Seven-Way Super-Slam: Cruz Slaps Patterson

Daniel Patterson

Over in the Legislative District 29 Seven-Way Super-Slam, where seven Democrats are vying for two House seats, Ephraim Cruz has gone on the attack against Daniel Patterson over whether Patterson has properly reported a couple hundred dollars worth of Web-hosting fees to Clean Elections.

Watergate, this ain’t.

The charges against Patterson were first aired in ScrambleWatch’s Muckracker’s Challenge, which encouraged ScrambleWatch readers to dig up campaign-finance irregularities in online reports. The mysterious Christine L. accused Patterson of improperly accounting for bumper stickers and the cost of his campaign Web site.

Ephraim Cruz

On his blog, Cruz has declared “it is our responsibility to investigate these claims. If verified, these discrepancies would seriously violate the rules (and spirit) of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission (CCEC) and its public financing system, and should be brought to the attention of the voters.”

The Cruz investigation reveals that Patterson has not yet accounted for the cost of his Web site.

From Cruz’s report:

Based on the fact that Mr. Patterson’s website was purchased prior to Mr. Patterson’s declaration of his candidacy, the cost of the website falls under the definition of a contribution (see ARS-16-901.5) and should have been reported by Mr. Patterson as an in-kind donation from himself to his campaign (subject to his personal and family contribution limit of $610) on his financial disclosure form submitted at the time of his campaign launch date.

While Mr. Patterson’s financial disclosure form is not available online, Mr. Patterson reports the maximum $610 personal and family contribution on his January 31 report (all donated as cash), indicating that the cost of his campaign website was not disclosed as an in-kind donation from himself to his campaign when he launched his run for office. The absence of any reporting of the costs of Mr. Patterson’s website is an egregious violation of the Citizens Clean Elections Commission policies.

Accountability matters. When Mr. Patterson hid the cost of his website (his only tangible campaign advertisement for voters for the eight to nine months prior to his Clean Elections funding) he gave himself an over two-hundred dollar advantage over every other candidate. This is no different than hiding the cost of campaign literature or hiding the cost of campaign radio ads. All of us deserve an explanation from Mr. Patterson regarding his decision not to report his campaign website. Everyone else with a campaign website in this race has done so.

This strikes us as the sort of assault that Patterson will not take lying down. We’ll let you know if/when he responds.

We think the whole affair says more about the chickenshit nature of the Clean Elections program more than anything else. (And as far as we’re concerned, the real Clean Elections story in the Seven-Way Super-Slam is that incumbent Rep. Tom Prezelski still hasn’t gotten his funding, even though early voting starts this week.)

By the way: We were unable to award the grand prize of four Sidewinders tickets in the Muckraker’s Challenge because none of the participants who dug anything interesting up used their real names.

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16 Responses

  1. Patterson can’t seem to catch a break. Going through the clean elections site Heinz also filed a complaint against Patterson. Does Patterson think he is above the law and the rules only apply to the others? He is the one that publicly questioned Prezelski on ths site and why he hadn’t filed on time. Typical of jerks that try to snag others and get caught in their own net.

  2. see: http://dpatterson.blogspot.com/2008/07/in-politics-real-integrity-values-and.html

    We will likely have more to say about this early this week.

    Thanks,
    Daniel Patterson for Arizona House (D-LD29)

    http://DanielPatterson.net

  3. You mean Choadie MacDougal is not real. And I really wanted it to be…

  4. “We think the whole affair says more about the chickenshit nature of the Clean Elections program more than anything else.” – Jim Nintzel

    I disagree completely.

    The Citizen’s Clean Elections Act provides interested citizens the financial viability needed to seriously campaign for higher office. Think about it, Mr. Nintzel – the average voter can not only consider local political issues in the voting booth, he or she can present themselves as viable agents of change in their communities as candidates for elected office, without personal wealth or special interest money. The Citizen’s Clean Elections Act promotes local democracy by removing money as a serious campaign obstacle to the average voter turned public servant, and deserves our utmost respect and support.

    I don’t know if you’ve ever organized and run a political campaign, Mr. Nintzel, but serious multitudes devote all manner of time, energy, and money in order to promote local candidates. I’ve personally sweated through my Sean John t-shirts on a number of occasions in Tucson’s lovely sunshine with our volunteers, walking door-to-door to promote Mr. Ephraim Cruz.

    Without the Citizen’s Clean Election Act, this organization would not be possible, because we could not afford the walking lists we use to identify Democratic voters, the park ramada rental fees for canvass events, the literature we distribute to voters, or the bottled water and food we provide our volunteers. With Clean Elections funding, one can effectively run a campaign in Southern Arizona, and that’s why seven Democrats compete for two nominations in LD29’s House race. The system works.

