Veterans fight Carroll smear campaign

A group of veterans have expressed their disgust with the campaign tactics of Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll and his surrogates against candidate Sean Collins. The group sprung up as a result of negative radio ads, and internet claims made by Ken Rineer, Emil Franzi, and Bruce Ash.

The smear effort by Carroll, a 15 year incumbent, has been in full force since Collins dared to enter the race. Carroll is unaccustomed to being opposed. While a Republican, Carroll is a favorite of the Democrats, practically winning the endorsement of the county Democratic Party chair when he stated, ‘we need more Republicans like Ray Carroll.”

Ash crossed the line for some in a Facebook comment he made about Collins, who had just released a statement against Carroll’s smear tactics, saying Collins’s record of military achievements “sounds like the certification of achievements passed out in our grade schools to me.” Collins served in the Air Force participated in the war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia.

After returning home, Collins, a small business owner and father of three, saved a woman’s life. He pulled the pregnant woman from a burning vehicle, and injured his back during the rescue.

“As a resident of the northeast part of Tucson and a long time constituent of Ray Carroll’s, I would like to say that I reject any of Ray Carroll’s comments about the military service of Sean Collins. Sean served in an outstanding manner while on active duty and further distinguished himself in a life-saving, and for himself a life-endangering situation.  Individuals are alive today who would be dead had it not been for the courage and expertise of Sean Collins. Anyone who would try to promote a political campaign by demeaning Sean Collins’ military service is beneath contempt,” said Major Vern J. Pall, USAF, Retired, Chairman, Tucson Veterans Affairs Committee.

“I find it truly reprehensible that an elected official would stoop to attacking the honorable service of a military veteran in a vain attempt to win a political campaign. The fact that Mr. Carroll and his supporters have stooped to maligning Sean and in the process diminishing the service of all veterans demonstrates the huge moral chasm that separates a lifelong politician like him from thousands of Pima County voters,” said Michael A. Taylor, USAF, Retired.

The veterans sent the following letter to Ash and Carroll:

“It is unfortunate that in an effort to smear Sean Collins, his opponent’s operatives have attacked all service men and women by characterizing a hard earned military record as something that “sounds like the certification of achievements passed out in our grade schools to me.” Mr. Bruce Ash, on behalf of 15 year incumbent Supervisor Ray Carroll, posted those very words in response to an advisory by Sean Collins that he will not conduct a smear campaign like Carroll’s.

It is our understanding that Mr. Carroll never served in the armed forces. It is our understanding that he has never experienced being away from home and hearth, at times in harm’s way, in the service of his country. It is our understanding that many in Mr. Carroll’s army surrogates never served in any branch of the military as well. It is our understanding that your disdain for the service extends to saying you would never even want your own children to ever serve in the military, thus become veterans.

Sean Collins is a veteran and a hero. He served his country in the Air Force participated in the war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Sean Collins is the two time recipient of the John Levitow award. The John Levitow Award is the highest honor presented to a graduate of Air Force Enlisted Professional Military Education (PME), including Airman Leadership School, NCO Academy, and the Senior NCO Academy.

After serving his country, Mr. Collins became a hero of a different sort when he pulled a pregnant woman out of a burning vehicle he happened upon. During the course of that rescue, Collins broke his back. For his act of heroism he was awarded the American Red Cross Military Hero of the Year in 2000.

We strongly repudiate Mr. Ash and his assault of Mr. Collins and of all men and women in service. Ash claims that military men and women do not run on their record of service. Not only is that untrue, we wish more men and women of the military would run for office and bring the commitment, dedication, and hard earned experience to all levels of government.”

Joseph Grossi, US Navy – Retired
Major Vern Pall, USAF – Retired, Chairman Tucson Veterans Affairs Committee
John Cruz, USAF Veteran
Mike Hannon – Navy Veteran
Dan Kinsey – Air Force Veteran
Chaz Lomax – Navy Veteran
Christopher Young – Army Veteran
Chuck Cummings – Air Force Veteran
Damon Overson – Air Force Veteran
Bernie Hedge – Army Veteran
David Caveny – Army veteran
Ed Messmer – Marine Veteran
Ken Haldorsen – US Coast Guard Veteran
Jacob Hatcher – Army Veteran
Mike Taylor – Air Force Veteran
Dave Parker – Army Veteran
Mike Maleski – Air Force Veteran
Mike Larson – Air Force Veteran
Alberto Moore – Army Veteran
Bob Sexton – Army Veteran
Michael Ebert – Navy Veteran
Bob Junke – Navy Veteran
Michael I. Kleving – Veteran
Michael L. Kleving – Veteran
Jerry Allen Jones Sr. – Navy Veteran

Ash’s latest attack came in response to a statement issued by the Collins campaign, in which Collins said, “It is disheartening to learn that my opponent and his supporters have gone on the airwaves to discredit my service to our Country, and to create false stories in an attempt to distract from my opponent’s failed record. I served in the United States Air Force and participated in the war efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Bosnia. Military service involves sacrifice and I am grateful to all of our Servicemen and Servicewomen who have honorably served and continue to serve our Country.

