Fallout Begins For Republicans Co-Hosting Fundraiser With Democrats

Today’s Yellow Sheet carries a press release about the upcoming “12 in ’10” fundraiser event that is trying to land big-dollar contributions for 12 candidates, including some high-profile Democrats.  The event will take place at the Biltmore Resort and attendees are expected to contribute a minimum of $2,500 per person, divided amongst the candidates. So just who are the like-minded candidates that these donors are coming to see and help? Some of the Republican names include State Representatives Adam Driggs, Rich Crandall, Michelle Reagan, and Bill Konopnicki.  There are some Republican challengers on the list as well, including Doug Sposito, Karen Fann, and Kate McGee.

Joining them for the event are a couple of big-name Democrats, including one of the GOP’s top targets for the 2010 cycle, State Representative Eric Meyer, and Justin Johnson, son of former Mayor Paul Johnson, who is challenging GOP Senator Linda Gray.

Several things about this fundraiser has tongues wagging.  First, the price of admission. Ordinary folks can’t afford $2,500, so the target audience for this event is clearly a select group of well-funded individuals, PACs, and interest groups.  Second, no one can remember the last time Republicans teamed up with Democrats to raise money for each other, especially during an election season, and especially during a primary season when many of the Republican candidates are engaged in primaries themselves.

Reagan has no real challengers this cycle, so she can team with the Democrats without and consequences.  But it is a risky gamble for people like Konopnicki or Crandall.  Certainly their GOP opponents will be making some noise about their lack of loyalty.  Challengers like Sposito and Fann can also be taken to task by local opposition.  The most interesting district to watch will be LD11, where Adam Driggs and Kate McGee are actively raising money for the Democrat in their own district.  The same Democrat that the rest of the Republicans in the district are trying to beat so that they can recapture the longtime GOP seat.  We hardly imagine that the GOP activists in LD11 will take kindly to this news.



  1. New Conservative Voter says

    Raising money together during a primary season?!?!?!?!? I’ve heard of bipartisanship before, but this is ridiculous. Sounds like some of these candidates are getting desperate to raise funds! So who picked the blessed “12” from behind the scenes??

  2. TrueAZConservative says

    These are exactly the type of “conservatives” that we do NOT need in the state legislature. State senator Carolyn Allen has been causing problems over the past several years…she should be calling herself a democrat. There is nothing behind these candidates being “moderate” or “liberal,” they just shouldn’t be hiding behind the republican or conservative name; then lets see if they get elected!

  3. nordine crub says

    Not surprised that former dem Eric Ulis is on the list. I’m telling you he’s a plant!

  4. “Do not yoke yourselves to unbelievers.”

    Still good advice.

  5. So, what’s the situation with the previous commentary on this same event claiming Kirk Adams is presiding over this in some way? It absolutely should be clarified.

    Kirk Adams Says:
    June 8th, 2010 at 4:53 pm
    As a daily reader of this blog I was very concerned to read this post about a fundraising event of which I have no association. To correct the record, I am not involved with this fundraiser, nor have I been invited to attend

    The concept of a pooled fund-raiser hurts Republicans more than Democrats, so one wonders what agenda the un-identified “experts” had when they cooked this shin-dig up.

  6. PV Conservative says

    At tonight’s LD11 meeting, Adam Driggs said that he was “honored” to be co-hosting the event. Honored to co-host an event to raise money for a Democrat? What is wrong with this guy. How can all of these candidates be so completely tone deaf?

  7. Stephen Kohut says


    It seems to be a RINO affliction.

  8. VoiceInTheWild says

    Wow, pot calling the kettle black? One LD11 candidate has bags of out of state money, some from Democrats. Another claims to be a tea party lover yet had a pro-Prop. 100 sign in the front yard of their house. And another house candidate is talking with Phoenix union boss turned lobbyist and Phil Gordon front man, Billy Shields.
    Be careful of the press release you make. Mud only works when you’re teflon on the throwing side.

  9. PV Conservative says

    Hey, if Democrats want to give money to Adam Driggs they can (and likely will). But that is a completely separate issue from Adam Driggs raising money FOR Democrats. And to do so for one in your own district? There simply isn’t an excuse for it, even for a Driggs apologist like VoiceInTheWild.

    Who, incidentally, kind of creeps me out, what with going by their houses, sniffing through campaign finance reports, and keeping track of who they’re having conversations with. Seriously, its creepy.

  10. RepublicanSOS says

    $2500 admission fee? Interesting, since the max. contribution allowed is $410. Or has some type of PAC been set up to funnel the money? I hope the voters, new Senate president and House Speaker remember exactly who was a part of this money laundering scheme with the dems.

  11. Michele J Cardillo says

    I am so disappointed to read this. Especially one candidate, who had my vote and my trust, can forget it!

