The Conservative's Corner

 

By Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

6 words to sum up yesterday’s election: Establishment and status quo lose big

Republicans made big gains in the Senate, ensuring a lock on judicial appointments and Democrats made gains in the House, ensuring a slowdown of the Republican economic and social agenda. Republicans maintain control of the states in the legislatures and governorships across the country. Democrats have not even begun to regain the 1100 seats they lost during the last administration.

It is clear that the screaming in restaurants, the constant marches, and a billion dollars in political spending has produced very little for Democrats. With massive turn-out and a polarized public, we should have seen a historic drubbing of the Republican Party, that did not happen.Read More

By Syms for Arizona

While others put politics First, Representative Maria Syms did something about it for Education

Representative Maria Syms is the ONLY District 28 House Candidate that:

  • Voted for and passed a 20% raise for public school teachers
  • Voted for and passed a historic $1.5 billion investment in public education
  • Voted for and passed new funding and a $1 billion finance plan for universities
  • Voted for and passed funding for full-day kindergarten, gifted and early childhood programs

Learn more about Maria’s Record on Education

Read More

By Goldwater Institute

Ensuring Justice For All: Texas Judge Rules on Indian Child Welfare Act 

When Martin Luther King wrote that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” he spoke with that characteristic confidence of his that justice would, in the end, be done to all.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Texas played an important part in realizing that dream when he ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) – a federal law that creates a separate and less-protective set of rules for child welfare cases involving children of Native American ancestry – violates the Constitution.

Read more from Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute. 

Read More

by Sal DiCiccio

Friends,

As many of you know, unlike the rest of the world, for governments the year ends on June 30th, and a new year begins July 1st. It’s been a long year, and while our country may be in the midst of the worst internal conflict and strife we’ve seen since the 1960s, here in Phoenix – and especially in District 6 – good things are happening. We are moving forward with quality growth and development, protecting our open spaces, and putting more resources into our parks and preserves. We are also fighting to protect our neighborhoods, ensure we have the basic resources we need to protect public safety, address our growing issues with homelessness and more. And since Sam Stone came onboard last year as my chief-of-staff, we’ve been more effective than ever fighting for our quality of life and protecting neighborhoods. Here are a few of the highlights from this year…

2017-18 Fiscal Year Accomplishments
1. Sober Living Homes Amendment: As you remember, I brought this forward to the Council when we started seeing these facilities flooding our neighborhoods. In response, we created the best model in the nation protecting neighborhoods and patients. Sam Stone in our office led our efforts on this, and every single time the City came back to us and said we couldn’t do something, he figured out a way to get it done.
2. Phoenician Redevelopment: Worked with neighborhood leaders and stakeholders to make sure that the redevelopment of the Phoenician golf courses addressed their concerns about traffic, density, open-spaces and historical preservation. This was one of the most complex land deals in Phoenix’s history, and – in the end – achieved essentially universal support throughout the neighborhood.
3. Relocation of Cholla Trail: Worked with neighbors and community leaders to get a right-of-way included in the Phoenician land deal to relocate Cholla Trail off of Cholla Lane. Now we are working with those same community members on the design and construction for the new trail which will benefit hikers and homeowners alike. Read More

Phoenix is closing on the downtown Sheraton sale, remember that the real loss to taxpayers is $252 Million.

The politicians and government staff who pushed this hotel are now forcing the public to pay for their mistakes. I have submitted a public information request to the city manager demanding the names of each and every person– politicians and government staff alike– who pushed for this hotel originally. It is not fair for the public to continue to pay for the incompetence of people who were hired to serve them.

This is the final, sad chapter in an orgy of corporate welfare and insider dealing that has cost the citizens of Phoenix far more than anyone at City Hall will admit.

Inept staff who insisted on making this deal are claiming the loss is $36 Million, but the true total is much higher.

$350 million– original cost of the hotel
$255 million– sale price of the hotel
$95 million loss

But it gets worse. Taxpayers are also on the hook for:

$47 million– operational losses since hotel was built
$97 million– corporate tax giveaways
$13 million– the hotel fund that was handed over to a large corporation
$157 million in additional losses

Bringing the total loss to taxpayers up to $252 million.Read More

 

By Sal DiCiccio
City of Phoenix
Councilman, District 6

6 words to sum up yesterday’s election: Establishment and status quo lose big

Republicans made big gains in the Senate, ensuring a lock on judicial appointments and Democrats made gains in the House, ensuring a slowdown of the Republican economic and social agenda. Republicans maintain control of the states in the legislatures and governorships across the country. Democrats have not even begun to regain the 1100 seats they lost during the last administration.

It is clear that the screaming in restaurants, the constant marches, and a billion dollars in political spending has produced very little for Democrats. With massive turn-out and a polarized public, we should have seen a historic drubbing of the Republican Party, that did not happen.Read More

By Syms for Arizona

While others put politics First, Representative Maria Syms did something about it for Education

Representative Maria Syms is the ONLY District 28 House Candidate that:

  • Voted for and passed a 20% raise for public school teachers
  • Voted for and passed a historic $1.5 billion investment in public education
  • Voted for and passed new funding and a $1 billion finance plan for universities
  • Voted for and passed funding for full-day kindergarten, gifted and early childhood programs

Learn more about Maria’s Record on Education

Read More

By Goldwater Institute

Ensuring Justice For All: Texas Judge Rules on Indian Child Welfare Act 

When Martin Luther King wrote that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere…Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds,” he spoke with that characteristic confidence of his that justice would, in the end, be done to all.

Earlier this week, a federal judge in Texas played an important part in realizing that dream when he ruled that the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) – a federal law that creates a separate and less-protective set of rules for child welfare cases involving children of Native American ancestry – violates the Constitution.

Read more from Timothy Sandefur, Vice President for Litigation at the Goldwater Institute. 

