|Image: City of Glendale|
Valley developer Steve Ellman must feel a bit of deja vu.
Years before we broke the story about his big contribution to the SCA, Ellman knew what it was like to be under suspicion of using the Republican Party to funnel money toward a specific political candidate.
"The recent revelation is consistent with Mr. Ellman's tactics," says former Scottsdale Councilman David Ortega. "It looks like typical Ellman cover. That's what I thought when I saw it."
Ortega, who has an architecture practice in Scottsdale, tells New Times it's possible he may have been targeted by Ellman in 2004 after making strong statements against the developer's former plan to develop the site of the old Los Arcos Mall using subsidies from the city. He doesn't know for certain that Ellman attacked him while he was running for mayor. A complaint over the incident filed by a citizen and submitted to the state Attorney General's office apparently went nowhere.
As the East Valley Tribune reported in September of 2004, Ellman made a $25,000 contribution the Maricopa County Republican Committee in the spring of that year -- the largest individual contribution the committee had seen in six years.
Six days after the donation, the committee formed a group that hammered Ortega in mailers and phone calls to potential voters, ultimately spending about $18,000 on the effort. Mary Manross was re-elected as mayor. More »