Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

Rick Grinnell: Mayor for Tucson’s 1%

Republican Mayoral Candidate Rick Grinnell (Image credit: Grinnell facebook page)

For a city with the highest rate of poverty in the Sunbelt, you’d think there would be a few candidates talking about poverty, homelessness, unemployment/underemployment, and related issues in their campaigns.

As I listened to the KXCI rebroadcast of the recent candidate forum, I was stunned by the issues that occupied most of the candidates– particularly the Republican candidates (Mayoral Candidate Rick Grinnell and City Council Candidates Jennifer Rawson and Tyler Vogt).

Apparently, the biggest issues facing our city are not poverty, home foreclosures or unemployment; they’re burdensome development fees, over-regulation of businesses (particularly developers), and an oppressive anti-business city government.

I guess it is understandable that the Republicans would be running pro-business camgaigns, but Grinnell goes beyond business-friendly. Grinnell is the mayoral candidate for the 1% class. Here are some facts to back up this statement.

  • Grinnell is a lobbyist, and the largest client for Grinnell’s lobbying firm is Rosemont Copper— two facts that are not mentioned on his campaign website. The online description of Grinnell’s SUBS (Smart United Business Strategies) doesn’t even mention that it is a lobbying firm. SUBS is described as: “a for-profit venture that fosters political interaction between State and Local government and the entrepreneurial community.”
  • Grinnell’s campaign manager is big-time developer John Wesley Miller. (No wonder Grinnell is lobbying…er… campaigning so hard against development fees and for streamlining development processes.)
  • In a recent Arizona Daily Star article entitled Mayoral Candidates: Jobs are No. 1 but… , Reporter Rhonda Botfield writes, “Grinnell, a consultant for Rosemont Mine and for restaurant owner Bob McMahon, said his longtime work on business issues will give him an edge in helping support economic development by eliminating barriers to growth and providing the necessary infrastructure. ‘If we don’t get some wealth-generating opportunities, we will collapse,’ he said. He said not only does the city need an attitude adjustment – such as strengthening its customer service approach – but also needs a more coordinated effort in recruiting new businesses.” Again, business, business, business. [Emphasis added.]
  • Grinnell’s campaign ads– along with those of  Rawson and Vogt– have been produced by the same agency that produced the now infamous Swift Boat ads against John Kerry.
  • Grinnell is on the current Rio Nuevo Multipurpose Facilities District Board. (You know– the board that is suing the City of Tucson for $47 million.) He was appointed to the Rio Nuevo Board by Arizona Senate President Russell Pearce.
  • Grinnell also served on the old Rio Nuevo Citizens’ Advisory Committee, beginning in 2007; he was appointed by then Councilman Rodney Glassman. (You’ll remember that those folks helped the City Council bungle taxpayer monies in failed land deals and plans that never were implemented.) His service on the first RN board has been conveniently omitted from his bio on his campaign website.
  • In addition to Grinnell’s position on the Rio Nuevo Board, he has been a member of the Pima County Sports and Tourism Authority since 2008. This is another one of those local boondoggle boards that chases fickle national sports teams and spring training contracts. Check out this report from the Brookings Institute and the Brookings’ book Sports, Jobs, and Taxes, if you don’t believe me. National sports teams pit cities against each other by encouraging hapless local politicians to waste taxpayer money on stadiums. (Remember Tucson Electric Park?) In the candidate forum, Grinnell even had a frustrated outburst when he said, Rio Nuevo was supposed to be an arena district! (Personally, I’m glad that arena football idea died.) Building stadiums makes money for developers and sports teams but not necessarily for cities.
  • There are alleged improprieties in Grinnell’s campaign finance reports. Looking at his reports dated Oct. 25 online, the largest donations are from business owners, particularly construction companies, developers, and donors with ties to Jim Click. (Checking past campaign finance reports on the Arizona Secretary of State reveals that Jim Click has been a long-term donor to various Grinnell campaigns. He has run for several offices– also not on his resume.)

Seriously, how can you trust someone who has left major facts off of his resume?

On Grinnell’s website, he does list creating jobs and careers as a priority, but his 100 day plan is all about business.

I will host an economic strategy session with the business and social communities in order to identify who’s doing what, strengths and resources, and share a unified approach to regional economic stability.

Identify 100 local employers that want to expand and help them accomplish this. Identify and recruit another 100 new employers that are compatible and will complement existing local businesses. And we can do this keeping in mind the integrity of our neighborhoods and appreciation of our environment.

