Hess Thwarts 2nd Republican Attempt To Bump Him From The Ballot

For Immediate Release
Date: 6-18-2014
Contact: Hess For Governor Campaign
E-Mail: AZGovernor@Earthlink.Net

Hess Thwarts 2nd Republican Attempt To Bump Him From The Ballot.

Arizona’s Republican leadership just got another black-eye, in their relentless attempts to keep Libertarian candidate for Governor, Barry Hess, off of the ballot. In a series of shady middle-of-the-night dealings last year, Republican leaders pushed HB 2305 to the Governor’s desk with exclusively Republican support; to make it almost impossible for Libertarian candidates to get on the ballot. In many instances, HB2305 required Libertarian candidates to gather more signatures for their nomination than there were members of the Libertarian party.

In September of last year, Hess led the largest and most diverse coalition in Arizona history to send HB2305 to the ballot, instead–by Citizen’s Referendum. It was the first successful such effort in almost 30 years, with almost as many attempts.
Republicans were set back on their heels and scrambled to repeal their own legislation in an effort to hide the issue from the Voters in November.

Last week, the GOP funded a challenge to 37 of Hess’s nominating signatures which would have left him 5 short of the required number needed to appear on the ballot to represent the Libertarian Party. Hess’ legal teams immediately found no less than 12 of the disputed signatures were in fact valid, and today, the County Recorders weighed in to verify 20 of the disputed signatures as valid. The suit was dismissed.

Hess commented, “We were never concerned about the numbers not being there, but now we’re concerned about the obvious frivolousness of the challenge, and the potential of fraud on the Court having been committed by only identifying the ‘throw away’ member of their club who agreed to be the Plaintiff; and not the real party behind the scheme.

It seems the goal is to shield GOP candidates from having to actually address the issues, and defend their positions on the campaign trail. Maybe the problem is my polling ahead of most of their candidates; whatever the case they must have wanted me off the ballot pretty badly to put up big money for a frivolous suit. What surprises me the most is that Snell & Wilmer would lend their credibility to these grade-school attempts to avoid having to compete for elected office.”


Did The City Of Flagstaff Falsely Report A Profit For The Annual Dew Downtown Event?

During public participation at the June 3rd. 2014 Flagstaff City Council meeting, a concerned member of the public spoke to council and asked them to look further into the financial figures for Flagstaff’s annual Dew Downtown event.

According to this speaker’s research, the City lost around $46,000 rather than making a profit of over $13,000 as city staff and the Arizona Daily Sun reported.

We have received the figures and will be looking into them closer. Below is the statement given to council:

“Good evening council and staff, thank you for your time today.

This past Sunday, the city published a Request for Proposals for the 2015 Dew Downtown Event Organization I’m here tonight to ask council to carefully consider the costs to the community that an event like Dew Downtown imposes.

In March, you were briefed and the AZ Daily Sun headlined – Dew Downtown Event in the Black! The numbers reported that the 2014 Dew Downtown event generated a PROFIT of over $13,000.  That would seem to suggest an additional $13,000 for the general fund and would be a big win for an event that has drawn some controversy over its three year history.

I was curious to see how that profit was generated so I requested more detailed information about the event from the city. Ms. Susan Alden – City Records Coordinator, has been extremely helpful and steered me to both Glorice Pavey – Recreation Services, and Richard Hearne – Streets Manager for detailed cost breakdowns.  BTW, all three of these employees deserve credit for doing a great job.

I’ll admit upfront that I am NOT a forensic accountant nor did I stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night but, when ALL the numbers are included, the result is significantly different than what has been reported to you.

The costs reported to you and then reported in the paper did NOT include either city labor costs or the costs of city equipment.  When they are included, the $13,000 profit turns into an almost $46,000 loss.  This is a difference of almost $60,000.

City staff has explained that labor costs were not included because those employees would have been paid anyway.  While I’ll agree in principle, their labor is in fact a cost of the Dew Downtown event.  Had they not been working on Dew Downtown, other required city work would have been accomplished.  It might be interesting to see if this philosophy has been applied in other cost estimates.

I’m not clear why the city equipment costs were not included but as you all know, numerous pieces of heavy equipment including dump trucks and loaders were required to both build and remove the course so those costs are also a part of the Dew Downtown.

It has been suggested that the additional sales/BBB taxes generated by an event like Dew Downtown more than offset the costs.  I’ve compared Jan, Feb and Mar of both 2013 and 2014 and have found no such evidence.  Revenues year to year have continued a slight increase in Feb with the Dew Downtown event just as they have in the months before and after Feb without such an event.  

I have previously discussed my findings with Deputy City Manager Josh Copely to ensure that my understanding of the facts is accurate.

I would like to encourage council to consider the REAL costs of events like Dew Downtown and the many other decisions you are asked to make BEFORE committing tax dollars to them.  You should be asking the tough questions like “Is this ALL of the costs associated with this project” and what are the potential unintended consequences of this decision?

Thank you again for your time this evening.”