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.

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

Priorities: Governing vs. Campaigning

By East Valley Evan

It’s that weird time of the political season when conflicts arise revealing where politicians’ priorities really are.

Yesterday, leaders of the Arizona House and Senate reached a deal on how to divvy up sections of Governor Ducey’s budget proposal. That deal will be revealed today.

Setting aside the details of the deal, it’s worth pointing out where leaders of both chambers are spending their time as this process unfolds.

Every legislator acknowledges that the most important part of their job is to pass a budget that establishes the financial priorities for the State of Arizona. It’s what voters elect candidates to do and it’s the epitome of responsibility for legislators once elected.

[pullquote align=”full” cite=”” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=””]When it comes down to governing or campaigning, governing should always take priority.[/pullquote]

Citizens would think and expect leadership in the House and Senate to treat this constitutional obligation with the utmost attention. Apparently that obligation can take a back seat  if you’re a candidate for another office while holding down your leadership position in the legislature.

House Speaker David Gowan got it right (although he is avoiding interaction with members of the media these days) when he skipped a CD-1 candidate forum in Casa Grande Monday night. He stuck around the legislature to make sure the House wrapped up the budget deal.

It wasn’t the same on the Senate side. Senate President Andy Biggs was nowhere to be found in the State of Arizona. Instead, he is making the rounds in Washington, DC trying to raise money for his next government gig. According to the Arizona Republic:

Senate Majority Leader Steve Yarbrough, R-Chandler — who was acting as Senate president while Andy Biggs was in Washington, D.C., Monday fundraising for a congressional campaign… 

Senate President Biggs who has become the professional career politician obviously feels the need to fly back to Washington, rub elbows with lobbyists and return home with a bundle of campaign cash.

Meanwhile, his colleagues in the House and Senate will work through the details on how best to spend Arizona taxpayer dollars.

It’s all about priorities.

~ He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much (Luke 16:10)

Analysis: Earn and Burn Rates for AZ01 Candidates

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, it should be noted that the FEC shows no 1Q report for Shawn Redd. Also, Wendy Rogers has been in the race for 78 days and Carlyle Begay has only been in the race 22 days.

Here are the numbers:

Campaign Raised 1Q Days in 1Q Earn Rate 1Q Spent    1Q Burn Rate 1Q Earn vs Burn Gap Cash on Hand 1Q Days to Primary 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
Rogers $114,209 79 $1,446 $51,809 $656 $790 $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 frugal candidate while Paul Babeu was the biggest spender.[/pullquote]
David Gowan topped the list when it comes to daily earn rate followed by Paul Babeu and Wendy Rogers. Again, we excluded Carlyle Begay given the short amount of time he has been in the race.

Finally, Gary Kiehne has the highest rate available of money to spend heading into the August 30th Primary Election. It should be noted that Kiehne has loaned his campaign the most money out of all the campaigns with $50,000 during the 1st quarter and $678,072 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 a graph of those rates compared against each other for each of the candidates:

EarnvsBurnRates

In this graph, Gary Kiehne has an inverted burn to earn gap of -$714. Paul Babeu is barely staying ahead of his burn rate at $105. Ken Bennett may have a lower burn rate but his earn rate is also very low giving him a gap of $268. That leaves David Gowan and Wendy Rogers (we are excluding Begay and Redd) with much healthier gaps. Gowan’s gap amounts to $1,081 and Rogers’ gap amounts to $790.

Note: When/if we receive FEC data for Shawn Redd, we will add this to the analysis.

Gowan leads Q1 Fundraising in CD 1; Carlyle Begay falters

For all of the narrative that members of the media and his opponents seek to destroy his candidacy with, Arizona House Speaker David Gowan led all Republican challengers in fundraising for the first quarter of 2016. Gowan’s fundraising number for Q1 was extremely impressive because of the fact that he has not been able to fundraise from Capitol lobbyists during the (still-ongoing) Arizona legislative session.

