Special Interest spends nearly $700K to re-elect Bob Burns

SIspends
NEARLY THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION DOLLARS SPENT
AND THEY AREN’T DONE YET!

In campaign finance reports submitted today, it’s reported that Save Our AZ Solar spent $667,082.04 with the hopes of getting Bob Burns re-elected to the Corporation Commission. When you dive a little deeper into the numbers you’ll see that Save Our AZ Solar received $700,000 from SolarCity. And ALL of this spending took place over a 16 day period – August 2 – August 18.  You can review the finance report here.

Here’s a quick breakdown:

Mailing services (mail pieces) – $436,097.16
Digital ads – $225,000
Robocalls – $5,984.88

In Burn’s campaign rhetoric he speaks often about “special interests” trying to stack the deck at the Corporation Commission.

This infusion of cash from SolarCity in support of Burns is starting to make us believers.

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Republican Candidates for Arizona Corporation Commission Debate on Horizon

Follow the Money: SolarCity to Bob Burns

“Follow the Money”

SolarCity, a company who has one of the largest financial stakes in decisions that are made by the Corporation Commission is pouring money into Bob Burns re-election campaign through the AZ “Save Our Az Solar” committee.  From mail pieces and robo calls, to Google and Facebook ads.

What they don’t want Republican voters to know is that they are desperately hoping their candidate makes it out of the Primary so they can team him up with the two Democrats in the General election.

Yes, that’s correct; the SolarCity Dream Team – Bob Burns and the two Democrats.

Oh, how the money and games flow, not quite like the Game of Thrones but still intriguing:
(click on chart)

SolarCity Web

 

 

Links:

Save Our AZ Solar

Energy Choice For America

Kris Mayes appointed to the Energy Foundation’s board of directors

Energy Foundation financials

Scott Hempling’s clients

Dan Barr – Attorney for Checks and Balances

Outside groups target Arizona

SolarCity funded group targeting commission

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Solar Money Buying the Election for Bob Burns?

The past few years have seen an explosion of outside money to aid campaigns. Outside money is not new to politics and has been around since the dawn of democracy. What is new, however, is that much of it can be spent without knowing who is funding it. In the fights over election spending in Arizona, a lot has been made of outside money that the utilities may have given to aid Corporation Commission candidates. The Commission regulates utilities, so it seems to be a fair question. In the newspapers’ zeal to find out everybody’s sources except their own, (which they conveniently feel a 1st amendment right to do) they have launched some serious charges against local utility companies. What they haven’t done is given the same level of scrutiny to solar companies who have used outside money to aid pro-solar commission candidates.

Recently, Chris Mayes, Janet Napolitano’s spokeswoman and a Napolitano appointee to the Corporation Commission, has been leading efforts by solar companies to spend millions of dollars to aid the already largely subsidized solar industry. Voters should be wary when they see mail and hear calls from Mayes and solar dark money so that they don’t fall for the attacks on the current commission or commissioners. The current commission supports Arizona’s renewable energy mandate, which requires the utilities to use a mix of renewable energy already for distribution to Arizona homes. However that does not seem to be enough for the solar industry that wants to make profits off of government tax credits and federal dollars. Conservatives shouldn’t be deceived by claims made by solar alleging that those who want the market to decide the best energy sources are somehow anti-solar. Solar is already a part of the energy mix and will continue to be prevalent for quite some time. How much it should be subsidized by other rate payers is the real question before voters this November. Should a small percentage of solar users get tax credits and raise the cost for other energy users? Voters will weigh in August and November on these critical issues.

Colonel Wendy Rogers Shatters Own Record with Q2 Fundraising

Wendy Rogers

(Flagstaff, AZ) – Lt Col (ret) Wendy Rogers demonstrated impressive momentum in her second quarter fundraising. Rogers raised nearly $210,000 from a diverse group of nearly 500 total donors. She also has over $275,000 cash on hand as the August Primary Election approaches.

