December 13, 2012
The City of Glendale has sent a letter dated December 12, 2012 to the “Back To Sanity” (BTS) people explaining that their referendum documentation for R12-02 (to bring the arena lease to a public vote) is wrong. Click here to read it. The letter explains that a copy of the full text of the measure to be referred, in no less than 8 point type, must be attached to the application. It goes on to state that a 100 word summary of the principal provisions of the measure must also be submitted.
The reason for these two requirements is to ascertain that, should petitions be submitted with signatures, the people signing the petitions were not misled into signing something else by the fact that the petition matched what is on file with the city. Common sense, really.
I am not sure why the city decided to clue BTS in on their errors early. We knew about the mistakes within five minutes of getting a copy of what was filed by BTS. We were so surprised at the error repetition that we verified our records request with the city to be sure we had asked for the correct papers. We had and I admit to having a bout of nearly hysterical laughter at seeing the EXACT SAME mistakes repeated.
Some would say that their paperwork is “Rotten”.
Ironically, I wrote a blog post exactly five months ago today that could be recycled today to explain THIS set of circumstances. If you take a minute or two to read “Too Little, Too Late, Too Mistakey” (posted July 13), I’ll be right here when you get back. Really, do it.
Beyond being impressed with my erudite writing style, the mistakes detailed in THAT blog post by Joe Cobb in filing his paperwork with the city for the R12-01 referendum are the exact same mistakes made by Ken Jones when filing the paperwork for this current R12-02 referendum. Beyond the fact that I provided detailed instructions on the proper filing requirements for a referendum in my blog post, the City of Glendale also did the same in a letter hand delivered to Ken Jones and Joe Cobb on July 16, 2012. Click here to read that letter. Point number two in Ms. Hanna’s letter lists the exact same errors made this time. Yes, EXACTLY the same errors.
Glendale First! also knew about those errors in the R12-01 documentation. We decided to keep those cards close to the vest this summer mostly because the number of signatures required to get the referendum on the ballot was VERY attainable. At the time we were extremely concerned that, even if we managed to nullify the referendum attempt and keep the Coyotes, we would lose the heart of the team in Captain Shane Doan. Thus, making sure Shane had the knowledge that the referendum everybody was worried about was actually dead in the water became our priority so he didn’t make his decision based on bogus information. This time we thankfully don’t have that worry.
Interestingly, it appears that the printed petitions being circulated may have been in compliance with the relevant statutes so, had BTS followed the directions and filed their paperwork correctly, the signatures they were gathering may have been counted as valid if they were legitimate Glendale voters.
We planned to publish a press release, like this one (Glendale First! Press Release December 12, 2012) released today, listing the errors and getting the information out that any signatures gathered were void. We discussed this at our “thug” meeting (held at the super-secret yet much more fun than Denny’s location) this past Saturday.
Why did we choose December 21? Firstly, if the Mayans are correct, it will be the last day of existence for Earth, so we wanted everybody to know how smart we are finding out the paperwork errors. Also, it is the last Friday before Christmas. We didn’t want to be out in Glendale handing out candy canes and keeping an eye on the nonexistent (other than Ken) BTS people circulating petitions. The holidays are family time, not petition time.
We hear that, while Francine Romesburg felt they could gather the necessary 7,000+ signatures by the December 27 deadline (14 days from today), many of her Glendale Tea Party people feel there is “no way we are going to get enough signatures”. I agree. I’m not sure what Francine’s opinion will be after reading the letter from Glendale City Clerk Pam Hanna.
4,000+ signatures was a daunting task for the Prop 457 people using paid circulators in concert with Tea Party (and other) volunteers. So, gathering 7,000+ signatures in 30 days would be an even more daunting task, especially without the bankroll that the Prop 457 people had.
Characterizing the referendum as “dead” is, technically, incorrect. Ken and Francine can re-file their paperwork and begin all over again gathering signatures. Now that they have less than half the maximum time allowed by law, the task becomes insurmountable. Should BTS revive this attempt, my speculation that this has been nothing more than a delay tactic aimed at pushing the arena lease deal well into 2013 in the hopes that it will fail will become more obviously true.
I hope Ken and Francine recognize it as such and cease petition circulation so we can ALL enjoy the holidays instead of fighting Don Quixote battles on the mean streets of Glendale. Even if there are no other fights to be fought for (and against) the Coyotes, letting this one go seems the best course of action for everybody involved.
According to at least one Glendale Tea Party person, they are “working” with our old friends the Goldwater Institute (GWI) to work something out. If you recall, GWI was initially involved in the prior referendum attempt at least as far as representing Ken Jones and Joe Cobb in their suit filed against Glendale. As the petition gathering proceeded through the broiling heat, it became apparent that GWI was leaving Ken and Joe to their own devices. It was only on the final day when GWI reps appeared at the library to convince Ken to abandon his attempt.
Because of their lack of interest last time, I’d be surprised if Goldwater actually has any desire to work with people that have failed twice in their anti-Coyotes attempts. It’s possible they might wish to get involved in a “We Are The People” thing in concert with the Tea Party people that will be aimed at the Coyotes. GWI would perhaps provide the money and representation for some “lobbying” or “vote tampering” complaint that our friend @RottenGlendale has been hinting at for some time. Of course there’s always the possibility GWI will resurrect their “gift clause” gambit, although since they showed their cards on that YEARS ago we can safely assume Hockey Partners has a plethora of contingency plans for this.
All of this is just speculation, of course.