FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Friday, December 16, 2016

Arpaio Admits That He Is "Down", Needs To Stay Out of Jail; Asks Supporters To Give To His Opaque Legal Defense Fund; Lies That It is "100% Tax Deductible"

Less than 20 hours after closing the book on his years-long investigation of Barack Obama's birth certificate (with a dud), Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio told supporters that he is "down" and needs them to give unlimited donations to his legal defense fund in order to help keep him out of "JAIL".

        (The full email is reproduced below.)

This is not the 1st email solicitation from the shadowy "Joe Arpaio Legal Fund"*, but it may be the Melendres v. Arpaio.
most over-the-top as the Sheriff prepares to become a private citizen facing civil contempt of court fines and criminal contempt charges, all stemming from his and his office's willful violations of court orders in the racial profiling case of

However, his Legal Defense Fund pleas had always taken a back seat to his pleas for his campaign account. Now that he has lost his long-term hold on the Sheriff's badge, he can use his fundraising magic for personal use; that takes off the shackles of campaign finance limits.

He urges his fans to make a "sacrificial donation" and (incorrectly) tells them that it is "100% tax deductible.  The donation page that a supporter is taken to does not  correct that significant error; however, a Google search for the "Sheriff Joe Legal Defense Fund" leads to a page that does inform people that it is "NOT-TAX DEDUCTIBLE" (emphasis added) and that large donations may trigger  gift tax liability.

All the pleas emphasize that there are no limits to whom may give or how much, and they only specify that the funds will be spent for his "legal defense" or "to defray any legal expenses".  This is very significant because the question of whether Arpaio will have to pay any fines or penalties out of his own pocket is still an open question. Understanding his sizable campaign warchest and his ability to raise funds, U.S. District Judge G. Murray Snow has previously stated that the Sheriff may have to be found personally liable for any fines, and the ACLU has asked for a $300,000 personal fine.

Not only are Maricopa County taxpayers still paying for some legal fees in the contempt matters and are paying the Court Monitor who is overseeing the MCSO's compliance, but Arpaio is personally represented by a Washington, D.C. firm and the local Jones, Skelton & Hochuli law firm. The civil contempt case is active (Responses to Arpaio's motion to demand the Judge recuse himself were filed today).

The Legal Defense Fund is an opaque entity operated by Summit Group Consulting, the same consulting firm that has run Arpaio's campaigns and made him into an unparalleled fundraising machine. There is no evidence that the fund is incorporated in Arizona (or, elsewhere). No public disclosure of the funds received or expended is required under law, especially once he is no longer holding public office.

It is very likely that any monies raised by the fund and disbursed to attorneys on Arpaio's behalf would be taxable income for the Sheriff.  On his personal financial disclosure statement that he signed and filed in May of this year, Arpaio did not divulge receiving any income from this fund, nor did he list any gifts, reportable interests, or personal debts. (The financial disclosure statement is below.)

*aka "Joe Arpaio Legal Defense Fund", aka "Sheriff Joe Arpaio Legal Fund"

Here's the December 16 email:
This may be the last letter I write you this year, so as a personal favor to me please read it all the way through. . . 

On Election Night the politically correct, "open borders" left achieved their ultimate goal by defeating me in the most negative, dishonest campaign ever seen in Law Enforcement history! 

But they aren't done yet, . They are continuing their sick vendetta against me - now with a costly legal battle that could land me in JAIL. This is just another example of the Left doing all that they can to tarnish my record as a law enforcement official. 

Help Defend Sheriff Joe
>>> Donate $75 >>>

You see, the ACLU has been after me for years on what they call racial profiling. In what was one of their most politically motivated, unjust and deplorable actions in recent memory, the Obama Department of Justice announced their intention to file Criminal Contempt charges against me one day before early voting started. Then, unbelievably, just two weeks before election day they actually filed these charges. 

This blatant, politically-motivated announcement had a huge impact on my race, and it is one of the main reasons I lost my badge in what was easily one of the most contentious campaigns in the nation. 

Now, the Left is continuing to kick me while I am down by waging a costly legal fight against me. Frankly, there is no way I will be able to afford the legal defense I need on a retired public servant's salary alone. 

Help Defend Sheriff Joe
>>> Donate $75 >>>

I am prayerfully asking that you make a sacrificial donation of ANY AMOUNT you can afford today to the "Sheriff Joe Arpaio Legal Fund." Your contribution is crucial and every dollar you contribute is 100% tax deductible and will go straight toward my legal defense. 

, I have spent my entire career defending the constitution and supporting law and order. The Left has been trying to take me out for years, and now that they finally have taken my badge they want to go even father and send me to jail. 

I am going to fight this every step of the way because I know that I have done nothing wrong and that JUSTICE will prevail, but I can only do so with a strong legal defense. 

Help Defend Sheriff Joe
>>> Donate $75 >>>

You have been a loyal friend and supporter of mine for many years, and I need you now more than I ever have. My very freedom hangs in the balance. 

Please make a gift of ANY AMOUNT you can afford right awayto the "Sheriff Joe Arpaio Legal Fund." Every dollar will go toward my defense. 

