Tuesday, April 22, 2014

BREAKING: Sheriff Arpaio's Cold Case Posse Hides, Should Be Dissolved; Fmr Member Files Complaint With Corporation Commission

Arizona's Politics has learned that a former member of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Cold Case Posse ("CCP") has filed a complaint with the Corporation Commission, explaining how the CCP has violated its corporate responsibilities and should be dissolved.

The CCP is Arpaio's affiliate that has been investigating the birth certificate of President Barack Obama, and has convinced the Sheriff that fraud is involved.  The CCP solicits private donations on its website to fund the three-year old investigation (and continuing investigation, according to CCP leader Mike Zullo). .

Brian Reilly - who petitioned Arpaio to begin the Obama birth certificate investigation - filed a complaint with the Corporation Commission today, requesting an administrative dissolution of the CCP.

He notes that the CCP had been using street addresses for its corporate address and its statutory agent's address, as required by Arizona Revised Statutes.  Until, that is, when it began to conduct the birth certificate investigation.  Then, it revised its corporate papers to apparently try to hide its members' addresses.

The CCP listed a Post Office box with the address of the Post Office as its corporate office and the (then-) Maricopa County Sheriff's Office address as statutory agent Mike Zullo's address. Both are ACC no-no's.  (Although the CCP did not file a change of address form, the Corporation Commission noted the address changes from the annual report and changed them.)

Arizona law requires a corporation to have a "street address", even if it is a home address.  The purpose of a statutory agent is to accept service of process for the corporation, which is why that person (or, company) is required to have a "street address".

Rebecca Wilder, Communications Director for the ACC, notes that they do receive complaints similar to Reilly's and the information is handled on a case-by-case basis.  She declined to speculate on this instance.

However, a review of statutes would suggest that it would not be surprising for the CCP to receive an opportunity to file an amended annual report (or a change of address).  If the written notice was ignored, the corporation would be administratively dissolved.

A dissolution could have further effects on the Cold Case Posse, which has received 501(c)(3) tax exempt status from the Internal Revenue Service.

The CCP has also used its affiliation with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office to justify not filing annual reports with the IRS.  The MCSO and Maricopa County treat the Posses as separate entities and do not review their finances.  The Arizona Auditor General's Office told Arizona's Politics recently that it will look at this and other possible posse-related issues as part of its annual audit of Maricopa County's financial statements and controls.

Arizona's Politics has asked CCP for more information about their ACC filings, and will update this article as necessary.








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Monday, April 21, 2014

Sarah Palin Was In Arizona This Month To See Daughter Graduate From Beauty School - Bristol Moving Back To Alaska

Sometime-Arizona resident Bristol Palin graduated from a Scottsdale beauty school earlier this month and is heading back to Alaska.  Sarah Palin (and several family members) attended the graduation at Penrose Academy on April 8.

The proud mama grizzly Palin posted a picture and message on Facebook - it has gathered more than 137,000 likes. (see below)

Bristol Palin made news when she moved to the town of Maricopa in 2010.  She sold the house a couple of years later and had apparently moved back to Alaska.

The esthetics program she completed this month takes 15 weeks (or, 600 hours), and cost $13,000.  Bristol's sister Willow also graduated from Penrose last year.

In writing about each daughter, Sarah Palin extolled the virtues of trade schools/vocational education.





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SIDEBAR: Former Solicitor General Paul Clement Charged Arizona $400K For Mostly Unsuccessful Defense Of SB1070

FINANCIAL SIDEBAR:  Arizona's Politics conducted a new review of the current status of the state's SB1070 legal defense fund - that article may be found here.  The last time that we reviewed the fund in 2012, we wondered what the then-just-completed oral argument (and appeal briefs) by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement before the U.S. Supreme Court had cost Arizona's Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund (aka "Border Security Fund").

We now have an answer: $400,000.  That is what Arizona paid Clement's then-firm of Bancroft Associates in May and June of 2012.  Clement is a Supreme Court rock star, having appeared before the Justices at least 69 times.  SCOTUSblog told Arizona's Politics that $400,000 is "a substantially discounted rate".

The Supreme Court considered four provisions of well-known law in that appeal.  It struck down three as being preempted by federal immigration law, and upheld the section that requires law enforcement to attempt to determine immigration status of someone they have a reasonable suspicion is present in the state illegally.

As noted in the main article, more than $3.44M of the $3.66M has been sent, mostly to pay Snell & Wilmer legal fees.

(LEGAL SIDEBAR: whisper  whisper whisper whisper)

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BREAKING: Arizona's SB1070 Legal Defense Fund Nearing Zero; $3.5M To Attorneys To Date, Latest Chapter Cost Approx $750K

Governor Brewer's SB1070 legal defense fund is nearing zero, after having spent approximately $3.5 Million on attorneys since the law was passed in 2010.  The U.S. Supreme Court today declined to hear the state's appeal of an injunction against one portion of the well-known illegal immigration enforcement law, but litigation over the remaining portions continues.

(For sidebar story on the cost of Arizona's appeal that the Supreme Court did hear - the big Arizona v. U.S. case in 2012 - please click here.)

