Over the course of the next few (or more) weeks I’m going to be looking into government accountability and corruption from an investigative journalist point of view. These posts will appear under their own headline “Investigative Report” beginning with this post here. Before I begin, however, let’s lay out of few facts. 🙂
Corruption in government today is at an all time high. This corruption exists from the lowest levels (city) to the highest levels (federal). Somehow we have become a nation in which our so called “public servants” mistakenly believe themselves to be aristocrats rather than “public servants” and they waste no time at all spending PUBLIC monies on THEIR little pet projects, most of which are designed to honor their own egos and have little to nothing to do with serving the general public! Oh yes, in today’s GREEDY American society it’s all about stroking our own egos.
When the founders of this nation originated the Constitution and Bill of Rights the intention was that common folk would serve in government and then return to their private lives but this, in recent years, has not been the case at all. Instead what we have today are politicians (public servants) who have made their public service into a career! This is why we have people in the United States Senate, for example, serving for 40 years or more! Well, public service was never intended to be a career and this is why TERM LIMITS at ALL LEVELS of government are so important and need to be enacted across the board from the lowest to the highest levels of government. So called “Career Politicians” have a tendency to become “too comfortable” and they also have a tendency to become CORRUPT. They start out serving the people but they end up serving special interests and somewhere along the line you will usually find a money trail (read BRIBERY)!
Another FACT that must be faced is that the American people are today generally clueless about what is going on in government and just don’t have the guts to stand up to these career politicians and hold them accountable. The result of this INACTION is MORE corruption! The fact is that the American people in our REPUBLIC have a CIVIC DUTY to hold ALL government officials accountable! We used to but today we don’t. In fact, we are far to consumed by our ipads and dust collectors to perform our civic duty! So when it comes to placing fault the fault lies squarely with the American people. A people who have become fearful (fear-filled) and lethargic. A people who have mistakenly come to believe that they can do nothing about government corruption. A people who are now firmly divided and NOT united! A people who have lost their vision and are on the road towards perishing!
It is time to UNITE and to once again hold our public servants ACCOUNTABLE! It’s time to put their feet to the fire and make them explain where our tax money is going! And it’s time to get rid of those corrupt officials who refuse to be accountable to “We The People.” The American people are engaged in a battle now but the problem is most of us don’t even realize it. That battle is being waged against us by corrupt politicians and special interests who have a better RACKET going than the MAFIA ever dreamed of!! It’s time to institute TERM LIMITS and rid our political system of the PARASITES that no longer serve the public but instead serve themselves and their special interest overlords!
There’s a bit of wisdom that says, “If you want to know the truth, follow the money.” So, in these investigative reports we are going to follow that money trail and see just where our tax dollars are going to and into whose pockets that money is going. And once we find how who these people are we are going to EXPOSE them! We are going to shine a light so bright on them and their corrupt activities that they will be forced to resign or prosecuted OR both! And while I am doing this here perhaps YOU should be doing it in your own city or town! ACTION is needed all across America in every city, county, state, and the federal government! We The People need to rid ourselves of these PARASITES who are STEALING public monies (tax dollars)!
This all said I will begin with the city in which I live, Tucson, Arizona. And I’ll begin with a few facts about this fair city:228
Tucson, Arizona is located in Southeastern Arizona not far from the US-Mexico border. It has a charter government consisting of a Mayor, City Council, and 6 wards (districts). In 2010 the population of the City of Tucson was estimated to be around 520,116 people. The land area is composed of about 228 square miles. The median age in Tucson is 34 years old. Non-Hispanic Whites compose 40.3% of the city’s population while Hispanics/Latinos compose 35.6% of the population. African American/Blacks compose about 4.2% while Native Americans make up around 2.3% of the population. Asians compose about 2.6% and the rest of composed of other ethnic groups and mixed races.
The University of Arizona is the largest employer with Davis-Mothan Air Force Base coming in second. Raytheon Missile Systems is the 3rd largest employer while the University of Arizona Healthcare Network is the 4th largest employer. Finally, the 5th largest employer is Pima County. Other major employers in Tucson are the US Border Patrol, the school districts, the US Army Intelligence Center (actually located at Ft Huachuca near Nogales NOT Tucson), the State of Arizona, Walmart, and the City of Tucson which comes in as the 12th largest employer in the city. In 2015 the unemployment rate for Pima County was 5.3% and the average income was at around $47,000 annually which makes Tucson a LOW INCOME city. Tucson employs about 879 sworn police officers and 643 commissioned fire personnel. Within the city limits there are 5478 miles of roads.
The current mayor of Tucson is Jonathan Rothschild while the city council is composed of Regina Romero, Paul Cunningham, Karin Uhlich, Shirley Scott, Richard Fimbres, and Steve Kozachick. Michael Ortega is the current city manager.
According to “Ballotpedia,” Mayor Rothschild, a Democrat, has been in office since December, 2011. He is an attorney by trade specializing in business law and estate planning. Karin Uhlich, a Democrat, serves on the city council 2005 and has served as Tucson’s Vice Mayor. She’s now been on the city council for the past 12 years! That’s a bit to long don’t you think? She’s obviously one of those “career politicians.” Councilman Steve Kozachik, a Democrat, has been on the Tucson city council since 2009 which means he’s served on the council for about 8 years. He’s running a close second to Ulrich in my opinion! Another “career politician” in the making?
Regina Romero, a Democrat, has served on the council since 2007 according to Ballotpedia (see link below). Councilman Paul Cunningham, a Democrat, has served since 2011 and Councilwoman Shirley Scott, a Democrat, has served on the council since 1995! SCOTT is definitely a CAREER POLITICIAN! This woman has been on the council for the past ASTOUNDING TWENTY-TWO YEARS!! Has anyone ever held her accountable over the course of those 22 years? We’ll find out! She now holds the record in Tucson! BTW she’s originally from Toronto, CANADA in addition! You might want to review her profile at: https://ballotpedia.org/Shirley_C._Scott Councilman Richard Fimbres, a Democrat, was first elected in 2009. City Manager Michael J. Ortega was hired as City Manager back in June of 2015. Prior to his current position he was the City Manger in Douglas, AZ and a former County Administrator in Arizona’s Cochise County. You can find out more about him at: https://www.azpm.org/s/29177-tucson-hires-new-city-manager/
Now let me be honest with you. I thought that Councilwoman and Vice Mayor Karin Uhlich was the longest serving member on the council and I was shocked when I discovered that honor actually goes to Shirley Scott!! I was really SHOCKED to discover that she’s been on the council for the last 22 YEARS! Scott represents Ward 4 and as I said she’s originally from Toronto, Canada. She became a naturalized US citizen in 1965 and holds a Bachelor degree from Drew University and a Master’s from the University of Cincinnati. She and her husband have run a small business in Tucson since 1974 called “Scott Supply, Inc.” The last time she was up for election was in November of 2015 in which she received 55.7% of the votes. That translates to 43,824 votes. So in this little beginning review what I thought WAS and what I thought was not, WAS! Scott’s tenure on the city council SHOCKED me as I had no idea anyone has been on the council for that long. Additionally, according to buzzfile.com (see link below) Scott Supply
“Scott Supply Service, which also operates under the name Scottnet, is located in Tucson, Arizona. This organization primarily operates in the Fasteners, Industrial: Nuts, Bolts, Screws, Etc. business / industry within the Wholesale Trade – Durable Goods sector. This organization has been operating for approximately 17 years. Scott Supply Service is estimated to generate $1.5 million in annual revenues, and employs approximately 14 people at this single location.”
In terms of salaries councilmen/women in Tucson earn $2000 per month while the mayor earns $3500 per month. In November 2015 Proposition 405 was defeated by voters. Had it passed the mayor and councils salaries would have been increased. The last time Tucson voters increased these salaries was back in 1999. I guess there’s a lot of voters in Tucson who STILL believe public service ought to be PUBLIC SERVICE at least salary-wise and that is a GOOD thing because politicians should NOT make huge salaries! Like I said, their service is NOT intended to be a life-long career! Someone might want to advise Councilwoman Shirley Scott about this little item 🙂
In my next report I’ll take a closer look at the budget and finances of Tucson but for now let this post serve as an introduction. Along the way I’ll also look into the Tucson Streetcar FIASCO and the “mystery” surrounding why the council asked for a “temporary sales tax hike” recently so new police and fire vehicles and equipment could be purchased BUT for some “odd reason” it appears Tucson Police have been gaining new SUV’s WITHOUT that sales tax hike. And I’m sure there will be many more “mysteries” along the way as I begin to follow the MONEY TRAIL in Tucson, Arizona 🙂 Oh and one other thing…..I’ll also be looking into past allegations of drug running, money laundering, and a few other “little” crimes that have been uncovered in Arizona over the years too! In fact, Arizona is a MAJOR corridor for the Mexican drug cartels and has been for DECADES now and some officials seem to have turned the other way and pretended not to notice. I’ll give you their names too and a bit of info on how Arizona’s small counties seem to be “plagued” with corruption. Let’s just say the entire state is one big hornet’s nest :O
2016-2017 City of Tucson Budget-
Tucson Mayor & Council Salaries:
Scott Supply Profile on buzzfile.com: