FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, May 29, 2014

$4.2 Million - National Democrats Reserve Record Amount Of Arizona Airtime Defending Arizona Congressional Seats (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee ("DCCC") is ready to commit 10% of its national fall TV budget to defending Arizona's three imperiled Democratic Representatives.  In reserving $4.2 Million in TV time in the Tucson and Phoenix markets, the DCCC is nearly matching the $4.8 Million they spent in Arizona for the entire 2012 campaign.

The breakdown:

--In CD1, the DCCC reserved $2.2M to attack Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's Republican opponent. In 2012, it spent $2.0M on the campaign.
--In CD2, $700,000 of Tucson airtime has been reserved to attack Rep. Ron Barber's opponent - likely, Martha McSally.  Last election, the DCCC spent $818,000 attacking McSally.
--In CD9 - which has been the quietest of the three swing seats so far - $2.0M is reserved to attack Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's opponent. It *only* spent $1.3M in 2012.

The only other stretch run ad time reservation that has become public so far is from the Democrat-philic House Majority PAC, which has staked out $1M in Phoenix and Tucson airtime.

(2012 expenditures gleaned from OpenSecrets.org, 2014 reservation amounts from TheHill.com.)




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FIRST WATCH and INSTANT FACT CHECK: Benghazi and Hillary Clinton Become Issues In GOP's Arizona Governor Primary; Dark Money Group Attacks Christine Jones (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Another out of state, outside "dark money"* organization is wading into Arizona's GOP Governor's primary battle.  This one attacks Christine Jones for praising Hillary Clinton.

Veterans for a Strong America ("VSA") is spending $50,000 to run the 30-second spot attacking Christine Jones' praise for Hillary Clinton following the Benghazi terrorist attack.  VSA Chairman Joel Arends tells Arizona's Politics that there "is a lot of energy on this Benghazi issue" and that Jones' comments prompted a rush of donations to his 501(c)(4) organization.

He also states "We won't let Hillary Clinton or her supporters like Christine Jones whitewash what happened to them (the four killed)."


FACT CHECK
The ad uses two quotes from Jones' blog in late 2012 and early 2013 to label Jones as a Hillary "sympathizer" and to indicate that Jones is not concerned about the September 11, 2012 attack in Benghazi which killed four Americans (including Ambassador Christopher Stevens).  The FULL quotes are below the jump, with the parts used in the ad highlighted.

However, the quotes and connections are slightly misleading and slightly tenuous.  The quotes are from Jones' recap of her 2012, pre-Benghazi predictions, and her prediction for 2013.  The first cannot properly be used to tie Jones to "whitewash(ing)" Benghazi.  The second prediction also does not mention Benghazi, and it can be argued that Jones is praising Clinton's overall record as Secretary of State.

The only time Jones discussed Benghazi was at the end of 2013, when she was already running for Governor.  In that post discussing her previous predictions, Jones notes that she has "taken a surprising amount of heat for this prediction.Somehow, readers took this prediction as an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth."

This Jones' walk-back goes on to distance herself from Clinton, and how she had "completely failed to respond" to Benghazi.  Her final explanation is that Clinton looks like the "adult in the room" compared to everyone else in the Obama Administration. Jones also posted a video a month ago in which she articulated the differences between her and Clinton.
Of course, Jones' pre-gubernatorial campaign comments DO praise Clinton without such qualifications, even after Benghazi.  But, taken in the overall context - including her subsequent statement - the ad still misleads by dating the re-hash of her pre-Benghazi "prediction" as a post-Benghazi whitewashing praise.  In addition, the ad spotlights Benghazi, but Jones' comments can encompass Clinton's entire record as Secretary of State without being a "whitewash".

Arizona's Politics grades the ad as a "C+".

VSA's SUDDEN INVOLVEMENT and TIES TO DUCEY
Arends indicates that the ad begins running on cable systems throughout the state, and that it would run on several cable networks that would be most likely to impact people voting in the August 26 GOP primary.

He acknowledges that this is the first time that VSA has become involved in a "non-federal race", but he indicates that recent articles about Jones implying that she had joined the U.S. Air Force had been brought to his attention, got him poking around, and subsequently energized VSA supporters.  Arends says that donations from a number of individuals permitted VSA to make this ad buy.

He told Arizona's Politics that he respects the privacy of donors to his social welfare organization.

Arends and VSA has retained well-known Arizona political operative Sean Noble in the past, including for a much-discussed ad using quotes from President Obama to claim that he was "spiking the football" regarding the killing of Osama bin Laden.  That ad was determined to misleadingly "skew(ing) facts."  (The ad is below the jump.)

The VSA is the latest in a series from outside dark money groups either praising Arizona Treasurer - and candidate for Governor - Doug Ducey and/or attacking his primary opponents.  The ties between Ducey and Noble date back to the 2012 campaign, when Ducey was chair of the group opposing the extension of the state sales tax increase and Noble's Americans for Responsible Leadership became the major dark money funding group for the effort.  Today's ad is another key data point.
https://images-blogger-opensocial.googleusercontent.com/gadgets/proxy?url=http%3A%2F%2F1.bp.blogspot.com%2F-S0D3huriCRA%2FU4eG3xRZGDI%2FAAAAAAAAAAk%2FCNC-babL4yc%2Fs1600%2Fjones%2Bclinton%2Bvsa%2Bad.PNG&container=blogger&gadget=a&rewriteMime=image%2F*

(Go below the jump to read Jones' blog posts regarding Clinton, and to watch the VSA/Noble ad attacking Obama for "spiking the football.")


12/29/2012 "2012 Scorecard" blog post (1st paragraph re-posts 1/12 prediction):
4. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, will continue to stand out as a capable and respected leader and a commanding presence in US international relations, causing even more Democrats to wonder why she wasn't their candidate in 2008, and calling for her to replace vice president Biden as president Obama's running mate in the 2012 general election, or better yet, to challenge the president in a Democratic primary.