Thank you for all you do, 

Sincerely, 


- Sheriff Joe Arpaio
Maricopa County, Arizona 

P.S. , it's no fun facing angry, relentless legal persecution, and it's incredibly expensive, too. I can take the harassment, but I sure could use your help with the costs, so please make an immediate contribution of any amount today. 

And, please remember, unlike a political campaign, there are no limits to what you can give – and any amount is greatly appreciated! 

*****

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Thursday, December 15, 2016

Arpaio Investigation of Obama Birth Certificate Ends With a Dud; READ: MCSO Sheriff Joe Arpaio News Release

No suspects on the supposed forging of the publicly-released Obama birth certificate. Two investigative leads - the woman who had her birth certificate supposedly used as the "original source document" for the Obama one, and her friend. The friend convinced the woman to turn over her original to one of the chief propagators of the forgery allegations - Jerome Corsi.

Only recommendations are that governments make it harder to obtain the security paper blanks that birth certificates are printed on.

Arpaio and Zullo kept the media sitting through a 65-minute presentation.

Here was Arpaio answering some of Arizona's Politics' questions about the investigation in September.

Maricopa County Sheriff's Office news release on the Obama Birth Certificate investigation:


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READ: Lawsuit To Stop Arizona Minimum Wage Increase, Filed By United Arizona Chambers of Commerce

The largest Chambers of Commerce in Arizona banded together today with Arizona liquor license holders to file an emergency action in Superior Court to stop the minimum wage from increasing on January 1.

Proposition 206 passed easily in November's election, and gradually increases the minimum wage to $12/hour by 2020, and calls for paid sick leave.

The plaintiffs believe that it violates the Arizona Constitution in two different ways: (1) that it forces the state to spend monies without designating a revenue source; and (2) that the minimum wage increase and the paid sick leave are separate issues that should not have been combined in one initiative.





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AUDIO: Sheriff Arpaio Knew He'd Have To Close His Obama Birth Certificate Investigation Before Election; Hangups and Lashouts: A Lunchtime Interview With Joe Arpaio

As promised to ArizonasPolitics.com in the interview below, outgoing Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is holding his final Obama birth certificate investigation press conference this afternoon. (4pm, Arizona Time)

It may not have been intentional, and it may have been spur of the moment, but Arizona's Politics had a chance to question Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio about his long-running Birther investigation several weeks ago.

It took place in the aftermath of Donald Trump's semi-successful effort to put the "Birther question" behind him. Arizona's Politics immediately looked to Arpaio for his reaction; Arpaio was an (unofficial) co-leader of the eight year simmering effort alleging that Barack Obama's birth certificate showing that he is an American citizen eligible to be President was forged.

Arpaio is also a Trump surrogate, speaking for him at the Republican National Convention and traveling to several states to rally crowds on his behalf. So, when the Arizona Republic's Richard Ruelas finally got and published Arpaio's reaction, it grabbed the national media's attention. That prompted the Sheriff to respond to our previous (and, renewed) request along with returning national reporters' calls.

Apparently, however, it was because Arpaio (or, his press people) mistakenly believed that we were the local affiliates of the national Politico organization. Efforts to correct the Sheriff fell on deaf ears.

Arpaio seemed surprised that the interview became a more in-depth exploration of the birth certificate investigation than he had expected. At one point, the conversation was abruptly ended on his end. It took a few call-back attempts before he eventually answered and picked up the conversation.

Unfortunately, because his initial call was out of the blue and we were on the freeway, the first portion of each of the two calls went unrecorded until we could safely pull over in a parking lot or on an off-ramp. Further, the questions were completely impromptu, based solely on previous reporting and reporting from the more widely-viewed media.




In the interview, the Sheriff calls a former Cold Case Posse member "a liar". It was clear that Arpaio was referring to Brian Reilly, who Arizona's Politics has spoken with on several occasions. Reilly has provided extensive corroborating evidence to Arizona's Politics (and the Arizona Republic), and Arpaio's efforts to discredit him without any support are weak, at best.

(In the recording, Sheriff Arpaio gives CCP investigator Mike Zullo's cell phone number. That number has been edited out. Also, Arizona's Politics had spoken with Zullo in the past, and he was non-responsive.)

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

WATCH: Fmr VP (and, Arizonan) Dan Quayle At Trump Tower Today; Is Ben Quayle Making The Trip, Too?

Arizona's Dan Quayle - formerly Vice President of the U.S. (under George H.W. Bush) - was in Trump Tower today. He apparently caught many younger reporters by surprise.
(click on pic for video)
Speculation immediately began about what Quayle discussed with President-Elect Donald Trump,  though a Cabinet position for the elder Quayle may seem to be unlikely. Of course, some Arizonans may begin to wonder whether the subject of former Arizona Rep. Ben Quayle came up. The latter is currently a registered lobbyist.

A quick review of FEC records by Arizona's Politics shows that neither Quayle contributed to any Republican Presidential candidate this year.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4633234/dan-quayle-trump-tower
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Saturday, November 19, 2016

WATCH: McCain: Senate Should Give the President A Honeymoon, But Not On Torture

The main story from Arizona Senator John McCain's remarks today at the Halifax International Security Forum was his warning the incoming Trump Administration to avoid waterboarding, but he also urged Democratic Senators to help pass some of the Trump priorities.

