(The following is our post election email to local Ron Paul supporters)
Earlier this week we sent out an email to Flagstaff Ron Paul supporters explaining how to have the biggest impact on election day. Ron Paul supporters across Flagstaff mobilized and despite the snow and wind, waved signs at their polling places, drove their friends to the polls and most importantly, voted for liberty.
I stood outside my polling place for seven hours on Tuesday holding my banner. People of all ages and walks of life would stop and tell me that they had just voted for Ron Paul. Others came over to tell me that they really respected my commitment and dedication to my candidate. A complete stranger brought me lunch and several people stopped by to offer coffee and hot tea. Long story short, people were very impressed with the local grassroots Ron Paul campaign…even those who disagree with us on the issues.
At the end of the day Dr. Paul received 11.3% of the vote in Coconino County. No matter how you look at the numbers, you have to admit that the liberty movement has come a long way and is growing at an incredible rate! In 2008 Ron Paul only received around 4% of the vote in Coconino County.
Seeing the Arizona campaign come to a close is bittersweet. I have campaigned for countless candidates and nothing compares to campaigning for Ron Paul. When you meet a supporter of Dr. Paul for the first time it’s like finding a long lost family member. The dedication and camaraderie is unlike anything I have ever experienced.
My 8-year-old son told me today that he is going to miss handing out literature for Ron Paul. He asked if he could save some literature so he could remember how much fun he had walking in the parades and spending so much time at the county fair. I feel the same way. I hate to see it come to an end.
The bright side to this long Arizona campaign wrapping up is that now we can use our time and energy to advance the cause of liberty in other ways. Earlier I promised to write about opportunities to stay involved and how you can continue to make a difference. Here are just a few suggestions:
Campaign For Ron Paul In Upcoming States
Most states have not voted yet and the Ron Paul campaign needs your help. Super Tuesday is next week and the campaign is asking for people to help with their phone from home program. Stay tuned to the official campaign website for more ways to help out.
Make sure your Ron Paul supporting friends and family in upcoming states remember to vote and if you have any extra literature or bumper stickers send it their way so they can put it to good use.
Attend Flagstaff Liberty Alliance Meetings
Flagstaff Liberty Alliance plans to hold meetings on a monthly basis starting in March. Our focus will be on issues that affect our liberty at the national, state and especially the local level. We need your input, ideas and suggestions on how to move forward and have the biggest impact. Stay tuned for dates, times and locations.
Support Local Liberty Candidates
Flagstaff is currently in the midst of a mail in only mayoral primary. A general election for mayoral and city council candidates is coming up in a couple months. There are also school, county and state elections coming soon. Research the candidates, find out who supports liberty and help out with their campaigns. I am personally helping with the Jeff Oravits city council campaign and will be knocking on doors for him in the coming weeks.
It’s much easier to get liberty candidates elected on the local level than it is on the national level. Local laws also tend to have the biggest impact on your everyday life. Our best shot at changing government is on the local level.
Be The Media: Start Writing A Blog
Educating the public and communicating the truth is one of the most important things we can do. Blogging and other forms of new media are a great way to get the word out. We need people reporting back from city, county, school board and other meetings to keep the public informed on what is going on. We all know we can’t trust the mainstream media so the responsibility falls on us. If you start a blog let me know so I can add it to the list of blogs on the Flagstaff Liberty Alliance website.
Get involved with your local GOP
This is probably going to be my most controversial suggestion but please hear me out. If Ron Paul does not win the GOP nomination many of us expect his son Rand to run in 2016. Rand Paul has tirelessly defended liberty in the Senate by standing up against the renewal of the Patriot Act and the passage of the NDAA among other things.
Rand (or another liberty GOP candidate) will have a much better chance of winning the nomination if friends of liberty are in leadership positions in the party. Leadership starts with becoming a PC (which is very easy to do) and from there the sky is the limit. An elected PC gets to vote on important party matters and just a handful of people can sway the focus to the freedom message.
If the GOP is not your thing, get involved in the Libertarian Party or the Democratic party or wherever else you feel you would like to try to make a difference. Which party you belong to does not matter when freedom and liberty are your goals. We need to be everywhere.
If Ron Paul is not on the ballot in November, some of us will still write his name in. Others will look for a good third party candidate to support. I could see myself doing either. If a great third party candidate made the ballot I would be happy to knock on doors and campaign for them.
Whatever you choose to do in the coming months, I hope that you will all choose to stay active and continue fighting for freedom.
Thanks for all you have done and will continue to do!
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The following video covers many of the topics that I discuss on my blog. Everything from Property Maintenance Ordinances to towns cracking down on lemonade stands. If you think you’re really free…think again. Everything is illegal.