Arizona's Politics conducted an initial review of the Governor's Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense Fund (aka "Border Security Fund") today, and concluded that approximately $220,000 remains as of today.  However, the last legal services bill showing as paid on the Arizona Open Books website was December 30,2013; the petition denied today was filed January 6, 2014, so substantial fees are currently owing.

The legal defense fund was established by an Arizona Governor Jan Brewer Executive Order shortly after she signed SB1070.  $3.6M was donated within one month of the webpage being set up, and contributions are still trickling in ($190 in Feburary 2014).

94% of those funds are gone.

Approximately $2M has been paid to the law firm of Snell & Wilmer over the past four years.  Since the U.S. Supreme Court issued its major opinion striking down three provisions of the law and upholding the section that requires law enforcement to attempt to determine immigration status of someone they have a reasonable suspicion is present in the state illegally on June 25, 2012, the Border Security Fund has paid out $715,000 for legal services and related expenses.

The injunction that was left in place today by the Supreme Court is only part of the litigation brought by the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona, and much of that case is still pending.

What Arizona will do if and when the Border Security Fund is exhausted is not yet known.  A further appeal for donations, an appropriation by the Legislature, an agreement by Snell & Wilmer to reduce their legal bills, and winding down the litigation are all possible results.  (Or, a combination thereof.)

It is not unusual for opponents of SB1070 to refer to the taxpayer monies being used by the state to defend the law.  This is basically inaccurate.  However, because we have seen Arizona (and, other states) re-purpose funds (tobacco settlement, mortgage assistance, to name two), it is not far-fetched to consider that the Legislature could choose to end litigation and use leftover monies (if any) for other, related law enforcement needs.

(For sidebar story on the cost of Arizona's appeal that the Supreme Court did hear - the big Arizona v. U.S. case in 2012 - please click here.)


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U.S. Supreme Court Won't Hear 2nd Arizona SB1070 Case; Finding Voiding Harboring Section For Vagueness Stands

Another provision of Arizona's well-known SB1070 law regarding illegal immigration enforcement was knocked out by the U.S. Supreme Court today, when it let stand a lower court injunction against the provision to criminalize harboring/transporting/concealing illegal immigrants.  The statute - A.R.S. 13-2929 - also would have criminalized encouraging/inducing illegal immigrants to enter Arizona.

The American Civil Liberties Union represented the plaintiffs challenging that provision.  Arizona failed to convince either the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals or the U.S. Supreme Court that the plaintiffs - a church pastor in Mesa and a Phoenix community clinic - had standing to challenge the provision.

This morning - one month after receiving the State of Arizona's reply brief - the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it would not accept Arizona's petition.

This is the section of the law that has now been found to be unconstitutionally vague and preempted by federal law:


It is unlawful for a person who is in
violation of a criminal offense to:
1. Transport or move or attempt to
transport or move an alien in [Arizona],
in furtherance of the illegal presence of
the alien in the United States, in a
means of transportation if the person
knows or recklessly disregards the fact
that the alien has come to, has entered
or remains in the United States in
violation of law.
2. Conceal, harbor or shield or attempt
to conceal, harbor or shield an alien
from detection in any place in this state,
including any building or any means of
transportation, if the person knows or
recklessly disregards the fact that the
alien has come to, has entered or
remains in the United States in
violation of law.
3. Encourage or induce an alien to come
to or reside in this state if the person
knows or recklessly disregards the fact
that such coming to, entering or
residing in this state is or will be in
violation of law.

Here is the ACLU's brief opposing the petition for writ of certiorari, and here is the 9th Circuit's opinion that was left in place today.

The U.S. Supreme Court had previously (2012) struck down three other provisions of SB1070 and upheld one.


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Sunday, April 20, 2014

OFF-TOPIC: LA Times Reports on Why (Arizona's) Zia Records Is Missing At This Year's Coachella Festival

While we were on the L.A. Times website and passing on their front page article using Arizona's solar/net metering battle as the prime example of the Koch brothers' interest in slowing down the growth of solar power usage, we noticed that Zia was in one of their headlines about the Coachella Music Festival.

Apparently, this is the first year that Tempe-based Zia Records is NOT running the record store and the meet-and-greets at the popular festival.  The given reason is that Zia is too busy with their expansion efforts here.


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Koch Brothers Aiming At Solar, Worked With APS In Arizona Solar Fight - L.A. Times

Today's Los Angeles Times focuses on the recent Arizona solar net metering battle as evidence of the well-known conservative Koch brothers' setting the "solar industry in their sights".  The article discusses the 2013 Arizona battle in detail, and notes that the fight is currently getting intense in other states, as well.

The article does not necessarily break major new ground - Arizonans already knew that Koch/Sean Noble vehicle 60 Plus had been one of the major advertisers on the APS side of the battle, for example - but it does look at the larger picture.  The article also notes former House Speaker Kirk Adams' involvement.

Energy - petroleum and coal - was the original money-making engine for Koch Industries and continues to be a major driver behind the conglomerate.  Bloomberg reported this week that Charles and David Koch's net worth has now surpassed $100 Billion.

