Cross posted from the Arizona Eagletarian
So, after patting myself on the back for catching John Kavanagh and his lies during the LD23 senate candidate forum sponsored by the Fountain Hills Tea Party, I found additional information — that I previously should have seen and reported but did not — to clarify claims I made about Kavanagh and gun dealer Brad DeSaye.
First, as I reported earlier, DeSaye, owner of J & G Sales in Prescott, DID donate $2,400 to Kavanagh’s 2014 campaign. And the Automobile Dealers Association DID donate $2,000 to his campaign.
The question of what Kavanagh did or may have promised to those two contributors is still open, though the car dealers did benefit from the Tesla legislation having been killed in the 2014 legislative session. Electric vehicle innovation be damned.
But on Kavanagh’s campaign reports, I missed James Wendelkin (apparently misspelled by the GOP lawmaker), president of GW Distributing LLC who also gave Kavanagh $2,000 (see page 9 of this report). GW Distributing IS listed by the Arizona Department of Revenue as a tobacco distributor. Based on Arizona Corporation Commission records, Wendelken (correct spelling) IS an LD23 constituent.
I don’t know how credible this information is, but Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp says GW Distributing has annual revenue of $170,000 and is located at 15466 E CAVERN DR FOUNTAIN HILLS, AZ 85268. In addition to GS Distributing LLC, Wendelken is also listed as a member of JCMW Holdings LLC at the same Fountain Hills address.
Therefore, Kavanagh’s story about the cigarette distributor is more plausible… however, when he said he only had one max contribution… he left out lots of details.
Here’s a transcription of Kavanagh’s comment in response to the audience member question about the five major financial supporters.
I think I had one max contribution and that was an individual who owned a cigarette distributing company and the Department of Revenue made change in the way the tax law was which would have required him to have posted a massive bond and his company would have gone out of business. And I called the Department of Revenue people and I said, “Look, I said this guy has been doing this for like 15 years. Why can’t we have a rule that says if you have a track record of good payments you can do it the way you’ve always been doing it and pay for these tax stamps after you collect the money from the people you sell the cigarettes to.” And they said, “Ya know, we can do it that way.” And as a result, I saved the guy’s business. I never sent him a letter asking for a campaign contribution, but he was nice enough to send me a check for $2,000.00. I don’t get too many like that.
Of course, he DID get two others like that, from the car dealers and the firearms dealer. He just didn’t tell the audience the truth in response to the question.
Thus far, there has been little to no reaction to the revelation of Kavanagh having pulled strings or twisted arms with Arizona’s tax collection agency. I attribute that to two factors. First, corporate media is addicted to the big money campaign expenditures that Arizona’s extremely loose government ethics allows. Second, the people of Arizona are, to an extent, jaded. It’s like, “aren’t they ALL corrupt anyway?”
On the question of how significant this situation is, I’ll call your attention to the story CBS 5 investigative reporter Morgan Loew did last spring on lobbyist gifts. The same scientific principles apply to campaign donations. As to the people being jaded and apathetic about it, I have to repeat and repeat and repeat — the cure for apathy is empowerment.
To the extent that the Arizona electorate, the citizenry, has a sense that it can be empowered by a true understanding of the facts and realities about the situation, they will act.
On that issue, I call your attention to what I’ve written over the last year about Machiavellian Democracy.