Wednesday, April 4, 2018

BREAKING/WATCH: New Tipirneni Ad Goes After Lesko's Campaign Money Shuffle, Quotes Primary Opponent: "Illegal Money Laundering"

Hiral Tipirneni has unleashed a tough new 30-second ad in this month's special election for Trent Franks' open Congressional seat. In it, she leads with "a federal investigation into illegal money laundering" by  Republican opponent Debbie Lesko. (The ad is below.)

Of course, that is a quote from Lesko's vanquished primary election opponent, Phil Lovas, after he filed complaints with the state and the Federal Election Commission. Lesko moved $50,000 from her state Senate campaign committee to a newly-created federal SuperPAC that then spent the money in the federal Congressional primary campaign. SuperPACs are supposed to operate independently from any candidate they are supporting.  The FEC has not made any public statements about how seriously they will investigate the complaint.

Tipirneni has been airing TV ads at the cost of approximately $20,000/week for the past few weeks. Lesko also has spots airing in conjunction with the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Arizona's Politics has been reporting on the assistance that the national Republicans have been providing Lesko's campaign in the strongly-Republican district. Today, Politico reported that House Speaker Paul Ryan is holding a D.C. fundraiser for her 6 days before the April 24 election day.

Politico also reported on the first (small) indication that national Democrats are getting behind Tipirneni in this special election, as EMILY's List announced its endorsement.

(8:28: This article was edited to reflect that Phil Lovas - not Steve Montenegro - filed the FEC complaint and called the money move "illegal money laundering", as quoted in the Arizona Republic.

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