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Sedona Council and Chamber Election Lies

Sedona AZ (August 26, 2018) – The following is a letter to the SedonaEye.com editor:

City of Sedona Council and its affiliation with the Chamber of Commerce is under scrutiny by the state of Arizona and its angry residents.

This is the story of lies by commission or omission with a love for wanton ignorance. It has created a sad atmosphere for our little city. Do you want the future of Sedona determined by people so comfortable with lies by commission, omission or wanton ignorance to determine our path?

Jennifer Wesselholf of the Regional Chamber of Commerce posted her latest plea for the people to understand her position in asking for help to overcome the rabble-rousing strangers attacking her organization: She’s upset that people are blaming the chamber for the traffic woes that didn’t exist before the three years of excessive and aggressive advertising by the Chamber.

But, of course, the Chamber says no to any fault – and since the Mayor and the editor of the red rock news have publicly stated that traffic would continue sans the Chamber involvement and Mr. Graham assures us it would continue with the same ferocity, how can the chamber share in any part of this problem? How confusing is this? That the unintended or never considered forethought of excessive advertising might cause traffic problems or was it that they had no impact at all and 6 million tax dollars were a complete waste?

Ms. Wesselhoff doesn’t disappoint her past record with more lies by commission and omission in her latest plea. It’s right in line with their weekly bulletin of lies concerning Home Rule. Obviously, ignorance isn’t the cause since she’s been corrected more times than I care to remember. So she again has lied to her loyal followers that every service such as police, parks, and street maintenance and traffic won’t get better without Home Rule.

But let’s not forget that the chamber recently appointed itself the “Truth Squad.” You say whaaat? I kid you not, they did, so now obviously we can rest in peace with whatever they say? But let’s come back to reality; the driving force behind Ms. Wesselhoff is greed for money and power; to be exact, $2.5M that her Chamber stands to lose per year if Home Rule is voted out — but there is a double threat. Even if Home Rule is passed, she needs the incumbents re-elected to keep the golden goose laying its eggs. Then again it all could be moot if the so-called fake news of the state’s investigation into the relationship between the Chamber of Commerce and the city is proven to be illegal. This kick up the legal ladder that is sloughed off by the city attorney, the Red Rock News, and the City Council (etc.) could end up emptying the pockets of all concerned. But I’m sure they’re quite calm and confident since they are now enjoying the distinction of being the ‘Truth Squad.”

Meanwhile, Steve Segner of the Sedona Lodging Council keeps on plugging along with his same inane comments about Home Rule with his own lies by commission and omission: Steve’s reasons to do so may be the most obvious for all to see because they’re all green with pictures of presidents. The more traffic the more people the more money Mr. Segner makes with his hotels.

Yet Mr. Segner has a secret weapon. He runs the AZ Election 18 PAC which amazingly proclaims voting YES for Home Rule will miraculously make the traffic better. Of course, how could I not see this before! Mr. Segner supporting his PAC with the Hotels and others invested in more traffic are giving their financial support to keep Home Rule and the incumbents because it creates more traffic.

No wait, it was supposed to be less traffic, right? Their logic escapes me. I can only assume someone with such illogical traffic ideas got together with Ms. Wesselhoff and thought the ultimate evolution of lying could only lead to claiming to be the ‘Truth Squad.” Mr. Segner’s lies of commission and omission are strongly spitting in the face of commonsense that home rule will make things better for Sedona.

Christopher Fox Graham, on the other hand, dabbles in all three categories with lies of commission, omission, and ignorance. His editorial on Wednesday, August 23rd showed his complete ignorance in understanding home rule or the lack thereof with claims of failure of the system from not being able to pay our policemen to filling a pothole. He only slightly falls short of Ms. Wesselhoff’s claim that the system will collapse and the state will have to come in and run the city. I understand his last editorial continued with the same lies about Home Rule, so obviously nothing will sway him or the others from ever telling the truth.

As Einstein is credited with the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results, why would I ever read Graham’s column? As an ambitious editor, I was disappointed by his repeated refusal to answer a simple question of why the Red Rock News was obviously through unrelenting biased writing, backing the continuance of home rule over the Alternative Base Adjustment (PBA). He eventually answered by minimizing the PBA’s importance and explaining that the paper would address it after the primary. In other words, we’ll figure out how to keep the barn door closed after the horses have run off.

If ignorance isn’t his plea, then lying by commission is the only other possibility. But based on my conversations with Mr. Graham, I believe wanton ignorance was the reason. How do you argue against anything without knowing the good and bad points of what you’re defending or attacking? Considering what the Red Rock News publishes about the Sedona political scene either choice fits, but since wanton ignorance is a side step from wanton omission that’s where I lean (wanton…I don’t want to hear about anything that’s not on my agenda). Obviously that’s what it is since he keeps repeating the same lies. But don’t try to corner Mr. Graham into giving a reason for anything he can’t defend or attacks because, if he doesn’t have the facts to back him when the need occurs, he excels at tossing in Red Herrings until there’s a stack of them with an overwhelming stench. Is it greed for power? With an ego his size, that I can believe.

Justin Clifton, our city manager and “Mr. Traffic is our destiny” is just visiting Sedona, the way I see it. His allegiance to the city council and the rest of the Cabal is unrelenting. It’s unfortunate that his caring for the people of the city isn’t in the running to protecting the Golden Goose. Not surprising, but I can only assume his blatant biased presentations about home rule originated from his pocket and not his commitment to the people or the truth. What I do know is that as an employee of the city, he broke the rules. So it’s greed for money is my guess, but maybe, since as the City Council explains that they follow the lead of the staff, a little greed for power might be in the mix as well. I would suggest Mr. Clifton get his resume up to date as maybe some others should do.

