The Jake Files

February 22, 2006

Roundup on Chandler AZ City Council Information

OK Chandler voters, the Amazing Jake has been busy running down information on the upcoming city council election (March 14th).  If you aren’t interested in local politics, this will be a long post, so skip down to something else.  I suggest the Feb 21st post on the President threatening to veto a congressional bill limiting the sale of US ports to a UAE company. 

In any case, let’s start with the background.

Click here for campaign basics, from the City of Chandler website.

Click here for campaign finance reports.  Dry reading, but informative.

Click here for background on the southeast Chandler Wal-Mart fight, and here and here for responses from the candidates to a questionnaire sent to them by Riggs Residents for Retail Diversity, the local residents’ advocacy group.  More questionnaire responses will be posted as the election approaches.

From the Arizona Republic, background information on each candidate.

Followup article in the Chandler edition of the Republic.

Finally, three candidates responded to a questionnaire from the Center for Arizona Policy on issues more related to social issues than local city policy.

All caught up?  Well then here are my impressions for City Council.  For each candidate, I will list their campaign cash on hand, as of January 31st (according to their filings on the City of Chandler website – link is above).  I’ll also list campaign contributors of interest.  I’m not peddling scandal here – just taking note of those who contribute whom I recognize for one reason or another, or political action committees that I find interesting.  I’ll also list prominent endorsements, positions on issues, and any other notable items.

Here we go…

Becky Jackson is the CEO of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce.  Predictably, the Chamber thinks she’d be a good addition to the City Council, as do a number of other good folks whom I admire.

Cash on hand:  $6,463

Contributors:  former councilmember Patti Bruno, three firefighters PACs, Homebuilders Association PAC

Endorsements:  current councilmembers Donna Wallace, Matt Orlando, Martin Sepulveda; former councilmember Patti Bruno; former mayor Jim Patterson; the Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Positions:  Found here.  VERY thin if you ask me.

Website:  very readable, nice design, well laid out.


Bob Caccamo is an incumbent seeking reelection. 

Cash on hand:  $12,776

Contributors:  former mayor Jerry Brooks, members of the DeRito family (development company), Stan Barnes (political consultant), UFWC Local 99 PAC (PAC for the United Foodworkers Union, which opposes Wal-Mart development).

Endorsements:  current councilmember Lowell Huggins, current Mayor Boyd Dunn, the Arizona Republic, former mayors Jerry Brooks and Jay Tibshraeny (now Dist 21 state senator), former councilmember Patty Bruno, Senator Jon Kyl (misspelled K-Y-L-E, by the way), the Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and Chandler Police.

Positions:  nothing much on the website, but see candidate responses to Riggs Residents for Retail Diversity (linked above) for info on his Wal-Mart stand.

Website:  OK design, content is a little thin.


Chris Stage is the executive director for a Chandler non-profit and former faculty at ASU.  She has had a long history of community activism in Chandler.

Cash on hand:  $6,644

Contributors:  current councilmembers Matt Orlando and Martin Sepulveda, former councilmember Patti Bruno, three firefighters union PACs, the United Foodworkers PAC (anti-Walmart), and the Homebuilders Association PAC.

Endorsements:  current councilmembers Matt Orlando and Martin Sepulveda, former councilmember Patti Bruno

Positions:  scroll down to see her candidate questionnaire responses to the Arizona Republic and Chandler Independent.

Website:  very clean, professional look.  I would have put the positions on a page separate from the Background page to make it a little easier to find, but that’s just nitpicky.


Frank Peake is a bank executive and active member of various advisory boards, including the Maricopa County Tranportation Advisory Board.  He was also the unfortunate recipient of an embarrassing exchange between factions on the current council not too long ago, when the factions were posturing about the process of appointing members to city commissions and boards. 

Cash on hand:  $9,065

Contributors:  former mayor Jerry Brooks

Endorsements:  former councilmember Patti Bruno, former mayor Jim Patterson, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, Chandler Law Enforcement Association and Arizona Fraternal Order of Police.

Positions:  Not as detailed as I’d like to see.

Website:  Very good design.  Makes use of same color scheme and design as campaign posters. 


Jeff Weninger is the owner of Dilly’s Deli and Floridino’s.  He does not have a website that I could find.

Cash on hand:  $10,180 (could have used a couple hundred bucks of that to put up a website)

Contributors:  Stan Barnes (political consultant), David Schweikert (Maricopa County Treasurer), Homebuilders Association PAC.

