We can easily all breath a sigh of relief. Election season 2014 has actually passed. Yes, election season. It’s that special time of year as quickly as the uninformed ( voters ) collide along with the well financed or no money VS dark money. For all you animal lovers out there, merely believe of it as a rumble between sheep and vultures .I have actually always encouraged people to participate in the process by voting . Don’t vote – don’t complain was my favorite refrain. I need to admit that this election season I was forced to think about the disturbing opportunity that my vote may be insignificant, that it might not make a difference especially in a political landscape awash in dark money. Yup, the big boys ( vultures ) outdid themselves this season. They mailed out dark money financed propaganda faster compared to Scottsdale city officials approved apartment communities and bars. Of course, some of the folks responsible for all those dark money mailings are likewise supporters of multi family developments and bars. Exactly what were – the odds?
In previous election seasons there seemed to be a lot more candidates that gave you a reason to vote. Some actually seemed to care about residents opinions and the future of the city far a lot more compared to their own political aspirations and agendas. It is a sad state of affairs as quickly as you refuse to vote just because you are so repulsed by the candidates and their stands on the problems that you would certainly prefer to have actually Satan represent you. I need to say that nothing shocks me after my brief foray in to the sordid globe of local politics and activism yet even I , a person whose cynicism knows no bounds, was amazed at the lengths dark money groups went to to smear and discredit their opponents. The blatant misrepresentations contained in these dark money hit pieces were laughable yet the consequences could have actually been serious. The 2 groups responsible for these half truths and distortions did not feel obligated to disclose the names of some of the folks responsible for these smear campaigns. It was obvious that they were supporting the pro development faction at City Hall. Apparently the Mayors commitment to transparency doesn’t extend to those that support his pro development agenda. Don’t practice – Exactly what I preach. Of course, the candidates that were the beneficiaries of this dark money never bothered to repudiate the actions of these groups and didn’t seem to discover the extra cash unpalatable either. Actions speak louder compared to words anyway. Maybe we can easily use that slogan next election season on mailers financed by legitimate citizen groups. Even the Scottsdale Republic, your official source for non news< felt obligated to comment on the egregious behavior of dark money groups. need to have actually been a refreshing modification of pace for the 2 reporters they have actually left. Actual news , potential misconduct – all that stuff you wanted to lose light on as quickly as you were a fresh faced journalism student.. Somehow I don’t believe your parents mortgaged their house and took out student loans so you could write about creative mac and cheese recipes and Scottsdale Meals Truck Caravans. Really. Page 2 , Scottsdale Republic, October 31 2014. I’m confident that the Republics failure to report on these dark money groups would certainly have actually earned them an even worse reputation compared to they currently appreciate – in some circles.
In spite of my finish and total disgust at the lack of respect local officials have actually shown for long time residents and their wishes, I decided to shake off my dark mood and vote fairly compared to join the ranks of the disgruntled non voters. You see , I did not want the forces of darkness financed along with all that dark money to prevail. If you ever felt that your vote didn’t matter ( and that hasn’t ) , take a gander at some of the local and national election results. Razor thin margins of triumph separated candidates in lots of races. In Scottsdale for example, the margin of votes separating candidates Kathy Littlefield and Dennis Robbins was closer compared to the space separating apartment dwellers in some of the lots of luxury sardine cans I mean apartment communities that litter our local landscape. Yes, this was an election that needed voter participation, an informed electorate and the ability to turn a blind eye to the a lot more harmful and odiferous aspects of the political process. . In others words, it was time to get hold of a pair of boots, hold your nose and dive in along with eyes wide open, recognizing that you might not grab every little thing you wanted. At the pretty least you may be able to avoid the bad guys from getting every little thing they wanted – like your neighborhood. Note : Watch for my upcoming masterpiece, an epic and nod to comedian David Letterman entitled , ” Top 10 signs a developer may want your property ” It’s an informative piece that gives the standard hood dweller tips on how to identify the tell tall signs that may mean your hood is marked – for death. . I am confident I can easily rely on some of you to forward this to interested parties. I need a staff.
And so, on election night I joined the ranks of the few, the proud, the disillusioned voters that were huddled around their TVS and mobile devices hoping to grab a consider Kim Kardashians latest nude selfie/shameless piece of self promotion ? Oh wait. No – election results. Did our dreams come true or would certainly our worst nightmares become reality? The battle lines had been clearly drawn. The ” merely say GO ” camp/pro development VS the ” merely say no “camp. The third group lands somewhere in the middle. I refer to them as the ” Go slower gang ” Yes, the ” noisy minority ” as the dark money group referred to them versus the well financed ” majority “. Guess what? The noisy minority votes. that knew. Apparently some that were misguided enough to ask for my tips actually took it this time. as quickly as asked that I believed they must vote for, I told them as I always do to do their own homework yet a good rule of thumb was to support the guy/gal that was the target of attack campaigns. There is a reason some shadowy group is spending big bucks to discredit them and buy an election.
Politics doesn’t tend to encourage a positive outlook yet I recognize the value city officials and the Republic Newspaper places on all points ” positive ” so I’ll offer it a try. The electorate was fairly positive. They seem to prefer the go slow crowd. They prefer a a lot more balanced approach to development/redevelopment problems and want a a lot more citizen driven council agenda – not a developer driven agenda. Live along with it. . Yup- all that dark money spent and only one of the three candidates these groups were so shamelessly promoting was – elected. Sometimes you don’t grab Exactly what you pay for yet you sure grab – Exactly what you deserve. Gee I wonder Exactly what their ROI/return on investment was? Wonder that could calculate that for us. I know. Lets ask former City Treasurer and now Council Member elect David Smith. He’s good along with numbers. Perhaps he can easily calculate it for them – unless he’s busy building pyramids/schemes. Yet one more bogus claim made versus him or her by dark money foes.
On one more note< I need to admit I was simultaneously confused and amused by council candidate Jennifer Petersons assertion that Scottsdale need to morph from a city of no in to a city of go. Hmmmm. Permit me to pause as I try to recall any apartment project or bar proposal the city has actually denied during the last 5 year developer inspired reign of terror. The only feasible means we could become any a lot more a city of ” go ” would certainly be to remove all that traffic calming that so impedes our progress or overcome a few of those ” classic ” no go trolleys that must have actually been retired months ago. Or perhaps we could have actually developers sit on the council dias and eliminate the middle man. Oh – wait. Never mind.
Now that the election dust has actually settled, most of the campaign signs have actually been vandalized, the bullets I mean ballots have actually been counted- What’s the message? That may depend on that you ask. The paper appears to feel there is a clear division in the city between growth and slow growth advocates. It is obvious that residents expect the future vision for the city to be driven by their agenda and desires and not $ signs and developer dreams.. Some may wish to ponder the opportunity that that slim margin of votes Mr Robbins lost by could have actually been the result of that noisy minority. They prefer not to be insulted – or misled. I believe these election results demonstrated the residents desire for – balance . .lots of are not firmly aligned along with either camp. They want to see a a lot more balanced approach to development, an approach that is far a lot more thoughtful and creative. It doesn’t take any ability to overpopulate an area and blanket every square inch of available land ( and some that isn’t available ) along with multifamily housing and bars. Oh – I know the forces of darkness claimed in their mailers that all these apartments won’t make any traffic or crime. Invisible – traffic. Reminds me of a T shirt I purchased in Rocky Point. It listed the 10 stages of Tequila on the front. By stage 10 you are not only invisible yet bullet proof. Claiming that all these apartments will certainly make little traffic makes as much sense as saying ” Hey, I was merely diagnosed along with Ebola and I’m going to Disneyland, – bowling , a wedding. Oh – wait. That actually happened.
Allow me to share some final thoughts.
– people grab their news from a variety of sources , not merely the newspaper. It does seem, however, that we need a much better source for local news since the Scottsdale Republic appears to be preoccupied along with all points – trivial. The dumbing down of the electorate is not a lofty goal.
– We actually elected 4 people to the council. 4 for 3 seats. along with Kathy Littlefield you grab Bob Littlefield. A 2 fer – 2 for the price of one..a lot more bang for the buck. Excellent ROI. Does anyone actually believe Bob Littlefield will certainly be content to sit on the sidelines and become a home husband?
– Voters understand that these apartments are not being built for the middle class or seniors as promoted by one of the dark money mailers. Most of the communities being built are billed as luxury, exclusive along with rents to match. They are designed to appeal to the young , single, upscale demographic some on council prefer to replace existing residents with. Residents need to stay vigilant. These folks have actually no problem bull dozing existing middle class hoods to make means for upper class housing.
– There appears to be a variety of citizen groups yet they aren’t cohesive. appears there could be some turmoil in the activist ranks after one activist/citizen group committed the unpardonable sin of endorsing candidates prior to seeking approval from – headquarters. Well. I for one was happy to see some folks display a little independence. That’s the beauty of living in the USA afterall. Activist groups must realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion – and their vote. That doesn’t mean they are unworthy to breath the same air you do. Perhaps you can easily kiss and make up prior to next election season. After all, you may need to heal that council split made by three yes votes and three ( ? ) no votes. We all know where the Mayor stands.
Are there signs of chance in a political system dominated by dark money and unresponsive to residents? These election results contain a glimmer f hope. Two from Three – ain’t bad. I am going to put a positive spin on these election results. Some may not be happy along with the outcome yet there’s a little something for everyone to love – or hate. Linda Milhaven is a tough advocate for the pro development camp. Kathy Littlefield ( and her husband ) are long time advocates for the – others camp. David Smith? Well, if he isn’t busy building pyramids he may offer some much required balance.
The theme song for this election season? Hey Big Spender. The moral? Big money – no votes or for you long time supporters of Scottsdales faux western image – Big hat – No cattle.