After his 15 years in office, I now understand why my opponent does not want to discuss Pima County’s lack of jobs, unsafe roads, wasteful spending and the reason we hold the highest property tax rate in Arizona. Unfortunately for Pima County, my opponent has chosen to once again neglect these issues. The Collins campaign has discussed and will continue to discuss these important issues as well as my proposed solutions to them, as we fight to bring new leadership for Pima County Supervisor, District 4.”

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  1. As a Navy veteran, I am disgusted by the comments of Ash, Franzi and Ray Carroll that malign military service, and indirectly then malign our country. Sean Collins has my vote and my support – he is an honorable businessman, veteran and also carries the life long consequences (back injury) from his selfless efforts to save the woman from the burning car. Ray Carroll only wants to enjoy the power and control that comes with his Supervisor position, is rarely there for constituents who request his assistance with serious issues – seems more focused on playing with his Tucson Country Club cronies. Time for Ray Carroll to be VOTED OUT. Sean Collins will help shine light on the corruption in Pima County governance and hopefully restore some integrity and effectiveness to the office.

  2. I am beginning to wonder, why is Bruce Ash so involved in this. Is there something, that we are not aware of, Why is Mr. Ash so beholding to Ray Carroll, who obviously has Democrat support. I have to say, this really has me wondering, and I think others should be doing the same

  3. FREEDOM OF SPEECH. That’s the one fundamental right that VETERANS will always defend. However, when the negative speech is belched out at another VETERAN . . . we will always be there to support and defend those who have honorably worn the Uniform and Served our Country. The irony is that Ray hasn’t even come out publicly to denounce or seperate himself and his campaign from Mr. Ash’s comments.

    You have our Families full support Mr. Collins, and thank you for your SERVICE.

    Joe Grossi
    Chief, USN ret.

  4. Thanks to all the brave military men and women above. I too have had enough of Ray Carroll politics. It’s like Chicago style Obama in your face strong arm thuggery. Not in my city Ray. It’s no longer welcome here. Take it back to Chicago.

    The Rat

  5. I have only been in Arizona for the past 11 years. Love the climate but I can’t agree with the Tucson politics and there poor money management, that’s why I live in Green Valley. Sean Collins has my VOTE and I don’t give it litley.
    Bob Grieson Chief, U.S. Navy

  6. As the past Chairman of the Tucson Veterans Committee; as the State Commander of the Arizona Korean War Veterans Association; and as a member of the Arizona Veterans Hall of Fame, I am saddened to read the one singular comment made by Ray Carroll that he would never want his son to be a veteran. There is nothing more honorable in this nation than to have served our country, whether it be in peace or war, when she needs all possible support. We are facing a hostile world made up of a dangerous group that knows only religious allegiance, not national allegiance. In that vein, Sean Collins must replace Ray Carroll, who, after fifteen years, clings to an office that accomplishes little or nothing.

  7. I’m sure the pregnant women and her baby he saved from that burning car would say Sean is a hero. Thank you Sean. We are a better community for men like you. Does anyone think Ash, Franzi or Carroll would have even stopped for this accident?

  8. I take offense to the word “Smear” … it appears that they speak the truth of the matter. Is it a smear to tell the truth now? Of course not; and, this US Marine doesn’t think so! Therefore, not all veterans agrees with your feeble attempts to give some sort of consensus where none exists! Del Dawley USMC

    • Del,
      Why does your comment not surprise me? You are one of the least patriotic people I have ever met!This is not a matter of “Truth”. It is a matter of respect and pride in our soldiers and veterans for keeping us safe and free! They deserve our loyalty and support!

      • The actions of Bruce Ash And Emil Franzi are despicable. They are only out for themselves.
        Sean Collins is a hero and a veteran and an honorable man for taking on the challenge of unseating Ray Carroll. This proves to me that Ray Carroll is losing and they are scared to lose their control of this county.
        Let’s take our county back!
        Time for change!
        Time for Sean Collins!
        BTW-Bruce Ash needs to resign!

      • I think you misunderstood what Del said. I don’t think he was talking about Ash and Franzi. They are the ones doing the smearing.

  9. It is absolutely outrageous that any person, especially a public servant would attack Sean’s military record and accomplishments. I served with Sean for almost four years and he displayed the qualities and character of a great NCO. Sean was a mentor to me and helped me to be a better Airman. I admired Sean’s work ethic, his devotion to serving this great nation, and his willingness to help out his fellow service members in any way he could. Sean was a great leader to me in the Air Force, and I’m sure he will be a great leader for Pima County. Why anyone would discredit his service is beyond me. Please add my name to the above list!

