Bug Zapped: Union Woes for Democrat Robert Robuck

Democrat Robert Robuck, who is challenging Pima County Supervisor Ramon Valadez in the Sept. 2 primary, is learning some new lessons when it comes to political mudslinging—namely, when you swing that first mud pie, be prepared for a return hit.

That’s what happened when Dan Eckstrom approached Walt Pearson a couple of weeks ago to show him a campaign mailer Robuck sent out earlier this month.

Pearson is president of Wholesale Lithographers, a union print shop that prints a good portion of election materials each year for Democratic candidates. For Democrats, labor support remains of high importance and showing your support through a union shop can be important for certain constituents.

A union bug always has a way to identify what shop it’s from and sometimes includes the city and state where the print shop is located, as well as a number. In Tucson there are two union shops in town, Wholesale Lithographers and Pueblo Printing (owned by Supervisor Richard Elias’ father). Wholesale’s number, included on its bug, is 15.

When Valadez received the mailer, he noticed the quality wasn’t that great and the union bug didn’t show up properly. What showed up clearly, however, was the number 15 identifying it as Pearson’s bug.

Pearson says he knew as soon as Eckstrom showed him the flyer that it wasn’t his work and that the bug was considered counterfeit. The mailing permit provided the information on who printed and mailed the campaign mailer—non-union Innovative Mailing Systems, owned by Rumaldo Moreno.

The mailing house could be forced to pay a fine. Pearson says he understands that it could be three times what they made on the four-color project. Pearson called the Communications Workers of America #7026—the local union that licenses print shops in Tucson—and he understands the Pima County Democratic Party has been called, too.

“It’s just not wise to put something like this out because everyone is pretty sensitive to it,” Pearson says. He called Moreno about the mailing and Moreno told him he didn’t know the bug was attached to the file going out to a printer in California.

Robuck likens the mess to campaign mudslinging coming from Valadez.

Robuck also says it was a mistake. He says the graphic designer working for his campaign took the artwork for printing and mailing, but forgot she had put the union bug on the mailer. Robuck says Moreno has apologized to Pearson for the mistake.

“This is a total misunderstanding,” Robuck contends. “Look, it was a mistake. Why would we give our opponent something to hammer us with? …Ramon is saying I did it on purpose. It’s mudslinging.”
Valadez, however, has had his share of attacks from Robuck, too—complaints about South Tucson Mayor Jennifer Eckstrom working in Valadez’s office, his alleged lack of response to constituent concerns and a lack of interest in Rosemont mine meetings.

Moreno, the mailing house owner caught in the middle, shares Robuck’s sentiment.

“I have never come across this before, ever,” Moreno says. “It’s never been an issue. I didn’t review the art work. Usually I look for an address and specifications, like what kind of paper they want to use. I understand why Walt is mad. I understand they pay a lot of money to be able to be a union printer. On the other hand it’s important to realize that no malice was intended or an attempt to deceive anyone.”

The use of union bugs is common information doled out a new candidate classes given by the Pima County Democratic Party. Robuck says he never a got a chance to go to one of those classes.

16 Responses

  1. Mudslinging? It sounds more to me like Mr. Robuck got caught with his pants down. How could someone running for political office not know what their graphic designer is doing???? Mr. Robuck has been running a campaign of lies ever since he and Mr. Ray Carol have ganged up on Mr. Valadez. I am not politically savvy but I do know when someone’s good name is being dragged through the mud. This misuse of the union label bug is disgusting and wrong.

  2. Everyone makes mistakes. In the scope of things, this is nothing.

    The Weekly needs to look more closely at the real political scams coming out of Valadez’s office:

    1. The fact that Valadez hired his political boss’s daughter, Jennifer Eckstrom, as his chief of staff, even though she is the Mayor of South Tucson. The two now have two votes on PAG, the RTA, etc. I’m not sure what Ms. Eckstrom’s qualifications are, but it doesn’t look good to have two voting members of important regional councils coming from one office.

    2. The hundreds of thousands of tax dollars unaccounted for in Valadez’s district, that were supposed to go to social welfare programs, but nobody knows where they went.

    3. The hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars spent on a “road to nowhere” in South Tucson on South Ninth Street, a dead-end road with one house.

    4. The fact that the District 2 appointee to the open space bond committee had a controlling interest in the Rosemont Ranch, tried to get the County to buy it at a large profit, and eventually sold it to a foreign company that will take all our ground water and put a giant scar of a mine in the Santa Ritas.

    I understand that all of this stuff might take a little more investigation than going after a first-time candidate over a simple mistake, but these are real issues.

  3. Oh, and I forgot to ask Ariel: to what lies are you referring? I have outlined some of the issues that Robuck has brought up in his campaign, and another that he really hasn’t touched on that I know of. But none of them have been refuted, let alone proven false. I’m pretty sure they’re all true.