    Look, neither Ephraim Cruz or myself possess extensive political connections. But because of the Citizen’s Clean Elections Act, interested activists like Ephraim Cruz don’t require back-room approval from party bosses to run and win higher office. Because of the Citizen’s Clean Elections Act, a man with twenty years of law enforcement public service experience can gain the means to inform voters why we desperately need a Democratic majority in the Arizona House, why we need to increase personal income and corporate taxes to provide increased spending for public education, public transportation, and healthcare access in Southern Arizona.

    The only requirement is following the rules.

  5. Re: this post’s headline

    No one has cast any aspersions on Mr. Patterson’s character. I personally believe that Daniel Patterson is a capable and reasonable environmental activist, the kind of man who thinks seriously about public policy concerns and speaks his mind. That’s why I was so bothered by his indifference to set the record straight on this issue.

    I’ve personally asked Mr. Patterson to explain his position on these allegations for several weeks, and spoke with him via telephone for an hour yesterday, before we posted our investigation’s findings. I asked him over twenty-five times to simply point out where his campaign listed the money they spent to purchase his campaign website — his only method to reach voters from November 2007 until May 31, 2008 — in either of his two campaign finance reports. All I asked Mr. Patterson to do was show me exactly where he paid for his campaign website — to show me if and/or where I was wrong — and I would never have posted our investigation’s findings.

    In an hour, he never gave me an answer. Not once.

    As I was writing this, Mr. Patterson returned my call, after I followed his instructions and left a message to request the name of his campaign lawyer (whom he had asked me to contact today to explain how his campaign finance reports are allegedly accurate). Mr. Patterson screamed at me, called me “just a campaign manager”, and said that he would only address this with other candidates in the race. Then, he hung up.

    The point? We are not attacking anyone, including Mr. Patterson. We ask that he clarify his campaign finance records (as he has asked Rep. Prezelski to do) so that we can continue to discuss what matters to LD 29: public education, public transportation, and healthcare access.

  6. What’s up with this Lamb guy? Does Cruz ever talk for himself? “Mr. Patterson screamed at me.” What a whiner! Far be it from me to defend Patterson, but that’s all you are, James Lamb, just a freaking campaign manager for a stupid legislative seat. Is Cruz so psychologically broken he can’t pick up the phone and talk to someone like a man or does he continuously need surrogates to do it for him? If I were Patterson I wouldn’t talk to you either. My issue with Patterson has been the underhanded way he attacked Prezelski, but it looks like Cruz wants to keep his hands clean too–by having someone else doing his dirty work for him.

  7. Mari,

    You mentioned whether I was real or not. I am indeed very real. I just wanted to let you know that currently I survive as a soldier of fortune in the blogosphere. If you have a problem, if no one else can help, and if you can find me, maybe you can hire… Choadie MacDougal.

  8. Yeah, Patterson should hire the multi- headed beast called Choadie McDougal that trashed him over and over in the Muckraker postings!

    Patterson was right to point out to James Lamb just who he was in this race – Cruz’s campaign manager!
    As such, Lamb is not a valid journalist and Patterson was advised long ago by his own camp, when he was being attacked over and over in the Muckraker thing – that he certainly should not reply to a bunch of anonymous on line posters with nothing else to do with their time – these were not valid journalists.

    Patterson is a serious candidate with more serious things to do with his time than to engage in this bullshit.

    Futheremore, any oversight on any insignificant amount on website issues or anything else financially related, should be directed to his treasurer, not the candidate.

    In addition, how do you know that he hasn’t already taken care of this with clean elections?

    Cruz has nothing going for him except to attack others. His campaign manager knows that – and the reason why Cruz can’t and doesn’t speak for himself is that he can’t – he is so hopelessly over his head in what it even means to be a State Rep.

  9. It seems to me that making such contacts and asking such questions IS the role of a campaign manager.

    As for the Clean Elections Chicken-shit way of doing things, way off target Nintzel. The guide that all candidates get and is readily available online, clearly spells out what must be reported. It was clear by following the links that Christine listed that Patterson seemed to be in violation of the CE reporting rules. She should get the tickets, as I don’t recall a rule requiring real names. In fact, listing real names may cause problems for some. (Patterson even got on me for ‘falling for some anonymous poster’s lies)

    And Patterson has posted an explaination of why they didn’t list his website on his reports. There are, however, discrepancies between what they have posted on their website and what he told me two weeks ago.

    And Auburn, the oversite is not a small matter. It could easliy translate into a violation of the limit on personal donations, and could be taken as an attempt to circumvent those limits.

