District 4 Board of Supervisors Contest Chapter 3by Robert Harris on Jul. 31, 2012, under Pima County, politics, Rosemont copper, Rosemont Mine, Tucson
Chapter 3 of the convoluted story concerning Rosemont Copper Corporation and their attempt to manipulate Elections.
I have researched Mr. Sean Collins and found a background with discrepancies in relation to the comments he makes during his campaign. The largest plank in his platform is there is too much government spending and too many government handout programs. He complains that five of the biggest six employers in Pima County are government entities and there are too many federal handouts and programs giving money to the citizens.
His website has changed lately, but something is still on that bears note:
Quote from website
Sean Collins, a Vail businessman and “2000 recipient of the Military Hero of the Year Award”, is challenging 15 year incumbent, Ray Carroll, in the Republican primary election on August 28th.
Military hero of the year award, how can one get much better than that?
The first time I read that, it gave the impression that I was researching the background of a man who must’ve charged a machine-gun emplacement with a grenade in each hand. Then I found out that the military hero of the year award 2000, was given by the local Red Cross for pulling a woman from a wrecked car. I checked the latest hero awards for 2012 and one of them was for a lady who rescued someone because they were choking on their dentures. Mr. Collins changed his website and if you continue to read, you will find that it says that the award, Mr. Collins received was by the local Red Cross. I do find the statement somewhat self-serving and misleading. As a matter of fact I found it downright deceptive!
I had a communication with Mr. Collins and asked him several questions:
1 Did you retire from the United States Air Force and now have government retirement?
2 Did you file bankruptcy?
3 Did you go over budget on your Dairy Queen?
4 Did you take a special loan from the United States government for veterans?
5 Did your Dairy Queen cost approximately $600,000?
6 Are you taking donations from Rosemont copper?
The answer to all of the questions is yes. This seems a rather strange background for someone who claims to be fiscally conservative, and concerned about the people in district four. An individual who has trouble running a Dairy Queen does not seem to be fiscally conservative enough to be involved with tthe $1.2 billion budget of Pima County. Mr. Collins expounds upon the excessive government and excessive government spending. He promises to curb the spending, reduce the budget and ensure we have plenty of water.
Well, the facts sometimes are a little different than the promises. He complains about Davis Monthan and all the government employers in Pima County. He retired from the military at Davis Monthan Air Force Base, the base which he says is carrying too much of our employment.
When he went over budget on his ice cream parlor (Dairy Queen),the only thing that saved him was a special Federal Government Loan program that covered loans that were high risk and lower interest rate. Ah yes, he was the first one in Pima County to get that type of loan.
He filed bankruptcy, blaming it on his first wife. He divorced her and remarried.
He is now working at Fort Huachuca military base on a government project and contract.
He is taking contributions from Rosemont copper for his campaign, yet I don’t know of any meeting that he had with the opposition to the mine. Many of his desired constituents are very much against the proposed open pit copper mine in the Coronado National Forest.
I have repeatedly asked Mr. Collins for an interview and have been ignored. I suppose I must fall back on the age-old journalism response of, “we offered him an interview and he did not respond.” Perhaps everyone does not find this behavior unusual for a politician but I find it unusual for someone who wants to be my representative. So for a man that derides the federal government and its programs, he does seem to utilize many of them.
On Mr. Collins website, collins4supervisor.com, there is a paragraph related to an organization named “Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities” (TREO). The following is an excerpt from that web site.
Quote from the Collins website
The economic development organization of the area, Tucson Regional Economic Opportunities (TREO), is primarily funded by the City of Tucson and Pima County. Since TREO’s funding is primarily through these government entities and the County opposes the Rosemont Copper project, they are unable to support Rosemont Copper and the $700 million in economic development the operation will bring to Pima County.
End of quote
Reading the paragraph would lead one to believe that (TREO) feels they must knuckle under and kneel before the County Board of Supervisors, so they will not lose their financing when in actuality the paragraph is a contrived and untrue statement. The organization is a public and privately funded organization. Their policy is they do not “endorse” any specific project. They receive 58% of their money from private donations and 42% from various public organizations. Stressing the word various, Pima County contributes only 18% of their finances.
Mr. Collins almost makes you believe that the organization (TREO) is ineffective primarily due to a cut in funding. Nothing could be further from the truth. The following are some of the accomplishments of TREO for the year.
Metrics one year 7/11 – 6/30/12
total new direct and
indirect job supported 2,964
capital investment $63.7 million
total economic impact $350.7 million
number of companies 15 companies
national earned media 3.5 million
These are hard facts, not half true one-sided campaign statements. Mr. Collins should be regretful for his statement concerning such a a hard-working organization.
Another comment from Mr. Collins website is the following:
Quote from Website
Add to this the recent report that Arizona has the second highest average sales tax rate in the nation and it is easy to see why it is too expensive to do business here in Pima County.
End of quote
Actually, this is an untrue statement as it’s only half true. Arizona is number nine in the nation concerning sales tax, not the second. The following charts will illustrate total tax in Pima County. It can be agreed that the tax is higher than the average citizen would like it to be but what is misleading is to use the term Pima County. Actually Pima County’s tax rate is quite low concerning the sales tax.
Pima County, state and local retail sales tax.
State County Tucson total rate
6.60 .50 2.0 9.1 %
state County Tempe total rate
6.60 .70 2.0 9.3%
Santa Cruz County
state County Patagonia total rate
6.60 1.00 3.0 10.600%
Tucson as an example, has a combined total rate of 9.1% of which only .5% is County tax. Mr. Collins has grandiose statements concerning balancing the budget, one wonders what he intends to change about the sales tax to accomplish that
Quote from campaign website
Learn more about my involvement with the Vail Community Action Board
I have been asked a few times about my participation in the VCAB
(Vail Community Action Board)
and I would like to clear up any misconceptions regarding my membership.
After I saved a pregnant woman from a catastrophic accident, I hurt my back, requiring surgery and physical therapy. The physical therapy and recovery time from this surgery prevented me from being able to attend the requisite number of meetings as required in the by-laws of the organization. As a result of these missed meeting, I was not able to sustain my membership but was told, once ready I could return to being a full time member. The VCAB is very important to me and I look forward to returning as mutually agreed at some point in the future.
End of quote
Now for the analyzing of the statement; this incident occurred, as far as I can research, in the year 2000. When he pulled a woman from the wrecked car the local Red Cross and I stress the word local, awarded him Military Hero of the Year 2000. The reason being military hero, is he happened to be in the military at the time working in the weather department.
The surgery and physical therapy, as far as I can tell and research, since Sean Collins will not give me an interview, occurred last year. Over a decade after the incident he has to have surgery and therapy. Not to make light of it but I would’ve understood it better if it had occurred closer to the time period.
Now we get to the Vail Community Action Board: Mr. Collins only attended two or three meetings, and he was told that he would have to reapply for membership, but it was not the guaranteed return that he tries to imply. He failed to attend the meetings and he failed to perform his duties. The bylaws of the Vail Community Action Board are quite specific about missed meetings, either excused or not.