Thursday, October 18, 2018

#ArizonaElectionCashRegister: $6.1M Spent On #AZSen Race TODAY (So Far)

Which is going up faster, the MegaMillions Lottery jackpot or the total outside money being spent on the riveting Arizona Senate campaign?

Independent Expenditure committees have disclosed $6.1M in spending - mostly on TV ads - during the first 18 hours of this October 18th. The lottery jackpot for tomorrow's drawing is the 2nd highest in history, and this campaign between Reps. Martha McSally (R) and Kyrsten Sinema (D) is guaranteed to be the most expensive in Arizona history. (And, today is the biggest single day to date.

The first to file today was NextGen Climate Action Committee - the vehicle for billionaire Tom Steyer's national spending. It plunked down a measly (estimated) $242,000 for digital advertising. It was the first foray for the group into the Senate race, as the group has been concentrating on the clean energy Prop. 127, and state candidates.

That was followed in short order by media buys hammering McSally by the Democrats' dark money (#50ShadesofDarkMoney) group Majority Forward ($1.3M) and the not-dark Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee ($1.2M).

However, all three of those pro-Sinema/anti-McSally spends were then dwarfed by the homegrown-turned-national DefendArizona. The omni-present SuperPAC made their daily FEC filing a big one, $3.7M on producing and placing two new ads. Arizona's Politics profiled DefendArizona on Monday, and the Arizona Republic's Ron Hansen went into more detail yesterday.

DefendArizona - now mainly funded by the national Senate Leadership Fund (despite its still-local name) - has now spent $18.8M relentlessly attacking Sinema.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2018

BREAKING: Watch UNCOVERED Video Of McSally Calling On Herself/Others To "Look Within Our Hearts...Make Sure We're Not Facilitators Or Bystanders" Fomenting Political Violence

Yes, Martha McSally is passionate when she speaks. The Republican Congresswoman's passion came through in last night's debate with fellow Rep. Kyrsten Sinema to help voters decide which should be Arizona's next Senator. In the most memorable exchange - during and after the debate - McSally accused Sinema of committing treason against the United States.

However, it was 16 months ago this week that McSally (R-CD9) was just as passionately imploring herself and fellow elected officials (including the President) to "look within our hearts" to ensure that "we each need to do our part to ratchet this down."

Arizona's Politics wrote about her striking comments in the aftermath of the shooting of Rep. Steve Scalise, and posted the video of her dual interviews on both Fox News and MSNBC.* While the links to the embedded videos are no longer operative, we were able to find one of the interviews, and are re-posting it below.**

McSally leaned on her military background to lead into the answer, suggesting that they would talk about dealing not only with the perpetrators, but also with the facilitators and bystanders. She then included herself in stating that elected officials - and everybody in our country and community - need to "make sure that we're not being facilitators or bystanders in creating an environment where it is so hot...perhaps unstable individuals will be unleashed to violence...." (full quote and video below)

Arizona's Politics has asked both campaigns to address these 2017 remarks in the context of last night's debate, and will update as warranted.


"The people that are responsible for the acts of violence are the assailants.  But, when I was a colonel in the military, as a commander we used to talk about when we were dealing with other issues like sexual assault: you’ve got the perpetrators – which is kind of the inner circle – you’ve got facilitators and then bystanders. I think the rest of us, whether we’re public officials, the President, Members of Congress, elected officials up and down – but everybody in our country and community, we need to look within our hearts and make sure that we’re not being facilitators or bystanders in creating an environment where it is so hot – that perhaps, the investigation is still ongoing – but, perhaps unstable individuals will be unleashed to violence in this environment. So, we each need to do our part to ratchet this down and find where we can unify together and be civil about our disagreements." (this transcript produced by Arizona's Politics, any errors are inadvertent)

(If clicking on the above picture does not open the video in a new window, please use this link.)

*The McSally remarks were inadvertently re-brought to our attention by a Republican reader when we accidentally posted a picture of McSally from the 2017 MSNBC interview this past week, accompanying a different article. 


**If you are able to retrieve the video from Rep. McSally's Fox News interview, please email us details. Thanks.

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BREAKING UPDATE: APS Crosses $150,000 Mark In Donations To Help AG Brnovich

APS' contributions to help re-elect Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich have now hit - or, exceeded - $150,000, Arizona's Politics is now reporting. The Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA) filed its third quarter report with the IRS last night, and indicated that APS parent Pinnacle West contributed another $100,000 on July 10.