Read More

by Sal DiCiccio

Friends,

As many of you know, unlike the rest of the world, for governments the year ends on June 30th, and a new year begins July 1st. It’s been a long year, and while our country may be in the midst of the worst internal conflict and strife we’ve seen since the 1960s, here in Phoenix – and especially in District 6 – good things are happening. We are moving forward with quality growth and development, protecting our open spaces, and putting more resources into our parks and preserves. We are also fighting to protect our neighborhoods, ensure we have the basic resources we need to protect public safety, address our growing issues with homelessness and more. And since Sam Stone came onboard last year as my chief-of-staff, we’ve been more effective than ever fighting for our quality of life and protecting neighborhoods. Here are a few of the highlights from this year…

2017-18 Fiscal Year Accomplishments
1. Sober Living Homes Amendment: As you remember, I brought this forward to the Council when we started seeing these facilities flooding our neighborhoods. In response, we created the best model in the nation protecting neighborhoods and patients. Sam Stone in our office led our efforts on this, and every single time the City came back to us and said we couldn’t do something, he figured out a way to get it done.
2. Phoenician Redevelopment: Worked with neighborhood leaders and stakeholders to make sure that the redevelopment of the Phoenician golf courses addressed their concerns about traffic, density, open-spaces and historical preservation. This was one of the most complex land deals in Phoenix’s history, and – in the end – achieved essentially universal support throughout the neighborhood.
3. Relocation of Cholla Trail: Worked with neighbors and community leaders to get a right-of-way included in the Phoenician land deal to relocate Cholla Trail off of Cholla Lane. Now we are working with those same community members on the design and construction for the new trail which will benefit hikers and homeowners alike. Read More

Phoenix is closing on the downtown Sheraton sale, remember that the real loss to taxpayers is $252 Million.

The politicians and government staff who pushed this hotel are now forcing the public to pay for their mistakes. I have submitted a public information request to the city manager demanding the names of each and every person– politicians and government staff alike– who pushed for this hotel originally. It is not fair for the public to continue to pay for the incompetence of people who were hired to serve them.

This is the final, sad chapter in an orgy of corporate welfare and insider dealing that has cost the citizens of Phoenix far more than anyone at City Hall will admit.

Inept staff who insisted on making this deal are claiming the loss is $36 Million, but the true total is much higher.

$350 million– original cost of the hotel
$255 million– sale price of the hotel
$95 million loss

But it gets worse. Taxpayers are also on the hook for:

$47 million– operational losses since hotel was built
$97 million– corporate tax giveaways
$13 million– the hotel fund that was handed over to a large corporation
$157 million in additional losses

Bringing the total loss to taxpayers up to $252 million.Read More

MORE CONSERVATIVE’S CORNER
Featured Editorials

*2018 definitely proved to be a “Year of the Woman” when it came to state and national politics. Somewhat lost among the results was Kate Gallego’s dismantling of the field in the Phoenix Mayor’s race. She topped former Councilman Danny Valenzuela, the overwhelming favorite of developers, by a whopping 19 point margin. They both now head to a March run-off election where the proverbial Fat Lady is warming up her chords. Indeed, many Valenzuela donors and backers are now fleeing to Gallego seeing the inevitable. A key fault line in the run-off will be Gallego’s opposition to public funding for a new Phoenix Suns arena whereas Valenzuela supports. Care to guess where the public is at on this one?

*Kudos to Sandra Kennedy’s win for one of the two Arizona Corporation Commission seats. She’s a Democrat but was more Republican than anyone else running. Arizona needs strong utilities. But Republicans in recent years haven’t been little more than lap dogs for them. No, that’s too kind. They have been marionettes. During her campaign Kennedy promised to fight higher rates and for more innovation and transparency. That should be the Republican mantra for these seats rather than mere bootlickers.

*The most powerful person in Scottsdale these days? Tim Klapp, husband of Suzanne Klapp, Scottsdale City Councilwoman and new 2020 favorite for Scottsdale Mayor after the city’s election results last week. Will he give his full throttle support for the endeavor or wish for a little more R&R? In fairness, there are more important things in life than electoral pursuit, even if the path for such got a lot easier than it was several weeks ago.

*Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane’s political action committee, “At Our Best,” fared well in city and state elections. It gave money to Governor Doug Ducey’s campaign and distributed tens of thousands of direct mail pieces to Scottsdale residents on his behalf. The committee also gave a maxed out contribution to newly elected Attorney General Mark Brnovich and contributed to the successful Question 1 in Scottsdale. Though the committee did not give money to Proposition 420 Lane articulated his support for the measure despite continuing doubt from backers. While Lane did not succeed in pulling his friend and ally Bill Crawford across the City Council finish line, it was Crawford’s best showing, by far, for his numerous council runs. Lane also backed Councilwoman Linda Milhaven with substantial direct mail and digital advertising support for her successful re-election.

*New memberships at Desert Mountain Club, Silverleaf and other area country clubs that help define North Scottsdale’s cachet are surging.

*The iconic Cowboy Ciao restaurant and Kazimierz wine bar in Old Town Scottsdale may have closed but look for these spaces to be reanimated soon, a very good thing as the closure of them caught many by surprise.

*No city manager in the Valley may be kicking more ass and getting things done than Scottsdale’s Jim Thompson.

*That Kathy Hoffman, a 31-year old no-name just months ago, is now Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction isn’t just an amazing state story, but a national one.

*Once upon a time a group known as the Coalition of Pinnacle Peak had an enormous political role influencing Scottsdale elections. But the Protect Our Preserve: Yes on 420 group now makes them look like a bunch of minor league rookies. The question with the Desert Discovery Center dead is will the group stay together and salient? Does it want to? If so, a new day may have truly dawned in Scottsdale.

*Predictions: Kyrsten Sinema will one day run for President when centrism becomes en vogue in the Democratic Party, which it will. Mark Brnovich will be Arizona’s next Governor. The FBI is not done in Arizona. And state money for drought relief not teachers will be the big and necessary issue of the upcoming state legislative session. Oh, and the state’s gaming compacts will soon become the issue du jour, following water.

There’s much bashing of the media these days.  It can be incessant and over the top.  For the most part members of the media are like any other industry.  They are good, hard-working people, guided by solid ethics.

Yet, there are times when one has to scratch their head and wonder if critics aren’t really on to something.  Such is the case with a most curious and disappointing report by Channel 12’s Joe Dana.  It’s unfortunate because Dana enjoys a solid reputation in town.  But it won’t be enhanced with his attempted dissembling of a Phoenix therapy and educational clinic, primarily serving minority communities, called Head To Toe.

Founded by Dr. Bridget O’Brien, Head To Toe offers an array of different specialties including music and speech therapy as well as occupational and physical therapy.  The clinic has an innovative approach and serves all who seek their services, from the privileged to the poor.

