FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Thursday, March 31, 2016

WATCH: Pro-Kasich Super PAC Wraps Trump's "Lyin' Ted" Meme Around Cruz's Neck (FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 POLITICS)

UPDATE, 8:30pm: The New Day Independent Media Super PAC filed tonight with the Federal Election Commission - they are spending $200,000 airing the ad.

A pro-John Kasich Super PAC is taking Donald Trump's "Lyin' Ted" meme and - digitally-literally - wrapping it around Texas Sen. Ted Cruz's neck.

The spot - which will likely run in Wisconsin, where Cruz and Kasich are battling to knock off front-runner Donald Trump in the contest for the Republican Presidential nomination - takes the nickname, lists some alleged lies, and ends with "If Ted Cruz's mouth is moving, he's lying."

Meanwhile, Cruz's naturally-prominent proboscis lenthens and wraps three times around his neck.



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WATCH: "Thank God For the Saudis and Prince Bandar", McCain Said Just Before Saudis Donated $1M To His Foundation

Arizona Senator John McCain has a foundation to raise funds for the McCain Institute for International Leadership at ASU, and it accepted a $1,000,000 contribution from the Saudi Arabian government shortly after the Senator repeatedly praised the Saudi government in the media.

Bloomberg News broke the story today about the major 2014 gift to MIIL.  Although it was disclosed by the McCain Institute Foundation to the IRS in mid-2015* (publicly-available several weeks thereafter), the McCain Institute did not add the somewhat-controversial donor to its website until the Bloomberg reporter inquired.

On January 12, 2014, McCain appeared on CNN's "State of the Union" program, and praised the Saudis: "Thank god for the Saudis and Prince Bandar, we're starting to see a little bit of reversal there (Syria), thank god."


(transcript at link in previous paragraph)

The Saudis and McCain had begun lobbying each other regarding Syria in September 2012 (or, earlier), when McCain and fellow Senator Lindsey Graham (R- SC) met with Prince Bandar "in an opulent hotel suite on the banks of the Bosporus". (That Wall Street Journal article provides a valuable primer on the last few years of the U.S./Saudi/others relationships regarding Syria.)

McCain also publicly thanked God for the Saudis and Bandar at the Munich Security Conference in February 2014.

The million-dollar gift to McCain's Foundation - which in turn provides support to the McCain Institute through the ASU Foundation - came at some point during that year of thanking God. McCain has continued to praise the Saudis, although he has also pushed them at least once on the subject of religious persecution ("The United States should be first among all nations to denounce religious persecution in all its forms and locations, even when it takes place in nations with whom we have important and complicated relations, such as, China and Saudi Arabia, for example.")

Most of the many corporate contributions have apparently been made either directly to the Institute or to the ASU Foundation, according to Arizona's Politics' review of the McCain Foundation's IRS filings. (The Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit which does not pay taxes, but must file an annual report.)

The Foundation was started with $8.7M left over from McCain's 2008 run for the Presidency. Approximately 3/4 of the campaign's money came from federal matching funds.  The only other sizable contributions reported are the $1M from the Saudis, and $300,000 from the UK-based Eranda Foundation (Lynn Forester de Rothschild is also on the Institute's Board of Trustees).

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BREAKING, READ: Arizona Ballot Initiative Shoots For $12/hour Minimum Wage

(UPDATED 12:45pm to include comments from the campaign committee's chair.)

Arizona's minimum wage would rise to $12/hour over the next three years; a national group will begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative filed yesterday with the Secretary of State.

The current minimum wage is $8.05/hour. If the measure makes the ballot and is passed in November, it would immediately increase to $10.00/hour on January 1, and then would go up each year until it hits $12/hr in 2020.

Most efforts to raise the minimum wage have set $15/hr as the target.  HoweverTomas Robles, chair of Arizonans for Fair Wages and Healthy Families, explains that in their conversations with workers and small businesses over the past couple of years, it became clear that $12 was "the perfect medium."

