Two different direct mail pieces hit Chandler mailboxes recently from Becky Jackson, both proclaiming endorsements from Frank Peake, Chris Stage, and Rick Heumann, the three council candidates not involved in the runoff election. The three candidates endorsed Jackson as follows:
…That is why we are now urging you to join us in voting for Becky Jackson for council. Becky is recognized as a fair and responsible leader who has the dedication and integrity to meet the challenges of the future.
One of those pieces made a comparison of public service credentials between candidates Jackson and Weninger, with the "evidence" weighted firmly in Jackson's favor. It contained the tagline:
Becky Jackson has invested countless hours of community service and all of her professional energy to make Chandler a better city… Can Jeff Weninger say the same?
While not exactly a hit piece, it's certainly not the kind of message I would associate myself with if I were a 3rd party endorser of someone's candidacy.
I corresponded with Frank Peake today, and he has clarified his position on Becky Jackson's mail piece. I'm copying the text of his email exactly:
For the record;While Becky and I do not always agree on every issue, she has in the past shown to work for what is in the best interest of the people she represents. She has been passionate about the Chamber and I think she can do the same for
Chandler. Do I think she is the best candidate for the job? No, quite honestly I think I was the best candidate followed closely by Rick Hueman. But of the three remaining candidates that I have talked to Becky and Jeff have the better grasp of the issues and what needs to be addressed now. As to her mailer, her comparison to Jeff Wenniger is technically correct when it comes to community involvement, but I have characterized it to both Becky and Jeff as hit piece and. I told Becky that she could use my name for support but no longer for hit pieces.
Any comment from Rick Heumann or Chris Stage?
Not sure how I missed this over the weekend:
All three candidates in next month's City Council runoff election have spent more on their campaigns than what they would make in a year if they were elected, according to finance reports filed this week.
Council members, who serve four-year terms, are paid $13,500; the mayor, who serves a two-year term, gets $26,500.
Becky Jackson reported spending the most to date – $36,483. Jeff Weninger spent $21,366; Trinity Donovan $16,852.
All received campaign contributions from local leaders and political action committees. State Sen. Jay Tibshraeny, a former Chandler mayor, gave $200 each to Donovan and Weninger. Jackson got $150 from former Chandler Councilwoman Patti Bruno.
You can see the reports here. (h/t Geo)
I received the first direct mail piece of the runoff campaign on Friday. Becky Jackson has apparently secured the endorsements of Rick Heumann, Chris Stage, and Frank Peake. Of course, she didn't actually tell us in her mailer what positions she is taking on any particular issues. That would make it too easy to distinguish one candidate from another.
Let's see, if one wanted to determine where a candidate stood on an issue, where would one look? Hmm. How about google search? It's pretty sad that a candidate's web page is ranked 9th in a basic google search, but that a humble commenter such as the Amazing Jake comes up 1st and 2nd.
And what do we find when we follow the link to that candidate's site? A picture of the candidate playing Scrabble?
If anyone's interested, here is the sum total of Ms. Jackson's future plans for Chandler.
Mayor Dunn has been re-elected, as has Councilmember Bob Caccamo. Congratulations to both, and regrets to Frank Peake and Rick Heumann after their elimination from the runoff.
The remaining council candidates will square off in the May runoff.
Incumbent City Councilman Bob Caccamo won his re-election bid in Chandler’s seven-way council race Tuesday. Four candidates, Trinity Donovan, Becky Jackson, Chris Stage and Jeff Weninger, will square off in a May runoff for the remaining two seats.
Candidates Frank Peake and Rick Heumann were eliminated in Tuesday’s primary election.
Donovan, 28, an executive with Valley of the Sun United Way, led the runoff pack in votes counted Tuesday.
Amazing Jake will be taking a break from election coverage to allow the dust to settle before further prognostications. I will, however offer this.
