With the Phoenix Mayoral election just around the corner, the Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce took the decision upon them which candidates the voters were able to hear in the televised debate that took place last night at Phoenix Symphony Hall. The question on the Chamber website was “who will lead Phoenix into the future”?
If one were to look closely at the list of candidates presented to the public last night on CBS 5 KPHO (you know the station that is fair and balanced and is always “telling it like it is”) you would find that the Chamber of Commerce inadvertently, (or could it be blatantly?) supports unionization of the workplace as to what, not who, will be leading Phoenix into the future.
Candidates Claude Mattox, Greg Stanton, and Wes Gullett have all been backed by big business labor unions in the race for Mayor, while Peggy Neely has already sat on the Phoenix City Council. Two of the candidates presented voted for the “emergency” food tax, and Neely would like you to think that if elected she would take that food tax away. If, as excluded candidate Jennifer Wright contends, our city budget was balanced correctly (as Neely and Mattox both stated) why was the food tax and for the sake of argument the increased water bill, needed in the first place? It is balanced when the taxpayers’ make up for the city’s own mismanagement. Is that what they meant?
Some of the candidates voiced concerns over a lack of business in Arizona and what they would do to draw more companies to Phoenix, despite the high cost of taxes placed on both small and large business owners. Mattox created further dividing lines in a state that has been painted by the Federal Government as racist and unfriendly by stating, “Arizona can continue to beat its own black eyes,” and contending that if he were mayor Phoenix would be open for business to anyone, regardless of who or what they are. That’s all well and good, but Mr. Mattox, are you willing to allow more corruption in a city that is already taxing its citizens, and businesses, alike to death? More to the point, Phoenix and Arizona are already open for business-illegal business in the form of illegal drug and human smuggling. Those issues, and what would be done to combat them, were not touched upon.
Atlanta, Georgia was cited as an example of a city that is open for business, but what wasn’t said is that Georgia is trying to pass its own SB1070 to combat that states own illegal immigration issue.
Here is what else the Chamber of Commerce doesn’t want you to know. There are two other candidates listed on ballots that are being sent out to voters in the Phoenix area but who were silenced for your viewing pleasure. Candidates Jennifer Wright and Anna Brennan may have been silenced by the Chamber of Commerce using questionable business tactics (neither candidate was informed of the debate or the criteria until it was past or close to the deadline. One of the criteria was that only candidates who had raised $50,000 in campaign dollars were allowed to participate. This came from a group who claims to support small businesses?)
The City of Phoenix may have found a way to skirt around the question of whether or not they were influencing the outcome of an election. The Arizona 2012 group presented a letter to the City outlining statute A.R.S. 9-500.14 that states, “Use of city or town resources or employees to influence elections, prohibition; A.A. city or town shall not use its personnel, equipment, materials, buildings, or other resources for the purpose of influencing the outcome of elections..” In response to the letter that was penned by Chairman of the group, Ron Ludders, the city stated that the Chamber of Commerce had leased the use of the building from the city and therefore could not be in violation. Ludders was advised to take the matter up with the Chamber of Commerce. Doesn’t that sound convenient?
But neither they nor the Chamber could effectively silence these two conservative candidates who stated what none of the other candidates really could-that both of these ladies if elected would put the citizens and businesses of Phoenix first before big money politics.
Lining the sidewalk outside Phoenix Symphony Hall were supporters of Jennifer Wright (who is the Tea Party candidate) proudly displaying signs that stated, “Shame on the Chamber of Commerce” and “We Don’t Buy our Mayors.” The other side of the street found Anna Brennan parked with her van broadcasting her radio show and stating her stance on the issues at hand. Inside Symphony Hall, 20-30 Tea Party patriots staged a walk out at the commencement of the debate (KPHO scanned the crowd at the beginning of the segment, but empty seats are bad for business) and proceeded to Steve’s Greenhouse Grill where they watched the debate with Jennifer Wright.
The Chamber of Commerce acted in a manner that is hypocritical of a stance they have actively taken in Arizona politics. The Chamber has stood up at your State capital to give a voice to those who have been silenced (illegal aliens in Arizona and the Hispanic community which is suffering from their own boycott) yet they took great measures to silence two of the candidates who could take Phoenix proudly into the future.
If, at the end of August you decide you want more of the same in Phoenix city politics then by all means vote with the options the Chamber of Commerce spoon fed you last night on KPHO. If you don’t want more of the same, then please vote your conscience. Vote right.
I have to ask you residents of Phoenix, how IS that hope and change working for you?