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Nearly $500K in ‘dark money’ spent on Arizona 2016 legislative primary

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(Note: This story comes from the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting through a Creative Commons license. AZCIR is a nonprofit investigative newsroom.)

With just one week until Arizona’s primary election, political spending to affect legislative races paid for by outside groups that don’t disclose the source of the money amounts to almost half a million dollars.

The $478,000 in “dark money” was spent in the past six weeks, ramping up during the past two, once early ballots were mailed to Arizona voters.

A Republican-leaning legislative district representing northwestern Arizona, including Kingman and Lake Havasu City, has attracted the most money — about a quarter of the spending so far. “Dark money” groups have spent almost $65,000 to help Rep. Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, defeat former Sen. Ron Gould, R-Lake Havasu City, in the race for their district’s senate seat. “Dark money” groups spent $50,000 in the fight over the district’s two house seats.

Another $84,000 has been spent in Legislative District 12, a Republican district in the suburban, southeastern corner of the Phoenix metro area, including parts of Gilbert and Chandler. All of the “dark money” spent in the district has gone to help one slate. Positive spending has gone to help Rep. Warren Petersen, R-Gilbert, move from one of the district’s two House seats to the Senate, and to help re-elect veteran legislator Rep. Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, and to help newcomer Travis Grantham, R-Gilbert, replace Petersen. Negative spending has gone to defeat fellow Republican candidate for the Senate Jimmy Lindblom, R-Gilbert, and Republican House candidate LaCinda Lewis, R-Gilbert.

American Federation For Children, Inc. spent the most “dark money” in Arizona so far, with $213,000 going mostly to help specific Republicans in primary fights. The group spent $24,000 to help one Democrat, Steven Begay, who is running for the Senate in the heavily Native American Legislative District 7. The pro-charter school group spent only $205,000 during the entire 2014 election cycle.

Arizona Free Enterprise Club spent roughly $77,000 so far, also entirely to sway Republican primaries. The group ended up spending roughly $248,000 in legislative races during the 2014 cycle, and another $1.2 million in statewide races that year.

Be sure to follow AZCIR’s Dark Money Twitter Bot for near-real time “Dark Money” updates.

