Pols to the Wall

 Rudman Flees, Sparks Fly
Anyone who has driven through east Phoenix in the last year has seen Roger Rudman's handiwork. He's the guy who posted those horrendous signs urging voters to "Recall Rebecca Macbeth." Macbeth is a justice of the peace and Rudman's estranged lover. Rudman put up the signs in an attempt to get Macbeth booted out of office last year ("Spurn, Baby, Spurn," November 24, 1993).

Rudman also used attack signs during his 1992 bid for state Senate, against Democrat Chuck Blanchard. He covered Legislative District 25 with signs accusing Blanchard of supporting child molestation--a ludicrous charge that was never substantiated.

Rudman failed in his Senate bid and in his attempts to have Macbeth recalled.

When Macbeth launched her reelection campaign this summer, Rudman's anti-Rebecca signs reappeared.

But Rudman, 48, a former bail bondsman and Macbeth campaign manager, had already left town by then.

It seems Roger Rudman, Phoenix's campaign-sign Rude Man, is a candidate for justice of the peace in Sparks, Nevada, a community about three miles east of Reno. Rudman told a Reno journalist he moved to Sparks eight months ago; he identified himself as an "investor."

According to the Washoe County elections department, Rudman placed second in a three-way primary September 6, and now faces two-term incumbent Larma Volk in the general election.

Rudman refused to discuss his campaign with New Times.
His opponent, incumbent Volk, says only, "I saw the article [in New Times last year] . . . but I have not made it an issue. I'm trying to run a clean campaign, I'm not doing any mudslinging."

A Man of Conviction
Legislative District 19 voters picked themselves a convicted felon September 13, thanks to ringing endorsements from Senate Majority Whip Jan Brewer, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, U.S. Representative Bob Stump and Mr. Chain Gang himself, Governor Fife Symington.

Scott Bundgaard, 26, served two years' probation for his part in a scheme to steal automotive equipment from a Smitty's he worked at in 1986. (His rights to vote and hold office have since been restored.) One of Bundgaard's opponents, Robert Cavaca, pointed it out, and even the Arizona Republic and Phoenix Gazette took note. Neither paper endorsed Bundgaard, who, along with fellow Republican winner David Eberhart, is already assured a spot in the House of Representatives. There are no Democrats in the race.

The Gazette editorialized, ". . . Court records show him [Bundgaard] indicted on three counts of burglary, one count of fraudulent schemes, and one count of theft. Bundgaard, who has led a crime-free life since, explained he was young, without friends and lacked the courage to say no back then. These are hardly the qualities you want in a lawmaker."

But in an ad paid for by Bundgaard, which appeared in the Sun City Daily News Sun just prior to the primary, Brewer, Arpaio, Stump and Symington eloquently begged to differ. Symington said of Bundgaard, who founded the Northwest Valley Young Republicans, "Scott has been an effective Republican worker and a committed supporter of Republican candidates and Republican principles. I commend him for his dedication."

Stump: "He has the enthusiasm and commitment to promote Republican values."

Brewer: "I trust Scott to fairly, honestly, and forthrightly represent the citizens of District 19."

And Arpaio: "Scott is that rare man who got into a little trouble as a teenager, and rather than succumb to the wrong values, has used his life in service to the community."

Bundgaard was the top vote-getter in the primary.
The legislator-in-waiting downplays his indiscretions, preferring to focus on his recent community service instead. (For one thing, he's a member of Sheriff Joe's posse.)

"I knew a guy [Smitty's employee] was taking some things. . . . I didn't say anything, didn't tell on him, anything like that. I never profited from it, never took anything. That's what I got in trouble for," Bundgaard says.

His highest priority in office will be education. He'll be a sure "yes" vote on school vouchers, one of Symington's pet issues. Rick DeGraw, Democrat Eddie Basha's campaign manager, says he's known about Symington's endorsement of Bundgaard for weeks, but didn't say anything until New Times asked about it. (Perhaps that's because DeGraw pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor in AzScam.)

"We've been given this information, but unlike the Fife Symington campaign, we don't believe that you run campaigns by trying to run people down or trying to declare that somebody's an evil person," DeGraw says, adding he has nothing against Bundgaard. "Just because Fife Symington endorsed him [Bundgaard] doesn't make him a bad person."

No Green for the Greens
Workplace charity fund-raising committees for two of the state's largest employers--the City of Phoenix and the State of Arizona--have rejected proposals from Environmental Fund of Arizona, a consortium of environmental and animal-rights organizations.

Workplace fund drives, in which employees are asked to donate money to charity and often get to specify where those dollars go, raise big bucks. Last year Phoenix raised half a million dollars; the state took in about the same. Phoenix allows its employees to choose from among about 200 charities, half of which are affiliated with United Way. The state lists 500 charities; 75 percent are United Way affiliates.

For years United Way, which requires that charitable organizations devote themselves to "the provision of health and human service programs," has informally set the guidelines for workplace giving.

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