Monday, July 7, 2014

FIRST WATCH: Christine Jones Gets Outside IE Assist From Quayle Quadrant, Unknown Funders As Monied Battle Heats Up (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(UPDATE, 7/8/14, 3:00p.m.: After a brief conversation with BLA Treasurer Virginia Simpson yesterday and a longer one today - and, as can be seen from Ms. Simpson's comments - BLA has acknowledged that the initial transfer from Quayle-related Friends of the Majority was improper (from federal to state), and has apologized for it.  Ms. Simpson also emphatically states that the Quayles have not contributed directly to BLA and are not involved in it.  Additional details can be seen here.)

The outside money battle in the Republican gubernatorial race is now joined, with the Quayle quadrant providing seed money for Better Leaders for Arizona ("BLA"), which today began airing an ad attacking Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey and supporting former GoDaddy general counsel Christine Jones.

BLA began airing the ads today, and has committed at least $28,000 for one week's worth of 30-second spots.  BLA formed last fall, just in time to accept the closing monies from a Quayle & friends-funded Super PAC called Friends of the Majority, which dedicated all of its $745,000 in expenditures to attacking Rep. David Schweikert in the hard-fought 2012 primary between two sitting Representatives (post-redistricting).

Here is the hard-hitting ad:

The ad attacks Ducey on a variety of fronts, including using "front groups to smear his opponents while acts as if he's above the law."  It also re-uses some of the attacks from Ducey's successful 2010 run for Treasurer. (Transcript below.)

BLA's initial request for ad rates indicates that its "issue" is "Better Leaders for Arizona Support Jones".  Jones has already been attacked by a couple of dark money outside groups.

Both BLA and Friends of the Majority disclose its donors.  BLA's initial finance report is through 2013 and indicates that its only initial funding was the $9,507.89 in excess funds from Friends.  Friends' largest contributors were Cerberus Capital (Former VP Dan Quayle is head of global investments) and BTC Consulting (a Quayle family company).  Its latest report, through May 31, 2013, showed no additional monies raised.

However, more than $75,000 was raised from as-yet-unknown contributors in June.  On Wednesday (July 1), BLA filed with the Secretary of State's Office that it had spent more than $80,000 on "Marketing Services".

Arizona's Politics spoke with BLA organizer and Treasurer Virginia Simpson when it first requested ad rates on June 26.  Simpson claimed that it was "very early", there was no ad yet, and that she would call us when there was.  She declined to name any contributors other than the Friends of the Majority seed money.

Arizona's Politics has also questioned Ducey's possible connections to some of the IE (independent expenditure) ads attacking Jones and Smith and supporting Ducey.  Arizona's Politics has also investigated the Treasurer's acceptance of dark money in the 2012 initiative campaign (as Chairman of the group opposing the continuation of an Arizona sales tax increase).

--Doug Ducey fails to take responsibility for his dark money cronies, smearing Christine Jones with false attacks. (Visual: Doug Ducey for Governor?)
--He fails to take responsibility for hundreds of his franchisees' failing while he got rich. (Visual: FAILURE: "During his tenure, there was a 31% franchise failure rate." Source: CNN Money 4/10)
--Fails to pay his delinquent property taxes on his own home, and gets 13 traffic violations and fails to appear in court 16 times! (Visual: FAILED: "He failed to pay his property taxes in 2008 and 2009." Source: AZCentral 8/10)
--Doug Ducey uses front groups to smear his opponents, while acts as if he is above the law. (Visual: He smears his opponents. Yet thinks he is above the law.)
--Doug Ducey fails to accept responsibility. He'll fail Arizona, too. (Visual: FAIL ARIZONA.)

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.


Jini Simpson said...

Friends of the Majority was set up to support the election of Federal candidates. The transfer of $9507.89 from Better Leaders for Arizona (BLA) was an error that has been rectified via the transfer of these funds to a Leadership PAC in support of Federal Candidates as intended . BLA regrets and apologizes for the error. This small amount was never utilized for any promotion or media by BLA which undertook no advocacy activity until other funds were contributed for use in the 2014 gubernatorial race. .
JIni Simpson

jini Simpson said...

should have stated .."The transfer of $9507.89 to Better Leaders for Arizona was an error that was rectified via the transfer of these funds to a Leadership Pac in support of Federal Candidates..."

Virginia "Jini" Simpson
Treasurer , BLA