TRUE.  In fact, Secretary Clinton's recent resignation as Secretary of State has generated all sorts of talk about her inevitable run for president in 2016.  She has made her boss and her party look good with her tireless efforts to represent the US abroad for the past four years.  She will be a formidable force in the coming years.

6.  Americans, regardless of party-affiliation or political involvement, will begin to realize what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, as her replacement begins to be scrutinized for failing to live up to the incredibly high standard she set.
6.  Last year, we predicted that Americans, regardless of party-affiliation or political involvement, will begin to realize what an effective Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was, as her replacement begins to be scrutinized for failing to live up to the incredibly high standard she set.
TRUE. I have taken a surprising amount of heat for this prediction. Somehow, readers took this prediction as an endorsement of Hillary Clinton. Nothing could be further from the truth. My politics and hers could not be more different: she is a big government, tax and spend liberal; I am a committed conservative, dedicated to fiercely defending the constitution and the principles upon which this country was founded. Furthermore, as Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton presided over one of the most tragic incidents in recent history when she completely failed to respond to the attacks on the US Consulate in Benghazi. Even if that were her only mistake, and it was not, that single event was disastrous enough to be her political undoing. Nevertheless, when you compare her to the likes of Susan Rice, Eric Holder, and John Kerry, Hillary Clinton strikes me as the adult in the room. And, that is a sad commentary on the current administration.



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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The Joints Are Jumping For Martha McSally, NRCC Fires Up A New One (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

More than any other candidate*,  Martha McSally is raising money with other candidates and other groups.  And, the newest Joint Fundraising Committee - more than any others - is the outgrowth of last month's U.S. Supreme Court ruling in McCutcheon.

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") last week formed the "Young Guns Day I 2014" joint fundraising committee ("JFC").  McSally is among the first 10 GOP candidates to have earned the "Young Gun" distinction from the NRCC, and those ten are the beneficiaries of this new JFC.

This will allow big-pocketed donors to write one check for more than $84,000 and have it divvied up among the candidates and the NRCC - a move that was not previously legal because of the aggregate contribution limits.  (McCutcheon removed those limits.)

As reported on by Arizona's Politics, McSally - who is the GOP frontrunner to challenge Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) in a closely-watched swing district - recently joined in a JFC with other Arizona federal and state candidates (Andy Tobin, Wendy Rogers, and Doug Ducey) - "THE ALLIANCE: Arizona Congressional Candidates In Swing Districts - Along With One In Wide-Open Governor's Race - File To Fundraise Together".  (No news of a fundraiser yet.)

Her most successful joint fundraiser was one with two other seemingly-unrelated "Winning Women" Congressional candidates - "NEWS ANALYSIS: Martha McSally's Main Fundraiser: Did Republican Billionaire and Others Cloak Their Mega-Support For "Winning Women" Candidates? Marriage Equality Is Still Difficult Issue In GOP".  That JFC has already brought in $110,000 for the McSally campaign.

McSally also formed a JFC only with Andy Tobin, in order to hold a Tucson-area fundraiser featuring House Speaker John Boehner.


* In Arizona, anyway.
** If McSally was running in Colorado, the headline for this article would have had to switch from referencing Fats Waller to referencing fatties. 

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Friday, May 16, 2014

BREAKING: $345,000+ Worth Of TV Ads To Hammer AG Horne's Ethics During Next Two Weeks (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Edited, to correctly state that APIA supported Jerry Lewis in 2012.)

The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance, Inc. is spending more than $345,000 during the next two weeks to question Attorney General Tom Horne's ethics.  As detailed earlier in Arizona's Politics, the ad highlights older Horne issues - "a federal investigation, an inter-office affair, even a misdemeanor hit-and-run" - instead of the newer issues that have become a fixture of Arizona news.

The ads started running today (click here to view), and are currently scheduled to run through May 28, according to public documents filed by KPHO (Channel 5, Phoenix).  Total for the Phoenix market is approximately $345,000.  No word yet on whether the ad is running in other Arizona markets.

The dark money APIA is incorporated in Arizona, and lists themselves as a 501(c)(4) exempt organization.  APIA formed in 2012, disclosed $6,445 spent on robocalls supporting Republican Jerry Lewis in his state Senate campaign that year, and ran ads against Horne this past November.

The ads in November and this month are designed as issue ads, and APIA has not filed reports or disclosures with the Arizona Secretary of State.  Arizona's Politics has asked APIA for additional information and will supplement as needed.




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FIRST WATCH: New Ad Attacking Attorney General Tom Horne's Integrity, Urges Resignation (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

As reported earlier on Arizona's Politics, the Arizona Public Integrity Alliance is running a new ad attacking the integrity and ethics of Attorney General Tom Horne, and urging him to resign.

While the ad does not address any of the recent developments regarding the (currently-held) illegal coordination in 2010 between Horne and an independent expenditure committee, nor the complaint filed by an ex-AG staffer alleging widespread campaigning out of the AG's offices, it certainly capitalizes on them and reaches back to the earlier issues that the APIA had attacked on.

Horne had filed a complaint against the APIA with the Secretary of State's Office, which turned it down.

Here is the ad:


APIA framed this ad as an issue ad, and has not disclosed how much it has spent on the ad, nor the contributors to the 501(c)(4).

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ARIZONA POLITICAL SHORTS, May 16: New Ads Attacking AG Horne's Integrity?; Politico Reporter Opens Barber Up, Also Speaks With McSally

(Whether it is a simple link or an item that does not need a longer article - if it is short, we'll put it here. Check back periodically during the day to take in new shorts, and/or drop your own shorts in the comments.)

