The Good, the Bad and the Money

What Tempe city candidates raised in 2012.

I recently came across an article (link here) about the final total for money raised by candidates in the 2012 Tempe City elections. I’m a pretty visual person, so numbers mean more to me on a chart, so let’s take a quick look at what the final totals show.



These are the numbers presented in the article and as noted, I’ve included any money that was carried over from previous campaigns where appropriate. In the end, this is the amount of money each candidate had at their disposal for the 2012 election cycle. The “MFI” on the end? That’s the current amount of a family’s median household income in Tempe. I didn’t include it for any editorial purposes except to give some frame of reference for the amounts we’re looking at in this chart. It seems most council candidates are in the $50K-$80K range and the two final mayoral candidates really broke new ground for fundraising. Of course, there’s more to every story.


Now, here’s the vote totals for each candidate. Note I only used the general election totals for Monti, Mitchell, Foreman and Granville. Why? Any of them could have won outright in the primary and most of their voters are logically the same between the two elections. I tend to view your effectiveness (or ineffectiveness) on the number of votes you received in the election that either won you your office or kicked you out of the running. The point of doing this of course is to see what the cost per vote then is…


I think it would amaze anyone that it cost over $15 per vote to get elected mayor of Tempe. (Perhaps more so than the fact both candidates practically raising as many dollars as there are Tempe residents.) To me, there is one more compelling observation from this chart. Corey Woods (the highest vote getter in either the primary or general election) spent the second lowest amount on his votes. Why and how are topics for another story. But it shows that money isn’t necessarily the key to winning in Tempe. And finally…


One of the most curious parts of the article is noting the amount of money candidates spent themselves on their campaigns. It appears the three incumbents didn’t need to do this because they had money left over from previous campaigns (and had the name ID which provided immediate fundraising muscle). But I am shocked by the amount of money candidates personally invested in some of these races. Of particular interest is newly elected Councilman Kolby Granville who apparently chipped in a whopping 64% of his total campaign account (to the tune of $53,423). I have no problems with people spending their money as they wish – even when it comes to campaigns. I am somewhat concerned though when that percentage is over two thirds of their campaign total funding. And in this case, nearly more than the median family income in Tempe.  But most of all, it is troubling that a candidate who talked about “refusing all special-interest money” (link here) would instead, accept perhaps the single biggest special interest contribution in the history of Tempe City politics. The “special-interest” in this case being the candidate himself.

Council Candidate Granville Refuses Special-Interest Money

Campaign finance reports were filed on April 12, 2012.  They show Tempe Council Candidate Kolby Granville has refused all special interest money.  According to his campaign finance report, he has not accepted money from a single political action committee,  and has refused money from developers, and other known current or former lobbyists.  Instead, Granville has relied on many small campaign contributions from friends and Tempe residents.

“There are roughly 160,000 people in Tempe.  About 20,000 vote in city elections.  Those 20,000 people are campaigned to via mailers and door hangers on the campaign contributions of about 150-250 donors.  When you change the question from ‘Who is my constituency?’ to ‘Who do I have to keep happy to get elected?’  what you realize is that these 150-250 donors that allow you to reach the 20,000 voters are who elected officials believe they have to keep happy.  If the special interests turn off the money,  your campaign dies.

And who are those people?  Typically, they are PAC’s, lobbyists, land developers, and special interests.  By refusing their money, and going straight to real people for support, I have the freedom to speak my mind, and vote my conscience.”  ~Kolby Granville

If you are not a PAC, registered lobbyist, or land developer, and you would like to contribute to Kolby Granville’s campaign, you can do so here.  

Candidate Arts Forum provides an opportunity to hear views on arts and culture in Tempe

December 31, 2011

The Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts along with other arts organizations are hosting a candidate forum for Tempe City Council candidates. We believe that promoting arts and culture cuts across all boundaries including political boundaries. Whether it’s at the Federal, state or local level, it is incumbent upon us to advocate for the arts.
Our citizens voted to tax themselves to build the TCA; our leaders in the past created two arts ordinances; and we are a community that prides itself in having a wonderful quality of life. We have an opportunity to ask those individuals who are running for office to give us their opinions and views about the arts and culture in Tempe, and what they envision for the future of the arts in our community.
A diverse group of individuals crafted a number of questions to be asked of the mayoral and council candidates on January 11th in the Tempe City Council Chambers. From 5:00 to 6:00 we will ask questions of the three candidates who are running for mayor, then from 6:00 to 7:00 we will ask the same questions to the five council candidates.
Our questions are narrow in scope, therefore you will have a good sense of where each of the candidates stand on issues concerning Tempe’s cultural climate. We hope that you will be able to attend, but if not, you will be able to view it via Channel 11 or on your computer.

