One of our subscribers, Untermeitingen, sent the following to the Arizona Republic editor:
Tell me why the politicians and others involved are allowed to amend their reporting of the "gifts/bribes" they received from the Fiesta Bowl. They knew full well that the gifts were shady and they knew that NOT reporting was illegal. All of these people who are amending their financial disclosure forms now should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Oh, I am sure they are all truly sorry that they did this–sorry only because they got caught.
They all need to go to jail–what hypocrites.
Short and to the point, Russell Pearce!
Take a look at this revelation!
It appears that the ADEQ, under the direction of Henry Darwin, has a great deal of concern for the emissions of Mexican trucks, but has little to no concern for the motor oil RID has been leaking for the past 25+ years at their well-heads which "wicks" into the West Van Buren aquifer.
In an article written by Shaun McKinnon of the Arizona Republic, we found this:
Using federal grant money, the state agency installed the new converters on 55 trucks last year and will refit about the same number by the middle of this year. The project is part of a broader initiative to improve air quality on both sides of the border, where towns and cities often lack resources or expertise to do it themselves.
"It's about establishing this relationship on environmental issues," said ADEQ Director Henry Darwin. "It's especially important on air quality because you can't stop the air from moving across the border."
Using EPA grant money, the state offered to refit the trucks with the new exhaust systems, replacing factory-installed mufflers with converters similar to what is required for U.S. trucks. The process takes two or three hours to complete at a cost per truck of about $1,600.
While, admittedly, ADEQ is spending federal money and not State funds, the money, nonetheless is still ours.
Put aside the fact for a minute that our country has an enormous debt problem, the real "slap in the face" to the Arizona taxpayers is the fact that an investigation by a local consulting firm, Phoenix Valley Design/Build, into the RID lawsuit of $40 million reveals that RID has been contaminating their own water wells for years. When proof of this contamination was presented to ADEQ through the series of 34 formal complaints, ADEQ responded with:
1. Our investigation (without sampling or testing) finds "no fault" as RID explains that FDA approved vegetable oil is used.
2. We did not sample and test soil because we lack the funds.
When Phoenix Valley Design/Build sampled and test soil from 2 RID wells, the State approved laboratory found ppm levels out of the range for vegetable oil indicating deception on RID's part. This was brought to ADEQ's attention with the following response:
1. We lack the jurisdiction to investigate.
2. We have no further interest in the matter.
What is the agenda of our state-funded ADEQ?
Contact this editor if you wish to see every single email between PVDB and ADEQ as well as the lab test results and each of the 34-complaints and ADEQ's formal response.
How despicable can we allow our government to become before we say, "This is enough"?
Finally, we have a Senator – Ron Gould who speaks to the issue of State agencies using taxpayer funded lobbyists to promote the agencies' agenda at the legislature.
I have always felt that the agencies and the Counties and the Cities using their taxpayer funded budgets to pay private-sector lobbyists a real "stick in the eye" to taxpayers as most often the agencies and the municipalities have agendas to promote their own fiefdoms rather than the interests of the taxpayers they are SUPPOSED to support.
Senator Ron Gould put it (in a azcapitoltimes.com article by Don Harris) quite succinctly when he is quoted as saying, "To actually let agencies go out and hire their own lobbyists to keep their funding is essentially like taxpayer cannibalization".
I say, well stated Senator. Now will you look into the current process of one government (or quasi-government) agency suing another government agency within the State? Who do you think pays for the Plaintiff's law firm? Who do you think pays for the Defendant's law firm? Who do you think pays the settlement which invariably results when Risk Management steps into the fray with their opinion regarding the costs of defense? You got it – the taxpayer!
There are two specific reasons for passing this bill:
1. The primary reason is – to return the government back to the "people" through the "grassroots" efforts of the precinct committeeman (PC).
2. If the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors is any example of the self-absorbed, smell-of-corruption, "don't give a damn about the voter", professional politician which currently is involved in the selection process – I say, "Limit the decsion-making to the PC who knows his district, rather to Supervisors who may need to repay political favors".
What do you think?
HB2484, explained in layman's language is:
- This bill modifies the way legislative vacancies are filled.
- Right now the elected PC’s for the district with a vacancy, elect three people. Then the county board of supervisors choose one from those three.