He expects that there will still be opposition to the $12/hour proposal, but that many small businesses will speak out as part of the coalition and campaign, and that fair-minded voters of either political party and independents will support it.

The measure would also add provisions to Arizona law requiring employers to provide a minimum of 24 paid sick hours per year*.

To make the November ballot, the group must collect more than 150,642 valid signatures before July 7, 2016. A source informs Arizona's Politics that a combination of volunteer and paid circulators will be used to fill the petitions.



*For employers with fewer than 15 employees; larger employers would have to provide a minimum of 40 sick hours/year.

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WATCH: Ducey's Prop.123 Hits Arizona Airwaves Today, Talking Education Funding

The well-financed "Let's Vote Yes for Arizona Schools" committee begins its advertising assault in favor of Proposition 123 today.  The Special Election ends on May 17.


The first 30-second ad featuring Arizona Governor Doug Ducey begins airing today on Phoenix and Tucson TV stations.

The first two weeks of the ad buy proposes to spend $60,000 in Tucson and approximately $200,000 in Phoenix.

The well-funded committee - see this companion story for more on the financing - has not yet posted the ad on its website or YouTube page, but it is likely this condensed version of the 60-second spot below.


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Pair of Multi-Billionaire Couples Fund Ducey's $3.7M Prop. 123 Campaign; Opposition Raises $617.00 (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The campaign to pass Gov. Doug Ducey's Proposition 123 easily surpassed its $3M fundraising target with $1,000,000 contributions from each of two of northeast Phoenix's multi-billionaire couples.


"Let's Vote For Arizona Schools" raised $3.7M by February 23, with more than half coming from Bob & Renee Parsons and Bruce & Diane Halle.  The GoDaddy and Discount Tire founders had each chipped in $1M.

The Committee takes to the Arizona airwaves today with its first advertisement. Watch here.

Prop. 123 will be the subject of a special election on May 17. It was put on the ballot by the Legislature at Gov. Ducey's behest and will provide money for Arizona's education system by altering the distribution of funds from state's permanent land trust.

Besides the Parsons and the Halles, much of the $3.7M raised comes from homebuilders and other corporations. Those contributing more than $50,000 include: Ed Robson/Robson Communities ($50k), Larry VanTuyl ($50k), Ira Fulton ($100k), Greater Phoenix Leadership ($220k), SRP ($75k), Helios Education Foundation ($100k), Cox Communications ($77,700), Blandford Homes ($50k), the ASU Foundation ($75k), DMB ($50k), Grand Canyon University ($50k), and the Arizona Cardinals ($50k).

Millionaire Doug Ducey did not contribute to the committee, but his campaign did donate its email list for fundraising purposes, which it valued at a reasonable $1,116.

Through Feb. 23, the committee had spent more than $300,000, leaving cash on hand of $3.4M. The biggest expenditures were for consultants Lovas Co. ($100k), Sean Noble-affiliated Direct Response Group ($36k), Public Opinion Strategies ($38k) and bpgraphics ($36k).

The committee opposing Prop. 123 had only raised $617 through the first deadline.



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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

WATCH/BREAKING: Cruz Super PAC Goes After Kasich In $445K Wisconsin Ad Campaign (FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 POLITICS)

The pro-Cruz TrusTed Leadership PAC began a $445,000 ad campaign attacking Ohio Governor John Kasich in Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin GOP primary on April 5 is shaping up to be another pivotal moment in the (now) three-way nomination battle.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz is looking to KO Kasich so that he will have a one-on-one race down the stretch with Donald Trump. His Super PAC (one of them) is attacking Kasich as a "liberal" and tries to tie him to both President Barack Obama and Democratic billionaire George Soros.

The Super PAC - initially financed by John W. Childs and a Texas oil company (Kyle Stallings) - yesterday spent $442,000 on an ad (or, ads) hammering Kasich, and another $3,431 on pro-Cruz posters.

