Thursday, April 17, 2014

WOMEN! WOMEN!! WOMEN!!! Updates On 4 Arizona Congressional Candidates' Fundraising Efforts (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

With today's announcement that EMILY's List is putting its fundraising muscle behind Mary Rose Wilcox in the #AZ07 Democratic primary to succeed Rep. Ed Pastor, Arizona's Politics is looking around at other female-oriented campaign efforts.

The upcoming EMILY's List announcement is not surprising, and could give the longtime Maricopa County Supervisor a big fundraising edge.  She is already the only woman in the wide open primary.  EMILY's List has fundraising muscle, and its organization has been emulated by others in both political parties.

That was on full display in the campaign finance filing by Republican Martha McSally, who is looking for a re-match with Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).  She reported raising $127,000 from joint fundraisers.  $17,000 came from the joint fundraiser with House Speaker John Boehner and Andy Tobin.  But, $110,000 came from a Winning Women joint fundraiser (with two other Congressional candidates) at the end of March.  And, add in $7,000 in contributions from two women-focused PACs.

One month earlier, Democratic Reps. Ann Kirkpatrick (D-CD1) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-CD9) held a "Western Women Win" joint fundraiser in Phoenix.  It raised $17,000, split between the two Representatives.  Kirkpatrick also received one women's PAC contribution this past period ($2,500 from the wonderfully-but-now-outdated-named Tri-State Maxed Out Women).

All of these PACs and joint fundraisers can trace their lineage back to EMILY's List, which started in 1985.


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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

BREAKING: Sheriff Arpaio's (MCSO's) Posse Policies Will Get Fresh Set Of Eyes; Arizona Auditor General's Office Responds

The grounding of Posse-owned vehicles by a few of the many volunteer Posses under the direction of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio may be over - but the issues raised by former Cold Case Posse member Brian Reilly and that have been exposed by several reporters remain. A fresh set of eyes on the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office ("MCSO") Posse Program Policies and Procedures - and, the interactions between the County, the MCSO and the Posses - would be very helpful. Those eyes may be beginning to focus.

(For more background on the insurance-related grounding, and how the former Cold Case Posse member who spoke out about his experiences may have started the ball rolling, please click here.)

Each year, the Arizona Auditor General's Office audits every county's financial reports and internal controls. When possible issues arise during the year, the AG's Office adds them to the list of things they check out in the next audit. Sometimes, the new issues result in changes being recommended to the county and sometimes they do not.

Responding to the issues raised by recent news coverage - and, responding to questions from the news media - the AG's office "will consider the information" about the County/MCSO/Posse relationship. Deputy Auditor General Melanie Chesney emphasizes that that does NOT mean that there is "potential wrongdoing", and notes that the next audit for the 2013-2014 fiscal year (ending June 30) will not be completed until early 2015. Also, before it is released, the County has the opportunity to respond - concur or dispute - the Auditor General's recommendations.

Some of the issues that the AG's auditor might soon be starting to take a look at include:
1) Insurance on vehicles being used for County-related business, but owned by non-profits/volunteers who were (are?) under the impression that the County's self-insurance pool will cover them.
2) Titling of the vehicles being used by Posses. While there is evidence that the County (properly) sold vehicles to various Posses, Brian Reilly was told that the County owned the vehicles.
3) Government-issued plates. Posse-owned vehicles - marked and unmarked - have had license plates identifying them as governmental vehicles "G Plates".  State statutes indicate that this might be unlawful for most or all of the Posse vehicles.  One possible way that this happened is that the County and/or the MCSO transferred the titles but let the Posse entities (improperly) keep the County's G Plates. A 2nd possibility is that the MCSO (improperly) gave the Posses G Plates bulk-issued to the County by ADOT.
4) County Gas Keys/Cards. While Posses/members may have been properly allowed to use County-supplied gas for official Posse uses, there do not appear to be any controls on Posse vs. personal use. (Also, Sheriff Arpaio promised the County and voters that he would not use County funds for the Cold Case Posse's birth certificate investigation; yet, those Posse members did have County gas cards/keys, and Reilly says that the birth certificate investigation was the only thing CCP was working on.)
5) Accounting for Donations. Some Posses - such as the Cold Case Posse - solicited and received donations from across the nation, as a direct result of Sheriff Arpaio's investigation of the Obama birth certificate. In fact, on at least one occasion, the Sheriff made the call for people to support the Cold Case Posse and their investigation. However, the Cold Case Posse tells the IRS that they do not have to file 990 returns because they are MCSO-affiliated. And, the MCSO has repeatedly told Arizona's Politics and others that the Posses do not report financials to them and that the MCSO exercises no oversight on these MCSO-affiliated organizations. 
      The Cold Case Posse's lack of transparency likely hides donations and expenditures that violate the MCSO's own policies and procedures and federal tax law, and call into question the MCSO's (and, the County's) complicity in at least one of these fundraising-machine Posses.
       CCP's leader, Mike Zullo, had told former Posse member Brian Reilly in mid-2012 that the CCP had received more than $80,000 in donations that year. The threshold for filing an IRS 990 is $25,000. Thus, it was the claim of County-affiliation that permitted CCP to not file with the IRS.  If the CCP was able to use the same databases with which the Sheriff raised $3.5 Million the following year, the potential amount of donations flowing to the quasi-governmental organization - with no contribution caps - is very large.