"It would be far better for us if we gave the President a honeymoon and worked together and presented him with things like tax reform, repatriation of... a good, solid defense bill that we could all support. There's a number of areas that are open to cooperation between Republicans and Democrats, and that's what I think all of us are committed to do."

By "repatriation", he was apparently referring to bringing home what he said is $2T "that is parked overseas, bring it home and invest it in infrastructure." He also indicated that the GOP is going to fix Obamacare with or without Democrats, but that it would be better if there were fixes made with bi-partisan support.



McCain also participated in the session discussing Syria, titled "Because Syria: I’m Your Friendly Neighborhood Terrorist". Also in that discussion were Ministers from Turkey and France, and Gen. (ret.) John Allen.


The Halifax International Security Forum takes place each November in Halifx, Nova Scotia (Canada).

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Constable To JP: Fred Arnett Chosen This Afternoon To Make That Unusual Move In West Mesa

On January 2,  Constable Fred Arnett will stop serving court papers throughout the West Mesa Justice Precinct and will start issuing the papers as the Justice of the Peace. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors met this afternoon and unanimously chose Arnett to replace the resigning JP, Mark Anderson.

(Arizona's Politics reported earlier today that the decision was imminent.)

Interestingly, Arnett was chosen over Dan Dodge, who had served as a Justice of the Peace in the Highland (Gilbert) Precinct for several years.  Arnett and Dodge were the only two to apply to serve out Anderson's term who lived in the West Mesa Justice Precinct.

“Fred’s commitment to the West Mesa community extends back years. He was raised and now is raising his own family in the community he will now serve,” said District 1 Supervisor Denny Barney, whose supervisorial district encompasses much of the justice precinct.

Arnett has been the Constable for the past 16 years, and is also a licensed real estate broker.

Anderson was elected to the JP post in 2010 and 2014, after serving 14 years in the state Legislature. He resigned on October 20, effective January 1, 2017. West Mesa precinct residents had two weeks to apply to replace him for the remainder of his four year term.

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Maricopa County Supervisors Set To Name Replacement JP For West Mesa

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are meeting this afternoon to choose a new Justice of the Peace for West Mesa. Four people reportedly applied for the appointment, after JP Mark Anderson announced his resignation.

Maricopa County Communications Director Fields Moseley indicates to Arizona's Politics that the Supervisors will be deciding between the two  applicants who actually live in the justice court precinct. He declined to name the men* until after the meeting, set for 3:45pm.

Supervisors Steve Chucri and Denny Barney interviewed the candidates, and will presumably make their recommendation(s) to the other three Supervisors.

Anderson was elected to the JP post in 2010 and 2014, after serving 14 years in the state Legislature. He resigned on October 20, effective January 1, 2017. West Mesa precinct residents had two weeks to apply to replace him for the remainder of his four year term.

*Moseley did describe the candidates as "men". 


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Saturday, November 5, 2016

BULLETIN: U.S. Supreme Court Has Final Word In Ping Pong Match: Arizona CAN Prosecute Ballot Harvesting!

That didn't take long. Without comment this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court has put Arizona's "ballot harvesting" ban BACK IN PLACE. That reverses an 11-judge en banc panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, which yesterday ruled that the law making delivering early ballots of non-related persons to elections officials could not be enforced.


h/t Tom Collins

Per the authoritative SCOTUSblog, Justice Anthony Kennedy (who is assigned 9th Circuit emergency matters) referred the emergency joint appeal by Arizona and the Arizona Republican Party to the full* Court. There is no indication how each Justice felt about the matter.

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Friday, November 4, 2016

BULLETIN: Arizona Out-of-Precinct Votes Will NOT Be Counted, Per 9th Circuit En Banc Panel (READ)

A 7-4 vote by a panel of 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled late this afternoon that Arizona voters who cast ballots out of their precinct on Election Day will not have their votes count.

The en banc panel will consider whether that should change for future elections, but specifically said that it will not apply to the 2016 election taking place this coming Tuesday.

The issue was one of several stemming from the lawsuit that national and Arizona Democrats - including the Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders campaigns - brought in the wake of the March Presidential Preference Election.

In another of the issues stemming from that case, earlier today the 9th Circuit STOPPED the Arizona ban on so-called "ballot harvesting". During the next four days, groups will be allowed to gather voters' COMPLETED ballots for delivery to elections officials on either Monday or Tuesday.

Election law expert Professor Rick Hasen writes tonight that he would expect the Democrats to try to immediately bring this to the U.S. Supreme Court, but that a likely 4-4 split on the short-handed high court would leave the 9th Circuit's decision in place.

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BULLETIN: Ballot Harvesting Permitted In Arizona Over Next 5 Days


An 11-judge en banc panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals decided 6-5 this afternoon to permit so-called "ballot harvesting". That stops enforcement of a new Arizona law that attempted to criminalize the process of collecting people's early ballots and delivering them to elections officials.  