Earlier this year three things occurred which ultimately led to Dana’s report.

First, the company decided and in many ways had to tighten its internal ethics policies as it related to how therapists report their work and the company gets paid for it.   This was especially true because of increasingly stringent requirements and paperwork that comes from working with government, especially in health care matters.  The Arizona Department of Economic Security refers individuals to Head To Toe.  Taxpayers deserve to know how and why certain social services are being paid for.

Second, O’Brien was diagnosed with breast cancer and leukemia and was forced to undergo chemotherapy, which continues to this day.

Third, an outside vendor’s mistakes cost the company $1.25 million, a big hit for any businesses but most especially one like Head To Toe, which can have lagging receivables like most any insurance billing. Read More

Once upon a time Scottsdale power brokers used to sit around a place called Mag’s Ham Bun and largely decide who was going to rule the city’s roost.

How times have changed.

Last night a grassroots movement spawned with laptops and shoe leather reinvented Scottsdale’s political landscape.  It was an earthquake. Proposition 420, a determined drumbeat of citizens to defeat the deleterious “Desert Discovery Center” not only passed by a huge margin, it created a green wave pulling Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead along for the ride.  They were the top two vote getters.  The achievement registers as an 8.0 on the political Richter scale.  Here are some other random musings on last night’s results:

*In May Proposition 420, or at that time the notion of it, was polling at 78% in favor and just 15% opposed.  So after quixotically spending some $120,000 against it, opponents succeeded in barely bruising it.  Geniuses.  The campaign was perhaps the most disingenuous in city history and voters saw right through it.

*Whoever the decision-makers were at the Scottsdale Association of Realtors for spending $60,000 against Proposition 420 should be put in the stockades immediately. With pink slips.

*The defining results of the 2016 elections were the rise and result of the pro-business candidates (Lane, Klapp and Korte) winning by substantial margins.  But last night Kathy Littlefield beat the most pro-business candidate in the race, Linda Milhaven, by 11,000 votes.  Littlefield has been wiser than her husband to be more attune to Scottsdale’s rhyme and reason.  And she serves with a smile not a scowl.  Still, was Littlefield’s impressive result the beginnings of a realignment of Scottsdale towards a more Santa Barbara-style reluctance towards development, or simply a one-off due to the appeal of Proposition 420?

*Though Bill Crawford came up short he ran a good, thorough campaign. If he decides to run again in 2020 he will enter the race as a frontrunner along with Jason Alexander, a Proposition 420 chieftain.  Look for others like Christian Serena (Proposition 420 opponent) and Barry Graham to consider the race when numerous council seats will be up for grabs.  Bob Littlefield could be a Scottsdale Lazarus too, either for Council or Mayor.

*Guy Phillips The Power Broker.  In two years he may run for the Power Commission otherwise known as the Arizona Corporation Commission but in Scottsdale Phillips continued his evolution as a back bencher to a majority leader of sorts.  It was Phillips’ idea to float a temporary sales tax hike to address the city’s road needs. His idea to ask voters for a smaller package that came to be known as Question 1 proved wise as it passed, and serious doubts remain whether a bigger bond package will pass in the future.

*David Smith. Meet Wayne Ecton.  Once a councilman the amiable Ecton eventually alienated enough sides during his public service that he wasn’t left with much of a constituency.  During his last council race he finished last, like David Smith just did.  And for the same reasons.  Smith is to be commended for his service, as disappointed as he may be by last night’s results.  Smart and always available Smith can and should look back on his service fondly.  He made a difference.

*We will never know why Virginia Korte decided to die on her Desert Discovery Center sword.  At best it is a measly contribution to tourism.  At worst, well, it turned out to be the worst possible thing Korte could have done before her widely anticipated mayoral run in 2020.  She is now public enemy #1 to those behind Proposition 420. And while the Desert Discovery Center will diminish in political resonance as it is now dead as can be, Korte’s campaign has given future opponents so much locker room material it begs the question whether it is a game she should play.  Proposition 420 supporter Suzanne Klapp, if she wants it, is now the clear front-runner to replace Mayor Jim Lane who is not eligible to run again in two years.  Korte is going to have to engineer one helluva a campaign to overcome the headwinds of her own making.  Doable?  Of course.  She could even start by making the motion to terminate any more city staff time or money for the project.  But the reality is that Korte is a weaker prospect today than several months ago.  The Mag’s Ham Bun crowd isn’t around to help her.  And even if it were, it would be irrelevant in this brave new Scottsdale world.

*A final hope and message for Desert Discovery Center backers.  You made your case.  It didn’t work.  Don’t sue.  Just respect voters who overwhelmingly rejected your campaign, and your project.  It’s over. Actually it has been for a very long time but you failed to grip reality.  And you led some friends to and over the cliff. You have and you will contribute to Scottsdale in so many other ways.  For everything there is a season.  The DDC was an exception to the lyric.

As Scottsdale voters contemplate Question 1 on the November 6th ballot, a measure that would generate new funds to repair, improve and expand local roadways, we have a question to ask of our readers.  Normally we opine. This time we seek input.

We have written previously of the spiteful opposition engineered by local realtor Scott Jarson to a notable and important project called Museum Square. You can read about their enmity here and here. Jarson, along with his wife Debbie is one part of Jarson and Jarson Real Estate.  Museum Square would replace an empty transit station at the southern edge of downtown Scottsdale.  Importantly, the sale of the city property would generate nearly $30 million for Scottsdale.  Unlike Question 1 it would come courtesy of the private sector rather than taxpayers.  Some of the $30 million will be used to aid the nearby Stagebrush Theater, Museum of the West and be available to help the city’s police, fire, parks and other programs and needs.  That’s why the Scottsdale City Council is unanimously supportive of the notion, and Museum Square has received backing from the Scottsdale Gallery Association, Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association, Museum of the West and Stagebrush, among others.

In one of our previous editorials we observed that the Jarsons once represented the company behind Museum Square for a good period of time.  Ultimately, they were let go and now seem to have motives that are anything but civic.  As a result, it occurred to us that if the Jarsons were lawyers they might be in violation of State Bar (the body that governs attorneys) policies which prevent lawyers from contesting former clients in certain circumstances.

