Monday, July 16, 2012

BREAKING: Cardon and Wal-Mart Families Join Together To Fund Super-PAC Attacking Flake (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Note: The video below may appear with an error message.  If you click the "play" icon behind the error message, the video will play.)

Adding a new twist to the new history of Super-PAC's, Arizona's Politics is reporting that a new Super-PAC dedicated to attacking Rep. Jeff Flake (R-CD6-running-for-Senate) is predominantly funded  by Wil Cardon's family, with an additional sizable contribution from one of Wal-Mart's Walton family.

Family member Patrick Cardon contributed $100,000 on April 4, 2012, to a brand new Super-PAC dedicated to attacking Flake for his perceived vote against the Keystone XL Pipeline.  The "Secure Arizona PAC" began running a television ad on the subject within the last couple of weeks.

The Super-PAC's quarterly report was filed on Friday (made public today), and it shows that it is ready to run that advertisement a lot more times in the weeks to come.  Counting the Cardon contribution, the $10,000 (S. Robson) Walton contribution, $25,000 from Texas investments manager Christopher Wallis, and $10,000 from well-known Phoenix attorney Leo Beus, the PAC has raised more than  $145,000 to get its message out.

Federal election law restricts family members from contributing more than $2,500 to their relative/candidate.  However, bankrolling a SuperPAC with an unlimited amount of money is a new way around that restriction, and one that has not appeared to have been addressed elsewhere.  (Update: Earlier today, the Center for Responsive Politics published on their blog two other instances where family members are using super PACs as an outlet for their money.)  Making things even more interesting is that Wil and Patrick both make their money from the same family business, The Cardon Group.

Also interestingly, the Super PAC does not list occupations or employers for ANY of the four high-profile contributors. (Cardon's name is also misspelled.)  This would appear to show a lack of minimal effort to properly disclose the required information. (The nominal founder of the PAC, Missouri attorney James Thomas, gave $100 in March to start the bank account.)

Beyond the $17,500 already spent on the television ad (below), the committee has spent more than $55,000 on surveying/analysis/research.


Many more questions are raised by both the advertisement and the report.  Arizona's Politics is seeking further answers and will update as needed.

The text of a news release from Secure Arizona PAC is posted below the jump:

Secure Arizona PAC

Secure Arizona PAC Raised Over $145,000 for
Independent Expenditures in U.S. Senate Race

July 16, 2012
CONTACT:       Tyler Harber

Phoenix, AZ – Secure Arizona Political Action Committee reported raising $145,100,  dedicating a significant amount of that total to running statewide television advertisements targeting U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Flake (Congressman AZ-6) for his vote against constructing the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that would create thousands of jobs.

The Phoenix-based Secure Arizona PAC is one of several Super-PACs involved in the state’s U.S. Senate race. The second fiscal quarter report filed with the Federal Election Commission showed that the Secure Arizona PAC has over $45,000 cash-on-hand.

Secure Arizona PAC had previously publicized its criticism of Congressman Jeff Flake, who is currently running for U.S. Senate, for his vote against the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.  Congressman Flake was one of only 14 Republican members to vote against HR-3630 (12/13/2011).  The legislation was primarily presented as a one-year extension of the recent payroll tax cut, but also included a provision which would have approved the Keystone XL project after a 60-day waiting period.

HR-3630 passed the House 234 – 193 with the vote breaking largely along party lines. Jeff Flake sided with 179 Democrats including Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and Maxine Waters in an attempt to stop the Keystone XL pipeline.

Secure Arizona PAC targeted Flake because his public statements did not match up with his inconsistent voting record. While public statements indicated his support for the Keystone Pipeline, his voting record failed to live up to his previous promises.


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

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