6) From Brahm Resnik (Channel 12, Phoenix): Only on #SundaySquareOff: Whistleblower Sarah Beattie on why she spoke out against @tomhorneaz. 8a/Sun/@12News pic.twitter.com/07K7syF2iA

5) UPDATE:   The U.S. Senate did finish re-filling Arizona's federal court bench yesterday.  However, the three judges confirmed on Wednesday (Diane Humetewa, John Tuchi and Steven Logan) each received 96-0 votes; a group of Republican Senators voted against the three yesterday.  James Soto received one thumbs down (Sen. Coburn), but Douglas Rayes heard 19 "nays", and Rosemary Marquez received 15. Arizona's Politics has requested an explanation for what prompted the dissenting votes.

Arizona's Politics' report yesterday included video from the Judges' confirmation hearing, written Q&A, and more.

4) UPDATE: Arizona's Politics has posted the new Arizona Public Integrity Alliance ad attacking Horne. www.bit.ly/AZp858 

3) The hits keep on coming for beleaguered Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne (R).  The Arizona Public Integrity Alliance is preparing to run a new round of ads attacking Horne in the wake of developments in several of the ethical probes becoming a pain in his butt.  APIA - which has gone after Horne before - filed an advertising rate request with KNXV (ABC15 in Phoenix) last week.  Arizona's Politics has requested further information and will update as available.

2) Senator Jeff Flake (R-AZ) filed his required annual financial disclosure statement yesterday.  No significant changes since last year, although he and his wife purchased more Apple stock than they sold during the year; Apple is the ONLY stock that the first-term Senator owns and trades in.  Sen. John McCain typically files his report in a timely manner, but it was not one of the 71 uploaded to the site today.


1) Politico reporter Alex Isenstadt spent time in Tucson with both Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) and leading GOP challenger Martha McSally earlier this month, and has a featured article - and, must-read for Arizona politicos - on the site this morning.  Barber opened up more than he has publicly about the aftermath of the 2011 mass shooting and attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords - Barber was also shot at close range and was fortunate to survive.  The article also recounts how Giffords surprised Barber by choosing him to run in the special election.

The reporter also spent time with McSally - identified as the GOP's top challenger (in the nation) - but, obviously did not get anything as newsworthy as the Barber backstory.  (Earlier in the week, Politico featured an interview with the National Republican Congressional Committee's Executive Director Liesl Hickey, in which McSally was the first person that she cited as "a complete rock star."


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Thursday, May 15, 2014

FIRST LISTEN, INSTANT FACT CHECK: NRCC Robocalls On Rep. "Barber's Support For Cutting Our Medicare Benefits"

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") indicated today that it has begun robocalling southern Arizona seniors to tell them about Rep. Ron Barber's (D-CD2) "support for cutting our Medicare benefits."  However, in trying to boil down the message, the NRCC is misleading recipients of the phone calls.

Here is the call, with the transcript below:


Transcript: Hello, I’m calling from the National Republican Congressional Committee to alert you to our Congressman Ron Barber’s support for cutting our Medicare benefits. In 2012, Barber criticized Medicare Advantage as a program that spends too much, and Barber even praised Obamacare’s cuts to the program – saying that additional taxpayer dollars should not go to Medicare Advantage. Call Ron Barber today and tell him seniors can’t afford these cuts. This call was paid for by the National Republican Congressional Committee and was not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. 202-479-7000.

Politico indicated today that the NRCC plans to call "several thousand" seniors with the call (below).

The Republican nominee to oppose Barber will take place on August 26; Martha McSally - who barely lost to Barber in 2012 - is considered the front-runner to win that primary.

FACT CHECK: The robocall indicates that Barber "support(s) cutting our Medicare benefits."  However, the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare does not reduce Medicare benefits or reduce the Medicare trust fund.  Payments to providers and to private Medicare Advantage plans - supplementing Medicare - were cut; Republicans proposed similar reductions in their primary budget plans. In the 2012 campaign, McSally had indicated support for those plans.  Both parties are going to continue to work this issue in slippery ways.  GRADE: "C-" for misleading.



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WATCH: Senate Re-Fills Arizona's Federal Bench - Half Yesterday, Half Today

Arizona's federal District Courts are among the busiest in the nation, and for reasons both tragic and normal, the bench has been operating at nearly half-strength.  Yesterday, the U.S. Senate (finally) unanimously approved the nominations of three new Judges, and it is slated to approve three more today - bringing the bench to its designated 13 Judges.

Many of the Republican Senators did vote against bringing the nominations to the floor for a vote.  (Between 34 and 37 GOP Senators voted no on each cloture motion.) However, when it came time for voting on three of the nominations - John Tuchi, Steven Logan, and Diane Humetewa - noone voted "nay".

The remaining three - Rosemary Marquez, Douglas Rayes, and James Soto - are scheduled to be voted upon today.














As was widely noted, this group of six adds greatly to the diversity of the federal bench.  Here are the speeches given yesterday by Arizona's Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake, emphasizing their varied backgrounds and heritages:


And, here - starting at about the 27 minute mark - is the link to the January 28 Judiciary Committee hearing on the six nominations, along with the written Questions (and Answers) for the Record.


(Assistance in preparing this article was graciously provided by Paul Weich, a Phoenix attorney.)

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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

READ: Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk REJECTS ALJ DecisionThat Attorney General Tom Horne and Kathleen Winn Coordination Unproven

Arizona Attorney General has not yet shaken the serious campaign allegations from 2010 that he illegally coordinated with an independent group attacking his opponent - and, the very serious $400,000 "fine".

(READ Final Administrative Decision, below)

Yavapai County Sheila Polk rejected the conclusion of the Administrative Law Judge that found it equally plausible that Horne and his former employee Kathleen Winn were discussing a real estate transaction, and thus should not be found responsible for violating the coordination statutes.

Polk delivered an 8 1/2 page Decision explaining why it was more probable than not that they coordinated on the ad buy against Democratic nominee Felecia Rotellini (who is running again this year).

By statute, Horne now has 35 days to file in Superior Court a notice of appeal of Polk's decision.  If he wants to stretch this issue out further, he could also wait 30 days to ask Polk for reconsideration.



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IN PROGRESS: Arizona Schools Supt John Huppenthal Being Twitter-Attacked By Natl Conservative Pundit Re: Common Core

(UPDATE, 9am: Huppenthal's primary election opponent Diane Douglas is also on Twitter this morning, thanking Malkin and amplifying the tweets.)

* * *
Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal (R) finds himself the target of a concentrated Twitter attack this morning, by conservative pundit Michelle Malkin.

Malkin - with 703,000 Twitter followers - was upset by an article last night in the Arizona Capitol Times in which Huppenthal defended his support of Common Core educational standards by saying: "“I have put my career on the line to stave off the barbarians. I very likely could lose this election,” Huppenthal said. “I’m okay with that because I felt I did the right thing for this education system.”

As is her M.O., Malkin is calling on her "barbarians" to start rattling Huppenthal's gate, with a series of "ALERT" tweets.




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BREAKING: Doug Ducey Wins Endorsement From Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker

(UPDATE, 9:10am: Endorsement now up on Ducey's website.)

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is endorsing Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey to succeed Governor Jan Brewer, per Politico.




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Monday, May 12, 2014

FIRST WATCH: New $225K Ad Thanking Rep. Kirkpatrick "For Putting Main Street First"

Arizona's Politics reported Saturday on the new $225,000 ad campaign from an outside group supporting Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD2).  At the time, the ad was not available online.  It is now, and here it is:


The ad does NOT mention the conservative powerhouse Koch brothers, as expected.  Patriot Majority - largely backed by the public-sector employees' union AFSCME - has been engaged in a two-year battle against the Kochs.


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ARIZONA POLITICAL SHORTS, May 12: AG Horne Runs Re-election Campaign Out Of AG's Office, Per Complaint

(Whether it is a simple link or an item that does not need a longer article - if it is short, we'll put it here. Check back periodically during the day to take in new shorts, and/or drop your own shorts in the comments.)


4) Sarah Beattie, political fundraiser and former employee at the Arizona Attorney General's Office, has formally filed a complaint alleging that Attorney General Tom Horne and several of his AG employees spent significant amounts of time during work hours campaigning for re-election.  Beattie submitted the complaint and an extensive affidavit with supporting documentation to the Secretary of State's Office and the Citizens' Clean Elections Commission.

3) FIRST WATCH: New $225,000 ad that began running in Phoenix market this morning, urging viewers to thank Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD2) for putting main street before Wall Street.  Arizona's Politics was also the first to report on the ad buy by Patriot Majority USA - a group largely supported by AFSCME and other labor unions.

2) The Alliance: Some GOP candidates in Arizona's three Congressional swing districts have allied together and with one of the candidates in the wide-open Republican primary for Governor to hold a (mega-) fundraiser together.

All four candidates are facing primary battles of varying intensity, but the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision demolishing aggregate contribution limits (in McCutcheon ) have made these joint fundraisers the new, big, irresistible thing.  And, in a Republican party that is split between establishment conservatives, Tea Party conservatives, libertarians and others, this type of pre-primary election alliance may become more widespread. See the full article for more information.

1) Col. Martha McSally (USAF, ret.) is now a "Young Gun" in the National Republican Congressional Committee's ("NRCC's) eyes.  McSally is running again against Rep. Ron Barber in Arizona's hotly-contested southern Arizona Congressional District 2.  The 10 Young Guns announced this morning have hit benchmarks that the party has set up; they receive additional support and mentorship in their campaigns.


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Saturday, May 10, 2014

NEW $225K Ad Campaign Supporting Rep. Kirkpatrick Begins On Monday (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A new $225,000 TV ad buy supporting Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) begins on Monday, continuing the early million-dollar-plus march of outside money focusing on the hotly-contested Congressional races in Arizona.

Patriot Majority USA - which traditionally has been largely funded by AFSCME and other labor unions - is running ads in the Phoenix market for the next two weeks (beginning at sunrise on Monday), according to FCC filings from KNXV (Ch.15) and KPNX (Ch.12).

Although the ad is not yet available online (Arizona's Politics will monitor and update when it becomes available), it is likely to focus on the conservative powerhouse Koch brothers - Patriots Majority USA has been attacking them repeatedly over the past two years.  Koch brothers'-funded groups have been hammering both Kirkpatrick and Ron Barber since late last year, and Democratic-philic groups have periodically countered with ads.

Arizona's Politics has requested more information from Patriots Majority USA about the ads and will update as needed.
(A screen grab from a typical Patriots Majority USA ad)



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Friday, May 9, 2014

THE ALLIANCE: Arizona Congressional Candidates In Swing Districts - Along With One In Wide-Open Governor's Race - File To Fundraise Together (DEAR MOM AND DAD, PLEASE SEND (lots of) MONEY)

It is official: GOP candidates in Arizona's three Congressional swing districts have allied with one of the candidates in the wide-open Republican primary for Governor to hold a (mega-)fundraiser together.

All four candidates are facing primary battles of varying intensity, but the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision demolishing aggregate contribution limits (in McCutcheon ) have made these joint fundraisers the new, big, irresistible thing.  And, in a Republican party that is split between establishment conservatives, Tea Party conservatives, libertarians and others, this type of pre-primary election alliance may become more widespread.

