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Martin’s $5 contributions under review for alleged duplicates

Dean Martin

Dean Martin

Dean Martin’s troubles with his $5 Clean Elections contributions may not be over yet.

Less than a week after Martin submitted his qualifying contributions, the Republican gubernatorial candidate is facing allegations that he collected multiple $5 contributions from at least 128 people, a violation of Clean Elections law that could jeopardize the $707,000 public funding his campaign is slated to receive. Now, the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office is reviewing all 5,354 $5 contributions Martin submitted.

A complaint filed with the Citizens Clean Elections Commission on June 21 alleged that Martin submitted duplicate $5 forms from the 128 people, including Sen. Ron Gould, Sen. Sylvia Allen and Rep. Nancy McLain. The complaint was filed by Bob Haran, a District 6 Republican committeeman and former legislative candidate who has a history of challenging Martin’s campaign fundraising activities.

Matt Benson, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s Office, said the office is looking for additional duplicates. Gubernatorial candidates must collect 4,410 $5 contributions from diferent donors to qualify for Clean Elections funding, and if a candidate submits less than 110 percent of the minimum number of contributions – 4,851 for the governor’s race – then county recorders will have to verify every one of Martin’s forms, Benson said.

A spokeswoman for the Martin campaign could not be reached for comment.

It took Martin about six months to collect and submit his $5 forms, fueling speculation that the state treasurer was having trouble getting enough contributions to qualify for Clean Elections funding. Now, even if Martin’s contributions withstand scrutiny, the review could cause further delays in Martin getting his campaign funding. Benson said the Secretary of State’s review will be completed in several days.

“Obviously the concern for Mr. Martin is qualifying as quickly as possible for the money,” Benson said.

Haran, who said he is not affiliated with the campaigns of Martin’s rivals for the GOP nomination, said he is hoping his challenge will prompt a full review of all of Martin’s $5 forms.

“If he has not met the requirement he should not be getting that money,” Haran said.

Haran said decided to check Martin’s fives after he saw Martin campaign volunteers collecting $5 forms at pro-S1070 rally in early June.

“I remember she was saying, ‘We’re so close. We just need your signature.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Wait a second. You need more than just the signature. You need the $5 bill too,’” Haran said. “When I looked at the list of people that gave to him I’m seeing at least 128 multiple contributions.”

Martin is facing Gov. Jan Brewer, northern Arizona businessman Buz Mills and former pharmaceutical representative Matthew Jette in the Aug. 24 GOP primary election.

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