Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Public utility and dark money in the Attorney General race: "There's something rotten in the state of Arizona"

What's new, I hear you say.  But take note.  This is the rotten-est new thing in this election.  The public utility (APS) accused of running dark money ads in the GOP primary for Corporation Commission is back at it again, this time in the Attorney General race.

Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, for sure no raving liberal, reports in the AZ Daily Star/tucson.com.

PHOENIX — The parent company of the state’s largest electric utility is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars through a third party to ensure that Republican Mark Brnovich becomes the next state attorney general.
Records obtained by Capitol Media Services show Pinnacle West Capital Corp. has given $425,000 to the Republican Attorneys General Association. That amounts to more than one dollar of every six of the $2.5 million association has amassed so far in Arizona for ads critical of Democrat Felecia Rotellini.
Pinnacle West spokesman Alan Bunnell would not comment on why the corporation is spending that kind of money on the race for who becomes the state’s top law enforcement official.

Wait for it - more darkness coming ...

Strictly speaking, RAGA is not a “dark money” group. Unlike others involved in trying to influence this year’s election, it does provide a list of donors.
But it’s not that simple, as the association does take cash from other groups that do not make such disclosures.
That includes the American Future Fund, which gave it $650,000 earlier this year, meaning that the ultimate source of all of its dollars remains secret.
Other reports, however, show that the American Future Foundation, in turn, received much of its funding, at least in the 2012 election cycle, from Center to Protect Patient Rights, a group founded by Sean Noble that has now morphed into American Encore.
And Noble, who works for Brnovich, has previously been a consultant for APS.

AZBlueMeanie at Blog for Arizona provides more analysis

What is this sudden interest in the Attorney General race? Is APS and Pinnacle West afraid that Felecia Rotellini will investigate their dark money activities in this campaign and possibly prosecute them for campaign finance law violations? (as well she should). Has Mark Brnovich made any promises to turn a blind eye for this “dark money” support?
There’s something rotten in the state of Arizona.

But all those good Republicans who are going to vote for Brnovich are just fine with that.  The only question is whether Brnovich is fine with that too.


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