  4. Anna,

    So because Ms. Eckstrom is a member of PAG/RTA because of her status as Mayor is wrong? Do you know one thing about PAG/RTA? Are you saying she can’t make decisions for herself. Instead of talking about real issues he talks about Ms. Eckstrom. Maybe he should focus on the real person he is running against. So why don’t you tell me what the conflict is?

    So because your guy committed a fraud it’s ok? That’s funny.

    Rosemont Mine is Mr. Robuck’s only issue.

    He committed a fraud.

  5. Ariel Brady- What lies? Please elaborate. What has been untrue?

    If you are equating the mistaken use of a logo against the scams in District 2, I am not sure what to say.

    Mr. Robuck is a newcomer to the political arena and therefore there will be mistakes. He has been upfront and honest every time. Mr. Robuck is one of the hardest working individuals I’ve met.

    Why is it that the media refuses to aknowledge his admirable goal of trying to make Pima County a better place and instead keeps slinging mud like crazy??

    As I stated in another news outlet, a true leader is gracious and secure in his or her position and can afford to be courteous. This is apparently NOT this case in District 2. If Mr. Valadez had positive things to say about himself, he would not have to say negative things about printing errors. He is acting like a fist time candidate.

    Anna-one of the most important things is lack of reponsiveness to constinuents. Officials are elected to serve their constinuents, not special interests.

    We can make a difference!

  6. Ariel Brady

    Actually, I heard Mr. Robuck speak at the Nucleus Club and he did not speak against Ms. Eckstrom as a person, to my recollection. It was about Mr. Valadez’s choice to have the Mayor of South Tucson serving of his Executive Assistant. It does not have to be the Mayor of South Tucson. It could be any other incorporated city and it would appear to be a conflict of interest.

    The point is, in addition to RTA and PAG, Mr. Valadez also has what appear to be representative member appointee on the 2008/2009 Bond Committee and another vote in bond allocation choices with Ms. Eckstrom as the Mayor of South Tucson. If you would like, I would be glad to list all of the proposed District 2 Tier One and Two choices for District 2 and South Tucson for Parks and Rec.

    I have no idea if Ms. Eckstrom can think for herself. I’m sure she can but this is not personal and that is beside the point.

    What I do know is that this issue appears to be a major conflict of interest and reeks of nepotism and guess what? It is in District 2.

    What little I know about RTA is this. I am a registered voter and taxpayer and we have no bus service to Rita Ranch (in the City of Tucson) and we get to fight over one park and ride and express stop for the entire Vail area and the stop will be in Rita Ranch, no less.

    What little I know about PAG is this. We just about had a substation sited in a small neighborhood in Pima County because State Land did not want transmission lines crossing HAMP (in the COT) and a second unneeded substation sited on Pima County graze lands.

    TEP tried to use data from PAG as justification for this. So, when you tell me about Mr. Valadez as our Pima County Representative and Ms. Eckstrom on the RTA and PAG together, I do not feel a lot of comfort.

    The last three paragraphs are my personal perceptions and observations. As I stated, I am not overly familiar with either PAG or RTA, I am speaking to my limited experiences only.

    We can make a difference!

  7. Exactly, you have no idea what you are talking about.

  8. Oh before I forget, you probably don’t even live in the District or have any idea what the issues are with regards to “real” people.

  9. When you attack someone’s creditability that is personal.

  10. I do know about my personal experiences, so therefore I do know what I am talking about in regard to them.

    Your other comments actually made me laugh out loud, for real right now.

    Do I know everything? No. That is not my job. I am not a Supervisor. I am a community volunteer who is tired of seeing corruption. I am tired of everyone complaining they want change and then when it is here they run away.

    I can’t speak to everything but I think I have some idea of what some real people want in District 2 just from observing. Imagine what could happen if someone actually paid attention.

    I sat next to people for over a year and half while they begged for an adult education center at Freedom Park and a Water Slide while the District 2 rep put 12 million dollars towards the Southgate Shopping Center Project in a tier above the peoples’ request
    By the way, that rep is one of the partners of Triangle Ventures who sold Rosemont Ranch to Augusta Resources.

    The Southgate property at one time was owned by the DeConcini family. Mr. Valadez has been on the staff of Dennis Deconcini. The property is quite near South Tucson. Nepotism at its finest.

    I know the people in District 2 are afraid their wells are going to run dry and they won’t be able to sell their only asset.

    I know parents are afraid their kids won’t have a safe park to play in.

    I know the newly renamed “Eckstrom libary at Columbus and 22nd is the most heavily used and has the highest wait time for the computers and needs renovations and upgrades.

    I know the Las Artes School is a very important program to help individuals with a need for a more alternative learning environment. It is in need of dust control and fire suppression.

    I know people are tired of the boondoggle at Kino Hospital.

    I know there are flooding issues.

