Cobb Says Voters Don’t Matter, AT ALL!

As the petition signing for the anti-Coyotes petition (yes, that’s what I’m going to call it from now on) continues, the rap of Ken Jones and Joe Cobb when soliciting signatures has morphed over time to fit their needs.

The first idea they were using was along the lines of “Libraries or Coyotes”, stating that the arena lease deal would cause library and park closures. While this wasn’t true and appeared to be intentionally misleading, it seemed to be relatively effective gaining signatures while they were soliciting them unopposed by any citizens. Once Glendale First! arrived on the scene with correct information, they continued with their “library” thing for awhile anyway. Our representatives found overwhelming support from the citizens of Glendale visiting the libraries when presented with the real facts and dollar amounts involved in the arena lease deal.

Joe Cobb

Once Ken and Joe found out that the library argument wasn’t working in the face of the correct information, they changed their tack to be “Shouldn’t the citizens be allowed to vote on this?” Ouch, that’s a harder argument for the Glendale First! people to deal with. I mean, of course every eligible citizen of the US has the right to vote. The problem with their argument is mainly that the duly elected Glendale City Council (absent CM Norma Alvarez) already voted on the measures and passed them on June 8. One could always use the standard argument for a representative governement, you voted for your councilmembers therefore you voted.

There are mechanisms in place to allow citizens who are outraged at some decision to revoke that decision and put a referendum on the next ballot so that the citizens may vote on it directly. This is the avenue that Ken Jones and Joe Cobb took with their R-12-01 petition. The deadline for turning in the necessary number of valid signatures on their petition is 30 days from the date of the vote was Monday, July 9. They did not turn them in, Mr. Jones held a halfhearted press conference and Mr. Cobb disappeared. For now.

So now we sit in yet another Coyotes limbo, waiting for another shoe to drop. There have been threats that the date of the 16th would be litigated, so we’re waiting for July 16 to see if that happens. Mr. Cobb and others have threatened to resurrect the Goldwater favorite toy, the “gift clause” in an attempt to derail the deal. What IS certain is that Goldwater and Jerry Moyes are finally running out of options to send the Coyotes packing out of town, it’s becoming obvious that they are here to stay.

So what are the remaining threats beyond a potential “gift clause” lawsuit? There is another petition, this one for a sales tax initiative, that is currently under review over at Glendale City Hall. If that initiative makes it past the petition stage, potentially there would be a dramatic loss of sales tax revenue for Glendale, causing many problems including funding the arena lease deal. But, this blog entry isn’t about that, it’s about the attitude of the people working their best to kill everything Coyotes in Glendale. Is it a coincidence that Mr. Cobb was the representative for Goldwater in the suit that they lost most recently? Probably not, so one could safely make the assumption that a Libertarian candidate (Cobb) would be simpatico with a similar organization.

Shouldn’t The Citizens Be Allowed To Vote On This?

Yes, says Joe and Goldwater, as long as you vote the way WE want you to. If you don’t, we’ll sue.

While his petition was still alive, Mr. Cobb did an interview with a web site hosted in Canada. It was designed to get his point across. It did. You can read it all by clicking here.

The most interesting thing in the entire post is at the end. I have suspected all along that the real reason for the nagging delaying tactics foisted upon the Coyotes and the City of Glendale by the Goldwater Insititute were simply harassment meant to drive the Coyotes out of town, probably because of the influence of their board members. My contention all along has been that, despite the smug assertations of Goldwater people that they are protecting the taxpayers from government waste or protecting the Constitution or any number of other glorious motives, they actually care not one iota about the people of Glendale and are in it for themselves. Period. How do we know this? Read the question and answer below, regarding the voters of Glendale:

P&G: Let’s assume that you are successful in getting a referendum on the Glendale City Council ordinance on the November ballot, that the Jamison group does not pull out prior to the vote, and the vote goes in favor of Glendale. What would be your next course of action?
JC: If the contract is signed, even in mid-November after an upholding Referendum vote, we would ask the courts to apply the Gift Clause prohibition to the subsidy. Arizona was set up as a republic in 1912 with many rights retained by citizens that under other U.S. state and federal constitutions are wrapped into the hands of government. Among them is the right not to have taxpayer’s money given to private parties as “gifts,” even if a majority did vote for it. A majority cannot vote away certain rights


Wait, what did he say? Even if he was successful getting a referendum to override the votes of the duly elected City Council of Glendale on the ballot, and if then the citizens of Glendale voted FOR the arena lease as it stands, he and Goldwater would STILL sue the City of Glendale? Does that sound like a Libertarian to you, or does it sound like an individual and a well funded 501(c)(3) organization completely ignoring the decision of the voters and initiating litigation anyway? It does. And, what would be their motive? Could it be to drive the Coyotes out of town at the behest of a Phoenix old boys network guy?

Yes, it could be.