Here is the ad that the PAC just uploaded to the internet:



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Friday, March 25, 2016

READ: Christine Jones Tests The Mesa Waters To Replace Salmon In Congress; Won't Be "Beholden To Anyone"

Christine Jones filed paperwork yesterday to explore whether she should run to replace Matt Salmon in Congress.


Her "testing the waters" filing allows her to perform pre-campaigning activities, such as polling and talking to voters to help her decide whether she wants to campaign against State Senate President Andy Biggs (LD12) and State Rep. Justin Olson (LD25) for the Republican nomination in August.

Although she will probably self-fund her explorations, she is allowed to accept a reasonable amount of contributions, which would count against limits if she declares her candidacy.

Jones, former counsel for GoDaddy.com, unsuccessfully ran for Governor in 2014.  She finished 3rd in the GOP primary, behind now-Gov. Doug Ducey and former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith.

In her Facebook announcement, she used the Donald Trump-like line that - because GoDaddy blessed her with the opportunity - "I believe I can make a difference in Washington without being beholden to anyone."

Jones spent $5.3M on her gubernatorial campaign, and benefitted from the $2.1M contributed to former GoDaddy boss Bob Parsons to a Super PAC ("Better Leaders for Arizona").  She also received more than $200K from other contributors.

No Democratic candidate has announced their candidacy for the open(ing) seat.



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Thursday, March 24, 2016

BREAKING/WATCH: Pro-McCain SuperPAC Readies Air Campaign (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

A pro-John McCain is beginning to advertise the Arizona Senator's virtues to voters, according to an FEC filing this evening.  The sometimes-controversial Arizona Grassroots Action PAC is spending $31k on a "media buy" to support the Senator in his bid for a sixth six-year term.

Belying its name, Arizona Grassroots Action is anything but grassroots. A VERY interesting mix of ten contributors has donated nearly all of the $1M the Super PAC has gathered, as described in this accompanying article.

AGA's new filing (below) does not include any expenditure for production of advertising, and its website does include a 53-second online ad mocking primary primary opponent Kelli Ward, and the YouTube channel does have a 30-second spot trying to link primary general opponent Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) to President Barack Obama.

A previously-(untimely-) filed report does not include production costs for a "supporting McCain" (vs a "opposing Ward" or "opposing Kirkpatrick") ad. Most likely, the new ad campaign will either run the as-yet filed anti-Kirkpatrick ad or an as-yet posted (and, as-yet filed) new ad.

Once AGA PAC responds to our inquiry or new information becomes available, we will update.



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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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Monday, March 21, 2016

UPDATE: Gov. Ducey Praises, Signs Pro-Israel/Anti-BDS Bill

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey enthusiastically signed the pro-Israel/anti-BDS movement bill late last Thursday, putting Arizona at the forefront of the counter movement.

HB2617 - sponsored by House Speaker (and Congressional candidate) David Gowan and Rep. Paul Boyer - effectively boycotts the boycotters, and attempts to stymie a movement to persuade universities, businesses, cities, etc. to boycott Israel over Israeli-Palestinian issues.

The Governor's spokeswoman Annie Dockendorff released the following statement: "The governor has been vocal, unwavering and unapologetic about Arizona’s commitment to stand with Israel – an important trade partner and strong ally to our state and nation. If there are entities out there who seek to weaken the economic and national security of the only flourishing democracy in the Middle East, they will not be doing business with Arizona. This legislation makes sure of that.”

Arizona Treasurer Jeff DeWit (and state pension funds) now have until next April 1 to compile a list of all (publicly-traded?) companies that are boycotting Israel and give them notice of their inclusion on the list.  By August 1, 2017, investments in the boycotting companies must be sold.

In addition, when the law goes into effect later this year, all companies entering into contracts with the state must certify that they are not boycotting Israel.

(Arizona's Politics' report on this law has been cross-posted at the Phoenix Jewish News.)

