As you can imagine, I was very disappointed in the primary election results. Not only for me, but more for everyone who supported me, contributed hard-earned dollars, and invested so much volunteer time in the hope of renewed faith in city government. I’m very appreciative of that support, and am equally dismayed by Tuesday night’s outcome.
It’s All About The Money
No one envisioned Jim Lane winning a majority in the primary. For those who don’t know (and several have asked) we have non-partisan elections in Scottsdale, in accordance with our City Charter (our “constitution,” if you will). By Charter, any candidate who gets more than 50% of the vote in the primary automatically wins a seat. That’s how Jim won this now instead of having to go all the way to November.
Before you say otherwise, I think it’s a good rule. I just never thought Jim would be able to take advantage of it.
Clearly, with the way Jim spent money (I counted six mailers, three full-page newspaper ads, and heard he was running cable TV ads), he and his developer friends and bar buddies were concerned he might not win it, either. And yes, I sincerely believed I had a good shot to win the primary.
If You Want A Friend, Go Buy A Dog
My first campaign manager told me within the first five minutes of our first meeting that 94% of the time, the candidate with the most money wins. That’s exactly what happened with most of the primary races this week.
Of course, my campaign manager never raised a penny for me, and said with a parting shot as he wandered off to work for the competition, “If you want a friend, buy a dog.” Point taken!
Summing Up The Problem
I was just copied on an email that Jim sent out thanking folks for voting for him. In it,
Mayor Lane stated, “I thank the majority of voters who support my vision [emphasis added] for Scottsdale’s future; but I also want to let those who voted for my opponents know that I pledge to serve all of the residents of Scottsdale, whether they voted for me or not.”
If you had to pick a paragraph to sum up what’s wrong with Scottsdale, this is it. THE vision for Scottsdale is expressed in our General Plan, which was written by and ratified at the polls by the citizens of Scottsdale.
If the citizens really knew what a terrible steward of the General Plan that Jim Lane has been, they might have rejected him in the primary just like they rejected the General Plan changes in the spring.
It’s too bad I couldn’t make a better case for the connection.
There Is Some Good News
Here’s the good news:
- Jim Lane raised more than ten times as much money as I raised.
- He also spent nearly all of his campaign war chest, amassed from three years of raising money from developers and bar owners. Too bad the only newspaper in town didn’t report a word–not one–about the sources of that money.
- This worked out to almost $10 per vote for Jim compared to about $1.50 per vote for me.
- For all that money, Jim only got 55% of the vote. Clearly 45% was mine for the taking going into the general election, if only I could have pulled him down below 50% in the primary in order to force a runoff.
- Most importantly, the mayor is just one vote among seven on the City Council. In that role he serves as the ceremonial head of the City of Scottsdale and presides over Council meetings, But he has no greater influence in voting than any other seat on the Council.
- Since we got three great council candidates through the primary and we can still install a resident-friendly majority!
Chamber candidates Korte, Klapp, and Luoma spent a lot of money to get themselves into the general election runoff. I’m guessing the Chamber developers and bar owners are beating the bushes as we speak to make sure they can buy as many votes as possible for these three for the final round.
Of the previous 11 Council candidates, we’re now down to six. As you know, I support Schaffner, Phillips, and Phillips (no relation), and will continue working to get them elected in November.
What We Need From You
It’s going to take a lot of help from Scottsdale residents, but I’m confident that we can get Chris Schaffner, Guy Phillips, and Joanne “Copper” Phillips elected in November. They need to meet your neighbors and friends, and even small donations are very helpful. Every dollar allows them to reach two more Scottsdale voters!
Can we count on your help?
Please email me or call 480.229.1831.
Please also “subscribe” to ScottsdaleTrails for updates!