Candidate Forum is Unlawful

A Sonoran Truth Editorial, June 19, 2016.

Last week, Don Sorchych invited the citizens of Cave Creek to attend the Sonoran News Cave Creek Council Candidate Forum at 7-10 p.m. on Monday, June 27, 2016 at Cave Creek Town Hall. Former Planning Commissioner Dan Baxley will be the Master of Ceremonies. All questions will be controlled and screened by Don Sorchych.

Holding a forum requires objectivity and neutrality. Don can either hold the forum or express his opinions as to who should be the Mayor and Town Council. If Don violates the requirements of the law, he can be held liable per United State Code Section 1983, (42 U.S.C. § 1983), and attorney fees per Section 1988. Baxley can be held liable for acting in concert with Sorchych and the Town.

Three tests have evolved to determine whether a private citizen might be considered a state actor for purposes of Section 1983, as follows: 1) The public function test; 2) The state compulsion test; and 3) The nexus/joint action test.
See Focus On The Family, 344 F.3d at 1277 (citation omitted).

The public function test hinges on whether a defendant was performing a function “traditionally the exclusive prerogative of the state.” Id.  The state compulsion test inquires whether the government has coerced or “significantly encouraged” a defendant to engage in the complained-of conduct. Id. The nexus/joint action test applies where “the state has so far insinuated itself into a position of interdependence with the [defendant] that it was a joint participant in the enterprise.” Id. With regard to this last test, a court will examine whether the government and the defendant are “intertwined in a symbiotic relationship,” as well as whether the relationship involves “the specific conduct of which plaintiff complains.” Id.

The Town’s “Official Newspaper,” the Sonoran News is directly mailed to every Cave Creek mailbox and stacked throughout town in key locations to perform a “public function” that would normally be the prerogative of Cave Creek. The Town, “significantly encourages” the Sonoran News to be its “spin doctor,” especially through former Town Manager Usama Abujbarah. The Town of Cave Creek and the Sonoran News are intertwined in a “symbiotic relationship,” to rationalize and/or obfuscate the conduct Baxley, and a host of current and former Sorchych sycophants feel is the proper way to run the Town. Democracy is messy. Fascism controls input, output and elections.

Because the Sonoran News is not objective, and has a slate of candidates that it promotes to the derision of others, Cave Creek violates ARS 9-500.14 by allowing Don  and the Sonoran News to “host” his Kabuki theater candidates forum in Town Hall. According to ARS 9-500.14, Cave Creek cannot use its resources including the use or expenditure of monies, accounts, credit, facilities, vehicles, postage, telecommunications, computer hardware and software, web pages, personnel, equipment, materials, buildings or any other thing of value of the city or town, for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections. Cave Creek may distribute informational pamphlets to present factual information in a neutral manner. Instead, the Town uses the Sonoran News, its official newspaper, to perform a “public function” and is  “intertwined in a symbiotic relationship,” as evident by allowing the Sonoran News to host its biased Trump propaganda candidate forum in Town Hall facilities.

ARS 9-500.14(B) does allow Cave Creek to provide “resources including facilities for government-sponsored forums or debates if the government sponsor remains impartial and the events are purely informational and provide an equal opportunity to all viewpoints.”

Don is not providing equal opportunity to all viewpoints. He has already censored one citizen from expressing his opinion as evident in his editorial. As such, Don is violating the writer’s First Amendment rights. That person may pursue a cause of action against Don and the Town per 42 U.S.C. § 1983, ARS 9-500.14, and attorney fees per 42 U.S.C. § 1988.

Jankowski and others in Cave Creek employ or officialdom can be held liable along with Don for violating state and federal law. Just because Don “says so” doesn’t make it lawful.

It’s not just the email writer to the S’Nooze or the “Dark Side” candidates that are potential plaintiffs in this instance, but all of the citizens of Cave Creek. If you feel that your rights are violated, please contact us at




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