Thursday, December 16, 2010

FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS: AZ Senate Pres.-Elect Russell Pearce Seeking Donations Before Next Session; Not Pleading Poverty, But...

An interesting post by Stephen Lemons at the New Times' site about incoming Senate President Russell Pearce's pre-session fundraiser.  Pearce is - as he is entitled to under Arizona law - collecting as many donations from lobbyists and other interested people just before the next legislative session begins.

But, just so the record is clear:  this "fundraiser" with a host committee of approximately 75 is not designed to help some non-Clean Elections candidate retire a campaign debt from a vigorously-fought campaign.  Instead, this is to stuff the future campaign warchest of Pearce and to give people and PACs a chance to express their appreciation to Pearce for the work he is about to do.

After all, as of three weeks ago (Nov. 22), Pearce had a cash balance of $66,632.64 in his bank account, with no outstanding debts. 

A few other interesting notes:
(1) It apparently does not matter what day of the week it is - Pearce is going to hold his pre-session fundraiser on January 7; this is at least the second consecutive year in which he is gathering up the contributions;
(2) It is likely that not all of the contributors will be happy with the legislative results.  For example, at last year's shindig, the AZ Hotel & Motel PAC (the Arizona Hotel and Lodging Association's official PAC) contributed $400; it sat out this year's campaigns and has not disbursed a penny since;
(3) I have sometimes wondered whether anyone but the host committee buys tickets for this type of fundraiser (and who, if anyone, attends); according to the campaign finance report for last year's, the answer is a resounding "no";
(4) Pearce used this campaign account to reimburse himself (on November 5) for airfare and lodging. I would guess that that was for his trip to San Francisco to watch the oral arguments before the 9th Circuit on the SB1070 cases. $551.17.

(5) See previous posts about Russell Pearce.

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