Document by arizonaspolitics on Scribd


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Thursday, November 3, 2016

No, Joe, You Do NOT Have To Worry About Being Outspent...Even By George Soros!

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio worries that he is going to be buried in a "fundraising avalanche" because Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton tweeted that her opponent (Donald Trump) supports Arpaio, and that Paul Penzone "is already outspending me because of help from liberals like billionaire George Soros."

Arpaio can rest assured. He has never been outspent. He is not being outspent. He will never be outspent. Not by his opponent, and not even by billionaire George Soros.

Even before his new campaign finance report is filed - due tomorrow - Arpaio already spent more than $10.8 MILLION (through September). Between the August 30 primary and next Tuesday's Election Day, Arpaio will have spent more than $2.4M on television ads attacking Penzone for a disputed domestic violence incident, featuring cute dogs he has sheltered, and proclaiming that he has made residents safer.

That is more than the Penzone campaign and the Soros-funded independent expenditure group Maricopa Srong have spent combined on airtime attacking Arpaio's record. ($1.8M).

To put it into perspective, Arpaio has spent more in less time than John McCain ($10.3M) has running for re-election statewide. (Way more than McCain challenger Ann Kirkpatrick - $7.7M.)

Arpaio has spent more than Arizona's 8 other Congress members...COMBINED! Excluding Matt Salmon, who is not running for re-election, they have spent $10.3M.

In fact, in 2016, George Soros has only spent $9.3M on ALL the federal candidates and committees he helps bankroll!  (State and local level races such as Maricopa Strong and the $1.0M he has put into trying to defeat Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery obviously would put him ahead of Arpaio for the year.)

So, if you have the three-alarm Arpaio email sitting in your inbox and you are inclined to send your hard-earned dollars to the Sheriff's campaign fund, take the being outspent claims with a large, large grain of salt. (For your reading pleasure, the email is re-posted below the jump.)

Plus, don't forget, Arpaio has his own billionaire who could help him get over the hump. The one that Clinton was really targeting with her tweet (made while she was in Arpaio territory).

*All figures calculated from filings with Maricopa County Elections (Arpaio), the Federal Communications Commission (broadcast/cable/radio expenditures), and the Federal Elections Commission (Congressional candidates, Soros contributions). Inquire within if you would like more details on the methodology.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

BREAKING: Arizona Secy of State Reagan Warns Against Voter Intimidation Efforts (READ)

As the political parties fight in court about possible plans by Trump supporters - as well as White nationalists - to station people outside many polling places on Election Day next Tuesday, Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan this afternoon issued a comprehensive "Guidance" about what constitutes punishable "voter intimidation."

The 2 1/2 page document addresses the use of uniforms, the display of weapons, taking photos or video, and many other possible intimidation methods.

When asked about what prompted the Guidance, Secretary of State Communications Director Matt Roberts tells Arizona's Politics that "The Secretary and our office has been getting a number of emails/calls social media conversations from people concerned with the General Election. She felt it appropriate that she remind people of the rules, laws on the books."

Reagan even advises law enforcement officers (including Sheriff's Posse members) against hanging out within the 75-foot limit, and even that the "excessive use of uniformed law enforcement personnel may have the effect of intimidating voters."

Civilians who wear uniforms, etc to "pseudo-identify" as an officer or official are warned, as well. Reagan also notes that NO private citizens may enter a polling place with a weapon, and she extends that out to the 75-foot perimeter. She asks that people licensed to carry "strongly consider leaving your weapon at home or in your vehicle if you intend to observe voters."

And, although "ballot selfies" are permitted, no other picture- or video-taking is permitted within the 75-foot limit. Outside of that perimeter, it could still be "potentially intimidating."

The rest of the Guidance is also worth a read and is published below (as well as on their website).

The Arizona and national Democrats have filed a federal suit against the state GOP, the Donald Trump campaign and Trump supporter Roger Stone for announced plans to conduct "exit polling" and to monitor polling places.  A hearing on the Arizona case is set for tomorrow afternoon.



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BULLETIN: 9th Circuit To Take 2nd Look At Arizona Ballot Harvesting Ban; Vacates Earlier Opinion Upholding Law

Arizona's ban on ballot harvesting is back in contention this afternoon, as a majority of judges in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals vacated the three judge panel's opinion upholding the law, and ordered an en banc panel to quickly re-decide.

At least five judges disagreed with the decision to vacate, but a majority voted to vacate and re-hear. Judge Stephen Reinhardt wrote the opinion expressing the reasons to re-hear. But, as UC Irvine election law Professor Rick Hasen points out, Reinhardt makes the "pretty extraordinary prediction" that the larger panel - drawn by lots - will still uphold the law even though he thinks that a majority of all the 9th Circuit judges would strike it down.

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BREAKING: Arizona Democrats Still Fighting To Allow Columbus-Day/1-Day-Late Registrants To Vote; Reagan Says Did NOT Contradict Herself (READ)

Democrats filed a new motion in federal court this morning, asking the Court to order Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan to ensure that 2,069 people who mailed their voter registration forms in at the last minute are permitted to cast provisional ballots on Tuesday. The State quickly responded, saying that Reagan cannot order the County Recorders to do that. (Both pleadings are published below)

The deadline to register to vote fell on Columbus Day, and the U.S. Postal Service did not deliver mail that day. Reagan had turned down requests to extend the deadline one day, so the Arizona and national Democrats filed a lawsuit. They sought an emergency order requiring all Arizona counties to add the voters to their Election Day pollbooks.