“We are winning. Our momentum builds daily. We’ve drawn increasing support from all over the country because voters want more operational military veterans in Congress. National security and the border are prime concerns,” Rogers stated. “Hardworking Americans vote for me with donations to make America great again,” she said.

Last week, two sisters of Colonel Rogers’ opponent, Paul Babeu, endorsed Rogers. Both Lucy Babeu and Veronica Babeu Keating went public in their support for Rogers as they criticized their brother, Paul Babeu, for being unfit to hold office. The Babeu sisters continue to release documents and video footage which expose their brother for having lied about his role as head of a Massachusetts boarding school that eventually was shuttered due to multiple reports of child abuse. In January, Colonel Rogers demanded that Sheriff Paul Babeu drop out of the race when new video footage surfaced.

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Lt Col (ret) Wendy Rogers was one of the Air Force’s first women pilots. She and and her husband Hal are both retired career US Air Force officers. Since 1997, they’ve owned a home inspection business covering four counties spanning northern to southern Arizona. Colonel Rogers is a businesswoman, teacher, social worker, mother and grandmother. She and Hal own their retirement home in the midst of where they do business in Flagstaff, Arizona.

Arizona House Speaker Gowan Tries to Hide From Arizona’s Open Records Law

Defend Rural Arizona
Two and a half months after a request was issued to the Arizona House, a request for records relating to Speaker Gowan’s travel remains unfulfilled
Earlier this year, embattled House Speaker David Gowan had to pay back $12,000 in expenditures after audits found he had requested mileage reimbursements for travel unrelated to state business, had claimed mileage while using a state vehicle, or had been granted a per diem for days when he was not doing state work.  Subsequent press investigations found that a substantial amount of his allegedly “official” travel was taken to areas within Congressional District 1, and questions remain as to the extent of his attempts to use state resources to subsidize campaign travel.For this reason Defend Rural Arizona issued a request for the Speaker’s travel records on March 24.  DRA still has not received any files from the speaker or his office.  The only communication we have received is confirmation from May 5 that our request had been received and would be processed.

Under the Arizona Public Records law, A.R.S. § 39-121.01(D)(1), “The custodian of such records shall promptly furnish such copies, printouts or photographs.”  Failing to furnish requested information for more than two months does not seem to fit with the definition of “prompt” disclosure.

“This is a classic example of a career politician who thinks he’s above the law.  It should come as no surprise that he is under investigation,” said James Harris of Defend Rural Arizona.  “We believe the people of Arizona have a right to know if Speaker Gowan is improperly using his office to further his political career, and we encourage Speaker Gowan to stop dragging his feet and release these records.”

A copy of the original records request can be viewed here, while a copy of the response received from the House Republican Caucus Press Secretary can be viewed here.

Commissioner Bob Stump – Super Hero Fighting For Truth, Justice & Ratepayers

Gotta love Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Stump!

He’s been through hell and back battling against the leftist faux watchdog group, Checks & Balances. The left-wing villains in this group have launched attack after attack against Stump only to be rejected over and over again by a Superior Court Judge.

The same group has attacked the Arizona Attorney General, a former Solicitor General and every other elected, appointed or law enforcement official who has investigated the false allegations imagined against Bob Stump.

He’s even taken hits by a so-called fellow Republican who may have been infected by the Checks & Balances virus.

But still Commissioner Stump holds his ground for truth, justice and the ratepayer way.

You may laugh at my exaggerated description of what’s been taking place over the last year with the Arizona Corporation Commission but sometimes truth is stranger than fiction.

The fact is, a battle has been taking place for sometime over who sits on the Arizona Corporation Commission. There are only five seats on the commission which means the left has to capture three in order to seize power and push its green energy agenda.

The Checks & Balances Project has been a key player in this battle putting its weight into frivolous legal challenges and conjuring negative media attention against the Republicans on the Commission. They may have assimilated one already.

