FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, October 30, 2014

QUICK HITS: "Arizonans For Jobs" Sends Out Last Minute $18K Mailer Attacking Sinema (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Quick hits: Arizona's Politics has more pressing news items than it can report on as fully as it typically does (and wants to).  Therefore, we will be presenting some items in abbreviated form, calling them - in the nature of many negative ads saturating our airwaves - "quick hits".  (If you would like to assist in providing unbiased coverage of Arizona political news items in the remaining days before the election, please email me at Mitch @ ArizonasPolitics .com. We will be happy to recognize your contribution.)

Arizonans for Jobs - a Republican-friendly group - is sending out an $18,000 last minute mailer attacking Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9).

The group filed its disclosure this afternoon.  It is the first appearance in this year's election for Arizonans for Jobs.  In 2012, AFJ was largely financed by Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance, a locally-based company that was founded by Jack and Dodie Londen (and remains in the family).  AFJ supported Jeff Flake in his successful 2012 campaign for the U.S. Senate.

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TONIGHT: "Universe Shattering" KPHO Report Into Obama Birth Certificate Investigation By Sheriff Arpaio's Cold Case Posse

"Universe shattering." That is what tonight's report by Phoenix TV station KPHO will be, according to a whistleblower.  Channel 5 is airing its investigation  into Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's investigators.

Arpaio's well-kinown Cold Case Posse has been raising funds and investigating President Barack Obama's birth certificate for more than two years, and former Posse member Brian Reilly told Arizona's Politics today that the so-called "Birthers" - who have been promised universe-shattering results from the MCSO CCP investigation - will have their universe shattered tonight.



Arizona's Politics has periodically reported on Arpaio's birth certificate investigation, and the subject of fundraising, County funds, and how expenses are handled has been raised repeatedly.  Brian Reilly - who helped convince Arpaio to take on the subject of the President's birth certificate by spearheading a petition, and then became involved in the Cold Case Posse - began speaking out against the MCSO CCP's never-ending investigation earlier this year.

Tonight's report (10pm) by Morgan Loew and the KPHO investigative reporting team promises to be an interesting one. "Universe shattering", as Reilly quipped.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

QUICK HITS: Right To Life Airs Last-Minute Radio Ad Supporting Tobin, Rogers, McSally (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Quick hits: Arizona's Politics has more pressing news items than it can report on as fully as it typically does (and wants to).  Therefore, we will be presenting some items in abbreviated form, calling them - in the nature of many negative ads saturating our airwaves - "quick hits".  (If you would like to assist in providing unbiased coverage of Arizona political news items in the remaining days before the election, please email me at Mitch @ ArizonasPolitics .com. We will be happy to recognize your contribution.)

(UPDATED 5:10pm: The original version of this article only focused on one ad benefiting McSally; the updated version includes ad buys for Tobin and Rogers, and updates the figures.)

The National Right To Life PAC ("NRL-PAC") and the National Right To Life Victory Fund are airing new radio ads supporting Republican Congressional challengers Martha McSally (#AZ02), Wendy Rogers (#AZ09) and Andy Tobin (#AZ01)

The expenditures are on two separate filings this afternoon indicating that the ad will cost between $2,554 (Rogers) and $6,021 (Tobin).  $5,132 will be spent supporting McSally.

The three Republicans are attempting to unseat Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1), Ron Barber (CD2) and Kyrsten Sinema (CD9).

Arizona's Politics was unable to find copies of the ads on the internet; if you spot it or are able to make a recording, please forward it to the address below.  You will be entered in a prize drawing for your assistance.

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NEWS ANALYSIS: Reagan Campaign Tries To Re-Write Dark Money History (and Definition), To Avoid Denouncing Dark Money Present Benefitting Her (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

(Arizona's Politics is an independent, non-partisan political news blog. When we engage in analysis or commentary, we attempt to label it as such. This article may be classified as "news analysis" because it attempts to "provid(e) interpretations that add to a reader's understanding of a subject.")

The Arizona Republic's Mary Jo Pitzl has a good article up tonight, "Reagan sets conditions on renouncing 'dark money'". GOP Secretary of State nominee Michele Reagan is trying to avoid denouncing a $304,000 dark money ad benefiting her candidacy.

Reagan (and/or her campaign manager) are now saying "after you", and trying to make her renunciation of the Sean Noble-linked 60 Plus Association come only after Democratic nominee Terry Goddard denounces a 2010 ad campaign.

However, there are several misleading and incorrect aspects to Reagan's new condition. Arizona's Politics was the first to report on the 2010 campaign shenanigans that Reagan is raising tonight, and is in a good position to add some history and some context, as well as to point out the distinctions between then and now.

According to the Pitzl article, Reagan's campaign manager believes that the 2010 "Committee for Justice and Fairness" expenditure in the Attorney General's race was dark money and that "Goddard needs to explain his inaction."

BACKGROUND

The 2010 expenditure in question was in the Attorney General's race between Felecia Rotellini and Tom Horne. It was a particularly nasty - and misleading - ad attacking Horne (who was Superintendent of Public Instruction at the time).

The ads were only identified as being from the "Committee For Justice and Fairness", and did not identify major contributors. On October 22, Arizona's Politics published an article noting that "CJF" was wholly funded by the Democratic Attorneys General Association, and that the ads appeared to violate Arizona election laws.

A follow-up article, "If There's Justice & Fairness, There Will Also Be Irony; Democratic AGs' Group Could Be Hit Hard, Too", detailed how a complaint from Horne would first go to the Secretary of State, before being referred to then-AG Goddard. We noted that Goddard would have a conflict of interest because he was a member of DAGA, and would refer it to an independent prosecutor.

The final pre-election article of note was the Thursday before Election Day, October 28. We noted that the ball was hit into Goddard's court that afternoon, and that he had 20 days to make a determination. The article added that he should "immediately" transfer it to an independent prosecutor. (If he had transferred it that day or the next day, there would be even less of a story today.)

Arizona's Politics continued - and, continues - to cover CJF/DAGA's apparent blatant disregard of Arizona's (already-lax) election law. On the 2010 election day, for example, Arizona's Politics reported that the Arizona Democrats had "co-opted" the CJF/DAGA claims and that that could play into legal action. Horne did claim coordination between Rotellini and CJF/DAGA, but that went nowhere and it was Horne who has been found to have illegally coordinated with an independent expenditure group.

PRESENT DAY

Reagan, through Campaign Manager Kyle Moyer, made a couple of very key misrepresentations. Whether innocently or purposefully, they need to be addressed:

1) The money used to fund the CJF ad against Horne was NOT "dark money", even if CJF violated Arizona law. As evidenced by the articles cited above, the source of the funds for the ad were identifiable. Any CJF filing in Arizona would not have shown the source of the funds, it simply would have listed its contact information. Arizona's Politics easily located the IRS filings of both CJF and DAGA, and was able to identify contributors. (The amount CJF/DAGA sunk into the Arizona ads was NOT clear from the filings - changes making FCC filings available online would now make that task much simpler.)

Reagan's efforts to equate CJF/DAGA with the 60 Plus ad attacking Goddard and benefiting her thus falls far short of the mark. The only thing in common is that both are attack ads and both are independent expenditures. DAGA's funding is open (while questionable for its potentially-corruptible influence), while 60 Plus is the very definition of a dark money operation that also has been a conduit and recipient of other dark money (the washing machine of dark money laundering, if you will).

Over the last few years, 60 Plus has received at least $16.6M from American Encore (formerly known as the Center To Protect Patient Rights), a 501(c )(4) run by Arizona-based political consultant Sean Noble. 60 Plus has used some of that money to run ads against candidates - sometimes having little to do with the seniors' issues it is supposedly focused on - and has passed some of that on to similar organizations*.

2) Moyer dings Goddard for his "inaction". Goddard had no obligation - and, probably no inclination - to take action before the election. His office received it less than three business days before the election, and he had 20 days before action had to be taken. He should have transferred it to a non-conflicted prosecutor immediately, or within the 20 days. However, that did not prevent the complaint from being forwarded to the MCAO in January. (Neither Goddard's nor Horne's office responded to repeated efforts by Arizona's Politics to ascertain the disposition, and the latter did not announce the transfer; Arizona's Politics was later surprised when the case popped up in court in 2012.)

BOTTOM LINE

Whether or not Michele Reagan takes the significant step of denouncing the 60 Plus commercial benefitting her candidacy for Secretary of State is her decision; asking that it be pulled would seem to have a potential political payoff exceeding the value of yet another negative ad on TV - especially if 60 Plus complied with her demand.

But, for Reagan to avoid a denunciation by hiding behind a false equivalency claim that her opponent denounce an expenditure that did not benefit him four years ago is wrong.



* Such inter-organization "grants" are more likely designed to help entities reach their 51% "social welfare" mission than to hide already-hidden donors' identities.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

READ: Rep. Grijalva One Of 32 House Dems To Tell Obama of Concerns Re: Undocumented Central American Families

Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) is one of 32 House Democrats to send a letter to President Obama today about concerns that the U.S. is planning to house more undocumented Central American women and children for longer periods and without bond.

The letter was led by Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), and comes as a new detention center in Dilley, Texas may be opening within a few weeks, and could house 2,400 undocumented immigrants next year.  It also expresses concerns about the no bond (or high bond) policy that is keeping Central Americans in detention even after there has been an initial determination that they have legitimate fear if sent back to their country of origin.

Grijalva was the only Arizona Representative to sign the letter.



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LAST MINUTE TOBIN SUPPORT: Fellow Insurance Agents, GOP Environmental Group Send Out Last Minute Mailers In #AZ01 (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

At least two more mailers supporting Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin will hit CD1 mailboxes later this week.  Insurance agents and a GOP environmental group are disclosing last-minute expenditures in the toss-up race.

Tobin is getting a boost from fellow insurance agents and brokers, who are spending $16,151 on its 2nd mailer in the campaign.  The postcard promises that Tobin "will fight Obamacare" (and presumably, that Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick loves Obamacare).

And, the Arizona-based longtime pro-GOP/pro-environment group "Conserv America Building a Brighter Future Together" is putting a $14,263 mailer out.  This adds to the $50,000 it has already spent on Tobin's behalf.

The Kirkpatrick/Tobin campaign has been closely-watched nationally, and it is rated as a "toss-up" contest.

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DARK MONEY BONANZA: Approx $15M Dark Money Spent On Arizona Campaigns... So Far (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

Approximately $15,000,000 of dark money has been spent to influence Arizona voters in the past year.  As election day (mercifully) approaches, the number of TV/radio/online/postal/etc ads is reaching a crescendo; on many of those, it is impossible to identify which individuals, corporations or groups put up the money.

Arizona's Politics has attempted to shine as much light as possible on these dark ads, as they have become a bigger story than ever.  The state's largest utility, APS, has apparently contributed mightily to such groups in races for the Corporation Commission, Secretary of State, and Attorney General; that has become a major driver of the news.

Because of a wide range of disclosure laws for the great variety of types of independent expenditure spenders, it is not always clear whether an ad should be considered as a "dark money" ad.  Arizona's Politics is using a "#50ShadesOfDarkMoney" spectrum to rank the various groups. (Explanations are provided; Google the term for a list of articles.)

What the individual articles have not done is keep a running total of the dark money expenditures. So, with help from Paul Weich, we went through our articles, Arizona Secretary of State reports, Federal Election Commission reports, and checked in with the Center for Responsive Politics
(where the good people there do great work).  Here is the snapshot provided from looking through those various lenses.

To date, approximately $14,675,103 has been spent in Arizona in the past year by groups judged to not disclose donors for all or the majority of their funds.

The caveats are:
(1) Americans for Prosperity - a group believed to be partly funded by the now-infamous Koch brothers - began running ads against Democratic Reps. Ron Barber and Ann Kirkpatrick in early 2014. The amounts put into broadcasting those ads are not entirely clear.
(2) Dark money independent expenditures in all of the Arizona legislative primaries were not totaled.  The largest IEs were reviewed, and the amount spent in other races were approximated.
(3) Reasonable people can differ as to whether certain groups should be considered "dark money". Arizona's Politics did not include several groups that appear unlikely to receive/spend money from outside individuals/entities, even if they do not disclose their donors. Examples of this are the Arizona Cattle Feeders' Association and labor unions.  However, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Center for Arizona Policy Action Committee are examples of groups that Arizona's Politics did consider to be "dark money." (A complete list of IE groups and their spots on the #50ShadesOfDarkMoney spectrum will be released on Wednesday.)

Although an astonishing $5M+ was spent during battles for party nominations (the August 26 primary election), most of the dark money has been spent between August 27 and the present.

For statewide offices, there has been $5,750,197 in dark money expenditures.  The Republican Attorneys General Association ("RAGA") is responsible for nearly $2M ($1,962,453, to be exact) of that, all spent attacking Democratic nominee Felecia Rotellini.  As discovered by Arizona's Politics last week, APS contributed at least $175,000 to that group. RAGA receives more than half of its monies from dark money sources.

Nationally-known dark money wizard Sean Noble (based here in Arizona) has made his presence felt in this year's elections.  His American Encore group alone has spent $1,445,000 in the Governor's race (supporting long-term client/ally Doug Ducey).  He also has ties with some of the other dark money entities.

State legislative races have also seen approximately $1.6M in dark money expenditures.  However, the overwhelming amounts were spent in the hotly-contested Republican primaries. (Approx $1.3M in the primaries vs. $335K so far in the general.)

An interesting aspect of the legislative races is that good chunks of that dark money comes from two education-focused national groups.  Stand for Children, Inc. and the American Federation for Children, Inc. have spent heavily in both primaries and general campaigns.  A third education-related group, Arizona Democrats for Educational Equity, apparently receives a majority of its funds from the dark Education Reform Now Advocacy group; ADEE has not spent much to date.

Arizona has been in the national eye for two toss-up Congressional races, and the dark outside money has flooded in.  Including a little bit spent in the GOP primary battle in CD1 - and NOT including the early ads purchased by Americans for Prosperity - a total of $3,565,315 in non-disclosed money has flooded the Phoenix (CD1) and Tucson (CD2 and CD1) markets.

CD1, with a battle between Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick and Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin, has seen $2.0M, all supporting the GOP challenger.  American Action Network ($840,670), YG Network ($734,867) and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($300,000) are the biggest spenders.

In southern Arizona's CD2, Rep. Ron Barber is facing a rematch with Martha McSally. $1.4M has been spent there, with the same three groups leading the charge (in a different order: the U.S. Chamber has spent $600,424, AAN $503,742 and YGNet $233,559).  A centrist group leaning Democratic - Center Forward - spent $147,864 attacking McSally.

***
The Arizona Star's Joe Ferguson has a very good article up this morning regarding dark money in Arizona, and Secretary of State candidate Terry Goddard's plans to address the mushrooming problem of mushroom money.

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Monday, October 27, 2014

Arizona Supreme Court Decides Sexual Abuse of Minor Case: Parent Can Continue Refusing Interview Even After Child Turns 18 (READ)

This article contributed by Tempe attorney Paul Weich.

In a case that could have been part of a "Law & Order: SVU" episode, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously decided that a parent* cannot be compelled to sit for a defense interview about her daughter's alleged sexual abuse even after the daughter becomes an adult. The opinion clarifies an unclear portion of Arizona's Victims Bill of Rights.

In this case, a 16-year old girl alleged that her stepfather had sexually abused her. The girl's mother asserted the girl's victims' rights on her behalf, but after the teenager turned 18, the stepfather tried to force the mother to be interviewed about the circumstances.

Arizona's two Court of Appeals divisions had come up with different answers** on whether the parent's right to refuse an interview extended after the child reached 18.  In 2006, then-Sen. John Huppenthal had added the parent's right but the amended statute did not make it clear whether the right expired at the child's adulthood or through the end of the case.  (In fact, as the Justices point out, the Legislature had rejected an amendment that would have allowed defense interviews of parents who are also witnesses.)

