FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's Personal PAC Takes Off After Slow Start; Brings In $137,000, Donates $7,000

Sheriff Joe Arpaio's personal PAC to support federal candidates who he likes has raised a lot of money in the past few months, but he has sent very little on to Congressional candidates.  One of the three recipients of his largesse is former Rep. Matt Salmon, who is looking to return to Washington when the new Congress convenes next January.

Arpaio announced his "JoePAC" in September 2011.  His year-end report showed that only $20,139 had been raised, and Chairman Chad Willems defended the slow start as a "matter, frankly of timing."

It was just about the time of that article that fundraising started to take off.  In the first quarter of 2012, the federal PAC's receipts came in at a hair under $100,000 ($99,788.96), although contributions tailed off in April and May.

The total received through May 31, 2012 is now $137,359.53.  That pales in comparison to Arpaio's actual re-election campaign coffers (over $1 million raised this year with $4.1M on hand), but definitely shows his priorities.

For all of those receipts, Arpaio has done little spreading the cash around to Congressional candidates he wants to support.  He has $39,720.32 cash on hand (as of May 31) and has spent approximately $90,000 on fundraising and administrative expenses (approx. 65% of amount raised).

JoePAC has contributed $7,000 to three Congressional candidates.  The largest contribution of $2,500 was given (March 23) to new friend Matt Salmon's campaign to win the CD5 seat.  He eventually matched that amount to Philip Liberatore, a candidate for the House from California.  The other $2,000 was contributed to Jim Pendergraph, a House candidate in North Carolina.

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SIDEBAR STORIES:

1) ARPAIO'S JoePAC EASILY CONFUSED WITH OTHER JOE'S:
When Arpaio and his team decided to file "JoePAC" as the official name of his effort to support candidates for Congress, a thorough name search must not have yet been done.  There was already a "leadership PAC" in place by Rep. Joe Crowley titled the "Jobs, Opportunity and Education PAC" with a website www.JoePAC.com.  He is a Democrat, even.  There was a "JOEPAC" affiliated with Rep. Joe Pitts from Pennsylvania - at least he's a Republican.  Arpaio's PAC's website was forced to go with an address of www.sheriffjoepac.com.  This has made for confusion among sites trying to track contributions/expenditures, even reaching the oft-cited Center for Responsive Politics.  (LATER: There is also a "JOEPAC" for Rep. Joe Hoefel (D-PA), where the clever acronym is "Join Our Efforts".)

2)  JoePAC CHAIRMAN CHAD WILLEMS WORKS BOTH SIDES OF THE FENCE:
As noted earlier, JoePAC donated $2,500 to Matt Salmon's campaign on March 23.  Summit Consulting's President is Chad Willems.  Mr. Willems is the Chairman of JoePAC (referenced earlier).  Summit Consulting is also working for/receiving money from the Matt Salmon campaign. In the first quarter of 2012, Summit received $3,000 from the Salmon campaign for consulting work; JoePAC and Willems made contributions to the Salmon campaign totalling $3,000 on March 23.  (The matching amounts are probably simply coincidental, as Summit was paid by the Salmon campaign for consulting work in 2011, as well.  Working both sides of the fence may well be perfectly fine, it just was an interesting note.

3)  ARPAIO DOESN'T SEE NEED TO CONTRIBUTE TO JoePAC HIMSELF; NOR, ANYONE ELSE:
It came as a slight surprise that Arpaio did not see any need to make an individual contribution to JoePAC.  It was not that it would make for an "appearance of impropriety", by allowing him to skirt federal limits on how much an individual can contribute to a campaign (that sounds so quaint in this day and age).  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Arpaio has not donated to any federal candidates in recent years.



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