Realtors have their own ethics requirements if they are a member of the Arizona Association Realtors or licensed by the Arizona Department of Real Estate.  We assume the Jarsons are.  If so, does any realtor reading know if the Jarsons have violated Article 1, Article 2 or perhaps Article 11 of the ethics policy?  Any and all thoughts would be appreciated.  Please let us know by email at StayAbreastAZ@gmail.com.

It might seem odd for us to opine about the leader of opposition to a Scottsdale measure we enthusiastically support.  But not all opponents are or should be considered untoward, especially if their heritage outflanks most everyone involved in the debate.

We speak of Proposition 420, as we have many times.  It deserves support for all the reasons we, and  many others have stated.  Click here  or here for some recent examples.

Scottsdale City Councilwoman Virginia Korte disagrees with these positions, strongly. She is leading the funded opposition to Proposition 420 because she says the measure is crafted poorly with unintended consequences.  She also believes, as she has for years, that the proposed Desert Discovery Center could be good for Scottsdale.

Again, we disagree but it’s not as if Korte’s positions are exotic. Read More

The cast of characters associated with opposing the revitalization of the former Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix not only has a sketchy relationship with reality, they have a sketchy relationship with the law.  

You may remember the group’s spokesman Tom Simon. He had a long list of felonies to his name and did prison time before he was hired by revitalization opponents. His antics were damaging and crude. He was eventually let go after he was busted over the summer by Scottsdale Police accused of unlawful imprisonment and threatening to distribute lewd images. He pled guilty to disorderly conduct. You can read about it here.

But this colorful cast of characters doesn’t end with Simon, bringing us to the next Mann up. Elizabeth Mann.

Earlier this month Phoenix Police were called after Mann and a small band of picketers were trespassing at the site of the former center. It is private property.

Mann and company made a dash for a Chinese restaurant at the site. The police told them unless they are eating at the restaurant, they are trespassing.  The police report says Mann was hostile and at first refused to give the officer her name. She eventually relented.

Like Tom Simon, Mann has an interesting history.Read More

By Mayor Jim Lane, Vice Mayor Guy Philips and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp
Editorial in Arizona Republic 

Please join us in supporting Question 1 on Scottsdale’s November ballot to keep our fair share of county transportation taxes.

Question 1 approves a small and temporary transportation sales tax increase in Scottsdale. The increase amounts to one-tenth of 1 percent (0.10 percent), or one penny for every $10 purchase, and the increase sunsets in 10 years.

Revenues, which can be used only for transportation-improvement projects, would fund 22 needed street projects throughout the city as part of our transportation Arterial Life Cycle Plan. These revenues (about $70 million) would allow the city to receive an additional $170 million in matching funds from Maricopa County transportation taxes already paid by us.

If the tax proposal does not pass, we will lose $170 million.

None of us has ever been tax-and spend politicians. This is one time when we believe a small tax that will end in 10 years becomes very necessary to build the street infrastructure we need for our future at a small cost to all people who travel our streets.

The entire seven-member City Council supports the ballot question.

Even with the proposed increase, Scottsdale’s sales tax rate would become 1.75 percent and remain the third lowest rate in the Valley.

We believe this is the fairest way for 9 million visitors and tens of thousands of non-resident people working in the city who use our streets each year to help pay for critical street-improvement projects, easing property-tax burdens on Scottsdale homeowners.

The street improvements would reduce traffic congestion, increase street capacity and improve traffic safety throughout Scottsdale. These street and traffic concerns are ones we hear most often from city residents.

Read More

Over the past year the goings on with the former Chinese Cultural Center near Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport have been parts amusing, sickening, surprising and confounding.

And there’s a new wrinkle we’ll get to in a moment.  We’ve written on the issue before but here’s a quick refresher.

A development arm of the Chinese government sold the failed center to a real estate company back east several years ago.  It was sold without any stipulations to preserve anything on site.

After a short time the second owner put the center up for sale again, and it was finally purchased by a Phoenix-based technology and private equity company.  That company, True North and its subsidiary 668 North, LLC, did so to create a new corporate headquarters in Phoenix.  The companies expansively offered to preserve numerous elements on-site and off-site.

But that wasn’t enough for some in the Chinese-American community.  Members somewhat bizarrely tried to intrude on clear private property rights.  Many lawsuits were filed and nearly all have been lost.  They even hired a convicted felon named Tom Simon to strangely serve as their mouthpiece.  During the course of his representation Simon was arrested for purported, horrific treatment of a Chinese American woman, which we opined about previously. Here is a link.

Along the way members of the Chinese American community wanted a chance to buy the property even though it was someone else’s.  But when given the chance by current owners they failed to put up any credible funds to proceed.  

It’s fair to say that after a year of objections they continue to make noise, not sense.

Take the latest tidbit.

The Chinese American community, in its various forms, has gone through more lawyers during their quixotic quest than a State Bar convention.  They apparently intend to continue this trend.  One of the lawyers that has stuck by them, Jack Wilenchik may be in hot water for properly agreeing to let the owners repair the roof and its decorative tiles after significant rain damage from Hurricane Rosa.  Apparently, remaining opponents don’t understand roofs do leak, especially ones that are older and that use different techniques like the former Chinese Cultural Center.  The group’s displeasure with the extent of the repairs has been made known, even though they were supported by a court order and video and photographic evidence.  In other words there’s no doubt the roof was in bad shape and had to be fixed.  But logic has never been the group’s raison d’etre. Read More

Dear Friends,

As you know, my husband dedicated his life to serving a cause greater than himself. That’s why I’m so proud to let you know about the McCain Institute’s new initiative: #MavericksNeeded.

Through this effort, we’re calling all Mavericks to stand up, speak out, and vote on November 6th. Longer-term, our initiative aims to inspire people to join the movement to advance the cause of human rights that John championed his whole life.

As part of this campaign, we’re launching a new targeted digital ad campaign urging Mavericks to join our fight at mavericksneeded.org.

The values John fought for weren’t just his, they are and remain American ideals — and it’s time to fight for them again. That’s what this initiative is all about.

Mavericks like you are needed now more than ever. Please share our message and encourage your friends to get involved at mavericksneeded.org, take the pledge, and join us #InTheArena.

