Does Justin Laos Really Want to Be on the Scottsdale City Council?

This year’s Scottsdale city council race so far is a race of haves and have nots when it comes to money (read our coverage here). When candidates are overmatched from a financial perspective, it’s imperative that they stand out in other ways. Some candidates make goofy videos or take outlandish stances. In the case of candidate Justin Laos, apparently it’s taking a stance that may make him unelectable.

Laos recently made his views known on the Axon debacle, where the company is threatening to relocate its headquarters if the city doesn’t capitulate to its outrageous plans to put up nearly 2,000 apartments in an area that doesn’t need it and doesn’t want it, and Scottsdale voters are overwhelmingly against Axon’s plans as per recent polling (you can read more about it here).

When pressed online if he supported the plan for apartments, Laos’s silence was deafening.

Look…all of us would like to have Axon keep their headquarters here. But we are NOT fine with being bullied and threatened in order to keep it, and we are also not fine with having our quality of life diminished as a result. Residents want good corporate neighbors, and recently Axon has been anything but.

Laos is operating in a severe danger zone here. Perhaps he’s angling for some donations from Axon executives, and perhaps it will work. But then the activist community in the city will have even more reason to distrust him and spread the word about it.

If there is one thing that the 2020 Scottsdale municipal elections taught us (as well as more recent polling), it’s that the citizenry does not want massive population density in the city and is very concerned about traffic in the city. It’s why councilmembers are being mum or in direct opposition to Axon’s plans; they’re not dumb. They know it could be the end of their political career in the city. Laos apparently has not gotten the memo.

Taking bold stances is honorable and sometimes necessary to stand out. But taking stances that are in direct opposition to the desire of an overwhelming majority of the citizenry is simply foolish and not reflective of representative democracy. Laos would be well served to rethink this stance if he really wants to win his race…or perhaps should be rejected anyway, since he’s already shown his cards.