Smear campaign by Carroll and Co. heats up Pima County

The friends-in-high-places of Ray Carroll have taken to the air waves to continue the Carroll campaign’s smear tactics. This time though, instead of focusing on spreading lies about Carroll’s opponent, the boys are going after a locally owned news source, and one of Tucson’s most popular radio show hosts.

The Arizona Daily Independent’s Loretta Hunnicutt and KNST’s Garrett Lewis are being attacked in an effort to smear Pima County Board of Supervisors District 4 candidate Sean Collins. Collins is a small business owner and veteran who dared take on the 15 year incumbent.

Despite being notified in an email exchange with Hunnicutt that she was not affiliated with the Collins camp, Ash claimed in a radio ad that Hunnicutt was being used as a shill by the Collins camp. Prior to the airing of the ads on August 10, Ash contacted Hunnicutt, on Wednesday August 8, advising her in an email he was displeased with the article, but that he was “fond” of her. He wrote, “This is not personal. It is business.” Ash would not reveal to Hunnicutt when the ad was made.

In that exchange, Hunnicutt wrote, “You are welcome to make all the false claims about our articles you wish to make. Unlike the man you support, Ray Carroll, I do not support censorship. I take full responsibility for the stories with which you have concern.”

Ash did not explain what “business” was involved. Ash manages the business his father built, which has properties around the County.

Just recently Ash criticized Democrat Party leader Jeff Rogers, for endorsing a democrat candidate in his party’s primary. However, Ash unexpectedly joined the leader of the Democratic Party’s endorsement of Carroll in the primary. Ash angered many in his party for his controversial endorsement of Carroll in the primary.

Carroll “began his new political career with several moves that obviously justified Grijalva’s (Progressive Congressman Raul Grijalva) faith in him,” according to supporter Emil Franzi, otherwise known in political circles as “The Spitter.”

On a national level is unethical for a party leader to endorse in a primary, however, on the local level it is simply a breach of tradition, according to party insiders.

Carroll’s friends says they are “spitting mad” over an article in the AZDI by Loretta Hunnicutt in which an incident between Carroll and a LEGAL immigrant business owner, who was hesitant to come forward to law enforcement at the time of the incident and who did not want his name made public for fear of the Carroll brand of retribution.

“He seems to be above election laws of as far as disclosure of who is paying for what. One minute you’ve got Elect Ray Carrol, the next it is the Committee to Elect Ray Carroll. One minute his campaign staffer is a County employee, the next she is a campaign worker,” said one veteran Republican campaigner. “Who is smearing who here? Ray has shamed us all. He put out these ads, set up a website. Apparently we have all given him too much money if he has enough to destroy the Party this way. We all suffer from his acts of desperation.”

Carroll said his campaign staff consists of a County staffer/Republican operative, and Emil Franzi. The operative is a part-time staffer in Carroll’s office. On Wednesday, August 08, 2012, at 10:50 a.m. The staffer sent out a press release from the campaign. The staffer did not respond to an email response to the release asking whether she released the statement on campaign or County time.

The Collins campaign released a statement saying that they were going to ignore the Carroll campaign attack strategy and focus on the issues that matter to the voters of Pima County. They cited the highest tax rates in the state and the deteriorating infrastructure as issues which are the primary concerns of the average tax payers.

Loretta Hunnicutt contributed to this article.

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