Tomorrow (Tuesday, Feb. 28) is the day we’ve all been waiting for…election day! We just wanted to remind you of a few VERY important things:
Polling places have been consolidated!
There will only be 5 polling places in Flagstaff. Your sample ballot says where your voting location is. The Arizona Daily Sun has more information here:
Please make sure every Ron Paul supporter you know knows where to vote. If someone is not sure they can contact Coconino County Elections. Their phone number is at the bottom of their website:
Place your yard sign near your polling place!
If you have a yard sign it is critical that you bring it with you to the polling place when you vote. Another local group plans to put signs out for other GOP candidates and we need to be sure that Ron Paul is represented well.
Several of us plan to brave the cold and snow and hold signs outside our polling places. We need all the help we can get. People are impressed when they see how dedicated Ron Paul supporters are and we can sway some undecided voters.
Be sure to obey all the rules and stay at least 75 feet from your polling entrance. Even if you can only stand out there for 10 minutes, every little bit will help. If you don’t have a Ron Paul sign just write Ron Paul 2012 on a piece of poster board.
Make sure your friends vote!
Turnout is going to be extremely low in Flagstaff tomorrow. We can win Coconino County for Ron Paul IF we make sure every Ron Paul supporter votes. Don’t assume that your friends and family will remember to vote. Call, text, and email them with reminders. Make sure they know where to vote. Pick them up and drive them to the polls if you have to. Let’s shock the establishment and show the world just how much support Ron Paul has in Northern Arizona!
We want to take a moment to thank everyone who has helped with the grassroots for Ron Paul campaign in Northern Arizona. Together we’ve been in two parades, spent four full days at the county fair, knocked on over 600 Republican doors and spent countless hours campaigning in every way we knew how. Ron Paul supporters are the BEST!!!
More to come!
The Flagstaff Ron Paul grassroots movement does not end tomorrow or even after this presidential election. We will continue to fight for freedom and liberty at the local and national level for years to come. Expect another email soon with ideas and suggestions on how you can stay involved!
Elisha and Cindy Dorfsmith
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The next time you find a parking ticket on your car it may have been placed there by your neighbor. The City of Flagstaff plans to vote on an ordinance at their March 6 meeting that will allow members of the public to sign up as police aids and cruise the streets looking for violators.
The City Staff Summary Report explains that this ordinance will provide for the appointment of unarmed police aids, traffic investigators, and volunteer parking enforcement personnel.
The ordinance says in part:
WHEREAS, in order to more effectively and efficiently address standing, stopping and parking offenses occurring within the City, the Flagstaff Police Department desires to employ unarmed police aids to issue citations and warnings for violations;
The full text of the ordinance can be found HERE.
Councilwoman Coral Evans was the driving force behind this ordinance. Frustrated with college students illegally parking in her Southside neighborhood she began looking for ways to put a stop to it. Early on, traditional measures were looked at. Large fines, increased police patrols and parking permits were all on the table. Now it’s come down to creating a citizen patrol with the authority to write a citation.
Makes you wonder if they’ll try this same citizen strategy when the Property Maintenance Ordinance (PMO) becomes law. No sense reporting your neighbor for tall weeds or an old car in the yard when you can walk over and write a ticket yourself.
Clearly, there is a problem with parking in Southside and something needs to be done. An army of angry citizen ticket writers is not the answer.
I can already picture busybodies and vigilantes lining up at City Hall like shoppers on Black Friday, anxious to get their hands on a badge and a ticket book when this passes.
03-07-2012 UPDATE: Yesterday the council passed this ordinance unanimously at their noon meeting, while most people in Flagstaff were at work or school (this ordinance directly impacts NAU students). In order to legally pass the ordinance and approve last minute changes, the Council had to use an “emergency” clause.
You can watch the Council here (click on 6A).
I talked to several people who were concerned about this ordinance and had planned to speak out about it at the 5:30 p.m. meeting. They were shocked when they found out that the council had already passed it. The noon meeting is supposed to be for routine non-controversial items.
This meeting is for routine, non-controversial business items needing little or no discussion. After the business is completed, the meeting is recessed.
If there is anything I learned from yesterday’s vote it is that I need to watch the noon council agenda much more closely so they don’t slip this stuff in when it’s almost impossible to get people to City Hall for public comment.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
The Flagstaff City Council held a special meeting tonight to choose finalists to fill Art Babbott’s vacated council seat. As was the case with last night’s special work-session, Mayor Presler was excused and Vice Mayor Barotz led the meeting.
The four finalists are as follows:
As many of you know, I applied for this position and received a lot of support from the community. I want to thank everyone who encouraged me to apply and submitted letters to the council on my behalf.
While I didn’t make the list of finalists, this was a very rewarding endeavor and you can be sure that I will continue to advocate for honesty and transparency in local government. I intend to apply for several city committees and commissions and other behind the scenes work in the near future.
Also, stay tuned to my blog. Flagstaff Liberty Alliance will be moving to the next level soon!
You can read my February 21 speech to the council HERE.
Speaking to the council at their February 21 meeting.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Several of my readers have asked for a list of outside organizations that the City of Flagstaff donates tax dollars to. I was able to get a copy of the proposed City of Flagstaff FY 2013 Contribution Overview. A couple categories do not have a dollar amount yet. Here’s what it includes:
FUSD Grad Night $745
4th Of July $19,800
Route 66 $3,746
New Year’s Eve $3,746
United Way $293,781
Greater Flagstaff Forest Partnership $19,725
Weed & Seed $5,503
Coalition for Children and Youth $19,669
NACOG Rural Transport $4,152
Intake Triage $74,250
Sister Cities $2,775
Victim Witness $41,304
Humane Society $161,985
Emergency Housing $20,000
Rural Policy ?
Boys & Girls Club ?
Rural Policy-University to Business $30,000
Rural Policy-Alliance Work $25,000
NACOG EDA Grant $4,500
Science Foundation $50,000
Workforce Development $17,500
Arts and Science
FCP Administrative Fee $69,825
FCP A&S Grant Awards $293,000
FCP A&S Grant To Agencies 1x ?
Riordan Mansion $20,000
Click picture to enlarge.
By Elisha Dorfsmith
Conflict Of Interest : a conflict between the private interests and the official responsibilities of a person in a position of trust –Merriam Webster
Every year, the City of Flagstaff gives hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to private charity. The purpose of this article is not to focus on the merit or lack of merit of any specific charity. Many of these charities do wonderful things for our community. The purpose of this article is to show that there is often a blatant conflict of interest with our leaders at City Hall and how they spend our tax dollars.
There are many examples of this but I’ll start with the most obvious.
The City of Flagstaff currently gives $262,750 of our tax dollars to United Way. Mayor Sara Presler, Kim Ott (Public Information Officer, City of Flagstaff) and Stacey Button (Director, City of Flagstaff Economic Vitality Division) all serve on the board of directors at United Way. When our Mayor and Council vote to send our tax dollars to United Way they are voting to support an organization that some members personally have a vested interest in.
But it goes further than that.
United Way funds dozens of organizations in Northern Arizona. Some of these organizations are directly connected to sitting council members.
For example, United Way gives money to the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. Councilwoman Coral Evans is the Executive Director of the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association. Her organization would benefit directly from her vote to approve the FY 2013 budget which sends taxpayer dollars to fund United Way. Councilwoman Evans removes herself from some votes that are obvious conflicts of interest but I will be very surprised if she removes herself from the FY 2013 budget vote.
UPDATE: It is important to note that Councilwoman Evans voted for the tentative and final approval of the FY 2011 budget as well as the tentative FY 2012 budget. She was excused from the meeting where the final vote to approve the FY 2012 budget took place. These votes approved tax dollars for United Way.
SEDI is another local organization that gets $10,000 in city taxpayer funds. They will receive $20,000 next year if the 2013 budget is approved. Councilman and Mayoral candidate Al White is currently the Vice President of SEDI. Councilwoman Celia Barotz is a SEDI board alternate and Flagstaff City Manager Kevin Burke is a board affiliate.
SEDI works with and promotes a variety of businesses and organizations who share common goals. One of those businesses is Southwest Windpower. Besides working with SEDI, Southwest Windpower has had close dealings directly with the city in the past.
Mayor Presler will be serving as the general counsel for Southwest Windpower when her term expires. Andy Kruse, co-founder of Southwest Windpower was a strong supporter of Presler when she ran for a second term in 2010.
Starting to see how the dots connect?
The conflict of interest web extends much farther than just the City of Flagstaff. Coconino County, FUSD and NAU leaders all show up numerous times in the links provided above. In the future, an expanded story on these conflicts of interest may be necessary.
Bottom line, our local government here in Flagstaff is taxing the people and sending the money to groups and organizations that directly or indirectly benefit them.
As I have said before, rather than using tax dollars from the citizens of Flagstaff for their own special interests and agendas, our Council and Mayor should allow the citizens of Flagstaff to keep this money and donate it to the charities of our choice.
We don’t need the Flagstaff City Council using our tax dollars to promote their special causes, no matter how worthy those causes may be.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to clarify that Councilwoman Evans does remove herself from some conflict of interest votes.