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Friday, April 18, 2014

Christine Jones Unleashes 2nd Wave - Likely Exceeding $100K - Of Ads; Begin Airing Monday (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A 2nd wave of 30-second spots by Christine Jones for Governor will hit Arizona TV viewers on Monday.  Jones has been the only gubernatorial candidate on the air so far, and this new round of ads likely exceeds $100,000.


(Original article regarding the first ad is here; watch the initial ad here.)

No word yet from the Jones campaign as to whether viewers will see the same introductory ad that ran in mid-March; no new ads have been posted on their YouTube page or website.

An FCC filing by KSAZ (Channel 10) shows 30 spots airing between Monday the 21st and Sunday the 27th.  That's slightly more than the previous run, but at slightly less money.  Assuming the ad buy is similar at the other stations (as in the first wave), this new purchase will likely exceed $100,000 (Phoenix and Tucson).

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Martha McSally's Main Fundraiser: Did Republican Billionaire and Others Cloak Their Mega-Support For "Winning Women" Candidates? Marriage Equality Is Still Difficult Issue In GOP

(Arizona's Politics is an independent, non-partisan political news blog. When we engage in analysis or commentary, we attempt to label it as such. This article may be classified as "news analysis" because it attempts to "provid(e) interpretations that add to a reader's understanding of a subject.")

(UPDATE, 3pm: Martha McSally responded this afternoon to Arizona's Politics' article, noting that the national mega-fundraiser was to support three female candidates (out of many):  "I am grateful for the support of those who want to see more women in Congress to better represent our country and provide leadership and solutions to DC." Kristen Douglas, McSally's spokesperson, added, "Winning Women was formed to support three promising female candidates."  The full statements are below the jump.)


Republican billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer and  co-owner of the Chicago Cubs Sylvie Legere Ricketts - and, others - appear to have cloaked their support of Martha McSally and two other female Congressional candidates - calling the joint fundraising effort "Winning Women" instead of acknowledging that marriage equality was the driving force.

Earlier today, Arizona's Politics ran an article updating the "female oriented campaign efforts" by four Arizona women either in Congress or running for Congress ("WOMEN! Updates On 4 Arizona Congressional Candidates' Fundraising Efforts").  The centerpiece of the article was a $360,000 joint fundraiser for Arizona GOP candidate Martha McSally and two others.
(from azstarnet.com)

"Winning Women" took place in late March, and netted McSally's campaign $109,832.43.  McSally is the heavy favorite in the GOP primary for the right to challenge Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) in November.  However, what appears to have been an effort to support and elect conservative women to Congress (a subject that has been much debated recently) more likely is an effort to support GOP candidates who favor marriage equality.

First, the co-hosts.  "Winning Women" was co-hosted by Paul Singer and Sylvie Légère Ricketts.  Singer is a billionaire hedge fund CEO (Elliott Advisors), who has made changing the GOP's opposition to same-sex marriage one of his primary political endeavors.  He has spent more than $10M in this effort, and was the primary 2012 founder and funder of the American Unity PAC, which is focused on the issue.

Sylvie Légère Ricketts was the other co-host.  Her husband, Todd Ricketts, is the CEO of the conservative Ending Spending SuperPAC, and the Ricketts family owns the Chicago Cubs baseball organization.  The Ricketts have also been major supporters of American Unity PAC and efforts to legalize gay marriage in Illinois.

The co-hosts have all (Singers and Légère Ricketts) indicated that their passion to push the GOP towards marriage equality is driven by having family members (son and sister-in-law, respectively) who are homosexual.

Second, the supporters.  The Singers - along with persons at Elliott Management  and Singers' employees - contributed $123,700 to the fundraiser.*  The Ricketts family added another $45,000.  The balance came from a variety of persons involved in political and charitable giving in New York and the tri-state area, Chicago, and Florida.  A few notable names include WWE founders Linda and Vince McMahon ($18,600), former American Express and AIG chairman Harvey Golub ($10,000) and Candace Straight - "a national moderate Republican leader" ($6,000).

Third, the candidates/beneficiaries.  Two years ago, McSally told the conservative Center for Arizona Policy that she would fight for a U.S. Constitutional amendment defining marriage as being between opposite-sex individuals.  However, in an interview this past December, she indicated that she did not like the yes-or-no format and thought an essay would have been better.  She said the hypothetical presented by the CAP questionaire "is not happening anytime soon" and that it is an issue best left to the states.

The second "Winning Women" beneficiary is Elise Stefanik, who is running in a contested Republican primary in upstate New York.  In an interview in January, Stefanik used almost the exact same leave it to the states quote, and added that it is already legal in New York.

The final candidate, who received $110,000 from the joint fundraiser, is Barbara Comstock.  She has steered clear of having media reports about her position on same-sex marriage, but has already been attacked by her opponents for accepting money from Singer.  (Comstock apparently attempted to defend the donations by saying that Singer has given to lots of other Republican campaigns - Singer especially has supported Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell.)

McSally is not facing the same intense primary battles against more conservative candidates that Stefanik and Comstock appear to be, but she has been very cautious in stating any views that might alienate voters in the primary.  Rep. Barber is firmly on the record as supporting marriage equality and her position could become a topic then, but as witnessed in the Jim Nintzel interview cited earlier, McSally is able to persistently set the issue aside.

