When it comes to the ability to run dirty, deceptive campaigns, no one does a better job than John McCain, who has honed his contemptible adeptness over decades. When a credible challenger comes within range, there is no trickery too low for him and his surrogates to engage in.
Phoenix residents who live in City Council District 3 (map) — which encompasses Moon Valley, parts of North East Phoenix, Paradise Valley and Sunnyslope — are now getting a taste of those repugnant tactics as a March 14 runoff election approaches.
A bit of background. After seven years on the job, Dist. 3 Councilman Bill Gates resigned May 31 to run for a newly open seat on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors when Andy Kunasek retired.
The council, which had several candidates to select from for the interim post, chose liberal Democrat Debra Stark to replace Republican and fiscal conservative Bill Gates. Chris DeRose was the only Republican in the mix, but the fallacy of non-partisan city elections persists. Nothing could be further from the truth. When Greg Stanton was elected mayor in 2011, he received a congratulatory call from then-Pres. Barack Obama and Homeland Insecurity Chieftain Janet Napolitano. Stanton has already filed to run for Secretary of State, frequently a dependable path to the governor’s office.
Candidate mailers have been increasing in intensity, filling mailboxes at breakneck speed. Most recently Stark’s campaign flyers have morphed into vicious, defamatory hit pieces, hurling incendiary language. The most recent ones carry the “paid for by” tag of a benign sounding group identified as The Arizona Voter Education Project (AVEP). A check of the Arizona Corporation Commission records reveals delinquent annual reports including associated filing fees and threats of dissolving the corporation were filed against AVEP in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
And who is the man behind the curtain? None other than Max Fose, the President and CEO of IWS, a one-man show advertising and public affairs agency. And wouldn’t you know? Fose is a former McCain operative, whose name appeared on the “Republicans for Janet” (Napolitano) website, along with other McCain advisers.
Chris DeRose, whose principled mailers feature his qualifications and positions, is endorsed by Congressman David Schweikert who represents much of City Council Dist. 3, Gov. Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, and City Councilmen Jim Warning and Sal DiCiccio — all Republicans.
Memo to District 3 residents: If you haven’t mailed in your ballot, mark it for Republican Chris DeRose and get it in the mail ASAP. Republicans should not be in the minority on the Phoenix City Council in “red” Arizona.