Originally Published: November 4, 2016 6 a.m.
You have recently published two letters from so called Republicans critical of Republican candidate for State Representative David Stringer, and urging support for the Democrat.
The authors have sinned by omission against an honorable man. They distort Mr. Stringer’s record of support for public education by omitting mention of his call for higher teacher pay and stronger academic standards. Mr. Stringer endorsed both the 2015 PUSD budget override and Proposition 123 that have raised teacher salaries in our district schools.
Consistent with his conservative principles, Mr. Stringer has led the fight against tax increases and wasteful government spending. Voters agree. Over the past few years, this helped save our community over $400 million in higher taxes. He is one of the few Republican activists in Yavapai County who stood up to the political establishment, and won.
Vague references to “dark money” influencing local elections are unfounded, and reflect a misunderstanding of independent expenditures. It is against the law for candidates to coordinate with groups making independent expenditures. Candidates have no role in either accepting or rejecting money spent by outside groups. In the recent primary, all three Republican candidates benefited from independent expenditures made on their behalf. Mr. Stringer was not the high dollar recipient in that race. County Supervisor Chip Davis took that prize by many thousands of dollars.
To date, in the general election, no independent expenditures have been made on behalf of Mr. Stringer or against his Democratic opponent.
Mr. Stringer is a frequent speaker at community clubs (including the College Republicans and Young Republicans) and earned wide support. To my knowledge, every elected Republican official in Legislative District 1, from Precinct Committeeman on up, supports Mr. Stringer. He has put forth a positive message of economic development, better roads and infrastructure, stronger schools, and border security, which will improve the quality of life for our community.
It is disheartening to see falsehoods go unrebutted. The Courier could provide an important public service by explaining to readers what independent expenditures are and dispelling the myth that candidates are involved. Peter Pierson creating this independent expenditure myth because he believes playing the victim is his only chance at victory. We don’t want a victim, we want a statesman like Mr. Stringer.
Chairman, Arizona Young Republicans
President, Yavapai Young Republicans