How does Phoenix Mayor candidate Jennifer Wright think that contractors keep costs down?

29 Jun 2011 09:24 pm
Posted by: Donna

Tea Party favorite Jennifer Wright is seen as an up-and-comer in the Phoenix Mayor race by political observers in Sand Land. I predicted she’d be formidable in a recent post since she has the Tea Party support and a good name (yes, that makes a difference). Her debate performances have been panned and her spotty voting record has been called into question (she told Brahm Resnik of Channel 12 she was “asleep at the wheel” for not voting in city elections because she didn’t realize they took place in off years) but those things probably won’t be a big deal to voters.

I found this recent interview with Wright, conducted by “Western Free Press”. They’re clearly a sympathetic conservative outfit. The interviewer lobs predictably softball questions allowing her to give equally predictably platitudinous answers. It’s mostly a yawner but her responses starting at 4:30 in the video point to some issues I don’t think have been addressed regarding using private contractors to “save taxpayers money”.

Wright was asked about SB1322, a vetoed bill that would have required cities with over 500K people (namely Phoenix and Tucson) to submit all “non-essential” (meaning not police or fire) services to a bidding process where private contractors would be able to vie against city agencies to do them. Wright got really animated at this point, talking about how her husband works at a major corporation and they don’t mow their own lawns, clean their own bathrooms, or even provide their own security guards. And it works beautifully! She also suggests that City of Phoenix employees are making $100K a year to mow lawns.

Needless to say she’s way off about that. The City of Phoenix website says the pay range of groundskeepers is $27,227 to $34,653. Unless they have some really impressive health care plans they’re not getting anywhere near $100K in compensation. But groundskeepers working for the City of Phoenix are probably making a lot more than their counterparts at Acme Contracting Conglomerate.

Why should lucky ducky city employees who mow lawns be making a subsistence wage when those who mow lawns at Wright’s husband’s firm are getting by on less-than-shit wages as the Lord intended?

Well, private contractors have a lot more latitude to cut corners. One of the ways they do that is through labor costs. I don’t suppose candidate Wright, who is a supporter of SB1070 and who is proud to have the support of AZ Senate President Russell Pearce, has done much research on the prevalence of certain hiring practices by corporate and government contractors.


  1. Comment by Kevin Myers on June 30, 2011 6:33 am

    Lets see: If one is rich one is crooked; If one man is fat he got that way by taking advantage one that is skinny; When a person can do a better job for less cost they did so by cutting corners. Give my a %&^$*^# break!

  2. Comment by Sparky2012 on June 30, 2011 7:06 am

    Why not leave a link to an article tying the fact that Senator Pearce pushed just as hard for the bill revoking a firms lisc. that hires illegals.

    You had a fair article untill you added your little underhanded twist at the end!

    The imortal “Don’t you try that with me, BOZO” might apply!!

  3. Comment by Donna on June 30, 2011 6:12 pm

    Sparky, Russell Pearce cut a deal with the AZ Chamber of Commerce to strip out the ability of county attorneys to subpoena records from businesses in both SB1070 and the Legal Arizona Employers Act. So while employer sanctions look tough on paper practically no employers ever face them.

  4. Comment by Donna on June 30, 2011 6:16 pm

    Well then, Kevin, Ms. Wright should have no problem explaining how she’s going to ensure that no contractor hires undocumented immigrants to fill jobs that were formerly held by legal city workers.

  5. Comment by dude on June 30, 2011 7:42 pm

    I can’t wait for the day when we can outsource legal representation and political organizing to China. A good dose of modern feudalism will show those lawyers and their sycophantic hacks the real American way to increase profits.

  6. Comment by Kevin Myers on July 1, 2011 11:35 am

    Sorry Donna,

    I do not answer Straw Man arguments. I’d say “nice try” but it wasn’t.

  7. Comment by Alan Scott on July 1, 2011 5:30 pm

    Donna ,

    I see liberal economics is alive and well here . Jack up taxes, put more people on the public payroll and then wonder why businesses close and people are out of work .

  8. Comment by todd on July 2, 2011 9:13 am

    Alan Scott,
    People are currently out of work because the ‘free market’ decided to ignore a massive housing bubble and refused to allow regulation of high-risk securities.

    BTW, businesses don’t close because of taxes, they close because people don’t want to buy the goods/services they are selling or they are mismanaged. I know blaming government for failure may salve the ego, but that isn’t way businesses fail.

    I also have to wonder what reality you inhabit when taxes are currently quite low and the public sector workforce has not grown compared to private sector.

  9. Comment by Appleblossom on July 5, 2011 5:36 pm

    Having more people working means that no one is working?

    Does not compute.

    What does compute is that city workers are workers too. They get paychecks (not great ones but not bad either) and they then spend that money in the local community. Which means someone has to actually run a business that sells food for instance. Or a shoe shop, or a paper and pen store.

    So apparently when you hire more city workers, you put everyone out of work. Conservative economics are fun. Not.

  10. Comment by dude on July 6, 2011 9:25 pm

    Yeah, you stupid libtards with your straw man fallacies, taking all of our tax money and giving it away to unions, and then making up straw men about angry patriots when we expose the truth about how you all just want to raise all the taxes and make us all work for the government, well that has never worked in the history of civilization and when you try to do it it will be no different, so take your straw man arguments and go back to France. And remember to take your straw men with you. Libtards.

  11. Comment by Anne White on July 7, 2011 9:35 pm

    Jacking up the taxes that smaller businesses have to pay in order to stay in business leaves the employer left to choose between raising the price of their goods (losing customers to whomever can more easily undercut them…like Walmart, for instance) or services or letting go of employees (thus raising unemployment). I don’t see how taking bloated government down a bit, thus taking out tax-subsidized employees–many of whom have merely served as leeches sucking off of our hard-earned paychecks–equates so seamlessly to screwing people–most of whom have worked very hard to realize their dreams of becoming business owners–and stripping them their ability to make a profit doing what they love by forcing them to pay more money to the gov’t for the aforementioned bloat.

  12. Comment by {Pam Tollers on August 4, 2011 4:37 am

    Payroll tax laws are constantly changing and have in fact accelerated over the last three years. What do you recommend small business owners do in order to keep up and keep compliant?

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