Help struggling businesses retain their employees, stay in business, with initiatives beginning with reducing utility tax to the pre-2010 budget.

Identify, reduce or remove the overburdening regulations that impede the process of expanding or starting new businesses. Remove duplication of services and shorten timeline involved in launching new enterprises.

Work with Rio Nuevo to restore the TCC to a first class Convention Center that will attract other large-scale events like the Gem Show. [NOTE: Grinnell is on the Rio Nuevo Board which is suing the city $47 million.]

Work with the tourism industry to expand our efforts in securing more group and personal tourism to our region. This could include the Southern Arizona Golf Trail.

Develop further communications with the State Legislature in Phoenix to strengthen positive relationship with our city. [Let’s make nice with Republicans to the north.]

Identify local businesses that can utilize resources available to us through the Arizona Commerce Department’s that can help us provide additional support for employer and business expansions.

Strengthen relationships with our neighbors in Sonora, Mexico who bring in $1.3 Billion a year in revenue to Southern Arizona.

Maximize and leverage long-term resources in the region through annexation by first making the City of Tucson a successful and attractive model for neighboring communities. [Emphasis added.]

One last question for Grinnell: If you want to reduce or eliminate fees for developers and other businesses, how would you pay for that? Since the city is strapped for cash and since Republicans like to have “revenue neutral” policies, f you want to cut that revenue stream, you need to tell us how you would make up your proposed tax cut for the rich. Here’s a hint: If your answer is “raise bus fares”, you are truly the candidate for the 1%.

So, if you are lucky enough to be among America’s richest 1%, Grinnell’s your candidate for Tucson Mayor. If you’re among the 99%, I suggest you check out the websites of the other two candidates Democrat Jonathan Rothschild and Green Mary DeCamp. (Stay tuned for more on them.)

34 comments on “Rick Grinnell: Mayor for Tucson’s 1%

  1. Art Jacobson
    October 27, 2011

    Good Job, Pamela. Thanks.

  2. mark
    October 27, 2011

    let’s just keep things the way they are because that is working just fine.

  3. afarley
    October 27, 2011

    Great article, can’t wait to vote for him.

    • Anayalator
      October 27, 2011


  4. tiponeill
    October 27, 2011

    Really all one needs to know is that he’s a Repub.

  5. John
    October 27, 2011

    Very poor reporting. Many ‘facts’ are incorrect. Reporter makes many assumptions that are presented as truth. Ms. Powers, please do your due diligence before publishing half-truths and outright lies.

    • Pamela Powers
      October 27, 2011

      Check the links for the facts.

      • John
        October 27, 2011

        The links are to opinion pieces from other sites and, marginal at best, articles from the Tucson Weekly. Again, your support is based on suspect opinions from sub-par sources. I still do not see any factual backup of statements you express as facts. You are entitled to your opinion or ‘perspective’, but opinions should not be presented as fact, it is misleading to readers. Legitimate reports should report; not campaign in the guise of a factual news article.

      • Pamela Powers
        October 27, 2011

        The 2 most glaring omissions from Grinnell’s website are his status as a registered lobbyist and his membership on the original Rio Nuevo Board.

        Here is the link to his active lobbyist status with the Sec of State.

        And the link to the Tucson City Council minutes showing his appointment to the RN Board.

        These are facts. He has falsified his credentials by omission.

      • JIM
        October 28, 2011

        john, mention in detail the facts here that are wrong, and mention where we can find factual evidence to prove they are wrong……………….

      • Long John
        October 31, 2011

        JIm, a reporter has a responsibility to present facts that are supported and cited. There is a difference between a factual news report, an opinion piece and a political endorsement.

        If I tell you that the town of Makebelieve is mistreating their citizens, that is my opinion. If you turn around and publish an article based on my opinion; you have not done your due diligence as a journalist, you have merely formed an opinion based on my opinion….not based on research and facts. This is fine, but do not present it as fact.

        It is just tiresome to see people who have the chance to reach an audience not take the journalistic responsibility that goes along with it. I know this doesn’t pass as journalism in Columbus nor should it here.

      • tunkashila
        November 6, 2011

        Blah blah blah…you got owned when you refused to post facts, links to them or anything other than your opinion.  Which, strangely enough, is exactly what you berate others for doing.  Are you the pot or the kettle, sir?