    I know there are Colonias in District 2, with substandard access to water, sewage and roads. Unfortunately this is something that occurs with unregulated subdividing.

    I watched a historic site go to the wayside at a bond committee meeting in an amendment because of the Rosemont Mine. –it was on the District 2/4 border. Contrary to popular belief, these districts do not exist in a vacuum.

    I know that real people want to be able to email or call the Supervisors and get a response. I have written District 3 in regard to the SDCP and received a response, same with 1. I have received phone calls from 5 and of course both emails and calls from 4 as we know Supervisor Carroll is adamantly against the Rosemont Mine and is pro SDCP.

    We Can Make A Difference!


  11. Elizabeth,

    Please stop speaking. You don’t have a clue.

    Freedom Park does have their center. You should go check it out. South Park does have their water slide. You should go swimming there.

    Southgate was sold to some business owner not to the county. Hello.

    Eckstrom-Columbus library was renamed because that is what the residents wanted. All libraries are have a high volume of traffic, not just that one.

    There is 1 colonia in District 2, the county has been dealing with that for years. There is actually things being done there. You would know that if you actually spoke with people who are doing things in the community instead of just sitting back and complaining.

    I am sure email is a great way for you to communicate but how about picking up the phone. I am sure you never have done that. Besides why would you call District 2, you don’t even reside there.

    Of course you bring up Kino Hospital or should I say UPA (as your Mr. Robuck does). Can’t even get that right. It’s a hospital that helps the poorest communities have health care. I can see why you would want that taken away. Mr. Robuck only cares about himself, the rosemont mine, and whatever Mr. Carroll tell him.

    You don’t know anything and on Tuesday, we will elect Mr. Valadez.

  12. Besides, this article is about Mr. Robuck committing a fraud. He did. There is no way of getting around that.

  13. Sure. If you keep saying it, maybe you might believe it.

    It was a mistake, Mr. Robuck apologized.

    Mr. Valadez has proven that he has neglected his District and there is documentation. It hurts little mermaid, I know.

    Additionally Mr. Valadez did not attend the Forest Service scoping meetings against the proposed Rosemont Mine. It is rumored he attended the one in Green Valley but I did not see him. Of 3 Open Mic hearings, not once did he speak against the mine.

    The best part of the Valadez campaign is now he has sent out flyers in an attempt to show how unimportant grass roots efforts are to make change in our Southern Arizona community.

    Instead of just being proud of his endorsements, Mr. Valadez attempts to show how the little guy doesn’t mean so much against career politicians and bog organizations.

    One of those “little guys” helped stop TEP from raping an area near the Cienega Corridor (part of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan) and the other “little guy” ran for President of the United States this year to spotlight the Rosemont Mine issue.

    Glad to see that one of the Pima County Board of Supervisors finds that amusing when volunteers are helping to protect Pima County.

    Nice, really nice.

    We CAN make a difference!


  14. What is very curious about your comment above and I have been waiting for someone to take the bait and see what was said.

    If the SouthGate Shopping Center has been sold, why is it still on the County 2008/9 list as a Tier 1 priority eh? It’s always been a question in my mind. It was discussed more than once on a subcommittee level. It could have been taken down in the last week, but it was there the last time I checked.

    Very curious indeed.

    There is more than one Colonia in District 2-look it up.

    I can say Kino Hospital if I prefer. I am secure enough that your insults are of no matter to me. Have I lived here longer than you perhaps? Would you prefer I say the Boondoggle at University Physicians Hospital at the Kino Health Complex? It is not just about one particular hospital.

    Did I say anything bad about the name of the libary? That was an identifyer of the library in District 2 that formally had another name for many years. Someone is a wee tad defensive about their name. If you took the time to know what your communities needed you might know that library needs more. I was saying it needs more.

    Same with the Freedom Center and the water slide. Have you read the letters, listened to the people?

    Here is a link from just one meeting. I heard their pleas more than once.


    Perhaps if you attended some of the bond meetings you might know some of these things.

    I cannot call District 2 directly, Mr. Valadez uses the switchboard instead of a number for his office. Why would I call? For the same reason I would call any Supervisor-I have concerns about Southern Arizona and Pima County.

    And are you saying what we have been saying all along? That a constiuent cannot reach Mr. Valadez via email? Thank your finally admitting it. It is wonderful when people will admit their mistakes.

    I’d like to spend more time chit-chatting but right now I’ve got more important things to do.

  15. I made a mistake and apologize for speaking before looking. District 2 has 4 HUD designated Colonias.

    I had Rosemont on the brain and was thinking of the 2 that would be more directly impacted by the proposed Rosemont Project.

  16. Elizabeth,

    You are rude and your candidate won’t win. No one likes a “know it all.” LOL, you don’t know anything. At least you admitted that you never call the Board.

    Can’t wait to see what you say on Wednesday.

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