Posted by AzBlueMeanie:
The latest on dirty politics by the Arizona GOP from the Pima County Democratic Party:
Arizona GOP Drowning in Red Ink, Hiding Financial Dealings
as It Somehow Funds Campaigns in Tucson
On October 1 a job posting appeared on the website, Career Builder with the following description:
A document obtained by the PCDP shows that the canvas is being run for the client "Lincoln Strategy." Lincoln Strategy is a Tempe-based consulting firm run by GOP political operative Nathan Sproul. This company has a well-documented history of voter suppression tactics (1, 2, 3).
Get Out the Vote Canvassers needed to walk throughout Tucson neighborhoods promoting the upcoming election and informing residents about the local Republican Party candidates running for office in the Tucson City Mayoral and Council races.
The canvassers were distributing literature purchased by the Arizona Republican Party. (Legal disclosure states "Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party.") It would appear that Sproul and the canvassers are being paid by the Arizona Republican Party since there is no line item in the Pima County Republican Party city campaign finance reports reflecting such expenditures.
The Arizona Republican Party did not file the campaign finance report with the City of Tucson that they were required to file by September 29. Currently the Arizona Republican Party has accrued over $150 in late fees ($10.00 per day) for not filing the finance report in a timely manner. The next report is due on or before October 27.
For $10 per business day, the Arizona Republican Party may have decided to take the penalty rather than to reveal the details of their activities, i.e., funneling Arizona Republican Party funds into the Tucson City Elections while in debt over $100,000. Perhaps they know just how unpopular this would be in Tucson.
Lincoln Strategy is a known vendor for the Arizona Republican Party. The printed materials being used say "Paid for by the Arizona Republican Party." These expenditures will ultimately be listed on the November 20 FEC report by the Arizona Republican Party covering all activity in the month of October. That, however, will be after the Tucson City Mayoral and Council elections.
Where did the Arizona GOP get the money to pay for this expenditure? Don't the contributions they receive need to go to pay off the party's debt?
If a donor gave the Arizona Republican Party a contribution(s) with the instructions that those funds be directed to a particular municipal election, the crime of "earmarking" has occurred. See A.R.S. Section 16-901 Definition of "earmarking." A.R.S. Section 16-906 which states “B. Except for a contribution to a candidate's campaign committee, an individual or political committee shall not give and a political party or other political committee shall not accept an earmarked contribution.”
The contributions to the Arizona Republican Party that are now being spent on Tucson's city elections can only have been illegally “earmarked.” Otherwise, they would have presumably been used to pay down the Arizona Republican Party’s over $100,000 debt.
UPDATE: Sigh. This merits only a mention in the Arizona Daily Star's Political notebook: State GOP, in debt, still dips into our local races:
The state GOP failed, however, to file the required Sept. 29 campaign finance report with the city, an omission that is slowly racking up penalties of $10 a day. Penalties are capped at $450.
Assistant City Clerk Suzanne Mesich said the party called Friday to say they'd had no activity to report for that period. Mesich said the clock doesn't stop until they file, though. Another finance report will be due Oct. 27.
The state GOP did not return calls Friday about why the party chose to sink money into the Tucson races instead of clearing the debt, especially given that donations to the parties, as opposed to those sent directly to the candidates, aren't allowed to be steered to particular races.