Editor’s note: Nicholas Scutari reached out to the Independent and went on the record and was steadfast in his assertion he — nor his company — has had or does have anything to do with the Scottsdale Edge newsletter/blog. The Independent has adjusted this column to better reflect accuracy and the pursuit of truth in this matter.
Dark, dirty money in politics is an enemy of the average citizen. Good government depends on transparency.
If we don’t know who finances our politicians, government ceases to serve the people. It serves only special interests. The citizens are stuck with debt, broken infrastructure and pet projects.
Dirty money buys politics with hidden contributions, anonymous ads, and hit pieces. It can also finance a dirty money blog. A dirty money blog speaks anonymously, and does not reveal its funding sources. The people behind a dirty money blog use anonymity to hide from their words. But in our era of social media, readers expect transparency and dialog. A dirty money blog specifically seeks to avoid these things. A dirty money blog is speaking a false, unpopular or cowardly message.
You can spot a dirty money blog by three traits.
1. Do they have names and faces?
If someone refuses to share their identity, that’s your first tip. Not always — there are “whistleblower” sites like AltNationalParks. But be suspicious of anonymity.
2. Do they respond to email and social media?
If a poster won’t engage with you, they don’t care about your opinion. A dirty money blog is like direct mail or paid spam, it wants to smack your attention without a meaningful exchange of ideas.
3. Do they make their case with facts, or rumors?
Do they share research and data, or scream about the sky falling?
My community group, NoDDC, has its information available publicly at the Arizona Corporation Commission. We have two Directors: myself and Mike Norton. We are tremendously responsive, via all channels. We speak in public. We back up everything we say with screenshots, documentation and video.
Another Scottsdale blog called “Scottsdale Edge” is the exact opposite. Did you see Tina Fey’s movie “Mean Girls”? It’s an hysterical story about a catty bully and her gossip-mongering girlfriends. Scottsdale Edge is mean girls with dirty money.
It has no Facebook page or email address, no one claims it as their own, its got daddy issues. Scottsdale Edge yells a lot about rumors and innuendo.
They don’t share their posts online to leave a record, but we’ve saved their posts here.
Scottsdale Edge seems to track 100 percent with Linda Milhaven’s votes and political positions. Like Linda Milhaven when she called the thousands of people opposing the DDC “mean nasty liars” and “terrorists,” Scottsdale Edge throws insults at entire groups.
In the last few weeks Scottsdale Edge has attacked the Chamber of Commerce, the Arts Community, Scottsdale Coalition of Today and Tomorrow, virtually every parent and administrator at SUSD, seniors, first-responders, and NoDDC and Protect Our Preserve.
On Jan 8, the Edge said this about the downtown merchants: “The geriatric gadflies don’t get it. If they were in charge of marketing Scottsdale, they would probably promote prune juice stands to retirees on walkers in Omaha.”
Let’s be clear: I don’t care what Scottsdale Edge says. But if you care about Scottsdale, own your words. NoDDC has said plenty of hard things, and we’ll take a punch as well as give it. Civil dialog means speaking with ownership, transparency, and accountability. Say what you want, but put your name behind the insults.
The very first week that Scottsdale Edge published one of its slash-and-burn emails, Nicholas Scutari launched the organization “Support Our Scottsdale DDC”.
The Scutaris have been strong supporters of Milhaven, verifiable by campaign finance reports on the city’s website. The Scutaris have donated to Linda Milhaven three times on May 27, 2014; October 9, 2014; and October 18, 2014. What are the odds that two separate PR efforts supporting Linda Milhaven’s agenda started independent of each other in the very same week of 2016?
Scottsdale’s biggest issues in the 2018 city council election are the proposed tax hikes and $200 million in new debt requests, infrastructure needs, and the $68,000,000 pet project Desert Edge. These are exactly the problems of a government with too many special interests.
Let’s get dirty money out of our 2018 election.
Editor’s note: Mr. Alexander is director of NoDDC, and serves as secretary of the Protect Our Preserve political action committee and is a Scottsdale resident