The Statement of Organization (at this link, and reproduced below) lists state House Speaker Andy Tobin's campaign address in Flagstaff as its primary address, and is being run by his campaign's Virigina law firm of Holtzman Vogel.

Interestingly, this JFC only features candidates' committees, instead of including PACs, and/or party committees.  This will mean that individual contributors will be limited to a total donation to the JFC of "only" $19,600, and PAC's can contribute $35,000.

Arizona's Politics will be reaching out to candidates for more information and reaction, and will update as needed.



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READ: Arizona's Judicial Code of Conduct Violates 1st Amendment Rights of Attorney RUNNING For Judgeship, Rules 9th Circuit

Portions of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct violate the First Amendment constitutional rights of candidates who are running for a spot on the bench by limiting their campaign activities, according to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

The case was brought in 2008 in federal court by Randolph Wolfson, who had unsuccessfully campaigned for a judgeship in Mohave County (only Maricopa, Pima and Pinal counties do not have judicial elections for Superior Court).  He challenged five clauses of the Code of Judicial Conduct, because he believed it prevented him from soliciting campaign contributions at speaking appearances and sign donation solicitation letters. The rule states that "a judge or judicial candidate shall not do..." make speeches for political organizations or other candidates, endorse/oppose other candidates, solicit contributions for others, make contributions totaling more than half of the allowed cumulative limit(!), actively take part in other campaigns, or solicit/accept funds outside of the candidate's allowed committee. (non-inclusive list, emphasis added, full rule below*)

The three judge panel today agreed unanimously that the 1st three clauses are unconstitutional as applied to candidates.  They struck the last two clauses on a 2-1 majority.

Wolfson, who is represented by the well-known election law firm of James Bopp, asked the Court to find that the Code also violated sitting judges' constitutional rights; however, the Court declined the invitation to broaden the opinion - especially given the distinctions between a non-judge candidate (who might lose and never become a judge) and a candidate already sitting on the bench.  ("Our decision to limit our review to non-judge candidates is ultimately based on judicial restraint.")

The Court agreed to apply strict scrutiny to review the challenged clauses, and the majority found that "the lack of narrow tailoring is obvious here."  

Interestingly - and, twice-cleverly^ - the opinion twice cites an U.S. Supreme Court opinion from 2002 (Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765) and specifically notes that retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor concurred.  Arizonan O'Connor is a fervent advocate for eliminating judicial elections, and the court included this concluding quote from her concurring opinion:
"(T)he State has voluntarily taken on the risks to judicial bias described above. As a result, the State's claim that it needs to significantly restrict judges' speech in order to protect judicial impartiality is particularly troubling. If the State has a problem with judicial impartiality, it is largely one the State brought upon itself by continuing the practice of popularly electing judges."

(This guest article was contributed by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich; headline and links added by Arizona's Politics.)
(h/t to Election Law Blog)

* The full text of the relevant canon provides:
(A) A judge should not:
(1) act as a leader or hold any office in a political
organization;
(2) make speeches for a political organization or
candidate, or publicly endorse a candidate for public
office; or
(3) solicit funds for, pay an assessment to, or make a
contribution to a political organization or candidate, or
attend or purchase a ticket for a dinner or other event
sponsored by a political organization or candidate.
(B) A judge should resign the judicial office if a judge
becomes a candidate in a primary or general election
for any office.  
(C) A judge should not engage in any other political
activity. This provision does not prevent a judge from
engaging in activities described in Canon 4.
Administrative Office of U.S. Courts, Code of Judicial Conduct for United
States Judges, Canon 5 (2011).
^ Twice-cleverly because that case was also successfully argued by Bopp.


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ARIZONA POLITICAL SHORTS, May 9: Schweikert Works To Prevent Real-Life "Gravity"; No Need To Report Sales Of Multiple Rifles In Arizona, Says House Committee

Whether it is a simple link or an item that does not need a longer article - if it is short, we'll put it here.  Check back periodically during the day to take in new shorts, and/or drop your own shorts in the comments.
***
3) Arizona and Kansas have until Tuesday to respond to a stay issued yesterday in the Motor Voter/proof of citizenship case.  The injunction means Arizona residents can continue to register to vote with the federal form and without providing proof of citizenship.  It does not impact on Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett's plans to have "federal office only" ballots for those voters who have not provided proof of citizenship. 

2) Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) - along with other members of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology - was working today on "how to prevent a real-life 'Gravity'".  Here he is questioning representatives from the FAA, FCC and DOD on how to control/track/mitigate the proliferation of space debris; his questions focus on insurance and international cooperation. The clip is 5 minutes long, and here is the link to the rest of the interesting hearing.  And, here is the 5 1/2 page memo on the Space Traffic Cop issue.

1) There is no need for Arizona gun dealers and pawnshops to report sales of multiple rifles.  After a contentious debate, the House Appropriations Committee yesterday approved an amendment to the spending authorization for the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives). It prohibits ATF from continuing its requirement for gun sellers in Arizona (and three other states bordering Mexico) to report if they sell more than one semi-automatic rifle (or selected other rifles) to the same purchaser.

The Multiple Sales For Certain Rifles requirement went into effect in 2011 and is scheduled to lapse this summer.  Texas Rep. John Carter (R-TX) proposed an amendment forbidding the ATF from continuing it.  After heated debate, the amendment passed 29-18.  (At this time, there is no available record of how Representatives voted; Rep. Ed Pastor (D-CD7) is the only Arizona member on the previously-powerful committee.)  The future of the amendment and the larger bill funding  Commerce, Justice and Science portions of the government is unclear.  (h/t The Hill)

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Thursday, May 8, 2014

BENGHAZI: Reps. Sinema, Barber Among 7 Dems Voting To Set Up Select Committee

Seven Democrats voted along with every House Republican Thursday night to set up a Select Committee to continue investigating the 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya;  Arizona's Kyrsten Sinema (CD9) and Ron Barber (CD2) were two of those seven.

