Thursday, June 21, 2012

WATCH: Club For Growth Support For Jeff Flake Surpasses $1.25 Million, Doubles Down On "Imposter" Ads Targeting Wil Cardon (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Clarification, 5:50p.m.: Edited to reflect that Proposition 400 was to provide funding for a transportation plan, part of which included light rail.)

As promised, the Club For Growth dropped a second quarter-million-dollar ad buy this week on an increasingly-vitriolic GOP primary battle for Arizona's U.S. Senate seat.  That puts their support of Rep. Jeff Flake (R-CD6) - and/or opposition of opponent Wil Cardon - above the $1.25 Million mark.

The "Imposter" ads have been a fixture on Phoenix airwaves during the past couple of weeks, and will apparently continue for the next couple.

The pair of 15-second spots attack Cardon's conservative credentials, based upon his Executive Committee position with the group that campaigned for the transportation plan (which included funding for light rail) in 2004 and upon his participation in the Urban Land Institute.

The Club initially spent $290,258.62 on these ads (plus a 60-second radio spot).  Today's filing extends that campaign by spending an additional $280,963.43.  (By the way, the Club For Growth has a problem filling out the forms, not totaling "Total Expenditures This Period" and not indicating whether the expenditure is supporting or opposing the candidate; this makes it difficult for groups like the Center for Responsive Politics to properly monitor expenditures.)

Combined with the more than $22,000 which the Club For Growth spent on raising money for Flake after he announced his candidacy to replace the retiring Jon Kyl, and the $673,229.93 which Club members have contributed to Flake's campaign through the Club For Growth "conduit", and CFG has now provided at least $1,266,492.76 to the Flake effort.

As noted last year in Arizona's Politics, the ties between the Club For Growth and Rep. Flake have long been close, and that there is nothing nefarious in the relationship. "There is nothing nefarious either implicit or explicit in the Flake/CFG relationship - Rep. Flake has consistently been a fiscal conservative, even before he was in Congress.  However, it is of interest when one ideological organization provides such a large portion of a candidate's campaign fund."

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