Danny Ray’s Campaign Piece Provokes Questions on the Gubernatorial Race

Yesterday I was visited by a member of Danny Ray’s campaign team here in northeast Mesa and was provided with this piece of campaign literature.

Danny Ray for Mayor Mesa

Of course, I’ve watched the voters of Mesa authorize the mayor and council to take the city deeper into debt through bond elections – against my advocacy and wishes.

But what really provoked my interest was who has been in leadership over the years approving increases in the budget and amount of debt.

Having been the former Communications & Outreach Director for AFP-Arizona, I jumped over to the local government scorecard put out by the Americans for Prosperity Foundation – Arizona to refresh my memory on how the City of Mesa scored. Here’s a screenshot of their performance from 2008-present:



As you can see, no one on the current council scored anywhere close to taxpayer-friendly. This confirms what Danny Ray has been campaigning on but it also reveals something about the former mayor and his effort to get a promotion to Arizona Governor.

While I like the fact that Danny Ray seems to be an anti-establishment candidate, I’m now wondering just who took Mesa in the direction its currently going and how that might be injected into the gubernatorial race.

Just sayin’

Scott Smith sends mixed message on immigration crisis

Scott SmithTuesday, gubernatorial candidate and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith announced he would race to the border Wednesday in order to meet with Nogales Mayor Arturo Garino. The reason for their meeting? – to hold a joint press conference to discuss the transportation and “dumping” of immigrant children by the Border Patrol in an old refurbished produce warehouse in Nogales.

In his statement, Mayor Scott Smith called the Obama Administration’s policy of dumping immigrants in Arizona a “failure of leadership” and “the absolute height of stupidity.” The former Mesa mayor also called for Washington to fix our broken border and immigration system.

Smith’s “rush to the border” and his subsequent message following the presser, seem to conflict with his longstanding position on immigration issues and even statements made by Nogales Mayor Garino who was supposedly at the same press conference as Smith.

It was Mayor Scott Smith who opposed Arizona’s effort to enforce federal immigration law through the passage of SB1070 in 2010. This is the same mayor who ran into trouble with Sheriff Joe Arpaio when it was discovered that the City of Mesa was contracting with companies who hired illegal immigrants. Apparently, now that Smith is running for higher office, he’s having to finesse his position to attract hard-line anti-immigration voters. A little pandering only goes so far. Well, maybe not so far in Santa Cruz County.

Smith was also in conflict with Mayor Garino’s statements on Monday when Garino said that all the children being held in the temporary warehouse were in good care and he was comfortable with their living conditions. Keep in mind that Mayor Garino’s record on immigration is quite dismal.  During a private meeting with President Obama, Garino told the president, “I have your back” on comprehensive immigration reform. Garino also argued that the border was secure and criticized illegal crossing prosecution. Yesterday, Garino told the Nogales International that federal officials informed him more children would be processed through the Nogales facility throughout the rest of the summer. He noted after a tour of the facility that, “Border Patrol was doing a great job.”

While the Obama Administration handed the State of Arizona another election year issue, Scott Smith is only nine days late to weigh in on the crisis. Since it was revealed that DHS and the US Border Patrol began the operation over two weeks ago, Arizona officials have already called for federal action. In fact, last Monday, Congressman Paul Gosar at the urging of Governor Brewer and State Treasurer, Doug Ducey, called for a congressional investigation with the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee into the shipping and detention of immigrants in Arizona. Congressman Darrell Issa, chairman of the committee, has pledged to look into the situation as quickly as possible.

Where gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith stands on this issue is anyone’s guess. His opposition to enforcement of immigration law as a mayor tells one story. His support for stronger enforcement as a candidate tells another story. It is an election year after all and finding the right message to appeal to voters is foremost in the mind of most candidates. Let’s hope the voters choose based on proven leadership rather than on finessed messaging.

Kevin Thompson: Mesa Should Always Be Open For Business

Kevin ThompsonThe rumors we’ve been hearing for several weeks are true. According to breaking news, the 1.3 million square foot facility formerly owned by First Solar, has been bought and the new owner is Apple, Inc. The factory, which is approximately the size of 43 football fields, is located at Signal Butte and Elliott roads. The facility will manufacture microchips and will bring more than 700 new jobs to Mesa. Another 1,300 jobs will come as a result of construction and other associated efforts.

