Election season brings the ugliest of attacks into every community. Negative campaigning has hit its all time low and we all hear more from one candidate against his/her opponent than we hear from the candidate about what he/she will try and do for our area, our state or our country.
Many of you are starting to receive mailers in your mailbox. Some are the size of postcards and othes are 4 page full color brochures. I've received my share over the last couple of weeks and I have to say I am very disappointed. Some of these mailers have been nothing but attack pieces on an opponent, others aren't any better as they pretend to be focused on a candidates strengths, but the claims are misleading to the say the least.
When are we going to see "Truth in Politics"? I'm sure most of you just laughed with that statement. Many of you have told me how tired you are of listening to the half truths and flat out lies. Most of us that are "new" into the election world, couldn't agree with you more. Those however, that are professional candidates/politicians apparently don't think there is anything wrong with it.
I received a brochure yesterday highlighting 2 candidates, running as team. Before I get much further into this article, I'll tell you that I have a serious issue with candidates looking to band together with other candidates to co-market and share funds. There is supposed to be a checks and balances in place and when "teams" of elected officials are brought into any government, the checks and balances seem to disappear and rubber stamping seems to be all that is seen. We need accountability, professionalism and integrity. We do not need any "kingdoms" or "kings" running our county. We need the "good ole boy system" to be eliminated, not replaced with a new team.
Now back to the brochure. The brochure is nicely designed and I'm sure cost a pretty penny. I glanced at the pages briefly just to check out the layout. I noticed the photo that was poorly photoshopped and the one that wasn't. I noticed the collection of carefully picked out photos displayed on the back, that in my opinion, are simply misleading. Then I read what was actually printed between the pictures. That is when the propaganda slammed me in the face. The information that is printed in this particular brochure is simply not true. No bending of the truth, just flat out not true. I look up at the top of the brochure again and I see 2 candidates smiling at me.
I am insulted that these candidates are banking on the average citizen not doing their own research on the candidates. I am disappointed that these candidates don't have a problem with making statements that mislead you, the voter.
I urge all of you to please do your research. If you get these political pieces, try to find some proof in their statements. How do you do that? Look for a history of doing what they are now preaching they do, or did. If you want to find a strong supporter of our local small business, there should be something somewhere, in the candidates history, over the last many years, that proves that statement. For example, I was on the Board of the San Tan Area Chamber of Commerce for four years, before I became the President/CEO of the same Chamber in 2010 - a position I still hold to this day. I co-founded the first business leads group in our area back in 2008. I have been a small business owner for the last 12 years, of which 6 of them have been right here. I have spent the last 6+ years working with and for our local businesses and have represented these businesses both regionally and statewide and I've done all of this work as a volunteer. So when you boast about being a "Strong Supporter of our Local Small Businesses", you need to have actually done something for and with our businesses since you moved into this area. Showing up one time for 30 minutes at a Chamber of Commerce meeting doesn't qualify anyone to make that statement. Having been involved in a Chamber of Commerce, out of the area, back in 2000 also doesn't show that you've done anything for OUR local businesses. BE TRUTHFUL. Just because you haven't been a strong supporter in the past doesn't mean you can't become one, but don't lie and mislead the public into thinking you already are.
When you claim that you are a "Leader in the Community" - give proof. Who have you led? Where were you a leader? As someone who has been a leader in our community, I am sure I would have "bumped into you" sometime over the last 6 years and probably worked with you during that time as well. Especially since I have worked with, or at least met, almost everyone who has led anything in this area over the years. So again, if you want to become a leader in the community, state that - don't lie or mislead the public into thinking you already are.
I could go on and on with this one piece, but I'm going to stop.
VOTERS, do your research. Don't be "wowed" by the snazzy artwork - read what's printed. (Please don't be impressed that some candidates can afford to send out mailers to tens of thousands of homeowners - be concerned. Someone somewhere had to pay for those mailers and who is funding those candidates should be something that makes you think twice as well.) What claims are being made? Is there any truth to what is being promised? Do a County Supervisor and County Assessor really have anything to do with "Enforcing Immigration Laws" or does it just sound good? Can a County Supervisor, who will be one of five on a Board, make a promise that he will cut your taxes by 20% or does it just sound good? Does fixing Hunt Hwy really need to be compared to the defeat of Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, and Fascist Italy or does it just sound good? Do any of these candidates have any proven track records for doing anything for the area they are now hoping to represent or are they all of a sudden "concerned" because they are now running for office?
Don't be fooled voters. Do your research. Ask questions. Contact the candidates. Listen to what they say - but then look for proof to support that what they say is actually the truth.