10 Reasons Phil Gordon Shouldn't Run for Mayor Again (None Related to Mr. Bean Look)
Mr. Bean (left), Phil Gordon
Mr. Bean/Paul Drummond via Flickr
Mayor Phil Gordon, again?
Sure, he provided a steady stream of juicy, controversial story fodder during his tenure. He's got that adorable Mr. Bean thing going for him. And the disheveled look he sports gives off an approachable vibe.
During good times in Phoenix -- when politicians could convince voters to approve a nearly $1 billion bond for a downtown Arizona State University campus -- Gordon ushered along development in the heart of the city.
But rumblings that Gordon might be trying to make a comeback call to mind some of Gordon's darker moments.
Our 10 reasons why Phoenix may have had its fill of Phil:
10. Bad Democrat
We haven't forgotten Phil Gordon's endorsements of individuals who support Arizona Senate Bill 1070 and other draconian immigration-enforcement measures -- the disgraced, disbarred, and former County Attorney Andrew Thomas in 2004 and Senator John "Complete the Danged Fence" McCain in 2010. Tsk. Tsk.
9. Phoenix Needs Cash
Gordon is a habitual red-light runner. He admits it.
If he's elected mayor again, he'll have a security detail to drive him around everywhere, and, frankly, Phoenix could use the revenue from traffic fines.
8. Drained Campaign Coffers
Running a campaign is expensive, and Gordon blew a few hundred thousand dollars from his campaign accounts on Elissa Mullany. As his fundraiser and girlfriend, she made most of that money managing his dormant local political accounts and a federal political account Gordon opened.
7. Bahrain Debacle
It was bad, bad timing for Gordon when he had meetings arranged in Phoenix with some big-wigs from Bahrain. While he was boasting about building relationships with the dignitaries that would boost economic development, the country's leaders were killing peaceful protesters in the street.
No doubt there were, like, a gazilion projects Gordon voted on during his eight years in office that favored neighborhood leaders. But his vote was oh-so-wrong on one of the city's most high-profile development projects -- the infamous nearly $100 million city subsidy for parking spaces at CityNorth.
5. Conflicts of Interest
Gordon blurred his professional and personal lives, leveraging his office to travel on private jets around the world and to Super Bowl games, at times with his girlfriend and/or her family in tow.
While he was jetting around the world under the guise of building economic development for Phoenix, Gordon's own e-mails suggested it was his girlfriend's global-connections company he was trying to promote.
There was also an unseemly perception when he landed a job with Patrick Soon-Shiong just months after working on a deal for the billionaire to open his headquarters in a city-owned downtown building.
4. Misplaced Priorities
Gordon was dabbling in a deal with Veolia, the city's transit operator, behind the scenes even though he was abstaining publicly from voting because of a potential conflict of interest.
See, his girlfriend was working for Veolia -- helping them prep for the $385 million Phoenix bus contract.
Gordon's BFF lobbyist Billy Shields also worked for the transit corporation when Gordon advised Veolia to walk away from its city contract -- a threat that helped it muscle nearly $30 million out of Phoenix.
Gordon also unceremoniously left behind at City Hall staff members, including a director in the city's economic development department, who were scheduled to travel with him to Dubai. At the last minute, he decided to take his girlfriend on the junket, which had been billed as one of Gordon's boosting-Phoenix's-economy trips.
3. Fought Against Transparency
Gordon fought in court -- at taxpayer expense -- the release of records kept by his security detail that show where the former mayor was picked up, dropped off, and who was traveling with him.
He refused to release a list that identified potential conflict of interests, that is, the companies doing business with Phoenix that also employed his then-girlfriend.
He wouldn't disclose who purchased Super Bowl tickets for him and his gal pal. State law doesn't allow politicians to accept such gifts.
2. Parroting Councilman Sal DiCiccio?
Former Mayor Phil Gordon, Councilman Sal DiCiccio
What they say about politics and strange bedfellows couldn't be more true in this curious alliance between Gordon and DiCiccio, a councilman best known for his vocal opposition to, well, just about everything. And, yes, that would include opposition to policies and issues that he permitted because he voted to support them -- including union contracts and pension spiking.
The two had bitter disagreements while they served on the council together, especially when Gordon pointed out the inaccuracies and hypocrisies flying out of DiCiccio's mouth.
These days, the two chat over coffee, and Gordon makes public apologies for how he treated DiCiccio and highlights all the great things he and his former colleague were able to accomplish. And Gordon has been parroting DiCiccio's talking points that recent pension reforms in Phoenix are "token."
1. Public Snoozing
Gordon couldn't stay awake during this ceremony for veterans.
We love this 2008 photo because it proves that Gordon isn't the only one who delivers rambling, hard-to-follow speeches that make your eyelids...so ...heavy.
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