What does this mean for Mesa and the region? It means high-paying jobs. Not only does it mean direct jobs at the plant, but also the supplemental jobs that follow a manufacturer to support their technology and development. One only needs to look at the Price Road corridor in Chandler and the companies along that corridor supporting Intel to see the potential for the future of our District and our City. It also means additional revenue and a financial boon for Mesa and its citizens.

I applaud Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and our City Council on their proactive approach in bringing development to our City. The HEAT philosophy and approach (Health, Education, Aviation, and Technology & Tourism) is being applied in our City, and it’s working.

If elected to the Mesa City Council next year, I promise that I will continue make sure the City of Mesa is Open for Business.

Welcome to Mesa, Apple!

Kevin Thompson is a Republican candidate running for the open seat for Mesa City Council District 6. Thompson’s district includes the Apple factory. Thompson is an Air Force veteran and a 15-year employee of Southwest Gas. To learn more, visit www.ThompsonForMesa.com or visit on Facebook.

Lisa Anderson Endorses Trevor Hansen in Mesa City Council District 6 Race

I am endorsing Trevor Hansen for Mesa City Council in District 6.  He cares deeply about this community, and preserving its history.  In addition, he has the business background and experience necessary to move The City of Mesa toward the future.” 

Trevor HansenMesa, AZ – Trevor Hansen, Candidate for Mesa City Council in District 6 made another significant stride in his campaign today.  He received the endorsement of Lisa Anderson; CEO of Mesa Historical Society and resident of district 6.

I am endorsing Trevor Hansen for Mesa City Council in District 6.  He cares deeply about this community, and preserving its history.  In addition, he has the business background and experience necessary to move The City of Mesa toward the future.” said Lisa Anderson

Trevor Hansen has been working diligently to build a broad base of support for his campaign.  This includes earning the endorsement of citizens and community leaders throughout his district and the City of Mesa.  “I am honored to receive the endorsement of Lisa Anderson.  We share a great passion for history, one that I am dedicated to continue as I serve the City.”

For more information please visit Trevor Hansen’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VoteTrevorHansen or his campaign website at www.votetrevorhansen.com


Trevor Hansen has lived in Arizona since childhood and attended Dobson High school.  He has lived in Mesa for nearly two decades, and is an experienced strategic marketing and product development manager. He is currently the Director of Product Marketing for Thomas Reprographics.  Trevor and his wife Wendy have six children. 

Trevor Hansen Announces Candidacy for Mesa City Council District 6

“The City of Mesa, and particularly District 6 are seeing unprecedented growth both economically and in the community.  I am not a politician, I am a businessman, and I know that I have the skills necessary to guide Mesa into the future.” 

Mesa, AZ – Arizona businessman Trevor Hansen announced his candidacy for the Mesa City Council District 6 today.

“My family and I are deeply invested in this community and love calling Mesa home.  I have participated for years in local issues; volunteering in Mesa’s schools, churches, community organizations and on behalf of political candidates.  As a family, we now feel that the timing is right to do more; the City of Mesa, and particularly District 6, are seeing unprecedented growth both economically and in the community.  I am not a politician, I am a businessman, and I know that i have the skills necessary to help guide Mesa into the future.”

Trevor Hansen has already received tremendous support and encouragement from members of the community. He has built an impressive leadership team.  Dr. Michael Cowan, Superintendent of Mesa Public Schools will serve as the Honorary Campaign Chairman.

“I am endorsing Trevor Hansen for Mesa City Council in District 6. He has the values that our council needs as well as the intelligence and business background to build his district and all of Mesa into a thriving city for the future,” said Cowan.  “He is not a politician, he is a concerned citizen who has the experience necessary to build our city.”

The Campaign Co-Chairs are Jan Strauss former Chief of the Mesa Police Department, Derek Wilcock President of Wilcock & Associates and Kyle McEuen President and COO of ProfitKeeper.

In commenting on his campaign leadership team, Hansen said, “I am grateful to have such incredible community leaders supporting my campaign. They represent the best about Mesa. “Small business, community service, family, education, and public safety. I’m honored to have their support.”

For more information please visit Trevor Hansen’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/VoteTrevorHansen or his campaign website at www.votetrevorhansen.com

Kevin Thompson First to File for Mesa City Council District 6 Seat

Conservative Businessman Kevin Thompson Files to Run for Mesa City Council District 6 Seat
Announces Honorary Chair and Co-Chairs of Committee

Kevin ThompsonToday, Kevin Thompson, a veteran of the United States Air Force, and 15-year employee of Southwest Gas, was the first candidate to file for the vacant City Council seat in Mesa’s District 6. Kevin is no stranger to public service having served on numerous non-profit and community boards and committees.

