It’s been a good week for media, finally! Yesterday, I was interviewed by The Young Turks, the largest online news show in the world (woot) – I’ll link to the podcast as soon as it’s available.
Also, Tucson blogger Larry Bodine is doing a story about my campaign. I would love to be answering questions from him about my platform but, hey, gossip!
The whisper campaign
I’ve been hearing whispers that some of my opponents’ supporters are spreading rumors and innuendos. The ones Larry lists below are just the start. I’ve also heard that links to my oped articles are being circulated to Democratic donors and Party leaders with this message: “She can’t get elected…she wrote articles about white supremacy!”
That one is true, by the way. You can see all of my articles right here on my website. I do think it problematic that some folks are raising concerns about a candidate who opposes racism, but that’s a topic for another day.
An excuse to show family photos
Then, there’s this one: “Did you know she’s GAY?!” Lol. I beat them to the punch on that one. Here’s my life story, right on my website. And here are a couple photos from our family shoot. This one is actually on the back of my campaign flyer – the one that 100,000 people are going to get delivered to their front door.
And this is one of my wife, Tana, and me goofing around with our granddaughter. She’s 3 and she is very funny.
Are you getting the picture? I’m trying to be as transparent as I can possibly be on this campaign. I think voters deserve that. So, as long as I’m at it, I thought I’d share my answers to Larry’s questions with you.
My responses to the gossip Larry heard
From: Larry Bodine
Date: July 26, 2018 at 9:30:46 PM MST
Subject: Fwd: Article for Blog for Arizona
Since your talk at the LD9 Democrats yesterday night, I have learned of several issues concerning your past. In preparation for the article I am writing for the Blog for Arizona, I am hoping that you can confirm or deny them.
- I understand that you were fired from the Arizona List. Is this correct?
I left Arizona List to accept a position as Executive Director (and then CEO) of YWCA Southern Arizona. After helping Arizona List grow its membership base by 44% in one year and elect 39 women to office, I was excited by the challenges and opportunities offered at the YWCA. This is the congratulatory email I received from the board chair after I submitted my resignation:
If you are interested in more information about my time at Arizona List, please contact former Arizona List board member and philanthropist, Barbara Farmilant, whose endorsement of my campaign is based in part on my accomplishments there. Ms. Farmilant’s full endorsement can also be found on my website.
- Is it true that you registered to vote in Arizona in Summer 2016 in Bisbee, and that you registered as an independent?
I registered as an Independent and not as a Democrat for the first time in my life, after buying my home in Bisbee in spring 2017. I think I heard my union organizing grandfather turn over in his grave. I come from generations of Democrats but I was deeply frustrated – as many Democrats have been and still are – with the disastrous Nov 2016 election and the way in which young voters, people of color and progressive voters have been sidelined by status quo Party leaders. I changed my registration back to D after a few months and made the decision to fight for what this Party stands for and what I believe in. That is what I’m doing now.
- Janet Marcotte, Executive Director, YWCA Tucson 1987-2012, states at https://tucson.com/opinion/letters/politics-local/letter-kelly-fryer-takes-too-much-credit/article_b31e520a-8ed6-11e8-8277-f3c0905957e3.html that the YWCA was not in bad financial condition when you stepped in as Executive Director/CEO and that it was not a turnaround situation. How do you respond to this?
I do not wish to tarnish my predecessor’s legacy in any way, however, her letter to the editor does not reflect reality. This can be confirmed by reviewing the organization’s financial statements, which are available for public review. Current and former staff, board members and volunteers, will also confirm that the YWCA was in an extremely challenging financial position when they hired me.
Cheryl House, who was a member of the YWCA board of directors from 2002-2017, has said:
“When our long-time executive director retired, we really didn’t know if the organization would survive. Then we met Kelly Fryer. We interviewed several accomplished nonprofit leaders but Kelly was the only one who brought new ideas about how we could generate revenue, pay off debt and get back on solid financial ground.
“Looking back, I know that if we had not hired Kelly, we would have kept following the same fundraising formula, and the YWCA would likely be out of business.”
Greg Hart, who was a member of the board from 2008-2017, submitted a letter to the editor in response to Ms. Marcotte’s letter. This is his full statement:
“Regarding the July 26th letter to the editor: ‘Kelly Fryer Takes Too Much Credit.’ I was on the Board of Directors at the YWCA of Southern Arizona from 2008 until 2017, serving for approximately four and a half years while Kelly Fryer was the YWCA CEO (2013-2017) and approximately four and a half years prior to that with her predecessor. Based on my experience and intimate knowledge of the what has happened at the YWCA over the last few years, Kelly Fryer does not take too much credit for the current strength and effectiveness of this vital organization, she does not take enough.”
- The YWCA lists you as CEO (Sabbatical Leave). Are you still drawing your salary from the YWCA?
I am taking an earned, paid sabbatical leave, which is available to all YWCA employees, per board policy. For further questions, please contact YWCA Board Chair, Patricia Mars, who can be reached through the YWCA office.
- If this is the case, does this mean that the YWCA, a 501c3 organization, is making a political contribution?
The YWCA board consulted with their attorneys and worked with me to set up a firewall, ensuring strict compliance with election laws. And Larry – I really hope folks out there aren’t trying to harm a non-profit that is doing incredible work for some of the neediest in our community.
Please feel free to call me in my office at xxx-xxx-xxxx or on my cell at xxx-xxx-xxxx.
Hey, Larry, let me know if you need more info
I’m running on my resume, as well as my ideas and vision for Arizona. So your questions are valid and I want everyone to hear my answers directly from me.
I’m assuming that you have all the info you need about my platform and what I plan to do as governor, since that’s all on my website. I hope you plan to cover these things in your article.
Let me know if you’d also like to talk with me about what I’ve learned after traveling 27,000+ miles and meeting thousands of people in less than 6 months, how this campaign has made its way into the national discussion and has become a target of outside Republican attacks, and how I’m polling neck-and-neck with the guy who has raised the most money and has been in politics the longest. I’ve done it all in just 6 months, spending 1/10th of what my opponents have spent so far. I think there’s a story in there, somewhere.
While we’re at it, here’s another story idea! I bet voters would like to hear about how I grew Arizona List and then turned around the YWCA to drive immense growth and built such a powerful, diverse leadership team – and how that same sort of leadership makes economic and ethical sense for our state government.
Just a thought.