Endorsements:  current councilmember Lowell Huggins, Senator John McCain, Congressmen Jeff Flake and J.D. Hayworth, Sheriff Joe Arpaio, David Schweikert, two state senators and four state representatives, the Tempe Police Officers Association, and Tom Liddy.   

Positions:  hard to tell, since he doesn’t have a website.  His direct mail piece lists some generic bullets about parks, sustainable neighborhoods, diverse business streams, and “reaching out to the teen community to explore and build unique recreational options i.e. (skate park and bms park).”  Oh, and his last two bullets (after the skate park) are “no service fee increases” and “no property tax increases.”  I appreciate that, but they’re last on the list of priorities?  Would have helped to have a website to go into more detail.

Website:  none that I could find.

Direct Mail:  I received one direct mail piece last week.  It has the aforementioned laundy list of generic items on one side, and picture of Jeff and Senator McCain taking up a third of the other side.  The design, colors, and layout are professionally done, but the content and the picture itself distract from the message (such that there is).  If I were taking a picture with a well-known US Senator, I would be sure to be wearing a suit and tie, and stand up straight.

Rick Heumann is a member of the city Planning & Zoning Commission. 

Cash on hand:  $1,300

Contributors:  n/a (nothing noteworthy)

Endorsements:   The Arizona Republic, Chandler Chamber of Commerce

Positions:  On Rick’s website:  “BIG BOX STORES – I worked hard as a planning commissioner to force big box retailer to build quality projects and place them where they fit along freeway corridors.  NOT IN OUR NEIGHBORHOODS.”  That’s an interesting choice of words.  The casual reader would think that Rick, in his capacity on the Planning & Zoning Commission, prevented big box retailers from locating in neighborhood areas (i.e. “I worked hard… to force…).  Now, I can’t speak for other big box retailer issues, but if my memory serves, the Chandler Planning & Zoning Commission voted to approve the rezoning application that Diversified Partners requested, in order to develop the NE corner of Riggs and McQueen for a Wal-Mart Supercenter.  I also seem to recall that, after the Planning & Zoning Commission voted to approve the application, that Diversified Partners withdrew their application due to a lack of support on the City Council.  I’m not sure Rick should be taking credit for this one.

Website:  Clean design, easy to navigate.


Trinity Donovan is the Vice President for Community Initiatives as the Valley of the Sun United Way.  She is also active in volunteer efforts and is the former CEO of ICAN (Improving Chandler Area Neighborhoods.

Cash on hand:  $9,052

Contributors:  n/a (nothing noteworthy)

Endorsements:  The Arizona Republic

Positions:  Pretty basic, but does state that she opposes big box retail development in neighborhoods.  Not sure what other positions she holds, but I’d like to know what she said at the candidate forum on February 1st.  I didn’t see a link on her website, but this schedule lists her as attending. 

Website:  The basic layout is good, but the color scheme is a little hard to look at.  It’s also in need of a good editor to review/rewrite the content.

One sidenote:  I came across a site belonging to Trinity’s brother, where he promotes her candidacy and asks for her vote. 


OK Folks.  That’s all for now.  I will do a separate post, in a similar format, for the Mayoral candidates later this week.  At some point in the near future I’ll post some additional commentary with the official Jakefiles endorsements.

If anyone has anything to add on the information gathered here, please leave a comment and/or email me (amazingjake at att dot net).  I want to be as accurate as possible.



  1. […] The Amazing Jake’s mailbox has been overflowing of late with direct mail pieces from various candidates.  I posted on some prior direct mail here.  […]

    Pingback by The Jake Files » Jeff Weninger Direct Mail - Chandler City Council Elections — March 2, 2006 @ 10:54 pm | Reply

  2. […] I can’t think of a more boring piece of campaign literature I’ve received, that has told me less about the candidate.  The piece is incredibly generic with no details whatsoever.  As I related in my prior analysis, the Jackson campaign website is little more than an internet billboard with generic slogans that tell us little about the candidate’s views. […]

    Pingback by The Jake Files » Becky Jackson Direct Mail - Chandler City Council Elections — March 2, 2006 @ 11:13 pm | Reply

  3. Help! I am very interested in the Wal-Mart fight for south east Chandler. I found out about it three weeks after the city council voted to allow the Wal-Mart (Oh no!). What is being done now. I understand the decision was very close in city council 3 – 4, can we ask them to revisit it?


    Comment by Sue Warren — August 24, 2006 @ 5:53 pm | Reply

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