- This bill would remove the board of supervisors from the process.
- This bill allows ONLY the elected PC’s for the district to elect the replacement legislator.
Where is this bill in the legislative process?
Right now, having passed the House along party lines, it is now poised for a vote in the Senate.
Phoenix councilman, Michael Nowakowski – District 7, will be holding a Phoenix city budget meeting for public input (though, historically, no city staffer pays any attention to the public).
The time and place is:
Cesar Chavez High School cafeteria, 3921 W Baseline Rd
6PM, Tuesday, April 12.
I will be there and I suggest you attend too so you can judge the caliber of this man who is seeking another term against the conservative candidate, Janet Contreras.
We are finally replacing Phil Gordon as the mayor of Phoenix.
However, look at the candidates:
Thane Eichenauer – Libertarian defeated in the last election for Treasurer.
Claude Mattox – Multi-term councilman.
Greg Stanton – Former councilman.
Now, I ask you, “Who are these candidates”? Do you know them?
Courtesy of the New York Times.
Fiesta Bowl corruption exposed… so are local politicians!
Fiesta Bowl Spending and Donations Questioned
John Junker, right, the president of the Fiesta Bowl, with Boise State Coach Chris Petersen in 2009. Junker allegedly used the organization's money for personal expenses, including his 50th birthday celebration.
Top executives at the Fiesta Bowl funneled campaign contributions to local politicians, flew other Arizona elected officials around the country at the bowl’s expense, racked up a $1,200 bill at a strip club and even spent $30,000 on a birthday party for the chief executive, according to an investigative report commissioned by the bowl’s board of directors.
Oklahoma and Connecticut met in January in the Fiesta Bowl game, which was founded in 1971.
The most serious revelations involve nearly a dozen employees who told investigators that the chief executive and others working for the bowl, the host of one of the nation’s pre-eminent college football games, encouraged them to make political contributions, then reimbursed them with sham bonus payments. Some said they were then pressured to lie about the practice.
The investigators do not make conclusions about whether bowl executives or others broke the law, but at least one expert in nonprofit organizations said the findings could lead to criminal charges. At a minimum, the investigation may threaten the tax-exempt status of the bowl, which, like most other prominent organizations in college sports, is formally registered as a charity.
Some aspects of the campaign contribution scheme were reported by The Arizona Republic in 2009, prompting an initial inquiry by the board of directors as well as an investigation by Arizona’s state attorney general. Tom Horne, the attorney general, said in a statement that the report, which has been presented to his office, will assist his office in its continuing investigation.
John Junker, the chief executive of the Fiesta Bowl, refused to speak with the most recent set of investigators about the campaign reimbursements and was placed on administrative leave in February. The Fiesta Bowl announced his firing Tuesday in a press releaseand said it would enact reforms aimed at improving oversight and transparency. A bowl spokesman confirmed Tuesday that Natalie Wisneski, the chief operating officer, and Jay Fields, the vice president for marketing, had resigned.
The report was made public Tuesdayafter The New York Times published an online article about the investigation’s findings. Many of the people cited in it either would not comment or did not respond to messages seeking comment.
The findings are all but certain to further arm critics of college football’s bowl system, which many argue has become overly commercialized and thus more vulnerable to corruption. Playoff PAC, a political action group taking aim at the Bowl Championship Series, filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Servicelast fall against the Fiesta, Sugar and Orange Bowls.
The Fiesta Bowl, the youngest of the four B.C.S. bowls, was founded in 1971 and has hosted seven games that have decided the national championship, including the B.C.S. title game in January. The four nonprofits that run the bowl took in nearly $28 million in revenue in 2009, most of it earned through ticket sales and corporate sponsorships, according to federal tax records.
Bowl Championship Series officials said Tuesday they were “deeply disappointed” to learn of the findings and said they had appointed a task force to evaluate whether the Fiesta Bowl should remain a B.C.S. game. “It is expected that all parties contracted with the B.C.S. will live up to the highest standards,” the statement said. “We do not wish to be associated with entities that believe otherwise.”
The Fiesta Bowl executives did not limit their political activity to campaign contributions. The Fiesta Bowl sometimes paid to cater political fund-raisers at the Fiesta Bowl Museum, including one in 2007 for State Representative Jim Weiers, who was then the speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, and one in 2009 for W. J. Lane, the mayor of Scottsdale, who is known as Jim. Junker apparently knew that hosting such events was forbidden because he warned his assistant against sending out invitations using a Fiesta Bowl e-mail address, the report said.
