I was copied on this earlier today.
Maricopa County Attorney Montgomery, Arizona State Attorney General Tom Horne,
It has come to my attention that the City of Scottsdale recently produced at taxpayer expense a 5+ minute video relating to the upcoming City of Scottsdale Nov. 5, 2013 Special Election bond questions.
You can view this video via this link:
The City of Scottsdale has played this video dozens of times on Scottsdale’s government access cable TV channel.
The video doesn’t explicitly advocate for the viewer to vote ‘FOR’ the bonds. However, it prominently displays a “Vote Scottsdale” image, and describes the benefits of the ballot question bond items in some detail.
The video does NOT explore the outcome of an election defeat, e.g., alternative funding for the items being considered for bond funding.
Thus, the implication is that if the citizens vote ‘AGAINST’ the ballot questions, they will be left WITHOUT funding to “build, improve, and maintain infrastructure”…“parks and libraries; fire and police stations; neighborhood storm drainage; streets, intersections, and trails.”
I believe this is an inappropriate and illegal use of taxpayer money to “influence the outcome of an election,” as described by ARS § 9-500.14(A), and exactly as that section was interpreted by the Arizona Court of Appeals in Kromko v Tucson, No. 2 CA-CV 2002-0064.
This matter was brought to the attention of the Scottsdale City Clerk by another citizen, but the Clerk has declined to pursue it and recommended that it be referred to you.
Because of the short time remaining before the election, I ask you to advise the City of Scottsdale to cease and desist in distributing and/or broadcasting this video, and to sanction the City in accordance with state law.
More info on Kromko: