by Bryna Koch, MPH
If you are Democrat, or tend to vote for candidates from the Democratic party, and you also follow local politics, the news that Jim Click endorsed Jonathan Mosher, a Democrat candidate for Pima County Attorney, might surprise you as Jim is a well-known Republican. But, maybe it doesn’t. Jim Click might strike you as just a community leader who provides major support for the University of Arizona and is involved in local non-profits.
While Click has built influence through non-profit board memberships and named donations, his political agenda has blocked progress in Tucson and Pima County towards Democratic goals of addressing inequality and improving well-being in our community.
In light of his endorsement of Mosher, let’s remember where Jim Click stands on the issues we care about.
Prop 400 (Keep Tucson First, 2010). Half-cent sales tax increase for the City of Tucson to better fund parks and other core services.
Prop 400 was opposed by Click who said the city “hadn’t done enough” to justify the small increase. But on top of his opposition, Click supported a competing proposition, Prop 200, which would have imposed increased police per population hiring requirements on the City…with no additional funding source which would have led to cuts to other services.
Prop 205 (Tucson Families Free and Together, 2019). Changing city law to better protect immigrant families in Tucson.
Prop 205 was opposed by Jim Click who joined with notorious Joe Arpaio supporting business owner of Discount Tire, to oppose the campaign to protect immigrant families by donating at least $25,000.
Prop 204 (Strong Start Tucson, 2017.) Sales tax to support early childhood education in Tucson.
Prop 204 was opposed by Jim Click who was one of the top three donors to the no campaign. Not only was he a major donor, but he loaned the opposition campaign $36,000.
Prop 200 (Extension of the 1995 Water Consumer Protection Act, 1999). Address water quality issues and continue to restrict the CAP and groundwater that could be delivered to Tucson customers. Primarily due to concerns about CAP water quality.
Prop 200 was opposed by Jim Click and a coalition of mega-developers. Before opposing prop 200, Click was again part of the “growth lobby” who tried to reverse the original 1995 Water Consumer Protection Act by proposition in 1997 (prop 201) and reintroduce CAP water into Tucson homes. Proposition 201 was rejected by voters.
Also if you weren’t around in the 1990’s to hear it, there used to be a local joke in town that to be a Pima County Superior court judge “you have to go through Jim Click” who was a member of the state judicial commission.
While there may be valid reasons centered on equality and equity to oppose some of these propositions (e.g., sales tax as a regressive option for funding), given Click’s record and politics, his opposition very likely isn’t based in these concerns.
Looking at Jim Click’s support for other political candidates reaffirms his world view.
Andy Tobin, former Arizona House Speaker and champion of SB 1070 who also spread anti-immigrant lies. Tobin also supported SB 1062, an anti-LGBTQ equality bill pushed by Cathi Herrod at the Center for Arizona Progress, too extreme for Jan Brewer (who vetoed it). Jim Click was chair of Andy’s campaign finance committee and one of his biggest supported via the Preserve America’s Future PAC, to the tune of $50,000. On a side note, the chairman of that PAC was Reblican operative Nathan Sproul, who has been subject to investigations regarding questionable voter registrations in multiple states.
Lea Marquez Peterson, Click donated thousands through his business and as an individual to Marquez Peterson as did his wife Vicki Click, a “consultant” for the family business, and Sam Alkhayat, the COO of Click Automotive. Lea was a strident opponent of the Arizona minimum wage and paid time off proposition from 2016 (proposition 206) and even led the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in joining the lawsuit to overturn the proposition (the lawsuit eventually failed). Remember, proposition 206 was passed by almost 60% of Arizonans who voted.
Given Click’s record, it should startle you to read that he endorsed and solicited donations for Mosher. Given Click’s politics and prior support for candidates who opposed a living wage and supported anti-immigrant legislation like SB 1070, would he really support Mosher if Mosher was the progressive reformer that his ads claim?
Read more about Jim Click’s politics here.