  12. VoiceInTheWild,
    As the host of Grassroots Interviews, I’d like to know which LD 11 candidates you’re speaking of so I can bring them on my show and ask them about these issues.

    Which, “candidate has bags of out of state money, some from Democrats”? Which candidate, “claims to be a tea party lover yet had a pro-Prop. 100 sign in the front yard of their house”? Which LD 11 House candidate, “is talking with Phoenix union boss turned lobbyist and Phil Gordon front man, Billy Shields”?

  13. Michele Reagan says

    I think it is very important to take into consideration that these candidates (myself included) were chosen by a group of business leaders, and these business groups chose who to invite to their event. When I was told I was selected, I had no idea who else was chosen, and was not privy to the “list” until the invites were sent out! To make assumptions that some of the Republican candidates “chose” to do a fundraising event with some Democrats is simply not accurate. It was NOT our decision to make.

  14. Michele Reagan says

    I think it is very important to note that these candidates (myself included) were selected by a group of business leaders and that each candidate was not privy to the “list” of who else was chosen until the invites were sent out! To imply that some Republicans are raising money for some Democrats is simply not accurate. This event ws planned by the business community, NOT by the candidates.

  15. Antifederalist says

    What you CHOSE to do was go to a fundraiser touted by the liberal McCainiac Deb Gullet whose infamous quote when she thought she lost her election was, “Gosh, I guess I was too liberal.”

    It’s also telling that these business owners are supporting liberal candidates. They must be the anti-free market type of business owners who expect the government to tailor the economy to their benefit. That tells me all I need to know too.

    The only reason why I can see that you’d pipe up is to defend your liberal buddies. You don’t have a primary, but you should have drawn a conservative primary challenger for your sins. So, it doesn’t matter what you say or do right now because you’re likely going to win a seat in the Senate with a minimum of effort. It makes me sick to my stomach.

    So, you don’t pipe up to say, “Hey, I’m not going to fundraise for Democrats.” You don’t pipe up to say, “Hey, I condemn fundraising with Democrats,” or “I’m pulling out of this event.” All you come on here to says is “Oh, the participating candidates didn’t have the list!” But you’re still attending with your liberal friends and that tells the ENTIRE STORY!

    You’re a pro-death WISH lister, an unapologetic liberal “Republican” and your scores from Goldwater, AFP, Pachyderm, etc. prove it. YOU are the reason why some people say, “There’s not a bit of difference between the Demopublicans and the Republicrats.” People just like you are why the Republicans lost elections in 2006 and 2008. Moderates lose the party elections. Conservatives energize the base and draw bright line differences between Democrats and Republicans. You are a disgusting baby killer. You deserve to be sent home this election year.

    Drop out after this term, Michele.

  16. Double Decaf Latte says

    You guys are being awfully hard on Michelle!

    The one we should be asking questions of is her pal, Eric Ulis, who is also a “GUEST OF HONOR” at the $2500 shake down.

    Ulis for those of you who don’t know this already, is running for Michelle’s OPEN Seat at a Former DEMOCRAT/REPUBLICAN.

    Before Moving to the Great State of Arizona he ran for the Legislature in 1996 in Washington State and then after losing there, moved South to try it again when he ran for a seat in the California State Assembly.

    While I truly do appreciate the fact that Eric has seen the light and has finally chosen to run “this time” as a Republican, (Could it be because you probably couldn’t run and win in this district as a Democrat) it does smack of political opportunism.

    Call me cynical but I have to wonder, will he be going back to the teachers union for backing and financial support this time? What about the other labor organizations that supported him in his run for office in 1996 and 2002 as a Democrat…will they support him again?

    My guess is he wasn’t talking like a Reagan Democrat when he met with those union leaders and asked for their support? Or perhaps he was talking out of the “other side of his mouth?”

    Please don’t get me wrong, I don’t begrudge anyone from holding a fundraiser. In fact, if Reagan, Ulis and the other REPUBLICAN (I had to chuckle when I wrote that) candidates want to hold a $2500 fundraiser at the swanky Bilkmore Resort, start sipping the Chablis and put your hands out for the checks.

    BUT . . . let the REAL Democrats hold their own fundraiser. Call me old fashioned, but I get a little nervous when there is too much co-mingling of the receipts.

    Oh, Michelle, while I have your attention. I loved both of your Sincere explainations.

  17. Michele Reagan says

    Yes, sorry about the 2 posts. I didn’t think the first one went through, so I re-typed it again. Opps -my bad! But to the Antifederalist reply – couple of points I would like to tell you. Not that it will change your opinion…but, WISH doesn’t exist anymore-hasn’t in AZ in 4 years.My Center for AZ Policy votes were 10 out of 12 -yes even I was surprised. And I was listed as a Friend of the Taxpayer this past year by Americans for Prosperity. With an asterisk that said “could use some improvement though” 🙂 Maybe I have matured a bit in the last few years??

