DefendArizona super PAC’s maliciously false attack ad against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema


Arizona’s Republican establishment of wealthy businessmen formed a single-candidate super PAC, DefendArizona, to support Rep. Martha McSally’s senate bid. More about these assholes later.

The DefendArizona super PAC is out with a new attack ad against Rep. Kyrsten Sinema which crosses the line in maliciously false attack ads. There is no depths to which these scurrilous assholes will sink to smear Rep. Sinema and to support Rep. McSally.

Given the maliciously false nature of this campaign smear, Rep. McSally should publicly condemn this false attack ad and insist that DefendArizona pull it from the airwaves as not representative of the kind of campaign she wants to run – or is it?

Manu Raju, Senior Congressional Correspondent for CNN reports, Attack ad hits Arizona Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema for past comments on underage prostitution:

Democrat Kyrsten Sinema raised concerns 11 years ago about imposing tougher penalties against individuals who solicit underage prostitutes because they may appear older than their ages, according to video of her remarks reviewed by CNN.

In a February 2007 state House hearing when she was an Arizona legislator, Sinema raised concerns about a bill that toughened penalties against individuals soliciting prostitutes, saying, “I don’t think that’s fair.”

As a former social worker at an elementary school, she said there were “children at my school who were 12, 13 years old and some of these children looked older than me.”

Sinema added that she had “real concern” for individuals who solicited child prostitution and could face a class 2 felony for “unknowingly soliciting sex from a 12-year-old who appeared to be a 20-year-old.”

According to video of her remarks reviewed by CNN, Sinema did speak out against child trafficking in that hearing, and she eventually voted for an amended version of the bill after raising concerns about the measure.

Sinema’s campaign called the ad deeply misleading and said it obscured her record combating child trafficking. Campaign aides argued that Sinema has a history of seeking to stop child trafficking, pointing to several bills she worked to pass to address the matter while serving in the state Legislature.

“Kyrsten voted for this legislation to toughen penalties for child trafficking and in the same remarks this latest false attack ad misleadingly edited, she spoke out forcefully against sex trafficking,” said campaign spokeswoman Helen Hare. “Kyrsten’s first job was as a rape crisis counselor and she has dedicated her career to defending women and children from abuse and assault.”

Hare called the ad a “false attack on Kyrsten’s clear record of standing up for women and children.”

The ad, bankrolled by the GOP super PAC DefendArizona, spotlights Sinema’s 2007 comments and says: “That’s just wrong.” The ad fails to note her position in favor of the legislation to strengthen penalties on individuals who engage in child prostitution, instead saying her position “allowed men caught with child prostitutes to beat the rap.” [The exact opposite of the truth.]

DefendArizona plans to air the ad statewide [I heard the radio ad today], according to a spokesman for the group. The group of largely Arizona business leaders also spent nearly $1 million to oppose Republican primary challenger Kelli Ward’s candidacy.

DefendArizona has reserved nearly $5 million in TV ad time this fall to support Republican Martha McSally’s Senate bid. Martha McSally campaign in line for $5 million from GOP establishment. For you Republicans, “DefendArizona is a combination of deep pockets and establishment Republicans who have sought to stave off extremist candidates in their party, including now-President Donald Trump.” Apparently Martha McSally didn’t get the memo as she is wrapping her arms around “Dear Leader.”

The 2007 bill at issue would have made child prostitution a class 2 felony and eliminated the defense that an individual could not have known the age of the prostitute when soliciting sex from a prostitute as young as 15 years old. After Sinema and some others raised concerns at the hearing, the bill was amended to give a defense for people who solicited prostitutes as young as 15 “if they could not reasonably have known the age of the minor.”

The bill was opposed only by one member on the panel, Republican Andy Biggs, who is now a US congressman. [So run this ad against him!] A Biggs spokesman could not be reached for comment on the matter.

According to video of her remarks at the 2007 committee hearing, Sinema said that “we can all agree that sex trafficking, period, is wrong, and that child prostitution is worse than regular prostitution. We all agree prostitution is bad.”

