The I’s Have it in Goodyear, AZ

Influence, insiders, insulation, and intimidation, define Goodyear, AZ.


Goodyear City Council candidate Bill Stipp held a $100 to $400 per plate dinner. One of the hosts was Ron Ober, Democrat lobbyist and husband of Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon’s sister Gail who are co- founders of Policy Development Group, a Democrat lobbying organization. What will this lobbyist expect in return?  Why would Stipp  accept money from lobbyists in order to win a small town election?

Developers are big contributors. No wonder the Westcor regional mall agreement with Goodyear looks like a $47 million gift from taxpayers. The agreement is so one sided that it states that even public improvements (by Westcor) are, “not a covenant of (Westcor)…but…a condition precedent to city obligations to reimburse the developer“. The annual report of Westcor’s parent lists their debt service costs for this project as only about $20,000 per month. This $7 billion company likes reduced risk.

Union PACs from as far away as Flagstaff made campaign contributions city council candidates.


“We don’t want nobody that nobody didn’t send.”

Goodyear council could have taken the high road and appointed one of the losing outsiders who worked hard and garnered many votes. Choosing one they had defeated was such obvious good governance and would have silenced many critics that I remain amazed they didn’t do it.  Instead, they picked political insider Gary Gelzer who they already know will go along to get along.


According to local papers, a Goodyear police sergeant did not report that one of his officers told him that he might have run over someone late one night and the lieutenant of another sergeant who did not impound the suspect vehicle has just been promoted to commander of field operations.  How did the police department discipline those covering up the death of another person? Letters of instruction.

Behavior in any organization is modeled from the top. The attitudes of front line cops are highly influenced by the leadership around them.  In Goodyear, that insular attitude starts with the city management, the mayor, and council.


In Goodyear, police and fire unions feel justified in boycotting local businesses who do not agree with them and local politicians won’t denounce the practice. The winning candidate for mayor hired out of state consultants to try to disqualify her opponents by challenging their petition signatures until the plot was made public.  This in an election which only attracts about 8,000 voters.

A local candidate who opposed the current Goodyear administration was arrested on ‘suspicion of assault’ charges the day after he interrupted the mayor at a council meeting and a local blogger was targeted by an anonymous “fact check” blog that masquerades as a grass roots group of concerned private citizens while refusing to disclose who they are.

Here are two replies I have received recently from readers of my blog after I asked them to post their comments publicly;

“…it is obvious what keeps me from posting publicly……the retaliation.  There is no way I could ever believe that Ms Lord and cohorts would not retaliate….in a heartbeat it would happen and I have to live and survive here until I can do otherwise!  You see, I don’t believe she is the ‘power’; it is the ‘strings’ behind her that ‘puppet’ her words…”

“Let me know…(when) you(r) (band) need(s) a (new) drummer (to replace you).”

Big money and high stakes politics in Goodyear.  I had no idea what I was getting into when I responded to a newspaper article that said the city was looking for volunteers with financial backgrounds to serve on a Citizen’s Budget Committee.

In this town, the victors aren’t satisfied with winning, they punish anyone who so much as disagrees with them.

What or who else is next?  Be careful out there, it might be a good time to keep your head down.


11 Responses

  1. It is just not in Goodyear that public union employees are threatening citizens and public officials who disagree with them. Sal DeCiccio, Phoenix City Council member and supporter of SB1322 (look it up if you don’t know what it is)recently received a faxed letter with a “bulls eye” that stated “we know where your kids go to school” from a local public union member. The GY council members who support public unions are afraid not to as they know the monetary support they received from the unions can be taken away as quickly as it was given and they owe their own election to them. So they sell their souls to the unions who control them, and that is what sickens the people who actually know them as friends and acquaintances.

  2. Mr. Brodbeck:

    It is quite evident that the voters of Goodyear would overwhelmingly disagree with your opinion. It is unfortunate that you continue to spread vitriol against good people and groups trying to help the community.

    Influence: Goodyear elections are a non-partisan election. So, it shouldn’t matter if a lobbyist is democratic or republican. There was a lot of money spent on both sides yet you continue to focus only on candidates that you “supported.” You continue to neglect the fact the CTCA tried to buy this election with a huge contribution from their local CEO, a move that may have cost him his position (David V. is no longer there). What were those candidates trying to gain? What promises were made to a company that already received a HUGE tax break ($85milllion) and needed to develop new land just purchased? Developers have contributed heavily to all Goodyear elections for the last 10 years, including your golden boy Jim Cavananugh. PAC funds from unions are not illegal.

    Insulation: The Goodyear Police Chief is now gone and his second in command is on administrative leave. They have turned the case over to the MCSO. Let’s see what else is coming out of the investigation. Give new leadership a little time before we start a lynch mob like mentality that the entire force is corrupt.

    Intimidation: You continue to bring up the boycott. From an outsider looking in this looked like nothing more than a disagreement between two groups…each expressing their First Amendment rights and from what I read in the paper it lasted one day. I have seen nothing but positive contributions from both union groups in the community. The firefighters have donated thousands of dollars to the local charities (Homeless Youth Foundation, Burns and Trauma Foundation, I have seen them first hand install smoke detectors to homes who needed them, free CPR classes, Jerry’s Kids etc). The police just finished a fundraiser to help their fellow fallen officers and their families in Buckeye. Lastly, Mr. Matlin allegedly committed a crime, city council candidate or not he has to be treated no differently that you or any other citizen. Enough with the conspiracy theory that it was retribution.

    Lastly, I have to ask the question that most people ask themselves when they read your blog. If you are so unhappy here, if the City of Goodyear is in such dire economic crisis and run by corrupt politicians and union thugs why do you continue to stay?

  3. Since Jan the Phoenix City Council Member who dares speak out against public employee unions has received several faxes from a local union office with their letterhead. The one with the bull’s eye states “aiming for you” and another fax was a picture of his car that he often drives his kids in as in “we are watching you”. So do you really think any of the Goodyear council members will dare NOT do whatever the public unions want? And Roberta G above speaks as if she is really happy that Dave V is gone. Was CTCA intimidated in some way to ask him to leave??? Wow something to be proud of Roberta G……..

    • So you will now equate one bad apple in Phoenix with all unions in Goodyear? The CTCA apparently frowns upon their company using monies and resources to get involved in local politics. I have no reason to be happy or sad about David V. leaving.

  4. I would consider last year’s boycott a bad apple for Goodyear unions Robert G…..and who knows when they will begin using the tactics employed by their union brothers in Phoenix??? But then again they don’t have to because we all know they OWN Goodyear’s present city council. You also act as if the whole city of 32,000 register voters were behind your union backed candidates when everyone outside of PebbleCreek knows where their votes came from. Don’t fool yourself. You’re lucking the hard working younger families living south of the I10 don’t take the time to vote otherwise the election outcome would have been much different.

  5. Aaron:
    So the unions, many of whom are Goodyear Citizens, can’t choose where to spend their money? Why don’t we take away all of their constitutional rights and make them indentured servants? Better yet, lets just have the government open up shops so they can tell us all where to shop.

    If the unions “owned” the council don’t you think they would have gotten raises these last 4 years? I don’t know about you but I attend or watch most meetings (90%) and at the last one they they talked about how ALL employees, unions included, have not gotten a raise or cost of living allowance the last 4 years. It would make sense to me that if they “owned” council they would be doing a lot better.

    As far as “hard working families south of I-10” who don’t vote…shame on them. I am in that group and voted for candidates that would maintain our level of core services in the city. Don’t be angry because your fellow citizens did not want your Cavanaugh cronies. Those candidates came off as misinformed and angry during the “debates.”

    Hopefully, you and Howard can move-on…apparently the rest f the city has.

    • Always have to assume it is one of Howard’s cronies if we disagree with you Roberta G. So silly you and your “vocal minority” are. Just like Howard mentions in his article, the “silent majority” are afraid to speak out or write something on here or elsewhere because you all immediately start trying to figure out who it is. Is that because you want to intimidate us into silence by using the same tactics taking place in Phoenix? By the way the council just became “owned” by the union after this past election. Also, I don’t know how you could possibly think that the other candidates came off as misinformed or angry Roberta G…I attended the forum in Estrella and Georgia Lord and company clearly did not come across as knowledgable about the issues. In fact Georgia Lord was patronizing and mean to the Estrella audience. By the way I am a member of a very hard working family south of I10 as well and I can assure you my vote was not cast for one single incumbent. I am guessing the only younger people south of the I10 who voted for the incumbents were union family members probably like you Roberta G. In fact I could be one of your neighbors. Now go spend the rest of your day trying to figure out who I am Roberta G, but I guarantee you don’t scare me and neither do your union buddies, lol. And, if you are so ready to move on why do you and the rest of the union spouses run to Howard’s blog every chance you get and spout your hateful diatribe?

  6. Seriously, were is Gary Gibbs? He can sure talk a good guest blog game. But why won’t he show his face and respond?

    Or is he already but is too ashamed to reveille his identity?

    I think so. I know what we call people like that were I’m from. But only Howard is allowed to name call on this blog. One of the few double standards he set.

    • Hello Kim,

      Please consider this my random act of kindness for today.

      “Were” in the first sentence of your first paragraph should read “where”
      It should be “where” in your last paragragh as well.

      “Reveille” is spelled “reveal”.

      Please pay close attention to Gary’s postings as he is an excellent writer. Perhaps if you were a little kinder to Gary he might even give you a few pointers. It appears that “where you come from” spelling and grammer skills are not top priorities for students.

      Have a wonderful day!

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