Year-end campaign finance reports filed with the SOS recently by the state GOP and Democratic parties show a noticeable lack of individual contributors. Absent several deep-pocketed donors, like Pederson, Alice Roe, and Jim Click, individual contributions to state accounts were almost non-existent. One Republican source close to the party told YS that state party officials were given a heads-up by GOP that the Republican House and Senate Victory independent expenditure committees would handle in-state efforts to help elect GOP legislators. That, said the source, gave the party more leeway to direct contributors to the Arizona GOP’s federal account, which of course, could spend money on both federal and state races with fewer restrictions.
Steve Tully, chairman of the Republican Senate Victory Committee, disagreed with the claim. “We can’t coordinate with the state party, and I’ve had no conversation with the state party about races,” he said. Republican lobbyist Kevin DeMenna, who raised money for the House and Senate PACS, said the GOP source’s claim could be both discredited and supported, given the atmosphere surrounding the party. The point of the committees, he said, was to attract contributors that grew “uncomfortable with the direction of the Republican Party;” primarily its swerve from principled Reaganomics to fuming about illegal immigration. But the advice that legislative spending could be left to the Victory independent expenditure groups could also have merit, as House and Senate leadership “would prefer the party stays away” from upcoming elections.
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