Here were the amounts raised in the first quarter from the major Republican candidates in CD 1:

  1. David Gowan                 $169,390.27
  2. Paul Babeu                     $157,734.35
  3. Wendy Rogers               $144,209.00
  4. Ken Bennett                   $ 80,027.00
  5. Gary Kiehne                   $48,980.47
  6. Carlyle Begay                 $39,906.00

Here are some notes about the first quarter of fundraising in CD 1:

  • A significant amount of Wendy Rogers’ Q1 funds came from out-of-state donors.
  • Paul Babeu’s burn rate is mind blowing, and his out-of-state funds are disproportionate to a candidate who claims to want to represent Arizona and CD 1. Though his scandals have not greatly hurt his fundraising so far, many donors are still waiting to see how long he can survive in the race before another significant story from his checkered past breaks against him.
  • For all the talk about how Carlyle Begay was going to raise upwards of $100,000 for the quarter, his haul was severely underwhelming and raised serious questions about his viability in a Republican primary. Most people have already noted that without the Arizona Republican Party’s exaggerated and drawn-out celebration of his party switch (masterminded by the then-Executive Director of the AZGOP, Chad Heywood-now Begay’s consultant), Begay would have no foothold in this primary. Simply put, Carlyle Begay is merely a product of a conflict of interest by the immediate-past ED of the AZGOP (as previously reported by the Yellow Sheet), and his fundraising numbers are reflecting this dark reality.
  • Ken Bennett raised a respectable amount of money, but not enough to break through into the presumed top-tier of contenders.
  • Gary Kiehne has the potential of challenging for the frontrunner’s position because of the shier amount of dollars that he has already lent himself. If he can run a disciplined campaign to the end of the primary, he has a shot a the Republican nomination.

POLL: The Republican Nominee for AZ01

David Gowan 1st CD-1 Candidate to Sign “Stop Common Core” Pledge

David Gowan

Proven Conservative & Constitutional Republican Signs Eagle Forum Pledge

Phoenix, AZ (October 8th, 2015) – Arizona Speaker of the House David Gowan became the first candidate in the race for Congressional District One to sign the Eagle Forum’s “Stop Common Core Pledge.”

“For me, this was an easy pledge to make because it was nothing more than a continuation of my history of opposing Common Core, no matter what it was called.” said Gowan.

The pledge commits its signers to opposing Common Core and limiting or eliminating various aspects of Common Core such as data collection, directed vocational training, and nationalized assessments.

“The Federal Government has no Constitutional authority when it comes to education, and Common Core represents nothing more than the next step in the federal takeover of our schools.” said Gowan, continuing “I believe that control of the schools ought to be a local matter, and I will fight against any efforts to give control to bureaucrats thousands of miles away from Arizona.”

Monday Poll: The Race for Arizona’s 1st Congressional District

Arizona House Speaker David Gowan To Run For Congress

David Gowan

ARIZONA SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE DAVID GOWAN TO RUN FOR U.S. CONGRESS
Conservative Republican with Proven Record will make D.C. “Respect the West”

Phoenix, AZ (October 5th, 2015) – Arizona Speaker of the House David Gowan today announced his candidacy for Arizona’s First Congressional District.

David Gowan“It has been my sincere honor to serve the people of Arizona in the House of Representatives for the past seven years.  Since first taking office in 2009, I have focused on the conservative values instilled in me by my father and refined through years of fighting for our shared Arizonan values.”

“While most candidates rely on promises of what they will do, I prefer to be judged on my conservative record and leadership.  As your Congressman, I will continue working to shrink the size and scope of government, I will fight to restore our Constitutional rights, I will make securing our borders the priority it ought to be, and I will work to ensure that our government’s focus is on getting out of the way of the private sector so that we can unleash our economy and create the millions of jobs we need to get our nation back on track.  I will also stand for our values, work to defund Planned Parenthood, protect innocent life, defend our family values, and stop Common Core.”

Speaker Gowan continued, “We’ve got a good field of nice candidates who will claim they are the greatest conservatives of all time.  Some have no record, some have small records, and some have mixed records – the biggest difference between us all is that with me, the voters know they can rely on my campaign promises to be kept, and my positions here in Arizona to be exactly the same once I get to Washington, D.C.”

David Gowan was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2008, where he took the lead in organizing the legislature’s conservatives into a meaningful and often decisive force.  He founded the Liberty Caucus which grew from five members into the success it is today.  In fact, the entire current elected House and Senate leadership are members of the Liberty Caucus.

Gowan has an extensive conservative record and boasts the best record of any candidate running, on issues like spending, taxes, protecting life, 2nd Amendment rights, state sovereignty, border security, school choice, fighting Common Core, and more.  He is also the only candidate running who has proven he knows how to shrink government.  In fact, the $11.2 Billion state budget he inherited is now $2 Billion smaller 7 years later.

David Gowan is Southern Arizona’s first Speaker in approximately 30 years.  He and his wife Jessica, and their two boys live in Cochise County.