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.

Sheriff Arpaio Throws Fundraising Muscle Behind Adam Kwasman In #AZ01 Congressional Race

The official endorsement has not yet been made, but Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio is throwing his well-developed fundraising muscles behind state Rep. Adam Kwasman in the GOP primary battle to challenge Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick in CD1. Calling him "the ONLY candidate in the race 100% against amnesty", Arpaio asks his supporters to contribute to the Tucson-based state lawmaker.

Arpaio has backed Kwasman in his previous legislative campaigns, and will likely have an endorsement announcement soon.  (The fundraising email is published below the jump.)

Kwasman is in a tough three-way battle with state House Speaker Andy Tobin and rancher/businessman Gary Kiehne.  Tobin has raised nearly $400,000 to date, and Kiehne has lent his campaign $200,000.  Kwasman has yet to file his first quarter report, but had $79,372 in the bank on January 1; Tobin and Kiehne both had more than $200,000 as of April 1.

Arpaio's endorsement is consistently in great demand for conservative candidates, and his fundraising appeals have met with great success.


TABLE: Arizona Congressional Candidates' 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Filings; How's YOUR Fave Doing? (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Updated, 4/16/14 10:10am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table. Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

You may click on the table below to make it full-screen.  If you need an Excel version of this table, please send email. Please see notes below for explanations on some of the columns.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.


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.

What's Known So Far About Mystery Ad; READ: Mystery Ad Ignites War of Words Between GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Ducey, Smith

(Editor's note, 4/16, 2:40pm: This was originally published April 8, 2014. When adding tags, the program inadvertently deleted the previous article and re-published it as a "new article".  If you linked this article, please change to the new URL  The most recent article on this subject was published April 9, and is available here.)

The somewhat-unusual attack ad that calls Arizona gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith "Obama's Favorite Mayor"* may have already had its true intended purpose - to spark a debate on who is behind the ad.  Arizona's Politics has been digging around about the $173,000 ad buy, and can set out some data points without drawing a conclusion.

Background: the ad is from a group calling itself the Legacy Foundation Action Fund ("LFAF").  It attacks Smith's record - not as the Mayor of Mesa, but as the current President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  LFAF as audio of nearly-identical radio ads against Smith and the two Vice Presidents of the Conference - who happen to be Democrats.  Arizona's Politics has not confirmed whether those radio ads have actually aired in Sacramento (former Suns' star Kevin Johnson) and Baltimore; the true target of the LFAF may be Smith's gubernatorial run.

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Scott Smith sent out an email to his list titled "The political games have begun.  He claimed that "On Friday, the political games began when an out-of-state special interest group tied to one of my opponents – Doug Ducey – began running negative ads against me.  Actually, describing them as negative would be generous since they contained a series of lies so distasteful that they do not deserve to be repeated."  (The full email is reproduced below the jump.)

Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey wasted no time in responding.  His email hit inboxes at 7:46 this morning, titled "False accusations that have no merit."  He leads with "Amazingly, Mayor Smith’s campaign has reacted…by blaming me! For the record, I want you to hear it from me directly: no one involved in my campaign had anything to do with that ad. Period. The charge is false, and there are no facts to back it up."  (His full email is also below the jump.)

Of course, both of their statements can be true at the same time - and very well might be.  Smith claims that LFAF has ties to Ducey, and Ducey retorts that "no one involved in (his) campaign" was responsible.  (If someone in the campaign was involved, that would evidence "coordination", which could result in trouble under Arizona campaign law.

