I realize that Rosemont hasn’t yet gone all out in our Board of Supervisor races, but I’m already thinking that maybe this “Rosemont Referendum” has fizzled. And it’s not just because Ray Carroll mopped up the floor with Sean Collins.
Take Fernando Gonzales (apologies to Henny Youngman). Outside of Gonzales’s immediate family, I doubt there are many that are giving him much of a chance to win. But, if he runs a strong campaign, he can tie Richard Elías down and possibly serve as a warning to make politicians think twice before opposing Rosemont.
Of course, he needs to run a strong campaign. Checking out his finance reports, it doesn’t look like he’s even running a credible one.
His last report shows that he raised a shade less than $9,000. $2,500 of that was a loan from himself, with another $3,000 coming from his sister Elizabeth Gonzales-Gann. He hasn’t exactly built a broad fundraising base.
And how is he spending what little he’s got? The lion’s share of the money he’s spent so far, $4,213.64, going to the local go-to firm for the right wing, Tagline Media. He’s also accumulated $7,968.58 in outstanding debt to Tagline.
It’s quite a bit of money given all anyone has seen from the Gonzales campaign are a few yard signs on street corners.
Keep in mind that Tagline is embroiled in a bit of a controversy because Ally Miller used them, and the firm was also working for an ostensibly independent committee run by local developer Mitch Stallard that sent mailers that echoed her message. “Ostensibly” understates the problem; it is illegal for independent committees to coordinate with candidates.
Deb Weisel from Tagline told the Tucson Weekly that her firm cut off the campaigns in July so they could concentrate on independent committee work. The last expenditure Gonzales lists with Tagline is on July 24th, which would bear that out. However, there is still that $7,968.58 debt. There is no indication of when the work that still needs to be paid for got done.
I haven’t heard of the committee that helped Miller weighing in for Gonzales, but Tagline is also doing work for Arizonans for a Brighter Future, a nonprofit incorporated in Delaware that is spending money against local incumbents.
Which brings us to an entry in Gonzales’s report on June 1st: $500 to Tagline for “Start Up Pac [sic].” Start up PAC? A campaign giving money to start a PAC? I don’t think you can do that.
Which PAC is it? It’s not Arizonans for a Brighter Future, is it? Stallard’s committee?
I’m just asking…I mean, no one is coordinating, right?
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this post conflated the work of Stallard’s committee with the work of Arizonans for a Brighter Future. We regret the error, but it also shows the problem.