Pinnacle West spent $425,000 in 2014 to benefit Brnovich's first campaign, and the Arizona Republic reported last month about the changes the AG's office made to Prop. 127. Arizona Public Service is investing heavily in defeating the measure.

In 2014, APS donated much of its money to RAGA after the final pre-election reporting period. Earlier this year, we noted they had made an early $50,000 contribution to RAGA.

Since 2014, RAGA vastly outraises and outspends its Democratic counterpart, especially in Arizona. However, Arizona's Politics noted earlier today that DAGA is holding a fundraising dinner with former Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton with the intent of supporting Arizona Democratic AG candidate January Contreras.

   RAGA IRS 3q18 by arizonaspolitics on Scribd



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BREAKING: Hillary Clinton Raising Money For AG Candidate January Contreras, Tonight In NYC

January Contreras, the Democratic candidate for Arizona Attorney General, is in New York tonight for a high dollar fundraiser headlined by Hillary Rodham Clinton. Contreras is one of four candidates being supported by the DAGA fundraiser, reportedly because she Democrats believe that current AG Mark Brnovich is vulnerable.

The ticket levels range from $1,000 to $25,000 for the event, and it presumably means that the Democratic Attorneys General Association will spend some money in Arizona in the closing weeks of the campaign.

A spokesperson for the Republican Attorneys General Association taunted Clinton, Contreras and the Democrats, suggesting that Contreras should ask the former Presidential candidate (etc) to campaign for her in Arizona.

DAGA and RAGA  filed their 3rd quarter reports with the IRS yesterday, and the much better-funded GOP organization is greatly outspending their Democratic counterparts, $7.4M to $1.8M. (Arizona-based contributions to RAGA are well in six figures, while DAGA received a total $450 from two individuals. APS parent company Pinnacle West contributed another $100,000 to RAGA.)

h/t to Washington Free Beacon

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Monday, October 15, 2018

BREAKING: DefendArizona Has Spent $13.7M On AZ Senate Race; Most Funding From Adelsons, National Funders

DefendArizona, the king of Arizona-centric Super PACs that has - literally - gone nuclear, has now spent more than $13.7M to try to tip the Arizona Senatorial race to Republican Rep. Martha McSally, with non-stop advertising against Democratic Rep. Kyrsten Sinema.

More than $8M of the funds - and, likely more than $11M - has come from the Senate Leadership Fund. That Republican leadership Super PAC is funded largely by mega-donors and casino owners Sheldon and Miriam Adelson.

DefendArizona filed its first major disclosure report with the Federal Election Commission tonight. Previous reports had shown most of its first million was raised from Arizona Republican stalwarts. Today's report (below) lists $8M coming from the Senate Leadership Fund, and a few other other national individuals making six-digit contributions.

The million-dollar-plus donors to the Senate Leadership Funds $50M+ bank account are shown in this screenshot from the Center for Responsive Politics. The Adelsons hold the top two spots there, with a total of $25M.

Arizona mega-donors are Randy Kendricks - an attorney whose husband is the managing owner of the Arizona Diamondbacks - and Robert Parsons (formerly of GoDaddy). Each had contributed $250k as of September 30.

The Senate Leadership Fund typically directly makes independent expenditures in targeted races. Funneling such a large percentage of its spending - approximately 15% - through a separate SuperPAC seems to be a new strategy for the SLF.

However, the national dominance of DefendArizona is clearly shown in its disbursements. Almost all of them are to consultants and firms in the DC/Virginia area. Small payments to Marson Media, Lovas Consulting and Richard Sales Media are the only Arizona payments.


Methodology note: The $13.7M of expenditures was calculated by using the $9.3M of disbursements shown in the third quarter report, and then adding the subsequently filed independent expenditure reports, through today.

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ARIZONA ELECTION CASH REGISTER: McSally Had $600k Cash Edge Over Opponent Headed Into October Homestretch

Saturday, October 13, 2018

OOPS, I Did It Again: FEC Tells McSally Campaign Its "Best Compliance Team" Still Not Cutting It

After putting together what her spokeswoman said was "the best compliance team in the country", the Federal Election Commission is telling Rep. Martha McSally that she is STILL not complying with reporting laws. The most recent campaign reports demonstrate that more than 20% of the contributions received this year for the Senate campaign do not properly indicate the employers or occupations of the donor.*

Martha McSally's House campaign committee had significant problems with complying with these basic Federal Election Commission requirements, and were the subject of a long-running complaint that led to a thorough audit of the campaign's 2014 election cycle finances. It was concluded earlier this year with findings that more than $600,000 of contributions were not properly identified. (Other findings were that the Committee had overstated its receipts by $94,000, that more than $300,000 was collected above and beyond contribution limits, that timely 48-hour reports were not filed for $100,000 of contributions, and that $32,000 of political committee contributions were not properly itemized.

