Just spent most of the morning reviewing financial reports from the candidates running for office in Arizona. From local county offices all the way up to Governor, the money trail is quite ... disgusting & eye opening.
For example, our county Sheriff, who is NOT running, for Sheriff at least, this year has not only raised $22,397 from Jan 1 - May 31 of this year for his Sheriff committee, but he's also raised more than $46,000 for his Paul Babeu for Arizona political action committee of which the largest donation ($20,000) came from George Johnson. (Paul also formed a Paul Babeu for America PAC.) He has then made contributions to candidates he is endorsing for office from the LD 8 Senate race and interestingly he has hand selected & contributed to Justice of the Peace (judge) candidates in precincts 1, 3 and 5. His brother, Shaun Babeu, is the current Justice of the Peace in precinct 7 already, which covers the San Tan Valley, Apache Junction, Gold Canyon areas & he did hand select, fund and run with the new county attorney back in 2012. Anyone else concerned that the Sheriff is hand selecting judges across the county? Anyone concerned that a Sheriff has created a PAC to endorse and fund candidates at all?
Next I looked at finance reports for our candidates running for House of Representatives for LD8, which is a very large district that includes the southern half of San Tan Valley (from about Combs south), Florence, Coolidge, parts of Casa Grande, Globe, etc. There are currently five candidates running, four Republicans and one Democrat, for two spots. For this piece I'm going to focus on the four Republican Candidates, as the one Democrat Candidate, who will not have a primary, has not reported accepting any money as of the last report. So let's talk Rep for LD 8. Two of the candidates are running "clean" and the other two are running "traditional". Clean election candidates receive $5 from registered voters in their area in order to qualify for a check from the government to fund their campaign. They cannot receive any more than $5 with the exception of a few thousand dollars in seed money, from registered party voters in their district. Traditional candidates receive money from anyone, anywhere, including political action committees, or PACs. Our two incumbents are again running traditional. What I found "interesting" was how much of their money comes from PACs and out of area individuals. Tens of thousands of dollars from political action committees and registered voters who not only don't live in LD 8, but some of whom don't even live in the state of Arizona.
Let's look at Frank Pratt's reports first:
Frank raised over $30,000 from Nov 27, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013. Of that, over $9,000 came from political action committees. Even more interesting than that however are the individual contributions. Out of 103 people who contributed to his campaign, TWO, yes 2 people were from his district, one from Coolidge and the other from San Tan Valley! January 31, 2014 Report - Frank Pratt
In his next report, he raised just shy of $4,000. $2,000 came from political action committees and the balance came from 17 individuals, of which again 2 were from within his district. June 30, 2014 Report - Frank Pratt
Anyone think it's odd that only 4 people felt strong enough to contribute money to Frank's campaign (total of $590), while he's raised over $34,000? Who is actually supporting him?
Now let's look at TJ Shope's reports:
TJ raised almost $46,000 from Nov 27, 2013 - Dec 31, 2013. Of that, over $20,000 came from political action committees. 133 individuals made personal contributions of which four (4) reside in his district. January 31, 2014 Report - TJ Shope (funny how many of the same names are listed on both Frank & TJs reports too. Guess they both know all of the same people.)
In his next report, he raised over $13,000. Almost $4,000 from political action committees, 66 personal contributions with again four (4) from his actual district. June 30, 2014 - TJ Shope
Unfortunately I could go on and on discussing the money trails of candidates but actually it's starting to make my stomach turn.
Take away from this post? Look at the money trail. Who is funding these people and why? Find how the who and the why, and you'll be able to tell how he/she will vote if they make it (or stay) in office.