Dear AOA Members,
In April, Arizona’s Senator Jeff Flake (R) released his report “Tax Rackets: Outlandish Loopholes to Lower Tax Liabilities.” As you recall, this report was full of inaccuracies and targeted the U.S. alpaca industry.
Alpaca Owners Association and you, its members, responded to the report with press releases, calls to the media and, of course, calls and letters to the senator himself, citing inaccuracies and emphasizing the industry’s contributions to the economy.
Despite requests by Alpaca Owners Association Executive Director Bud Synhorst and several members of the association to discuss these accusations, Sen. Flake refused to respond, yet has taken the stage again recently to blast the alpaca industry on the Senate floor, his blog, and on social media.
In his presentation to the Senate, Flake stumbled over his words rarely looking up from the paper in front of him, repeating the same false accusations he made in April. He accused the Association of retaining a public relations professional specifically to address his accusations (false: AOA has retained the same public relations professional for almost 12 years) and aggressive lobbying amongst other things. AOA has spent NO MONEY on lobbying efforts against Sen. Flake. AOA has encouraged members to contact the senator to talk about how they feel about his loophole accusations. And because of YOU, we controlled the message.
We addressed all of the senator’s lies in April and received positive feedback from the media because of it. He continues to avoid conversation with any alpaca business owner or representative of AOA despite several attempts on our part. He has yet to step foot on an alpaca farm. An alpaca business owner/ constituent in his area invited Sen. Flake to their farm to learn more about the industry first-hand. His staff accepted and scheduled the visit yet Sen. Flake flaked…he never showed up.
Sen. Flake has failed in his efforts for 16 years to make any significant change to the tax code and he is not being truthful to his colleagues or constituents. As a former cattle rancher, one would think Sen. Flake would not be attacking the hard-working farmers and ranchers of this country for following the same tax code all small business owners follow. Time for the people of Arizona to say NO to Jeff Flake in 2018. He’s irrelevant in Washington and is doing anything he can to get publicity.
We will continue to attempt to open a dialogue between industry representatives and Sen. Flake and we encourage you to do the same through phone call or social media.
Washington, D.C. Office
Senate Russell Office Building 413
Washington, D.C. 20510
2200 East Camelback Road
Phoenix, AZ 85016
6840 North Oracle Road
Tucson, AZ 85704