Thompson remarked: “I never planned to run for public office but I understand the importance of elected officials having real world experience. I believe my broad experience in business development and operations throughout Arizona leave me ideally suited to find practical solutions to everyday problems and represent the citizens of Mesa Council District 6.”

James Christensen, Chairman of the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and President/CEO of Gateway Bank will serve as Kevin’s Honorary Campaign Chair. James described why he is supporting Kevin: “I’ve become friends with Kevin while working on the Mesa Chamber of Commerce Board and know that his priorities for Mesa are exactly what this city needs. He understands small businesses are the engines of our economy and the proper role of government is not to stand in the way of entrepreneurs and businesses.”

“As an eight-year veteran of the United States Air Force, I understand the importance of leadership and public service,” said Thompson. “I am honored to have a chance to possibly serve once again – this time as a City Council candidate for the vacant seat in Mesa District 6.”

Co-Chairs of Kevin’s campaign include former Mesa City Councilman Rex Griswold, Mesa businessman Otto Shill, III, and Southwest Gas Director of Corporate Public Affairs Dick Foreman.

Foreman added: “I’ve known Kevin for 15 years. When he first told me he was considering running for City Council I told him I thought he’d be a perfect candidate. Kevin is a guy who listens to everyone, gathers all of the facts, puts his head down and goes to work to find practical and fair solutions for everyone involved. We need more private sector individuals running for elected office. You can’t coach real leadership and that’s what Kevin brings to the table.”

Thompson pledged to pursue conservative government ideals if elected by Mesa voters: “My priorities are simple: I will actively propose and support policies that seek limited government involvement in our lives. We need fewer laws, not more. We need to strengthen the ability of businesses to operate free of overly restrictive regulations, and pursue policies that strengthen our families and continue to make Mesa grow and remain the jewel of the East Valley.”

More About Kevin Thompson

Kevin Thompson is an 11 year resident of Mesa where he lives with his wife of 25 years, Donna, and their two children. Kevin served in Desert Storm while serving in the United States Air Force, and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Kevin has been with Southwest Gas for 15 years where he currently works in their public affairs department.


Kevin is a member of the Board for the Mesa Chamber of Commerce, a Board Member for The Centers for Habilitation, Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Central Arizona Chapter of the National Underground Contractors Association, Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the Central Arizona Chapter of the American Public Works Association, and Secretary of the Tonto Recreational Alliance.


Statement from City of Mesa Mayor Scott Smith on Arizona Proposition 204

Scott Smith

Mesa Mayor Scott Smith

Education has always been a major part of my life. My father, Dr. George N. Smith, was a highly respected teacher and school superintendent here in Arizona for over 35 years. As the superintendent of one of the largest school districts, my father lived education – at the dinner table, at church, even at the grocery store. During his tenure, Mesa’s schools were considered to be among the finest in the nation.

I grew up knowing that quality education was the key to success. That’s why, even as a struggling family, my wife and I made sacrifices so that I could go to law school. That’s also why education has been a key part of my HEAT (Healthcare, Education, Aerospace, Tourism/Technology) initiative in Mesa.

So far, we have had a great deal of success with this initiative. We’ve increased opportunities in higher education by bringing five new colleges to our downtown. We’ve built stronger relationships with ASU Polytechnic, MCC, AT Still and others. We’ve teamed up with Mesa Public Schools to develop a plan to turn underused space into youth sports facilities with the passage of Mesa’s Question 1. I am also pleased to be part of the Mayor’s Roundtable on Education.

I wholeheartedly believe that educating our children is the most important investment we can make in Arizona, and we should expect nothing short of excellence in our educational system. I have seen firsthand how critical quality education is to creating economic opportunities. I have long supported efforts to provide adequate funding for our schools and colleges, expand parental choice, encourage innovation, improve teacher training, and demand accountability.

During this recession, many Arizonans have expressed their displeasure with the manner in which State leaders have handled educational funding priorities. Prop 204 is a product built from this frustration. Unfortunately, it is a flawed product; and, is bad public policy.

Prop 204 imposes a permanent fix for what is most likely a short-term problem. All too often, these inflexible changes become outdated as the world changes. Rather than curing the actual ailment, these solutions end up merely easing the pain for a short time. They then often prohibit substantive reforms that would have a more lasting impact. Prop 204 may even reward the status quo, which will also inhibit real changes in school financing or performance. This will not inspire the kind of transformational reforms that our children need and deserve.