Thank you,

Cindy McCain

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Political fundraising. It might not be the most glamorous or alluring aspect of political campaigns, but it does play a crucial role in getting a candidate elected into office or helping pass important city initiatives. And as we enter into the finals days of Scottsdale’s 2018 elections, the recent results of campaign finance reports help provide some pivotal insight into which candidates are able to connect with the community and which political efforts are gaining momentum.

Last week the 3rd quarter campaign finance reports were posted to the city website. After a shaky start in the political fundraising game, Councilwoman Milhaven has done a complete one-eighty and is now leading the fundraising fray with over $102,000 raised. In second place is political upstart Bill Crawford with $88,000. Sitting in the middle is incumbent David Smith with $57,000 and newcomer Solange Whitehead with $45,00 raised.

But the biggest surprise was Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield coming in last with just barely $44,000 raised, especially since the last filing period showed Littlefield and Smith tied for second. But as some may know, the Littlefields are not known to be big fundraisers.  During his 2016 mayoral campaign, Bob Littlefield raised just under $75,000 while his counterpart Mayor Lane raised over five times that at $380,000, ultimately leading to his defeat. Maybe councilwoman Littlefield is banking on name recognition and the support of the Protect Our Preserve community to help her cross the finish line? It may be a good bet.

Read More

Our opinions are generally pro-business.  And they can be quite lengthy, depending on the subject.  But sometimes proposals are just so gross they deserve a quick no and escort to the door.

An example this week was a letter from City of Scottsdale Planning Department staff back to AMA Builders, LLC about a rezoning proposal in north Scottsdale at 118th Street and Jomax.

The rezoning proposal has many problems but especially the reference whereby “application requests a zoning district that increases the density by 266 percent.”

The development has many problems and many opponents and its chances for success are about as likely as David Garcia’s running for Governor.  And staff’s rhetorical body slam ain’t going to help.  

Should a 266 percent increase in density alone be a disqualifier?  No, but there better be some very compelling reasons to reward an application so.  Public benefits.  Public amenities.  Public support.  Help for neighbors. Tax revenue.  Impressive design.  You get the idea.

But there’s none in this case.  This residential proposal is far from Scottsdale’s biggest project at the moment.  It is a reminder, however ,that it is OK for its leaders to say no, even if they are generally pro-business.

We love Scottsdale.  We are unabashed enthusiasts for “the best city in America” as Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane likes to say.

That’s why we are aggressive and frequent voices towards those trying to run it down.

Like Scott and Debbie Jarson of Jarson & Jarson Real Estate, who are actually Paradise Valley residents. They are wrongly and hypocritically opposing a landmark new project in the southern part of downtown Scottsdale called Museum Square.  We took them to task previously here.  And will continue to do so as necessary.

Apparently the Jarsons think they know better what’s good for Scottsdale than a unanimous Scottsdale City Council, the Scottsdale Gallery Association, the Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association, Museum of the West, signature galleries in the area and nearby theater groups and small businesses, among others.

They don’t know better.  Not by a long shot. Consider too that Museum Square isn’t just any development. It’s on city-owned land that’s doing nothing but hosting tumble weeds right now. The sale of it to Museum Square, however, will generate some $30 million that Scottsdale desperately needs right now for its crumbling infrastructure, police and fire protection and perhaps even some funds to expand the Museum of the West, a Smithsonian affiliate.

Since the Jarsons have misfired, let’s take a look at what’s wrong with their BB gun.

Scott and Debbie Jarson tout their expertise in selling homes that make a significant architectural contribution to the community.  Hmmmm.

We decided to take a look at their web site, azarchitecture.com.

Read More

If someone comes before the Scottsdale City Council and while making public remarks flat out misleads (to put it mildly) the community’s governing body, can they be trusted further?  Should they?  In matters big or small?  In matters with the City Council or staff?

That’s a fair question to ask in the case of Mr. Joseph Zemaitis. He heads a FOR-PROFIT Valley swimming organization known as Neptune that is making a disingenuous yet voracious attempt to take lane time away from local, NON-PROFIT organizations that have embodied Scottsdale, nearly from its inception.

Most people would concur that the mission of public swimming pools around Scottsdale is to nurture youth and provide another recreational option for all Scottsdale residents, many of whom might not be able to afford other options. Scottsdale has done a great job of this, for many years, not only with its public pools but with all of its impressive parks and recreation programs and facilities.  After all, not everyone can afford to swim or enjoy private facilities like those at The Village Health Club(s) or numerous country clubs around the city.  And while it is nice to generate some revenue for the use of these facilities their primary purpose is not to serve as a cash cow for they serve a far greater good.

Yet, Zemaitis, not happy enough with his arrangement at The Village Health Clubs is now seeking to poach time away from non-profit organizations for his for-profit operation.  That’s just not right.  What’s next? Union Pacific taking over the McCormick Stillman Railroad Park?

Knowing this tough sell, Zemaitis has invoked threats such as bringing in the Goldwater Institute.  For what? To help a for-profit group with far fewer Scottsdale residents than the other local organizations? To line his pockets at the expense of Scottsdale families? Nice try.

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Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up.

Scott Jarson is a local realtor. He’s one half of Jarson & Jarson Real Estate. The first line of his bio says that he was named “Scott” after “Scottsdale.”  Well, based on his recent actions, that’s where his supposed affinity for the community ends.

You see, Jarson, who actually lives in Paradise Valley, is trying to gin up opposition to the acclaimed Museum Square project in the southern part of downtown Scottsdale.

First, let’s talk a little more about Museum Square.  Then let’s talk more about Jarson.  It’s enough to make your skin crawl.

City residents may recall a several acre parcel of land along Goldwater near Osborn Road.  It was once the site of the city’s transit station.  Now it’s home to tumbleweeds and little else.  The City of Scottsdale owns the land.

City leaders wisely recognized it was a valuable asset that could generate substantial sums of money for city projects and programs at a time when it has been challenging to get voter approval for bonds.   The sale of the land could also help fund the expansion of the nearby, award-winning Museum of the West, a Smithsonian-affiliate.  The city partnered with an adjoining private property owner as state law permits, got a fair market value appraisal and earlier this year entered into an agreement with Macdonald Development to buy the land.  How much say you? Nearly $30 million.  Museum Square would include a new hotel, condominiums and apartments designed by one of the state’s best. Some of the heights would be comparable but no higher than buildings nearby by Honor Health.  Others would be shorter.   Museum Square would also include a large new community square for public events, something Old Town needs, especially after losing key acreage at the Scottsdale Waterfront not too long ago.  Read The Phoenix Business Journal’s coverage on the project awhile back here.

