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The BoS is Conflicted

The BoS is Conflicted

What a peculiar item to find on the agenda for this morning’s BoS meeting, and on the addendum for Executive Session—closed to public viewing—no less: Asking the County Attorney if it’s okay to have a law firm where a partner serves as campaign chair for a BoS candidate also serve to defend incumbents against challenges to their petition signatures…

Seems shady, and for several reasons.

Petition Process

Candidates can’t just start campaigning and declare themselves that they will be on the ballot: To run for office, one must file a Statement of Interest, then collect signatures on nominating petitions, then file those petitions by a deadline, and have collected at least a minimum number of signatures of eligible registered voters (the number of which varies by office and jurisdiction) to become a nominee eligible to appear on the ballot.

Sometimes, though, a signature makes it onto a petition but turns out to be invalid, for any of a number of reasons. If anyone wants to challenge such a signature, there is a per-signature fee to pay, and it helps to have legal representation.

Challenge enough of a candidate’s signatures and win, and you take that candidate off the ballot.

Whose Problem Is It?

In this case, incumbents on the Board of Supervisors must anticipate one of two scenarios:

  • They know their signatures are questionable and will be challenged in court, so they want to put legal representation on retainer; or
  • They anticipate going hard after their opponents and making their opponents deplete their coffers to defend against signature challenges.

If it’s the former, the obvious question is why these incumbents are so unpopular that they need to gin up fake signatures to be able to run again. This is a realistic possibility, actually, as the four radicals on the BoS have done more harm than good in the past three years.

If it’s the latter, however, then it’s obviously lawfare all the way down with these extremists. They can’t win on ideals, they can’t win on their records, so they need to sue the competition into oblivion to win by default.

Either way, it’s shameful and pathetic.

Why Is This the County’s Problem

Here’s the rub: Candidates for office—whether they are incumbents or not—need to find their own representation; this isn’t the County’s problem. Instead of individually seeking representation and avoiding even the impression of a conflict, these Democrats will commit County resources to consolidating their lawfare efforts under one roof and coordinating with another candidate’s campaign manager in the process.

Pima County deserves better than this, and that’s why I’m running.

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