In May 2015, Pima County placed a post titled County Bond Elections Do’s and Don’ts on its website. The post reminded employees that “State law restricts what government employees can say or do when it comes to elections…”
The post, which was perceived as more of a threat to anti-bond employees than a reminder, advised that “…County administrators want to make sure all County employees know the rules now that the Board of Supervisors has scheduled a bond election for Nov. 3.”
Apparently those same County administrators did not think that those same rules applied to them.
Waiting on the poll
In an email dated June 5, 2016 Pima County’s Economic Development Strategic Planning Director John Moffatt told Steve Christy, who was looking for work at the time and is now currently running in the District 4 supervisor race, that polling had been commissioned. “A company has been hired to do some poling and promote the bonds, which I suspect you know all about….,” he wrote.
Moffat was clearly referring to a poll conducted by the Yes On Pima County Bonds campaign. That campaign was organized by Huckelberry operatives and based on emails, was clearly controlled illegally in part by Huckelberry and staff.
In the email, Moffat discussed the bonds’ opposition and the work he needed to do to address the opposition’s comments. Then he admits the County’s involvement when he writes: “It will be interesting what the poling (sic) tell us.”
Clearly the County administrator and his staff were not keeping a hands-off approach to the bond campaign as required by law. They knew polling was underway and anticipated knowing the results.
Leading up to the 2015 election, Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll, who is now endorsing Huckelberry’s hand-picked candidate Steve Christy, called bonds the “life blood” of Pima County. While we do not know what the results were of Yes On Pima Bonds/Huckelberry poll were, it is certain that the results of the only poll that mattered – the one that took place on November 3 by the voter sent blood rushing to the faces of Huckelberry and his minions on the Board of Supervisors.
The voters soundly defeat all 7 bond measures in no uncertain terms.
A high school senior reveals the naked emperor
On June 1, 2016 Pima County Supervisor Sharon Bronson is informed by her staff in an email: “Just an fyi, he’s got over 1K Facebook likes.
Who is he and why would a sitting supervisor care?
He is Christian Schmidt. Schmidt, a brilliant recent graduate of BASIS High School, wrote about why the bond measures failed for his senior project. His analysis of the failure and Pima County’s history with bonding is both fascinating and troubling.
Schmidt describes the process that led to what became the final package:
“… on went the Bond Committee, happily fitting $650 million of mainly special projects into a package. Each year it was proposed to recommend the package to the Board of Supervisors for an election. Each year it was turned down. Each year more special interests showed up. Each year more customization of the package was done, without consulting the general public, except through the Strongpoint survey….”
“…Had the Strongpoint Survey been an unapologetic advocacy survey for bonds (not that it wasn’t, but it was unintentional), the County would have been deliberately corrupt, and show itself worthy of the distrust so obviously exhibited in the election.”
Finally, in early 2015, the package came together, but not without one last shriek of corruption before the second-to-last meeting. The members of the BAC were unwilling to compromise on which special interest was going to get their project included. Deliberations stalled. In desperation, Larry Hecker, Carolyn Campbell, and Chuck Huckelberry went behind doors (whether closed or not is a matter of interpretation) and eliminated parts of the bond package, sans motions, sans deliberation, sans process whatsoever. What came out of that meeting, and was eventually passed by the BAC 20-5…. It was created by Special Interest, validated by twisted information, had its foundations in something that didn’t even exist in the BAC’s charter, and was finally revised and “perfected” by 8% of the Bond Committee and someone who wasn’t in it, technically.”
The Pima scheme is at risk
Because Huckelberry was so desperate for the bonds to pass it is not surprising that he and his cohorts would ignore campaign finance laws to get a glimpse at how the voters were feeling about the bond package.
The failure of the bonds put Huckelberry’s schemes at risk. The panic has been obvious. From World View to Caterpillar, the County is announcing “opportunities” in order to maintain order. Yet, everyone can see that Huckelberry’s economic development plan is based on pipedreams and Christy’s road scheme.
The “economic development” plan is shaky to say the least. In a memo dated May 3, 2016, Huckelberry wrote of the County’s Caterpillar deal:
Chapter 11 of the County’s Adopted Economic Development Plan 2015 through 2017 discusses enhancing the downtown by increasing the opportunity for locating corporate headquarters in the downtown by leasing or selling certain County buildings that are no longer needed for County purposes at the present time. In fact, Action Item, 11.2 specifically discusses this issue:
“11.2 Encourage new or expanded primary employment in the downtown by making available for such the County-owned office buildings at 97 E. Congress Street and 160 N. Stone Avenue, as well as the County’s vacant property at Broadway Boulevard and Scott Avenue and 332 S. Freeway.”
In an email to lobbyist Michael Racy dated March 20, 2015 Huckelberry wrote, “Let Denny know ADOT is trashing our economic development plan and when the Governor comes down to break ground on Hughes Access relocation we intend to indicate ADOT is pushing Raytheon out of the State.”
Bringing in companies that are experiencing distress is risky. Banking your future prosperity on a freeway that does not have widespread support and is years away from becoming a reality – if ever – is hardly solid planning.