In a telephone interview, Lane said that Fiesta Bowl officials offered to hold the event but that he did not know who paid for it. If the bowl paid, he said, “it’s not something we generally would be involved in.”
The report highlighted several trips to Chicago, Boston and elsewhere that the Fiesta Bowl hosted for several Arizona politicians and their families. Anthony Aguilar, the Fiesta Bowl’s director of community and corporate relations, told investigators that the trips were meant to show legislators the importance of college football to the Arizona economy.
A beneficiary of the trips was Russell Pearce, the State Senate president, a Republican who has gained a national profile over the past year for writing Arizona’s controversial immigration law. Pearce and his wife, LuAnne, traveled to Chicago in 2005 to attend a Northwestern-Michigan game and stayed at the Ritz-Carlton. He and his wife also traveled to Boston on a similar trip with his son in 2008, according to the report.
Pearce did not return three calls for comment.
Angela Holt, one of the bowl’s financial officers, told investigators she had found no documentation to show that the politicians had reimbursed the bowl for the cost of the trips.
The report does not say what the bowl sought with its favors to the elected officials, beyond good will among people of local prominence.
Junker and other top executives used bowl money to spend lavishly, investigators found. In 2008, the Fiesta Bowl paid the $1,200 bill at a Phoenix strip club attended by Junker; Shawn Schoeffler, the former vice president for media relations; and Aaron Brown, a Maricopa County sheriff’s lieutenant who owns a company that provides security to the Fiesta Bowl.
According to the report, Junker explained to investigators: “We are in the business where big, strong athletes are known to attend these types of establishments. It was important for us to visit, and we certainly conducted business.”
Some of the expenses appeared to be personal in nature. Last year, Junker’s daughter, Lucy, was seeking admission and was accepted to the honors program at the University of Texas. The Fiesta Bowl paid $75 to send flowers to the head of the honors admissions program.
It also appears to have paid $13,000 in connection with the wedding of Junker’s assistant, Kelly Keogh, covering her airfare and hotel on her honeymoon to British Columbia. It also paid to fly Junker, his wife, son and at least six Fiesta Bowl employees to her wedding in Kansas City, Mo.
In the case of a 50th birthday celebration given by the Fiesta Bowl for Junker in Pebble Beach, Calif., in 2005, investigators found that the bowl spent more than $33,000 on the party, including airfare for Junker and other top executives, car rentals, meals and lodging. A lawyer for Junker said investigators never asked his client about a birthday party or flowers. Junker said that others gave him the party and that he believed the board of directors had approved the expense. As for the flowers, he said the bowl’s reimbursement must have been a mix-up.
The board of directors initiated the most recent investigation last fall and hired Christopher W. Madel, a lawyer with Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi in Minneapolis, to oversee it.
The report uncovered many new details about the campaign contribution practice. Most of the contributions were to Arizona state lawmakers and local city councilors, although Junker and his wife, Susan, were reimbursed for two contributions totaling $4,200 to Senator John McCainof Arizona in 2007, investigators found.
The report outlined several ways in which executives at the bowl attempted to disguise the reimbursements. Wisneski, the chief operating officer, told investigators that Junker would instruct her to also give bonuses to employees who had not donated. For those who had made contributions, Junker asked her to give them a false explanation of why they were receiving a bonus, “but I couldn’t face it,” she said in an interview excerpted in the report. “I had a hard time doing it.”
Several of the employees who admitted to being repaid said they did not know the practice could be illegal until after the fact. Peggy Eyanson, the director of business operations, told investigators that when she learned that employees could face prison time, she felt “scared, upset and sick to my stomach.”
Investigators also raised questions about an initial inquiry that was conducted by the Fiesta Bowl in December 2009, which concluded there was no credible evidence of campaign reimbursements. The board hired Grant Woods, a former Arizona attorney general, to conduct the investigation, but asked that it be completed quickly, before the Fiesta Bowl game took place in January. Woods hired as his assistant Gary Husk, a lobbyist who had been working for the bowl and who, investigators now say, had played a key role in collecting political contributions from employees.
