Tag Archives: Tom Forese

Campaign to Outlaw Dirty Money with a “Right to Know” Initiative

Dark Money is so prevalent that it helped defeat preschool scholarships in Tucson. The Koch brothers’ front organization “Americans for Prosperity” teamed up with local Republicans to kill Prop. 204. And that’s not all.

Governor Doug Ducey was elected in 2014 with $3.5 million in spending by six dark-money groups, and he signed a law in 2016 that loosens state control over anonymous campaign donations. Ducey regularly visits the Koch brothers to get his marching orders and to collect more anonymous cash.

On the Arizona Corporation Commission, Republicans Doug Little and Tom Forese are suspected of taking $3.2 million in “dark money” from Arizona Public Service Co. to elect them in 2014.

How much have the right-wing Kochs and power companies spent locally and statewide to sabotage Arizona’s elections? We may know one day if a state constitutional “right to know” amendment is adopted.

Don’t call it dark money

To expose how dark money is spent in Arizona, former Democratic Attorney General Terry Goddard is spearheading a campaign to amend the state constitution that will expose any donor who contributes at least $10,000 into any campaign.

Without the measure, there is no way to find out how is behind commercials, yard signs and phone calls paid for by the Kochs and other right-wing groups. Many are “social welfare” fronts created under 501(c)(4) of the federal tax code and don’t need to disclose their donors

“Don’t call it ‘dark money,’” says campaign strategist Bob Grossfeld. “It’s dirty money. These donors follow a procedure that’s identical to what criminals and drug dealers follow to launder money. The purpose is to hide the source. That’s because the donors are cowards. If they weren’t, they’d step out in public to say ‘I oppose this.’ They don’t do that, they want to hide.”

Arizona has become ground zero for dirty money since the US Supreme Court ruled in the Citizens United case in 2010 that corporations have a First Amendment right to spend all they want in political campaigns. Anonymous interests spent at least $15 million trying to get their favored candidates installed in Arizona’s state and legislative offices in  2014.

“These people are sitting in the shadows, targeting good ideas or fostering bad ideas. What the legislature did to expand school vouchers was a Koch brothers operation,” he says.

The “right to know” public initiative must be approved by voters in November 2018, and the campaign is working to collect the 225,963 signatures needed by July 5 to qualify for the statewide ballot.

Grossfeld says that a poll taken before the 2016 election showed that 85% of voters want to stop dirty money contributions. “That cuts across all party lines,” he says. “We know the support is there if we can get it only ballot. That means we need a whole lot of volunteers.”

Your can visit the Outlaw Dirty Money Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/outlawdirtymoney, or contact Bill Elliott at info@outlawdirtymoney.com and 602 770-6735

This article originally appeared in the Democratic Party LD9 newsletter.

About that terrible no good Clean Elections board decision

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

cec logo

I haven’t gotten around to addressing it, what with the marriage equality hoopla and teenage abortion explosions taking place at this very hectic pre-election time, but last week the Clean Elections Commission allowed GOP Corp Comm candidates to walk with an insultingly low fine of $1K each after they admitted to violating Clean Elections law.

Per the AZ Capitol Times:

The commission voted 4-1 to adopt the a settlement, which the candidates proposed just before the commissioners met to discuss commission executive director Tom Collins’ recommendation for a full investigation into the candidates. Tom Collins reported that a staff analysis showed there was reason to believe the two broke campaign finance laws while investigating two complaints filed with the commission by the state Democratic Party.

Continue reading

GOP Corp Comm candidates respond to Clean Elections charges but still can’t get their story straight

Crossposted from DemocraticDiva.com

Per Evan Wyloge of the Capitol Times on the formal response by the Corporation Commission candidates to the charges of Clean Elections violations:

Miller’s response also states that the campaigns paid for 600 campaign signs on July 12 at a cost of $12,972 or $6,486 for each campaign, even though the expenditure is accounted for in the pair’s campaign finance reports under payments made to Americopy in mid-August. Americopy extended credit to the two campaigns, Miller explained.

That works out to about $22 a sign, a price considered half what should be paid for the quality of signs Doug Forese and Tom Little were putting up all over the state, according to three sign company owners Wyloge spoke with. One of them, Jim Torgeson of Sign King, flat out scoffed “that’s not a real number” about what the candidates paid for their signs. There’s also this problem with their statement (which I have helpfully illustrated):

forese little sign marked

July 11th is before July 12th. So how long were hundreds of signs up all over the state before Forese and Little paid for…er…got credit extended for them?

Ducey, Brnovich, Douglas & Forese: Why Are You Afraid of Tucson?

GOP chickens

If Tea Party Republicans can’t bother to come to Tucson to meet us, they don’t deserve our votes!

It was bad enough when Republican gubernatorial candidate Dicey Doug Ducey decided to duck debates in Tucson, but now the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson (LWVGT) has reported that only ONE of the invited Republicans– Corporation Commission candidate Doug  “I Heart APS” Little– will participate in a televised LWVGT debate in Tucson. All of the Democratic candidates agreed to the LWVGT debate invitation, along with Libertarian Barry Hess and “Independent Constitutionalist” J.L. Mealer.

“Dark Money” Ducey, Attorney General candidate Mark “Nullify the Constitution” Brnovich, Diane “Tea Party Tool” Douglas, and Tom “I Heart APS” Forese have all decided that debating in Arizona’s second largest city is not worth their time. These cowardly Republicans are taking a page from the playbooks of Senators Jeff Flake and John McCain: don’t go south of Oro Valley, unless you have to rush to the border for a photo opp.

Was it something we said? Or something they’re afraid we’ll say? Did someone tell them that every old hippie artist in Tucson has protest signs tucked behind the couch? Let’s face it. These bought-and-paid-for Koch Brothers candidates can’t hold a candle to the Democratic Party’s slate, and they know it. They don’t want to look stupid on camera. They prefer to hide and hope no one will notice. (Remember Jan Brewer’s on-camera brain fart in 2010?)

Continue reading