This group is part of a vast left-wing network of subsidy-thirsty corporatists disguised as green energy advocates. They’re largely funded by left-wing philanthropists and dark money donors like billionaire Tom Steyer. Their mission is to fundamentally transform US energy policy and that means getting their puppets into key power positions like the Arizona Corporation Commission. Sound familiar?

You can bet candidates like Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell are just who they want to fill two seats on the Arizona Corporation Commission. Both Chabin and Mundell have cloned Big Solar and green corporatists messaging in their campaign themes.

We’re not buying it and neither is Bob Stump. That’s why he’s a super hero to us.

Every time we flip a switch, turn on a light or adjust the thermostat, we’re reminded that common sense commissioners like Bob Stump are holding back the enemies of cheap and efficient energy policy from waging war on ratepayers.

Get that commissioner a cape!

SuperMan Bob Stump

 

Tom Chabin & Bill Mundell – The Clone Candidates

Tom Chabin & Bill Mundell - The Clone Candidates

If you look at the websites of liberal Democrat candidates Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell you’ll see they’re practically clones. They both use header photos from Roosevelt Lake, including a photo of Roosevelt Dam; the language is identical with the exception of their names and the layouts are inverse. Not much creativity and not much diversity.

(Incidentally, Roosevelt Dam is operated by the Salt River Project (SRP) and is not under the jurisdiction of the Arizona Corporation Commission. Read why here.)

That’s what you’d end up getting on the Arizona Corporation Commission if these two green corporatists get elected in November.

Both campaigns are running exclusively on the message that Arizona Public Service is evil and bazillion dollar deals are taking place in smoky backrooms.

What they won’t tell you is that the leftist-controlled “green” corporations will be working behind the scenes to make these two Democrats carry their agenda.

And what is the agenda of these big green corporations? To keep the flow of ratepayer and taxpayer dollars to the solar industry and other heavily-subsidized green corporations.

These are the companies that have imploded or gone bankrupt like Solyndra, Abengoa and SunEdison.

Don’t be fooled by all the hyperbole rhetoric by Bill Mundell and Tom Chabin over “dark money.” They themselves will be the beneficiaries of dark money as Big Solar dumps millions of dollars into the Arizona Corporation Commission race to get them elected.

For Big Solar and the other green corporatists, it’s about getting votes on the Commission so they can ramrod policies through that hurt taxpayers, ratepayers and cost thousands of jobs.

This election, beware the clone candidates who will open the door wide to disastrous Obama green energy policies right here in Arizona.

 

 

Tom Chabin’s Dark Money Past

In the race for Arizona Corporation Commission, there are several candidates who aren’t who they say they are.

One candidate in particular, has made a major part of his campaign platform about running against “dark money.” You see it on his website, social media and in the media.

Tom Chabin Dark Money

Tom Chabin rails about dark money being spent by big power companies. We assume he’s referring to APS and their First Amendment participation in the election process.

What Tom Chabin doesn’t want you to know is that he was the direct beneficiary of  “dark money” during his failed state senate campaign in 2012.

According to the Arizona Secretary of State’s website, Chapin was the direct beneficiary of $204,531 from four independent expenditure groups.

Tom Chabin IE Money

America Votes is listed as a labor union organization based out of Washington, DC. On their website, they tout “building progressive power” and partnering with every radical leftist organization in America. During the 2012 election cycle, they spent $127,077 in Arizona to elect Democrat candidates. Chabin was one of those Democrats they attempted to elect. Fortunately, they failed.

Another organization that spent $145,774 to keep Tom Chabin in his $24,000/year legislative seat was the Arizona Accountability Project. On their campaign finance reports, they reported $475,000 funneled from an outside dark money group called Revive Arizona Now. They ended up spending $561,047 on Democrat candidates in 2012.

Chabin also was aided and abetted by two other independent expenditure committees. Citizens for Public Education spent $315 but Revitalize Arizona kicked in $44,318 in an effort to save his re-election. According to the Secretary of State’s website, Revitalize Arizona took in $744,328.47 from another group called Residents for Accountability which Tucson media reported, “that group’s finances are a bit of a Russian nesting doll.” Revitalize Arizona spent $44,318 to re-elect Tom Chabin in 2012.

[pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]Revitalize Arizona – “that group’s finances are a bit of a Russian nesting doll”[/pullquote]

Tom Chabin lost his bid for the Arizona State Senate in 2012.

Now Chabin is running for a seat on the Arizona Corporation Commission as part of a Democrat team with Bill Mundell.

Chabin and Mundell are running as “Clean Elections” candidates so they won’t be asking for private donations in their race. PAC’s and individuals will still donate and participate in the election under Arizona campaign finance limits. Independent expenditure committees will still attempt to affect the outcome of the race through express advocacy. And we expect non-profit organizations to air issue-ads to “educate” citizens about the issues.

Both Democrats have made it their mission to attack their opponents by alleging Republicans are part of a vast right-wing conspiracy with APS. (They’re not.)

Both Chabin and Mundell are pushing for Big Solar’s agenda. These solar companies, backed by big environmental leftists, want to retain and expand on their taxpayer subsidies. If elected, Chabin and Mundell will work to keep the taxpayer dollars flowing to these solar corporations.

Given the dismal history of bankruptcies and bailouts of big solar corporations like Solyndra, SunEdison and Abengoa, handing authority to Democrats like Tom Chabin and Bill Mundell would be a financial disaster to ratepayers and the energy market.

Tom Chabin

Expect Big Solar to strong-arm this race and spend big money to put their corporate cronies in place. Just don’t expect leftist-friendly media to shine any light on their dark spending or on Chabin’s dark money past.

 

Update on AZ01 GOP Candidate Earn vs Burn Rates

In an earlier post, we provided an analysis of the campaign finance reports of Arizona’s CD-1 candidates. At the time, no information was available from the Shawn Redd campaign because the reports were filed manually with the Federal Elections Commission. Those reports are now available.

We also need to correct a number on another candidate campaign in which a typo occurred on the spreadsheet. That candidate’s financial health actually improved significantly with the correction. Read our updated analysis below.

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An analysis of Federal Election Commission reports by CD-1 candidates shows some interesting financial trends taking place.

Looking exclusively at the first quarter period of time, we calculated daily earn and burn rates for each of the campaigns effective March 31st. There were 91 days in 1Q.

These rates have been adjusted based on the number of days the campaign has been operating for the 1st quarter period of time. In addition, we calculated the burn rate for each candidate to the Primary Election date. There are 152 days until the Primary Election from March 31st. This is the amount of money the campaign has left to spend on a daily basis to get to August 30th leaving no money left in the bank.

For this assessment, all reports are now available and are pro-rated accordingly to the days a candidate has been in the race. For example, Wendy Rogers has been in the race for 78 days and Carlyle Begay has only been in the race 22 days. The earn and burn rates are adjusted accordingly.

Here are the updated/corrected numbers:

Candidate Campaign Raised 1Q Days in 1Q Daily Earn Rate 1Q Spent    1Q Daily Burn Rate 1Q Daily Earn vs Burn Gap Cash on Hand 1Q Days to Primary Daily Burn Rate to Primary Election
Babeu $157,734 91 $1,733 $148,157 $1,628 $105 $259,351 152 $1,706
Begay $39,905 22 $1,814 $513 $23 $1,791 $39,392 152 $259
Bennett $80,027 91 $879 $55,633 $611 $268 $195,691 152 $1,287
Gowan $169,390 91 $1,861 $70,978 $780 $1,081 $238,468 152 $1,569
Kiehne $48,980 91 $538 $113,933 $1,252 -$714 $513,615 152 $3,379
Redd $1,800 91 $20 $7,615 $84 -$64 $1,785 152 $12
Rogers $144,209 79 $1,825 $51,809 $656 $1,170 $100,765 152 $663

 