Fourth, the political environment in which the three candidates are operating in.  The Republican party is certainly divided about the issue of same-sex marriage amidst the rapidly-changing legal and political playing field.  While a Pew Research Center poll this year shows that 61% of young Republicans favor marriage equality, only 39% of Republicans overall share that view.  (A majority in every other age group opposes it, and only 22% of seniors (65+) favor it.)  Primary elections have tended to favor the opponents.

Fifth, these three candidates do not have anything else explaining why the joint fundraiser was limited to these three.  They are not the three most hotly-contested districts;  McSally's is, the other two are not.  Arizona's other female-GOP-Air Force-conservative-frontrunner-in-a-hotly-contested-district - Wendy Rogers (in CD9) was not included, for example.  The Republican Party has touted a number of other up-and-coming female candidates as part of their Project GROW (where they feature McSally and others as leaves hanging from a tree); yet this joint fundraiser did not include them.

Each of these data points - taken individually - should not be enough to convince you that female empowerment was not the key driver in this joint fundraiser.  Singer - and, people at his company and his attorneys - have issues other than same-sex marriage that they are interested in.  Immigration reform or securities laws, for examples.  Likewise, the  Légère Ricketts.  And, neither couple (yes, Singer's wife also maxed out for the Winning Women) has shown passion for boosting the ranks of Republican women in Congress.  The candidates/beneficiaries have positions and opinions on subjects other than same-sex marriage - and, even their public semi-positions on that issue are hazy.

However, marriage equality is the only passionate issue at the intersection of Singers and Légère Ricketts. And, they are the ones who chose to support these three candidates out of a wide universe of Republicans (women and men).

The candidates have no strong positions on issues that excite the mega-donors and differentiate them from all of the other female GOP candidates.  And, their vague positions on same-sex marriage - in the slowly-changing climate of the GOP - might signal that they either are already in agreement with the hosts, or are very persuadable.  (Although raising $360,000 likely indicates the former rather than the latter.)

Whether or not you agree with the Singers' and Légère Ricketts' views on same-sex marriage, the most interesting aspect of cloaking the joint fundraiser as "Winning Women" is that Republican candidates (and fundraisers) are still apparently reluctant to declare their openness to movement (evolution) on the issue.

Arizona's Politics has asked co-hosts, McSally's campaign, and prominent gay Republicans to comment on the current state of mind of the GOP regarding this topic, and will update as warranted. (If YOU would like to comment, please leave one at the bottom of this post.)

Thursday, April 17, 2014

WOMEN! Updates On 4 Arizona Congressional Candidates' Fundraising Efforts (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

With today's announcement that EMILY's List is putting its fundraising muscle behind Mary Rose Wilcox in the #AZ07 Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Ed Pastor, Arizona's Politics is looking around at other female-oriented campaign efforts.

The upcoming EMILY's List announcement is not surprising, and could give the longtime Maricopa County Supervisor a big fundraising edge.  She is already the only woman in the wide open primary.  EMILY's List has fundraising muscle, and its organization has been emulated by others in both political parties.

That was on full display in the campaign finance filing by Republican Martha McSally, who is looking for a re-match with Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).  She reported raising $127,000 from joint fundraisers.  $17,000 came from the joint fundraiser with House Speaker John Boehner and Andy Tobin.  But, $110,000 came from a Winning Women joint fundraiser (with two other Congressional candidates) at the end of March.  And, add in $7,000 in contributions from two women-focused PACs.

One month earlier, Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) held a "Western Women Win" joint fundraiser in Phoenix.  It raised $17,000, split between the two Representatives.  Kirkpatrick also received one women's PAC contribution this past period ($2,500 from the wonderfully-but-now-outdated-named Tri-State Maxed Out Women).

All of these PACs and joint fundraisers can trace their lineage back to EMILY's List, which started in 1985.


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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BREAKING: Sheriff Arpaio's (MCSO's) Posse Policies Will Get Fresh Set Of Eyes; Arizona Auditor General's Office Responds

The grounding of Posse-owned vehicles by a few of the many volunteer Posses under the direction of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be over - but the issues raised by former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly and that have been exposed by several reporters remain. A fresh set of eyes on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") Posse Program Policies and Procedures - and, the interactions between the County, the MCSO and the Posses - would be very helpful. Those eyes may be beginning to focus.

(For more background on the insurance-related grounding, and how the former Cold Case Posse member who spoke out about his experiences may have started the ball rolling, please click here.)

Each year, the Arizona Auditor General's Office audits every county's financial reports and internal controls. When possible issues arise during the year, the AG's Office adds them to the list of things they check out in the next audit. Sometimes, the new issues result in changes being recommended to the county and sometimes they do not.

Responding to the issues raised by recent news coverage - and, responding to questions from the news media - the AG's office "will consider the information" about the County/MCSO/Posse relationship. Deputy Auditor General Melanie Chesney emphasizes that that does NOT mean that there is "potential wrongdoing", and notes that the next audit for the 2013-2014 fiscal year (ending June 30) will not be completed until early 2015. Also, before it is released, the County has the opportunity to respond - concur or dispute - the Auditor General's recommendations.