The key quote from Chief Justice Scott Bales' opinion:  
"The goals of respecting victims, protecting their rights, and aiding in their healing, however are better served by construing A.R.S. §13-4433(G) as preserving the parent's right to refuse a defense interview through the conclusion of the case.  Even though a child has turned eighteen, a compelled interview of the parent who exercised the minor victim's rights could further traumatize the victim and subject the victim, although vicariously, to unwanted pretrial contact with the defendant or questioning by the defense." ¶ 19

 

* or legal guardian
** in this case and one other case

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Union Groups Crossover To Help Fund New $50K Radio Ad Supporting Martha McSally (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(UPDATE, 9:40am: Minutes ago, Defending Main Street also filed a report indicating that it it spent $14,000 today for a mailer supporting GOP nominee Andy Tobin in his toss-up race against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1).  The mailer is slated for distribution on Monday.  As noted in the article, DMS supported Tobin in the GOP primary contest, as well.)

Two AFL-CIO-affiliated union groups are primary funders of a new radio ad supporting GOP nominee Martha McSally in her hotly-contested battle to unseat Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).

DMS disclosed today that it is spending $50,000 on a radio ad supporting McSally, and that it will begin airing on Sunday.

The International Union of Operating Engineers and a group called Working for Working Americans each contributed (in September) $250,000 to the centrist-conservative "Defending Main Street SuperPAC, Inc." ("DMS").  Neither the Operating Engineers union nor WFWA has been known for donating to Republican groups.

WFWA receives its funds from the United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners.  Its only other contributions in the last two months are $1,000,000 to the Democrat-philic Senate Majority PAC and $500,000 to the similarly-aligned House Majority PAC.  The IUOE also gives 4/5 of its political contributions to Democrats.

This has led to speculation that labor unions are trying to fuel an intra-Republican "civil war."  However, the general election donations to DMS to support GOP candidates seem to indicate that there is more to the unions' support. In fact, the IUOE's political director, Jeffrey Soth, told Mother Jones' reporter Andy Kroll just that: "Especially with this crazy political atmosphere, this is a place where we need to be lending support to middle-of-the-road Democrats and Republicans both, and this is part of that effort."

DMS - and, its affiliated group, Main Street Advocacy - are headed up by former Republican Congressman Steve LaTourette, who has had harsh words for the more-conservative wing of his party.  He has consistently brought union money into his campaigns (while in Congress and now, afterwards), which has not escaped the notice of those he has criticized.

As Arizona's Politics noted in August when Main Street Advocacy (the dark money side of LaTourette's operation) ran radio ads supporting Andy Tobin in his primary battle against more conservative Adam Kwasman and Gary Kiehne, LaTourette has been outspoken in the intra-GOP battle between more centrist Republicans and more conservative Republicans. He has bemoaned the move to the right, saying the party will sacrifice a governing majority on the altar of ideological purity, and calling the ideologues the "grifting wing" of the party.

Conservatives - such as Michelle Malkin - have accused him of trying to "push through amnesty for illegal immigrants" and for being "money grubbing" while working with the liberal labor unions.

In addition to the half-million dollars from the union groups in September, DMS received $50,000 from House Speaker John Boehner's Congressional Leadership Fund.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

FIRST WATCH: American Action Network Goes Multi-Platform With New $800K Ad Buys Accusing Rep. Kirkpatrick Of Throwing Tantrums; #50ShadesOfDarkMoney

The Karl Rove-linked American Action Network disclosed this evening that it spent $802,000 this week to oppose Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1). The ads will run on a number of platforms - including Phoenix TV, digital, and mobile.

The major expenditure aiding GOP nominee Andy Tobin comes less than two weeks after news reports started indicating that Republicans might be shifting more attention away from Arizona's other toss-up district, the Barber-McSally battle in #AZ02, and towards #AZ01.

AAN, led by former Republican Senator Norm Coleman and linked with Karl Rove's Crossroads entities, has now spent $840K in the Kirkpatrick/Tobin race, and $503K in the Barber/McSally contest.  (However, the Phoenix TV market is more costly than the Tucson TV market.)

Here is the new "Tantrums" ad, portraying Kirkpatrick as casting votes (on Republican measures) out of spite.  (For some reason, the ad is not listed on AAN's YouTube channel; however, Arizona's Politics was able to locate it.):


#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

AAN is a 501(c )(4 ) social welfare organization that does not disclose its donors.  A number of "grant recipients" have reported receiving money from AAN in IRS filings.

AAN receives a dark gray shade of 45 on Arizona's Politics' #50ShadesOfDarkMoney scale.

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CAVALRY CALL CONTINUES IN #AZ09: Realtors Drop $245K TV Ad For Rep. Sinema (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Following closely on the heels of the DCCC's (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's) $240K ad buy attacking Wendy Rogers, the GOP challenger to Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9), the National Association of Realtors has joined the cavalry call, spending $245,000 on a positive TV ad supporting the first-term Congresswoman.

The NAR's PAC sent out some mailers praising Sinema before the primary election (Aug. 26), but this is its first expenditure since then.  The ad has not yet shown up on YouTube (to our knowledge), nor have any of the Phoenix TV stations placed their contracts in their FCC public files yet.

Arizona's CD9 has been listed by most experts as a "likely" win for Sinema, and outside money had not made a significant appearance in the East Valley-based district until the past few days.

The NAR will also now have the interesting distinction of being on the Arizona airwaves in a big way for one Democratic candidate (Sinema) and one Republican candidate (Doug Ducey for Governor); together with the Arizona Realtors and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, the NAR has spent $600,000 on TV for Ducey.



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DCCC Cavalry Enters #AZ09, Spends $240K To Hold Back Rep. Sinema Challenger Rogers; $1.3M DCCC Week In AZ (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

New evidence that the Democrats may be afraid of a wave election sweeping away incumbent Representatives: for the first time, the DCCC (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee) is attacking GOP challenger Wendy Rogers in #AZ09.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) has been ranked as "likely" to return to Congress, and has been using her campaign funds for strictly positive TV advertising.  Rogers went on the air with a splash a couple of weeks ago; no Republican outside money has entered the race... yet.

A DCCC filing this afternoon shows a $227,258 ad buy on Phoenix stations, starting yesterday.  The ad - with a $12,398 production cost - does not yet appear on the DCCC's YouTube channel, nor have any stations filed an ad buy report.

The same report shows a new $356,858 ad buy to support Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) in the toss-up race, and $732,646 in various expenditures supporting Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) in his hotly-contested, toss-up race.



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Tuesday, October 21, 2014

OOPS UPDATE: APS *Only* Put $175K Into Arizona Attorney General's Race, Corrected Filing Shows (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The national Republican Attorneys General Association ("RAGA") filed an amended IRS filing tonight, showing that Arizona Public Service *only* contributed $175,000 to RAGA to spend on TV ads hammering Felecia Rotellini's "dangerous views".

The quarter-million-dollar correction came in response to Arizona's Politics' article yesterday reporting that Saturday's initial filing showed an aggregate year-to-date contribution of $425,000.  Arizona's Politics noted (in the article) that previous filings had shown no more than the September 15 $175,000 check, and contacted RAGA to ask for a reconciliation of the numbers.

The amended filing was made at 5:21pm (Arizona Time) this evening, and RAGA has not (yet) responded to Arizona's Politics about the error.  (Arizona's Politics happened to be checking to see if RAGA or its Democratic counterpart had filed their pre-election reports.)


The overall contribution and expenditure totals for RAGA's 3rd quarter report were unchanged, and reflect a large advantage over DAGA.  Arizona's Politics has also reported on the 6:1 spending advantage, and on DAGA's filing earlier today spending $440,000.  The RAGA:DAGA Arizona spending is now 2.5:1.




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ARIZONA UPDATE: Natl Democratic AG Association - Playing Catch-Up - Drops $440K More In Anti-Brnovich Ads (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(URGENT UPDATE, 10/21 at 6:45pm: RAGA has amended its IRS filing in response to Arizona's Politics article and inquiry, to reflect that APS has *only* contributed $175,000 to its effort in the Arizona AG's race. Full details here.)

