Tucson Progressive

Pamela J. Powers, a progressive voice for Arizona

SALC distributes deceptive pro-Prop 401 mailer

As to be expected during election season, I am greeted with campaign ads in my mailbox nearly everyday.

Yesterday, I received the above pro-Prop 401 card (without the circles and numbers, of course). This is one deceptive ad; in fact the statements circled in blue are blatant lies. (The items circled in yellow can be dismissed as unsubstantiated public relations claims.)

Prop 401 does absolutely NOTHING to (1) streamline city government or (2) cut bureaucracy. Prop 401 changes some hiring and firing procedures, but these changes actually strengthen the city’s bureaucracy by further consolidating power in the office of the unelected city manager. No bureaucratic positions are eliminated, no budgets are cut, and no departments are eliminated by Prop 401.

Regarding (3) hold bureaucrats accountable, I contend that only elected officials are accountable to the voters– not bureaucrats. Less government accountability is my biggest beef with Prop 401. By taking power away from the Mayor and City Council (while at the same time more than doubling their salaries), Prop 401 strengthens bureaucracy. (Yes, with Prop 401, certain department heads will lose their civil service protection, but the bureaucrats in these positions never have been accountable to voters, so it’s a bit of a red herring, in my opinion.)

So, I’d like to see the Southern Arizona Leadership Council (SALC) send out a mailer that tells what Prop 401 actually does:

1- Prop 401 more than doubles the salaries of the Mayor and Council, while diminishing their power.

2- Prop 401 changes hiring and firing processes to increase the power of the unelected city manager.

3- Prop 401 eliminates civil service protection for some department heads and allows the unelected city manager to more easily eliminate staff, which also increases his power.

4- Prop 401 eliminates the off-year elections, thus, enabling the election of the Mayor and all City Council members in the same year. (This saves money, but also potentially weakens our elected officials. SALC members have big bucks; if the entire city government is up for election in the same year, they could easily flood the election with money in an attempt to take over the Democratically-controlled City Council in one fell swoop.)

The bottomline is that Prop 401 is an attempt by big business to weaken and, therefore, control Tucson city government (the way they control the Arizona Legislature). These corporatists are using money and lies to sway your vote.

One look at the Yes on Prop 401 campaign finance reports tells us who the puppeteer is behind the curtain– big business. Yes on Prop 401 has received a handful of $100 donations, but by far the donations in support of Prop 401 are $500- $10,000 donations from businesses. What are they doing with these funds? Yes on Prop 401 has paid thousands of dollars to a public relations firm, a marketing firm, and a paid lobbyist– to sway your vote.

In stark contract, the grassroots, all-volunteer Protect Local Control Vote No on Prop 401 group has $70 in the bank.

Don’t buy the lie. Vote NO on Prop 401.

P.S.– As a snarky side note to the PR firm, you’ve got a run-on sentence in the blue section at the top. 🙂

UPDATE October 4: The Arizona Daily Star posted a story about the groups for and against Prop 401. They reported that as of last week, Prop 401 supporters have raised $47.000, while the Protect Local Control committee has raised $320.

8 comments on “SALC distributes deceptive pro-Prop 401 mailer

  1. Jim Hannley
    October 1, 2010

    >Oooooo, busted!


  2. Three Sonorans
    October 1, 2010

    >As soon as it mentioned "supported by TEA Party members" that gets an immediate NO


  3. Pamela
    October 1, 2010

    >@Thee Sonorans, actually I doubt that it is supported by the Tea Partiers– unless they are buying the lie and not reading the actual text. Prop 401 = stronger bureaucracy and less accountable government. They want smaller and cheaper but more accountable government.At the Ward 6 forum for Props 400 and 401, there was a strong contingent of Tea Partiers who heckled the suits from SALC. Consequently, I don't believe the mailer when it says Tea Partiers support it. Of course, plural is a tricky thing; there could be 2 Tea Partiers and 2 Environmentalists who support it. 🙂 (Also, how is it relevant that environmentalists support 401? Are they trying to say "Greens" without riling up the actual Green Party– since they were recently abused by other Republicans?)


  4. Ellyn F
    October 1, 2010

    >This immediately went into my recycling bin. Along with most of the other political pollution that's landing in the mail box these days.


  5. Ellyn F
    October 1, 2010

    >Can anyone tell us how many of the Prop401 "supporters" whose names are on the web site actually LIVE in the City of Tucson? I see names out there of people who live in the foothills and out East, clearly outside city limits. That really sticks in my craw. If they choose to not live in the city, stay the heck out of our business!


  6. Ellyn F
    October 1, 2010

    >Of course the Zimmermans are in tight with this effort. They're the PR firm, too. LOL.


  7. Pamela
    October 2, 2010

    >@Ellyn, you are spot on with your comments. Prop 401 is just part of an attempted takeover of our city, in my opinion. Republicans have a hard time winning in Tucson, so they are trying to take control in other ways. With Prop 401, they are trying to dupe people into voting against their own interests. If the city's power is consolidated in one *unelected* person, the city will run more efficiently (according to the corporatists) because they will have an easier time controlling one puppet than they do controlling the Mayor and Council, which can be like herding cats. The Yes on 401 people are being cagey about who the actual committee is; their website was vague the last time I looked at it. Look at the SALC membership and the campaign finance reports; that tells you who back it– people with enough money to write $10,000 checks! Jim Click, Diamond Ventures, etc.I recently found out that SALC teamed up with the Arizona Legislature to force Tucson into non-partisan elections. There was a hearing last week in Tucson. The city sued the state over this law; SALC was a co-defendant with the state!!!!!!!! Any group that sides WITH the Arizona Legislature against the City of Tucson is not our friend.Look for more on this story once the judges make their decision.


  8. Ellyn F
    October 2, 2010

    >See "coalition partners" at the bottom of this page:http://www.tucsoncharterchange.org/who.phpMany of those people don't live anywhere near the city limits!


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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela J. Powers

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals–not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election.

My platform focused on economic reforms to grow Arizona’s economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, grow local small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs.

In the Arizona House, I was a strong voice for fiscal responsibility a moratorium on corporate tax breaks until the schools were fully funded, increased cash assistance to the poor, expansion of maternal healthcare benefits, equal rights, choice, unions, education at all levels and protecting our water supply.

After three terms, I retired from the Arizona Legislature in January 2023 but will continue to blog and produce my podcast “A View from the Left Side.”

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