Six Fiesta Bowl employees later told investigators that Husk approached them before their interviews and discussed the issue of campaign contributions with them. Wisneski told investigators that Husk invited her to his house and coached her on how to answer the questions that Woods would ask.
Husk denied any knowledge of the reimbursements and said he never discussed the issue with the employees or steered employees away from Woods, according to the report. In a statement Tuesday, Husk said he had fully cooperated with the most recent investigation and had done nothing wrong. “My integrity is extremely important to me, and I would never do anything to jeopardize it.”
Woods has since said he believes he may have been misled during his initial investigation.
In a statement, he said: “The Fiesta Bowl Committee’s investigation this time was comprehensive and I fully expect that they will fire anyone who has lied to or misled them or me. I will continue to work with them under our attorney-client relationship and am confident that they will quickly restore order and move on to even more success in the future.”
Today, after several months of planning, designing, testing, re-designing, implimenting and final tweaking, The Non-PC Advocate is ready for the public.
Thanks to the efforts of Tom Bress, from California, and Jennifer Lueck, from Surprise, the site is ready for registrations.
The site will be launched and promoted at a Republican PC (this time PC denotes Precinct Committeemen) Lincoln Day Luncheon today.
Guests at The Non-PC Advocate corporate table will be:
Anna Gaines, founder of American Citizens United
Anthony Malcum, Realtor and member of ACU
Jennifer Luek, Realtor, founder of Off To Market and this website's designer
Jack Delaporte, Financial Mgr for Grand Canyon University
Annette Petzel, CFP, Employee benefits Insurance with R P Ryan
Janet Contreras, candidate for Phoenix City Council – Dist 7
Joseph Contreras, son of Janet
and, of course, me – S A Everly, Editor
On Mar 15, 2011 the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce delivered the following letter to Senate President Russell Pearce in an endeavor to derail the passage of a group of immigration bills in the Arizona State Senate.
Dear President Pearce,
“Thank you for your willingness to serve Arizona as a Member of the Arizona State Senate. We, like you, are concerned about the challenges facing our State, particularly the need to address our structural deficit and insure an economic environment that attracts and retains high quality jobs.
“While we recognize the desire for states like Arizona to fill the leadership vacuum left by federal inaction on immigration, we strongly believe it is unwise for the Legislature to pass any additional immigration legislation, including any measures leaving the determination of citizenship to the state.
“We agree with you that our borders must be protected first, and now. We also believe that market-driven immigration policies can and should be developed by the federal government that will sustain America’s status as a magnet for the world’s most talented and hard-working people and preserve our ability to compete in the global economy.
“If the Legislature believes it is worthwhile to debate the question of citizenship, we believe that debate is best held in the U.S. Congress. Already, Sens. David Vitter of Louisiana and Rand Paul of Kentucky have introduced legislation aimed at amending the 14th Amendment to deny ‘birthright citizenship’ to those born to individuals living in the U.S. illegally. Iowa Rep. Steve King has introduced similar legislation in the U.S. House.
“Arizona’s lawmakers and citizens are right to be concerned about illegal immigration. But we must acknowledge that when Arizona goes it alone on this issue, unintended consequences inevitably occur. Last year, boycotts were called against our state’s business community, adversely impacting our already-struggling economy and costing us jobs. Arizona-based businesses saw contracts cancelled or were turned away from bidding. “Sales outside of the state declined. Even a business which merely had ‘Arizona’ in its name felt the effects of the boycotts, compelling them to launch an educational campaign about their company’s roots in Brooklyn. It is an undeniable fact that each of our companies and our employees were impacted by the boycotts and the coincident negative image.
“Tourism, one of our state’s largest industries and employment centers, also suffered from negative perceptions after the passage of SB 1070. The fact Gov. Brewer directed $250,000 to repairing Arizona’s reputation strongly suggests these efforts – whether fair or unfair – are harmful to our image.
“Let us be clear: Our dissension with legislative action on the state level does not translate to our being ‘pro-illegal immigration.’ To the contrary, we believe Congress must address border security, identity theft, sound and implementable employment verification systems and policies and the creation of a meaningful guest worker program. Therefore, we urge the Legislature to redirect its energy by joining us in pressing the federal government for meaningful immigration reform. Together, we can get results.