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WATCH (graphic): Arizona Gets Small Blast Of Democratic Pro-Life Presidential Candidate TV Ads (UPDATE)

Arizona TV viewers are getting a small blast of a graphic ad from pro-life Democratic Presidential candidate Henry Hewes. The (approx) $2,000 ad buy is coming out of the candidate's own pocket, as he has not yet accepted any contributions from fellow activists.

Arizona's Politics reported last week on the New York real estate investor's attempts to take to the Phoenix and Tucson airwaves before Tuesday's Presidential Preference Election. Since then, Hewes decided to spend $2,000 of his own money for a limited run of two of his jarring 30-second commercials. (Ads shown below.)

One of the ads shows what appears to be a full term baby sprawled out on a medical sheet with its severed head lying next to it.  Hewes tells Arizona's Politics that he has not verified that it is a still picture of the aftermath of a (late-term) abortion, and declined to name the fellow activist who gave him the picture to use."

The second ad uses Martin Luther King, Jr. to decry "the genocide" of Blacks by abortions. (There is, however, much disagreement over the late civil rights leader's positions on the subject - he was awarded by Planned Parenthood, but one of his nieces claims he was strongly pro-life.

Hewes is energized by the fact that he finished third in the Democratic primary in Missouri last week, noting with a laugh that he finished well behind Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, but ahead of Martin O'Malley (who had withdrawn). Hewes received 648 votes.

The MLK ad airs today and tomorrow during KNXV (Ch.15)'s midday news, and the severed-head spot is running somewhere in the 1am or 2am hours.  In Tucson, the ads are running on fellow Scripps-owned KGUN (Ch.9) and will air 10 times, including during the late-night Jimmy Kimmel and Nightline shows.

Hewes tells Arizona's Politics that New Hampshire TV station WMUR received numerous complaints about the aborted fetus ad, and that he hopes that the ads will provoke similar response in Arizona about this "dominant and imperative issue".

The 1st ad below is the MLK Jr ad, the 2nd is the more-graphic one. Please view accordingly.




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Friday, March 18, 2016

testing embedding music

(Please let me know if you can hear this, or if you need to have a Rhapsody account.)


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Tuesday, March 15, 2016

BREAKING BERNIE ARIZONA AIR BLITZ: Sanders Starts $543K Air Campaign; No Long-Form Ads (FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 POLITICS)

Beginning today, Arizona airwaves will be flooded with 30-second TV spots for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. The spots will run until next Tuesday's Presidential Preference Election, when Arizona Democrats will choose between Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The $543,000 ad campaign is hitting the Phoenix market ($402,000) and the Tucson market ($141,000).  The FCC filings do not include any cable ad buys, digital ads, or other Arizona markets.

The ad buy also does not include any of the long-form Sanders commercials which Campaign Manager Tad Devine had hinted that they may be running in Arizona. (Yet.)

Sanders is also flying to Phoenix for a rally tonight, at which he will probably make reference to results from the 5 significant primaries taking place today (Florida, Ohio, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina).

No other candidates are currently running broadcast TV ads in Arizona.  Minor, pro-life Democratic candidate Henry Hewes has made inquiries.




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Monday, March 14, 2016

WATCH/BREAKING: Hillary Clinton & Bernie Sanders May Be Blasted On Phoenix TV As "Pro-Abortion Radical"...By A Democratic Candidate (FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 POLITICS)

Arizona anti-abortion activist/attorney John Jakubczyk is assisting Henry Hewes in his pro-life-laser-focused candidacy for the Democratic Presidential nomination. While Hewes has no campaign funds*, he is looking to advertise on Phoenix TV stations KNXV (Channel 15) and KPNX (Channel 12), bringing his message of Hillary Clinton-as-pro-abortion-radical and Planned Parenthood's "lynching... of Black babies" to Arizona viewers.

Arizona's Politics asked Jakubczyk - who signed Hewes' Arizona forms to get him on the ballot for next week's Presidential Preference Election - and Hewes for more details.  Hewes did sign a certification that the ads on KNXV will attack an opposing candidate, and his YouTube videos invariably mention Clinton.  He does have one ad - showing what appears to be a full-term baby lying on a blanket with a severed head next to it - which mentions both Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; we are not yet sure whether he will use the ad below, one of the others posted, or a new one.



