By Jen Fifield | The Republic
The owner of Sands Chevrolet, a car dealership with locations in Glendale and Surprise, contributed most of the money last fall to try to convince Glendale voters to give Mayor Jerry Weiers and the rest of the City Council substantial pay raises.
A few months later, the council approved a $5 million contract with his company.
Louis Sands IV, better known as Buzz Sands, also contributed to Weiers’ and Councilman Ian Hugh’s 2020 reelection campaigns.
Sands said his donations to the failed ballot measure and the two politicians were in no way meant to influence the contract vote.
The donations don’t violate state law, and views on the influence of donations are mixed. Some say it’s natural that those with ties to a city would donate to campaigns and it likely gains access, but not necessarily votes. Others bemoan the role of corporate money in campaigns.
Weiers told The Arizona Republic that any person or business has a First Amendment right to donate to campaigns.