A hearing was held before U.S.  District Court Judge Steven Logan on October 21, and post-hearing filings were filed by both sides. Then, on Friday, Reagan issued a news release in which she said "We also hope to add an additional 2,069 potential voters if the court allows those who registered after the statutory deadline to be added to the rolls." (emphasis added).

That prompted the Democrats and the Judge to ask for a Halloween Day clarification. The State said (below) that there was no contradiction: "(T)he Secretary’s intent was to make an aspirational statement that, should she receive an adverse ruling in this matter, she would do her utmost to comply."

This morning, the Democrats filed a Motion To Modify Relief Sought. Instead of forcing the names to be added to the Election Day pollbooks, the Democrats asked that the 2,069 be permitted to cast provisional ballots and that those ballots be counted with other valid provisionals. They also ask that Reagan quickly mail out a notice to the 2,069, informing them of their right to vote a provisional.

Within the past hour, the State responded, insisting that even if Judge Logan orders Reagan to do so, Reagan has no authority to force all of the County Recorders to accept and count the ballots. The State is mystified as to WHY the Democrats have not named the County Recorders as Defendants. (Arizona's Politics is, as well.)

Judge Logan will likely rule quickly.

(Tempe attorney Paul Weich, who includes election law in his practice, contributed this article.)





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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

UPDATE: Arizona's "Defend The Donald... Exit Polling" Plan Set For Thursday Emergency Hearing

Trump's* plan to send supporters to more than 100 polling places around Arizona on Election Day is headed for an emergency hearing tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon.



ORDER: Plaintiff shall serve the Complaint and Summons, if not already served, as well as this Order on Defendants by 11:00 AM on 11/1/2016. Plaintiff shall file an opening brief on its request for injunctive relief by 5:00 PM on 11/1/2016. Defendants shall file a responsive brief on Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief by 5:00 PM on 11/2/2016. Plaintiff may file a reply brief by 12:00 noon on 11/3/2016. FURTHER ORDERED setting a hearing on Plaintiff's request for injunctive relief at 1:30 PM on 11/3/2016 in Courtroom 505, 401 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 before Judge John J Tuchi. Signed by Judge John J Tuchi on 10/31/2016. (MMO) (Entered: 10/31/2016)
(Trump's* Arizona Election Day "Exit Polling" Army Larger Than Other Swing States)




*Roger Stone was an advisor to Donald Trump when he began his campaign last year, and explicitly states that he is trying to Defend the Donald - while at the same time saying that his exit polling plan is intended to be "completely neutral" and "scientifically valid".

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Former Arizona Gov. Brewer Uses Super PAC Donations To Pay Son (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Jan Brewer's Super PAC paid Facebook $10,000 to support Donald Trump’s Presidential campaign. And, it has shelled out nearly $6,000 to benefit one of her children.


Brewer amassed a $300k+ Super PAC war chest before she left Arizona’s Governor’s office in 2015. At the time, Arizona’s Politics explored the different avenues available to her, and noted that there were few constraints. After 1 ½ years of near inactivity, Brewer has chosen a combination of Options 2 & 3* – paying for political-related travel (to the convention and debates) and hiring her son.

Brewer has not yet responded to Arizona’s Politics’ requests for details on why Michael Brewer – a practicing podiatrist – was hired by Jan PAC in August.  

Brewer received his first check just one week before his mother took to the national airwaves specifically to blast Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton for “corruption” and “pay to play”. (“GLASS HOUSES: Gov. Brewer Hits Clinton On Corruption, Forgets About Questionable Jan PAC Contributions”) Jan PAC was funded with many contributions from businesses making proposals to the state or benefitting from key gubernatorial positions – such as accepting Obamacare funds. Total contributions to Jan PAC have totaled more than $1.4M (since inception in late 2011).

In 2012, the Governor spent a good portion of the Jan PAC funds supporting Republicans running for Congress in Arizona. After mixed success, she re-stocked the fund in her final years in office and kept her powder dry in the 2014 Congressional elections. At the time, there was some speculation that she might consider challenging Sen. John McCain in this year’s primary; she did not.

The $9,896 spent supporting Trump on Facebook is the first time that she has spent money on a candidate since 2012. (If you have a copy of the Facebook ad, please forward to Arizona's Politics.) She has $325,738 cash on hand, as of October 19.

As discussed in our 2014 article, it is not illegal for Gov. Brewer to use the Super PAC donations for her own use (or, for her children). Campaign finance expert - and, the attorney for the now-defunct Super PAC set up by Stephen Colbert - Trevor Potter told Arizona's Politics at the time:  "You are right- few restrictions on SuperPacs still." Nothing has changed since then that would close that loophole.