  10. Choadie – I know you are real, but your name is fake… you are just another Jim, James, Jimmy, Gene, John, Josh… (or Mary, Jane, Matilda, Carmen, Tricia)… But as a blog superhero – you are needed Choadie… and when I need your help here or at blog.tucsonweekly.com, I will yell out “Choadie MacDougal I need you!”

  11. Choadie,

    Since you are very real? What’s this I hear about Cruz having 2 kids? I thought it was just 1. This guy has a lot of skeletons in his closet. Do you know if he supports the other child? It would be really interesting to expose him for what he really is. How can someone running for office be such a sleaze ball, especially if you are backing Obama.

  12. A few notes to the women in my life:

    Auburn,
    Multi-headed beast? We were running with the “A-Team” theme and you went all Dungeons and Dragons on us. Please don’t mix 80s nerd metaphors.

    Mari,
    You say the word and I’ll be there for ya.

    Ann,
    If there is a common thread in what I’ve been saying it is this: if a candidate insists on being a self-righteous prick, he better have his own house in order. Personally, I don’t so much care about Cruz and his legal troubles as I do about the fact that he (and Patterson) are trying to get elected by nitpicking their opponents while being deeply flawed themselves. There is something worse than being flawed: being a hypocrite. Patterson and Cruz may be decent guys in real life, but they certainly haven’t made that their first impression of themselves to the voters with all of this finger pointing.

    Thank you, ladies, I’m glad to know you’re thinking of me!

  13. Men are hung up on being warriors. They just want to conquer one another and keep fighting to the bitter end like the apes in the jungle, trying to establish dominance.

    They even try to get women to do their bidding for them, by in this case, posting stuff in their defense.

    The intelligent women will quickly realize just what’s going on and tell the assholes to go take a hike! A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

  14. Here, here, tough lady. I think it’s absolutely disrespectful for men to send women out to do the dirty business for them, and for women to do it blindly. I think Patterson’s wife, “Sarah”, aught to be ashamed of herself for letting herself be so manipulated.

    But even more so, intelligent women (shoot, any intelligent person) should be able to see right though the crap Patterson used to respond with this charge.

    Patterson has repeatedly called these accusations “baseless”, but they clearly can’t be baseless if it took a public statement for the Patterson campaign to scramble to fix the error. It can’t be “baseless” if the Patterson campaign has publicly stated that they will report some cost of their website in their upcoming report. Clearly, the Cruz campaign had a point if Patterson was actually forced to address this manipulation of funds they hoped no one would notice for eight months.

    But, what I really find ridiculous is this excuse that Patterson came up with that his hosting company didn’t send him an invoice FOR OVER A YEAR — and then, lo and behold, as soon as this story hit the public, suddenly the hosting company got their act together and sent an invoice, providing a “fair value” that the campaign “requested”. Meanwhile, for two successive campaign finance reports, Patterson’s campaign just hoped that no one would notice that they had “never gotten an invoice” for the charge.

    Meanwhile, Patterson, I’m sure, also conveniently lost his credit card statements containing the costs of his website when he bought it for himself back in March. Or is he actually so personally irresponsible as to give away his money or credit card information to buy something without ever finding out how much it cost or how much he was charged?

    And just to put it out there, you can’t pay for domain registration with cash. Domain registration is processed by internet companies that take credit card information. So, when Patterson says he paid for the domain registration out of his petty cash, what he’s really saying is he pocketed the money as a quick-and-dirty reimbursement to himself. ‘Cuz, y’know, rules? They don’t apply to him.

    Up until this latest yarn, Patterson has actually been trying to deflate this story by claiming to voters that the cost of the website is in his campaign finance reports. Somewhere, he just has no idea where. Oops, we find out that THAT was all a big honkin’ lie, but now we’re supposed to believe that he’s telling the truth.

    How stupid does Patterson think the voters are?

    But, hey, what else is there to debate? The Cruz campaign forced Patterson to report the charges for his website in his next campaign finance report and play by the rules of public financing that all the Dems in this race are supposed to abide by.

    Patterson has twice been caught by two opponents while he tried to hide expenses made by his campaign on two successive campaign finance reports. Patterson got caught trying to double-dip into his accounts, and he couldn’t. Things are level again.

    But I’m willing to bet that Patterson’s campaign finances sure as heck won’t stand up to an audit.

  15. To Jenn from the Lamb/Cruz campaign — The negative attacks of the opponent have been answered honestly by our treasurer because we chose to, we didn’t have to.

    We are running a leading clean campaign to solve problems, help people and build bridges for positive change. We will continue to do so, even if Lamb/Cruz continues their desperate negative assaults on fellow Democrats.

    Daniel’s wife has never been asked to post anything on this or any other website, and we strongly reject your reckless and untrue attack.

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