The House passed the resolution on a 232-186 vote.  Democrats will decide on Friday whether they want to fill their 5 chairs on the 12 person panel that will be led by Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC).

Barber and Sinema are in swing districts and Republican-philic groups are expected to pour millions of dollars in negative ads to unseat them; tonight's vote gives those groups one less nail to hammer them with.

As with his votes last night to hold Lois Lerner in contempt and to further investigate the IRS, Barber did not issue any statements explaining his vote.  However, Sinema (who did not vote with Republicans Wednesday) did put out a news release.

“I am deeply saddened by these tragic events and believe the American people deserve to know what took place on that fateful day,” said Sinema. “People in my district and all across the country demand answers, and this committee will help provide a full and accurate explanation of what took place. The individuals who allowed these security failures to occur should be held accountable and action should be taken to ensure the safety and security of Americans serving overseas.”

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ARIZONA POLITICAL SHORTS, 5/8/14: Smith's Short Shorts in Political Shorts, Obama Nominee "Friend" of McCain's

Whether it is a simple link or an item that does not need a longer article - if it is short, we'll put it here.  Check back periodically during the day for new shorts, and/or drop your own shorts in the comments.

8) Arizona Republic's columnist E.J. Montini spoke with attorney Tom Ryan re: AG Tom Horne's alleged campaigning out of the fortress on Washington.

7)  KUDOS to Arizona Republic reporter Mary Jo Pitzl and BOOS to the Associated Press and the Arizona Capitol Times, for their handling of the news release from Arizona Secretary of State-and-candidate-for Governor Ken Bennett.  Bennett's office trumpeted the conviction of a Bullhead City woman for voting twice in the 2010 election.  The news release did not mention the party affiliation of the woman, even though the voter fraud issue has been widely seen as a partisan effort by the GOP to suppress Democratic-leaning voters.  Pitzl reported that the convicted woman is a Republican; the Capitol Times ran an AP short version, which did not mention the party affiliation. (It was not difficult to learn the party affiliation; Arizona's Poltics did so quickly yesterday.)

6) 10:41am: JUST NOW: House does NOT vote on Benghazi Select Comm after debate. Postpones.

5) Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) popped into a committee hearing to express support for President Obama's nominee to head up the Department of Health & Human Services.  Shockingly, he referred to nominee Sylvia Matthews Burwell as his "friend".  h/t to The Hill

4) Clever way to get you to visit their website: Mesa Mayor-and-candidate-for-Governor Scott Smith looked a lot different when he took shots on his high school basketball team, and his campaign is using that in an email to get you to click to his website.  Try to guess which 1974 Westwood hoopster is now running for Governor - it is an irresistible challenge. (I picked the wrong guy.)  The picture is below.  (Amazingly, they do not seem to try to tie it in with Smith's appearance next week with former Phoenix Suns Kevin Johnson and Tom Chambers)

3) Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) had a Proud/Not Proud kind of night last night.  He trumpeted the late-night passage of his amendment in the House Armed Services Committee which gave a one-year reprieve for the A-10 fighter planes (key to Davis Monthan AFB).  He was silent about being one of only 6 Democrats to join with Republicans in holding former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt of Congress and calling for a special counsel to continue investigating.

2) An email from state House Speaker-and-candidate-for-Congress Andy Tobin made Politico's list of examples of Republicans fundraising based on their push for a Select Committee investigating Benghazi.  The email - as received by Arizona's Politics - is reproduced below the jump. 

1) Arizona Republicans are featured in two D.C. press conferences today.  From Politico: "Sens. John McCain and Jeanne Shaheen, and Reps. Earl Blumenauer and Adam Kinzinger will hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. in S-207 to introduce legislation to extend the Special Immigrant Visa program for Afghan civilians.... Reps. Trent Franks and Ron DeSantis will talk about Obamacare court challenges at 4 p.m. at House Triangle."

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

PROUD/NOT PROUD: Barber 1 of 6 Democrats Voting To Hold IRS' Lois Lerner In Contempt and Appoint Special Counsel, Shepherds 1-Yr Reprieve for A-10 Fighter Through Committee

It was a hard day and night for Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).  He spent almost all of the day in the House Armed Services Committee hearing as they marked up the National Defense Authorization Act.  The large committee took a break to go to the House Floor and vote on whether or not to hold former IRS official Lois Lerner in contempt; Barber was one of only 6 Democrats to vote "aye", and to approve a special counsel to investigate the IRS' alleged "targeting of conservative nonprofit groups".

Then, back in the hearing room, Barber was the primary sponsor for an amendment to grant the A-10 fighter plane (aka Warthog) a one-year reprieve from being taken out of service; he helped ensure that the Armed Services Committee approved the reprieve by a 41-20 vote, just before midnight.

Though the A-10 vote took place approximately five hours after the IRS votes, Barber's office was able to put out a news release with video of the committee decision.  However, no news release, Tweet, Facebook post, explanation or mention of the IRS votes was made.

The Lerner vote, 231-187, was a controversial decision and is part of a GOP plan to fan the flames of ongoing investigations of the Obama Administration.  Another portion of that was to approve a resolution calling on Attorney General Eric Holder to appoint a special counsel to further investigate the IRS' alleged targeting of conservative groups, such as the Prescott Tea Party.

Barber - and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) - were among 26 Democrats to vote for that resolution.

Back at the Armed Services Committee, Barber presented his amendment to keep the A-10 in the air for at least one more year.  Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson is primary home of the fleet of close air support fighters.

Although Rep. Buck McKeon, the Republican chair of the committee was opposed and tried to claim victory in the voice vote, the roll call showed that the amendment was approved by a bipartisan vote of 41-20.