Brewer's state-level Super PAC equivalent, Arizona's Legacy, just spent down its balance (≈$32,000) supporting Kate Brophy McGee in a pivotal State Senate battle against Eric Meyer (LD28). (Typically,neither the independent expenditure reports for the Trump nor the Brophy McGee disbursements were timely filed.)

*Option (2) Stay active and travel the nation in comfort (the Palin scenario). Option (3) Pocket the money, and fund her retirement (the every old-time politician scenario). See, "Gov. Brewer's Super PACs: Retirement Fund, 2016 Run Against McCain, Or Just "Stay Active" Money?" for further details.
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Monday, October 31, 2016

BREAKING/READ: Arizona Democrats Sue Trump/Stone/AZGOP To Stop The Stop The Steal Effort

Hours after Arizona's Politics reported on Donald Trump's "exit polling" efforts in Arizona, the Arizona Democratic Party filed suit against Trump, adviser Roger Stone and the Arizona Republican Party in federal court, asking that the "Stop the Steal" effort be stopped.

The 26-page complaint (below) thoroughly reviews the background of Trump's and Stone's statements and efforts to encourage supporters to monitor polling locations on Election Day (next Tuesday), and claims that the Arizona GOP is complicit.  The suit was filed by the Sarah Gonski in the Phoenix office of Perkins and Coie, with support from its DC office and David Boies' DC firm.

The Complaint alleges potential voter intimidation and violations of the Voting Rights Act, Arizona law and the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, It seeks to stop the parties from questioning voters and to stop training/organizing/"deputizing" any individuals to do so.  It also asks the court to declare that Defendants' proposed exit polling and citizen journalist initiatives are contrary to law, and to publicize that Order to all law enforcement before Election Day.

Interestingly, per the court docket as of 4pm, no requests for emergency hearings or for a temporary restraining order have been filed.

Arizona's Politics has asked the Arizona Republican and Democratic parties for comment, but has not yet received responses.



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Fmr Arizona AG's Goddard, Woods Join 34 Other Fmr State AGs Criticizing FBI Director Comey

Two former Arizona Attorneys General - Democrat Terry Goddard and Republican Grant Woods - joined 34 other former state AGs in a letter criticizing FBI Director James Comey for his
surprise Friday announcement that new emails of interest were being looked at in the context of the Hillary Clinton private email server investigation.

The letter states that it appears that "Comey has made a serious mistake in allowing this unfair speculation and innuendo to exist." It criticizes making the announcement so close to the election, which they say runs counter to policies of the Justice Department and protocols that they worked under in their states.

The letter concludes by calling on Comey "to act immediately to provide needed clarity and explanation, and to limit the unfortunate damage
his actions have caused."

Grant Woods served as Attorney General from 1991-1999, and currently practices law in Tempe. Woods recently endorsed Hillary Clinton for President.  Terry Goddard was AG between 2003-2011 and practices law in Phoenix.

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Sunday, October 30, 2016

BREAKING: Trump's* Arizona Election Day "Exit Polling" Army Larger Than Other Swing States

(UPDATE, 10pm: Stone has added 17 new exit pollsters in Arizona over the 2 1/2 hours since this article was published (93 total). Also, although they have not yet been trained, the Arizona exit pollers have tallied 8 votes - 6 for Trump and 2 for Clinton.)

Arizona election day voters have a better chance of being greeted by a "Stop the Steal Exit Poller" than in other swing states. Donald Trump's behind the scenes political trickster Roger Stone* has signed up 76 people to monitor "pre-selected precincts" across the state.

The Stone Stop The Steal/Vote Protectors operation has apparently been scaled down since the Huffington Post ran an article on the official-looking badge generator designed for Trump supporters to video, monitor and exit poll on Election Day. (Stone is now claiming that the badge generator was from some "old version" of the site; however, Arizona's Politics confirmed that it was still operational immediately after the article was published online early on October 26.)

The initial "goal" of Stop the Steal was to have 5 "exit pollsters" for each of Arizona's 9 Congressional Districts. That goal was quickly surpassed after the Huffington Post's article, and the goal was increased over the weekend to approximately 12 per district. (Arizona's Politics confirmed that only about one dozen had signed up as of early on the 26th.)

Congressional District 9 has the most registered "exit pollsters" signed up (14), while CD3 only has 4. However, the average per CD is more than 8. Comparatively, other states that are toss-ups surveyed by Arizona's Politics range from 2.5/CD (Iowa) to 7.9/CD (Florida). Even Pennsylvania, where Trump has spoken out the most about getting supporters to monitor voting, only 136 have signed up across the state's 18 Congressional districts.

Nationwide, 2,297 people had registered on the website, as of 7:30pm Sunday.  Stop the Steal's website does not indicate whether they will ask registered "pollsters" to travel to "pre-selected precincts" that may be out of their home district.

Stop the Steal and Roger Stone have promised to train everyone who has volunteered. On his radio show this weekend, Stone said "our interviewers are being trained" and that the goal is a "completely neutral, scientifically valid exit poll." One registered pollster tells Arizona's Politics that he has "received nothing yet from them, and the website only gives us a summary of what each state's law is related to electioneering near a polling place." (Arizona's Politics is unable to see what is in the "Citizen's Toolbox" without registering.)