*He has not reached the $5,000 threshold to file campaign finance forms. 

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Sheriff Arpaio Using Seized Gun Sales To Create Armed Posse; Looking For 300 Good Arms*

Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is announcing recruitment efforts for a 100-member armed posse today.  Costs will be covered by $257,000 from sales of seized and forfeited guns, and from additional fundraising efforts involving gun sales to be announced at a news conference.

Last week, Arizona's Politics wrote about the Board of Supervisors agreeing last week to move the gun sales' proceeds from the County's general fund to the MCSO for "the safety of its posse members."  MCSO PIO Director Det. Chris Hegstrom confirmed to Arizona's Politics that today's armed posse announcement is related to those new funds.

Today's news release indicates that they will have "some guns being sold to help in the recruitment process", so it would appear that some sales will be in addition to some or all of the $257,000.

*100 armed posse members have approximately 200 arms, plus approximately one firearm for each, equals 300.

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Thursday, March 10, 2016

Pro-Israel/Anti-BDS Law "With Teeth" One Step From Gov. Ducey's Desk; May Be Toughest In U.S.

(Clarification at bottom) 
The Arizona Senate this afternoon passed what may be the toughest pro-Israel law in the U.S. designed to counter the pro-Palestinian movement to persuade Americans to boycott/divest/sanction Israel ("BDS").  It is a boycotting of the boycotters.  The bill has also prompted accusations of political grandstanding and anti-Semitism.

The Senate approved HB2617 by a 23-6 vote. The House approved the measure three weeks ago on a 46-14 vote; the House will vote on the Senate's amendment on Monday, before sending the bill to Governor Doug Ducey's desk.

The BDS movement encourages companies, universities, pension funds (and everyone else) to boycott companies which do business in Israel. Modeled after the movement in the 1980's to pressure South Africa to change its apartheid practices, the BDS movement seeks to pressure Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Golan Heights, and to accept other Palestinian demands.

HB2617 would prohibit any part of Arizona government from investing in or contracting with any company that boycotts Israel. It also requires the State Treasurer and state retirement systems to annually compile a list of boycotting companies which the state will boycott. The state will then notify the companies and give them a chance to remove themselves from the list.

The legislative findings portion of the bill notes that "boycotts and related tactics have become a tool of economic warfare that threaten the sovereignty and security of key allies and trade partners of the United States. Arizona's bill thus becomes counter-warfare.

The primary sponsors of HB2617 are House Speaker David Gowan (R-LD14 ) and Rep. Paul Boyer (R-LD20 ). Boyer  tells Arizona's Politics  he believes the Arizona measure is tougher than laws and resolutions passed in a few other states last year because "it has teeth".

"There is a state interest in protecting our best friend in the world (Israel), and it only impacts "a company that has taken an official position to boycott Israel (or to divest or sanction)".

That Gowan is also running for Congress (in open CD1) has been raised by some as a motivation for this bill, but Boyer says they were each independently working on addressing the issue, and joined forces after Boyer discovered that "the Speaker was driving this conversation."

Several Democrats in the House and committees have voted for the measure, but opposition has come from others in the minority party. Senator Steve Farley (D-LD9 ) voted against the bill yesterday in the Finance Committee hearing (he was the only nay vote). He tells Arizona's Politics that "I don;t think it is the role of government to control who a private business should do or not do business with."

Former lawmaker Adam Kwasman testified before the committee, and then tweeted




Farley wrote to Arizona's Politics "...not all Jewish Americans agree with this bill. I heard from several Jewish constitutents who asked me to oppose this bill. Mr Kwasman's politics of personal destruction don;t rate a response."*  (Kwasman did not respond to Arizona's Politics in time for this article.)

The Senate Finance Committee also added a key amendment that would prohibit any cities, universities, etc. from adopting pro-BDS laws or policies.