The national Democratic Attorneys General Association ("DAGA") just spent another $440,000 on TV ads pounding Mark Brnovich, the Republican nominee for Arizona Attorney General.

The filing comes one day after Arizona's Politics' articles about how DAGA was being massively outraised and outspent by its GOP counterpart - nationally and in Arizona.  The articles note how much of the Republican Attorneys General Association ("RAGA") advantage is built on $6.1M from dark money organizations, and the Arizona spend is partly underwritten by $175,000 from Arizona utility APS. (amount corrected, see 10/21 6:45pm urgent update)

The Arizona buy to support Democratic nominee Felecia Rotellini totals $418,295 in ad time and $21,584 in production costs.  Currently, DAGA's Arizona arm, the Grand Canyon Committee for Justice and Fairness, is running a week-old ad focusing on Brnovich's past employment as a lobbyist for the private prison firm Corrections Corporation of America.

RAGA also filed with the Secretary of State yesterday that it has spent another $39,000 on its fourth mailer hammering Rotellini.

RAGA's spending is now over $1.8M in Arizona; DAGA's is $727K (with another $450K from union-backed Revitalize Arizona).

RAGA deposited $2.5M in its Arizona account on September 4; DAGA waited until after September 16 to transfer money to GCCJF, so its budget will not be disclosed until next week.


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Monday, October 20, 2014

ARIZONA AG RACE: National Republican AG Group Goes Dark, Outraises Democratic Counterpart More Than 4:1 In 3rd Quarter; Explains 6:1 Difference In Arizona Spending (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

(URGENT UPDATE, 10/21 at 6:45pm: RAGA has amended its IRS filing in response to Arizona's Politics article and inquiry, to reflect that APS has *only* contributed $175,000 to its effort in the Arizona AG's race. Full details here.)

(UPDATE, 10/21 at 2:30pm: DAGA and RAGA have both filed new Arizona spending reports, including another $440K spent by the former.)

In the Arizona Attorney General's race, the national Republican 527 organization is outspending the Democrats' by more than 6:1.  Dark money contributed mightily to that discrepancy, as RAGA raised 4 times as much money as DAGA in the 3rd quarter.

(See accompanying article "BREAKING: APS Semi-Openly Places $425k Bet On Arizona Attorney General Race...Red")

One month ago, Arizona's Politics reported on the distinctions between the Republican Attorneys General Assoiciation and the Democratic Attorneys General Association. Significantly more unidentifiable dollars flowed into RAGA than DAGA.

That became much more obvious in the July through September period. RAGA collected $4.3M - $3.9M of that from two organizations that do not identify donors.  DAGA raised "only" $887,000 during that period - none of it from obviously dark money sources. (IRS filings are below the jump.)

As of today, RAGA's Arizona IE committee has spent $1,757,961 dollars on TV ads and mailers bashing Democratic nominee Felecia Rotellini.  The most recent ad is here.  (Somewhat ironically, that ad even takes a swipe at its Democratic counterpart.)

Significant Arizona contributors to RAGA are Arizona Public Service's parent company, Pinnacle West Capital Corp - which has given $425,000, and Tucson auto sales titan Jim Click ($25,000).

Meanwhile, DAGA's Arizona IE committee - the Grand Canyon Committee for Justice and Fairness - has spent $287,665 bashing GOP nominee Mark Brnovich for his role as a private prison lobbyist.  The unions that help fund DAGA are also  running a $450,000 ad against Brnovich, through the local group Revitalize Arizona.  (Even with the latter, the outside spending discrepancy is 2.4:1.)

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

One month ago, the mega-campaigns by RAGA and DAGA prompted the initiation of Arizona's Politics' #50ShadesOfDarkMoney series, analyzing the disclosure of original sources of monies to independent expenditure efforts, and assigning each group a point on the dark money spectrum.  RAGA was assigned a pretty dark shade of grey: 35, with the following analysis:
2) RAGA AZ IE: Registered this month. 1st report will likely just show "RAGA" as contributor. RAGA formed earlier this year, discloses contributors to IRS quarterly. A significant portion - estimated at between 30-35% of RAGA's intake is from very dark money contributors, with some possibly filtered through multiple entities. SHADES OF DARK: 35
If anything, the 3rd quarter IRS filing could move RAGA a few shades darker.  Last month, we noted that RAGA received greater than 30% of its 2014 funds from dark money organizations.  This quarter's report is startling! RAGA took in $4.3M.  Of that, $3.9M - or, 91% - came from two dark money organizations.  The Judicial Crisis Network put in $2.6M and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce added $1.3M.

That brings the dark money percentage of RAGA's 2014 monies to greater than 50% (approximately $6.1M of $11.7M).

(Using the current qualifying standard for social welfare groups - that they must spend more than 50% of their funds on so-called non-election-related causes - RAGA has now crossed the 50% threshold for being considered a DARK 527 organization.)

Thus, Arizona's Politics revises its 50 shades assessment of RAGA, and moves it to a 40 on the spectrum.

DAGA remains at SHADES OF DARK: 20.

(See accompanying article "BREAKING: APS Semi-Openly Places $425k Bet On Arizona Attorney General Race...Red")

3rd quarter IRS filings for RAGA and DAGA are below the jump.  Go ahead, jump... if you dare.

(Arizona attorney Paul Weich contributed to the research and reporting in this article.)


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BREAKING: APS Semi-Openly Places $425k Bet On Arizona Attorney General Race...Red (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(URGENT UPDATE, 10/21 at 6:45pm: RAGA has amended its IRS filing in response to Arizona's Politics article and inquiry, to reflect that APS has *only* contributed $175,000 to its effort in the Arizona AG's race. Full details here.)

(UPDATE, 10/21 at 2:30pm: DAGA and RAGA have both filed new Arizona spending reports, including another $440K spent by the former.)

The parent company of APS - Pinnacle West Capital - is spending (at least) $425,000 telling Arizonans about the "dangerous views" of Democratic AG nominee Felecia Rotellini.

(See accompanying article on the total Arizona expenditures of RAGA and DAGA, and their spots on the #50ShadesOfDarkMoney spectrum: "National Republican AG Group Goes Dark, Outraises Democratic Counterpart More Than 4:1 In 3rd Quarter; Explains 6:1 Difference In Arizona Spending (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)")

While APS is widely-believed to be secretly spending large amounts of money on the Corporation Commission election, its $425,000 contribution to the Republican Attorneys General Association is the first (material*) political expenditure to be brought to light, after RAGA filed its quarterly report with the Internal Revenue Service last week.

Interestingly, the third quarter (July - Sept) report (below the jump) only lists one Pinnacle West $175,000 contribution, on September 15 - the day before Arizona's Politics reported on the $1.6M ad buy by RAGA.  However, it indicates that the aggregate year to date contribution is $425,000.

Arizona's Politics previously reported on the partially-transparent sources of funding of both RAGA and Democratic counterpart DAGA.  Embedded in that analysis are copies of RAGA's IRS filings for the first two quarters of 2014 - neither lists a contribution from Pinnacle West or APS.  Arizona's Politics is inquiring about the significant discrepancy, and will supplement this report as needed.

RAGA has blown past the reported $1.6M budget that it had for the Arizona race, perhaps because of the additional contributions by APS.  As of last Tuesday, RAGA has spent $1,757,961 in Arizona (TV and mailers).  The most recent ad hit the airwaves over the weekend, and is titled "Dangerous Views."

(See accompanying article on the total Arizona expenditures of RAGA and DAGA, and their spots on the #50ShadesOfDarkMoney spectrum: "National Republican AG Group Goes Dark, Outraises Democratic Counterpart More Than 4:1 In 3rd Quarter; Explains 6:1 Difference In Arizona Spending (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)")

(Arizona attorney Paul Weich contributed to the research and reporting in this article.)

* Pinnacle West has contributed $5,000 to two related independent expenditure groups suppoting Republican candidates for the Arizona House and Senate. ("Senate Victory PAC" and "House Victory PAC")


Thursday, October 16, 2014

CAMPAIGN FINANCE COMPARISON: Rep. Sinema, Challenger Rogers Headed Into Homestretch With Same Cash On Hand

Despite raising three times as much money as her Republican challenger, Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) and Wendy Rogers headed into the homestretch of the campaign with roughly the same amount of cash on hand.