However, in the public area, in the News section, there is an official-sounding post that urges StoptheSteal'ers to videotape vans/buses coming and leaving from the polling areas. "Collecting evidence," is how he puts it.

In Arizona, the Republican and Democratic parties are both permitted to have one poll observer inside each precinct. Anyone is permitted to "exit poll" (or, campaign) outside the 75-foot perimeter; however, anything that  might be considered intimidation - whether it is in the form of uniforms, official-looking notices, videotaping, etc. - will receive close attention from the Election Board's marshall, party observers and could be restricted.

Arizona's Politics has received emails from both the Arizona Republican and Democratic poll observing operations. Both are seeking to recruit attorneys to monitor the polling places on election day.

(By the way, this reporter has actually conducted exit polling for a major news organization... many (32) years ago, before the nation's media had even formed their exit-polling consortium. That informative experience, coupled with knowledge gleaned over the years from several different perspectives, permits me to say unequivocally that Stone's Stop the Steal has zero chance of turning into a "completely neutral, scientifically valid exit poll" between now and election day. Surely, Stone knows this, as well, and this is just another in his long line of political tricks. No  treats.)



*Stone claims that he is "working with Stop the Steal". It really is his organization, however. It even features this wonderful poster and greeting from Stone.  Stop the Steal was created by Stone in the Spring when it appeared that Sen. Ted Cruz and #NeverTrumpers were trying to gain a majority of delegates to oppose Trump at the Republican National Convention. Stone was an early advisor to Trump's campaign, his foreign lobbying partner Paul Manafort later chaired the Trump campaign briefly, and Stone has run his activities officially off to the side (typically in a dark corner). Stone has been described as a "self-admitted political hitman," and dates his "black arts" activities back to Richard Nixon's infamous 1972 re-election campaign.

Stop the Steal is affiliated with Stone's pro-Trump Super PAC, the Committee to Restore America's Greatness. One of the interesting legal and accounting consultants is occasional Stone-related attorney Paul Rolf Jensen. The Trump campaign committee has also utilized Mr. Jensen's services. 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

UPDATED: WOLVES IN SHEEP'S CLOTHING, INDEED: Arizona Republicans All In For Sending Swing District Green Party Candidate To Congress

(UPDATED version, 3:00pm. Original version can be found below the jump.)

Arizona's Politics previously reported on a small pro-Babeu Super PAC making robocalls on behalf of Green Party candidate Ray Parrish, in the swing district comprising much of northern and eastern Arizona. Now, the Arizona Republican Party is stepping in and throwing its mighty support behind the surprised Mr. Parrish. After all, according to two mailers forwarded to Arizona's Politics today: "Progressive Candidate Ray Parrish Stands With Our Values" (we added the emphasis).

The Arizona GOP has sent out multiple mailers to Democrats in CD1, where Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu is battling Tom O'Halleran to replace Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in the toss-up district. The mailers hammer O'Halleran's past as both a Republican lawmaker and an independent, and try to push Democratic voters to the Green Party candidate.

The Arizona GOP denies that it is actually supporting Parrish. Chairman Robert Graham told Arizona's Politics that "First time I have heard this one. The AZGOP has not spent one penny helping candidates that are not Republican nominees." He correctly points out that Arizona Democrats did try to assist the Libertarians (in the U.S. Senate race) earlier this year, in getting on the ballot and fighting the court case.)

(Asked if he thought that someone sent out the mailers faking that they came from the state party, Graham answered with an emphatic "Yes!! I promise. You can audit our books.")

However, AZ GOP Communications Director Tim Sifert acknowledged that they are party mailers:   "(The) disclosure is correct, but that’s a contrast piece describing two candidates running against GOP nominee Paul Babeu."

Of course, the mailers both clearly disclose that they are paid for by the Arizona Republican Party, they do not mention GOP nominee Paul Babeu, and they repeatedly indicate that Parrish "stands with our voters" and is "true to our values" and "to us". (The mailers give no other indication as to who the "we's" and "our's" would refer to, other than that they are pretending to be from fellow Democrats or progressives)







Of course, there is no perfect way to pretend to be from Democrats and still make the necessary disclosure. But, using the words "we" and "our" has got to be the worst way. Sifert sums it up as clearly as he can: "When you are finished with the analysis and your conclusion is that the AZGOP thinks someone other than the GOP nominee is the best candidate, then I guarantee there’s something wrong with the analysis." He refused to answer questions about how much the party is paying for these mailers, and whether the state GOP is similarly praising other Green Party candidates

The mailers were forwarded to Arizona's Politics by northern Arizona Mike Rotter. Probably coincidentally, Rotter is now registered as a Democrat but indicates he previously supported and donated to Greens "in a previous state I lived in." Arizona's Politics then asked Mr. Rotter about his reaction to receiving these mailers, and he had a great emailed response:

"I had already voted early for Tom O'Halleran, I did find the flyers interesting as it informed me about the Green Party candidate (who I would normally vote for). Because it looks like a close election this year I decided to vote for the Democrat, also I think the first district needs someone like Tom O'Halleran that will be able work effectively for our communities. Frankly, I think it is embarrassing that the GOP cant support its own candidate in this district and have to work to siphon off progressives from the Democrat votes. Funny that the GOP actually have done more for the the Green Party than I have in recent years."