  18. nightcrawler says

    You know Anti,

    When the flag on the back of your Harley is bigger than your mobile home, you must be a redneck. Is that any way to talk to a lady ? Disgusting baby killer ? Shame on you. On one side of your mouth you speak of cost of illegals and anchor babies an on the other you scream about birth control. How many babies have you adopted Anti ?

    Business will vote with its pocketbook. The GOP used to be business friendly, but no longer. With the recent Supreme Court decision on Clean Elections many self-righteous and hypocritical zealots who denounce government spending but are all too quick to take matching funds will need to face the political soup kitchen.

    Thank goodness someone has the sense to pick candidates based on pragmatism instead on ideological purity.

  19. PV Conservative says

    Seemed too harsh on Michelle, as far as the language went. But, and its fair to point this out to Michelle as with all of the other attendees, the invitation makes it clear that the legislators are not guests, they are the co-hosts and they are paying the costs of the event themselves.

    But let’s give Michelle and the rest of them some more leeway on that. Let’s say they didn’t know that they had agreed to be a host and pay their share. THEY DO KNOW NOW. More than that, then also NOW KNOW that they are co-hosting an event to raise money FOR DEMOCRATS.

    So whether Michelle and the rest knew or not really doesn’t matter. Now that they do know for sure, will they go ahead and have the event anyway? That will tell us what we need to know.

  20. obamanation says

    What PV Conservative said. Michelle, now that you KNOW what you are getting into, are you still going? Because if you do, then we will have a good idea of which side you fall on

  21. Michele Reagan says

    Your points are well taken. But, yes, I still plan on being there. I have always chosen to not run my campaigns with the welfare for politicians scam AKA Clean Elections. I raise my own money. As Commerce Chair of the House it seemed natural to be a part of this business coalition fundraiser. I do wish they had only included Republicans, or at least told us who else was going to be there before we committed to going. Intersting comments and input from all of you though. Thanks! I still learn something everyday. Good night all! – Michele

  22. PV Conservative says

    As Commerce Chair (blah blah blah) Michele can have her own fundraiser for GOP candidates any time she wants. Fact is, she’s off to help raise money for Democrats too because she wants to. Same goes for Driggs, Crandall, Konopnicki and all the rest.

    It sounds to me like what is really going on is the old center-left coalition is tired of the conservatives being in control and didn’t have any fun these last two years. So they’re going to work to re-establish control. It only makes sense to add Democrats to a center-left coalition.

    Good luck to you in this effort Michele.

  23. Stephen Kohut says

    One look at the PAChyderm and AFP ratings for this cluster of “Republicans” and you quickly find that they are tax and spend RINOs. You are who you hang with Michelle and you are hanging with the wrong people.

  24. Voting4Gowan&Vogt says

    Michele, while you’re there..ask Sposito how many times he has lied under oath.

  25. evelyn munn says

    Looks like we will have another 4 years of Carolyn Allen style politics….see how it is done by watching LD8 leadership…. see the RINOs in action as they check every name on the precinct committees to see who is on their side…see how they place the devoted progressives to keep their power base intact…devoted to the career of one of their own…see why LD8 is in shambles…but we are making an America firwt comeback Reagan-style….

  26. Sacramento Bea says

    It is a shame that a candidate who still owes an ex-wife years of unpaid child support should even be allowed to run for office. Yes, I am talking about one-time Democrat, now Republican, Eric Ulis. He’s not a plant, he’s a deadbeat.

  27. ExcellenceNow says

    But we can get rid of the likes of Rich Crandall, District 19. He’s as liberal as they come! His opponent is James Molina – a tried and true conservative who will stick to his principles. He can use your donations. Crandall was rumored to have banked $30,000 off the liberal fundraiser. Shameful!

    Donate to Molina Campaign!

  28. Michele Reagan, do you expect us to believe you had NO IDEA who was attending, and you had NO IDEA who these business men were, and you had NO DECISION in the matter? Grow a brain lady. These slimy tricks and secret deals will be your downfall. You and the rest of the liberal agenda will be sent packing… you, and Rich Crandall, and the rest of your liberal buddies! Start packing your bags!!!!

  29. A vote for these guys is a vote for Bigger Government, More Tax increases, loss of personal freedoms, and a longer deeper econommic crisis:

    Adam Driggs, Rich Crandall, Michelle Reagan, Bill Konopnicki, Doug Sposito, Karen Fann, Kate McGee.

    They are liberal, liberal, liberal. WAKE UP AZ. Just because you go to church with these guys, don’t get caught in the trap of voting for them. Educate yourself. Read the facts.

  30. Too Little says

    “True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.”

    – Franklin D. Roosevelt

    Shame on everyone who endorsed any one of these liberal RINOs. This election will try mens souls!

  31. Change-Up says

    I’m voting for CHANGE across the board! Not one incumbent will get my vote.

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