In its attempt to solve one problem, Prop 204 will also simply shift financial challenges from one area of government to another. And, the changes in Prop 204 will make it more difficult, if not impossible to achieve much needed overall state tax reform.

Arizonans should demand real solutions from our leaders to the challenges we face. Prop 204 not only fails to solve these challenges, it will keep us from making the changes we need to improve our educational system. Please join me in voting No on Prop 204. Let’s then work together to make Arizona’s schools the best in America!

Downtown Mesa to be future home of Goldwater Library and Archives

The City of Mesa and the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives (BPGLA) are pleased to announce the BPGLA will be located in downtown Mesa. The Library will be built on the southeast corner of Macdonald and First Avenue.

“It is quite an honor for my family to see the Barry and Peggy Goldwater Library and Archives locate in downtown Mesa and become a step closer to reality,” Michael Goldwater said. “Not only will it preserve and tell the story of my father’s life and career, but it honors his commitment to ‘collect, preserve and disseminate’ the history of Arizona and the United States.”

The BPGLA will house a remarkable collection of manuscripts, photographs and rare books owned by the Senator. The Library will also preserve other notable 20th century political and public policy collections including the papers from of the Arizona Congressional Delegation dating back to statehood. The BPGLA will be recognized as a Center for the Study of Congress, raising the profile of one of the premiere Congressional collections in the U.S. In addition to its own materials, the BPGLA will exhibit collections on loan from both Presidential Libraries and other Centers for the Study of Congress.

“Having the Goldwater Library and Archives in our downtown is a tremendous honor for Mesa,” Mayor Scott Smith said. “The combination of the Library, the new colleges and universities along with the light rail extension will create incredible opportunities for both Mesa and Arizona.”

The BPGLA will be housed in a three-story, 40-thousand square foot LEED certified building. LEED is the United States Green Building Council Leadership in Environmental and Energy Design registration. The building will include an exhibition area, reading room, café and automatic archival retrieval system.

“This building will house Arizona’s history as seen through the eyes of Senator Goldwater and others who represented our great state in Washington, D.C.,” District 4 Councilmember and BPGLA Board Member Chris Glover said. “I could not be more proud that this great facility will call downtown Mesa home.”

The Library will be built on City land subject to the City and BPGLA reaching an agreement on the terms. The design, construction and maintenance of the BPGLA will be privately funded. Fundraising is just beginning for construction and the establishment of an endowment fund. The goal is to open the BPGLA in 2016. It is expected to attract an estimated 57,000 visitors per year.

For more information about the BPGLA, visit https://barrygoldwaterlibrary.org/.


Mesa Police Association Endorses Jeff Flake for U.S. Senate

Jeff Flake

Character and integrity of Flake cited in decision

PHOENIX – The Flake campaign announced today that Jeff Flake has received the endorsement of the Mesa Police Association in the race for U.S. Senate in Arizona. In making its endorsement known, Mesa Police Association President Ryan Russell said:

“When police officers endorse a candidate, we focus mainly on the character and integrity of the individual. Your character and integrity has continually shined for the citzens of Arizona. I am confident as you transition over to the Senate, you will continue to hold yourself to the high standards you’ve created. Please continue to fight to secure our borders, control wasteful spending, and promote the prosperity of our families. The Mesa Police Association looks forward to your election and working with you in any way possible.”

The Mesa Police Association joins other Arizona law enforcement officials, and over 100 leaders and organizations throughout Arizona and the nation that have endorsed Jeff Flake for Senate, including Sheriffs Larry Dever, Ralph Odgen, Tom Sheahan, and Scott Mascher; as well as Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery, Congressman Paul Ryan, U.S. Senators Jim DeMint and Pat Toomey; National Taxpayers Union, Arizona Right to Life, and FreedomWorks for America. Additionally, Flake has an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association and top ratings from the National Right to Life Committee and Citizens Against Government Waste. The entire list can be found here: www.jeffflake.com/endorsements.

For more information on Jeff Flake and why he’s running for the U.S. Senate, please visit his website at www.JeffFlake.com.


Mesa Mayor Scott Smith and Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton featured in Best of Capitol Video

This is hilarious! Well done Arizona Capitol Times and Mayors Smith and Stanton!