Parrish - who said on his Facebook page about the previous article: "Should I be outraged? Or take it where I can get it? Politics is a dirty game folks- has not yet commented on these new mailers.

As noted in our previous article, this follows in a growing line of groups and parties that aim to help their preferred candidate by trying to siphon some votes from the chief rival to a lesser-known. Arizona Republicans recruited Green Party candidates and Democrats "helped" Libertarians in 2010, former GOP Senate President Russell Pearce attempted to place a "sham" candidate on his recall ballot in 2011, and so on.

As Ballot Access expert Richard Winger pointed out, part of this development was enabled by the Arizona Legislature (controlled by Republicans) making changes to ballot access laws making it easier for Green Party candidates to get on the ballot while simultaneously making it more difficult for Libertarian Party candidates - who tend to siphon from Republicans - to clear the hurdles. (The Libertarians are still challenging that law in court.)

One last fun note: The Parrish picture on the top page above is well-cropped by the AZGOP mailer producers; here is the full picture from Parrish's Facebook page. He plays in a band, although he is not singing the same tune as the GOP.


Wednesday, October 19, 2016

When Panhandlers = Pundits (and, Pundits = Panhandlers); Dog Smarter Than Rest of Us

If you hustle over to the Chandler Blvd overpass at I-10, you might still be able to give this guy either a couple of bucks or a piece of your mind. 

Even his dog opened his eyes for the picture!

Light turned green before I had chance to ask the guy how he was going to cast a ballot. (I may have to go by again tomorrow.)
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Monday, October 17, 2016

BREAKING, HERE WE GO AGAIN: Pro-Babeu Group Throws Support To Green Party Candidate (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A group of contributors to Republican Paul Babeu's campaign for the tossup Congressional seat in Arizona's vast CD1 have (temporarily) thrown their support to Green Party candidate Ray Parrish. The Effective Leadership for America (ELA) Super PAC shelled out $2,400 for telephone robocalls made on Friday - likely to Democratic and independent early voters in the district.

(If you received this robocall, please let Arizona's Politics know. Especially if you have a digital copy that you can forward. As in past election years, Arizona's Politics will be having a prize drawing for readers who share robocalls, mailers, etc.)

ELA is funded by five individuals (below) who also contributed heavily to Babeu's official campaign committee (and a couple of corporations). In the primary race, ELA focused on radio ads supporting Babeu and ridiculing fellow GOP candidate Wendy Rogers.

Babeu is now locked into a dogfight with Democratic nominee Tom O'Halleran, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is advertising heavily against Babeu. Other national groups are likely to jump in, as well.

Parrish is the only other candidate on the general election ballot, and the Green Party nominee is likely to attract more Democrats than Republicans to his candidacy. He tells Arizona's Politics that he was not aware of the calls on his behalf.

ELA is following in a growing line of groups and parties that aim to help their preferred candidate by trying to siphon some votes from the chief rival to a lesser-known. Arizona Republicans recruited Green Party candidates and  Democrats "helped" Libertarians in 2010, former GOP Senate President Russell Pearce attempted to place a "sham" candidate on his recall ballot in 2011, and so on.



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Thursday, October 13, 2016

LISTEN: Sheriff Arpaio Robocall, Unedited: Criminal Contempt Charges Are Payback, "Dangerous"

(How can he be ironic? Let us count the ways.)

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may have trouble reading a script, but he is certain that the criminal contempt charges against him are political payback because of his efforts to curb illegal immigration. The Sheriff has recorded a robocall (below) that is coming soon to a phone near you.

With pauses, in all of, the wrong, places, the octogenarian seeking election to a 7th 4-year term makes it clear that he does not understand the legal process that has led to him facing criminal contempt of court proceedings for undermining U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow's orders in the long-running racial profiling proceedings.

Here is the text of the painful-to-listen-to robocall:

Hi, this is Sheriff Joe Arpaio calling with a very important message. I'm sure by now, you have heard about the Obama Department of Justice filing charges against me. Let me tell you what this is all about, because I led the fight against illegal immigration, doing the job the federal government refuses to do. They filed criminal charges against me for contempt of court the same day early voting started. Thinks about that: your federal government is now filing criminal charges against their political opponents but will not file contempt of Congress charges against former Attorney General Eric Holder or criminal charges against Hillary Clinton. This is not only wrong, it is dangerous. I'm going to fight this because I've never backed down from a fight and I never will. I hope you will join me. I'm Sheriff Joe Arpaio and I ask for your vote. (Paid for by Elect Sheriff Joe Arpaio, 602-592-7629.)


As for counting the ironies in this robocall, released the same day that his favored Presidential nominee made an epic deflection speech, Arizona's Politics will leave that to the listener/reader.

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Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Rep. McSally's GINORMOUS 3rd Quarter Money Haul!

From Politico's Morning Score column today, regarding Rep. Martha McSally (R-CD2):


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