Sinema raised $619,163 between August 7 and September 30 ($850,000 for the quarter), according to her FEC report filed yesterday.  Rogers' campaign brought in $365,674 during the same period ($417,000 in the 3rd quarter).

The reason that the cash on hand numbers are nearly identical - $481K for Sinema, $455K for Rogers - is that Sinema began airing TV ads heavily during September, while the challenger waited until last week to go up on the air.  Sinema's disbursements were $1.0M in the 7 week period, while Rogers spent $128,000.

Since the election cycle began, the first-term incumbent has raised 3 times as much money as her challenger ($3.3M to $1.1M).

Compared to the two hotly-contested toss-up districts in Arizona (CD1 and CD2), outside spending has not started to flow in #AZ09 until the past week (House Majority PAC, against Rogers).  That adds more significance to the disparity between the candidates' campaign numbers.



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McSally Raises $1M In 5 Weeks; Challenger and Barber Each Had Roughly $1M In Bank Going Into Homestretch

GOP nominee Martha McSally blew an incumbent out of the water by raising $1M in the 5-week period ending September 30, and continued her streak of outraising incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) - she has now raised $4.8M in the campaign vs. Barber's $3.2M - yet both candidates have roughly $1.0M in the bank for the home stretch.

#AZ02 is one of the most hotly-contested House of Representatives seats in the nation, and it is rated as a toss-up.

Arizona's Politics presented the FEC's graphic summary of the candidates' quarters in this election cycle. (They battled to a near draw in the 2012 election.) Now, we can take a closer look.

Barber built up a fundraising advantage during the first half of 2013, when he was a new Congressman from a swing district while McSally toyed with the idea of a rematch.  $551k in the bank for Barber vs. $30k for McSally. (Barber started with approximately $85k left over from 2012, McSally had $20k.)

Since then, McSally has lifted off and has outraised Barber in every one of the five quarters since then.

The newest reports cover August 7 through September 30 - McSally blew out the stops, collecting more than $1M, compared to $675K by the incumbent.  (For the third quarter of 2014, the advantage was $1.4M to $0.9M.)

That said, both candidates have approximately $1M cash on hand, as of October 1.  McSally's count is $1,017,830; Barber's is $991,075.

Arizona's Politics likes to note that the amounts in the campaigns' war chests becomes somewhat less important in a battle such as this where outside spending is practically equal to the candidates.  To get a more complete picture, Arizona's Politics attempts to illuminate the outside spending - whether the sources are known or are staying "dark".

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COMPARISON: Kirkpatrick and Tobin Campaign Finances, With New Reports; Incumbent Spends 8X State House Speaker Challenger, Still Has $450,000 Advantage

Pending a deeper dive into the financial reports filed yesterday, Arizona's Politics presents a summary comparison of the new FEC reports filed yesterday by Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) and GOP nominee Andy Tobin.  (The comparative snapshots on the FEC's website are glitching.)

Rep. Kirkpatrick continued to outraise, outspend, and out-bank Tobin in the third quarter.  On October 1, Tobin's campaign's bank account was down to $376,424, while Kirkpatrick retained $820,115.

The cash on hand disparity was that great even though Kirkpatrick had spent more than 8 times as much as Tobin between August 7 and September 30. ($1,163,487 to $144,927)

Kirkpatrick raised $628,133 during the 7 1/2 week period, while Tobin collected $439,190.

As Arizona's Politics continues to emphasize, the importance of the candidate's campaigns - and, their financial disparities - shrinks in districts where outside spending (IE's) is flooding into the election.  #AZ01 is among the most competitive districts in the nation.



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VISUAL COMPARISON: Barber and McSally's Campaign Finances, With New Reports

Pending a deeper dive into the financial reports filed yesterday, Arizona's Politics presents an easy-to-read screen from the FEC ("Federal Election Commission").  First up, the pure toss-up #AZ02, a southern Arizona contest between 1+ term incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2), and GOP nominee Martha McSally (who narrowly lost the 2012 election). 

(Due to glitches at the FEC's website, the snapshot of Barber's reports is not yet available and had to be filled in from the report.)



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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FIRST WATCH: Unions Airing $450K Ad Attacking AG Candidate Brnovich On Abortion; Ties Him To More Extreme Position Of Right To Life Org (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

Revitalize Arizona began airing a $450,000 ad attacking Republican AG candidate Mark Brnovich for his anti-abortion position, alleging that he "would turn back the clock for women".

The ad apparently aired a few times last week, although the $389,130 Phoenix market ad buy was (properly) disclosed last night to the Arizona Secretary of State's Office. That report indicates that $450,000 is being spent, in total, on the ad (presumably including Tucson airtime and production).

The ad notes that Brnovich has been "proud" to receive the endorsement from the Arizona Right To Life PAC, and that "they would make abortion illegal even in cases of rape or incest." Brnovich told the Center For Arizona Policy - a conservative social issues organization - that he thinks that there SHOULD be an exception for rape or incest.

The ad attempts to make the case that Brnovich would take action on his beliefs, by "let(ting) politicians interfere in women's most personal healthcare decisions."  The Attorney General can and does give opinions to the Legislature and does make determinations on how and whether to fight challenges to Arizona laws.

The Revitalize Arizona ad did not appear to be available on YouTube or through other online searches; however, an Arizona's Politics reader has been kind enough to send this video:

Arizona's Politics reported on Revitalize Arizona recently, when it ran an ad in the Democratic Congressional primary between Ruben Gallego and Mary Rose Wilcox. That article relied on older reports to note that RA's funding came from the national teacher's union, other unions and the Tohono O'odham Nation. A more recent report indicates that it had received all of its $314,000 (as of Sept. 15) from Residents For Accountability.  RFA's most recent report indicates that it has received most of its money (more than $507k of $821k) from the Arizona Pipe Trades 469 union.

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

Running funds through multiple organizations is generally designed to make the original donors less obvious. However, in this case, Revitalize Arizona/Residents For Accountability clearly receives nearly all of its money - on an ongoing basis - from a small group of unions, which generally rely on small contributions from many members.  RA/RFA currently receives a light gray shade of dark money - about a 15 on our scale
of 0 (transparent) to 50 (very dark).

We need your help! If you see an ad, mailer, sign, etc. that you think should be written about, send it to Arizona's Politics!  You might win some Diamondbacks tickets!
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

FIRST WATCH: $300K Outside Group TV Ad For David Garcia - GOP Nominee "Not Prepared" (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A new outside spending group is dropping a $300,000 ad buy onto the low-key race for State Superintendent of Public Instruction, labeling GOP nominee Diane Douglas as "not prepared" and lauding Democratic nominee David Garcia's experience and bi-partisan endorsements.

"Restore Education Funding Now" (REFN) has released the ad this morning.


The ad currently has a $159,250 Phoenix run starting today and ending the day before the (November 4) election.  Additional airtime was likely purchased on Tucson stations but has not yet been filed with the FCC.  (The Secretary of State's Office filing indicates that $300,000 was already spent, total.)

REFN just formed and registered with the Arizona Secretary of State's Office.  It has not yet disclosed any funding, and Arizona's Politics has inquired from those listed; an update will be filed when new information is obtained.  

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Thursday, October 9, 2014

FIRST WATCH: YG Network Drops $233K On Ad Hammering Barber & Obamacare; #50ShadesOfDarkMoney (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The YG Network, which was connected to former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, disclosed today a $233,558 ad supporting Martha McSally in her bid to oust incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).  The ad hits Barber for supporting Obamacare, and indicates that McSally wants to replace it with some new system that will "giv(e) our families more."



The ad apparently began running early Tuesday morning, meaning that today's report does not quite fall into the 48-hour disclosure window given by the Federal Election Commission.  It is slated to run through next Monday.

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

This is the first reported expenditure in the race by the YG Network, which was founded by ex-staffers of former Rep. Cantor. The YG Network, Inc. does not disclose its donors.  The only donation that has been uncovered was a $500,000 grant from the equally non-transparent American Action Network. (That 2012 grant was discovered in 2013 after AAN filed a return with the IRS, with original contributors blacked out).

