Dark Money PAC Supporting Flagstaff Minimum Wage Repeal Tied to Trump, Illegal Campaign Financing, and Voter Fraud. Here’s the Evidence

The current minimum wage repeal effort (Prop 418), is being run by a dark money PAC called America Revived. I have found evidence that America Revived is run by political operatives that were hired by Trump in 2016 and has been linked to multiple cases of voter registration tampering, voter fraud, political money laundering, and illegal campaign finance donations. While our eyes are focused on Washington, this is who’s in our own backyard.

In 2016, America Revived's only expenditure was to Lincoln Strategy LLC totaling $227,775, an organization run by Nathan Sproul.  Donald Trump and the RNC paid Sproul and Lincoln Strategy LLC in 2016 to the tune of $1.8 million in 2016 to be their political operative.

Sproul's employees pleaded guilty in Florida to 4 felonies of destroying voter registration forms and voter fraud.  Lincoln Strategy is still under investigation for voter registration misconduct in Nevada and Oregon. Sproul admitted to an FBI investigation that the number of his employees who have been referred to prosecutors for possible criminal activities over the years "is closer to 100 than it is to zero," he told the FBI agent, according to the FBI transcript. (Fox News Article from 2016)

The current treasurer for America Revived, Chris Marston, and Custodian of Records, Donna Smith, were previously with Cancer Treatment Centers PAC in 2014, an organization caught by the FEC making illegal campaign contributions totaling $700,000. They reached a settlement and had to pay $288,000 in fines to the FEC. They were giving money to people who were then donating the maximum allowed to candidates across the country. (BNA Article Below)

Currently, the only thing on America Revived’s reports this year is 4,000 paid to North Rock Reports.  North Rock Reports is owned by Chris Marston, the treasurer of America Revived.  This is indication of a political money laundering scheme through our town.








Attainable Housing Bond-Needed, but let's be smart about it

Council is considering placing a $35 million bond for attainable housing on the ballot this November.  We absolutely need to put money towards this problem as it is arguably the biggest issue we face as a city.  That being said, I have some concerns…

First of all, if nobody knows what exactly we’re going to spend that money on, where did the magic number of $35 million come from? The city of Flagstaff has a bonding limit of $50 million left.  If we cut out $35 million of that for this project alone, we are setting ourselves up to have serious difficulties in the future. We will only have another $15 million in credit line for the foreseeable future. Think about, for example, if a natural disaster hits our town and we can’t take out a loan to repair the community.

Secondly, we aren’t just spending $35 million.  When you include interest, this is actually going to cost the city around $57 million.

Let me be clear.  We need this on the ballot.  We need attainable housing for the low and middle class, but let’s not willy-nilly throw numbers around that could end up hurting us in the future and cost millions in interest charges. If we are taking out money, let’s figure out where we plan to spend it first, THEN set a number, THEN place it on the ballot.

My Position on the Mill Town Development-Could Have Done More

The Mill Town project was approved last Tuesday. I do believe that the City could have gotten more out of this project, such as more affordable housing.  When we have the power and leverage to do more, we should. But high density housing is necessary for Flagstaff.  It is better for environmental conservation, it reduces traffic, and helps hedge inflation on housing costs.  Flagstaff has 3 options-build up, build out, or face double digit inflation in our rental market. I personally am not a fan of tearing down the forest, or people being forced into homelessness because they can't afford rent. We may not like any of those options, but that’s reality. 

This is not a “Deal with the Devil,” as I’ve heard people say. The developer, Vintage Partners, has been a community partner.  They are not Core Campus that built the Hub. Based on public outreach and discussions with Council, Vintage redesigned their plans 7 times. They are putting in an underpass on Milton to help encourage ped/bicycle transportation.  They left 2 acres of land as open space, put a much higher ratio of parking to unit than the Hub, and took out their commercial floor to reduce the height to the already zoned 65’.  They also are renting by the unit and not by the bed per the community’s request.

Let’s be honest. Under the prior mayor this development would have been 93’ tall, rented by the bed, with no concessions made to receive zoning approval. Is it ideal? No. Could Council negotiate better next time? Yes. When we have the power and the leverage, we should use it to the utmost.

Freedom of speech and hate speech in the wake of Charlottesville.

The neo-Nazis and white supremacists should have their freedom of speech and freedom to organize, but freedom of speech does not entitle anyone to freedom from the consequences of that speech. And it certainly does not give anyone freedom from their actions.

I say let them organize.  Let them crawl out of their dark holes so we know who they are.  Photograph them. Shame them.  And let them feel the brunt of the social consequences for their actions and words.  Let their employers know who works for them.  Let their relatives, friends, classmates, coworkers, and neighbors know who they really are. 

We must organize to stop this aggression towards our neighbors and friends, but let’s be smart about it.  Let’s use every non-violent tool we can to ensure that hate is outcasted from civil society. Let it be known that hate will not be tolerated. White supremacy will not be tolerated. Let’s make sure they crawl back into that hole from whence they came by calling them out, and by voting out those politicians whose actions or inaction enable their twisted beliefs.

$2.5 Million Tax Break for Soliere Ave Project

Vintage partners asked City Council last week for a $2.5 million tax break to reroute and expand Soliere Ave. to serve the retail outlets and hotels they are to build. Council voted down the tax incentive.

My first reaction to the news of the request was why $2.5 million?  Why not $1 million? Why not $1.5 million?  To receive such a tax break the corporation must show by law that the city will receive economic benefits that exceed the incentive, as well as that the project would not happen without the tax break.  The second condition was never met.

If on Council I would have taken a different approach and asked for a delay in the vote, until Vintage Partners can provide financial evidence that the project would not happen without assistance.  When someone applies for food stamps they must show their bank accounts, their income, and prove to the government that they absolutely need government assistance. Corporations asking for millions should be held at least to the same standard as a struggling single parent asking for a few hundred dollars in food for their children. 

Show us your books and we can talk. You haven’t met the burden of proof to receive government assistance, and we'll delay the vote until you do. Ball's in your court.

Infrastructure and Innovation

Flagstaff is growing, and growing fast. Our tourist industry is booming and our student population will increase 30% in the next decade. Our community needs the proper infrastructure to deal with these pressures and ensure the economic benefits similarly grow our residents’ quality of life rather than diminish it. Our transportation system has yet to catch up with the growth that has already occurred.  Our water resources need to be properly sustained to deal with these pressures for our current and future generations, and we need to further our alternative energies

How do we do this? By more creative thinking and applying the latest innovations to our city for greater government efficiency and improved quality of life. In the US and abroad we are seeing cost-effective innovations being brought to cities and states. For example, recycled plastic has been added into asphalt to double the resilience of roads. This is being done in Texas right now.

Additive manufacturing, also known as 3-D printing, has opened a new world of industry and that could be fostered in our town with minimal land requirements, and has the capability to produce solar panels, wind turbines, biotechnologies, and so much more. In fact, 2 out of the top 6 fastest growing industries over the next decade are solar energy and 3D printing.  And guess what, our engineering program at NAU is ranked in the top 50 in America and is developing additive manufacturing.  Even our arts department is becoming experts in its use.  We have people already here to do the job.


Paul Deasy