Mayor invests in Congressional amigos

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Mayor Phil Gordon is taking his campaign to make Phoenix a world class city outside the state by contributing to sitting Congress members and helping to elect candidates to Congress.

On Oct. 23 Mayor Phil was guest of honor at a fund-raising reception at the Liberty Grill in Los Angeles hosted by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

Mayor V., who is an advisor to President Elect Barack Obama, wasn’t the only Califas VIP present. Other notables included California Assemblymember Kevin DeLeon, L.A. Councilmember Jose Huitzar, Monica Garcia, president of the Los Angeles Unified School District; and Oakland A’s owner Lou Wolff.

The Latino contingent that flew to L.A. to support the mayor included political consultants and public policy influencers Ronnie Lopez, Ruben Alvarez, Andy Camacho, Ernie Camacho, and businesswoman Aaron and Yolanda Kizer.

The fund-raisers were for a political action committee (PAC) called Moving Phoenix Forward. The price of hobnobbing with Mayor Phil goes to the PAC he created a year ago. The L.A. soiree netted about $25,000, says Gordon.

Gordon told LPJ that the funds will be used to contribute to sitting Congress members and candidates campaigns for Congress. There will be more fund-raisers in different parts of the country to fatten the PAC.

The scenario that the mayor projects is that by helping candidates get elected to Congress, they will be favorable to initiatives that can help Phoenix economically and politically. Federal projects that required help from amigos in Congress included the Light Rail project, Rio Salado project, and other infrastructure projects, he says.

“Given how the world operates today, the federal government is such an important partner,” Gordon says. “We need to be able to make our case and receive our fair share as a city.”

One recent MPF contribution went to Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, a Democrat, who defeated long-time Republican Sen. Ted Stevens in the past election. Gordon says the contributions go to both Democrats and Republicans.

Of course, what the mayor didn’t say is that a side benefit would be that these officials elected with MPF PAC money will also remember Gordon favorably should he run for state governor or for Congress.

Still, Gordon maintains he is being proactive and that the primary goal of the PAC is to benefit Phoenix, the city he leads.

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