YG Network receives a dark gray shade 45 on the Arizona's Politics' 50 Shades of Dark Money scale, for its lack of disclosure and for receiving what money is uncovered from other dark sources.

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CAUTION! Anonymous National Speculation Re: #AZ01, #AZ02 Ahead - "Fading Star", "Under Increasingly Grave Threat"; Why The Speculation Is Important (ANALYSIS)

Reporter Alex Isenstadt hit the front of the Politico website last night with an article titled "House homestretch: 5 key dynamics." Right there in the middle of the montage of 5 key photos is Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1). It immediately became a must-read for Arizona's Politics.

The article is entirely based upon the reporter's discussions with "strategists from both parties" who received the promise of anonymity.  Theoretically, that makes it reliable when a Republican strategist makes an anonymous comment that is not in the best interest of a GOP candidate, and it agrees with what the Democratic strategist said about the particular race.

With that in mind, Isenstadt's bipartisan strategists agree that Rep. Kirkpatrick is one of the incumbents "under increasingly grave threat" in her race against State House Speaker Andy Tobin. However, it acknowledges that even she is "not... a guaranteed goner".

The same strategists also label GOP challenger Martha McSally - one "of this year's most hyped candidates" - a "fading star", and that she is trailing incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) in southern Arizona.

Now, these strategists - EVEN WITH ANONYMITY - have reason to make what attorneys call admissions against interest, and should thus be taken with a grain of salt.  With less than one month before election day, they are playing with limited funds and have every reason to try to set traps for the other strategists that Isenstadt is speaking with or who are reading the article. (McSally's fading, says the GOP strategist? Maybe the DCCC will think we are going to scale back our ever-increasing ad buys, and it will, too.)

However, the reason that these anonymous indicators ARE IMPORTANT is obvious, too: Perception can become reality.  With outside groups playing an increasingly-large role in these elections, and with coordination between the candidates, the parties and the web of outside groups (theoretically) restricted, these "anonymous" signals become important. (American Action Network might divert some of its spending from AZ02 to AZ01 to help push Tobin over 50%.)

It will be interesting to watch how the flood of money into the two Arizona districts changes during the next few weeks.  We may not be able to assign a change to this article - or, even to the data that caused the strategists to make their comments - but, that never stopped a good strategist from  announcing a conclusion.  Anonymously, or maybe even under his or her actual name.


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Wednesday, October 8, 2014

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Spends $250K On Jeb Bush For McSally Spanish Language Ad (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

Update, 4:45pm: The U.S. Chamber just uploaded an English language version of Bush's spot for Colorado Senate candidate Cory Gardner. It is very likely that it will do the same for the Bush-for-McSally ad. (Which makes much more sense than $250,000 worth of airtime and online time for a Spanish-only campaign.)

Yesterday, Arizona's Politics reported on the Spanish language ad by Jeb Bush to support Martha McSally in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District toss-up battle. Today, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce disclosed that it is spending $250,000 distributing the ad on TV and online.

The ad can be found here. The FEC report was filed this  afternoon, and brings the Chamber's total expenditure opposing Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) to just over $600,000.

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney Scale

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c )(6) trade association that religiously does not disclose donors.  It has had trouble in the past because it accepts monies from foreign entities, and  has had to provide assurances that it does not  allow such monies to  enter the money stream that it devotes to political spending in the U.S.  The grants to the U.S. Chamber that have been disclosed in the grantors' IRS filings are often from non-disclosing entities themselves.  Thus, the U.S. CoC gets a #50ShadesOfDarkMoney scale of 50, or as dark as they come.

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UPDATED, 1ST WATCH (w/transcript): That Didn't Take Long! Gabby Giffords Responds To NRCC With Twice The Firepower

(UPDATE, 5:55pm: Americans for Responsible Solutions disclosed tonight that it spent $89,422.10 (estimated) on digital advertising today. Presumably, that is for the ad below, and maybe the website. That brings ARS' total in the #AZ02 race to $1.2M.)

24 hours after the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee) tried to coopt former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in an ad to hammer her hand-picked successor, Giffords has answered back with a 60-second speech/ad praising Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) and southern Arizonans.

The Americans for Responsible Solutions spot is titled "Fight For Us", and entails Giffords simply speaking - partly on camera and partly off camera - with upbeat music and video of Tucson and the surrounding area.



As Arizona's Politics noted earlier (on Twitter), the NRCC has now spent $1.65M in the toss-up CD2 race, and Giffords' and Kelly's ARS had spent $1.1M.  Arizona's Politics speculated that that would flip after yesterday's NRCC ad.

The FEC and FCC disclosures have not yet been filed, but it would not be surprising to see the 1/2 million dollar difference flip within 24 hours.

ARS has also apparently set up a special website to support Barber and hammer GOP nominee Martha McSally - www.AZCommonSense.


Transcript of "Fight For Us" (as transcribed by Arizona's Politics):

Giffords: Southern Arizona is a special place. We work hard. We cherish our land. We raise our families. We lead in research, in science. and we protect our nation.  We have our differences, but we stick together.  We expect our leaders to fight for us, not the special interests.  Ron Barber.  He's independent.  He's courageous.  And, most of all, he's Arizona through and through.


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1st WATCH: NRCC: Gabby's A Role Model, Barber's Not; Gabby's Response: Bull!; Giffords' Group Passes $1M In Barber's Defense (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The National Republican Congressional Committee ("NRCC") released a new ad yesterday praising former Rep. Gabrielle Giffords as an independent role model, in order to slam her hand-picked replacement as the opposite.  Giffords promptly excoriated the GOP's attempt, and will undoubtedly step up efforts to re-elect Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).

The NRCC's ad, titled "Follower", spends the first third praising Giffords - who served roughly the same district for 2 1/2 terms before retiring after an attempted assassination attempt and mass shooting that killed six and wounded 11 others besides Giffords and Barber.

It then slams Barber for voting for Nancy Pelosi for Speaker (Giffords had cast a symbolic vote against Pelosi and for civil rights leader Rep. John Lewis, just before being shot) and for not voting for a GOP spending bill that would have increased some border security funding.

Giffords wasted no time telling Politico that the NRCC - or any other party or person, for that matter - "should think they can come to Southern Arizona and pretend to speak for me.”  The rest of her statement was as blunt in her praise for Barber: "“I work hard to speak, but it’s my voice. So take it from me: Ron is an independent leader in Congress, and no one will fight harder for our community.”

Giffords and husband Mark Kelly former Americans for Responsible Solutions, and re-electing Barber has been their top priority.  Last week, they spent another $200,000 on mailers for southern Arizona voters. That brings the total ARS spend on the district to more than $1.1M.  (The NRCC has spent $1.6M.)


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WATCH: Gov. Brewer's Commercial Supporting Michele Reagan For Secretary of State - "She'll Fight To Secure Our Border"

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer is spending $90,000 airing a TV ad supporting Michele Reagan for the office of Secretary of State. The independent expenditure from Arizona's Legacy is among other efforts Brewer is making for Reagan and State House candidate Ethan Orr (R-LD9).

In the TV ad, which began airing occasionally last week, Brewer notes that she used to hold the office and that it is next in line to become Governor. (Brewer became Governor when Democrat Janet Napolitano went to Washington to become Homeland Security Secretary.)  Which partly explains why the first thing that Brewer tells viewers that Reagan would do is "She'll fight to secure our borders."



Here's the FCC filing by KPNX (Channel 12, Phoenix) showing a $50,000 buy through next Friday.

And, here is the rest of Governor Brewer's most recent independent expenditures.  Her Arizona's Legacy was particularly active in the contentious GOP legislative primaries, as she had promised to support Republicans who helped pass the Medicaid (AHCCCS) expansion as part of Obamacare.

Arizona's Legacy now has approximately $115,000 cash on hand.