Some of the issues that the AG's auditor might soon be starting to take a look at include:
1) Insurance on vehicles being used for County-related business, but owned by non-profits/volunteers who were (are?) under the impression that the County's self-insurance pool will cover them.
2) Titling of the vehicles being used by Posses. While there is evidence that the County (properly) sold vehicles to various Posses, Brian Reilly was told that the County owned the vehicles.
3) Government-issued plates. Posse-owned vehicles - marked and unmarked - have had license plates identifying them as governmental vehicles "G Plates".  State statutes indicate that this might be unlawful for most or all of the Posse vehicles.  One possible way that this happened is that the County and/or the MCSO transferred the titles but let the Posse entities (improperly) keep the County's G Plates. A 2nd possibility is that the MCSO (improperly) gave the Posses G Plates bulk-issued to the County by ADOT.
4) County Gas Keys/Cards. While Posses/members may have been properly allowed to use County-supplied gas for official Posse uses, there do not appear to be any controls on Posse vs. personal use. (Also, Sheriff Arpaio promised the County and voters that he would not use County funds for the Cold Case Posse's birth certificate investigation; yet, those Posse members did have County gas cards/keys, and Reilly says that the birth certificate investigation was the only thing CCP was working on.)
5) Accounting for Donations. Some Posses - such as the Cold Case Posse - solicited and received donations from across the nation, as a direct result of Sheriff Arpaio's investigation of the Obama birth certificate. In fact, on at least one occasion, the Sheriff made the call for people to support the Cold Case Posse and their investigation. However, the Cold Case Posse tells the IRS that they do not have to file 990 returns because they are MCSO-affiliated. And, the MCSO has repeatedly told Arizona's Politics and others that the Posses do not report financials to them and that the MCSO exercises no oversight on these MCSO-affiliated organizations. 
      The Cold Case Posse's lack of transparency likely hides donations and expenditures that violate the MCSO's own policies and procedures and federal tax law, and call into question the MCSO's (and, the County's) complicity in at least one of these fundraising-machine Posses.
       CCP's leader, Mike Zullo, had told former Posse member Brian Reilly in mid-2012 that the CCP had received more than $80,000 in donations that year. The threshold for filing an IRS 990 is $25,000. Thus, it was the claim of County-affiliation that permitted CCP to not file with the IRS.  If the CCP was able to use the same databases with which the Sheriff raised $3.5 Million the following year, the potential amount of donations flowing to the quasi-governmental organization - with no contribution caps - is very large.


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Sheriff Arpaio Throws Fundraising Muscle Behind Adam Kwasman In #AZ01 Congressional Race

The official endorsement has not yet been made, but Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is throwing his well-developed fundraising muscles behind state Rep. Adam Kwasman in the GOP primary battle to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in CD1. Calling him "the ONLY candidate in the race 100% against amnesty", Arpaio asks his supporters to contribute to the Tucson-based state lawmaker.

Arpaio has backed Kwasman in his previous legislative campaigns, and will likely have an endorsement announcement soon.  (The fundraising email is published below the jump.)

Kwasman is in a tough three-way battle with state House Speaker Andy Tobin and rancher/businessman Gary Kiehne.  Tobin has raised nearly $400,000 to date, and Kiehne has lent his campaign $200,000.  Kwasman has yet to file his first quarter report, but had $79,372 in the bank on January 1; Tobin and Kiehne both had more than $200,000 as of April 1.

Arpaio's endorsement is consistently in great demand for conservative candidates, and his fundraising appeals have met with great success.


TABLE: Arizona Congressional Candidates' 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Filings; How's YOUR Fave Doing? (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Updated, 4/16/14 10:10am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table. Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

You may click on the table below to make it full-screen.  If you need an Excel version of this table, please send email. Please see notes below for explanations on some of the columns.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.


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What's Known So Far About Mystery Ad; READ: Mystery Ad Ignites War of Words Between GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Ducey, Smith

(Editor's note, 4/16, 2:40pm: This was originally published April 8, 2014. When adding tags, the program inadvertently deleted the previous article and re-published it as a "new article".  If you linked this article, please change to the new URL  The most recent article on this subject was published April 9, and is available here.)

The somewhat-unusual attack ad that calls Arizona gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith "Obama's Favorite Mayor"* may have already had its true intended purpose - to spark a debate on who is behind the ad.  Arizona's Politics has been digging around about the $173,000 ad buy, and can set out some data points without drawing a conclusion.

Background: the ad is from a group calling itself the Legacy Foundation Action Fund ("LFAF").  It attacks Smith's record - not as the Mayor of Mesa, but as the current President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  LFAF as audio of nearly-identical radio ads against Smith and the two Vice Presidents of the Conference - who happen to be Democrats.  Arizona's Politics has not confirmed whether those radio ads have actually aired in Sacramento (former Suns' star Kevin Johnson) and Baltimore; the true target of the LFAF may be Smith's gubernatorial run.

