What Is The Problem With Political Action Committees?

What’s the problem with PAC’s (Political Action Committees) some may ask? Allow me to provide an example. The Summit Fire Department serves the majority of the area surrounding Flagstaff. Their governing board has asked the voters for a $3.5M Bond through Proposition 409. If you live or travel outside the city, you’ve seen signs like the one below that state “VOTE YES PROP 409 SUMMIT FIRE REDUCE RESPONSE TIMES”. Another version touts “Increase Medical and Fire Services”. Sounds great right? Who wouldn’t want to do both? Only problem is that passing the bond will do neither!

According to the OFFICIAL Summit Fire information, the bond will:

“The Fire Board for the Summit Fire and Medical District has called this special bond election and intends to use the bond authorization to retire existing indebtedness incurred for capital projects, to upgrade communications systems, to acquire safety equipment.”

I specifically asked a firefighter at last night’s neighborhood watch meeting if the bond would in fact accomplish what the signs promise. His answer. No.

So who is posting these signs with the deliberate misinformation? Turns out, a couple of local Summit firefighters formed a PAC (see attached for details) “Vote Yes for Prop 409”. The PAC lists itself as a “Firefighter Union/Union Organization”. This PAC is identified at the bottom of each sign as is legally required. So why would a PAC that is run by firefighter’s post signs with inaccurate information? You’d have to ask them that question but what we DO know is that the ONLY funding the PAC has received is from two Phoenix Commercial Construction Companies. That raises a new question, WHY would Phoenix construction companies donate thousands of dollars to a PAC in Northern Arizona? That is another question we can’t answer but a little further research shows both companies are involved in building what appear to be primarily municipal facilities, like fire stations….

Bottom line here for me, I believe we should vote for Prop 409, the due diligence has been completed by both the Fire Board and a Citizens Commission and it’s necessary to maintain our current level of service. Service I feel is exemplary. I think we can also agree that being lied to by a PAC that can’t be held accountable for their actions and is funded by questionable sources hurts more than it helps.

Supporting documents can be found here: supporting-docs

–Rob Wilson




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