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Tuesday, October 7, 2014

UPDATED:: New $1/2M Dark Money Ad To Prevent Kennedy From Returning To Arizona Corporation Commission (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

(Updated, 10/8, 10:40am: Save Our Future Now filed an additional spending report this morning, adding a $14,000 expenditure for producing the TV ad.  The total spend has been adjusted in the opening paragraph.  The ad is scheduled to begin airing today.  SOFN also disclosed that it spent $3,600 on signs supporting Forese and Little.)

"Save Our Future Now", the dark money group that helped draw national attention to the GOP primary for two Arizona Corporation Commission seats, is stepping into the general election battle Wednesday with its one of its biggest TV ad buys yet - a $467,000 campaign to prevent Democrat Sandra Kennedy from returning to the ACC.

While an online version of the ad has not yet been located, the 501(c )(4) social welfare group filed with the Secretary of State that they shelled out $400,000 for the ad on October 6.  Meanwhile, TV stations in Phoenix and Tucson have filed ad buys in their FCC files, indicating market purchases of $303,000 and $150,606, respectively.  (The math does not add up - even if the $400k is a net price, SOFN still would be paying the full $453,606.)

SOFN, and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, backed the eventual GOP nominees Tom Forese and Doug Little. SOFN ran several hundred thousand dollars of ads in August.

The new SOFN ad appears to leave alone the 2nd Democratic nominee, Jim Holway.

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

Save Our Future Now is as dark a shade of dark money that Arizona's Politics has yet profiled.  On the 50 Shades scale, with 0 being light, SOFN scores a dark 45.

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FIRST RE-WATCH: Rogers Campaign Re-Releases Ad Without Foley Beheading Video; Now Can Concentrate On Substance

The Wendy Rogers campaign removed a clip from the notorious James Foley beheading video today, re-releasing the ad attacking Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) late this afternoon.



Attention can now shift to the substance of the attacks against the incumbent.  Arizona's Politics will update this article momentarily with text of the amendments cited in the ad.

***
Text of ad (supplied by Rogers campaign):
"Terrorist threats are growing. Are we secure? Are we protected?

"Keeping us safe and secure is Congress' job. Kyrsten Sinema hasn't done her job.

"Sinema voted in Congress to give terrorists full legal rights under the Constitution.

"Sinema voted in Congress to allow Guantanamo terrorists to return to their countries.

"It's true. It's wrong.

"Kyrsten Sinema allowed her liberal agenda to get in the way of our safety."
***
The "give terrorists full legal rights under the Constitution" claim comes from a May vote on an amendment.  Here is the text of that amendment (click to enlarge):

The amendment failed, despite 15 Republicans - including Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) - voting in favor of it.

The vote "to allow Guantanamo terrorists to return to their countries" came in a June vote.  Here is the text of that amendment:

As the Republican sponsor of the amendment explains (at the link), this was only a one-year pause on transferring Gitmo detainees to other countries.  Sinema voted against this amendment (which passed the House.

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FIRST WATCH: DuVal Takes A Hike, Explains Working With D's and R's (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Fred DuVal, the Democratic nominee for Arizona Governor, has a new ad out today, in which he takes a hike with his family and explains how he has worked with Democrats and Republicans.

The ad, titled "Hike", reminds voters that DuVal worked "with" (not "for") Governor Bruce Babbitt, and with "Republican T. Boone Pickens to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and create new jobs."

DuVal has purchased $133,000 in air time in the Phoenix market over the next week to run the ad, and time on Tucson TV, too.

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.

FIRST WATCH: Jeb Bush, U.S. Chamber Cut Spanish Ad For McSally (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Jeb Bush, Former Florida Governor and possible 2016 Presidential candidate, has cut a Spanish-language ad for Arizona Congressional challenger Martha McSally.

Bush made the straightforward, positive spot for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. He recorded them for McSally in Arizona's 2nd Congressional District, and two other candidates (Gardner for Senate in Colorado, and California Rep. David Valadao).

So far, the ads are only online at the U.S. Chamber's special 2014 campaign website, and no report has yet been filed with the FEC for the production or airing of the spots.



Bush calls McSally a brave leader who will fight for more jobs.

This is the U.S. Chamber's first effort in the toss-up CD2 since its "Good Dog, Ron!" ad last month.

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.

FIRST WATCH: New RGA $608,000 Ad Slams DuVal On Obamacare, Driver's Licenses For DACA Immigrants (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The Republican Governor's Association (RGA) today released its newest "slick lobbyist" ad aimed at Democratic gubernatorial nominee Fred DuVal, and is buying $608,000 in air time to run it during the coming week.

The ad, titled "Slick", starts to segue from the lobbyist label to attacking DuVal for positions he has taken in recent debates with GOP nominee (and State Treasurer) Doug Ducey.  It hammers him for supporting Obamacare and for "giving driver's licenses and lower in-state tuition to illegal immigrants".

The latter reference is to a discussion about whether young adult immigrants currently here legally under the DACA ("Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals", commonly known as "DREAMers) program should be denied driver's licenses in Arizona.  In prior years, there had been discussions about whether anyone here illegally should be prohibited from obtaining a driver's license; the ad intentionally blurs that line.

The new ad starts running today, and the RGA has $608,000 in air time purchased in the Tucson and Phoenix markets for the next week. The RGA has now spent more than $2.2M in TV advertising alone.


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.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Your (School) Choice: Dueling Educational Groups Send Out $185K Of Legislative Campaign Mailers (PLEASE, MR. POSTMAN) (#50ShadesOfDarkMoney)

Campaign mailers costing approximately $185,000 will be hitting mailboxes in several Arizona legislative districts this week, focusing on the related issues of education and school choice.  The mailers are coming from multiple sides of the issue, and all are hiding the sources of their funds, to one degree or another.

By far, the greater expenditure ($150,000) was disclosed today by the opaquely-named Arizona Accountability Project ("AAP").  The group is targeting four State Senate races, mostly with multiple mailers.  Two mailers have been prepared opposing Republican Mark Morrison (LD10), with three each in LD18 (opposing GOP nominee Jeff Dial), LD8 (opposing Republican Irene Littleton), and LD6 (two for independent Tom O'Halleran and one opposing GOP's Sylvia Allen).

On the other side of the education issue, and strongly in favor of school choice and vouchers, is the American Federation for Children ("AFC").  It is spending a total of approximately $35,000 in mailers supporting Dial and Allen, and also supporting Republican House candidates in those districts - Brenda Barton and Robert Thorpe in LD6 and Jill Norgaard in LD18 (pointedly ignoring GOP Rep. Bob Robson).

Arizona's Politics has announced a contest for readers sending in copies of campaign mailers.  If you receive one or more of the mailers in this article, please forward them (without identifying the addressee) to us.

#50ShadesOfDarkMoney

AAP has not yet disclosed where its 2014 money is coming from, but in 2012, it received all of its $475,000 from Revitalize Arizona Now ("RAN").  In 2012, RAN received its largest contribution ($266,000) from the National Education Association's Advocacy Fund, and received other monies from unions and like-minded organizations.  Arizona's Politics has invited AAP and RAN to provide 2014 transparency before the (ridiculous) October 31 filing deadline, and will update as necessary.

Running funds through multiple organizations is generally designed to make the original donors less obvious.  AAP/RAN currently receives a medium gray shade of dark money - about a 20 on our scale
of 0 (transparent) to 50 (very dark).

AFC is a 501(c )(4) social non-welfare corporation that has received notoriety for its lack of disclosure, for its founders' backgrounds, for name changes and campaign fines.  It is led by Betsy DeVos, from the Amway and Blackwater families, and has received several million dollars from Walton family members.  These have not been disclosed by AFC (here is their most recent IRS filing from 2012), but has been uncovered by reporters during their involvement in other school choice campaigns in other states.  The website does not disclose any funding sources, either.

AFC receives a very dark gray shade of dark money - a number 40 on our scale.

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.

CONTEST: Your Mailbox Is About To Overflow - Take It Out On ARIZONA'S POLITICS: Email Us Those Campaign Postcards! Win, Win!

Our mailboxes are about to overflow, and Arizona's Politics wants to see the good, the bad and the ugly of campaign mailers.  So, we are going to offer two MVP Box tickets to see next year's new-look Arizona Diamondbacks to one of our readers who emails us their attack ad postcards (or, even a nice one).

The drawing will take place the week after Election Day (November 11).

You will receive one entry for each campaign mailer you email to info @ ArizonasPolitics . com,  you will receive a bonus entry if you are the FIRST to send us a particular mailer, and you will receive THREE bonus entries if you send us a postcard that is featured in a news article (even if you are not the first to send it in).

(We will also offer entries for other leads, such as newsworthy campaign signs, ads, etc.)

PLEASE make sure you remove any information that identifies you or the addressee! Put "Contest: Mailer" in the subject line, and in the body of the email, please identify whether the you/the addressee is Republican, Democrat, independent, and any other information that you believe might be helpful.

Thanks!!!


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.

FIRST WATCH: House Majority PAC Unleashes New $1/2M Wave Against Koch Brothers; Oh Yeah, and McSally and Tobin (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The Democrat-philic outside spending giant House Majority PAC has unleased a third wave (at least) of ads in Arizona trying to tie Republican House candidates Martha McSally (CD2) and Andy Tobin (CD1) to the billionaire (and demonized) Koch brothers.

The first wave in the southern Arizona CD2 was back in January, and both McSally and Tobin were hit again in April.  House Majority has run other ads against McSally, but it keeps coming back to the Koch brothers well.


The anti-Tobin buy may run as much as $450,000 between tomorrow and next Monday, according to an FCC report filed by KTVK (Channel 3, Phoenix).  The anti-McSally run appears to be approximately $134,000 in the Tucson TV market and another $15,799 in online advertising.  The McSally ad(s) cost about $19,000 to produce.

The new House Majority PAC ads will likely have a side benefit for Democrats, given the information that came out last week tying GOP Gubernatorial nominee Doug Ducey to the Koch brothers' regular conferences.  (Expect October to be Share a Koch With...month.)

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.

Friday, October 3, 2014

FIRST WATCH: Trio Of Well-Known Arizona, Republican Power Hitters Behind $200K Anti-Barber Ad (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Women Lead PAC just put a $200,000 ad buy* on Tucson TV, attacking incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) for supporting Obamacare "and keep taking healthcare choices away from working women".  A trio well-known to Arizonans is behind the new spot - Jim Click, Jr., Randy Kendrick and Christine Toretti.

Here is the new ad, titled "Paying the Price" (transcript below):

It ties Barber's votes to not repeal Obamacare to uncited studies showing that "women are losing pay and working fewer hours."

Women Lead PAC was created last year by Christine Toretti - known to most Tucsonans as the woman Lute Olson married (and divorced) following Bobbi Olson's passing.  She took over her father's oil drilling company and has been a powerful executive since. She and her firm account for more than $125,000 in contributions.  Longtime attorney and Republican activist Randy Kendrick - who is married to the general managing partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks - wrote a $100,000 check to the PAC in June, which followed major McSally supporter and Tucson automobile king Jim Click, Jr's $25,000 seed money.

The PAC has made two much smaller expenditures in two other races across the nation, but the much-watched toss-up race in southern Arizona is its major focus.  And, now we know why.

Transcript:
Does Congressman Ron Barber care more about his party's political agenda than working women in Arizona? Because of new regulations and higher insurance premiums under Obamacare, women are losing pay and working fewer hours.  But, Ron Barber says he's proud he voted six times to keep Obamacare and keep taking healthcare choices away from working women. Ron Barber proudly plays politics while working women pay the price. Women Lead PAC is responsible for the content of this advertising.

*including production of the ad

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.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

FIRST WATCH: New Barber Ad Targets "Middle Class", "Independents"

Incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) has released a new ad touting that he is middle class and independent, "just like Arizona".  It takes aim at GOP challenger Martha McSally for her 2012 support of the Paul Ryan budget that could have raised taxes on middle class families (depending on your definition of middle class) and given tax breaks to wealthy individuals.

The ad is titled "Fine Print" and features Tucson small business owner Nicole expressing her doubts about McSally.  She made the comments about the Ryan budget in her previous campaign for the office in 2012, during the special election to replace Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.



Transcript of "Fine Print" (as transcribed by Arizona's Politics):

Running a business, I always look at the fine print. So, take Martha McSally. She would give millionaires a $265,000 tax break, but she'd raise taxes on the middle class by over a $1,000 dollars.

I don't think Martha McSally is going to fight for the middle class.  I don't know who Martha McSally is looking out for, but it's not us.

I support Ron Barber for a lot of reasons.  Ron Barber's middle class, ran a small business, and he's independent, just like Arizona. 

Barber: "I'm Ron Barber, and I approve this message."

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.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio Continues 2016 Reelection Fundraising At Prodigious Clip, Even Through (Others') 2014 Campaign; Passes $5Million Mark

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is not running for reelection until 2016, but he continues to out-fundraise candidates running in pure toss-up Congressional seats (among others).

(SIDEBAR: As the Sheriff Arpaio Turnstiles Turn: My Supporters Should Go See "The Joe Show"! Uhhh, Maybe Not, It's "Garbage")

Arpaio's "Post-Primary Election Report" - a misnomer that did not anticipate county candidates fundraising for (four) years before an election shows that his campaign staff (aka Summit Consulting Group) was hard at work generating $192,560 in contributions between August 15 and September 15. (Entire report is republished below, or you can view it on the County's website.)

Unfortunately for the campaign, it was a net outflow month, as $291,433 in expenses were paid - including $232,437 to Summit for fundraising expense.  Cash on hand for the 2016 campaign is now at $1,962,004.

His total receipts since just after the 2012 election now total $5.15Million.

The receipts and the cash on hand dwarfs many high profile candidates who are actually running for their political lives this year. For example, Arizona House Speaker Andy Tobin is running for a Congressional seat that is one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.  In the five-week period in July and early August (during a hotly-contested primary, and the last period for which a report is available), Tobin only raised $39,000 (while spending $178,000).  For the preceding three months, Tobin only raised $176,000.

Arpaio's report does, however, show, that he has been able to convert dozens of the people from around the nation who respond to his direct mail and email requests for funds to monthly givers.  (Why his voluminous filed reports are still a combination of handwritten, typewritten and computer-generated is beyond me.)

(SIDEBAR: As the Sheriff Arpaio Turnstiles Turn: My Supporters Should Go See "The Joe Show"! Uhhh, Maybe Not, It's "Garbage")





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.

As the Sheriff Arpaio Turnstiles Turn: My Supporters Should Go See "The Joe Show"! Uhhh, Maybe Not, It's "Garbage"!

Sheriff Joe Arpaio has seemed to enjoy the national build-up of the documentary "The Joe Show", focused on his 23+ year stint as Maricopa County's Sheriff.  He was more than cooperative in the making of the not-always-flattering film, and has even flown to LA and posed with Hollywood characters to help promote it when it was screened at the Beverly Hills Film Festival.

And today, on the eve of it being widely shown to his Phoenix-area voters and potential voters, he took to Twitter to urge his supporters to go check it out, too.  Within an hour, he deleted that Tweet and told his 58,000 Twitter followers that it is "garbage."

(SIDEBAR: Arpaio Continues 2016 Reelection Fundraising At Prodigious Clip Through 2014 Campaign)

Here are the details on the original Tweet, which we unfortunately were not able to screenshot (either our Arpaio alert system failed and/or I was busy with other work):
"The documentary "The Joe Show" debuts today in Tempe and Arrowhead. Ask me ? A movie only my critics will love. Hope supporters attend too"
2:52pm - 2 Oct 14https://mobile.twitter.com/RealSheriffJoe/status/517794394636681216
Here is the replacement Tweet:



(Don't worry, we DO have a screenshot of the 2nd one, in case he again changes his mind.)

The unfortunate thing is that documentary maker Randy Murray told Arizona's Politics recently that he believed that the Sheriff had been so cooperative with the screenings is that Arpaio understands that the message of the film is not so much about him but about the bigger picture of society, and the interesting relationship between personalities and the media.

(SIDEBAR: Arpaio Continues 2016 Reelection Fundraising At Prodigious Clip Through 2014 Campaign)

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.