Arizona Governor has caused a dust up over her decision to use money contributed to her independent expenditure committee, Arizona’s Legacy, to help Scott Smith in his gubernatorial bid. Coupled with the recent revelations that the Smith camp has ties with unions, has Party faithful feeling once again betrayed by Brewer.
According to the Yellow Sheet, the Governor said she’s encouraging people to contribute to her IE group “so we’ll have plenty of money to continue with our endeavors to make sure that [Smith is] elected the next governor of the great state of Arizona.” The Governor reportedly sent out an email for Medicaid expansion”in which Brewer said her target is to raise $500,000 in the next two weeks to ensure the election of “pro-business, thoughtful Republicans” to the state’s top offices,” reported the Yellow Sheet.
Popular Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio, noted on Facebook that “Smith’s PR person is hired by the unions and is chairman of the dark money group “Independent Voices Arizona” which is attacking other Republicans. First time in AZ history a Gov candidate has on staff a dark money person and the media ignores that fact. He is paid by the same union that brought financial chaos to Phoenix, that spent $1.1 million attacking me and my family and is fighting against financial accountability.” The post, which was picked up by the conservative website; Sonoran Alliance, turned a dust up into a dust devil for the Governor and Smith.
This month, the Professional Fire Fighters of AZ endorsed Smith. As mayor of Mesa, Smith pre-approved 4,700 hours of union release time for firefighters. This time is given to the union leadership to meet and discuss union-related items while on the clock for the City of Mesa, allowing union activities to occur on the taxpayer’s dime.
“My dad was a cop, and I have the deepest respect for public safety officers and first responders and the sacrifices their families make to support our neighborhoods and communities,” smith’s opponent Doug Ducey said. “In Arizona, however, the union heads representing hardworking firefighters have historically used over-the-top tactics to intimidate opponents, as they did last year on Phoenix City Councilman Sal DiCiccio and his family. These kinds of union attacks, especially on families and young children, are simply wrong.”
DiCiccio said, “I have first-hand experience with the harsh campaign tactics used by Arizona’s firefighters union, which spent more than $1 million attacking me and my family. Will Scott Smith publicly condemn these tactics? Because nobody should have to endure that kind of dirty campaign. What’s worse is that, as Mayor, Scott Smith authorized using taxpayer money to fund union activity, which the Arizona courts ruled is illegal. Scott Smith has already done them one favor using taxpayer money in an illegal scheme and, if he gets elected, you can be sure he’ll continue giving the unions exactly what they want. This is what they do,” DiCiccio concluded.
The Governor had lost a great deal of support in her own Party for her decision to buy into Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. She still has considerable heft in the fundraising department, but her latest move is expected to send contributors to individual candidates in the final days of the campaign season.
The candidates she has endorsed have appeared to have suffered from her association. The Yellow Sheet reports that “polling in legislative races conducted by three different groups and shared with our reporter largely tells the same story: The business community will be able to claim success in helping the Republican incumbents who supported Medicaid expansion fight off primary challengers, but will fall flat in its attempts to unseat conservative incumbents.”
Brewer’s association has caused serious damage to incumbent Senator Bob Worlsey. Worsley is running in a close race with political newcomer Dr. Ralph Heap. According to the Yellow Sheet, “Evidence of Worsley’s precarious position is seen in the deluge of outside spending in the race, including television ads funded by the Arizona Business Coalition. So far, $79,000 has been spent backing Worsley and another $21,000 against Heap. Anti-Worsley forces have spent more than $28,000 against the incumbent and $9,000 boosting Heap.”
With the wins of Dave Bratt against Eric Cantor, and Wisconsin’s Sheriff David Clarke, Republicans learned this year that money doesn’t county; votes do.
One group expected to be short on money and high on votes is the conservative team in LD11. According to the Yellow Sheet, “LD11 Senate hopeful Scott Bartle has been unable to get any traction in his challenge to Smith, and one of the polls shows Smith leading by more than 25 points.” The Yellow Sheet reports that one poll shows political newcomers Vince Leach and Mark Finchem handily beating long time political operative Jo Grant.