Campaigning in Payson Gets Vicious
A 2012 paper published in the International Science Review entitled, “Bribes and Ballots: The Impact of Corruption on Voter Turnout in Democracies” concluded that corruption has both direct and indirect consequences for voter turnout. Directly, “citizens could become frustrated with a corrupt political establishment, and, even more detrimentally, lose trust in their political representative(s).” But “corruption might be one explanation for why democracies have experienced declining voter turnout during the past 30 years or so … (as corruption) has increasingly become the focus of media and public attention during the past 20 or 30 years.”
Why is there so much negative behavior going on in our town during this election? What is worth spending over $20,000+  on a small-town campaign? Why have there been threats to shoot the Mayor of our town? Why hasn’t this story made it to the Roundup? Don’t be fooled by all the mudslinging from the MHA, RCEA, RCEF group to try and regain control. They must be getting desperate to have to sacrifice the peace in our Town to get someone elected. Are these really the kind of people we want to give power to? Do you think they will change when in office, and be respectful of the office they hold and of the people they serve? To fight this hard, this viscously, with this much passion there must be a whole lot at stake.
That’s the pot calling the kettle black! Remember, these are the same people who tried to recall the Mayor and lost, sued the town for $87,400,000 and filed lawsuits with the Mayor and council members for trying to replace the biased representatives (Jennifer Smith, Larry Sugarman and Rich Richie) for the Town of Payson on the SLE Board.  
They have gone to great lengths to try and discredit their opponents by stealing signs, making complaints, making websites dedicated to trying to deceive you with lies and propaganda. There’s even a picture of Jeff Robbins’ with a kid holding one of Dave Golembewski’s signs, caught red handed. When asked by Dave what he was doing Robbins replied, “Just leveling the playing field.” Wow.
“A Better Payson” the political committee responsible for the Toxic Tom signs was founded by Mac Freezor and Cliff Potts both realtors, and Potts was mayor years ago and is on the MHA Board. Does stirring up our political campaign with negativity, lies, and threats really make “A Better Payson?” These people don’t play by the rulebook, they have an arrogance that they are not held to the same standard as we are.
For example: There is no reason for allowing Toxic Tom political signs to remain perched all over town despite several complaints that they are violating ARS 16-1019. Days after these signs went up a complaint was made, but it was decided by the Town attorneys it wasn’t in violation. The signs remained. The statute ARS 16-1019 C1. states, “The sign must contain the name and telephone number,or website address of the candidate or campaign committee contact person.” It’s pretty clear and isn’t hard to understand. Common sense leads us to one conclusion, the town staff is truly biased against the Mayor (whom the majority of the people of Payson voted into office two years ago). Town Clerk, Tracy Bailey received another complaint on July 15 and her answer the complaint was that the signs we’re in compliance. The signs are NOT in compliance, they need a contact person phone number. The statute was written so there would be someone to call/contact if the sign is questioned, damaged, misplaced by wind, etc. You can’t call a website, and it says, “website of the Candidate.” A Better Payson is not a candidate, they are a campaign committee. In reference to campaign committees the statute says, “campaign committee contact person.” The failure to enforce the election rules for one group and NOT the other will impact election results. This is so blatant it borders on election tampering. The town staff are supposed to serve the people, and act in the town’s best interest. Playing favorites with a has-been group of Good ‘ol Boys during an election is where we must draw the line. A formal complaint is currently being filed with Arizona Citizens for Clean Elections. Apparently, our acting Town Manager doesn’t have a problem allowing town staff to act with such contempt for the CEO of the town, Mayor Tom Morrissey. No respect? No accountability? No one to enforce the rules? Hold on that’s not true. Those aligned with the MHA, RCEA, RCEF (Jennifer Smith, Barbra Underwood, Jolynn Schinstock, and Scott Nossek) some of which have made complaints that were all enforced upon their opponents.
The latest being a hypocritical and unsubstantiated complaint filed on the Mayor for an ethics violation blaming him for a PaysonFirst Facebook page post of a funny cartoon music video. We investigated further and discovered an online DIY funny greeting card company, JibJab was used to make the music video that was themed to ‘Ole MacDonald Had a Farm. Go to JibJab to see what it is about. Apparently you can upload photos of friends, family (candidates) and the program will detect the face in the photo and automatically cut it out and place it on different characters in the music video or greeting card you can select from their library of prefabricated templates. The posts have since been removed, but in looking at JibJab it seems innocent enough and all in good fun. We didn’t see anything morally or ethically wrong with the silly JibJab video maker. There were several videos posted, and one was of the Mayor, Dave Golembewski, Janell Sterner, Deborah Rose singing Twisted Sister’s hit “We’re not Gonna Take It.”
When we asked for a comment from the Mayor he stated, “I did not post anything on Payson First, nor did I tell anyone to post anything. I don’t control Payson First Facebook page and have no control over what other people do on their own. My wife does all the posts for me on my Facebook page Morrissey for Mayor. Bottom line – It isn’t true, and there is no way they can prove that it is. I’d really like a public apology from the council woman who filed the complaint.”
Digging into this more, while on Facebook we discovered Councilmen Steve Smith and Chris Higgins are often engaged in some very unethical behavior themselves. Trying to trash the reputation of the Mayor and the good candidates that are allied with him to give the town back to the people. Check out this Facebook post from Steve Smith:
If this is what Steve believes, why doesn’t he prove this is the case with real documents or testimonies? They can’t. They’ll make stuff up and say anything in hopes you’ll believe them. One could say it’s just politics, but it’s what the Roundup has been doing for years. This behavior coming from self-proclaimed “Christians” is anything but Christian. Do we really want to give power to a group so desperate for it?
Do you know why Randy Roberson quit KMOG? It’s a great question. Ask around the answer leads to more questions. We do know Jeff Robbins pretends to be Don Fare on Facebook, and threatens people behind the guise of a fake persona. Does this intimidation sound like something we want to continue in our town? Bullies bullies until they are called out. Are we all afraid of the MHA/RCEA/RCEF and their wanna-be thugs?
There may never be another opportunity to get out from underneath the oppression of the Good ‘ole Boys in this town again. The time is NOW, the power is in your vote. We have the power to continue to fight for our town and put a stop to the mass corruption benefitting only a few people who are extremely motivated to do whatever it takes to regain control of the town.
Vote for Council incumbent Janell Sterner, Council candidates Deborah Rose, and Dave Golembewski and Tom Morrissey for Mayor.