Supported by the Scottsdale Gallery Association, Museum of the West, Larsen Art Gallery, Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale Firefighter’s Association and many others including theater groups, the Scottsdale City Council UNANIMOUSLY approved the potential sale to Macdonald earlier this year.  As readers know, this City Council doesn’t vote unanimously on much of anything. Yet, they did on this proposal because of its salience and support.  And earlier this month Scottsdale’s Design Review Board, chaired by Councilwoman Kathy Littlefield, also unanimously approved plans.  The next stop is Planning Commission and the Scottsdale City Council so the project can get underway and the city can realize revenue from the sale of its property.  As Arizona knows all too well, real estate cycles don’t last forever.

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The following press release was submitted to the Arizona Progress & Gazette. We would be happy to post a reponse from the Valenzuela campaign if one is available.

Earlier this year, a young woman came forward with allegations of illegal activity and sexual misconduct committed by Daniel Valenzuela, a former Phoenix City Councilperson, current candidate for Mayor of the City of Phoenix, and currently employed as a firefighter for the City of Glendale. On January 29, 2018, this young woman agreed to participate in a videotaped interview, during which she described her relationship with Mr. Valenzuela to the best of her abilities, as follows:

  • In 2011, at 19 years old, she began working as an exotic dancer for Christie’s Cabaret, previously located at 32nd Street and Van Buren in Phoenix, Arizona.
  • Mr. Valenzuela, who was 35 years old at the time, was a known regular at Christie’s Cabaret. She described Mr. Valenzuela as being “popular” at the club, recalling that he knew many of the dancers by name.
  • Soon after she started working at Christie’s Cabaret, Mr. Valenzuela became one of her regular customers. Mr. Valenzuela visited her around lunchtime nearly every Thursday, usually staying around two hours at a time.
  • Mr. Valenzuela’s visits continued over the course of the next year, during which he was elected by his district as a member of the Phoenix City Council.
  • About a year after Mr. Valenzuela began to visit her regularly, he asked her to dinner and she obliged. Mr. Valenzuela took her to City Hall Steakhouse in Scottsdale, Arizona. After dinner, in a hotel room Mr. Valenzuela booked at a nearby Scottsdale hotel, he paid her in cash to have sex with him.
  • This arrangement continued thereafter, with Mr. Valenzuela paying her, in cash, to have sex with him in hotel rooms that he booked and paid for. Presumably, the rooms were paid for with his credit card. During these encounters, Mr. Valenzuela observed her use cocaine before he would have sex with her in exchange for cash. Mr. Valenzuela never attempted to dissuade or prevent her from using cocaine prior to having sex with him, nor did he at any point encourage her to get help for her addiction.
  • On at least one occasion, Mr. Valenzuela introduced her to several male friends so they could enter into similar arrangements with her.

If these allegations are true, Mr. Valenzuela has committed criminal acts in violation of Arizona Revised Statutes §13-3214, Phoenix City Code §23-52, and Scottsdale City Code §19-5. For this reason, her videotaped statement, together with other corroborating information, will be submitted to the Phoenix Police Department, the Scottsdale Police Department, and the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review. It is incumbent upon these law enforcement agencies to fully investigate these allegations of criminal conduct. It is important to note that if Mr. Valenzuela is questioned by law enforcement, then any false or misleading statements made by him are punishable by law.

By Scottsdale Pinetop

Once again the radical fringes of political dishonesty and misinformation are attempting to confuse the voters and sway elections. APS is the champion at doing that. While on my way home, I passed a political yard sign saying “No on Prop 127 – Protect Arizona Schools.” The message attempts to convince Arizona voters to reject the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative saying that it is bad for teachers. This couldn’t be more false.

For those who have not yet become informed on the propositions for the November ballot, Proposition 127 would require electric utility companies like APS to acquire a certain percentage of electricity from renewable resources. These percentages would increase annually from 12 percent in 2020 to 50 percent in 2030.

It initiative has nothing to do with public education or Arizona’s schools.

The anti-Prop 127 supporters have attempted to capitalize on the #RedforEd movement in Arizona by conflating the education crisis with renewable energy sources. At a time when increasing funding to teachers and public education has dominated the political landscape, it’s not surprising that APS is looking to align themselves as an ally to teachers.

APS argues that the initiative would cause electricity rates to rise which would then harm schools. When in reality, it’s just the opposite. In fact, the Arizona Education Association (AEA) endorsed Prop. 127 early on in the campaign saying the initiative, if passed, would help lower utility bills for schools. But the initiative itself doesn’t impact funding to schools or protect teachers.

This is a blatant misrepresentation of Prop. 127 and undermines the progress of the teacher’s movement.  We hope voters understand that.

 

By Scottsdale Pinetop

As the Scottsdale city election draws near, it is now more important than ever to get to know the candidates looking to lead the city. Scottsdale long had a reputation of being a tourist destination and entertainment hub, but it’s also a city beloved by its residents. To ensure that Scottsdale stays that way, it needs a dedicated council committed to its residents, businesses and integrity while also having a vision for the future.

Last Monday, the Scottsdale Independent hosted the 2018 Scottsdale City Council debate where candidates deliberated an array of issues. The five candidates pursuing the three seats are incumbents Linda Milhaven, Kathy Littlefield and David Smith, seasoned candidate Bill Crawford and newcomer Solange Whitehead. Each candidate expressed their opinions and expectations for the city – some opinions stronger than others.

At the heart of the 2018 Scottsdale elections is the debate over the potential development of a Desert Discovery Center on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. After months of work and community support, the Protect Our Preserve petition garnered a total of 37,608 signatures qualifying it for the ballot as Proposition 420. If approved, Proposition 420 would revise the Scottsdale city charter to state that all construction and usage of earmarked conservation dollars within the McDowell Sonoran Preserve would require a public vote.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

The Highs

*Former Councilwoman Kate Gallego has been endorsed by former Mayor of Phoenix Terry Goddard.

*Mark Phillips, former Managing Editor and Executive Producer for Sunday Square off at 12News, has joined Daniel Valenzuela’s team as Communications Director.

