Monday, February 11, 2013

Sheriff Arpaio Campaign Re-"Calls Out" Recall Committee To Publish Donors; Silent As To Releasing Own Results

(UPDATE, 3:33p.m.: Sheriff Arpaio's Campaign Manager Chad Willems responded to Arizona's Politics, declining to "go into details about fundraising at this point."  He notes that Arpaio's donors "are very engaged in this effort".)

The campaign manager for Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio renewed his call today for the committee collecting signatures to recall Arpaio to release their donors.  Chad Willems was responding to an Arizona Republic Opinion page piece by the chair of the Respect Arizona campaign, William Fisher.

Fisher disputed the Republic's previous editorial claiming that the committee had already raised $1.3 Million, and stated that it is "a little less than $100,00", and that it is funded by "mostly small donations."

In a news release, Willems claims that "(i)f Mr. Fisher and the committee truly 'respect' Arizona voters, they should immediately release the names and the amounts of those that have given to the effort thus far."  (The complete text of Willems' news release is below the jump.)

Neither Arpaio nor his attempted recallers are required to file campaign finance reports until after the recall is certified for the ballot.  Arpaio's last finance report indicated that he had more than $388,000 cash on hand following November's successful re-election bid.  (Arpaio is now serving his sixth four-year term.)

Arizona's Politics has asked Willems on more than one occasion for an update on how much the Arpaio campaign has raised from last week's hard-edged fundraising e-mail, and whether his campaign would be releasing information similar to what he is calling for from the recall committee.  Willems has not addressed those requests.

Both the Republic's editorial - by the entire Editorial Board - and Willems (in last week's news release) incorrectly claimed that the recall organizers had raised or claimed to have raised $1.3 Million.  As Arizona's Politics first reported, that $1.3 Million figure was a back of the envelope calculation by a petition circulating company who was NOT working with the recall committee.

Respect Arizona apparently has big groups of both volunteer petition circulators and paid petition gatherers out of the streets.  (Arizona's Politics has been approached twice already to sign the petition.)

Who is Funding Arpaio Recall?
“Respect Arizona” Should Respect the Voters
PHOENIX, AZ – The Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio Committee today called on “Respect Arizona”, the committee established to remove Sheriff Arpaio from office, to release their list of donors.
“In today’s Arizona Republic, Respect Arizona chairman William Fisher claims their group has already raised $100,000 to buy signatures in Maricopa County to trigger a recall election against Sheriff Arpaio this fall. If Mr. Fisher and the committee truly ‘respect’ Arizona voters, they should immediately release the names and the amounts of those that have given to the effort thus far,” stated Arpaio campaign manager Chad Willems.
Willems continued, “Mr. Fisher claims that Respect Arizona is a ‘grassroots’ organization made up of diverse constituencies. He also intimates that voters in Maricopa County are too dumb to cast a ballot during an election that includes more than one contest. Mr. Fisher and all those involved in this recall effort should show the people of Arizona some respect and immediately disclose where their money is coming from.”
Sheriff Joe Arpaio was just elected to his sixth term in office by the voters of Maricopa County.

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