Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Cold Stone franchise owners speak out against Doug Ducey

A m e r i c a n  P o s t - G a z e t t e
Distributed by C O M M O N S E N S E , in Arizona
Tuesday, August 5th, 2014
Because of Ducey's Cold Stone Creamery dealings, Duval will destroy Ducey in the general election
"I think I speak for a number of deceived Cold Stone franchisees when I say that we continue to be disappointed in Doug Ducey's distortions and his lack of transparency."

After an Arizona Republic article published this morning revealed an arbitration process for the settlement of the Cold Stone sale to Kahala Corp. and sealed depositions related to the arbitration, former Cold Stone franchisee owner Randy Redd released the following statement:

"I think I speak for a number of deceived Cold Stone franchisees when I say that we continue to be disappointed in Doug Ducey's distortions and his lack of transparency. As the CEO of Cold Stone, Ducey pushed new franchisees to get SBA loans. Those loans ended up costing taxpayers more than $25 million."

"Now we learn that Ducey refuses to reveal the terms of his arbitration settlement with Kahala, where again his deceit was on full display. He should reveal those documents, so we can all learn once and for all about his business practices and exactly how much he profited at the expense of hard-working storeowners. He should also end the gag orders against other franchisees related to other litigation."

"Sir, you made your Cold Stone experience the centerpiece of your campaign. Level with the public and with your former franchisees. Let us see the settlement - every last word."

There have been a number of people calling for Ducey to reveal the terms of the settlement that so far he has kept sealed!  Kept sealed?  By a man who has championed "transparency?"  Why would he do that if, as he has said over and over, he ran such a great successful company?  The entire case is with the new owners of Cold Stone.  This is the fiery part in the video... he was questioned there by two candidates and someone close up during that debate said Ducey was squirming like a two year old at a PTA meeting!
If everything about that sale and about how Cold Stone Creamery conducted business with franchisees is all on the up and up and very successful, wouldn't Ducey be anxious to reveal all the luscious details? But instead, he's hiding the details of that arbitration.  It doesn't take much to put 2+2 together.
Here's the rest of the story.  It is now reported that Ducey has pulled out of debates and forums that had been on his schedule.  We checked his website for his coming appearances and there are exactly.... none listed!
Bottom line:  Of all the ads about all the candidates in the governor's race, this issue about sealing records on Cold Stone Creamery gives the most ammunition to the Democrat candidate, Fred DuVal.  Here's why:
1.  DuVal will have no qualms tapping into the Obama Administration to get those records unsealed if Ducey is the Republican nominee.  Does anyone doubt that can be done?  If so, think about what party owns the courts.
2.  It's clear there is something in those records that Ducey does not want voters to know until after the Primary elections and after the General election.
3.  When a candidate is hiding something in a secret arbitration case in an election year, it's a certainty that it is damaging to their campaign.  So what is Doug Ducey hiding?  Eh?  And why?
4.  Is it so egregious that DuVal will uncover it after the Primary and use it to walk into the Governor's office?
Folks, idiotic ads have been run against Horne, Brnovich, Jones, Little and others by their opponents or the IEs on behalf of their opponents.  Most of them contain no truth or facts, are words or video spliced, diced, cut, pasted and in at least one case, pro-Obama words of a person with the same name as a candidate were found on Facebook and attributed to the actual candidate!
But, in the case of the Cold Stone Creamery, the facts are clear and unambiguous:
1.  There was a sale of Cold Stone Creamery
2.  There has been a problem resulting in arbitration to settle
3.  There was a subsidy taken by Ducey which is alluded to in this article from 2010 Unhappy Franchisee.  These subsidies were in the form of tax-payer funded SBA loans (click here for that info) that were arranged by Ducey as head of business development and we believe that is the basis of the arbitration where we understand the settlement against Ducey runs into the several $millions that for several years that he has not paid.  Since records are sealed, this is a guess by those close to the issue.
4.  What damage could DuVal do to the Republican brand if Ducey is the nominee?  It's hard enough for Republicans without having to defend against charges that are based on facts that are anything but honorable.  No other candidate has anything for the Democrats to use against them!!
The end game is to hold the Governor's office for a Republican candidate.  There is so much at stake on that race that the Dems are throwing money behind Duval with a backhoe!  DuVal has spent months learning to say, "It's not about left or right.  It's about moving Arizona forward."  When a Dem says it's not about left or right, you can be sure of one thing: it's ABSOLUTELY about left or right.
Ducey will send Arizona down a political rat hole.  Count on it!
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