Phoenix will officially hold its city election Aug. 25, 2015 The ballot includes the race for mayor, four of the eight city council seats and five propositions.
There is a pretence of the offices being non-partisan, which is a charade of major proportions — fooling no one. Greg Stanton, running for his second term as mayor received a congratulatory call on his 2011 victory from Barack Obama and Janet Napolitano. Last week, a month preceding Election Day, the leftwing Arizona Republic blew him a fawning kiss in a presumptuous editorial titled, “Stanton’s second act.” Stanton is so sure of himself, as of this date, he has not bothered to put up campaign signs.
We support Republican Anna Brennan. She’s a long shot in a city that hasn’t elected a Republican mayor in two decades. But so was conservative David Brat who spectacularly toppled House Majority Leader Eric Cantor last year, after being outspent $5.7 million to $231,000.
The editorial was notable for admitting, Stanton “was lifted to office on the shoulders of public sector labor unions, especially police and fire.” Therein lies a significant part of the puzzle as to why liberals like Greg Stanton get elected in the nation’s sixth largest city in a red state.
Voter turnout is notoriously low during August in Phoenix. Many residents have not yet returned from their summer vacations, contributing to the abysmally low voter participation. The solid voting blocs are those reliable unions who “lifted Stanton on their shoulders”: police, fire fighters and unionized teachers. Stir into that mix other City of Phoenix employees, and the outcome becomes obvious as special interest groups disproportionately skew the vote to the left.
General participation would be greater and the costs lowered if city elections were consolidated with state and federal elections rather than off-year stand-alones. Keeping them as they are is doubtless part of the status quo strategy.
Three of the four city council candidates, those in districts 1, 3, and 7 are unopposed incumbents. Only first-term council member Daniel Valenzuela, a Democrat and former firefighter union boss faces an opponent. Felix Garcia is the Republican in the District 5 race.
The five propositions are numbered 100, 101, 102, 103 and 104. In reading the 104-page yellow “publicity pamphlet,” issued by the City of Phoenix, we focused on the “arguments in support and opposition” to the measures. With the exception of Prop. 104 which has arguments in opposition, the others are notable for their support by city insiders, unionists, Democrat state legislators, former mayors and Chamber of Commerce members. We strongly urge a NO vote on them all, some of which are slickly worded in an effort to deceive. The city is not in favor of actual pension reform and desires unfettered control over its purse strings.
Americans for Prosperity answers the questions and exposes the fallacies about Arizona ballot Proposition 104. SRAZ urges a NO vote against doubling the city transit tax over 35 years and spending over $31 billion on the unaccountable light rail expansion. Notice all of the campaign signs in support and none in opposition? That alone tells who has the money and benefits from the expansion. The Arizona Free Enterprise Club recently released its study on the Phoenix Transit Plan Tax Hike, which debunks many of the claims made by the tax increase proponents.