NFIB/Arizona Endorses 43 Legislative Candidates for the General Election

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

Photographed holding one of NFIB’s signature “Small Business’ Choice” campaign sign-toppers, NFIB/Arizona Leadership Council Chairman Mark Giebelhaus congratulates former lawmaker Sylvia Tenney Allen after she was selected as replacement state senate nominee by Legislative District 6 Republicans at their August 30th special meeting in Flagstaff. The extraordinary selection became necessary when incumbent Sen. Chester Crandell died in an early-August horse-riding accident after primary ballots had already been sent to voters. Mr. Giebelhaus was on hand at the GOP meeting to inform Mrs. Allen that she would receive NFIB/Arizona SAFE Trust’s endorsement. Mrs. Allen served in the Arizona Senate from 2008 to 2013 rising to the position of Senate President Pro Tempore in 2011. While in office, she achieved a perfect 100-percent score on NFIB/Arizona’s Voting Records during her four-and-a-half years in the legislature.

The political action committee of Arizona’s leading small-business association today announced its General Election endorsements of 43 candidates for the Arizona Senate and Arizona House of Representatives.

“The legislative candidates endorsed by NFIB today are proven friends of free enterprise whom Arizona small-business owners can trust to place their responsibility to taxpayers first over the interests of bigger government and its enablers,” said Farrell Quinlan, Arizona state director for the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB).

These endorsements are formally issued by the NFIB/Arizona Save America’s Free Enterprise (SAFE) Trust, the organization’s political action committee, and represent the culmination of the legislative candidate endorsement process for the small business advocacy group.

In July, NFIB endorsed 42 candidates in the primary phase with all but two advancing to the General Election—Rep. Carl Seel lost his primary and Sen. Chester Crandell passed away in August. The three new NFIB endorsements for the General Election are former state senator Sylvia Tenney Allen who was selected by her party to replace Sen. Crandell in the Legislative District 6 Senate contest and House candidates Noel Campbell in Legislative District 1 and Anthony Kern in Legislative District 20. NFIB is expected to announce soon small business’ choice for governor and attorney general.

NFIB/Arizona Legislative Endorsements in the 2014 General Election:

  • LD05 Senate: Kelli Ward
  • LD06 Senate: Sylvia Tenney Allen
  • LD10 Senate: Mark Morrison
  • LD11 Senate: Steve Smith
  • LD12 Senate: Andy Biggs
  • LD13 Senate: Don Shooter
  • LD14 Senate: Gail Griffin
  • LD15 Senate: Nancy Barto
  • LD16 Senate: David Farnsworth
  • LD17 Senate: Steve Yarbrough
  • LD20 Senate: Kimberly Yee
  • LD21 Senate: Debbie Lesko
  • LD22 Senate: Judy Burges
  • LD23 Senate: John Kavanagh
  • LD01 House: Noel Campbell
  • LD01 House: Karen Fann
  • LD05 House: Sonny Borrelli
  • LD06 House: Brenda Barton
  • LD06 House: Bob Thorpe
  • LD10 House: Todd Clodfelter
  • LD10 House: William Wildish
  • LD11 House: Mark Finchem
  • LD11 House: Vince Leach
  • LD12 House: Eddie Farnsworth
  • LD12 House: Warren Petersen
  • LD13 House: Darin Mitchell
  • LD13 House: Steve Montenegro
  • LD14 House: David Gowan
  • LD14 House: David Stevens
  • LD15 House: John Allen
  • LD16 House: Kelly Townsend
  • LD17 House: J.D. Mesnard
  • LD17 House: Jeff Weninger
  • LD18 House: Jill Norgaard
  • LD20 House: Paul Boyer
  • LD20 House: Anthony Kern
  • LD21 House: Rick Gray
  • LD22 House: David Livingston
  • LD22 House: Phil Lovas
  • LD23 House: Michelle Ugenti
  • LD25 House: Rusty Bowers
  • LD25 House: Justin Olson
  • LD28 House: Shawnna Bolick

For more than 70 years, the National Federation of Independent Business has been the Voice of Small Business, taking the message from Main Street to the halls of Congress and all 50 state legislatures. NFIB annually surveys its members on state and federal issues vital to their survival as America’s economic engine and biggest creator of jobs. NFIB’s educational mission is to remind policymakers that small businesses are not smaller versions of bigger businesses; they have very different challenges and priorities.