Here come the anonymous dark money attacks

Candidates hide while dark money attacks

I have spoken out on multiple occasions about anonymous dark money buying our Mesa City Council and the Mayor. Being vocal about this corruption has its consequences. I am the only Councilmember in which dark money continues to attack. I will give them the free publicity by reposting their attacks here because I know I’ve earned your trust over the last four years. I wear these attacks as a badge of honor. Win or lose these groups despise our campaign and what we stand for. Nothing will ever change that. It’s time for people to ask, “Why is dark money and special interest groups spending so much money to remove me from office?”

Let’s take a trip down memory lane. Do you remember when “Arizona Citizens United” attacked me in 2016? Here is one of their hit pieces. (My opponent is blurred out as I don’t want to bring her back into this mess)

I debunked all of these false claims:

  • I am a proud Independent. I have no party affiliation. I feel as if the political system in America has lost its way and I want nothing to do with it. I will always be an Independent. You will hear false claims that I always change my party affiliation. In prior years you had to do this to get an early ballot for the primaries. I’ll judge politicians by their character not their party affiliation.
  • Yes, I took a picture in front of the Mormon temple in downtown Mesa. I also took a picture in front of the Catholic and Christian churches. The establishment used this narrative to somehow indicate that I was falsely claiming to be LDS.
  • Yes, there are elections I do not vote in. The reason is simple. I’m not usually that excited about my local selections. Is this always the right thing to do? Probably not, but like a lot of people my faith in the political system is eroding.
  • Yes, I had a Lamborghini. I will not ever apologize for being successful in America. I worked too hard for someone to degrade the blood, sweat, and tears I put into my businesses.
  • Mangling my wife’s face was the ultimate low. I get attacking a candidate. Disrespecting their family is a completely different story.

The latest attack

These claims by “Public Integrity Alliance” are actually all true. It is however the deception that makes them misleading.

  • Yes, I stayed in the hotel hosting the conference that year.
  • What this ad won’t tell you is collectively I have spent less than any other Councilmember in my discretionary fund during the time frame of this trip.
  • Nothing was ever hidden about this trip. In fact, I wrote this blog on my experience and published publicly –
  • Technology and artificial intelligence will have a huge impact on our future. I would hope that my elected officials are staying on top of how to utilize technology to make for a more efficient city. It is unfortunate how under-educated our government officials are on these topics.
  • I went here alone. I don’t remember the last time I went anywhere by myself and considered it a vacation as this flyer makes it out to be. In fact, I travel a lot for my other businesses, and being away from my wife and son is more of a burden than it is in any way enjoyable.
  • Yes, I ate at a restaurant in my hotel called “the strip house”. Don’t be fooled into believing this is some type of strip club or something of that nature. It is just a restaurant at the bottom of the hotel I was staying at. Further, what they don’t tell you is this, I receive a per diem when I travel on city business. This is a daily allotment of funds for food and travel. If I go over this amount I have to pay the rest out of my own pocket. So it doesn’t matter if I ate a steak or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. I still would have received the same exact amount of money.
  • Every year the Council travels to Washington DC to a conference called “National League of Cities”. In order to make up for the costs of this trip, I did not attend NLC. Some of the Councilmembers spent in excess of $3000 on this trip. You will not ever see Public Integrity Alliance speak against this because these are candidates that they support. Here is a list of all of the Council’s travel for 2018 and 2019

Who is Public Integrity Alliance?

Public Integrity Alliance is run by three individuals according to their tax filings Tyler Montague, Pace Ellsworth, and Steve Cox.

UPDATE: Trevor Denton reached out and asked that his name be removed from being mentioned above. So I will move it. For complete transparency, he was listed on their tax returns as a “trustee or director” in 2013. A link to that document can be found by clicking on the image below.

These are members of the Mesa political elite. Using these shell organizations it gives them the ability to:

  • Funnel unlimited donations from special interest groups and donors to elect people of their choosing
  • Take anonymous donations that never have to be reported
  • Spend unlimited amounts of money to get their candidates elected. For instance, in 2018 their campaign finance form shows they spent $29,514.52 to get David Luna elected to the City Council.
  • The maximum donation amount in Mesa is $6,450 per individual. Creating an organization like this allows them to circumvent the law and spend unlimited amounts of money. You might be wondering, “Why on earth would a person spend almost $30k to get a City Council member elected?” You will never know because their donors are completely anonymous.

The hypocrisy

This group claims to be about “public integrity” in government. But here is the hypocrisy. Do you remember Paul Peterson our old county assessor? He pleaded guilty to multiple felonies and illegal adoption scam. But you don’t hear anything from Public Integrity Alliance. Why? Look at the post below. all of these people run in the same elite circles. Public Integrity Alliance has no desire to bring integrity to Mesa. Their goal is simply to maintain power.

It is never popular for a politician to attack their opponent. So what Public Integrity alliance acts as is the “attack dog”. They do the dirty work so candidates can distance themselves from these attacks. But make no mistake they all run in the same elite circles.

More hypocrisy

The Mayor has traveled to a music festival multiple years it’s called South by Southwest or SXSW. He goes because there is a government conference there. Arguably there is nothing wrong with that. But Public Integrity Alliance could have just as easily sent out attack mailers against his campaign. But they didn’t and they won’t. In fact, most of them donated to his campaign.

The most expensive trip ever taken was by ex-councilmember Chris Glover to Europe. He traveled to London and made a series of stops in German cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, Hannover, and Munich. Not a peep out of Public Integrity Alliance.

Why? Why the double standards? Because their goal is not transparency and it never will be. It’s just a front organization for the elite to maintain control over our City. It’s time to start asking who is buying your elected officials and why?

This election is not about winning to me. In fact, I ran for office to give my time back to my community. The truth is if you’re ready for me to go then I would encourage you to vote for my opponent. Until then I will stand up for an America and a Mesa that I can be proud to live in. I will continue to fight for every citizen in Mesa until you send me packing.