Michael Monti/Mark Mitchell Sign Battle Winds Down; "Your" Generic Public Employees Can Endorse Anyone

The feud between supporters of both Tempe mayoral candidates has pretty much come to an end, as no one's going on campaign-sign-stealing escapade, and everyone gets to keep their signs with the endorsement of generic public employees.

This all started with Legislative District 17 Republicans chairman A.J. LaFaro, a Monti supporter, filing a complaint over campaign signs saying "your" firefighters support Mitchell for mayor.

The thought on that was people would think "your" firefighters are from the Tempe Fire Department -- which they weren't. The United Phoenix Fire Fighters Association said no Tempe firefighters had anything to do with it.

It got fun when LaFaro threatened to gather some folks and take down the signs, and Randy Keating, chairman of the Legislative District 17 Democrats, also filed a complaint with the city alleging a similar problem with Monti signs -- because "your" law enforcement supports Monti, according to the signs.

LaFaro got his letter from Tempe City Manager Charlie Meyer saying the firefighters are allowed to have the pro-Mitchell signs up because the organization said Tempe firefighters had nothing to do with it.

Keating received pretty much the same response today, in a letter that's actually addressed to Monti.

It gives Monti three options: take down the signs, remove the word "your," or better yet, "confirm that the signs do not reflect an endorsement of any City employees in their official capacity, and that City employees had no role in the creation or the placement of the signs."

We're going to go out on a limb here and say Monti's just going to call up Meyer, say they had nothing to do with it, and hang up to end the story.

In fact, LaFaro even told New Times last week that he didn't think Monti's signs implied Tempe cops -- or cops at all.

"When I saw those signs go up...it was my impression that they were talking about the attorneys," he said.

The attorneys being Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery and Attorney General Tom Horne, who have indeed endorsed Monti for mayor.

So there you have it -- "your" lifeguards, librarians, internal auditors, clerks, and everyone else can have their public opinions on candidates. Tempe's, lifeguards, librarians, and others, on the other hand, can not.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley

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