This letter was signed by the following Chamber of Commerce members:
A.T. Still University Craig Phelps, Provost
Adreima Constance Perez, Chief Executive Officer
Arizona Hotel & Lodging Assoc Debbie Johnson, President/CEO
Arizona Lodging & Resort Assoc Alan Klein, Board Chair, So.
Arizona Republic John Zidich, CEO/Publisher
Atrium Holding Company Ronald Brown, President
Banner Health Peter Fine, President/CEO
Blood Systems Daniel Connor, President/CEO
Blue Cross Blue Shield of AZ Marty Laurel, Vice President
Campus Research Corporation Donald Pitt, President
Carondelet Foundation Janice Cox, Retired CEO
Community Tire & Auto Repair Howard Fleischmann, Owner
Cox Communications Stephen Rizley, Sr. Vice President/General Mgr.
DMB Associates, Inc. Drew Brown, Managing Director
DHR International David Bruno, Vice Chairman, Managing Director
Denise Resnik & Associates Denise Resnik, President
Ernst & Young Ronald Butler, Arizona Managing Partner
Empire Southwest LLC Jeff Whiteman, President/CEO
ExhibitOne Corporation Kevin Sandler, President/CEO
Flagstaff Forty J.R. Murray, Chairman
Gallagher & Kennedy P.A.Michael Kennedy, President
Geddes and Company F. Michael Geddes, Chairman, President
GenSpring Richard Dozer, Chairman, Family Offices
Greater Phoenix Chamber Steven Wheeler, Chairman
HR Choice Susan Williams, President/Founder
Helios Foundation Vince Roig, Chairman/CEO
Hensley Beverage Company Robert Delgado, President/CEO
Holualoa Companies Michael Kasser, President
Horizon Moving Systems, Inc. Bruce Dusenberry, President
ILX Resorts, Inc. Nancy Stone, President
Intel Corporation Shelly Esque, Vice President, Legal/Corp Affairs
Jim Click Automotive Jim Click, Jr., President
Kitchell Corporation William Schubert, Chairman
Loews Ventana Canyon Brian Johnson, Managing Director
Nestle-Purina, Flagstaff Bill Calloway, Plant Manager
Off Madison Avenue David Anderson, President
PetSmart Philip Francis, Executive Chairman, Chairman, GPL
Quarles & Brady LLP Jon Pettibone, Managing Partner
Research Corp for Science Adv.James Gentile, President/CEO
SALC Bruce Beach, CEO, BeachFleischman PC, Chairman
St. Joseph’s Hospital Linda Hunt, Area President, President/CEO
Scottsdale Healthcare Thomas Sadvary, President/CEO
Sunbelt Holdings John Graham, President
Sundt Construction, Inc.J. Doug Pruitt, Chairman/CEO
TMC Healthcare Michael Duran, Vice President, Chief Dev. Off
Team BeachFleishman PC David Cohen, Executive Vice President
The Chanen Corporation Herman Chanen, Chairman/CEO
The Leona Group William Coats, Chief Executive Officer
The Rodel Foundations Don Budinger, Chairman/Founding Director
U.S. Airways Group W. Douglas Parker, Chairman, President/CEO
Underwood Brothers, Inc.Robert Underwood, Chief Executive Officer
University of Arizona Peter Likins, President Emeritus
Vante Medical Technologies Roger Vogel, Chairman, President/CEO
Vestar Development Company Lee Hanley, Chairman/CEO
Viad Corporation Paul Dykstra, Chairman, President/CEO
While it could be argued that Arizona’s recent attempt to “blaze the path” towards a more fiscal approach to the illegal-immigration problem in the State and, yes, even in the United States will have detractors to the effort, the list above is a clear indication that the entities most unwilling to bear the discomfort of correcting a long-endured lack of legal immigration enforcement are those who either benefit from the status quo or are dependent upon the goodwill of those who support the status quo.
Illegal immigration and the discomfort it causes the middle and lower classes through the increased tax burdens, the disruption to the principles they hold dear such as “God and Country” and English language and a robust education system is to be the “cost” so these entities can prosper.
Perhaps it is time we send these businesses letters of our own in which we indicate our willingness to seek their competitors for the services and products they sell.
What do you think?
- An Updated Roster
- Why I Love and Hate The Idea Of A Blog