From Barber's post-midnight news release: “Today the House Armed Services Committee took an important step to support our ground troops and prevent the A-10 from being divested,” Barber, a member of the Armed Services Committee, said after the vote.

“We will continue this fight in the weeks to come,” Barber added. “We will continue it together as a community in Tucson and I will continue to bring the fight to Washington alongside my colleagues in the House and Senate, Republican and Democrat alike.”
Here is video of that discussion.

***
As noted above, Rep. Sinema joined Barber and 24 other Democrats in voting to ask for a special counsel to continue investigating the IRS' treatment of conservative nonprofits.  She issued a news release with her explanation:

“Today I voted for special counsel to investigate the IRS regarding allegations of targeting organizations because of their political beliefs,” said Sinema. “No public agency should exercise partisanship and these actions are unacceptable. The IRS must be held accountable. This investigation is the first of several necessary steps to restore Americans’ trust in our public institutions.”








“I am disappointed that Lois Lerner has refused to testify in Congress. The American public deserves to hear the truth from her and the IRS. I hope that she and the IRS cooperate fully with all investigations regarding these serious allegations."
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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ducey TV Ad Wave Extended Into 2nd Week (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

On Monday, Arizona's Politics reported on this week's first wave of TV ads by Arizona State Treasurer and candidate for Governor Doug Ducey. That estimated $150K/week campaign* will be extended through next week.

KPNX (Phoenix, Channel 12) uploaded the ad buy information this afternoon.  Below is a copy of the ad.


*$133,000 for the Phoenix market, and estimating that at least $17,000 is being spent in the Tucson market. Tucson TV stations do not (yet) have to upload their political ad information to the FCC (which makes it available online).

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THIS JUST IN: UPDATES On Gallego Fundraiser, FCC Complaint Vs. Phoenix TV Station, Arpaio Fundraising

The phone and the email box have been buzzing today, and we have received responses to all three of our articles (and inquiries) that are worthy of updating.

1) "READ: National Campaign Watchdog Groups File FCC Complaint Vs. Phoenix TV Station For Allowing Outside Spenders To Hide; Possible Defense: "But, EVERYBODY Does It!"

 KNXV ABC15 told Arizona's Politics late this afternoon that they have received and reviewed the FCC Complaints.  Carolyn Pione Micheli, the Vice President for Corporate Communications at parent company Scripps, went on to say, "Our station KMGH in Denver was involved as well.  We think we’ve followed the proper procedures to disclose the source of the online advertising. But of course we’ll address any perceived deficiencies according to FCC regulations."

As this update is being written, KNXV is going through their files and uploading new NAB forms and "Federal Station Issue Advertising Request Sheets" on most of the political ads they have run this year.  The one that prompted Arizona's Politics' interest in April - the Legacy Foundation Action Fund ads attacking Gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith for the actions of the U.S. Conference of Mayors - has not yet been supplemented.  But, here is the mostly-blank NAB form that KNXV received from LFAF and filed on April 3.

As noted earlier, ALL of the stations accept and file these undisclosing disclosures.  The LFAF one was particularly egregious for its blanks and because it came from a new group that STILL does not have its officers listed.

Arizona's Politics has taken the unusual step of challenging KNXV, KPNX (Channel 12, which was the first to file the LFAF form) and the other Arizona television stations to stand united and refuse to accept legally-deficient forms.  The alternatives are for one or more courageous stations to take unilateral stands to not accept the advertising until legally-satisfactory disclosure is received.

2) "Arpaio 2016 Fundraising Machine Leaves Arizona's Congressional Incumbents In The Dust For Early 2014 Numbers; Constant Flirting With Governor Run Cranks People Up"

Sheriff Arpaio's campaign manager (Chad Willems) and his MCSO Communications Department (Lt. Brandon Jones) are each pointing at the other guy.  Arizona's Politics asked Willems for the "position paper" that the Sheriff had said he would release in March detailing what he would do if he was Arizona's Governor.  Willems replied that it would have to be retrieved from the MCSO.  Jones suggested it was "political" and therefore, he could not respond.  The only reasonable conclusion is that no such "position paper" exists.

3) "TODAY: D.C. Lobbyists, More Hosting Fundraiser For Ruben Gallego In CD7 Race"

Gallego campaign spokesperson Andy Barr responded to Arizona's Politics that the hosts for the Washington, DC fundraiser this evening were "people that Ruben met while raising money for the anti-Arpaio campaign (last year, the unsuccessful recall, see Arpaio fundraising article above)."  Barr also said that, like Gallego, they have been "actively involved in Latino national politics".


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READ: National Campaign Watchdog Groups File FCC Complaint Vs. Phoenix TV Station For Allowing Outside Spenders To Hide; Possible Defense: "But, EVERYBODY Does It!"

(UPDATED, 5pm: Arizona's Politics updates this article - and, others - here, and at the bottom of this article.)

National campaign watchdog groups the Sunlight Foundation and the Campaign Legal Center have filed an FCC complaint against KNXV-TV (Phoenix, Channel 15) for accepting incompletely-filled-out disclosure forms from outside spending groups airing 30-second attack ads.

The two groups filed complaints against 11 stations in 9 different large cities around the country, making sure that the complaints were regarding both Democratic-leaning ads and Republican-philic groups. (The complaint is reproduced below.)

They could just as easily filed against EVERY major Phoenix and Tucson station.  They all accepted the IDENTICAL filing.

Arizona's Politics also attempted to address this issue behind the scenes last month, after KPNX (Channel 12) had filed an even less-informative NAB form it received from the Legacy Foundation Action Fund.  Arizona's Politics published several articles on the shadowy LFAF, and contacted KPNX VP Station Manager Mark Casey about the problematic filing. (email is reproduced below the jump)  KPNX did not respond.

