Thursday, March 24, 2016

BREAKING: Clinton Supporter, Swift Boater, Billionaires Raise $700k For Pro-MCCAIN Super PAC; Far From "Grassroots" (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A pro-McCain Super PAC has raised $700k from an interesting group of billionaires, Clinton supporters, Swift Boaters and Indian Communities. Today, it filed its first 2016 notice of advertising spending (though it has been paying several canvassers for the past year).

The Arizona Grassroots Action PAC is anything but grassroots. Almost all of the (nearly) $1M raised in the past two years has come from 10 mega-contributors.

Here is the accompanying article regarding the group's ads.

AGA PAC attracted some notice in 2014, when it was discovered that it was helping "purge" anti-McCain precinct committeepeople. The $280k was raised from Gregory Maffei and Gregory Wendt ($100,000 each) and $50,000 from the always-willing Gila River Indian Community.

This year, it raised $695,626 largely from 7 contributors (and $25,000 more from GRIC). Here are some note-worthies:
1.  The first $100,000 contribution of the year came from Republican billionaire hedge fund manager Paul Singer.
2.  Next up was Sam Fox ($100,000). No, not Arizona's Sam Fox, but the billionaire investment company Harbour Group founder. He also was a major contributor to the infamous 2004 Swift Boat campaign against one-time McCain friend - and Democratic Presidential nominee - John Kerry. (A timely note, President Bush then made Fox the U.S. Ambassador to Belgium.)
3.  After that, there was a $50,000 corporate contribution from "Mapleton Investments". That turns out to be from Beverly Hills investor Marc Nathanson. Less than four months earlier, Nathanson had contributed $250,000 - not using the corporate shield - to the Priorities USA, the Super PAC for Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton. He also contributes almost exclusively to Democrats and is a lifelong Democrat who President Obama had nominated for an Ambassadorship.

Rounding out the list of major contributors are well-known GOP stalwarts Kojaian Properties (Michigan property investing, $100k), Ron Perelman ($100k), Linda McMahon ($50k), and Todd Ricketts ($50k).

The AGA PAC began 2016 with *just* $395,000 in the bank after spending heavily on direct mail ($130,000) and legal fees ($80,000).

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