Monday, July 11, 2016

Guest View-Don Bristow: Donor Class Reigns In Oro Valley

Influence Rules Oro Valley
The majority of us acknowledge that big money contributions influence elections.

In Oro Valley, the wealthy Oro Valley/Pima County "Donor Class" members write the biggest, fattest checks in the high three to four digits. They are the ones who have too much influence on elections and on the candidates who win office.

Oro Valley's Mayor Hiremath and Councilmembers Hornat, Snider, and Waters (Majority-4)  have been the ones receiving the big, fat donations. These power donors made big, fat campaign contributions to these four during the last two Oro Valley town elections. In exchange, these four, with the cooperation of key staff members, have rewarded these donors by supporting actions which help these donors.

The major areas of influence have been land development and construction. The record shows that the Majority-4 have been very successful in representing their donors. (As you will see in tomorrow's posting, Oro Valley's "Donor Class" is composed of special interests, like HSL Properties, who get pretty much what they want from the town.)

Influence Seeks Complete Control
What is very alarming is the Majority-4 have put together a slate of three candidates to oppose the re-election of Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin.

The Majority-4’s candidates were chosen because they too will support the interests of the wealthy donor class who reign supreme over Oro Valley Government.  

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely
If even one of the Majority-4’s three chosen candidates is elected, the Majority-4 will become the Majority-5. They will be a super majority. Their votes, controlled by the Donor Class, will be absolute. The voices of the residents will be silenced.

The residents who have experienced the impact of new development and/or land zoning changes became aware of the power of a particular Town code when a change impacts them. Otherwise, they are relatively oblivious to what is going on.

It is Councilmember Mike Zinkin who brought the code to the residents’ attention. This code allows residents to impact a developer’s plans by requiring a super majority Council vote, not the mere 4 to 3 vote, for approval of a change. This has given residents the power to negotiate compromises on how areas near them are to be developed. This has allowed Councilmembers Burns, Garner, and Zinkin to more effectively represent the residents against the Majority-4 and their donor class.

Tomorrow, we will post information summarizing Donor Class and Campaign contributions to Hiremath, Hornat, Snider, and Waters. Wednesday, we will focus on how they have so outspent their rivals in the past 2 elections.

You fill find it interesting.

You will be appalled.

Don Bristow
Oro Valley Resident