    Jeremy Thiem Air Force Veteran

  10. Bruce Ash should be ashamed to call himself a Conservative Republican! If he wants to support a liberal Rino like Ray Carroll then do it!It just shows his true colors!
    However when he maligns our veterans and soldiers, including Sean Collins, he has gone to far! I hope everyone remembers this at the next State GOP election. We deserve a true Conservative representing us as our National Conferance! Vote Bruce Ash OUT! Vote Ray Carroll OUT! Vote Sean Collins IN!

  11. Let me start by saying I was born in Dublin Ireland, orphaned at birth and was adopted by J. Richard and Betsy Verdugo Grinnell sight unseen and given the opportunity and privilege of becoming an American Citizen. I am an American first. I joined the US Navy in 1973 at the age of 17 and served honorably for 4 years active and two reserve. On November 11, 1995 Ray Carroll marched with, Scott Egan and the supporters of the Tucson 6 and the Irish Republican Army in the Veterans Day parade. Not to honor the service of our brave brothers and sisters, but to protest the Federal prosecution of 6 men on trial for shipping wepon compenents to the IRA in Ireland. I was not only pained by his actions, but the arrogance of Ray Carroll went so far, with his son at his side, as to tell me, not someone else, me: “I’d never let my son be a Veteran.” I don’t dislike Ray Carroll, I just have no respect for him as a man. I’ve held back on letting this out because it’s so hard to believe, but this my fellow Veterans is a fact. 11-11-1995 at 9:25 AM. By the way, I was dressed as Hugo O’Connor and in the car ahead of this group with the Irish Sister Cities contingent. The lady that could have substantiated this quote by Ray Carroll is deceased. But with God as my witness, this did occur. I served when the comments of Mr. Ash and many others was popular and as I have shared with many Veterans, we made sure this would never happen again. I’m sorry to say, there are still people out there who take advantage of the freedoms we served to protect and then spit on the very face of this service. However, I will stand by their right to be so ignorant and arrogant, but I don’t have to respect their thoughts. God Bless us All, Lord knows we need all the Blessing He can bestow on us.
    Rick Grinnell
    DAV, USN and USNR

    • Rick,
      Thank you for these insights into the “real Ray Carroll”!
      It is a shame he was ever allowed to hold this office. He is a fraud and everyone is going to find out sooner or later!

  12. It appears:

    A. That Ash-Carroll are jealous–didn’t have the stuff to get in the mix years
    ago. Or:
    B. That they don’t respect anything military–puts them in the occupier wing of
    the democrat party.

    Awaiting spin on this.

  13. It certainly is a time for a change. Ray Carroll has done nothing for our county or Green Valley except waste our taxpayer money. He claims to be for small business, but he is anti-business. Sean Collins is a small business owner, very knowledgeable, and he deserves your vote.

  14. For those already mentioned and many others including the $25K a year for the water barrels in the desert I also sign my name.
    Discharged with honor from the USCG.
    Ray has been around too long and needs a new job in Roger’s camp.

  15. In the past few weeks, I have heard a recurring radio spot where the individual making a pitch on behalf of Ray Carroll, goes to great lengths to malign and discredit the supporters of Sean Collins. The colorful descriptions reflect the intense desperation and pressure present and exploding within the Ray Carroll camp. They fear a contender, an intelligent businessman, father and leader, who refle…cts and identifies with the middle class men and women of Pima County. Sean proudly served his country on more than one occasion, he is an individual who concerned about the direction our county is being driven presently by the entrenched political machine. Sean Collins is an honest, straight forward focused individual, interested in what is good for the citizenry of Pima County – period. He aspires to promote goodwill, and a coalition of cooperation and achievement within the business community that will benefit all of the citizenry of Pima County, not a selected few. Sean Collins for District 4 County Supervisor.

  16. We’ve got to rid ourselves of these rino, slimeball “Republicans”. We’ve got to throw the bunch of them out and get back to basics with values and principles. The only one who has demonstrated any is Sean Collins. Thanks for standing up and taking on this democrat backed machine.

  17. If votes ever needed to be verified, it would be in this upcoming primary race! And if the Republican party ever needed more proof that Ray Carroll and Bruce Ash are Democrats, this article shows it.

  18. I can imagine what Mr. Collins is going through. I have been there with the smear dirty tactics that certain incumbents use with the help of their smutty compatriots.
    As for their distasteful comment to a Veteran, I take that personal, being a veteran honorably discharged from the United States Navy.
    How disgraceful and incentive can these individuals be to dishonor military veterans.
    It was surprising to know that Mr. Carroll never served in the armed forces which is understandable with his close relationship with Raul Grijalva, being a draft dodger.
    Political leaders such as Jeff Rogers famous comments, “They are not Democratic enough” or with the Republican leaders, “They are not Republican enough”. In my opinion, if you are not willing to serve for your country, YOU ARE NOT AMERICAN ENOUGH.

  19. Carroll and his minions have gone too far! I still haven’t met one person who voted for Ray, his own wife probably voted SEAN COLLINS!

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