Questions Arise About Possible Candidate Campaign Finance Violations & Interference In Wickenburg Town Council Race

The statue of a prisoner tied to the famed Jail Tree in Wickenburg bears the expression of how people might be feeling right now in the town as questions regarding meddling in the Town Council election and corruption start to surface.  It leaves many asking what will happen next in this historic town? 

What exactly is going on in the Town Of Wickenburg?  Recently, a new patriot group that has been started in Wickenburg along with other citizens have been bringing to light possible corruption going on in regards to the Town election and mayoral recall. They recently pointed out how two candidates in the Town Council race Julie Macias and David Stander both received a $2,000 in-kind donation from Stacy Pearson of Strategies 360 (S360) which is a political strategy firm headquartered in Seattle, WA. Arizona law states that corporations aren’t allowed to donate to candidates running for public office. You also aren’t allowed to collect donations on behalf of someone else and then donate it to a candidate.  When questioned about the donations Stander stated the following via Facebook:

“Yes, I know what the financial statements read, but these are the specifics. The donations for our campaigns came directly from many concerned citizens from Wickenburg paid directly to S360 for the sole purpose of assisting with marketing and material for our campaigns. S360 is not donating to our campaigns, nor do I believe they have any intention to donate to our campaigns.”

However, here is what appears on both campaign reports that both the Macias and Stander campaigns filed with the Wickenburg Town Clerk’s office.

S360 recently played a role in one of the recent mayoral recalls here in Wickenburg, and it has been stated by some town residents that the Wickenburg Chamber Of Commerce was involved in bringing them in to meddle in the election. Stander and Macias both have ties to the Chamber. Stander sits on the board of directors while Macias is the sister-in-law of the Chamber’s executive director Julie Brooks.

According to documents which appear on the web site, Brooks appears to have some involvement in not only bringing S360 to the party for the recall of Wickenburg Mayor Everett Sickles, but also getting them involved in the Wickenburg Town Council election as well. also shows documents that S360 assisted or were responsible for developing and put together the campaign web sites and Facebook pages for both Macias and Stander in addition to other services.  In regards to the mayoral recall, one of the S360 employees, Andrew Wunder is shown to have helped circulate the petition against Sickles. Also, Brooks relationship may run deeper with Pearson as she is mentioned in her book Wickenburg Hispanic Pioneer Families: Nueatras Memorias/Our Memories as someone who encouraged Brooks to write it. Also on the web site is an email where Brooks mentions that she is wanting to challenge 3 Town Council candidates but then later decides against it.

Brooks also appears to also be involved in the second recall of Mayor Sickles. This posting by Brooks back in August appeared on Facebook featuring a picture of Wickenburg Town Council member Ruben Madrid holding mayoral recall papers.

Brooks invites people to contact her and others to sign it. Madrid also started the first recall petition of Mayor Sickles but that effort failed. Besides Madrid, four other current members of the Town Council signed the petition including:  Rui Pereira, Royce Kardinal, Sam Crissman, and Kelly Blunt. Kardinal is also listed as a person who did circulate the petition. Pereira who signed it is also running for Town Council. Stander along with Macias also helped circulate it. Another issue brought to light was at the last Wickenburg Town Council meeting where Blunt stated that he was at a meeting with S360 being present and that two individuals put a $1,000 donation on the table for a candidate.

With all this going on in the town, how can the media outside of it simply ignore the issue? It has been brought to their attention by the Patriots Of Wickenburg which has become somewhat of a new watchdog group in the town. While their main focus is to stand up for the United States Constitution as well as God and country, they’re also taking on the establishment which has ruled with an iron fist in Wickenburg for years.  Many people are afraid to speak up publicly for fear that their business or livelihood would be threatened. Some have stated that they can’t tell the difference between the Town Council and the Chamber Of Commerce which may point out just how much influence that Brooks and her organization have over the rest of the town. Brooks has been executive director for the Chamber Of Commerce for 30 years which is almost unheard of for that type of organization.

What will happen next in Wickenburg is anyone’s guess. There are good people that still live in the town but how long will it be before they decide to pack and leave or dig in and fight to take the town back from the establishment. Either way, the decision is a difficult one but it needs to be made. Despite the chaos, the Patriots Of Wickenburg have chosen to keep fighting and hopefully bring down the establishment that has been crushing the town. But the real question is, when will even more people have the courage to publicly speak out and be willing to take the town back? Some might say, it’s only a matter of time.

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