Bill to streamline and consolidate campaign finance laws passes state Senate

Phoenix, AZ – A bill to allow the Secretary of State’s office to crack down on illegitimate, unlawful political spending has passed the Arizona Senate.

“I’m pleased our campaign finance bill (SB1516) to root out unlawful political spending has passed the Senate,” said Secretary Reagan.  “Hopefully, If the bill passes the House and is signed into law by the Governor, our office will finally have the tools necessary to go after fly-by-night “convenience corporations” who show up in Arizona on Tuesday and start spending money on Friday in our elections.”

“The ability to differentiate between bad actors and perfectly legitimate companies exercising their basic right to speak is historic,” continued the Secretary.  “It’s concerning to many that institutional groups like the Cattlemen’s Association, Planned Parenthood, Chamber of Commerce or Sierra Club would have to hand over the personal information of their members and supporters to a government agency. These provisions strike the right balance between holding wrongdoers accountable and protecting legitimate not-for-profits from big brother tracking the issues and causes they support and deciding what political speech they wish to regulate.

“In conjunction with our revolutionary, soon-to-be-released campaign finance reporting system, citizens will better able to educate themselves about the connections between the people who write checks and the politicians that cash them.”

Sponsored by Senator Adam Driggs, SB1516 is a comprehensive rewrite of Arizona campaign finance law.  While provisions related to anonymous political spending are extremely important, the legislation also provides a clear, concise set of policies and procedures where citizens can easily find and understand the rules by which they can engage in political activity.

Toby Farmer Calls on Don Shooter to Provide Proof of Suspicious Campaign Expenses

Toby Farmer

Toby Farmer Calls on Don Shooter to Provide Proof of Suspicious Campaign Expenses

Yesterday, Republican candidate for Arizona State Senate legislative district 13, Toby Farmer, criticized reported campaign expenses in Senator Don Shooter’s most recent campaign finance filing. The Arizona Republic recently uncovered troubling items in Shooter’s finance report, which includes:

● More than $18,000 in travel related expenses including fuel, mileage reimbursement, auto repair, and lodging.

● Over $15,000 in legal fees, including $10,100 in fees directly related to his three misdemeanor charges for barging into his grandson’s classroom and confronting a school teacher last year.

● Nearly three quarters of the $43,000 Shooter raised last cycle came from lobbyists and other special interests who have business at the State Capitol.

The Arizona Republic also uncovered that in addition to his $24,000 per year taxpayer salary, Shooter collected another $8,029 directly from taxpayers as part of his reimbursement for commuting to the Capitol to conduct legislative business. This amount is on top of the more than $18,000 he transferred from his campaign account for fuel and mileage reimbursement.

“The contents of Don Shooter’s campaign finance report are extremely troubling,” said Buckeye businessman Toby Farmer, who is challenging Shooter in the Republican Senate primary. “Senator Shooter appears to be transferring personal campaign contributions from lobbyists and special interest groups and lining his personal pockets by collecting both mileage reimbursement and gas money in addition to mileage reimbursement from the taxpayers of Arizona.”

If the Arizona Republic is correct, Senator Shooter would have driven over 30,000 miles in the last campaign cycle according to the legally binding reports he filed with authorities. Remarkably, that’s enough mileage to travel around the globe one-and-a-half times.

“Remarkably, when I speak with voters in his district in Maricopa County, no one seems to know who Don Shooter is,” said Farmer. “Mr. Shooter owes the taxpayers of Arizona and the voters of my district an explanation and proof of what he is spending this substantial amount of money on.”

Earlier this year, Don Shooter notoriously made headlines when he told a local television reporter that he wouldn’t give up free tickets from lobbyists to events like the Fiesta Bowl unless the taxpayers of Arizona gave him a pay raise.

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For more information on Toby’s campaign, please visit: www.FarmerAZ.com.