The FEC adopted the audit findings and indicated that future enforcement actions may be taken. McSally for Senate spokesperson Torunn Sinclair told the Arizona Republic that "we built the best compliance team in the county, compiled of former FEC auditors, accountants and smart legal minds to address any issues and help us stay in compliance."

That was this past May. However, at that very moment, the campaign was taking in thousands of donations for the Senate race and not obtaining employer/occupation information from the donors. The FEC was watching, and has sent the campaign what are titled "Requests for Additional Information," for both the 2nd quarter report (April-June) and the pre-primary report (July-Aug. 8) The McSally campaign has two more weeks to respond, although no amended reports have been filed as of this date. (And, the September quarterly report is due on Monday.)

Ms. Sinclair has not responded to repeated requests from Arizona's Politics for comment.

A review of the McSally for Senate reports indicates that more than 2,000 of the approximately 9,000 individual contributions are not properly identified. (By comparison and in the same time period, the Sinema campaign has not been able to identify 23 such contributions.)

Arizona's Politics has posted the audit report, the most recent McSally campaign filings and the FEC's RFAIs below, and will update this article once the campaign responds to our questions and/or files a response to the FEC.













*The purposes of the disclosure requirements that are part of both the laws and regulations are clear -  so that regulators and the public are able to view where a candidate's monies are coming from.

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Friday, October 12, 2018

WATCH: Flake Says GOP Should Have Requested FBI Investigation Of Kavanaugh/Ford Allegations Earlier, Doesn't Believe Feinstein Leaked

 Arizona Senator Jeff Flake sat down with C-Span for a retirement interview, and suggests that in the
Dr. Blasey Ford allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, "we Republicans should have called for an FBI investigation earlier". He also is not happy with his GOP colleagues "kind of spiking the ball" after Kavanaugh was confirmed on Saturday.

Flake held up the confirmation vote for one week by asking for a brief FBI investigation into the sexual assault allegations. Flake believes that the GOP would have been better served if they requested the investigation soon after Dr. Blasey Ford's claims were made public.

He also reiterated his hope that "somebody" will challenge President Donald Trump in the 2020 GOP primary. There has been speculation that Flake will attempt to do that.

C-Span released these excerpts of the interview, and plans to air the entire interview this coming Saturday night (7pm, Arizona Time). The partial transcript provided by C-Span is below.



(transcript of these excerpts provided by C-Span)
Jeff Flake: "We Republicans should have called for an FBI investigation earlier." Steve Scully: Have you since talked to Justice Kavanaugh? Jeff Flake: "I've not. He did send me a voicemail. Frankly, I've looked at what's happened since he's been confirmed and to see our party kind of spiking the ball in the end zone it just doesn't seem right. Doesn't seem right. This is an impartial referee that we're putting on the Court, I thought he gave a magnanimous and appropriate speech at the White House, but the fact that there's even an event to celebrate, with only Republicans there, no Democrats, I just didn't think that that was right. So, I haven't said much about it." Jeff Flake: "Last week when I called for a delay, that was not well-received by leadership. It was not." Jeff Flake: "Leadership was not happy. They weren't, but they knew that that was the only way that they might be able to get our vote. And so, we presented it and they had to accept it." Steve Scully: "Do you think looking back that Senator Feinstein should have at least had a conversation with Chairman Chuck Grassley about the letter early on? Jeff Flake: "Yes, I do. I do. I'm not one who believes that she leaked it. I've dealt with her for a long time and I think that she did her best to protect Dr. Ford. But, somebody leaked it at some point and that was really not fair to Dr. Ford. I do think it would have been better if had sat down early on…"
***
Jeff Flake: "I do hope that somebody does run in the primary against the president." Jeff Flake: "I fear for the future of the party if we don't remember who we are and what principled conservatism really is. And decency, we've got to get back to it." Jeff Flake "The president is who he is and I'm not sure that's going to change but when you see him at a rally, the disturbing thing isn't so much what he says anymore, it’s the cheers from people behind him, the chants of 'lock her up' for example, that's just unseemly. And it does make me fear that it's going to be a longer process to get out of this than it should be. But we will. We have to. Anger and resentment are not a governing philosophy." Jeff Flake: "This is the president's party right now. No doubt. To win in a Republican primary around the country you have to really embrace the president's policies and condone his behavior. That's the bottom line right now, but it won't always be that way."

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