CAID Set To Win Big With Vector Approval By Pima County Supervisors

Despite pouring money into the coffers of candidate John Winchester, Bill Assenmacher and other power brokers failed to defeat Pima County Supervisor Ally Miller in the Republican Primary. But Assenmacher’s company is set to win big today when the Pima County Board of Supervisors approve County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry’s recommendation to enter into negotiations for “a 15- to 25-year lease with either Vector Space Systems, Inc. or a developer who will construct and lease the facility to Vector.”

On Monday, Vector announced in a press release that it had “finalized an agreement with York Space Systems, an aerospace company specializing in small and medium class spacecraft, to conduct six satellite launches from 2019 through 2022 with the option for 14 additional launches.” In July 2015, York Space Systems announced that it had entered into a teaming agreement with CAID Automation. CAID is a closely held corporation, owned and operated by Assenmacher.

The Pima County PR department has been hard at work filtering glowing reports out about the project. On Monday, the Tucson Sentinel reported that “Vector forecasts a $290 million economic impact over five years as they build its 40-foot-tall rockets, and estimates about 90 indirect jobs will be created as a result of the expansion.” The glowing article made brief mention of the fact that the “county is still negotiating the terms of the lease, and specific details about the transaction weren’t yet available….”

And much information was not available. In fact, other than a glowing memorandum filled with vague references to a plan, supervisors were provided with virtually no details upon which to make an informed decision. Fortunately, the supervisors are only being asked to approve entering into negotiations.

In April 2016,  in Tim Steller’s Political Notebook: County choices trouble titans of Tucson industry, Assenmacher was reported to be upset with the Goldwater Institute’s lawsuit against the County for the crony World View deal. Steller wrote, “the lawsuit against the county’s business-incentive deal with World View Enterprises does not sit well with many of these same leaders…. “ Assenmacher went so far as to tell Steller, “I suggested to my wife that she stop mailing checks to the Goldwater Institute, which she does every month.”

Caid Industries CEO Bill Assenmacher “plans to work to get “business-friendly” candidates elected to the supervisors,” according to Steller. Later, Assenmacher contributed heavily to Winchester and held one well-publicized fundraiser for him.

Winchester lost to Miller by double digits.

Prior to Winchester’s entering the race, Assenmacher advised Miller that he had a contract with World View. Steller made no mention of Assenmacher’s business connection to World View.

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  1. What is the rush for a decision to begin negotiations for a lease before it is decided who the parties to the lease will be? In any case, is it wise to enter into any agreements considering the uncertainties surrounding the project in light of the Goldwater lawsuit? Also, will the information necessary to a lease negotiation be available, AND forthcoming from Vector, before the building is completed? Finally, isn’t a building lease within the purview of the County procurement department & what effect will any board decision have on that process?

  2. Huh can you believe it the live streaming mal functioned just before the BOS meeting was to begin. Just one more event in the Terrific Transparency of the Bronson board.

  3. Albert Lannon – don’t be silly, those aren’t your dollars. Their Huckleberry’s and they will be spent anyway the Grijalva’s tell him to.

  4. “Indirect jobs”. Huh. That must mean they’ll be working in conjunction with circle K when the employees they’ll bring with them stop for coffee on the way to work, or get gas, or car washes or maybe even doctors when they get sick. We and our taxes will continue to used and abused until we remove the cancers that manages our city and county.

  5. Let’s see — Pima County is spending my tax dollars on Caterpillar which has laid off about 100 local employees while bringing an estimated 10 to 15 jobs to Tucson this year, according to the mayor of South Milwaukee. Then we want to give money to Monsanto for its Avra Valley GMO seed greenhouse on 155 acres they just bought from Marana Town Councilmember Herb Kai. The same Herb Kai who sold land to DKL Holdings to build a garbage dump next door to the rural community of Silverbell West. Monsanto is receiving $66 billion, that’s with a B, from Bayer, so why they need my money is confusing. But I’ll have Bayer as a neighbor — it only took them 50 years to apologize for using Jews as slave labor during the Nazi era. And I-11 gives a taxpayer-paid boost to those needy multi-millionaires Don Diamond and Wil Cardon while exporting US jobs to Mexico. Is there a pattern here? And World View, well, I’m still waiting for a senior discount for my $75,000 balloon ride.

  6. Crony capitalism at its finest. Let them use our money and then if it goes bust we are on the hook, not them. SSDD in Pima County. And the roads are still crap and will continue to be crap as long as Huckelberry has his way.

  7. What is with the BOS and giving money to companies that refuse to provide the information needed to make an honest assessment?

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