(Clarification: The Senate’s amendment (described below) sends the bill back to the House for concurrence. The House is re-voting on the amended anti-BDS bill this coming Monday.)

* Sen. Farley did not participate in the final vote, although he voted "nay" in committee the day before.

This article is also cross-posted on Phoenix' Jewish News website.

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Wednesday, March 9, 2016

NEW: Maricopa County's Legal Fees In Sheriff's Racial Profiling Suits Rise To $4.25M; Additional Law Firm Hired

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are voting this morning on adding a Chicago attorney to its legal team defending racial profiling actions against the Sheriff's Office, and upping the legal fees' limit to $4.25M (from $3.30M).

The item on today's meeting agenda retroactively adds the national law firm of Winston & Strawn to "provide consultation and support to the (already-on-the-case) Walker-Peskind law firm" for both the Melendres and federal court actions against the MCSO.

The Melendres action is ongoing - there is a court-appointed monitor trying to push Arpaio's department to abide by court orders, as well as the criminal contempt proceedings against the Sheriff and some of his leadership.




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Arpaio's MCSO To Reap Benefits - $257K - From Sales of Seized Firearms

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office reaped much more than expected from last year's big sale of seized and forfeited guns. Today, the Board of Supervisors votes on whether or not to give that $257,443 to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office to beef up "the safety of its posse members."

The spring cleaning sale of rifles, pistols, shotguns and more took place earlier this (fiscal) year and had been expected to raise approximately $150,000 for the County's general fund.  The weapons were sold in lots of 1,000 to vetted businesses, according to the Sheriff's office.

The Board of Supervisors considers the transfer from the General Fund at its meeting later this morning.


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Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Wednesday, March 9: FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Here are some of the more noteworthy campaign expenditures discovered today:

--Ted Cruz campaign makes a $20,000 ad buy on the CBS affiliate in the Quad Cities (ILLINOIS is next Tuesday). This "Looking Out" ad was just posted this afternoon:


--Marco Rubio's Conservative Solutions Super PAC plunked down another $1.7M on TV in FLORIDA and ILLINOIS today, according to its FEC filing.  This follows $5M ($4.5M in FL and $447K in IL) yesterday as the Florida Senator is headed for a make-or-break day next Tuesday.  The filing includes production costs, so new ads will be up shortly. NOTEWORTHY: Rubio is targeting Ohio Governor John Kasich in both states (but not Ohio).


--Tuesday night, John Kasich's Super PAC, New Day For America, placed a $667,000 media buy in Governor Kasich's home state of Ohio.  The FEC filing does not show any production costs, so this 5-day old ad titled "Talk" will probably be airing:



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Tuesday, March 8: FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Here are some of the more noteworthy campaign expenditures discovered today:

--Marco Rubio's Super PAC Conservative Solutions just filed with the FEC that they spent $5 Million today on positive TV ads in FLORIDA ($4.5M) and ILLINOIS ($447,034).  The new ads are not yet available on YouTube.

a) $171K on one Chicago station (WMAQ, NBC, Ch.5).


--The Club For Growth spent $200,000 yesterday on digital advertising in FLORIDA opposing Donald Trump.  They are distributing the ad "Tough Guy" (below), and have not spent nearly $1.4M in the Presidential race.


CFG also spent $400,000 in ILLINOIS and  $250,000 in MISSOURI this week,
a) $117K on one Chicago TV station (WMAQ, NBC, Ch.5).

--The American Future Fund PAC dropped its first $60,000 yesterday in TV advertising in FLORIDA against Donald Trump. It may be this ad claiming that the GOP frontrunner is out of control:


--TODAY, the American Future Fund added $1,000,000 to its FLORIDA TV buy opposing Trump, and $550,000 in ILLINOIS.  This brings their* totals to $2.9M and $1.0M in those states, respectively.

a) $35,000 in Sarasota. (Tampa/St. Pete)

*The AFF PAC is a related-but-different entity.
http://bit.ly/1TqRl7o

--Hillary Clinton's campaign today extended their TV advertising on Cleveland (OHIO) stations. She and Donald Trump are the two candidates currently on-air. (The latter with a $290,000 buy.)