Barb Carter, board member Friends of Tempe Center for the Arts

Michael Monti Proposes Formation of a Tempe Community Corps

Candidate for Tempe Mayor Michael Monti, who has volunteered his time to countless community efforts, has seen first-hand the desire of Tempeans to make their City a better place. That’s why he is proposing the formation of the Tempe Community Corps.

Monti said, “On the campaign trail I continue to hear our residents echo JFK as more of them ask, ‘What can I do for Tempe?’ I would like to give them an answer. President Kennedy had the right answer when he formed the Peace Corps. My answer to my neighbors is the formation of the Tempe Community Corps.”

The City of Tempe currently has a volunteer program. Monti would like to enhance this effort, give it greater publicity, expand its ranks, and expand its role. More services would be provided and the volunteers already in place would get some much needed assistance. The Tempe Community Corps would unify the City’s volunteer efforts and strengthen its reach by reaching out to more members of the community. Monti stated, “We have the opportunity to make a good program great.”

The goal is to fix up Tempe neighborhoods, assist Tempe’s elderly and other vulnerable populations, improve the quality of life in Tempe, and save taxpayer dollars. Monti believes the best way to do this is to connect those with the desire to lend a hand to those who need a hand.

Having been a member of organizations such as the Tempe Diablos, the Tempe Rotary Club, the Tempe Community Impact Foundation and many others, Monti is well aware that community service is part of the fabric of Tempe.

“It’s time to build a bridge to connect the City’s needs with the Community’s desire to help. When residents have a stake in making their city great, we all benefit. This is how we can make more history in Tempe, especially with all of the college students and people in Tempe looking for causes great than self.”

Michael Monti’s candidacy has been endorsed by Tempe’s current Mayor, Hugh Hallman, and Tempe’s first elected Mayor, Rudy Campbell. Michael Monti, owner of Tempe’s historic Monti’s La Casa Vieja, co-founded Local First, Arizona. Michael is also active in the Tempe Diablos Charities, and he is the youngest inductee in the Arizona Restaurant Association’s Hall of Fame.
To visit the Monti4 Mayor Website log on to (@monti4mayor).

Michael Monti Accepts Invitation to Participate in Mayoral Candidate Forum

I gladly accept the Arizona Republic’s invitation to participate in their January 30th Tempe Mayoral Candidates’ Forum at the Tempe Council Chambers.

In business, competition is what keeps us on our toes. The same can be said in politics. As a restaurant owner I have had to compete side by side to stay in business. As a candidate for Tempe Mayor, I think that should be applied in politics. That’s why I am calling on the community to host as many mayoral debates as possible.

Tempe voters are facing a critical decision as they select a new mayor and the best way to help them decide is to give them a chance to see the candidates side by side.

While this may be the most challenging forum for the candidates, it is the most rewarding forum for the voters. I believe that once voters hear my message that calls for innovation and private sector solutions, they will support me and vote for me in the primary election on March 13, 2012.

A Lake and a Beach for All Tempe to Enjoy

By Michael Monti and Dick Foreman

Tempe does a lot of things for other parts of the Valley, and that’s a good thing.

Arizona State University is in the heart of our community.

We import a lot of jobs each day into Tempe.

We built Town Lake which people from around the state enjoy every day.

The same goes for our Performing Arts Center.

But as we celebrate these achievements and others it is a fair question to ask if we can do more for our own citizens too? Can the features mentioned above somehow, some way be further utilized to enrich Tempe’s quality of life itself?

As long-time Tempe businessmen, school advocates and now candidates we think so.

Recently, we announced plans if elected, to establish the Valley’s first beach, on either the north or south side of Tempe Town Lake. We think this is a good initiative, whether we win or lose.

Like a new park, there it would be for Tempeans of all persuasions and means to enjoy. Barbeques. Tanning. Picnics. Fun.

The idea is this: sand is cheap. Making a small portion of the lake just off the beach “swimmable” ought not to be too expensive either. And whatever the expense we intend to look to the private sector, possible concessionaires or non-Tempean user fees to fund the improvements, not the taxpayer.

It took tremendous will and vision to get Tempe and its lake this far. Indeed, Tempe’s first Mayor Rudy Campbell was on hand at our announcement to talk about his excitement for this latest evolution.

There will always be great days roaming the beaches in San Diego and California. But with some leadership and innovation, we just may be able to create a uniquely Tempe experience that allow even more of us to enjoy Tempe investments.

If you’d like to learn more or get involved in this effort please get in touch with either one of us at  and