Scottsdale’s foremost municipal election controversy involves an imaginative “non-endorsement endorsement” of four political candidates by the Scottsdale Area Chamber of Commerce. The chamber argues that its controversial print and electronic media ads are legal under Arizona law. Others, including candidates not endorsed by the chamber, disagree. A final legal determination is pending.
While the Chamber of Commerce has come under much scrutiny for its actions and is currently the target of a formal legal complaint for these ads, little scrutiny has been given to the motivations and actions of the four candidates backed by the chamber with these “non-endorsement endorsement” ads.
Therefore, I’m wondering if any of the chamber of commerce’s four of “non-endorsed endorsed” candidates would care to explain how they came to participate in these ads. Did the chamber approach them beforehand to determine their willingness to be included in these ads? If so, I’m curious as to whether they asked any questions to gain additional information about the ads before agreeing to participate in them.
Did the candidates question the legality of the ads? Did they inquire as to how the chamber’s ads were to be funded? Or, did they simply decide to accept the political gift being offered by the chamber’s “non-endorsement endorsement” ads, planning to deal with any negative consequences after the fact, if and only if the ads were deemed illegal?
The 2008 election is Tuesday. The candidates now have been aware for some time that the ads might be illegal. So, I’m curious as to whether they ever asked the chamber to remove them from the ads? Or, did they ever ask the chamber to pull its questionable ads until their legality was decided upon?
I’m seeking answers to these questions so as to gain an understanding of how the four candidates evaluated and made their decisions concerning participating in these ads. Why? Because, I believe their actions in this matter involved ethical issues. I would like to know if these candidates perceived and addressed those ethical issues.
Scottsdale voters deserve to know more about the decision-making process of the four individuals who allowed their political fortunes to be advanced by the chamber’s “non-endorsement” endorsement ads.
Michael S. Kelly, a retired United States Marine Corps lieutenant colonel, resides in Scottsdale.