Here is what we have been able to learn of the new LFAF:

--LFAF is relatively new.  It has not filed a statement of organization with either the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") or the Arizona Secretary of State.  However, it has filed a couple of independent expenditure reports with the FEC, indicating that it has spent $350,000 in the last few months supporting a conservative candidate (Ben Sasse) for Nebraska's open U.S. Senate seat.
--Those FEC reports link LFAF with the Legacy Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does not disclose its donors.
2) A somewhat-anonymous tipster says that it points back to Noble, and supporting Ducey. Only evidence he's given me so far, though, is that the ad buyer is Noble's. He also passed on a rumor that Noble is not on Ducey's campaign so that he can orchestrate IE's/etc (presumably like this one).


3) My research on Legacy turns up two tangential points of interest - one of its 1st big things, in 2010-12, was funneling about $1M to the Rose Law Group to pay for Sheriff Dever/Babeu's legal efforts in supporting SB1070. And, second, it granted $80K to Center for Arizona Policy in '12 (with Herrod on Ducey's team, hmmm) and $200K to American Family Association.


4) Legacy Foundation's 990's reflect from $770K in '10, to $4.8M in '11, to $6.6M in '12!


5) My article in 11/13 re: Ducey's Noble connection in the Prop 204 situation: http://bit.ly/AZp690


* Preview of Fact Check: it is highly unlikely that the President prefers Smith to Obama's former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel!


Arizona Governor Brewer Has $300K In Her (Federal) SuperPAC; Uses Some For Travel, Lodging (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has $300,000 left in her eponymously-named SuperPAC, after it brought in only $2,670 in small contributions and disbursed nearly $50,000.  This is the first quarter that the Governor has not actively collected monies for JanPAC.


That remaining $300,000 is only limited in how she can spend it by the restriction that it cannot be donated directly to candidate's campaigns.  For the past three months, she spent approximately $40,000 on "fundraising fees" - which could be from services provided in 2013 - advertising on Facebook, and a couple of thousand dollars on a computer, airline tickets and one night's lodging at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.

Jan PAC received some unwelcomed - and, misleading - attention yesterday.  In a national report, the Center for Public Integrity used it as an example in its report about SuperPAC leaders using (abusing?) the funds for personal perks.  It notes that she spent nearly $21,000 on travel expenses in 2013; however - as documented in previous articles - Brewer's JanPAC travel appeared to be almost exclusively used to attend fundraisers.  In that respect, it would be just another cost of fundraising.

Arizona's Politics has reported previously on the supporters of the Governor's federal PAC - including $250,000 donated by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the company that received a potentially-lucrative contract to manage and advertise at Arizona's highway rest areas, and the health-related contributors who supported Arizona's acceptance of Obamacare monies to expand AHCCCS.

Brewer also controls a similar kitty at the state level.  Arizona's Legacy reported having $570,000 cash on hand at the beginning of the year.  The Governor is poised to either be a major player in this year's Arizona elections, or it could conceivably be used to promote her personal political future - it was only yesterday that the conservative Citizens United released a poll showing her as the best-positioned candidate to defeat Sen. John McCain in a 2016 GOP primary.



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.

1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ09: GOP Challengers Raise Big Bucks, But Incumbent Kyrsten Sinema Raises Bigger

The two (remaining) Republican challengers to Arizona Rep. Kyrsten Sinema had strong first quarter fundraising numbers, but the incumbent - who is an Ironman finisher - had stronger.  In the contested CD9, the conservative outside money groups have not been pouring money into the campaign like they have against Reps. Barber and Kirkpatrick;  they may be waiting to see if one of the candidates emerges as a strong threat to Sinema.

Wendy Rogers raised $137, 958 in the first three months of 2014, increasing her bank balance to over $400,000.  Andrew Walter lent his campaign $50,000, raised $63,133, and has slightly more than one quarter of a million dollars in the bank.

The first-term Representative pushed her cash on hand to $1,265,532, bringing in $155K from PACs and $250K from individual contributors.

Whether the challengers' quarters will be strong enough to attract independent expenditure monies to resume attacking Sinema remains to be seen.  The Republican primary election is August 26th, and the fun may begin after that.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.

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.

1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ07: Two Jackrabbits, Two Desert Tortoises, Two Question Marks In Race To Replace Rep. Pastor (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The race triggered by Arizona Rep. Ed Pastor's (D-CD7) surprise retirement announcement in February now has a fundraising split*, and it hearkens to the children's story about the Tortoise and the Hare**.  We have a pair of Democrats who raised a lot of money out of the gate, and a pair of candidates slow out of the gate.  For good measure, we have a pair who do not yet have their reports up.

Not that the desert tortoises will overtake the jackrabbits, but the sprint does have only 4 1/2 months to go until the August 26th primary election that will likely decide Pastor's successor.

