should be to all people. I waive any and all ‘legislative immunity.’ If I did something wrong, charge me. I did not.

While a personal matter, I understand the public interest and apologize to any and all for what has taken place. I will not hide behind statements. This was done so to set the record straight. I am available for any and all interviews and for any and all questions.”

– Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Scott Bundgaard