In a new ad, Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick blames Republican Jonathan Paton for problems related to Rio Nuevo. Paton said he was part of the solution, not a cause of the problems. 

Source: Kirkpatrick for Arizona

Ann Kirkpatrick's campaign raised the ire of opponent Jonathan Paton with an ad released on Friday.

The ad starts by questioning the super PACs that have put up ads against Democrat Kirkpatrick, then pivots to discuss Republican Paton's role in Tucson's Rio Nuevo redevelopment effort.

A male voice intones "He served on the board of Rio Nuevo and wasted $200 million of taxpayer money. Now it’s under criminal investigation and could cost us another $72 million." Here's the ad:

"This is completely ridiculous," Paton said of the ad. "We called for audits to find out where the money went. We stopped the million-dollar drain."

The Kirkpatrick ad cites this item published 18 months ago in this blog, as well as this story from KOLD Channel 13. While that story says Rio Nuevo had spent $200 million, and that some of it was wasted, it does not say Rio Nuevo wasted $200 million.

As a state senator in 2009, Paton helped strip Rio Nuevo from city control due in large measure to questions over how the project had spent $200 million plus in state sales tax money. Many of the legislature's questions derived from the Star's reporting on how Rio Nuevo had spent money.