Matt Salmon’s Union Connection

| August 8 2011

Matt Salmon seems to be playing both sides of the political fence. Salmon apparently is a Phoenix union supporter but a self-described “conservative” in Arizona’s East Valley.

Matt Salmon’s website home page welcomes you with this quote:

“Your financial support will help ensure my message of smaller government, fiscal responsibility and less taxes reaches every voter.” – Matt Salmon

Furthermore, Salmon markets himself as a “conservative.”

If this is true, why is Salmon, a supposed stalwart of conservatism, endorsing liberal union activist Claude Mattox for Mayor of Phoenix?

Matt Salmon’s firm, Upstream Consulting, represents government unions, specifically public employee unions in Arizona.  These unions endorse Claude Mattox for Mayor of Phoenix. Salmon then endorses Claude Mattox. In turn, Salmon receives money from the unions. In addition, Salmon gets more ammunition against his primary opponents, specifically Kirk Adams.

Why? One reason is the unions hate Kirk Adams for spearheading pension reform in Arizona. Adams’ pension reform was the most ambitious in the country, targeting the public safety unions that Salmon represents. In fact, Arizona is on the union’s target list of states to “fight back” against.

This provides a unique solution for the unions and Matt Salmon. Salmon gets to capitalize on privately raising money from the unions, coordinating attacks on Salmon’s more anti-union primary opponents, while claiming he has nothing to do with the unions. The unions also get a more “friendly” candidate by eliminating old enemies.

While Kirk Adams was trying to pass pension reform and getting government sector spending in control with universities and unions, Matt Salmon was lobbying against these things. During Salmon’s lobbying tenure, he picked battles with the Goldwater Institute over corporate welfare, protected government public safety unions, and fought to protect ASU’s government gravy train.

Matt Salmon is receiving money from other union players. The list includes ex-union boss Billy Shields and union spokesman David Leibowitz.

Once again, why is Salmon endorsing union candidates and receiving union money? Why is Salmon suggesting he is a symbol of “smaller government” when there is no bigger symbol of “Big Government” than public-employee unions and their political candidates? Does Salmon really believe in these union backed candidates and issues or is it just “politics?” Do we want to reward politicians who take on political risks or those who take advantage of them?

This is a big issue that deserves more transparency and answers.

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