Expenditure Date Filing Committee Elect or Defeat Target Committee Race Chamber Amount
7/13/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election David Cook 4 Office AZLD8 House $5,420.00
7/14/16 Arizona Wins Advocating Election Re-Elect Quezada 2Q16 AZLD29 Senate $14,480.00
7/14/16 Arizona Wins Advocating Election Committee to Elect Maritza Miranda Saenz AZLD27 Senate $14,480.00
7/25/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Conservatives for Stringer AZLD1 House $9,772.79
7/26/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $2,119.20
7/26/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $2,119.20
7/26/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $2,119.20
7/26/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $2,049.50
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Griffin for Senate 2016 AZLD14 Senate $2,969.27
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $3,101.98
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $3,593.05
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Anthony Sizer For AZ State House AZLD14 House $2,969.26
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election VOTE BECKY AZLD14 House $2,969.26
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $3,101.97
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bob Worsley for State Senate 2016 AZLD25 Senate $3,593.06
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $3,101.97
7/27/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $3,593.05
7/28/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election CTE Paul Mosley AZLD5 House $6,810.68
7/28/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $6,099.00
7/28/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $2,049.50
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $1,216.96
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $998.81
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $1,216.96
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $1,216.96
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $1,279.20
8/1/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $998.81
8/2/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $565.60
8/2/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $565.60
8/2/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $565.60
8/3/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Conservatives for Stringer AZLD1 House $10,858.00
8/3/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election Drew John for State House – Primary AZLD14 House $3,450.00
8/3/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election VOTE BECKY AZLD14 House $3,450.00
8/3/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $8,280.00
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $6,120.00
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $3,500.00
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $3,794.40
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $3,230.55
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,230.55
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,500.00
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,794.40
8/5/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $6,120.00
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Griffin for Senate 2016 AZLD14 Senate $2,927.60
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Griffin for Senate 2016 AZLD14 Senate $1,695.94
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $3,068.64
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $3,779.97
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Regina E.Cobb 2016 AZLD5 House $9,358.71
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Regina E.Cobb 2016 AZLD5 House $4,279.60
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Anthony Sizer For AZ State House AZLD14 House $1,695.93
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Anthony Sizer For AZ State House AZLD14 House $2,927.59
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Mary Hamway AZLD28 House $6,619.70
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election VOTE BECKY AZLD14 House $1,695.93
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election VOTE BECKY AZLD14 House $2,927.60
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election CTE Paul Mosley AZLD5 House $4,679.36
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $3,068.64
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Conservatives for Stringer AZLD1 House $12,137.45
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Conservatives for Stringer AZLD1 House $4,730.80
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Sam Medrano AZLD5 House $4,679.35
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bob Worsley for State Senate 2016 AZLD25 Senate $3,779.98
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $3,068.64
8/5/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $3,779.98
8/6/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $2,571.85
8/6/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $2,571.85
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $126.06
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $110.06
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $126.06
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $126.06
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $82.21
8/6/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $110.06
8/8/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $1,066.31
8/8/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $1,383.99
8/8/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $1,066.31
8/9/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Mary Hamway AZLD28 House $9,753.10
8/9/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $9,285.62
8/9/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $4,483.50
8/10/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Diane Landis AZLD13 Senate $6,177.00
8/11/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $3,291.20
8/11/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Elect Matt Morales AZLD28 House $3,999.50
8/11/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Defeat Jimmy Lindblom for State Senate AZLD12 Senate $3,291.20
8/11/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $3,999.50
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $666.62
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $1,463.74
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $1,463.74
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $666.62
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $666.62
8/11/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $1,463.74
8/12/16 Arizona CATalyst, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Diane Landis AZLD13 Senate $6,500.00
8/12/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Regina E.Cobb 2016 AZLD5 House $3,745.00
8/12/16 Arizona Trucking Association Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,564.21
8/15/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Jimmy Lindblom for State Senate AZLD12 Senate $4,554.51
8/15/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat LewisforAZHouse AZLD12 House $4,554.50
8/14/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $3,500.00
8/14/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Defeat CTE Ron Gould AZLD5 Senate $4,680.00
8/14/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $4,680.00
8/14/16 Market Freedom Alliance Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,500.00
8/5/16 Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Advocating Election David Cook 4 Office AZLD8 House $1,000.00
8/15/16 Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $4,831.00
8/15/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $1,240.01
8/15/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Syms for Arizona AZLD28 House $1,225.66
8/15/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $1,240.01
8/16/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $1,342.00
8/16/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Eddie Farnsworth 2016 AZLD12 House $1,342.00
8/16/16 CENTER FOR ARIZONA POLICY ACTION Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $1,342.00
8/17/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election CTE Paul Mosley AZLD5 House $4,323.26
8/17/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Conservatives for Stringer AZLD1 House $9,198.11
8/17/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $500.00
8/17/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $1,000.00
8/17/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election David Cook 4 Office AZLD8 House $4,352.00
8/17/16 Arizona Cattle Feeders’ Association Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $500.00
8/17/16 Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $1,250.00
8/17/16 Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Advocating Election David Cook 4 Office AZLD8 House $1,000.00
8/17/16 Home Builders Association of Central Arizona Advocating Election Grantham for Arizona AZLD12 House $1,250.00
8/17/16 Arizona Student Achievement Coalition Advocating Election MIRANDA FOR SENATE 2016 AZLD27 Senate $1,629.00
8/17/16 Arizona Student Achievement Coalition Advocating Election Friends of Reginald Bolding AZLD27 House $1,314.00
8/17/16 Arizona Student Achievement Coalition Advocating Election Rios for House 2016 AZLD27 House $1,315.00
8/17/16 Arizona Student Achievement Coalition Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $6,077.00
8/18/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $3,400.00
8/18/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $3,400.00
8/18/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Diane Landis AZLD13 House $5,533.00
8/18/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election Regina E.Cobb 2016 AZLD5 House $3,249.00
8/18/16 Arizona Trucking Association Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $3,564.21
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Griffin for Senate 2016 AZLD14 Senate $1,646.52
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $1,997.38
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Regina E.Cobb 2016 AZLD5 House $1,869.35
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Anthony Sizer For AZ State House AZLD14 House $1,646.51
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Mary Hamway AZLD28 House $5,488.65
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Committee to Elect Mary Hamway AZLD28 House $8,690.13
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election VOTE BECKY AZLD14 House $1,646.51
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election CTE Paul Mosley AZLD5 House $1,869.36
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Sam Medrano AZLD5 House $1,869.35
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Bob Worsley for State Senate 2016 AZLD25 Senate $1,997.39
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $7,714.24
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $320.25
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat Jimmy Lindblom for State Senate AZLD12 Senate $2,544.66
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Defeat LewisforAZHouse AZLD12 House $2,544.66
8/19/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Elect Ross Groen AZLD25 House $1,997.39
8/19/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Election Friends of Warren Petersen 2016 AZLD12 Senate $2,730.58
8/19/16 Arizona Free Enterprise Club Advocating Defeat Jimmy Lindblom for State Senate AZLD12 Senate $2,730.58
8/19/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election Drew John for State House – Primary AZLD14 House $1,392.00
8/19/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election Bowers 2016 AZLD25 House $2,748.00
8/19/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election Chip Davis for AZ AZLD1 House $5,001.00
8/19/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election BORRELLI SENATE COMMITTEE AZLD5 Senate $2,876.00
8/19/16 Grand Canyon State Electric Cooperative Association Advocating Election Committee to Elect Sam Medrano AZLD5 House $3,249.00
8/22/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $2,324.70
8/22/16 American Federation for Children, Inc. Advocating Election Committee to Elect Steven C Begay AZLD7 Senate $250.00

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