BY LINDA BENTLEY | March 16, 2016

SOS Reagan picks Glassman to co-chair new advisory council

PHOENIX – It was a surprise to learn Rodney Glassman, who ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat against Sen. John McCain in 2010 when he lived in Tucson, has recently reregistered as a Republican.

And now that he’s a registered Republican, Secretary of State Michele Reagan recently announced she has tapped Glassman to co-chair her newly formed Technology, Transparency & Commerce Council.

Reagan’s press release boasts “Influential group of Arizonans to provide strategic insight to AZSOS,” and states, “Made up of some of the state’s most well-respected business people, the council will provide feedback and support for the Secretary’s policy agenda.”

While not stating her intentions specifically, the press release hints at Reagan’s desire to run for governor by stating, “As the state’s second highest elected official, chief elections officer, and de-facto lieutenant governor, Secretary Reagan formed the high-level advisory council comprised of diverse business leaders to assist her in better understanding the statewide business community as well as provide unique insight and support throughout her term of service.”

Glassman wasn’t always a Democrat either. He registered as a Republican when he first moved to Tucson from California in 1997, when he was sent by his family to manage their Gateway Ice Center.

He then transitioned to Democrat in 2000 by first registering as Independent in 1999.

Despite his father having successfully fought a proposal by the city of Tucson to purchase a competing ice skating rink in 1995, stating the government shouldn’t interfere in the private sector, in 2000, Glassman unsuccessfully lobbied the Tucson City Council to purchase his family’s failing ice skating rink business for between $6 and $8 million.

Tucson is a very liberal Democrat city and Glassman appears to be an opportunist when it comes to party affiliation.

Glassman was elected to the Tucson City Council in 2007 but never finished his term. He resigned to follow higher aspirations to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Other than a short stint with Waste Management, the only other employment Glassman is known to have held is managing his parent’s skating rink business in Tucson, at a loss of over $100,000 per year. Glassman, who hails from a wealthy agribusiness family in Fresno, Calif. is currently employed as a part-time lawyer with Ryley Carlyle & Applewhite, a faculty associate at Arizona State University, and serves in the United States Air Force JAG Corps Reserves at Luke Air Force Base.

Cave Creek is all too familiar with Glassman, who was appointed interim town manager by a slate of subsequently recalled councilmen, including Glassman’s friend, Adam Trenk, who was vice mayor at the time.

Glassman spent his brief stint as town manager mostly away from town hall abusing his expense account by wining and dining politicians, who might help with his higher political aspirations, and reporters willing to write glowing accounts of his tenure.

To anyone who may have attended a council meeting during his tenure, Glassman could be observed drinking a gallon or more of either ice tea or bottled water, lining up and re-lining up his multiple cell phones and water bottles in neat rows, popping up and down from his seat like a jack-in-the-box and texting back and forth with the vice mayor while the meeting was in session.

As far as transparency is concerned, one of the pillars of Reagan’s advisory council, Glassman canceled all town advertising with the only local newspaper, keeping citizens in the dark as to what was going on in town.

It’s not clear why Reagan chose Glassman to co-chair her newly formed advisory council, especially if she is thinking about running for governor.

While John Dougherty, who ran against Glassman in the 2010 primary for the U.S. Senate considered Glassman a DINO (Democrat in name only), Republicans consider him a RINO (Republican in name only).

Perhaps he’s just an opportunist.