The Big Bucks Line Up Behind District 4 Incumbent Ray Carroll.
By Chris Limberis
RAY CARROLL, THE appointed incumbent in Supervisors' District 4, uttered the money challenge at a Neighborhood Coalition of Greater Tucson meeting in late May: One dollar per voter.
Not literally $1 from each voter. But spending capped to match the 96,338 voters in District 4, which covers much of Tucson's eastside as well as the Green, Rincon and Tanque Verde valleys.
"I plan on doing a campaign that reflects my philosophy of a voice for each voter, and $1 a voter seems pretty fair to me," Carroll said at the May 28 Neighborhood Coalition get-together.
Three days later, and just about a year after taking office, the Carroll camp had pumped $57,176 from supporters, according to campaign finance reports filed with the county Division of Elections. Carroll is almost 60 percent of the way there in the seek-and-find-and-spend money game before his September 8 special Republican primary tussle with challengers Brenda Even and Ken Marcus.
If accepted by all, the limit would guarantee the lowest level of maximum money in District 4 since Conrad Joyner won re-election in 1980.
But neither Even nor Marcus really bit at Carroll's money-limit challenge. Both more or less lamented the high cost of campaigns.
Even broke into her standard, and tired, "we-could-certainly-look-at-that,'' refrain. She also said, "We certainly have taken more than $1, as I'm sure each of their (campaigns) have as well."
In fact, Even has a long way to go. She reported raising only $15,736 for the five-month period that ended May 31, to boost her overall fundraising to $28,190.
Marcus reported total contributions of $6,924.
Moreover, Carroll has spent only $12,338, leaving him with $44,838 compared to Even's $11,539.
Carroll's connections appear to have come in handy. His wife, Ann Touche, and her family have been key in getting money from their circle, including their Tucson Country Club neighbors.
Included in Carroll's country-club bucks is $200 from two-term District 4 Supervisor Reg Morrison.
Packaged as a green Republican last year in order to get necessary support from Democratic Supervisor Raul Grijalva, Carroll's fundraising shows ambiguity, if not contradiction.
Taking a page out of the Grijalva playbook, Carroll declined checks from Fairfield Development executives who are proposing a master-planned community on Canoa Ranch south of Green Valley. But he took $300 from Joe Cesare, a longtime developer who is advising the Canoa owners.
And Carroll ran with the $725 provided by the family of Neal Simonson, a creator of Green Valley.
The Greens, Carroll has found out, are either too tight or don't have the kind of bank District 4 Republicans need. Gayle Hartmann, an environmentalist who was a key supporter of Carroll's appointment last year, gave $30. Rich Genser, the wealthy real-estate investor and apartment owner who is another environmentalist Carroll backer, gave him $300.
Carroll has built his treasury with contributions from builders, real-estate investors, brokers and speculators, as well as from business and professional people.
Some of the big names: real-estate pioneer Roy Drachman; tract-home builder William Estes; executives and owners of the commercial, industrial and road builders Sundt and Ashton; car dealers R.B. "Buck" O'Rielly, Steve Christy and Randall Fisher; veteran land-use lawyer and speculator Robert Stubbs; real-estate investor Humberto Lopez; and US Home President Steve Craddock.
Carroll also seems to have won a battle with Even for money from Grubb & Ellis, the commercial real-estate brokerage where Carroll worked before joining the Board of Supervisors. Even's son, James, also once worked at Grubb & Ellis. Carroll collected $1,020 from four Grubb & Ellis agents. Even reported none for the period, although she incorrectly listed agent Stephen Cohen's affiliation as being with Grubb & Ellis. Cohen, who is with Picor, gave Even $50 and Carroll $200.
Two former county transportation directors, Jerry Jones and Frank Castro, both engineers with DJA Engineering, gave Carroll maximum contributions of $300 each. Castro's wife, Joni, a former aide in the County Manager's Office, also gave Carroll $300.
Other notables on the Carroll money list include pro-environmental lawyer Bill Risner ($100), Dr. Ed Updegraf, the retired urologist and top amateur golfer; and Dr. Burt Strug, Olympic gymnast Keri Strug's dad ($50).
Carroll had to return a $300 contribution from Richard Small, one of his office assistants, because of the county's six-year-old prohibition against county candidates taking contributions from county employees. He also paid Small $1,673 for campaign work and paid campaign manager Ann Holden, an unsuccessful candidate for the City Council as well as the Board of Supervisors, $1,839.
EVEN'S FIGURES WERE surprising--only $15,736 for the five-month period. Her $28,190 total was much lower than most observers had expected. Even began running as soon as she failed to be chosen to succeed her husband.
There isn't a whole lot of panic--yet. Even, loaded with real-estate investments as well as other partnerships and trusts, could simply dump in the necessary cash, as did Morrison and his thought-to-be chief rival Lee Davis.
Such a move would be risky, however, because it would lift contribution limits for Carroll and Marcus.
Even spent all but $1,939 of the money she raised in the period. According to her finance report, she had a discrepancy in leftover funds: $13,304 as of the close of the period, but only $11,539 for the campaign to date. Normally those figures match.
With car dealer/banker Jim Click, Jr. on Even's bandwagon, she's expected to raise much more through the next period that ends August 19, just 20 days before the September 8 primary. Click and his wife have already maxed out with Even, giving her $300 apiece on Halloween last year.
Click sought an infusion for Even the day her five-month report was filed. And he invoked John Even's name, although the candidate has testily admonished Carroll and others to not mention her late husband for the remainder of the campaign.
"Graciously you made a donation to John Even's campaign for Supervisor District Four ...," Click wrote in a letter to John Even's contributors. "Thank you, again, for that support. Consequently, I'm writing to ask you to match that gift for Brenda and her race for the same office.''
Brenda Even wasn't the only one hitting up John's former contributors--Carroll responded with a letter to the same group, signed by Lew Murphy, the Republican mayor of Tucson from 1971 to 1987.
Click's parents each gave Even $300, as did California car dealer Bob Tuttle. And the Davies family, operators of Mount Lemmon's Ski Valley, gave four contributions totaling $1,000.
Developer David Mehl, creator of La Paloma Resort, and his wife each gave $300.
Joan Richardson, a former principal at Sahuaro High School who won a controversial appointment to be TUSD human resource director last month, gave Even $200. Richardson made the contribution on April 8, two months before she was elevated from interim director by a 3-0 vote. Even and her close ally on the TUSD Governing Board, Gloria Copeland, joined Joel Ireland in approving the Richardson appointment. Rather than dissenting, the Board's two other members abstained for unknown reasons.
Janie Fernández, a fundraiser who is married to TUSD Board candidate Celestino Fernández, gave $100. Celestino Fernández bailed on his struggling University of Arizona offshoot, Arizona International Campus, earlier this year.
Even also collected another $100 from Robert Jensen, chancellor of Pima Community College, where John Even served as a board member before his election to the Board of Supervisors. Jensen's latest installment lifts him to the maximum $300 for Even.
Frank Newell, publisher of the Green Valley News and Sun in the politically critical District 4 retirement community, gave Even $100. Newell will be surprised to learn that Even's campaign finance people demoted him, listing him as the paper's managing editor, a position held by Kathleen Engle.
Even has spent $1,415 with the Green Valley News for advertising that will show her through September 4, according to her disclosure. Even also paid Jim Click Ford $175 for office usage. And she reported $2,310 in payments to veteran political consultant Alexis Thompson, including $310 for work on nominating petitions, which like Carroll's had to be redone because they failed to list the term's expiration date.
Tight with her own dollar, Even also had her donors pay for her Emerald Ball contribution of $75; her $100 contribution to the American-Israel Friendship League 50th Anniversary; her $100 contribution to Chicanos por la Causa; as well as $45 for a couple of forums.
MARCUS COLLECTED $5,751 for the period to go with the $492 he had on hand. He reported spending $3,506, leaving him with $2,736.
The Beaudry bunch--car and RV dealers--kept Marcus afloat with $3,000. Six members of the Beaudry family gave Marcus maximum $300 contributions. Included in that was a February 17 check from Beaudry Motors CEO Lee Beaudry, who died in March.
Lee's son, Bob Beaudry, the anti-CAP water activist, helped Marcus with his $300, as well as maximum contributions from his wife and children.
Beaudry executives Randall Fisher and Robert Burden, and Burden's wife, also maxed out for Marcus.
Genser also was among Marcus's $300 contributors. Government watchdog Mary Schuh, president of the Pima Association of Taxpayers, gave Marcus $100. On the other side, Marcus took $100 from Philip Aries, a member of a real-estate speculating family that has had various projects fly and fail in the Tucson area.
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