Former state lawmaker Ruben Gallego raised an impressive $161,935 in the less than five weeks, and longtime County Supervisor Mary Rose Wilcox accepted $89,632 (including $2,500 from herself).

Democratic Minority Whip Steve Gallardo filed a report with zeros in all the categories - he has not yet resigned from the state Senate (which may be wrapping up their session this week).  Independent candidate Jose Penalosa, Jr. raised $9,222.

Cesar Chavez and Johnnie Robinson have filed their Statements of Candidacy - Chavez even before Pastor announced his retirement - but have not yet filed first quarter finance reports.  they may not have raised or spent any money yet.

Here is the basic chart, along with links to each candidate's report. Arizona's Politicswill follow-up with more detailed reports as needed.


* "Split" as in the sports term for the time at a designated spot/distance, so that you can compare competitors.

**The Arizona version by Susan Lowell/Jim Harris (which one of my kids has a signed copy of!) is The Tortoise and the Jackrabbit.

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.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

TABLE: Arizona Congressional Candidates' 1st Quarter Campaign Finance Filings; How's YOUR Fave Doing? (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(Updated, 4/16/14 10:10am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table. Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

You may click on the table below to make it full-screen.  If you need an Excel version of this table, please send email. Please see notes below for explanations on some of the columns.


Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.


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.

1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ02: Incumbent Barber Narrowly Outraised, But Has $360K More In Bank


(Updated, 4/16/14 10:00am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table.)
Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) was narrowly outraised in the 1st quarter by the high-flying Republican challenger Martha McSally, but has more in the fuel tank.

The incumbent raised Barber's campaign reports cash on hand on April 1 of more than $1.2M.  He raised $422,799, including more than $150,000 from PACs.

McSally's campaign received more than $441,000 in contributions; the incumbent Barber's campaign states that they brought in $422,000.  McSally has $847,142 cash on hand.  $110,000 of that came from a "Winning Women" joint fundraiser in Washington, in March.

Shelley Kais has raised more than $20,000 in her challenge to McSally for the GOP nomination.  Charles Wooten raised more than $6,000 and Jim Brown (who switched from running in CD1 to CD2) does not yet have his filing available on the FEC site.

Barber narrowly defeated McSally in the first regular election for each of them in 2012. The re-match is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.

While the candidatess fundraising is significant, the money raised and spent by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups. Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, hammering both Barber and McSally.
Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.
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.

1st QUARTER CAMPAIGN FINANCE ROUND-UP, #AZ01: Incumbent Kirkpatrick Widens Money Lead, Kiehne Is Closest Challenger

(Updated, 4/16/14 9:45am: Table and article have been updated to include money raised as part of joint fundraising committees - see note below table.  Also have added where candidates have lent money to their campaigns.)

In hotly-contested Congressional District 1, Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick continues to raise and stockpile more money than her three GOP challengers combined.  Although state lawmaker Adam Kwasman's report is not yet available (the only Arizona House candidate who does not have his or her report up), it is unlikely that he out-raised state House Speaker Andy Tobin and/or rancher Gary Kiehne.

Kirkpatrick raised $309,669 in the first three months of 2014, and has $1,036,178 in the bank as of March 31.  Kiehne started the year with more cash on hand than Tobin and Kwasman, although he had lent the campaign $100,000.  He raised $66,342 this quarter, compared to $126,224 for Tobin; he lent another $1000,000 to the campaign on March 29.  The loans explain why he has more money in the bank than Tobin ($274K compared to $213K).

Tobin and Kirkpatrick both participated in joint fundraising events with other candidates - that added $12,000 to Kirkpatrick's coffers, and Tobin reaped $17,715 from a joint fundraiser headlined by House Speaker John Boehner.

Here is the basic chart, along with links to each candidate's report.  Arizona's Politics will follow-up with more detailed reports as needed.
Note: "PACs" column includes monies raised by joint fundraising committees. Even though much of those funds may constitute contributions from individuals, it is not being included in the "Individuals" column because PACs may contribute to them and because it could permit individuals to donate more than the (still-currently-existing) limit that may be given to a particular candidate by an individually.
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.

REPORT: Rep. Barber Outraised In 1st Quarter By McSally, But Has More In Bank (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(In the past, Arizona's Politics has not published campaign "announcements" about fundraising efforts before they have filed the report with the FEC or the Arizona Secretary of State, and all of the numbers can be looked at in context.  Some campaigns have been known to "cherry pick" the favorable parts of the report and leave out the negatives.  However, this quarter, we will experiment with reporting the announcements and following up with comparing it to the actual report.  We will not update our spreadsheet, however, until the report is available.... If you would like to ensure that Arizona's Politics reports your campaign's announcement, please email it to the address listed on the top of this page.)

Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) was outraised in the 1st quarter by the high-flying Republican challenger Martha McSally, but has more in the fuel tank.  Barber's campaign reports cash on hand on April 1 of more than $1.2M.


Neither candidates' first quarter 2014 filing - due today - has been made available on the FEC website yet, but both have released some of their numbers.

McSally's campaign reported late last week that she had received more than $449,000 in contributions; the incumbent Barber's campaign states that they brought in $422,000.

McSally did not release cash on hand, but she "only" had $548,000 on January 1.  Barber started the quarter with $939,000 in the checking account.

Barber narrowly defeated McSally in the first regular election for each of them in 2012.  The re-match is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.

While the candidatess fundraising is significant, the money raised and spent by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups.  Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, hammering both Barber and McSally.


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.

Without Opposition, Rep. Franks Continues Low Key Fundraising; This Quarter's Celebrity Contributor: Jerry Colangelo

Arizona Rep. Trent Franks (R-CD8) has no opposition for his re-election effort - from either Republicans or Democrats.  Therefore, his campaign finance filings are mostly ho-hum documents.  However, he seems to spice up each one a little with a "name" contributor.  Last quarter, it was former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld;  this time, Jerry Colangelo makes an appearance.

Franks raised approximately $50,000 and spent approximately $54,000 during the first three months of 2014.  His cash on hand on April 1 is $30,584.31.

On January 31, 2014, the former owner of the Phoenix Suns and managing general partner of the Arizona Diamondbacks, contributed $1,000 to the conservative representing the West Valley.  Colangelo has not contributed to Franks before, and this is only the 2nd contribution he has made to a federal candidate in this election cycle. (The other is to South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.)




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.

UPDATE: Saucedo Mercer Ready To Re-Ramp Up Campaign, Fundraising

Although her internet presence and her new campaign finance filing showed a nearly-dormant first three months of 2014, Gabriela Saucedo Mercer's campaign is ready to resume work within the next week.

The Republican, who is seeking a re-match against longtime incumbent Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3), has been "reformulating (our) efforts" and is ready to start "reaching out to new donors and existing donors", according to Loren Charles, her Communications Director.

Saucedo Mercer's FEC filing shows the campaign in the red, and 80% behind her fundraising at this point in 2012.  Arizona's Politics noted the lack of activity in an article over the weekend, and had asked for further information.

Charles indicated that Saucedo Mercer had had an "educational commitment" that was finishing up yesterday, and "took up a bunch of her energy."

Grijalva's 1st quarter report is not yet available, but he had $109,000 in the bank on January 1.

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.

Jan Brewer Would Clean John McCain's Clock In 2016 GOP Senate Primary, Poll Shows

As of last week, outgoing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer would be the Tea Party's strongest candidate to primary Senator John McCain with, according to a new poll commissioned by Citizens United.  With her current 80% favorability rating, Brewer would defeat McCain 47.7%-29.0%.

The push-button poll of 600 likely GOP primary voters was taken April 11-12 and has a margin of error of +/- 4.1%.  Nearly 3/4 of the respondents classified themselves as "Tea Party Republicans" (40.2%) or "Strong Republicans" (33.7%).  (Both the polling memo and the toplines are re-published below the jump.)

The pollster ("the polling company") states that "this is not simply 'trouble with the Tea Party' or 'far right angst'. Senator McCain struggles at various levels with Republicans across the ideological spectrum."  However, more "Strong Republicans" actually answered that they would re-elect McCain (48.5%-43.1%).  "Tea Party Republicans" would throw him out, 83.8%-10.8%.

Brewer ran slightly better in the head-to-head matchup than did Rep. Matt Salmon (R-CD5) (48.2%-30.3%).  Rep. David Schweikert (R-CD6) was the third possible opponent tested - he still defeated McCain, 40.1%-33.9%.

Of course, Brewer is not running for re-election this year.  McCain has hinted that he might run for a 6th 6-year term in the Senate; he would turn 80 right around the time of what would likely be a hotly-contested GOP primary.

Monday, April 14, 2014

WATCH: Major Democratic Ad Buy Attacks GOP Challengers, Other Outside Ads

(First Watch, 11:27am: Posted here are the new ads discussed below (he Saturday article).  Text to follow.)





(UPDATE, 4/14, 11:15am: State Rep. Andy Tobin - one of three Republicans vying for the nomination to unseat Rep. Kirkpatrick - just sent a fundraising email to supporters claiming that the new House Majority PAC ad is different than the one previously run, and says it is "attacking me for opposing Obamacare" (emphasis his).  House Majority PAC has not yet posted the ad online and has not responded to Arizona's Politics' requests for a copy.)

With three closely-watched Congressional races and a wide-open and well-funded Republican gubernatorial primary, wave after wave of 30-second spots - most from out of state - have already come crashing on Arizona's shores and viewing devices.

A new round of ads from the mega-Democratic-philic House Majority PAC begins this coming Monday (and is currently slated to last two weeks).  The first round from the Super PAC began in January, to counter the steady barrage that Democratic Reps. Ron Barber (CD2) and Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) had been taking from Americans for Prosperity.

This new ad buy is for $270,000 in the Phoenix television market, and is likely designed to offset the recent wave hammering Kirkpatrick on Obamacare, from the LIBRE Initiative - a Koch Brothers' funding network member aimed at Hispanic voters.

House Majority PAC is largely funded by unions and George Soros.

No new ads have yet been added to the House Majority PAC's YouTube page, so until Arizona's Politics can verify which ad or ads are running and whether new spots are running in the Tucson market, here is the pro-Kirkpatrick ad that House Majority PAC ran in January/February.  (This ad received some national attention because it did not attempt to defend Obamacare, instead highlighting Kirkpatrick's misgivings about it - "stunning ineptitude" - and how she fought to improve it.)


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.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Saucedo Mercer Campaign Seems To Be Going Dark, Checkbook In The Red (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

The Republican effort to defeat Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) is dormant.  Gabriela Saucedo Mercer - the GOP nominee in 2012 and the most active of the non-active candidates this cycle - is nearly invisible and her campaign website, Facebook and Twitter pages are rarely updated.  In addition, according to the 1st Quarter 2014 FEC finance filing, the campaign checkbook is overdrawn.

Saucedo Mercer reports having received only $1,951 in contributions during January, February and March.  Her disbursements - which were almost entirely basic, recurring charges for infrastructure - totaled $2,880.

After her lackluster last quarter of 2013 - after which Arizona's Politics asked if the GOP had lost its appetite to try to unseat Grijalva and left Saucedo Mercer's campaign starving - her cash on hand is a negative $155.81.  (The FEC frowns on a negative number for that bottom line, and will probably be requiring further information - e.g. are the bank or the candidate lending money to the campaign?)

Saucedo Mercer's 2012 campaign had raised approximately half of its total $242,000 by March 31;  her fundraising this time around is down more than 80%.  (For further analysis, see January article about 4th quarter filing.)

(Saucedo Mercer's campaign has been asked for further information, and this article will be supplemented if and when she responds.)

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.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

WATCH: New Wave of Pro-Democratic Super PAC Ads Hits Arizona Airwaves Monday (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(UPDATE, 4/14, 11:15am: State Rep. Andy Tobin - one of three Republicans vying for the nomination to unseat Rep. Kirkpatrick - just sent a fundraising email to supporters claiming that the new House Majority PAC ad is different than the one previously run, and says it is "attacking me for opposing Obamacare" (emphasis his).  House Majority PAC has not yet posted the ad online and has not responded to Arizona's Politics' requests for a copy.)

With three closely-watched Congressional races and a wide-open and well-funded Republican gubernatorial primary, wave after wave of 30-second spots - most from out of state - have already come crashing on Arizona's shores and viewing devices.

A new round of ads from the mega-Democratic-philic House Majority PAC begins this coming Monday (and is currently slated to last two weeks).  The first round from the Super PAC began in January, to counter the steady barrage that Democratic Reps. Ron Barber (CD2) and Ann Kirkpatrick (CD1) had been taking from Americans for Prosperity.

This new ad buy is for $270,000 in the Phoenix television market, and is likely designed to offset the recent wave hammering Kirkpatrick on Obamacare, from the LIBRE Initiative - a Koch Brothers' funding network member aimed at Hispanic voters.

House Majority PAC is largely funded by unions and George Soros.

No new ads have yet been added to the House Majority PAC's YouTube page, so until Arizona's Politics can verify which ad or ads are running and whether new spots are running in the Tucson market, here is the pro-Kirkpatrick ad that House Majority PAC ran in January/February.  (This ad received some national attention because it did not attempt to defend Obamacare, instead highlighting Kirkpatrick's misgivings about it - "stunning ineptitude" - and how she fought to improve it.)



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.

Friday, April 11, 2014

REPORT: Martha McSally 1Q2014 Fundraising Flies High, $449,000 Brought In (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(In the past, Arizona's Politics has not published campaign "announcements" about fundraising efforts before they have filed the report with the FEC or the Arizona Secretary of State, and all of the numbers can be looked at in context.  Some campaigns have been known to "cherry pick" the favorable parts of the report and leave out the negatives.  However, this quarter, we will experiment with reporting the announcements and following up with comparing it to the actual report.  We will not update our spreadsheet, however, until the report is available.... If you would like to ensure that Arizona's Politics reports your campaign's announcement, please email it to the address listed on the top of this page.)

Roll Call is reporting that retired Air Force Col. Martha McSally raised $449,000 in the first three months of 2014, in her race to unseat Arizona Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2).   She did not disclose to the reporter how much was in her bank account on March 31, although it likely increased her previous bank balance of $548,000 significantly.

(It is likely less than the incumbent's cash on hand - based on their warchests as of December 31 and that she incurred some expenses during the quarter.)

McSally faces some competition for the GOP nomination to face Barber, but her name recognition from her previous close races and the money advantage makes her the heavy favorite in the August primary.  McSally barely lost to Barber in 2012 and the seat is expected to be one of the most hotly-contested in the nation.

While the candidate's fundraising is significant, the money raised and spent by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups.  Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, both supporting and hammering Barber.



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.

REPORT: Arizona Rep. Kirkpatrick Re-Election Campaign Joins $1M-In-Bank Club (FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS)

(In the past, Arizona's Politics has not published campaign "announcements" about fundraising efforts before they have filed the report with the FEC or the Arizona Secretary of State, and all of the numbers can be looked at in context.  Some campaigns have been known to "cherry pick" the favorable parts of the report and leave out the negatives.  However, this quarter, we will experiment with reporting the announcements and following up with comparing it to the actual report.  We will not update our spreadsheet, however, until the report is available.... If you would like to ensure that Arizona's Politics reports your campaign's announcement, please email it to the address listed on the top of this page.)

Arizona Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick's (D-CD1) re-election warchest now exceeds $1 Million, according to a release from her campaign.  In one of the most competitive - and one of the most spread-out - districts in the nation, that (current) advantage over all of the Republicans seeking the nomination to oppose her could be significant.

Although her first quarter report is not yet available on the FEC's website, the release states that she raised $325,000 during the first three months of 2014.  On December 31, she had $824K in the bank.

While the $1M bankroll is significant, the spending by the candidates to date - and, likely throughout the campaign - is going to be DWARFED by the amount spent on TV ads by outside groups.  Already, outside groups are running ads practically matching that dollar figure, both supporting and hammering Kirkpatrick.

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.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Unraveling Some of the Mystery Behind Governor Campaign Ad; READ: Mystery Ad Ignites War of Words Between GOP Gubernatorial Candidates Ducey, Smith

The somewhat-unusual attack ad that calls Arizona gubernatorial candidate Scott Smith "Obama's Favorite Mayor"* may have already had its true intended purpose - to spark a debate on who is behind the ad.  Arizona's Politics has been digging around about the $173,000 ad buy, and can set out some data points without drawing a conclusion.

Background: the ad is from a group calling itself the Legacy Foundation Action Fund ("LFAF").  It attacks Smith's record - not as the Mayor of Mesa, but as the current President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.  LFAF as audio of nearly-identical radio ads against Smith and the two Vice Presidents of the Conference - who happen to be Democrats.  Arizona's Politics has not confirmed whether those radio ads have actually aired in Sacramento (former Suns' star Kevin Johnson) and Baltimore; the true target of the LFAF may be Smith's gubernatorial run.

(Review Arizona's Politics' previous articles on this ad here, here and here.  The ad is here.)

Yesterday afternoon, Mayor Scott Smith sent out an email to his list titled "The political games have begun.  He claimed that "On Friday, the political games began when an out-of-state special interest group tied to one of my opponents – Doug Ducey – began running negative ads against me.  Actually, describing them as negative would be generous since they contained a series of lies so distasteful that they do not deserve to be repeated."  (The full email is reproduced below the jump.)

Arizona Treasurer Doug Ducey wasted no time in responding.  His email hit inboxes at 7:46 this morning, titled "False accusations that have no merit."  He leads with "Amazingly, Mayor Smith’s campaign has reacted…by blaming me! For the record, I want you to hear it from me directly: no one involved in my campaign had anything to do with that ad. Period. The charge is false, and there are no facts to back it up."  (His full email is also below the jump.)

Of course, both of their statements can be true at the same time - and very well might be.  Smith claims that LFAF has ties to Ducey, and Ducey retorts that "no one involved in (his) campaign" was responsible.  (If someone in the campaign was involved, that would evidence "coordination", which could result in trouble under Arizona campaign law.

Here is what we have been able to learn of the new LFAF:

--LFAF is relatively new.  It has not filed a statement of organization with either the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") or the Arizona Secretary of State.  However, it has filed a couple of independent expenditure reports with the FEC, indicating that it has spent $350,000 in the last few months supporting a conservative candidate (Ben Sasse) for Nebraska's open U.S. Senate seat.
--Those FEC reports link LFAF with the Legacy Foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that does not disclose its donors.  Former Iowa lawmaker Christopher Rants heads it up.
--The Legacy Foundation dates back to 2008, and has had some pretty close ties with Arizona in the last five years.  One of its first major projects, in 2010, was supporting Arizona Sheriffs Larry Dever and Paul Babeu in their BorderSheriffs.com organization.
            That first year, Legacy Foundation collected more than half-a-million dollars ($570,677) for the Border Sheriffs, and sent nearly half of it ($242,000) to the Scottsdale-based Rose Law Firm to represent the Sheriffs in defending anti-illegal immigration law SB1070 in the case that eventually reached the U.S. Supreme Court.  In 2011, they sent $538,229 to Rose Law Firm and in 2012 - when the Supreme Court decided the case - they paid Rose $403,502.  Total = $1,183,731.  (The 2010 and 2011 IRS filings are below the jump, the 2012 filing can be found here.)  (Here is the amicus brief funded through the Legacy Foundation.)
--In those years, the Legacy Foundation also sent more than $1.5M to the Phoenix-based Direct Response company for printing and mailing services.  Direct Response has also been a vendor for Ducey's gubernatorial campaign, and owner Jack Padavano contributed to Ducey.
--Finally,  it granted $80,000 to Center for Arizona Policy in 2012 and $200,000 to the like-minded American Family Association.  There has already been news coverage about CAP's President being an adviser on Ducey's campaign team.
--Legacy Foundation's 990 filings show that its revenues have climbed steeply, from $770K in '10, to $4.8M in '11, to $6.6M in '12.  In that last year, $2.1M came from direct mail contributions, with the rest coming from anonymized donors.  In 2011, one (anonymous) person gave $1,625,000 to Legacy Foundation.
--The ad firm behind Legacy Foundation's pro-Sasse ad in March, and presumably the anti-Smith/U.S. Conference of Mayors' spot is the well-known attack ad guru Larry McCarthy.  McCarthy has not done any work for Ducey's campaign (no ads yet), but Ducey hired him to produce spots for the No On Prop 204 (sales tax continuation) campaign (which Ducey headed).  (Direct Response Group also worked for Ducey on the No On Prop 204 effort.)

While it is not uncommon for different campaigns to have vendors in common, the data points can be very informative when attempting to ascertain where anonymized, "dark money" may be coming from and why it is flowing in certain directions.

Certainly, Smith's email alleging ties between Ducey and LFAF has some amount of truth.  And, while the above-described ties were discovered by Arizona's Politics - and, were not received from any tipster - the Smith campaign might be aware of even more connections.  On the other hand, Ducey's email denying involvement by any in his campaign on the ad is correct - although his charge that Smith's allegation is false with no facts to back it up is incorrect.

The true intent - and victory - of this ad may not have been to make voters think that Smith is really "Obama's Favorite Mayor", but to draw Smith into battle with Ducey.  The most recent polling showed the men in 3rd and 5th place, respectively, for the GOP nomination.


5) My article in 11/13 re: Ducey's Noble connection in the Prop 204 situation: http://bit.ly/AZp690
Legacy Foundation assisting BorderSheriffs.com: http://borderlinesblog.blogspot.com/2010/11/last-best-chance-to-defend-arizona.html
http://www.examiner.com/article/the-legacy-foundation-and-bordersheriffs-com

Legacy's/Dever's amicus on SB1070: http://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/publications/supreme_court_preview/briefs/11-182_petitioneramcusheriffldever.authcheckdam.pdf

Legacy's 2012 990: https://bulk.resource.org/irs.gov/eo/2013_08_EO/26-3853831_990_201212.pdf

kpnx nab:


* Preview of Fact Check: it is highly unlikely that the President prefers Smith to Obama's former Chief of Staff and current Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel!