OK, the webmaster thinks they ALL suck, but what
did you expect from the person that created this web site!!!!
You can bet who ever gets elected will steal more of you money using a form of theft our government masters call "taxes". And you can bet who ever gets elected will pass more silly laws to micro-manage your life and your property.
The bottom line is government is just a legalized form of the "mafia" which only benefits our government masters and the special interests that helped them get elected.
Tempe voters irked as mayor's race goes negative
by Dianna M. Náñez - May. 3, 2012 09:50 AM
The Republic | azcentral.com
Tempe mayoral candidates Mark Mitchell and Michael Monti acknowledge that they are being questioned by voters frustrated by the increasingly critical tone that the campaign has taken.
Last week, in interviews with the Tempe Republic, Mitchell and Monti addressed the negativity. Each said the other had a role in the direction and tenor of the campaign. The election is May 15. Early voting began April 19.
Voters at campaign and community forums have said they hope Tempe's next leader would engender support through civility, generate innovative ideas to improve the city's economy and neighborhoods, and steer development and growth.
Instead, the negative-campaign advertising started with a trickle and has grown into a gush spread through mailers, robo-calls, anonymous blogs and partisan websites.
Monti has said he has been criticized for a mailer of an angry Donald Trump that states, "What do Donald Trump and Tempe Councilman Mark Mitchell have in common?" The mailer contends that both are extravagant, that Mitchell spent about $14,000 in travel for city business over the past four years.
Another Monti mailer alleged that Mitchell may have violated state laws regulating gifts to politicians. A website posted last month paid for by Mitchell supporters calls Monti a failed businessman.
Political experts say negative campaigning has historically been, and will continue to be, a part of American politics because such messaging is effective in swaying voters, especially in close races like the Tempe mayoral race.
Monti and Mitchell said the race took a negative turn early. However, in the run-up to the mayoral race, Tempe community and political leaders warned that the city was at a crossroad and the need for civility was greater than ever.
Monti told The Republic that he has been blamed for much of the negative campaigning but he reasons that while his ads may include "visceral" images his messages are on track.
He said Mitchell positioned himself early to be the victim, to deflect legitimate criticism. Monti pointed to an early fundraising e-mail from Mitchell's campaign that said his opponent was likely to go negative against him.
"I really believe there was a strategy in place to play the victim," Monti said. "A lot of people bought into that idea that everything coming out of my campaign would be negative."
Monti acknowledges that voters have criticized him specific mailers.
"I approved what we call the Trump mailer," he said. "The images are visceral. But if I'm going to spend thousands of dollars on an ad, I want to make sure that people actually look at (it) before they throw it in the trash."
Monti said when he gets calls on the ad from angry voters he asks them to look beyond the images and focus on the message. That mailer criticized Mitchell for spending more money on travel than other council members during the past few years. Monti said it is appropriate to question his competitor on his spending during a tough economy.
He also addressed why he has repeatedly asked Mitchell, in the wake of the Fiesta Bowl scandal, in which some lawmakers took extravagant gifts from the non-profit, to go beyond the legal requirements and report gifts of any amount.
Early in his campaign, Monti proposed that Tempe require council members to report all gifts. Currently, council members must report gifts more than $500.
Mitchell said he has never taken a gift of more than $500 since taking office in 2000 and he has followed all reporting laws.
Monti reasons that promoting his gift policy and asking Mitchell to get on board with his idea is a legitimate campaign strategy. Running against an incumbent with a lengthy political history, Monti said, calls for showing the stark contrasts between him and Mitchell.
"Mark Mitchell and the Mitchell name are a known quantity in Tempe," he said. "He's the quasi-incumbent. Incumbency is always an advantage. The only way I can submit my case as the next mayor is point out the contrast."
Monti said Mitchell has also started negative campaigning since he realized how tight the race was after the primary separated the two candidates by fewer than 300 votes.
Monti said a Mitchell mailer insinuated that he had tax liens. But those liens, he said, are from failed restaurant businesses and were paid off years ago.
Monti argues that it is naive, given today's social media and partisanship politics, to believe that a high-profile election will not include negative campaigning.
Monti pointed to a campaign website criticizing him that was paid for by the Maricopa County Democratic Party as evidence that Mitchell supporters were entering the fray of negative politics. Mitchell said he was not aware of the website and that he denounces any untruths regardless of who is behind the message.
Mitchell argues that the Tempe mayoral race should have been, and could have been, run without negative campaigning.
"I've run for council three times. Not once, did I go negative. Not once," he said. "This is too important of a time in Tempe. Everything should have been about the issues."
Still, Mitchell acknowledges that after the primary his campaign produced a mailer mentioning Monti's tax liens and failed businesses.
"It was a compare/contrast piece," he said. "He (Monti) was saying I was a carpet salesman. I've helped balance Tempe's budget in the best and worst economies. He was going on about his business experience ... but he hadn't told people about his failed businesses."
Mitchell argues that he was setting the record straight but he acknowledges that the mailer could be viewed as a negative ad. Mitchell contends that Monti could have raised his idea for a stricter gift policy without going negative. He said the two could have found common ground on behalf of voters.
"He accused me of breaking state law. I've followed the (gift reporting) laws. So has the rest of this council," he said. "If he hadn't made those accusations we could have been having a discussion about more transparency. I'm all for a stronger gift policy."
Mitchell said that his travel expenses were related to his leadership positions with the National League of Cities.
"This has been such a tough economy. We have to strengthen our regional and national ties," he said. "I paid for a lot of my travel myself. These trips helped me bring back information on how to apply for stimulus, how to improve our economy."
Mitchell said Monti's mailers and press releases have crossed the line and hurt his wife and two young daughters, noting a press release that shows his booking photo from when he was a 24-year-old college student. Mitchell was detained for asking a police officer to allow him to calm down friends that were being arrested in a bar brawl. The officer told Mitchell to stay out of it but when he insisted, he was arrested. Mitchell said he has long been public about the matter and has gone on record that he took an adult diversion class so there were no charges.
"I think we should have stuck to the issues," he said. "It's been really unfair to voters."
Rodolfo Espino, an Arizona State University political professor, said negative campaigning is particularly popular in these close races.
"Negative campaigning has always been a part of Americana and will continue to be a part of American culture because it's effective," he said. "Candidates have a finite pool of resources. They're going to be shrewd."
Monti said credits his ads with giving him an edge.
"Clearly I made up a lot of space between me and Mark in the primary, so clearly people responded to (the ads)," he said.
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