Political Dirty Tricks In Glendale

Bazooka Is A Funny Word

Bazooka Is A Funny Word

Glendale mayor Jerry Weiers was making the media rounds recently (click here).

Weiers was professing his innocence, defending himself against a flurry of accusations of delay and cronyism on his part. The assumption, veiled or otherwise, built into these accusations is that his moves were designed to derail the Rensaissance (RSE) arena management plan for Jobing.com arena.

Some people, myself included, have even leapt to the conclusion Jerry may be doing this so the SMG group eventually ends up with the arena contract.

Based on privileged executive session information blurted by Councilmember Alvarez and pointedly exclaimed by Councilmember Hugh, that suspicion is gathering steam.

Double Tap The Deal

You Can Believe Me! (paid advertisement)

You Can Believe Me!
(paid advertisement)

But the deal with Renaissance has to be killed before that SMG contract can be awarded. The simplest way to kill it is with delay, especially considering the hard deadline from the NHL.

Delaying tactics aren’t new to the Coyotes saga. It’s different, and easier, not. Where before an effective delay was a month, now the window is down to a more easily attained goal of hours.

All Jerry and his minions have to do is make sure a decision is pushed back past July 2 to ensure the door is open for his preferred party.

The stops have been pulled out in support of that effort, even Weiers’ PR guy Jason Rose has reappeared on Twitter after his ridiculous gaffe of repping Amy’s Baking Company. Yes, THAT Amy’s Baking Company. Jason dropped a few gems of dissent in support of Weiers and his other client (we hear), Matt Hulsizer.

I assume he’s working the phones and email lists as well.

Jason is no stranger to municipal funding of events, accepting big bucks from Scottsdale (one of his clients being the mayor of that city) to fund his polo thing. Yes, polo. I can’t help it if that draws a picture in your head of entitlement and elitism.

Privileged Information

Norma On The Phone

CM Alvarez

The aforementioned information blabbed by Alvarez/Hugh pertains to the bids submitted in satisfaction of the Glendale RFP managed by Beacon, the firm paid to vet the bids.

I’ve run through how Beacon is woven into Glendale politics (here and here for example), so I wasn’t surprised there was an attempt made to hire them for the RFP purposes. I was, however, surprised they actually WERE hired and there was little objection to their participation. Oh well, that’s politics, right?

Despite repeated attempts from this office, the bids have remained secret. The City did release a list of  four bidder companies, so we do know the names of the two successful candidates.

I’ve written about the clear rules for executive sessions before (click here). Short summary – NOTHING discussed in executive session is to be shared with ANYONE outside of those sessions until such time as the information is officially released.

At least one private citizen already had that privileged information protected by law before the meeting started.

No Surprise To Those Familiar

Ken At The Library With His Sign

Ken At The Library With His Sign

Ken Jones, for one, had that privileged information.

Only newbies to this blog will be unfamiliar with Mr. Jones.

Ken was involved in two referendum attempts aimed at the Coyotes and was even a party to litigation against the City of Glendale in partnership with Joe Cobb and Goldwater Institute.

He was indirectly responsible, via a misquote in the Glendale Star, for the “Tricky Clams” nickname for the Glendale First! pack.

Ken was seen arriving for the Glendale City Council workshop in the company of Councilmember Ian Hugh. The significance of that wasn’t obvious until later.

Ken was also invited to at least one of Norma Alvarez’s meetings at her house with the Tohono O’odham PR people in attendance. He’s no stranger to either of the two people that violated the privilege of executive session.

A little more than two hours into the meeting, Ken left the council chambers. He went outside to sit with Melissa Leu immediately after I tweeted the following at 3:40 pm as Ken swooshed past me and my phone autocorrected “Jones” to “Johnson”:

This was BEFORE CM Alvarez and CM Hugh publicly violated the executive session rules, although evidently at least one of them probably violated those rules in private.

A Pullitzer Prize Winning Reporter’s Take

Here’s where Alvarez blabbed:

Here’s where Hugh blabbed:

Here’s where Paul complained about not receiving the legally requested information:

So, it looks like this blogger isn’t the only one that noticed the problem. However it’s ironic that a person working for Mr. Giblin’s pushed out a video that essentially timestamps Mr. Jones knowing about the blabbed information earlier than the rest of us. The earliest timestamp for a blabbing related tweet is three minutes after I had sent my comment out.

Legal Channels For Information

So, if the CM’s didn’t blurt out privileged information in an open meeting, there is NO other way Mr. Jones could have had that information unless it had been shared with him PRIVATELY, probably by one of the two CM’s trumpeting the need for transparency every chance they get.

Ironic, isn’t it?

If you watch the video, you’ll note Ken launches almost immediately into a description of a bid that had only been discussed in executive session.

“We could get the management done out there for six million dollars. One of those companies have said they could get us roughly 100 events a year.”

We have specifically requested that exact same information by legal means through the due process of a public records request, multiple times. Thus far, that information has not been forthcoming.

So, who briefed Ken? Based on the comments of Ian Hugh in the workshop AFTER Mr. Jones did the interview and the fact the men arrived at the meeting together, my strong suspicion is that Ian Hugh briefed Mr. Jones on the SMG bid if not both bids.

Unfortunately, Melissa Leu didn’t post that video until after the above tweets regarding the Alvarez and Hugh statements, but a Coyotes fan was standing in the area smoking and stated with no doubt Ken was talking before the CMs blabbed.

What’s True?

I have no idea what’s true and what isn’t regarding Mr. Jones’ statement. How could I verify any of it? I’m VERY sure that offering the possibility of 100 events is ridiculous, unless “events” is very loosely interpreted.

Since Weiers is insisting on guarantees, one would have to assume that the bidder is guaranteeing 100 events for a management fee of $6M, yet nobody other than the people attending the closed executive sessions would know that.

Well, them and Ken Jones, of course.

Transparency For The Select Few

There’s more to say about the disingenuous finger pointing at everybody else from the above mentioned people about “forcing hands”, “delays”, “guns to the head” and any number of other misdirection attempts.

The mayor should have stopped both councilmembers from continuing with their tactic of disseminating privileged information. He didn’t. Why?

The city attorney was right there and should have also stopped both councilmembers. He didn’t. Why?

In my mind, that makes those two men complicit in the violation and they should be included in the complaint.

Look at the evidence and decide who is playing by the rules. Look at the evidence and decide who is delaying. I’ll have more shortly about the obvious delaying tactics and the “negotiating in the press” that the mayor publicly denounces yet expertly practices.

It should make a concerned citizen with any ethics nauseous, at best.

We will be submitting yet one more public records request for the bid information now that it’s been made public and insisting on immediate delivery.

Seems only fair since Ken Jones has that information, right? If the city doesn’t provide it, should I call Ken to see if he’ll be willing to share?