Thanks to your girlfriend for writing that letter -- I'd be curious to know exactly what he said. YOUR LETTER SHOULD MATTER - Dang it..! He is an "elected" official -- and he should be listening to what the voters are saying. (unless he too is being 'paid-off') Renzi has recently stepped down and is being investigated, he was supposed to be the sponsor of the bill in the House. Pastor, who took up the Bill for the House of Representatives (bill must be presented and passed in both House & Senate) -- has recently been noted to have his daughter accepting $$ from RCC (the mining company who needs this land.
Interesting, but no -- there probably is no corelation between Pastors daughter trying to get into politics and Pastor sponsoring a bill that his daughters contributor need to have passed (Resolution Copper -- RCC).
The Arizona Republic
Aug. 8, 2007 12:00 AM
The daughter of a U.S. congressman who is running for Phoenix City Council has reaped thousands of dollars in contributions from people and companies who also donate to her father.
Laura Pastor has taken money from employees and lobbyists for timber companies, cattle ranches, airlines and mines, which are industries that her father, Rep. Ed Pastor, oversees as a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
More than 16 percent of the daughter's total contributions came from out-of-state donors, more than either of her top two competitors for the District 7 seat in south Phoenix. She also brought in a larger percentage of out-of-state money than incumbent Phoenix Mayor Phil Gordon, an analysis of campaign contributions by The Arizona Republic found.
Records also showed that she failed to identify nearly half of her out-of-state contributors' occupations or employers, which is required on campaign-finance reports.
Laura Pastor, 37, said she was unaware of any connections that her contributors have with her father. She added that she was able to attract out-of-state donations because she has friends all over the country.
"Those that have contributed to me know what they are going to get from me: integrity, hard work. And I believe in the district," Pastor said.
Among those who donated to Pastor's City Council campaign are several people and a political-action committee with ties to Resolution Copper Co., a British-owned mining company at the heart of a controversial land swap that could open public lands near Superior to mining.
Ed Pastor, D-Phoenix, has supported the project and last week introduced legislation that would foster a deal between Resolution Copper and the federal government.
Companies connected to Resolution Copper have also donated to him. But the congressman said Tuesday that he doesn't believe industries are attempting to curry favor with him by supporting his daughter.
"In all honesty, I don't know who's giving (to Laura)," Pastor said. "I'm not in the business of peddling influence."
John Garcia, a political-science professor at the University of Arizona, said relatives of elected officials often benefit from their family name and political connections.
"Unfortunately, this seems to be the name of the game," Garcia said. "The question becomes, 'How does it influence the process?' "
He said Laura Pastor's access to Washington insiders could be viewed as an asset.
"On the other hand, some might say she could be subject to manipulation. . . . Her response could be, 'I'm making use of the resources and access I have.' "
In 2005, Pastor was hired to direct a scholarship program at Maricopa Community Colleges that largely owes its existence to millions of dollars in federal money that her father steered to the college.
She applied for the job at the same time the congressman was attempting to get a $1 million grant for the program. College officials say she was the best candidate for the job. She has taken an unpaid leave of absence while running for City Council.
Pastor said she has lived with questions about her father's influence all her life. In an earlier interview, she said that having her name is "a double-edged sword" and that she has never used her father to get ahead.
But there is no doubt that the congressman is driving donations to her campaign.
In June, for example, he and U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva of Arizona hosted a fundraiser for her in Washington, D.C. Money raised during the event has not yet been reported on campaign-finance reports.
Among the fundraiser's co-hosts were an account manager for an oil company; the federal-affairs director from the parent company of Arizona Public Service; the chief executive of Public Broadcasting Service; and principals for several national lobbying firms and a worldwide public-relations firm.
The congressman said his daughter has spent years building relationships.
"For the past 30-some-odd years, Laura has been with me," he said. "She has friends in Washington, friends in Chicago where she worked, friends in New York where she went to school and friends in Tucson."
Laura Pastor said her father is just doing what any parent would do to help a child.
