Controversy surrounding a billboard for a candidate for the Arizona Senate.
Frank Schmuck's billboard reads "Firefighters vote Schmuck for Arizona Senate on or before August 30th."
But the Professional Firefighters of Arizona say this billboard is misleading because he has not received an endorsement from them.
In fact, the PFFA has endorsed Schmuck's opponent, Senator Jeff Dial in the Republican primary for the District 18 race.
Schmuck sent a letter to the organization saying the billboard was not intended to imply that PFFA endorses him.
He says he plans to modify the advertisement.
Statement from Schmuck:
"Dear Mr. Jeffries,
Thank you for your letter dated yesterday August 18, 2016, which we just received. Like you and your 7,000 members, I am a loyal and faithful member, in my case, of two different employee associations representing tens of thousands of professionals nationally, many here in Arizona. Having been a deputized public safety officer I understand the importance of great public service. As a military Veteran I understand the sacrifices volunteer forces and their families make.
I respect Firefighters. I have lived next to one for several years. I have worked with Firefighters many times at the airport here in Phoenix.
The advertisement you have called into question was not intended to, nor does it, in our estimation and that of many others in media who reviewed it, imply that your local union endorses me for Arizona Senate. Nowhere does it use your symbol or mention your Association. It simply encourages Firefighters to vote on or before August 30, and I would be honored to have their vote, like many have already. It states: Firefighters vote SCHMUCK for Arizona Senate on or before August 30th.
Among your members there are military Veterans, a title that is earned, respected and protected by law. I am one of those Veterans along with an estimated 600,000 more in this State. I along with our Team was pleased to see that Firefighters who are military Veterans formed the Valley Firefighters Veterans Society as a charitable organization with your support.
We would also like to remind you that Senator Dial should also quit campaigning as a “Veteran”. Official Department of Defense Records now appear to indicate that he has apparently NOT earned NOR does he have the qualifications to use this title per state and federal law. I am happy to speak with you and the media about all of these issues.
In order to focus on the real issues of this campaign we have asked the company handling this advertisement to discontinue it. Currently, we plan to modify it to say, perhaps, “Frank SCHMUCK for Senate asks Firefighters to vote on or before August 30.”
Thank you for you service and we look forward to working with you after this primary election on August 30th. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of our staff.
Statement from the Dial Campaign:
"Unfortunately Schmuck is a desperate candidate who feels he has to lie and mislead the public. The clean election commission has found him guilty in the past. He unfortunately continues with a pattern of not disclosing all the.information and misleading the public. There’s a reason why the vast majority of people who looked at the race have chosen to endorse Jeff Dial. Jeff is supported by a large number of business, education, public safety groups. Just this week Gov. Ducey came out and endorsement Jeff Dial. Schmuck continues to lie. There is documented proof on www.jeffdial.org. It’s unfortunate that Schmuck feels the need to lie and mislead the public, but he’s running a ugly campaign full of lies, thinking that the public is going to believe the lies. He’s clearly desperate and exactly the type of politician we don’t need."