Maricopa County Republican Chairman A J LaFaro has filed a campaign finance complaint against ‘Arizona Grassroots Action’ with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and Maricopa County Elections Office.
Here is the complaint:
I wish to file a campaign finance complaint against Arizona Grassroots Action (AGA), which lists its address at 300 West Clarendon, Suite 460, Phoenix, AZ, 85013. We encourage anyone who reads this complaint to “Google” the address to see who is really located there.*
AGA conducted independent expenditures in multiple Legislative Districts (LD) in multiple counties to effect the outcome of Precinct Committeemen (PC) races. However, AGA never registered as a political committee, nor has it disclosed its donors or its expenditures. We went to a great deal of effort to verify that AGA was not filed with the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office and with the various counties in which it campaigned, etc.
AGA is also not registered with the Arizona Corporation Commission. It appears that AGA is a name selected to mimic an old campaign committee that was called Arizona Grassroots PAC and was closed in March of 2014. It is also the precise name of a federal PAC formed to benefit GOP Congressional candidates Martha McSally and Andy Tobin. However, the federal PAC uses a Virginia address and appears to be quite separate. So the selection of the name seems to be purposefully for the sake of creating confusion.
At this time we do not have a firm idea on exactly how many expenditures were made, however we have proof that AGA used a series of up to three mailers per precinct that was targeted in their Graham County efforts, two to three mailers per targeted precinct along with robo calls here in Maricopa County. PCs have reported receiving and seeing AGA’s campaign literature in LD23, LD25, LD28, and LD29.
We have put the word out asking people to report if AGA’s campaign literature was used in their LDs and will update our list as we get more responses.
While races for Precinct Committeemen do not attract the media attention that larger offices do, they are very important to the candidates who participate in them. The outcome of those races determine the makeup of party leadership both at the county and state level, and control of that leadership includes the ability to speak for the party as well as control over the party’s purse strings. These races can be very high-stakes. As such, the strategic advantage that accrues to a group that knowingly violates election law in order to gain a stealth advantage is tremendous. You do not have time to gather an effort to counter something that you have no idea is coming.
The penalties for failing to file a committee and failing to file reports that detail contributions and expenditures are substantial and are laid out in ARS 16-904 for example. The failure to file and report are both violations of ARS 16-902, 16-902.01, 16-904, 16-912, 16-913 and potentially 16-913.01 and 16-914.02 depending on the source and nature of the funds used to pay for this electioneering and expressed advocacy.
Furthermore, AGA failed to notify the candidates who were listed on their mailers of their independent expenditures in a timely manner as prescribed by ARS 16-917. The penalties for failing to do this shall be three times the cost of the literature.
Lastly, AGA would be required to list any individuals, corporations, LLCs and labor organizations paying for these expenditures should the source of any of this money come from any of these individuals, corporations, LLCs and labor organizations. There is no such disclosure save for “Paid for by Arizona Grassroots Action” and the penalties for failing to properly disclose are up to three times the cost of the literature.
It is too late to undo the damage done to the candidates who were disadvantaged by these unannounced and unreported mailings. However, your office can and should send a strong message to this group and those groups who would mimic this technique in the future that their actions carry severe financial penalties.
People and organizations that feel they are above the law by not registering with the appropriate state and county agencies so they can use their dirty money to fund their egregious acts of misleading and confusing the voters is totally unacceptable.
It is quite obvious AGA has violated election laws by not registering as a political committee or filing campaign finance reports, and I am requesting a full and thorough investigation into this heinous matter. Please consider this complaint a “class action complaint” on behalf of the thousands of individuals that have been wronged.
– A. J. LaFaro, Chairman, Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) Office: 480-752-9164, E-mail: email@example.com
* First Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Under “Our Team” you’ll find the names Wes Gullett, Kurt Davis, Marcus Dell’Artino, Barry Dill, Crystal Bradley, Bettina Nava, and Steve Roman. Five of the six highlighted names share a common thread: They have all worked for John McCain. At least a couple of those McCain cohorts show up on this 2006 Republicans for Janet (Napolitano) list.
Seeing Red AZ has previously provided additional background on such shenanigans:
This post card is an example of those sent out by then-Sen. Jon Kyl in 2012, as he intruded in the LD 28 precinct committeemen races and attempted to facilitate the removal of conservatives.
Another example of Republicrat duplicity also took place in District 28, where conservatives were targeted for removal on a slate pushing RINOs for election as state committeemen.
Integrity is in short supply these days. Here is a list of RINOs supporting liberal Democrat Felecia Rotellini. “Republican” is a convenient label for these turncoats to keep as they show their true colors while ripping fellow Republicans. If they reregistered as Democrats, their traitorous acts would lose their potency.