Jim Campbell responds to David Safier’s smear of his wife in the Tucson Weekly

Listen to Kathy Campbell, the target of a hit piece by the Tucson Weekly today, in her own words describing why she cares about the TUSD, the district she has a child in, in the video above.

At least it is clear that David Safier is now, without a doubt, an attack dog for the TUSD board majority. He was silent as local media covered Kristel and Cam’s pay-to-play scandal, but was quick to defend HT Sanchez’s raise when he nearly half-million dollar contract was extended.

If there is someone out there who has the skills to make TUSD a dramatically better place than it is now, I say, offer that superintendent a million dollars a year to come here, and maybe throw in a free house and a car. No price would be too great to pay for a leader who could make our students shine, guaranteeing them an education so stellar, they would outstrip their peers anywhere in the country…
So my criteria for a good school superintendent don’t include the ability to take a large, urban, majority-minority district and move it ahead by leaps and bounds. I want someone who has a reasonable vision for the district and is taking strong steps — even willing to risk mistakes — to move the district in the right direction. By my lights, Sanchez fits that description. I criticize him for his missteps, but I put them into the larger context of the problems facing the district and the overall leadership he’s provided.

Read David Safier’s hit piece excerpt here

Next is Kathleen Campbell who gave $8,170 to TKF and is its treasurer. She isn’t listed as giving any contributions to board candidates. However, her husband James gave $1,000 to Mark Stegeman’s campaign and another $1,000 to Brett Rustand. Other than their contributions related to TUSD board races, the Campbells aren’t big political donors. The only other recent contribution I found was $1,250 to Martha McSally’s reelection campaign.

On her contribution to TKF, Kathleen listed her occupation as “Home Builder” with Mesquite Homes, the company she and James own, and for her address she used their downtown business office. On his contribution to Stegeman, James listed his home address and left both his occupation and employer blank, making it more difficult to connect James to Kathleen than if they had listed the same occupation and address. For his $1,000 contribution to Rustand, he used the name Jim instead of James and again used his home address. He listed his occupation as “Developer” rather than “Home Builder” as Kathleen did, and Oasis Tucson instead of Mesquite Homes as the company name. Oasis Tucson is the original registered name for Mesquite Homes. It looks very much like Kathleen and James are trying to obscure their connection to one another in the three financial reports.

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Jim Campbell, also mentioned in Safier’s hit piece, responds to the Tucson Weekly “education blogger” after Safier goes after his wife.

It is strange, or at least contradictory, that Safier was also silent when Adelita Grijalva was getting all kinds of money, around $40,000 herself, with a lot coming from out-of-town PACs.

And what about that $21,000,000 contract that ESI DID RECEIVE thanks to Kristel and Cam, followed by a kickback donation just a few weeks later?

As we mentioned above, at least it is clear now what the purpose of Safier’s writing is; to defend Democrats blindly.

Since Mr. Safier is implying that my wife is trying to cheat the system as well as being a greedy homebuilder I only feel I should respond. Unlike Mr. Safier, that donates to candidates and doesn’t disclose those conflicts, I am more than happy to explain our personal situation.
First and foremost, my wife believes deeply in TUSD. I have tried repeatedly to get our kids away from the drama in TUSD but Kathy feels as residents we should support our public school system. My son graduated from UHS and my twin girls go to Sahuaro and Sabino. I myself am a product of TUSD. Our family is all in with TUSD. Kathy refuses to run away as so many others have and deeply believes that with more dollars in the classroom and a better working climate things will change. Things will be better for our kids and for our teachers.
The other side. My wife has repeatedly donated to TUSD including $10,000 to the Career Counseling Center at UHS, thousand of dollars in art supplies, refrigerators, food, water and helped refurbish the vehicles for the great UHS-Rincon marching band. Cody Richie as well has donated to multiple schools including providing the Tucson high football team their shoes. Jim Click has repeatedly supported the auto mechanics program at TUSD as well as other TUSD needs. When it comes to TUSD this group that you ridicule are givers not takers.
TUSD’s own dysfunction caused my wife to engage. Of course as a developer I was against it for fear of retribution but as she stated eloquently, family comes before everything. One of our girls has been repeatedly bullied and beat up at her TUSD school. It didn’t end until the other girl was taken away by the sheriff but was back in school the following week. The advice from the sheriff was we must press charges because the school won’t do anything to protect our kid. This was very frustrating to Kathy.
Add to this the multitude of other issues; subs teaching for months on end with no permanent teacher, teachers that are not accredited and no little of their subject matter, the overall shortage of teachers throughout TUSD and administrators that were either too busy or too inept to truly care. Of course TUSD promotes the inept so that fixes itself sometimes. So before Mr Safier implies we are also racist let me state that our twins are Hispanic and my son is from Azbaijan.
As for work, I do work for OasisTucson Inc. Anyone that knows me knows I am primarily a developer as I have a hard time holding a hammer. It is a fact that our multiple companies are related but Zach Hinman and my wife drive Mesquite Homes. There is no hidden agenda here as I put OasisTucson on everything including my e-mails. And Mesquite Homes has no interest in TUSD land. That decision was made a few years ago when Zach and Kathy wanted to stay small and only build 10–15 homes a year.
Finally it is laughable that Mr Safier can’t understand that there are people whose kids go to TUSD that may want something better. This isn’t about politics, it is about our damn children and it is people like David Safier that make even me willing to throw it all away in Tucson to make change happen.

Originally published at TSON News.