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Friday, March 4, 2016

WATCH: AZ Secy of State Reagan Warns CPAC Conservatives Of "Radical Left's" Outrageous Blocking Of GOP Ballot Harvesting Bill

The "radical left" in Arizona is blocking GOP efforts to make "ballot harvesting" a felony. That was Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan's message when she spoke to conservative activists yesterday on behalf of the 28 GOP Secretaries of State.

Reagan focused most of her 5-minute speech at the well-publicized annual CPAC event in Washington on the practice of groups - both Democratic and Republican - who collect and turn in early ballots on behalf of voters. She led off her talk with the scary story of

"One man turns in several thousand ballots all by himself at one polling place on a general election day. That doesn't happen in America, does it? Well, it does happen in every election in my state. And, believe it or not, it's perfectly legal.... I am here to warn conservatives everywhere that although our election system is the greatest in the world, it is still far from perfect."  

She did not show the video that went viral in 2014; perhaps because it is legal.  She then bemoaned that even with the Republican domination in Arizona, "an outrageous loophole in state law allows mass ballot collection - also known as ballot harvesting - and the radical left who uses ballot
harvesting has blocked our common sense attempts to close this loophole."

Reagan stated that the GOP "proudly" is trying to make it "easy to vote but hard to cheat." She returned several more times to the "appalling" ballot harvesting.

HB2023 is the bill currently in the Arizona State Senate that would make all such voting assistance a class 6 felony. It passed the House 34-23 one month ago.  Here is the operative lannguage:

Reagan's clearly wished to elevate this issue to top priority status with her CPAC address, and one of the most important battles in the fight against "voter fraud".  That it has stalled in the Arizona Legislature may be an indication of fears that it would spur a referendum petition drive to place  the measure on the November ballot, similar to the successful HB2305 referendum drive in 2013.

People who currently help collect and turn in early ballots are already prohibited from tampering with the ballot envelope sealed and signed by the voter. And, County election workers painstakingly match every voter signature with their voter registration signature before counting the ballot.*



* From personal experience, Maricopa County Elections already requires people turning in multiple voter registration forms to present identification and sign a form that they were legally obtained.

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56% Of Arizonans Think Supreme Court Vacancy Should Be Filled This Year, Would Blame McCain, Senate Republicans If It's Not; McCain Disapproval Rates Hit All-Time High

A survey of Arizona registered voters show a majority believe the Supreme Court vacancy caused by the death of Antonin Scalia should be filled this year, and would blame Arizona Senator John McCain and Senate Republicans if it is not. McCain is running for re-election this year, and already faces disapproval ratings of 63% - including 53% of Republicans.

The survey was conducted this week by Public Policy Polling on behalf of a Democratic-philic group called Americans United For Change.  The margin of error is 4.2%.

McCain has endorsed the GOP position that the Senate should take no action on anyone nominated by President Barack Obama. 69% of the surveyed Arizonans said "the Senate should wait to see who is nominated to the Supreme Court before deciding whether to confirm that person".  56% of the Republicans participating in the telephone poll gave that answer; only 35% said they should not consider the nomination no matter what.

Two years ago, PPP noted that McCain was "the least popular Senator in the country," with an approval rate of 30% compared to a disapproval rate of 54% (35%/55% among Arizona Republicans).  That negative 24% difference has grown, and in this survey is now negative 37%.

Only 26% of Arizonans approve of McCain's Senate performance. Independents - once a strength for McCain - now approve/disapprove at a 25%/63% rate. Members of his own party are now at 33%/53%.

Although the elevator has been going down, McCain is still greatly favored to survive the August primary against former State Senator Kelli Ward, Alex Meluskey, and others. He is also favored to win in the general election against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1).


