Tucson voters are receiving a robocall that calls Democratic City Councilman Paul Cunningham “a crooked politician and a sexual predator.”
The calls were paid for by Revitalize Tucson. The group’s co-chairs are Republican activist Christine Bauserman and former state Sen. Frank Antenori, also a Republican.
“Councilman Paul Cunningham publicly sexually harassed three city staff members while on a taxpayer-funded business trip to San Diego,” the robocall says. “Cunningham abuses his power and has no respect for women. A crooked politician and a sexual predator – leave Cunningham’s bubble blank and revitalize respect for women in Tucson. Paid for by Revitalize Tucson.”
The sexual harassment incident happened in 2012 during an economic development junket. The city investigated and found Cunningham violated the city’s sexual harassment policy.
Cunningham sought treatment for a drinking problem.
Asked about the robocall after a City Council meeting Thursday night, Cunningham said he made poor decisions under the influence of alcohol a few years ago, but added he never “made any hollow denials or excuses” and has tried to make amends with the people involved.
He said he is proud of the work he has done as a council member.
“I have faith that the voters will have faith in me and not let this kind of gutter politics influence their vote,” Cunningham said.
Cunningham has been a council member for five years and is seeking another four-year term.
Bauserman said, “Revitalize Tucson believes the people voting in the upcoming Tucson city election have the right to the facts and the truth.”
In a business setting, Cunningham “would have been held accountable and fired,” she said.
Contact reporter Becky Pallack at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4346. On Twitter: @BeckyPallack