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Scott Smith sent out an email to his list titled "The political games have begun.  He claimed that "On Friday, the political games began when an out-of-state special interest group tied to one of my opponents – Doug Ducey – began running negative ads against me.  Actually, describing them as negative would be generous since they contained a series of lies so distasteful that they do not deserve to be repeated."  (The full email is reproduced below the jump.)

Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey wasted no time in responding.  His email hit inboxes at 7:46 this morning, titled "False accusations that have no merit."  He leads with "Amazingly, Mayor Smith’s campaign has reacted…by blaming me! For the record, I want you to hear it from me directly: no one involved in my campaign had anything to do with that ad. Period. The charge is false, and there are no facts to back it up."  (His full email is also below the jump.)

Of course, both of their statements can be true at the same time - and very well might be.  Smith claims that LFAF has ties to Ducey, and Ducey retorts that "no one involved in (his) campaign" was responsible.  (If someone in the campaign was involved, that would evidence "coordination", which could result in trouble under Arizona campaign law.

Here is what we have been able to learn of the new LFAF:

--LFAF is relatively new.  It has not filed a statement of organization with either the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") or the Arizona Secretary of State.  However, it has filed a couple of independent expenditure reports with the FEC, indicating that it has spent $350,000 in the last few months supporting a conservative candidate (Ben Sasse) for Nebraska's open U.S. Senate seat.
--Those FEC reports link LFAF with the Legacy Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does not disclose its donors.
2) A somewhat-anonymous tipster says that it points back to Noble, and supporting Ducey. Only evidence he's given me so far, though, is that the ad buyer is Noble's. He also passed on a rumor that Noble is not on Ducey's campaign so that he can orchestrate IE's/etc (presumably like this one).


3) My research on Legacy turns up two tangential points of interest - one of its 1st big things, in 2010-12, was funneling about $1M to the Rose Law Group to pay for Sheriff Dever/Babeu's legal efforts in supporting SB1070. And, second, it granted $80K to Center for Arizona Policy in '12 (with Herrod on Ducey's team, hmmm) and $200K to American Family Association.


4) Legacy Foundation's 990's reflect from $770K in '10, to $4.8M in '11, to $6.6M in '12!


5) My article in 11/13 re: Ducey's Noble connection in the Prop 204 situation: http://bit.ly/AZp690


* Preview of Fact Check: it is highly unlikely that the President prefers Smith to Obama's former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel!


Arizona Governor Brewer Has $300K In Her (Federal) SuperPAC; Uses Some For Travel, Lodging (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has $300,000 left in her eponymously-named SuperPAC, after it brought in only $2,670 in small contributions and disbursed nearly $50,000.  This is the first quarter that the Governor has not actively collected monies for JanPAC.


That remaining $300,000 is only limited in how she can spend it by the restriction that it cannot be donated directly to candidate's campaigns.  For the past three months, she spent approximately $40,000 on "fundraising fees" - which could be from services provided in 2013 - advertising on Facebook, and a couple of thousand dollars on a computer, airline tickets and one night's lodging at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.

Jan PAC received some unwelcomed - and, misleading - attention yesterday.  In a national report, the Center for Public Integrity used it as an example in its report about SuperPAC leaders using (abusing?) the funds for personal perks.  It notes that she spent nearly $21,000 on travel expenses in 2013; however - as documented in previous articles - Brewer's JanPAC travel appeared to be almost exclusively used to attend fundraisers.  In that respect, it would be just another cost of fundraising.

Arizona's Politics has reported previously on the supporters of the Governor's federal PAC - including $250,000 donated by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the company that received a potentially-lucrative contract to manage and advertise at Arizona's highway rest areas, and the health-related contributors who supported Arizona's acceptance of Obamacare monies to expand AHCCCS.

Brewer also controls a similar kitty at the state level.  Arizona's Legacy reported having $570,000 cash on hand at the beginning of the year.  The Governor is poised to either be a major player in this year's Arizona elections, or it could conceivably be used to promote her personal political future - it was only yesterday that the conservative Citizens United released a poll showing her as the best-positioned candidate to defeat Sen. John McCain in a 2016 GOP primary.



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1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ09: GOP Challengers Raise Big Bucks, But Incumbent Kyrsten Sinema Raises Bigger

The two (remaining) Republican challengers to Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema had strong first quarter fundraising numbers, but the incumbent - who is an Ironman finisher - had stronger.  In the contested CD9, the conservative outside money groups have not been pouring money into the campaign like they have against Reps. Barber and Kirkpatrick;  they may be waiting to see if one of the candidates emerges as a strong threat to Sinema.

Wendy Rogers raised $137, 958 in the first three months of 2014, increasing her bank balance to over $400,000.  Andrew Walter lent his campaign $50,000, raised $63,133, and has slightly more than one quarter of a million dollars in the bank.

The first-term Representative pushed her cash on hand to $1,265,532, bringing in $155K from PACs and $250K from individual contributors.

Whether the challengers' quarters will be strong enough to attract independent expenditure monies to resume attacking Sinema remains to be seen.  The Republican primary election is August 26th, and the fun may begin after that.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.

