All you Airbnb fans take heed! The company has decided to inject itself into Arizona politics by funneling dark money against Republicans. In this letter, former Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump hits back with an email to Arizona legislators.
Dear Honorable Member:
It is rare for me to contact you as a private citizen and former colleague. I believe this issue is important enough to merit it.
An extremist far-left organization, Checks and Balances, is active again in Arizona. Yet again, it is attacking elected Republicans.
I fully expect Republican members of the House and Senate to be next.
Airbnb, which has enjoyed a friendly regulatory environment in Arizona thanks to you, is funding Checks and Balances. According to Penn State’s Daily Collegian, “Airbnb representative Nick Papas said Airbnb supports the work CBP does.”
What exactly is this “work”? Smearing, suing or harassing Arizona Republican officeholders such as Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, members of the Arizona Corporation Commission — including four Commission chairs — and yours truly.
Consider the “work” of the group Airbnb supports financially:
In an act of pure malice, Checks and Balances published my mother’s private mobile number on the Internet.
At a cost of hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars and staff time, and with the help of Democratic activist Dan Barr, Checks and Balances sued the Arizona Corporation Commission in an attempt to break the chain of custody of my phone and publish private text messages to my family and friends. Despite Checks and Balances’ conspiratorial fantasies, I was vindicated in court: Two judges determined that nothing retrieved from my phone met the definition of a public document.
Undeterred by losing in court every single time, Checks and Balances has taken to the pages of the Arizona Capitol Times to attack Arizona Corporation Commission Chair Tom Forese and Commission legal counsel Tim LaSota, who defended me in court.
Until recently, SolarCity, the nation’s largest solar rooftop leasing company, sponsored Checks and Balances. SolarCity’s aim was to attack and sue sitting regulators nationwide, in an attempt to alter regulatory outcomes and thereby enhance SolarCity’s bottom line.
SolarCity was shamed into withdrawing their support for Checks and Balances.
It is past time for Airbnb to follow SolarCity’s lead and cease funding a mercenary band of character assassins which exists to intimidate citizens at the behest of its corporate sponsors.
Airbnb’s CEO, Brian Chesky, ignored my letter to him, written when I was a sitting member of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Perhaps he will be more responsive to you.
I would suggest you contact Mr. Chesky and his lobbying team and ask why Airbnb is funding an unsavory group that sues and smears Arizona Republicans.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. And thank you for your service to our great state.
Former member and Health Committee Chair, Arizona House of Representatives (2002-2008)
Former Commissioner and Commission Chair, Arizona Corporation Commission (2008-2017)