Two questions the media should be asking Kate Gallego today

Phoenix, February 23, 2019 – In light of the new, false attack ad against Daniel Valenzuela, here are two questions everyone should be asking Kate Gallego today: 

  1. Kate Gallego was an anti-dark money crusader, but now that it is benefiting her, why is she suddenly silent?

  2. What do Israel Torres and his clients expect to get from Kate Gallego for their $500,000-plus media spend?

The false, negative television ad is paid for by Revitalize Arizona, funded by Residents for Accountability, two Independent Expenditures run by Israel Torres and his firm Torres Consulting & Law Group. The purpose of the false attack is to distract Phoenix voters from the real issues of public safety and education, and now outside groups know the race is close and they are trying to buy the election.

Get the facts about the false ad:

Claim: A completely misleading attack ad created by a pro-Kate Gallego independent expenditure group claims that Daniel Valenzuela supported giving Phoenix taxpayer dollars to billionaires.

Analysis: The attack ad claims that Daniel Valenzuela supported giving Phoenix taxpayer dollars to billionaires, which is in reference to the recent vote by the Phoenix City Council to upgrade the City of Phoenix-owned arena in Downtown Phoenix. The vote passed easily 6-2, and Daniel Valenzuela indicated his support for the decision, in which the City will invest $150 million into the City-owned arena. The Phoenix Suns,which are a tenant of the arena and not an owner, will contribute $80 million towards necessary upgrades to maintain the safety of guests at the arena and the surrounding area.

The ad uses a clip from ESPN, which falsely describes the vote as a giveaway to a billionaire sports owner.

The reality is that the downtown arena is owned by the City of Phoenix; it is an asset of Phoenix taxpayers and is not owned by the Phoenix Suns, or a billionaire. Whether or not the Suns contributed money to the upgrades, the City of Phoenix would still have needed to make an investment in upgrading the arena for the nearly 100+ annual events that take place outside of Suns games.

The Arena deal uses revenue from the Sports Facilities Fund, which was specifically designed to raise funds for upgrades to the City-owned arena from fees overwhelmingly paid by out-of-state tourists. It is misleading to claim that Phoenix taxpayers are paying for this, let alone to claim it is a giveaway to a billionaire. 

The revenue dollars from the Sports Facilities Fund in the arena deal are going specifically to fund upgrades to a City-owned asset. The arena is as much a part of the City’s infrastructure as roads, water lines and sidewalks. The city’s investment is not going towards printing new Suns jerseys or towards signing a point guard; it is an investment in City-owned infrastructure, not a giveaway to a billionaire.