Independent candidate Ted Downing, who is angling for a Senate seat in midtown Tucson's Legislative District 28, is mad because Democrat Paula Aboud used a picture of a city fire truck in her campaign materials. He demanded the city do something about and city officials asked Aboud to remove the image, which she did. But Downing wants more, leading to an amusing exchange with City Attorney Mike Rankin:
10/29/2010 12:46 PM
I would like to see some request or statement in writing, as befits a legal matter. A violation should be stated even if you feel there is no remedy otherwise it has the appearance that violations from office holders are treated differently from other citizens violations who get written notifications from the city. This is a State Senate race, after all, and the misuse is yielding her votes at our expense.
Is that ok?
* * *
On Oct 29, 2010, at 2:03 PM, "Mike Rankin"
I understand your request, but to the extent that this is a legal matter, it does not involve, as far as I can see, any question of a violation by the political office holder. The statute in question that led to my request for the removal of the pictures is ARS 9-500.14, which prohibits a city or town, or its employees, from using its personnel, equipment or other resources from influencing the outcomes of elections. In this instance, based on the information you brought forward, I asked the Aboud camp to remove the pictures from the website in order to avoid any appearance that the city is using its resources to influence an election. They complied. The only appropriate written statement from me to Sen. Aboud would be a letter thanking her for removing the pictures per my request. If you feel that there
may in fact be a violation by the candidate or her campaign, you should contact the Pima County elections division.* * *
10/29/2010 2:42 PM >>>
"thanking her?" Your attempt at humor is not appreciated, Mike.
I note you have not yet notified her about the mailers and appear reluctant to do so. Why are you concerned about leaving a paper trail?
Ted Downing* * *
On Oct 29, 2010, at 2:56 PM, "Mike Rankin"
I'm not trying to be funny. I'm also not concerned about a paper trail, as is evidenced by this e-mail string and the cc's included in it, which include several representatives of the media. I'm trying to point out that there is nothing further I can do, and if you feel that this involves a violation by Sen. Aboud, you should direct your complaints as previously suggested.* * *
And you still have not notified her about the mailings even after we provided you with the evidence.