Sherwood Recall Effort Fails Miserably in Glendale

Frequent readers of this space know the leading cause of failure for referendums and the like is “not reading the directions”.

Money_ToiletIt happened again, the “Recall Councilman Gary Sherwood” (RCGS) committee has been notified their three month expensive effort to recall Councilman Sherwood has failed in spectacular fashion.

City Clerk Notification

The Glendale City Clerk, Pam Hanna, sent a letter to the chairman of RCGS today (December 23).

The final paragraph of the letter sums it up:

Among other things, the petitions omit statutorily-required language and fail to disclose paid or volunteer status. Therefore, the petitions are invalid and the signatures obtained on the petitions are void and will not be counted in determining the legal sufficiency of the petitions. The petitions will not be transmitted to the County Recorder for certification.

In other words, “All your base are belong to us.”

Basic, Basic, Basic

The first error is completely ridiculous. A.R.S. § 19-204 (B) is brief and clear:

(B) each petition sheet shall have printed on the top of each sheet the following:
“It is unlawful to sign this petition before it has a serial number.”

This means RCGS printed the wrong sheets for circulation. This rookie mistake wasn’t made by rookies, they are an organized and politically savvy, well funded group of people.

Hubris, maybe, is an issue for them.

Check Your Work

Petition Partners

Petition Partners Tweet

RCGS hired Petition Partners to assist them with their recall effort, paying them at least $6,000.00 to circulate petitions and gather valid signatures.

Two of the three errors mentioned in the letter should not have been a problem with a professional petition business circulating the petitions. The following two violations of A.R.S. § 19-204 should be placed squarely at the feet of Petition Partners unless there are extenuating circumstances:

(C) the following shall be printed on each petition sheet in capital letters in at least twelve point bold-faced type in the upper right-hand corner of the face of the petition sheet and below the statement prescribed in subsection B of this section:
“______________ paid circulator”  “_______________ volunteer”

(D) a circulator of a recall petition shall state whether he is a paid circulator or volunteer by checking the appropriate line on the petition form before circulating the petition for signatures.

These two errors are egregious, either one alone would be enough to discard all of the petitions.

Hire Professionals

RCGS, using funds from the Gila River Indian Community, paid the local petition circulating guru to get plenty of valid signatures on their petitions to oust the Councilmember they feel is leading the push for the Tohono O’odham casino.

The Petition Partners website states the following, presented without further comment:

2.Completed petitions are put through our 21-step statutory review. In Arizona, there are 21 reasons why an entire page could be thrown out.  In many cases this is the reason why other campaigns have failed.  Losing 15 signatures at a time can be the difference between ballot access and losing it.  Our processes are have been established to specific statutory guidelines based on ARS Title 19 laws that ensure the Arizona Secretary of State’s procedure and ours are paralleled exactly. 

All three committees funded through the auspices of Neighbors for a Better Glendale (the IE for Gila River funds) use Petition Partners and have paid them a LOT of money in the past couple years.

True, there are LOTS of “completed” petition sheets sitting at Glendale City Hall waiting for disposition depending the results of an appeal after they were thrown out by the City. The pattern is emerging.

Four Months Gone

Double Donkey

Double Donkey

This committee has burned four months gathering signatures. They have also flushed at least $6,000 in cash paying a petition circulator. They have caused the City of Glendale to have a bunch of employees working overtime this past weekend checking petitions.

Their related committees burned a LOT more money and are now suing the City for rejecting their petitions, causing more expense pressure on the budget. It’s their right to sue, of course.

History Of Failure

This committee, and the other two pushing political processes against the Tohono O’odham casino, have failed at every turn.

Would they cease their efforts if the cash flow from the Gila River Indian Community is cut off? My thinking is they would, politics is an expensive game.

One of the committees is already responsible for paying a $75k fine to Glendale for other giant mistakes. That fine may or may not be paid by their benefactors.

The other of their committees is still potentially subject to a fine of similar size.

Will the cash dry up?

The question to ask the Gila River Indian Community and their new governor is:

Will you continue to support the continued incompetence of the people spending hundreds of thousands of your dollars without ONE single success or even a reasonable effort?

There’s lots of money in gambling.