Monday, April 1, 2024

UPDATE: AZGOP Admits Failing To Report and Pay Rent On Office Building For Several Months

The Arizona Republican Party confessed today to the Federal Elections Commission that they failed to report and pay rent "for multiple months" in 2023 due to their "shortage of cash-flow and donations."

The unsigned filing from the AZGOP is in response to the FEC's inquiry about why "limited administrative expenses" were disclosed in the last three months of 2023.

The party says the lack of paid expenses was accurate. "Please note that the Committee had a shortage of cash-flow and donations up until the end of 2023. Rent for multiple months of 2023 was actually paid on January 11th, 2024 and was properly documented and filed in the 2024 February Monthly Report."

Indeed, on Jan. 11, the AZGOP cut a $75,000 check to its wholly-owned subsidiary, "Arizona Freedom Center, LLC" for rent. You will recall that it was just last week that Axios's Jeremy Duda reported that the AZGOP had decided to sell its office space in central Phoenix.

However, paying "multiple months" of rent in January opens up the question as to why those multiple months were not reported as debts owing in the many monthly reports filed since the office condo was purchased in June 2023. Such information is required to be reported to the FEC (and thus, to AZGOP members and the public).

Another point the FEC may follow up on is what other revenues the AZGOP's Arizona Freedom Center LLC is bringing in and what expenses it is paying. The seller, CJR Investments, does hold a $1.3M promissory note secured by a deed of trust on the office. (Duda reports the purchase price was $1.9M, which would lead one to believe the AZGOP put $600,000 down, but is required to make monthly payments.)

Jeff DeWit was the AZGOP Chair until January, and Gina Swoboda is the new Chair. The most recent report shows that AZGOP now has $426,000 in the bank (as of end of February) and reported debts of $62,736. Arizona's Politics tried to reach Treasurer Elijah Norton, and will update as necessary.

This article was reported by Tempe elections attorney - and Arizona's Politics co-founder - Paul Weich.
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