As a prior post pointed out, Paul Babeu has the highest burn rate followed by Gary Kiehne. Excluding Begay’s campaign due to the short period of time, both Wendy Rogers and Ken Bennett have the lowest burn rates. [pullquote align=”left” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]For the entire quarter, Wendy Rogers was the most financially disciplined candidate while Paul Babeu was the biggest spender and Gary Kienhe ran the largest deficit.[/pullquote]

We corrected the amount raised for Wendy Rogers which resulted in a significant boost to her daily earn rate. That still resulted in David Gowan barely remaining at the top of the list with a daily earn rate of $1,861 but moved Wendy Rogers into second place at a daily earn rate of $1,825. Paul Babeu trailed at a daily earn rate of $1,733 but if we include Carlyle Begay given the short amount of time he has been in the race, Babeu drops to 4th place.

One thing to note about fundraising for these candidates is the ease of access to PAC and lobbyist money. As Speaker of the House David Gowan has tremendous influence over the outcome of legislation. Many lobbyists have bills making their way through the Arizona House and that means a high level of interaction and access with the Speaker. A review of Gowan’s report reveals that many lobbyists have contributed to his campaign. It also shows that he has received $16,250 in PAC contributions – the top recipient of all the candidates. Carlyle Begay placed 2nd in PAC contributions at $12,000 while Babeu ran 3rd with $5,000. Ken Bennett bottomed the list with $1,000 in PAC contributions. Gary Kiehne, Shawn Redd and Wendy Rogers received no money from PAC’s

Looking at available money, Gary Kiehne has the highest amount available to spend on a daily basis heading into the August 30th Primary Election. It should be noted that Kiehne has loaned his campaign the most money out of all the other campaigns with $50,000 being fronted to the campaign during the 1st quarter and $678,072 being loaned during the election cycle to date.

Candidates with a larger gap between earn and burn rates this early in a campaign are more likely to be in better financial shape heading into an election. Obviously, candidates should be raising more money then they are spending to avoid draining their resources or running a deficit. Here’s an UPDATED graph of those rates showing the daily gap between each candidate’s earn and burn rates:

AZ01 Candidate Daily Earn & Burn Rates

 

In this graph, Gary Kiehne has an inverted burn to earn gap of -$714. Shawn Redd’s gap is now included in this analysis and shows he spent more money than he took in during IQ with a daily gap of -$64. Paul Babeu’s campaign is barely staying ahead of his burn rate at $105/day. Ken Bennett may have a lower burn rate but his earn rate is also very low giving him a gap of $268. That leaves Wendy Rogers and David Gowan with the healthiest gaps. Gowan’s gap amounts to $1,081 but after a correction in the data, Rogers’ gap grows to $1,170 making her the candidate with the healthiest daily earn-to-burn rate. (Carlyle Begay was excluded from this 1Q analysis because the campaign had only been in the race for 22 days which is below a 30-day billing cycle for spending money.)

  • Paul Babeu spent $0.94 for every dollar he raised
  • Ken Bennett spent $0.70 for every dollar he raised
  • David Gowan spent $0.42 for every dollar he raised
  • Gary Kiehne spent $2.33 for every dollar he raised
  • Wendy Rogers spent $0.36 for every dollar she raised

Our conclusion: David Gowan raised the most money although much of it was from lobbyists and PAC’s. Paul Babeu spent the most amount of money and his daily earning rate is barely keeping ahead of his daily spending rate. Gary Kiehne ran the largest deficit spending for the quarter having raised the least amount of money but loaning the campaign the most amount of money. Ken Bennett raised the least amount of money for 1Q and spends nearly 70% of what he raises. Carlyle Begay has not been in the race long enough to derive an accurate assessment. Shawn Redd’s financial reports eliminate him from the analysis as an outlier. While Wendy Rogers placed 3rd in fundraising, she has the healthiest daily earn vs. burn rate showing her to be the most financially disciplined candidate in the race for CD-1.

Here are links to each candidate’s campaign finance reports on the FEC:

Paul Babeu
Carlyle Begay
Ken Bennett
David Gowan

Gary Kiehne
Shawn Redd
Wendy Rogers