Going Once, Going Twice…

Campaigner in Chief Jim Lane

Mayor Jim Lane filed his January campaign finance report [very large file, I’m working on compressing it] yesterday. His PR flack Jason Rose crowed loudly a couple of months ago about how much money he was raising, so it really isn’t a surprise…or it shouldn’t have been. However, now that I’ve actually seen it I find it staggering. I’m going out on a limb here, but I believe that at 80 pages this is the biggest campaign finance report ever filed in the City of Scottsdale.

I will note that it doesn’t take a lot of math and comparing dates to see that Rose pulled the wool over the eyes of the Arizona Republic reporter who wrote about the $120k amassed by the Lane campaign without asking to see the report. At the time of the Republic article, Lane had not reached this claimed level. He’s close now and will collect more, but this goes beyond just fudging the numbers.

There are those who will say this is the smoking gun that Jim Lane sold out. I don’t think that’s true. As much as we wanted it to think so because of how much we despised Mary Manross, Lane was never “one of us.” On most of the items that have come before the city council during Lane’s term as mayor, he would have voted exactly the same way. His record on the city council before that was largely the same. He has always cared much less about process and the residents than his neo-con (if anyone is still using that term) philosophy…which, by the way, I don’t think he really understands.

So, in that sense, Lane’s contributors aren’t buying him off. They are just making sure he gets re-elected.

Many of the folks listed below do business with the city, or will directly benefit from the developer-friendly General Plan Update that is on the March ballot. I also note a contribution from Southwest Gas PAC. There’s a franchise agreement renewal for Southwest Gas on the March ballot, too, and it contains a cleverly hidden tax increase that Lane hasn’t talked about.

I am also mildly amused to note that a few of Lane’s contributors were so eager to support him that they donated too much and the campaign had to refund some of the money. That’s a nice problem to have.

A few of the more notable contributors (and most gave the maximum amount at $430) are

  • Craig Jackson and┬áPatrick Van Den Bossche of Barrett-Jackson car auction fame.
  • Nefarious zoning attorney (if that’s not redundant) Lynne Legarde.
  • Scott LeMarr, Mayor of Paradise Valley.
  • Zoning attorney Lou Jekel.
  • Political consultant Ray Torres.
  • Shawn Yari of Entertainment District developer Triyar.
  • Steve Ellman of SkySong infamy.
  • Zoning attorney Rich Court.
  • Former Lane Chief of Staff Tim LaSota.
  • Ohio zoning attorney Jeffrey Rich.
  • Michael DiMino, Christopher Kevane, Rural Metro emergency services.
  • Margaret Dunn, who operates the city’s trolly service under contract.
  • Attorney Steven Hart.
  • Paul Townsley, CEO of Arizona American Water Company.
  • Trump zoning attorney Nicholas Woods.
  • Attorney Paul Bielecki.
  • PMT Ambulance officers Gary Ramsey, Patrick Conte, Barbie Marr, Beverly Lemoine, Pat Cantelme, James Roeder, Bob Ramsey, Thomas Mann, Ralph Vassallo.
  • Lanny Lahr, Silverado Golf Club.
  • Jeff Mirasola of Qwest Communications.
  • Attorney Jack LaSota.
  • Hugh Hallman, mayor of Tempe.
  • Brian Kearney and David Vergeyle, Gray Development (Blue Sky).
  • Michael Dimino, President of Southwest Ambulance.
  • Zoning attorney Paul Gilbert.
  • Jerry Sims, owner of Turf Paradise.
  • Former Scottsdale mayor Sam Campana.
  • Drew Brown and Karrin Taylor from DMB Development.
  • Planning Commissioner Erik Filsinger.
  • Lou Schmidt, former chair of the Budget Review Task Force, former Maricopa County Engineer.
  • Sharon Harper of Plaza Companies (SkySong).
  • Michael Gebran and Gebran Gebran of US Egg (big upzoning earlier this year).
  • Attorney and former senate candidate Rodney Glassman.
  • Steve Evans, Don Couvillion, JD Couvillion, ASU Foundation (SkySong).
  • Attorney Jim Derouin.
  • Developer Lyle Anderson.
  • Arthur Coppola, Macerich (parent company of Fashion Square).
  • Kurt Brueckner, attorney and Chamber of Commerce chairman.
  • Steve Helm, Westcor (Fashion Square Mall).
  • Taber Anderson, Reata Ranch developer.
  • Michael Bidwell of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals.
  • Tom Sadvary, Alan Kelly, and Michelle Pabis from Scottsdale Healthcare.
  • Dean Riesen, Rimrock Capital/Goldwater Institute.
  • Kyle Moyer, PR hack.
  • Chad Willems, political consultant.
  • Jim Bruner.
  • Ellen Schneider, Cultural Council Board of Trustees
  • James Keeley, real estate broker.
  • Brent Sassenberg, Starwood Development (Waterfront).
  • Jay Petkunis, Wolff Develpment and Planning Commissioner
  • Dan Scwheiker, China Mist, Cultural Council Board of Trustees.
  • John Gulick, Bond Task Force chair.
  • Michele Reagan, state senator.
  • Attorney Steve Twist, also of the Goldwater Institute.

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  1. UPDATE: An astute reader pointed out that the Southwest Gas contribution came in on 10/28/11, and on 11/1 Mayor Lane voted to put the Southwest Gas franchise tax on the March ballot. I assured the reader that this was, at most, a bizarre coincidence.

  2. UPDATE: Yet another astute reader pointed out that while Lane was careful to keep quiet about his ‘hands-off’ attitude toward design and development issues, he emphatically represented himself as an anti-subsidy fiscal conservative who was willing to challenge the City Manager. Sadly, he’s betrayed that trust pretty miserably.

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