  6. Bob S
    October 27, 2011

    check the link for construction. It goes to Ram truck ad. your loathing of the construction industry is ridiculous. That industry has shrunk 90% in the past 5 years and is struggling to survive. If you knew John Wesley Miller and his contributions to Tucson over the years, you would have a hard time defining him as “a big time developer”. Try more research before going off.

    • Pamela Powers
      October 27, 2011

      Let me clarify. The green links are advertisements that the TucsonCitizen.com adds. The blue links are hot links that I added. Check out John Wesley Miller’s website.

  7. common sense
    October 27, 2011

    Tucson needs a mayor is pro-business!  He’ll get my vote! 

    You can’t expect changes if you keep the same ideology year after year.

  8. Bob Prater
    October 27, 2011

    Good reporting, Ms. Pamela, thanks.  And good work on keeping the progressive perspective in the press.


      October 27, 2011

      I suppose this means 3 Sonorans will vote for him- Since he is a Tucson 1% trust fund baby….

  9. Rob G
    October 27, 2011

    Left Tucson 5 years and came back last month same old crap. It,s time for this town to step up and provide a living for it,s residence. I,m a Tucson native a wish I did not have to leave to make a living. We need real jobs and not social security retired folks that do not add to the economy or want any development. They done but what’s the next generation of kids going to do

    • JIM
      October 28, 2011

      how ignorant! you seriously don’t think ss people don’t ad to the economy!? they spend every single penny of thier checks into the local economy! gasoline, grocerystore, utilities, rent, mortgage, etc etc. surely you know one person who makes money from ss money coming into thier place of business!

  10. penguin
    October 27, 2011

    Shirley “Rio Nuevo” Scott:  Voted to approve every lousy Rio Nuevo deal.  Put Tucson taxpayers on the hook to guarantee almost $100 million of Rio Nuevo’s debt.  Thank you Shirley – you need to be fired!!!

    • pamela
      October 27, 2011

      Although I don’t know everyone’s specific votes and you probably don’t either, I don’t think either of them– Rick or Shirley– should run away from their records. Rick is definitely running away from his by leaving it off of his resume.

      Re: Vogt, Shirley’s opponent, I would not vote for someone who broke the law as soon as he declared his candidacy by stealing mailing lists and spamming people citywide. That shows an immature lack of judgment.

  11. usmctrucker
    October 27, 2011

    Here’s the problem that all responsible adults are figuring out about the marxist/anarchists that are calling everyone else the 1%ers.  They can’t lead.  The marxist/anarchist movement is bereft of leadership.  Too many causes, too many enemies, too much demagoguery; too many negatives.  They don’t stand FOR anything and that’s what it takes to lead, standing FOR something.  That’s why Tucson’s economy is one of handouts and inheritance.  Enjoy.

  12. George W
    October 28, 2011

    If one wishes to know the difference between the Tea Party and this 99% movement, one has a identifiable creator…..Dick Armey……organizer for the GOP, well known front man for the John Birch society types financed by billionaire’s Koch brothers, now no one can really identify a single name to 99% movement, much like the 1960’s civil rights era it was confusing, chaotic, often riots occured, civil disobediance, something missing from the “organized and well financed Tea Party movement which had the money to pay $10,000 a day renting of protest sites, folks who are unemployed, angry tend to not have such funds sitting in their spare change accounts!:-) Of course the 1960’s had many diverse issues, southern injustice Jim Crow/Segregation/anti-war, today we have two wars, massive unemployment, inequality in economic status not racial so much, but of course inequality none the less, grass roots “movements” are not organizations, organizations tend to mean someone or some group is organizing them, this is just angry unemployed college gradutes who cannot find a job, with some mixed in older folks who lost their jobs due to out sourcing to China/India by the elite 1% in America who don’t care about creating jobs in America but their stock portfolio’s and dividend increases! Look at the tea party elected congressmen/women in DC, what did they accomplish once they arrived, caucused with their pay masters the GOP, ran the national credit rating down from AAA to AA, no jobs, no prosperity since that is what the GOP has been promising for a decade if we cut the taxes to them job creators them 2% richest in america…..one might ask like the late elderly lady who famously got a gig with the hamburger company “where is the meat” where is them jobs?

  13. George W
    October 28, 2011

     I remember distinctly during the 1960’s the Klu Klux Klan types tagged the civil rights movement “communist’s, anarchists, northern agitators etc., they had many cute names for them but historians do write history not us here in cyber peanut gallery land!:-) The last time the richest had such wealth concentrated in one small group was 1920’s which led to the 1930’s collapse of economy, we are here again De Ja Vu…..2% will never out number 98% or 99%, no matter how much money, power they have if enough economic pain comes the peasants do rise up in anger, history has many examples of this, the arrogant French Queen and her King found out the hard way them peasants did not take kindly to being told to eat cake as they starved and they lived in luxury mocking them! One can see a movement in the 99% thing, not organized, if it was organized it would not be a movement……time will tell!

  14. George W
    October 28, 2011

    If one wishes to see the fear in the right wingers just watch the fox & friends anchor’s trying to send out their minions to these 99% occupy movements, they get mocked, met with unfriendly greetings one might ask why? Is it because they are known to be nothing but the minions for the 1%?:-)  I have to admit some of them fox & friends minions are brave, facing what they ought to know is a unfriendly and unreceptive group of angry unemployed, disenfranchised citizens who don’t watch fox & friends 24/7!:-)

    • Mary DeCamp
      October 28, 2011

      I’m down at Occupy Tucson and see what happens.  Yesterday I saw a reporter interviewing someone I’d never seen before to be a spokesperson for the OT Movement (and I’ve been sleeping in Armory Park every night since the Oct. 15 kick-off).  The “scene” was set, there was litter scattered about the ground, though we have been meticulous about picking up everything, including all the cigarette butts and the smallest of items.  So I think the reporting is definitely slanted to tell the “facts” the unfriendly media manufacture, not the real life “facts” we live day-to-day serving the poor and homeless and speaking up for the disenfranchised.  OT’s social intervention  saves tax-payer money when the poorest are “served” instead of “serviced” in the courts, emergency rooms, & prisons.

      • Long John
        October 31, 2011

        “though we have been meticulous about picking up everything, including all the cigarette butts and the smallest of items”    
        Against corporate greed and supporters of the tobacco industry? You might think I mean this as a joke, but how can you complain about corporate greed while being a supporter of one of the worse American industries? How can you say you are financially dissolute but be able to afford cigarettes? How many of the ‘movement’ have cell phones or other unnecessary expenses?


      • tunkashila
        November 6, 2011

        If you honestly believe cell phones are an unnecessary expenditure, you really need to join the 21st century.   Easier said than done for someone whose online moniker echoes a 19th century book character, I’m sure…

  15. George W
    October 28, 2011

    Economic collapse is usually a prelude to social collapse! If congress is at 9% approval in polls it does not matter whether your right, left or middle of the road congressman/woman your failing to satisfy the majority of the ciizens who sent you to the job your not doing!

  16. rt
    October 28, 2011

    I’m voting for Grinnell! No more hope and change. Let’s get things done!

  17. common sense
    October 28, 2011

    LET’S SEE HOW THIS MAKES SENSE!~ A businessman, Rick Grinnell, is the” %1″;  HOWEVER, a LAWYER, Jonathan Rothchild, working in law firm of Mesch, Clark & “Rothschild,” where he has served as “managing partner” since 2001.  In addition to his “own law practice” helping businesses and individuals, “Jonathan is responsible for the day-to-day management of a 21-attorney firm”.….is NOT? 

    Something SMELLS Fishy with this reporting!

    • Pamela Powers
      October 28, 2011

      I never said Grinnell is part of the 1%. He– along with probably everyone else in Pima County including Jim Click– is solidly in the 99%. I did say that Grinnell (as a registered lobbyist) is shilling for the 1% (most importantly Rosemont Copper).

      Don’t worry about Jonathan; he will have his day on this blog in the near future. 

  18. September
    November 3, 2011

    Are you serious? What is wrong with jobs? Just how is it we will pay our for our houses and put food on the table if we are not working? This city wants everyone dependant on the government to bail them out of everything, when do we start learning to do things ourselves by working? If Rick Grinnell can bring in jobs, maybe then we can actually start working and taking some personal responsibility and gain some pride for taking care of ourselves and our families. And if it starts with raising bus fares then so be it, it’s time to grow up, go to work and take care of ourselves.  My vote is for Rick and jobs! The rest of you can whine and cry, I am sick of paying taxes to take care of everyone!

    • Pamela Powers
      November 4, 2011

      And how is Rick Grinnell going to “bring jobs”?

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The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

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 focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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