FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Republican Governors Association Has Funneled $2.65M To Arizona Race; Spent $2.25M So Far (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney) (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Update, 2:50pm: Thanks to reader Steve M. for pointing out the article in today's New York Times about the different levels of the Republican Governors Association: "Secret G.O.P. Records Reveal Corporate Donors Paying for Access to Governors". It does call into question the bases for our "light gray" 11 shading on the #50ShadesOfDarkMoney scale; Arizona's Politics has contacted RGA and RGA Arizona for some clarifications regarding the seed money and the solicitation process, and will update as necessary.)

The Republican Governors Association seeded its Arizona committee last year with $500,000, but since then, it has funneled its large nationwide base of individual donors into the "RGA Arizona PAC".  When it filed its Post-Primary report with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office yesterday, it had amassed $2.65M in contributions to help elect State Treasurer Doug Ducey.

RGA has spent most of the $2.25M (including money reported since Sept. 15) on television advertising - heavily running three ads over the past four weeks.  But, monies have also been spent on radio, mailers, consultants, etc.

RGA Arizona's contributions list is exclusively made up of individuals - with only three having written $100,000+ checks.  (The RGA itself collect money from many corporate interests - Arizona's Politics has highlighted a couple of them in the past in connection with Governor Brewer's contributors.)

To put the $2.65M in contributions in perspective, the Ducey campaign - primary and general election accounts - had collected $2.4M before the primary.  Ducey and his family had loaned or contributed $2.4M to his primary election campaign (before the primary).  And, pro-Ducey dark political consultant Sean Noble has only spent $905,000 post-primary in (presumably easier-to-raise) dark money through American Encore*.

On Arizona's Politics "50 Shades Of Dark Money" scale, RGA Arizona currently gets a "gray" shade of 11.  The seed money from the parent organization is disclosed, but on the IRS' schedule and not the FEC or Secretary of State's election-attuned schedules, and the contributions can be somewhat hazy.  But, kudos for not running the entire operation through RGA central (for whatever reason).


* Noble also raised and/or controlled and/or spent money through other IE groups during the GOP primary nomination battle.  Notably, big spending Conservative Leadership for Arizona, which was nominally headed up by former legislator Amanda Reeve, is now chaired by Noble and has expended nominal amounts of money so far in the general election.


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