*The Coalition of Greater Scottsdale (COGS) PAC will be holding a silent auction fundraiser next Sunday for their endorsed candidates, councilwoman Kathy Littlefield and Solange Whitehead. The event will be held on Sunday, September 30 at Clayton on the Park (7343 E. Scottsdale Mall) from 2:30pm-5:00pm.

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By Scottsdale Pinetop

After learning that new mothers within her community were placing their sleeping infants in boxes and dressers because they could not afford a proper crib, former mayor of Jackson, Michigan Karen Dunigan decided to take action. With all of her involvement in the community, she began making phone calls and requesting donations. Karen’s simple request brought a group of women together that made it possible to provide new mothers with the simplest need: a crib.

The movement grew to become one of the largest female philanthropic organizations in the country, expanding into a chapter here in Scottsdale, which still gives back locally to this day.

Scottsdalians like to celebrate the diversity and talent of its community including its women organizations that impact the city. In a time when women empowerment and equality is a hot topic in the news, it’s important now more than ever to encourage and promote women-only and women-centric organizations, for which Scottsdale is fortunate to have many.
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While Scottsdale’s Proposition 420 is heavily favored to prevail at the polls in November despite a notably dishonest campaign by opponents, it’s fair to ask what happens if it fails?

A reminder that Proposition 420 is the noble initiative brought forth by some 37,000 citizens to require public votes on projects like the Desert Discovery Center (DDC) that seek to inappropriately intrude on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. 

We have written on the DDC’s lack of merit on numerous occasions (click here) as well as the more recent debate over Proposition 420. (click here)

Back to the original question:  what would be the fallout if deception defeats Proposition 420?

In our opinion it wouldn’t just open the door to the financial and environmental boondoggle that is the DCC, it would send a much bigger message.  And that would be one of opening the floodgates to more development in the Preserve, beyond just the DDC.  After all, once one major development is permitted what’s to stop another? Read More

SEE MORE FEATURED EDITORIALS
2018 Scrum

By Milhaven for Scottsdale

Scottsdale is an amazing city that we can be proud to call home. Citizen surveys reveal that Scottsdale residents are extremely satisfied with the quality of city services. Independent rating agencies give us a AAA bond rating for our financial health. We enjoy some of the lowest sales and property tax rates in the region. We have a beautiful city!

We have a long legacy of leaders who had the vision to reimagine and reinvent Scottsdale over the years. Winfield Scott envisioned citrus farms and built an agricultural community. Leaders that followed realized the value of tourism and we became the West’s Most Western town to attract and entertain visitors.

Recognizing the value of retail to generate sales tax, we built Los Arcos Mall, one of the first indoor malls. The rodeo grounds at Camelback and Scottsdale Road became Goldwater’s Department store which is now Scottsdale Fashion Square, one of the most successful malls in the country.

The Airpark became a key employment center for the entire region. We continually expanded our City to the north by annexing land from the County.

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CITES HIS ABILITY TO BRING ALL ARIZONANS TOGETHER WITH CIVILITY AND BIPARTISANSHIP

By Team Ducey

Cindy McCain today announced her strong endorsement of Doug Ducey for reelection as Arizona Governor. Mrs. McCain, the widow of the late Senator John McCain, serves as co-chair of the Governor’s Council on Human Trafficking and on the McCain Institute’s Human Trafficking Advisory Council. She is committed to reducing human trafficking globally and improving the lives of victims of human trafficking.

“Doug Ducey has been a Governor for all Arizonans, working together in a bipartisan spirit to improve the quality of life for all our citizens,” Mrs. McCain said. “He has been a steadfast supporter of our efforts to stem the tide of human trafficking, and he’s consistently demonstrated a willingness and ability to bring Arizonans together in a civil and productive way. We need more of that kind of attitude in our political discourse. I’m proud to support Governor Ducey, and encourage all Arizonans to join me.”

Governor Ducey said, ”Cindy McCain has devoted her life to making our country and our state a better and safer place to live – as a businesswoman, philanthropist and tireless advocate for victims rights, military families and the health and education of children in our country and across the world. She is an Arizona treasure, and I am grateful to not only call her a friend, but also to have her on our team as we work together to secure Arizona’s future.”


I am proud to announce that I am joining Kate Gallego’s Team as chair of her campaign!

As a citizen activist and former Mayor of Phoenix, I am proud of how our City came together to develop a strong economy and build healthy neighborhoods and vibrant communities. We focused on quality growth, public safety, arts and culture and preserving Phoenix’s rich heritage.

I understand what it takes to be a successful mayor – vision, compassion, and unrelenting hard work.  That’s why I’m joining my wife Monica and son Kevin in wholeheartedly supporting Kate Gallego.

This is a critical race.  Voters will determine what kind of city Phoenix will be for decades to come. Kate has done her homework.  She is prepared to lead with total commitment to our City.  I trust her to create a prosperous Phoenix that works for everyone.

Thank you,

— Terry Goddard, former Mayor of Phoenix 

The Corporation Commission was created in our Arizona Constitution to protect Arizona families and our economy. I’m running for Corporation Commission to restore integrity to the rate setting process.

I’m running a campaign fueled by everyday Arizonans like you, committed to restoring integrity and putting Arizona ratepayers first. I need your help by contributing $125, $250, $375 at www.rodneyglassman.org to share our message.

Integrity means doing the right thing for ratepayers and not special interests. Read More

SEE MORE 2018 SCRUM
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Latest News

  • Odds & Ends To The Week

    Nov 16

    *2018 definitely proved to be a “Year of the Woman” when it came to state and national politics. Somewhat lost among the results was Kate Gallego’s dismantling of the field in the Phoenix Mayor’s race. She topped former Councilman Danny Valenzuela, the overwhelming favorite of developers, by a whopping 19 point margin. They both now head to a March run-off election where the proverbial Fat Lady is warming up her chords. Indeed, many Valenzuela donors +

  • An Arizona Example Why The Public Gets Frustrated With The Media

    Nov 15

    There’s much bashing of the media these days.  It can be incessant and over the top.  For the most part members of the media are like any other industry.  They are good, hard-working people, guided by solid ethics. Yet, there are times when one has to scratch their head and wonder if critics aren’t really on to something.  Such is the case with a most curious and disappointing report by Channel 12’s Joe Dana.  It’s +