As noted in the email to KPNX, "as unfair as it may be", the television station - the regulated station with a license to use a portion of the public airwaves and to serve the public - has the responsibility to obtain the disclosure information.  The stations apparently should not accept the advertising until the form meets legal standards.  The Sunlight Foundation had also contacted KPNX about the issue, without success.

The Channel 15 complaint relates to the first wave of ads run in January by the House Majority PAC, supporting Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1). Channel 15 accepted - and, posted - the NAB form that is supposed to provide required-by-law information about the advertiser.  The form was not properly completed.

The complaints are not seeking monetary damages, but ask that the FCC "issu(e) a Public Notice reminding broadcast stations of their obligations, to ensure that this and other broadcast stations include all of the legally required disclosures in the future."

Meredith McGehee, Policy Director of the Campaign Legal Center, explained why they are taking this step: “In too many cases, the stations and their advertisers failed to comply with the simplest and most basic disclosure requirements. As a result, the public does not have the information it needs to understand who is speaking on the public airwaves and attempting to influence their views on political issues."
Arizona's Politics has contacted ABC-15 for response, and will update as needed.






<<>>
 KNXV ABC15 told Arizona's Politics late this afternoon that they have received and reviewed the FCC Complaints.  Carolyn Pione Micheli, the Vice President for Corporate Communications at parent company Scripps, went on to say, "Our station KMGH in Denver was involved as well.  We think we’ve followed the proper procedures to disclose the source of the online advertising. But of course we’ll address any perceived deficiencies according to FCC regulations."

As this update is being written, KNXV is going through their files and uploading new NAB forms and "Federal Station Issue Advertising Request Sheets" on most of the political ads they have run this year.  The one that prompted Arizona's Politics' interest in April - the Legacy Foundation Action Fund ads attacking Gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith for the actions of the U.S. Conference of Mayors - has not yet been supplemented.  But, here is the mostly-blank NAB form that KNXV received from LFAF and filed on April 3.

As noted earlier, ALL of the stations accept and file these undisclosing disclosures.  The LFAF one was particularly egregious for its blanks and because it came from a new group that STILL does not have its officers listed.

Arizona's Politics has taken the unusual step of challenging KNXV, KPNX (Channel 12, which was the first to file the LFAF form) and the other Arizona television stations to stand united and refuse to accept legally-deficient forms.  The alternatives are for one or more courageous stations to take unilateral stands to not accept the advertising until legally-satisfactory disclosure is received.

Arpaio 2016 Fundraising Machine Leaves Arizona's Congressional Incumbents In The Dust For Early 2014 Numbers; Constant Flirting With Governor Run Cranks People Up

(UPDATED, 5pm: Arizona's Politics updates this article - and, others - here, and at the bottom of this article.)

Last year, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio used the attempted recall effort to help raise $3.5M for his campaign.  This year, his constant flirting with running for Governor and a steady stream of (sometimes-contradictory) emails have kept the donations coming.  Arpaio raised $676,000 since January 1, and he is using it to justify his continued flirtation.

The $676,000 - even if pro-rated to match Congressional candidates three-month reporting period - easily tops Reps. Ron Barber, Kyrsten Sinema and Barber-challenger Martha McSally (who each raised between $419,000-442,000).

The sixth-term Sheriff sent out a news release today touting the numbers, and quoting the Sheriff as saying "Now I know for sure that I would have the financial backing to be competitive in this year’s race for Governor. I will be taking the next two weeks to determine if I am going to run. I know I will need the time to collect the requisite number of signatures to qualify for the ballot, but I believe that can be done rather quickly."

In mid-March, Arpaio promised Newsmax that he would release a position paper the next week describing what he would do if he was elected to replace Jan Brewer in the Governor's Office.  No such paper was released.

The deadline to turn in nominating petitions is May 28.  Republican candidates Christine Jones and Doug Ducey have already hit the TV airwaves to introduce themselves to voters.

(UPDATE, 5pm: Sheriff Arpaio's campaign manager (Chad Willems) and his MCSO Communications Department (Lt. Brandon Jones) are each pointing at the other guy.  Arizona's Politics asked Willems for the "position paper" that the Sheriff had said he would release in March detailing what he would do if he was Arizona's Governor.  Willems replied that it would have to be retrieved from the MCSO.  Jones suggested it was "political" and therefore, he could not respond.  The only reasonable conclusion is that no such "position paper" exists.)




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TODAY: D.C. Lobbyists, More Hosting Fundraiser For Ruben Gallego In CD7 Race

(UPDATED, 5pm: Arizona's Politics updates this article - and, others - here, and at the bottom of this article.)

Ruben Gallego, one of the Democrats vying to replace the retiring Rep. Ed Pastor (D-CD7), is holding a fundraiser in Washington today.  A full lineup of lobbyists and other D.C. professionals are hosting the party at Cure Bar and Bistro.

Gallego easily led all candidates in fundraising before March 31, and is aggressively building his bank account to woo voters in the strongly-Democratic district.  The former state lawmaker is facing his toughest competition for the Democratic nomination from former County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox and state Senator Steve Gallardo.

Today's fundraiser - first reported by Politico - is hosted by a host of D.C. lobbyists and professionals, including two partners at the Podesta Group (one is a founding member of the Hispanic Lobbying Association).  The Facebook invite touts that "Gallego is a son of working-class Hispanic immigrants, a veteran, and a community leader."

(UPDATE, 5pm: Gallego campaign spokesperson Andy Barr responded to Arizona's Politics that the hosts for the Washington, DC fundraiser this evening were "people that Ruben met while raising money for the anti-Arpaio campaign (last year, the unsuccessful recall, see Arpaio fundraising article above)."  Barr also said that, like Gallego, they have been "actively involved in Latino national politics".)

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From Politico: