Georgia’s Nixon Tapes; A Convenient Gap Between March 28 – July 11

It seems that a few Goodyear taxpayers are so upset that Goodyear punted on the prison back in June when GEO’s lobbyists contacted the city that they wrote nasty letters to Georgia. (I’ve included a couple of their emails to and replies to Georgia below).

So Georgia has finally responded in writing* with a “set the record straight”, “factual timeline” letter back to all these good folks where she also incorrectly accuses her critics of claiming that she “supported” the prison. I guess that’s in there to try to get your sympathy for her that she has somehow been wrongly accused.   I’ve included Georgia’s email in its entirety below, it’s 3 pages long.  Pretty impressive, eh?  A “factual timeline” to “set the record straight” sounds really good. Sounds like something a city employed public information officer like Nora Fascinelli might come up with.

But it also sounded good when Richard Nixon released the White House tapes back in 1973.  He was also going to come clean for the American public back then. But do you remember the 181/2 minute gap that Rosemary Woods demonstrated how she must have inadvertently caused when her foot slipped on the pedal of the recorder when she was transcribing? Remember that the gap tape was recorded only 3 days after the break-in and it was during a conversation between Nixon and Haldeman?

Can you spell I N C R I M I N A T I N G?  And didn’t you feel insulted back then that Nixon would think you were that stupid to try such an obvious head fake on you?

Well guess what?  Georgia’s got a convenient gap in her “set the record straight factual timeline” too.  She takes you all the way back to 2010 to start her explanation, and brings you up to March 28 when she was sworn in as mayor (just a little reminder to you). But opps, then she skips from March 28 to July 11 when council went on break.

What happened to all those interesting months in between?  Like May and June, the months with the emails that clearly show Georgia knew all about what was going on with GEO and the prison and when Goodyear lawyers were already contacting Perryville to understand the proposal and RFQ better?

C’mon, Georgia, is that the best that you and your $60 million operating budget and about 500 city employees can do to answer the questions that have been raised in your voters minds? It’s just me here with a 6 year old laptop and no budget raising these issues.

Georgia, if you really want to address questions around your initial lack of judgement when the lobbyists called, if you really want to answer questions about your lack of leadership around this entire event, if you really want to address your subsequent grandstanding for the public to paint yourself as a well meaning leader when in fact you are hiding behind the obvious, then just answer these simple questions that I have included for you below;

  1. Where can you point to anyone accusing you of actively supporting the prison expansion as you have exaggerated in your letter? Instead, you and the rest of the city of Goodyear have been accused of “standing aside” and not actively resisting the prison expansion back in June when you could have easily done so and then not being up front about it with citizens. Big difference.
  2. In a June 19 email, over a month earlier than you claim GEO contacted you, sent by Ms. Romina to John Fischbach, she clearly states that she had called and spoken to you about GEO’s lobbyist trying to contact you to find out if Goodyear would be interested in the prison expansion or not.  Are you denying that you spoke to Romina or that she told you why they were calling all the way back in June?  In another email the next day, Romina says that she is with you when GEO lobbyists are trying to set the meeting time and date. Are you denying that she never said anything to you about GEO by then?
  3. Are you denying that if you or others in the city had simply told GEO back in June when their lobbyists contacted you that you would resist a prison expansion with the same passion and eloquence that your city paid writers have put into public statements for you in the news media after citizens found out about it that GEO would have still made a proposal?
  4. While you think about answering that question, how about the August 10 email that we have all seen from John Fischbach to Romina telling her that Goodyear does not oppose the prison?  Are you saying that you knew nothing about what your own city manager was doing regarding an issue as important as the prison as late as August 10?
  5. Or what about the August 3 email from Romina to GEO’s lobbyist saying that “a few” council members had “asked for” benefits statements regarding the prison to get back to constituents with?  Are you saying you knew nothing of how other council people were responding?
  6. Or how about the information from former mayor Cavanaugh where he has stated that the mayor meets with the city manager on a weekly basis?  How could you not have spoken about a $13 million tax revenue issue?
  7. And based upon Wally Campbell’s email of August 21 and her admission that she was referring to an August 3 or 4 meeting with you, Lauritano, Wally, and Romina where you all just “happened” to meet GEO’s lobbyist at lunch, do you expect us all to believe that the prison issue was never discussed when this occurred within days of the first resident objections to the plan?
  8. And finally, which turnip truck do you think we all just fell off?

I think it is pretty clear to everyone, Georgia, that you and perhaps all the rest of city council sat back and allowed things to unfurl as they did instead of either asking citizens what they thought about this big of a town issue (heck, you’re going to survey citizens about a $3 per month increase in garbage service).

Why don’t any of you have the guts to simply admit what you did, or failed to do, and move on?  Don’t politicians learn from previous crooked politicians that the cover up is always worse than the initial deed?

*OK, so Georgia didn’t actually write it, Nora probably wrote it with input from Romina since it looks a lot like the city council CYA timeline that Romina put together for John Fischbach also after the fact back in August (also attached below so you can compare for yourself).

Emails to Georgia from her fans. Dear Georgia fan mail

Georgia’s flawed “set the record straight factual timeline” Georgia gap email

Romina Council CYA timeline to Fischbach.  Why is it CYA?  Because it contradicts the actual emails.  Timeline


7 Responses

  1. Bravo…

  2. I am glad that the mayor’s email contains a link to the city council video showing my remarks on Sept. 22. It should be clear from what I said that, contrary to what the mayor says, I did not accuse her or council of supporting prison expansion. If you watch, please note my direct and respectful manner. Then enjoy the fringe benefit of seeing the mayor practically frothing at the mouth as she accuses me of all make and manner of things.

    What I did say to council was that, had they rebuffed GEO’s advances in May and June, that company most likely would have moved on and we would have been spared this drama. But lacking clear opposition, and actually getting plenty of winks and nods from city staff, GEO felt good enough about its Goodyear prospects to go forward with a bid.

    The city only took a “formal” position against expansion Aug. 22, after considerable heat had been generated from citizens.

    As for the Aug. 10 public hearing, the mayor now says she was out of town. Earlier, feeling compelled to explain her absence, she said she felt her presence would have “intimidated” citizens.

    If the state expands Perryville by as much as a single bed, you can thank the mayor and council for that. I believe their early inaction was deliberate. Their game plan has been to reap the revenue rewards of expansion while posturing publically against the same, knowing that when all was said and done, they could just blame the state.

    • Well said. I am beginning to see the Mayor and our new council members in a different light. I hope that you are open to running again. As with our President some of us may be feeling buyer’s remorse already.

  3. Are we reading that Susan Rogers is Goodyear’s legal counsel? Is this the same Susan Rogers that was chief legal counsel for Arizona Department of Corrections? Someone who understands prison legal issues? Please respond here and in the West Valley View.

  4. The following is from Wally Campbell.
    Dear Howard: I did not meet any lobbyist at the lunch with Georgia. I told you that a woman standing across the restaurant at the front door cash register at least 20 or more tables from where I was sitting was identified by Romina but absolutely nothing else was said or implied during that luncheon nor did that woman, who I do not know, come over to acknowledge we were even in the restaurant. I am very disappointed that you twisted what I told you on the telephone. I also told you I did not meet anyone from the bidding firm until the August 22 meeting of the city council and at that time Kristin introduced herself to me, I introduced myself to her and I walked away. Please leave me out of your blog. I thought you would be honest and fair with me, but I was wrong.

  5. […] internal emails clearly showed that the city, including Georgia, was encouraging GEO to build here… […]

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