Traffic on this blog increased substantially over the past few days. While we are by no means a Powerline or Instapundit, we are the only blog out there posting opinion on these local races, and as such, have had some interest from those seeking information about the candidates and their opinions.
I suspect that the runoff will get even more contentious now that the Mayoral race has been established. The Dunn/Caccamo/Huggins voting bloc remains intact, while the Westbrooks/Orlando/Sepulveda/Wallace bloc will now be down to just Orlando and Sepulveda. That will make the next couple of months interesting as candidates curry favor with various interest groups.
My advice to candidates? Make your positions known publicly. Don’t make people guess where you stand on the issues. Make it easy for people to understand your priorities and convictions by putting all your information on a website. Name recognition is good for getting votes from the
sheep lazy less informed, but people who are truly interested expect more than big pretty signs.
Tomorrow is election day – don’t forget to vote!
If you haven’t heard, there are new voter ID requirements at the polls, so be prepared.
I’ve enjoyed putting together all the information on the city council elections over the past few weeks, since, after all, no one else was doing it. If you’ve enjoyed what you’ve read here, bookmark the site and continue to visit. Once the election is over (assuming there’s no runoff), I’ll be posting more frequently on other topics – such as national politics, foreign policy, entertainment and TV, and of course, French-bashing at every opportunity!
To get a summary of all the council-related posts, click on “Elections” in the “Categories” sidebar to the right. Enjoy!
To all the candidates in tomorrow’s elections, good luck!
Yawn. It’s been a looong 3 days at work, and I’m all written out tonight. I haven’t even watched The Shield yet that I TiVo’d last night, and I can’t stay awake any longer.
For those who have been breathlessly awaiting Amazing Jake’s city council and mayor endorsements, you’ll have to wait one more day. Stop your whining – I do have a job you know. And a family that needs my attention when I get home. And I don’t get paid for this public service, so it will have to be on my schedule. I’d give you a link to someone else that is blogging about the elections, but, there IS no one else. It can be nice to have a captive audience, but there is a certain amount of pressure involved to give smart commentary with just the right amount of sarcasm.
Anyway, too tired to continue tonight. You should go to bed too. It’s late.
In this last full week of the race, the mail is coming fast and furious. Actually, before I get into this week’s mail, I neglected to post one piece I received a week ago last Saturday. I got a door hanger from Phill Westbrooks that was targeted directly at my neighborhood. It mentioned under no uncertain terms:
I will not ever support Wal-Mart on Arizona Ave. and Riggs Rd. Vice Mayor Phill Westbrooks
It also takes a shot at the Mayor:
Mayor Dunn has failed to manage Chandler’s growth – our streets, parks, and police services are lagging far behind in Southeast Chandler.
So, back to this week.
Chris Stage sent two pieces. One focused on Ms. Stage’s “commitment to Chandler’s public safety.” The second highlighted endorsements from Matt Orlando, Patti Bruno, and Martin Sepulveda. (more…)
The last Chandler City Council meeting before Tuesday’s election was a showcase of political sniping.
It started when Councilman Martin Sepulveda questioned Mayor Boyd Dunn’s public appearances with Republican congressmen and called for an elected officials’ “code of conduct.”
Sepulveda, who is backing Dunn challenger Phill Westbrooks, said, “It’s not my intent to browbeat,” but challenged Dunn’s Feb. 20 appearance with U.S. Sen. John McCain on the city’s cable channel and mailing, at city expense, invitations to a public session with U.S. Rep. Jeff Flake in November.
Today’s story in the Arizona Republic by Edythe Jensen highlights the tension on the current council.
It also helps answer a question that I, and several people looking for information on this site, have been trying to find out:
Search term: “Westbrooks what political party is he” – 7 hits
Search term: “Boyd Dunn Chandler, AZ Republican” – 13 hits (more…)
More background on the Chandler City Council election here from NewsZap (the dead tree edition is called the Chandler Independent).
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… (more…)