Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Gov-Elect Doug Ducey Chooses APS Dark Money Man Kirk Adams Chief of Staff

After an election campaign marked by the surreptitious dark money bankrolling by Arizona's largest utility - Arizona Public Service ("APS"), you might be surprised to see Gov.-Elect Doug Ducey name one of APS' dark money managers as his incoming Chief of Staff.  Or, you might not.

Ducey today named former Arizona House Speaker Kirk Adams to be his first Chief of Staff when he takes over the 9th floor next month.  Since an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2012, Adams has been tightly connected with political consultant Sean Noble AND has helped APS semi-secretly oppose net metering when the Arizona Corporation Commission was wrestling with it last year.

Ducey and Adams also teamed up in the fall of 2012 to funnel $925,000 of dark money into the campaign opposing the state sales tax ballot measure. Their investment in defeating that education-related measure and a concurrent $575,000 dark money investment in defeating the open primary measure were both successful.

Ducey lauded Adams today as having "accomplishments, talent and knowledge are second-to-none."

Adams was President (and one of the directors) of Americans for Responsible Leadership in 2012, when it was one of the primary dark money vehicles of the Koch brothers' political network. During that time, California went after ARL for what it called "political money laundering"; Adams was no longer President when California reached a settlement with ARL (and sister organization Center to Protect Patient Rights) to pay a $1Million fine in the incident.  Neither Ducey, Adams nor Noble have ever acknowledged where the money came from to defeat the Arizona ballot measures, although Ducey was State Treasurer at the time.

Adams then became founder and sole director of Prosper, Inc., filed as an educational non-profit.  APS then gave Prosper an undisclosed amount of money (totaling in the six figures between Prosper and Noble partner 60 Plus Association) to get involved attacking "net metering" and solar firms, as the Corporation Commission was preparing to consider the contentious issue. (Prosper has not filed any campaigning disclosures with the Arizona Secretary of State, Adams has not filed with the Secretary of State as a lobbyist, and no record of a non-profit filing with the Internal Revenue Service was found.)

To present a couple of additional data points that almost complete the circle, Adams' past close allies 60 Plus Association and Center to Protect Patient Rights (nka American Encore) - also both Sean Noble operations and/or partners - were Ducey's two largest dark money supporters in the gubernatorial campaign.

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.

No comments: