Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Phoenix Elections 2011: Is the Arizona Republic already slanting news stories for the November runoff election?

The numbers aren't quite final yet, but it is evident that Greg Stanton and Wes Gullett will face each other in a November runoff election for mayor of Phoenix.

From the Arizona Republic, written by Lynh Bui -
Former Councilman Greg Stanton is headed to a fall showdown against newcomer Wes Gullett in a runoff election that will determine the next mayor of Phoenix.

Unofficial results in the Phoenix election Tuesday night showed Gullett and Stanton as the top two vote-getters in the six-way race, with no one earning the more than 50 percent needed to win the mayor's seat outright.
"[N]ewcomer Wes Gullett"?!?!  Wes Gullett may not have held elected office before this, but he's hardly a "newcomer" .

From the bio page on Gullett's own campaign website -
Gullett has extensive experience in government. He was Chief of Staff for Arizona Governor Fife Symington from July 1993 to April 1996. In addition he served as Administrative Assistant to U.S. Senator John McCain. He also served as Senator McCain’s 1992 Campaign Manager. Gullett’s tenure with McCain was seven years and included Administrative Assistant, Community Relations Director and Northern Arizona/Maricopa County Field Director for McCain for Senate (1986).


In addition to working on political campaigns, Gullett has worked in the consulting world for the past 14 years. He was a partner in the Phoenix public affairs firm of HighGround, Inc. Prior to his current venture, Wes Gullett formed Integrated Web Strategy, LLC, a company that provides Internet consulting services for business, organizations and political campaigns.

Gullett served three years on Capitol Hill working for the U.S. Senate Republican Conference (1983-86).
I met Ms. Bui when she covered Scottsdale City Hall for the Republic.  She's a good and experienced reporter.  However, I have to say this -
If she was alive when Gullett's political career started in 1983, she was still in diapers.
Gullett only qualifies as a newcomer by the standards of his mentor, John McCain.
By contrast, Stanton is the relative newcomer.

From Greg Stanton's bio page -
Following high school, Greg attended Marquette University and earned the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, a national award for students committed to pursuing careers in public service. While at Marquette, he and a classmate founded an after-school program at the Downtown Milwaukee YMCA helping fourth and fifth grade students with homework and basketball. He also was awarded a grant from the Milwaukee Foundation to study inner city hidden unemployment.
After earning his law degree from the University of Michigan, Greg returned to Phoenix where he practiced education law at Jennings Strouss & Salmon and later Quarles & Brady LLP. In 2001, he left private law practice to serve on the Phoenix City Council, where he represented the sixth district for nine years. This district includes the Biltmore, Ahwatukee Foothills, Arcadia and North Central neighborhoods. With a staunch commitment to creating high-wage jobs in Phoenix, Greg was the lead councilman bringing the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), the ASU downtown campus and the U of A medical school to the city.
Greg Stanton may not be a "newcomer" but Gullett has nearly 20 more years' involvement in politics, though Stanton holds the experience edge in public service -

Gullett has spent most of his career as a lobbyist, working for special interests and not for public interests.

Of course, the editors (and editorial board) of the Republic know that this is a bad time to be viewed as a career politico, hence the lede in their story.

Does the Rep have to report the money they spent on crafting, publishing, and distributing their stories on the election as campaign contributions?

1 comment:

Phoenix Justice said...

As we have seen, the Arizona Republic has been the cheerleader for ultra-conservative nutjobs like Wes Gullett. He fits in very nicely with their continuous attacks on public employee's unions, pensions and their continued push for even more privatization of Phoenix services.

That's why they endorsed him and will continue to "slant" coverage his way.