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1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ07: Two Jackrabbits, Two Desert Tortoises, Two Question Marks In Race To Replace Rep. Pastor (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The race triggered by Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor's (D-CD7) surprise retirement announcement in February now has a fundraising split*, and it hearkens to the children's story about the Tortoise and the Hare**.  We have a pair of Democrats who raised a lot of money out of the gate, and a pair of candidates slow out of the gate.  For good measure, we have a pair who do not yet have their reports up.

Not that the desert tortoises will overtake the jackrabbits, but the sprint does have only 4 1/2 months to go until the August 26th primary election that will likely decide Pastor's successor.

Former state lawmaker Ruben Gallego raised an impressive $161,935 in the less than five weeks, and longtime County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox accepted $89,632 (including $2,500 from herself).

Democratic Minority Whip Steve Gallardo filed a report with zeros in all the categories - he has not yet resigned from the state Senate (which may be wrapping up their session this week).  Independent candidate Jose Penalosa, Jr. raised $9,222.

Cesar Chavez and Johnnie Robinson have filed their Statements of Candidacy - Chavez even before Pastor announced his retirement - but have not yet filed first quarter finance reports.  they may not have raised or spent any money yet.

Here is the basic chart, along with links to each candidate's report. Arizona's Politicswill follow-up with more detailed reports as needed.


* "Split" as in the sports term for the time at a designated spot/distance, so that you can compare competitors.

**The Arizona version by Susan Lowell/Jim Harris (which one of my kids has a signed copy of!) is The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TABLE: Arizona Congressional Candidates' 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Filings; How's YOUR Fave Doing? (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Updated, 4/16/14 10:10am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table. Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

You may click on the table below to make it full-screen.  If you need an Excel version of this table, please send email. Please see notes below for explanations on some of the columns.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.


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1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ02: Incumbent Barber Narrowly Outraised, But Has $360K More In Bank


(Updated, 4/16/14 10:00am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table.)
Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) was narrowly outraised in the 1st quarter by the high-flying Republican challenger Martha McSally, but has more in the fuel tank.

The incumbent raised Barber's campaign reports cash on hand on April 1 of more than $1.2M.  He raised $422,799, including more than $150,000 from PACs.

McSally's campaign received more than $441,000 in contributions; the incumbent Barber's campaign states that they brought in $422,000.  McSally has $847,142 cash on hand.  $110,000 of that came from a "Winning Women" joint fundraiser in Washington, in March.

Shelley Kais has raised more than $20,000 in her challenge to McSally for the GOP nomination.  Charles Wooten raised more than $6,000 and Jim Brown (who switched from running in CD1 to CD2) does not yet have his filing available on the FEC site.

Barber narrowly defeated McSally in the first regular election for each of them in 2012. The re-match is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.

While the candidatess fundraising is significant, the money raised and spent by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups. Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, hammering both Barber and McSally.
Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.
We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ01: Incumbent Kirkpatrick Widens Money Lead, Kiehne Is Closest Challenger

(Updated, 4/16/14 9:45am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table.  Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

In hotly-contested Congressional District 1, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick continues to raise and stockpile more money than her three GOP challengers combined.  Although state lawmaker Adam Kwasman's report is not yet available (the only Arizona House candidate who does not have his or her report up), it is unlikely that he out-raised state House Speaker Andy Tobin and/or rancher Gary Kiehne.

Kirkpatrick raised $309,669 in the first three months of 2014, and has $1,036,178 in the bank as of March 31.  Kiehne started the year with more cash on hand than Tobin and Kwasman, although he had lent the campaign $100,000.  He raised $66,342 this quarter, compared to $126,224 for Tobin; he lent another $1000,000 to the campaign on March 29.  The loans explain why he has more money in the bank than Tobin ($274K compared to $213K).

Tobin and Kirkpatrick both participated in joint fundraising events with other candidates - that added $12,000 to Kirkpatrick's coffers, and Tobin reaped $17,715 from a joint fundraiser headlined by House Speaker John Boehner.

Here is the basic chart, along with links to each candidate's report.  Arizona's Politics will follow-up with more detailed reports as needed.
Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.
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REPORT: Rep. Barber Outraised In 1st Quarter By McSally, But Has More In Bank (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(In the past, Arizona's Politics has not published campaign "announcements" about fundraising efforts before they have filed the report with the FEC or the Arizona Secretary of State, and all of the numbers can be looked at in context.  Some campaigns have been known to "cherry pick" the favorable parts of the report and leave out the negatives.  However, this quarter, we will experiment with reporting the announcements and following up with comparing it to the actual report.  We will not update our spreadsheet, however, until the report is available.... If you would like to ensure that Arizona's Politics reports your campaign's announcement, please email it to the address listed on the top of this page.)

Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) was outraised in the 1st quarter by the high-flying Republican challenger Martha McSally, but has more in the fuel tank.  Barber's campaign reports cash on hand on April 1 of more than $1.2M.


Neither candidates' first quarter 2014 filing - due today - has been made available on the FEC website yet, but both have released some of their numbers.

McSally's campaign reported late last week that she had received more than $449,000 in contributions; the incumbent Barber's campaign states that they brought in $422,000.

