Friday, October 21, 2011

Phoenix council candidate Frederick wants investigation of group over mailer

From the Arizona Republic

The City Council runoff race in District 1 has become heated with challenger Eric Frederick demanding an investigation of a committee that sent mailers questioning his background.

The mailers, which went out last week, were prepared by an organization called Concerned Citizens for Phoenix, a non-profit group formed by a former aide to Mayor Phil Gordon, Joseph Villasenor. The organization's expenditure notification form filed with the city shows it spent $14,000 on mailers. On the line marked "candidate," the form says, "Support Thelda Williams, oppose Eric Frederick."

Frederick said in a letter to Secretary of State Ken Bennett, Arizona's chief elections official, "There is reason to believe Concerned Citizens for Phoenix violated numerous Arizona Revised Statues." He also sent the complaint to Phoenix City Clerk Cris Meyer.

Frederick said the organization has not completed its incorporation, that it overspent allowable limits, and that it falsified the mailing date. Frederick said one of the mailer's claims is false, while the others are misleading.

The mailer accuses Frederick of discharging $130,000 in debt, including federal student loans, in a bankruptcy proceeding; notes that he has changed his job and his residence frequently; that his voting record is spotty; and that he lost his driver's license after failing to appear in court on a traffic charge. It also notes he faced a civil judgment for unpaid debt.

Frederick acknowledged the bankruptcy, adding that he is paying off the debt. He pointed out that Williams also filed for bankruptcy at one time. He said the traffic matter was a mix-up on a minor violation, and that a different person named Eric Frederick faced the civil judgment.

Frederick hits many of the same notes conservative candidates have hit citywide and even nationwide: Smaller government, lower taxes, less regulation, more privatization. He specifically notes he would prefer city auditors report to the council, not the City Manager's Office.

On privatization, Frederick said the city has to make sure the cost benefits are there. The problem with regulations, he said, is confusion both within the city and among different jurisdictions.

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