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Thursday, March 3, 2016

Former U.S. Attorney for Arizona Paul Charlton Helps Explain Grant of Immunity In Clinton Server Investigation

Paul Charlton, the former U.S. Attorney for Arizona, today helped explain the significance of the news that the Department of Justice has granted immunity to Brian Pagliano in the investigation of Hillary Clinton's email server setup.  He told LawNewz.com that the grant was likely brought before a U.S. District Court judge as a part of a Grand Jury impanelment.

Charlton, now a private attorney in Phoenix, served as U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona between 2001-07.

Here is his full quote: “If it is a process that is usually used that means a Grand Jury has been impaneled, and federal prosecutors sought testimony of the witness (Pagliano) who invoked his Fifth Amendment rights. The next step in that process is that the prosecutors ask U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to grant immunity, and then they take that request to a district judge."

The article stitches together quotes from several attorneys on different aspects of the process.  Arizona's Politics has requested a more complete analysis from Charlton.

Clinton's Presidential campaign has been dogged by the lingering questions about the propriety and legality of her maintaining a private email server while she was the Secretary of State. The questions had died down after GOP Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy had boasted about how the Congressional investigations had placed a drag on her campaign. The grant of immunity brings the issue back to the forefront just as Clinton cemented her front-runner status on Super Tuesday.

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Arizona Governors Past and Present Support - In Varying Degrees - Donald Trump

As the political topic du semaine (du an?) continues to be what GOP leaders should do about Donald Trump's blitz to the Republican nomination for President, Arizona Governors past and present were in the news today on the topic.  Present Governor Doug Ducey pledged that he would support Trump if he were in the general election. Meanwhile,  former Governor Jan Brewer lamented GOP efforts to take down Trump.

Ducey was at a Phoenix school this morning reading Dr. Seuss as part of Read Across America, when reporters tried to pin him down. It was only later that he made the promise to support the nominee - even if it is Trump.

Brewer, who has already endorsed Trump, was at the American Conservative Union's CPAC in Washington, DC, today, when a Huffington Post reporter grabbed a quote from her about the blistering speech former nominee Mitt Romney was about to deliver:  "I thought it was a little bit harsh and over the top and I wonder why we as Republicans want to always eat our own," (She had read excerpts released in advance.)
(Associated Press)
(Article re: Romney's Presidential campaign committee's warchest)

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Romney ('12 Campaign) Has $1.2M To Put Where Candidate's Mouth Is; Pays Consultants, Niece's Political Activities

Mitt Romney is taunting GOP front-runner Donald Trump, but will he put his 2012 campaign warchest where his mouth is? More than $1.2M is currently in the Romney For President bank accounts, and it continues to bring in $1.4M/year by renting his supporters' information. Most of the expenses continue to go to consultants, and he has covered some of his niece's political activities.

Romney for President ("RFP") starts 2016 with $1,263,244 in the bank. Federal election laws do
restrict how that money can be spent, but it is currently not being used to oppose the man Romney is calling a "phony" and a  "fraud".

Rather, RFP paid more than $400,000 last year to its list rental consultants and more than $400,000 to his compliance consultants (three years post-campaign).

The Committee did disburse $17,000 to other political causes in 2015: $4,000 to now-Speaker of the House (and Romney's running mate) Paul Ryan, $3,000 to New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte and her state's Republican party.

The remaining $10,000 went to the mysteriously-named "NCW Fund", in Michigan.  After some research, Arizona's Politics discovered that the checks (there was also $2,500 sent there in 2014) went to the home of Romney niece Ronna Romney McDaniel. Romney McDaniel has been the National Committee Woman for the Michigan GOP. (She is now also the Chair of the Michigan GOP.)

Ms. Romney McDaniel confirms to Arizona's Politics that the contributions were to defray her travel expenses for RNC meetings and notes that there were no formal filing requirements of the thusly-named NCW Fund.  (There are federal regulations restricting Presidential campaigns from distributing monies to family members; however, it is very likely that they would not apply in this case because Romney did not accept matching funds and because the funds were for RNC-related expenses.)




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