McSally did not release cash on hand, but she "only" had $548,000 on January 1.  Barber started the quarter with $939,000 in the checking account.

Barber narrowly defeated McSally in the first regular election for each of them in 2012.  The re-match is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.

While the candidatess fundraising is significant, the money raised and spent by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups.  Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, hammering both Barber and McSally.


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Without Opposition, Rep. Franks Continues Low Key Fundraising; This Quarter's Celebrity Contributor: Jerry Colangelo

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-CD8) has no opposition for his re-election effort - from either Republicans or Democrats.  Therefore, his campaign finance filings are mostly ho-hum documents.  However, he seems to spice up each one a little with a "name" contributor.  Last quarter, it was former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld;  this time, Jerry Colangelo makes an appearance.

Franks raised approximately $50,000 and spent approximately $54,000 during the first three months of 2014.  His cash on hand on April 1 is $30,584.31.

On January 31, 2014, the former owner of the Phoenix Suns and managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, contributed $1,000 to the conservative representing the West Valley.  Colangelo has not contributed to Franks before, and this is only the 2nd contribution he has made to a federal candidate in this election cycle. (The other is to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.)




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UPDATE: Saucedo Mercer Ready To Re-Ramp Up Campaign, Fundraising

Although her internet presence and her new campaign finance filing showed a nearly-dormant first three months of 2014, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer's campaign is ready to resume work within the next week.

The Republican, who is seeking a re-match against longtime incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3), has been "reformulating (our) efforts" and is ready to start "reaching out to new donors and existing donors", according to Loren Charles, her Communications Director.

Saucedo Mercer's FEC filing shows the campaign in the red, and 80% behind her fundraising at this point in 2012.  Arizona's Politics noted the lack of activity in an article over the weekend, and had asked for further information.

Charles indicated that Saucedo Mercer had had an "educational commitment" that was finishing up yesterday, and "took up a bunch of her energy."

Grijalva's 1st quarter report is not yet available, but he had $109,000 in the bank on January 1.

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Jan Brewer Would Clean John McCain's Clock In 2016 GOP Senate Primary, Poll Shows

As of last week, outgoing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer would be the Tea Party's strongest candidate to primary Senator John McCain with, according to a new poll commissioned by Citizens United.  With her current 80% favorability rating, Brewer would defeat McCain 47.7%-29.0%.

The push-button poll of 600 likely GOP primary voters was taken April 11-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.  Nearly 3/4 of the respondents classified themselves as "Tea Party Republicans" (40.2%) or "Strong Republicans" (33.7%).  (Both the polling memo and the toplines are re-published below the jump.)

The pollster ("the polling company") states that "this is not simply 'trouble with the Tea Party' or 'far right angst'. Senator McCain struggles at various levels with Republicans across the ideological spectrum."  However, more "Strong Republicans" actually answered that they would re-elect McCain (48.5%-43.1%).  "Tea Party Republicans" would throw him out, 83.8%-10.8%.

Brewer ran slightly better in the head-to-head matchup than did Rep. Matt Salmon (R-CD5) (48.2%-30.3%).  Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) was the third possible opponent tested - he still defeated McCain, 40.1%-33.9%.

Of course, Brewer is not running for re-election this year.  McCain has hinted that he might run for a 6th 6-year term in the Senate; he would turn 80 right around the time of what would likely be a hotly-contested GOP primary.

Monday, April 14, 2014

WATCH: Major Democratic Ad Buy Attacks GOP Challengers, Other Outside Ads

(First Watch, 11:27am: Posted here are the new ads discussed below (he Saturday article).  Text to follow.)





(UPDATE, 4/14, 11:15am: State Rep. Andy Tobin - one of three Republicans vying for the nomination to unseat Rep. Kirkpatrick - just sent a fundraising email to supporters claiming that the new House Majority PAC ad is different than the one previously run, and says it is "attacking me for opposing Obamacare" (emphasis his).  House Majority PAC has not yet posted the ad online and has not responded to Arizona's Politics' requests for a copy.)

With three closely-watched Congressional races and a wide-open and well-funded Republican gubernatorial primary, wave after wave of 30-second spots - most from out of state - have already come crashing on Arizona's shores and viewing devices.

A new round of ads from the mega-Democratic-philic House Majority PAC begins this coming Monday (and is currently slated to last two weeks).  The first round from the Super PAC began in January, to counter the steady barrage that Democratic Reps. Ron Barber (CD2) and Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) had been taking from Americans for Prosperity.

This new ad buy is for $270,000 in the Phoenix television market, and is likely designed to offset the recent wave hammering Kirkpatrick on Obamacare, from the LIBRE Initiative - a Koch Brothers' funding network member aimed at Hispanic voters.

House Majority PAC is largely funded by unions and George Soros.

No new ads have yet been added to the House Majority PAC's YouTube page, so until Arizona's Politics can verify which ad or ads are running and whether new spots are running in the Tucson market, here is the pro-Kirkpatrick ad that House Majority PAC ran in January/February.  (This ad received some national attention because it did not attempt to defend Obamacare, instead highlighting Kirkpatrick's misgivings about it - "stunning ineptitude" - and how she fought to improve it.)


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