"Because that's my father, and he is supporting his daughter," she said.
She dismissed any notion that fundraiser attendees might be more concerned with winning favor with the congressman than what goes on at Phoenix City Hall. The House Appropriations Committee controls government spending and is one of the most powerful committees in Congress.
The lawmaker sits on three of 13 Appropriations subcommittees, including Energy and Water Development; Transportation, Housing and Urban Development; and Interior and Environment. The latter group controls funds to agencies that would regulate the proposed Resolution Copper land swap.
The mine faces opposition from residents and Indian tribes who fear it will damage a scenic area with ties to Apache history.
The swap became mired in controversy after federal investigators launched an inquiry into whether Rep. Rick Renzi, R-Ariz., was trying to push the deal through in order to benefit a former business partner. Renzi denied any wrongdoing but removed himself from any involvement in the land swap in April.
Last month, U.S. Sens. Jon Kyl and John McCain introduced legislation that would give Resolution Copper more than 3,000 acres near Superior in exchange for 4,583 acres of environmentally sensitive land throughout the state.
Ed Pastor last week introduced his own version of the bill, which he said would increase the amount of green space the government gets in the land swap.
"Many government officials came to me and said it is a good deal," Pastor said.
Bruce Merrill, an Arizona State University professor who consults with Resolution Copper, said last week that Pastor was "very important" to the land swap's outcome.
Variety of donors
Various people tied to Resolution Copper donated to Pastor's daughter.
Records show that three officials from Western Land Group, a Denver-based firm that specializes in federal land agreements and aided Resolution Copper in the deal, each donated the maximum $390 to Pastor's daughter.
She also received $1,000 from Kennecott Holdings Corp. Political Action Committee. Kennecott Minerals and Resolution Copper are both owned by the same company, Rio Tinto of the United Kingdom.
Two local lobbyists who count Resolution Copper among their clients also donated to Laura Pastor's campaign.
A spokesman for her top competitor, Michael Nowakowski, criticized the donations.
"It seems that the same special-interest groups that have caused people to lose faith in Washington, D.C., are now trying to take over City Hall," Stephen Molldrem said.
Eight candidates have expressed interest in running for the District 7 seat, which is being vacated by Doug Lingner because of term limits. The district stretches from downtown to South Mountain and encompasses Laveen and Maryvale.
Records show that about 6 percent of Nowakowski's contributions came from out-of-state donors. The other leading candidate, Ruth Ann Marston, had no out-of-state donations.
Identifying many donors to Laura Pastor required looking beyond campaign-finance reports. Records show that she left information about employers and occupations off 143, or 18 percent, of her reports. She instead wrote "information requested," meaning that the contributor has been asked to provide the information.
Details about many of the individuals were readily available through computer searches, 411 directories and campaign reports filed by other city candidates who received donations from the same sources.
About 5 percent of entries for Nowakowski's donors were incomplete. About 2 percent of Marston's were.
Phoenix elections coordinator Mary Jo Slunder said the law requires candidates to make a good-faith effort to fill out the information. But she said there is no audit of the records unless a formal complaint is filed.
Molldrem said he believes that Pastor left the information blank in order to obscure ties to her father and special-interest groups such as mining and timber companies. Pastor's campaign coordinator Debbie Lopez denied it was intentional, saying that "we made every attempt" to identify donors and will file an amended report.
Ed Pastor said no one he knows has even mentioned donating to his daughter.
"If they want to influence me, I don't know how they are going to do it," he said, adding that he hasn't glanced at his daughter's campaign contributions. "I'm not keeping a score card."
Here is a link to the Senate Bill presented by Kyle, it will tell you exactly what the Bill says, where it currently is and what is going on.
The meeting on Oct 14th is supposed to be sponsored by FOQC (Friends of Queen Creek) Member Paul, should be explaining how the access to Oak Flat can and should be preserved as in the recent petition being circulated. We should accept no less thatn continued access and be allowed to share this area with no time limitations. Thanks for your follow-up and interest ~ johanna