  • Scottsdale’s San Andreas

    Nov 7

    Once upon a time Scottsdale power brokers used to sit around a place called Mag’s Ham Bun and largely decide who was going to rule the city’s roost. How times have changed. Last night a grassroots movement spawned with laptops and shoe leather reinvented Scottsdale’s political landscape.  It was an earthquake. Proposition 420, a determined drumbeat of citizens to defeat the deleterious “Desert Discovery Center” not only passed by a huge margin, it created a +

  • Questions

    Oct 31

    As Scottsdale voters contemplate Question 1 on the November 6th ballot, a measure that would generate new funds to repair, improve and expand local roadways, we have a question to ask of our readers.  Normally we opine. This time we seek input. We have written previously of the spiteful opposition engineered by local realtor Scott Jarson to a notable and important project called Museum Square. You can read about their enmity here and here. Jarson, +

  • In Defense Of Virginia Korte

    Oct 29

    It might seem odd for us to opine about the leader of opposition to a Scottsdale measure we enthusiastically support.  But not all opponents are or should be considered untoward, especially if their heritage outflanks most everyone involved in the debate. We speak of Proposition 420, as we have many times.  It deserves support for all the reasons we, and  many others have stated.  Click here  or here for some recent examples. Scottsdale City Councilwoman +

  • Next Mann Up

    Oct 26

    The cast of characters associated with opposing the revitalization of the former Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix not only has a sketchy relationship with reality, they have a sketchy relationship with the law.   You may remember the group’s spokesman Tom Simon. He had a long list of felonies to his name and did prison time before he was hired by revitalization opponents. His antics were damaging and crude. He was eventually let go after he +

  • Guest Editorial: Vote ‘Yes’ on Question 1

    Oct 25

    By Mayor Jim Lane, Vice Mayor Guy Philips and Councilwoman Suzanne Klapp Editorial in Arizona Republic  Please join us in supporting Question 1 on Scottsdale’s November ballot to keep our fair share of county transportation taxes. Question 1 approves a small and temporary transportation sales tax increase in Scottsdale. The increase amounts to one-tenth of 1 percent (0.10 percent), or one penny for every $10 purchase, and the increase sunsets in 10 years. Revenues, which +

  • More Disarray

    Oct 23

    Over the past year the goings on with the former Chinese Cultural Center near Phoenix’s Sky Harbor Airport have been parts amusing, sickening, surprising and confounding. And there’s a new wrinkle we’ll get to in a moment.  We’ve written on the issue before but here’s a quick refresher. A development arm of the Chinese government sold the failed center to a real estate company back east several years ago.  It was sold without any stipulations +

  • Guest Editorial: Calling All Mavericks to Stand Up, Speak Out, and Vote

    Oct 23

    Dear Friends, As you know, my husband dedicated his life to serving a cause greater than himself. That’s why I’m so proud to let you know about the McCain Institute’s new initiative: #MavericksNeeded. Through this effort, we’re calling all Mavericks to stand up, speak out, and vote on November 6th. Longer-term, our initiative aims to inspire people to join the movement to advance the cause of human rights that John championed his whole life. As +

  • Guest Editorial: Show Me The Money

    Oct 22

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Political fundraising. It might not be the most glamorous or alluring aspect of political campaigns, but it does play a crucial role in getting a candidate elected into office or helping pass important city initiatives. And as we enter into the finals days of Scottsdale’s 2018 elections, the recent results of campaign finance reports help provide some pivotal insight into which candidates are able to connect with the community and which political +

  • No

    Oct 19

    Our opinions are generally pro-business.  And they can be quite lengthy, depending on the subject.  But sometimes proposals are just so gross they deserve a quick no and escort to the door. An example this week was a letter from City of Scottsdale Planning Department staff back to AMA Builders, LLC about a rezoning proposal in north Scottsdale at 118th Street and Jomax. The rezoning proposal has many problems but especially the reference whereby “application +

  • No Hail To The Jarson Hypocrites

    Oct 17

    We love Scottsdale.  We are unabashed enthusiasts for “the best city in America” as Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane likes to say. That’s why we are aggressive and frequent voices towards those trying to run it down. Like Scott and Debbie Jarson of Jarson & Jarson Real Estate, who are actually Paradise Valley residents. They are wrongly and hypocritically opposing a landmark new project in the southern part of downtown Scottsdale called Museum Square.  We took them to +

  • The Truth, The Whole Truth And Anything But The Truth

    Oct 12

    If someone comes before the Scottsdale City Council and while making public remarks flat out misleads (to put it mildly) the community’s governing body, can they be trusted further?  Should they?  In matters big or small?  In matters with the City Council or staff? That’s a fair question to ask in the case of Mr. Joseph Zemaitis. He heads a FOR-PROFIT Valley swimming organization known as Neptune that is making a disingenuous yet voracious attempt +

  • ScottSpite Not Scottsdale: Why Museum Square Makes Sense Not Scott Jarson

    Oct 12

    Sometimes you just can’t make this stuff up. Scott Jarson is a local realtor. He’s one half of Jarson & Jarson Real Estate. The first line of his bio says that he was named “Scott” after “Scottsdale.”  Well, based on his recent actions, that’s where his supposed affinity for the community ends. You see, Jarson, who actually lives in Paradise Valley, is trying to gin up opposition to the acclaimed Museum Square project in the southern +

  • PRESS RELEASE: Allegations of illegal Activity and Sexual Misconduct Committed by Former Phoenix Councilperson and Current Candidate for Phoenix Mayor Daniel Valenzuela

    Oct 11

    The following press release was submitted to the Arizona Progress & Gazette. We would be happy to post a reponse from the Valenzuela campaign if one is available. Earlier this year, a young woman came forward with allegations of illegal activity and sexual misconduct committed by Daniel Valenzuela, a former Phoenix City Councilperson, current candidate for Mayor of the City of Phoenix, and currently employed as a firefighter for the City of Glendale. On January +

  • Guest Editorial: Don’t Be Fooled

    Oct 5

    By Scottsdale Pinetop Once again the radical fringes of political dishonesty and misinformation are attempting to confuse the voters and sway elections. APS is the champion at doing that. While on my way home, I passed a political yard sign saying “No on Prop 127 – Protect Arizona Schools.” The message attempts to convince Arizona voters to reject the Renewable Energy Standards Initiative saying that it is bad for teachers. This couldn’t be more false. For those +