The incumbents, on the other hand, are a basket full of disappointment. Pushing for Home Rule gives them the power they must enjoy because it allows them to force changes on the people who are resisted like the connector roads. They feel it’s their duty to put their mark on the city come hell or high water regardless of the resistance and, if it can’t be the connector roads changing Uptown, screwing the businesses and the future of tourism will work just fine for them. At the August 15th meeting they showed their ignorance of the SIM 1 project with questions that should have been settled in their minds a year ago. And we wonder why the government is slow to move, but in this case thankfully. I’ve seen both lies of commission and omission at forums when the incumbents also described with certainty the failings of our city government if home rule wasn’t passed.

I’d say it’s their wanton ignorance by their want for power? Since they have resisted understanding any alternative to home rule because the loss of home rule strips them of the power to do what they want to do, it seems holding their grip on power is the most logical.

It brings to mind when Ms. Williamson (Councilor) put her fingers in her ears and repeated ‘I can’t hear you!’ at a City Council meeting. They spew the same garbage as those above – without regard to the wants of the people or protecting the future of this city.

The surprise is that still to this day Ms. Wesselhof and the incumbents have a following: It’s not surprising that someone will place their personal wealth or those fearing to keep their job ahead of the city’s needs, but for other followers I have to admit I’m at a loss because commonsense doesn’t explain it.

Of course, there are the non-profits which have been constantly lied to about losing their funding without home rule which is a fallacy. And the Council isn’t stupid about protecting itself; they know the more people who receive money from the city, the more people who will have an allegiance to them. They even changed the requirements of non-profit funding from a 501(c)3 to just 501 and there are 29 categories of 501. The opportunity to enlist more support is great and, as is obvious, the more money they give away the more built-in support they have.

All these people are part of the Cabal that has nothing but their own self-interest at heart. If they stay in place, things won’t improve except for them. All have from the very beginning and to this day still blatantly lie to anyone and everyone. You think I’m harsh? Well, sometimes the truth hurts.

This isn’t about my campaigning for anyone’s vote. I’m speaking as a citizen and I’m telling it the way it is – and, it’s only because of the way it is that I became politically involved.

We’re being taken advantage of – and the longer these people have any say or any input or are able to access the money or influence the course of this city in any manner – the more we will suffer for it. Being a politician is not my dream. I’ll gladly give up my chance of being on this council knowing that home rule is voted down and the incumbents are voted out, replaced with people who will fight to get this city back on track and back into the hands of the people.

This political chaos and resistance didn’t just pop up on its own, it’s because people are angry. The chaotic atmosphere has made many people very uncomfortable. Beneath the chaos, I know this city has a strong foundation of peace and, unfortunately, sometimes you have to fight through the chaos and lies to again enjoy the peace.

Sam Tardio
City of Sedona August 28 Candidate

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  1. Bashas Guy says:

    Unlike yours…….Bashas is a self sustaining business that can “get by” without tourists ….yours is failing cause it’s strictly relies on tourists coming to town for thier functions…

    Your hatred of the C of C are self serving cause you don’t like competition..

  2. Az elections 18 PAC, INc. Update says:

    AZ Elections 18 PAC, Inc. Committee #: 201800321


    File Number:

  3. Edwin White says:

    Trickle down from DC no way, it’s trickle up from Sedona and like small towns with big chiefs looking for Indians to steal money land and quality of life from. Trump is a gentlemen and saint compared to the council and staff in Sedona.

  4. Hannah, OJ says:

    “The most conservative and divided Supreme Court in my lifetime confirmed that even a billionaire, who refuses to acknowledge that the law applies to him, and retains the most expensive attorneys he can find, cannot create a private beach,” said attorney Joe Cotchett of Burlingame, who represents the Surfrider Foundation, a nonprofit group that has won lower cases forcing Khosla to keep the beach open.


    I heard from Democrat friends they were told not to talk about the Supreme Court decision because it made it harder on the Democrats. Why? Because majority Republicans on the US Supreme Court voted to keep beach open to the poor and the public and minority Democrats wanted to not offend this local California rich man! Vote for every Republican if you want access to beaches in California because the Democrats sold your rights to their rich donors.

  5. Ernest Ki says:

    Why didn’t you cover the release of captured and tortured American minister? Because it was Trump that managed to do what Obama couldn’t AGAIN?

    Social Security got it’s biggest increase ever coming up in January because of Trump’s budget and you didn’t cover it either? Why because Trump did what Obama wouldn’t do?

    If you don’t vote Republican to keep this economy strong in November, if Republicans stay home, if Democrats are complacent weaklings to its Left wing fanatics, our Social Security checks will stop coming as threatened under Democrats, our borders will allow more crime to reach your houses as promised by Democrats. Stop being losers drowning in crazy asses Democrat party dogma. #walkaway #asiansgorepublican #democratsforrepublicans

    Mark R. Levin @marklevinshow

    President Trump secures the release of another kidnapped American.And unlike Obama, he paid no ransom & made no deal.The Left could learn a lot from Trump if they’d put down the equivalent of their political Molotov cocktails & pay attention.

  6. Mike says:

    From a SE letter by Sam Tardio, candidate for Sedona Council in August 2018. People here should listen more.

    {Justin Clifton, our city manager and “Mr. Traffic is our destiny” is just visiting Sedona, the way I see it. His allegiance to the city council and the rest of the Cabal is unrelenting. It’s unfortunate that his caring for the people of the city isn’t in the running to protecting the Golden Goose. Not surprising….}

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