Alexander: My campaign finance complaint against David Smith

On Sept. 3, I filed a campaign finance complaint against the Committee to Re-elect David N. Smith to Council, David Smith, James Bruner,and Judy Frost.

Jason Alexander

The complaint alleges that the above parties 1) converted Smith Committee contributions to personal use by means of a cash payout, or, systematically failed to report large debts, and 2) ignored statutes governing disclosure of spending information.

David Smith and his Committee intentionally and willfully deceived the voters and their donors by hiding a $20,000 debt. This debt was not disclosed in any campaign document for the entirety of the 2018 Council campaign, nor was it disclosed going back even further to the end of the 2014 campaign.

The debt represented 30% of the Smith Committee’s total spending for the 2018 election cycle. The voters had reasonable expectations of disclosure and transparency by Smith. $20,000 debt for a $67,000 budget is important information for voters to decide if a candidate was honest, fiscally responsible, qualified to manage their budget, and not beholden to special interests.

The Smith Committee damaged its donors, who had no idea their funds might be used to pay Smith’s debts and converted to personal use. The Smith Committee owed its donors full disclosure of its financial status. On December 18, 2018 David Smith paid himself $4328.32 in campaign funds, after hiding these finances for the entire 2018 campaign.

— Jason Alexander, Scottsdale resident and community advocate

The Smith Committee and David Smith further engaged in habitually lazy record-keeping, by listing an excessive amount of their expenses as going to simply an “online vendor” absent an address or summary total. The Statute provides that the voters should know how much Smith was spending and for what activities, and where those monies went.

Smith’s incomplete reporting calls into question if he has a competent grasp of e-commerce. Smith seems ignorant that “the cloud” is simply a storefront for vendors who have physical addresses and pay business taxes. Its a surprising display of mystification for someone who bragged he was a financial expert.

I researched and wrote this complaint myself, based on public records. A citizen should not have to spend $10,000 and hire a lawyer to get justice. For months I have struggled with whether I should file this complaint, or turn the other cheek and offer Smith forgiveness. I have worked tirelessly to help reunite the City after the past election, and I am a strong proponent in favor of our upcoming bond election.

Our City needs unity, collaboration and kindness to move forward successfully. After much reflection, I decided that the voters needed to know the ugly truth behind David Smith’s false piety and phony self-righteousness. Smith hid crucial financial details from the citizens, in a craven attempt to gain power. What else has he hidden, from his position of privilege?

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