“If you’re going to go out there and solicit sex or pimp for a living, like putting other young people on the street who’ll be solicited for sex, that one of the risks that you have to take when you’re engaging in already illegal activity is the knowledge that, if the person perhaps told you that they were a different age than they were, that you can be penalized more heavily if that person lied about their age,” Sinema said in 2007, according to video of her remarks.

“I don’t think that’s fair,” she added at the time. “I don’t think there’s any disagreement that pimping is wrong and prostitution is wrong and that johns shouldn’t be going out and getting prostitutes anyway.”

Sinema added: “I’m just not convinced that enforcing a strict liability on those johns who are engaging in prostitution is really the answer, and as a former social worker at an elementary school, there were children at my school who were 12, 13 years old and some of these children looked older than me. They were much more — I mean, definitely sophisticated, developed — and if I had seen a number of my former students in a place other than in a sixth-grade classroom, I would not have known that those children were 12 instead of 19 or 20. And so I do have a real concern for those individuals, and if one of those young girls were conscripted into prostitution and a john were to approach her, he’d be facing a class 2 felony for unknowingly soliciting sex from a 12-year-old who appeared to be a 20-year-old.”

The attack ad is the latest in a brutal contest between Sinema and McSally to become the first female US senator to represent Arizona.

So who are these scurrilous assholes at DefendArizona? Open Secrets has a fact sheet. The super PAC’s treasurer is Benjamin Ottenhoff. He is the former chief financial officer of the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Since this is not a “dark money” group, below is its list of donors, mostly “the usual suspects” in Arizona politics who have been fucking up this state with their money for decades. These scurrilous assholes should be exposed and held accountable by the public for this maliciously false ad.

Maybe its time to boycott these donors for their unacceptable behavior crossing the line with a maliciously false attack ad so that there is a financial consequence for their actions. Enough is enough!

Individual donors gave 30 large ($200+) contributions to this PAC in 2017-2018.

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NOTE: All the numbers on this page are for the 2018 election cycle and based on Federal Election Commission data released on August 21, 2018.

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  1. Well I’ve read alot of communication on this story I pulled a copy of the bill, I pull the written copy of the hearings. The AD airing does not deviate much from what Ms Sinema said. In addition there are alot if other public records available that do not paint her in a good light, most if her own historical doing. Sorry truth is a disinfectant not all of us drink the cool aid.

  2. Why people here in Tucson allow Click and Diamond to do this year in and year out, with no business consequences is beyond me. Then these guys turn around and vacuum their consciences with hospital wings, while supporting candidates that want to gut health care in the country. Click and Diamond believe you can get sick in this country, just make sure you are rich and that they dont have to pay any taxes for the poor.

  3. If anyone is hoping there is a floor that McSally can’t sink below, they are going to be very disappointed. She is not going to “publicly condemn this false attack ad and insist that DefendArizona pull it from the airwaves,” nor is she going to condemn any other dirty, dishonest, despicable politicking that is done on her behalf. The last thing Martha needs is for this election to be about her dismal record as a legislator and the fact that she despises and avoids her CD2 constituents.

    I hate the attack ads on TV and the mailers no matter who is doing it. But negative campaigning is apparently acceptable and effective.

    I’m sorry to say this, but it’s not a huge leap from Ann Kirkpatrick’s negative campaigning (and the PACs that did it on her behalf) to what McSally et al is doing.

    When something seems to work, there is always going to be somebody out there with more money and more resources willing to take it to the next level and the next. That is what is happening here. Those old boys want to buy the Senate seat for McSally and they intend to do it.

    I don’t know how this gets reversed, I wish I did.

  4. Anyone who interviews McSally should bring up this ad, pointing out its false content, and make her answer whether she endorses the content, and if not whether she will repudiate it and demands its removal from the air. She must not be allowed to hide behind the notion of an “un-coordinated PAC”. She must not be allowed to let such malicious false representation slide.

Comments are closed.