Why Frank(enstein) Antenori of course, Arizona’s version of Donald Trump (spouting invectives towards anyone whom he sees as an enemy, not just a political opponent).
Antenori doesn’t live in Tucson, but he has for years inveighed against the liberal “dirty hippies” of Tucson.
Right back atcha, Frank.
Those attack ad billboards you have seen around Tucson were paid for by Revitalize Tucson, an independent expenditure committee chaired by Frank Antenori and Christine Bauserman (Statement of Organization .pdf).
Revitalize Tucson has been bankrolled by an out of state “dark money” corporation. Attorney Vince Rabago, a former Assistant Arizona Attorney General and candidate for attorney general, and former chair of the Pima County Democratic Party, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of long time social activist Barbara Tellman against this “dark money” front group, Foundation for Responsible Accountable Government Inc.
Here is the press release:
LAWSUIT FILED TO STOP OUT-OF-STATE “DARK MONEY” CORPORATION FROM CONTINUING TO BANKROLL NEGATIVE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN IN CITY ELECTIONS
(Tucson, Ariz. – Sept. 29th, 2015) Today, a local Tucson voter and long time social activist Barbara Tellman filed a lawsuit against an out-of-state Delaware corporation to stop it from spending any more anonymous political contributions in Arizona until registers as an out of state corporation with the Arizona Corporation Commission. Complaint for Injunction with exhibits (.pdf). Arizona law empowers any person to sue for an injunction against an out of state corporation conducting business in Arizona until it registers and obtains permission from the Arizona Corporation Commission to conduct business in the state.
Tellman filed a lawsuit Tuesday against Foundation for Responsible Accountable Government Inc., an out of state Delaware corporation, seeking a court injunction to stop it from engaging in any more business activity here until it complies with Arizona corporation registration and filing requirements.
The corporation, with ties to local Tucsonan GOP activist Christine Bauserman, has been bankrolling former State Senator Frank Antenori’s and Christine Bauserman’s political committee “Revitalize Tucson,” which has spent more than $50,000.00 on negative political billboards across Tucson attacking
the incumbent Democratic City Council candidates since July. The lawsuit argues the corporation has been breaking Arizona law since it does not have a Certificate of Authority to transact business in Arizona, and has not filed corporate registration papers with the Arizona Corporation Commission.
“This out of state Dark Money corporation should follow Arizona corporate filing requirements if it is going to operate in Arizona and participate in Arizona elections,” said Tellman’s attorney, former Assistant Arizona Attorney General Vince Rabago, who filed the case in Pima County Superior Court.
Rabago explained “There are few rules regulating anonymous “Dark Money” contributions from out of state corporations in Arizona, so we used a corporate litigation approach against this type of legally questionable “Dark Money” laundering of contributions from anonymous donors. It is a minimal burden to register with the Arizona Corporation Commission, but they want to hide out of state while interfering with our elections. If they want to participate in Arizona elections, they should register. They should also disclose who their donors are. We are hopeful the Court will stop them from conducting any more activity until they register the required corporate paperwork to get permission to do business here. If they register and comply with Arizona law, the lawsuit will be dismissed.”
Rabago also filed a IRS Complaint Letter and Exhibits (.pdf) directly with the IRS, alleging that it appears the corporation has been abusing its tax exemption organization status as a registered “trade member” organization under IRS Code Section 501(c)(6) because it appears to be spending 100 percent of its annual receipts on political activity, and does not appear to be a legitimate business trade group, noting, among other things, that the trade name is actually registered to Bauserman, who registered as a “Community Organizer.” Rabago asked the IRS to revoke the Delaware company’s 501(c)(6) tax exempt status, and make it disclose its donors.
Pima County superior Court Judge Gus Aragon, has set an Order to Show Cause hearing for Friday, October 2, at 10 am.