Texas politico backs Brewer political PAC

2014-07-16T17:00:00Z 2014-07-16T19:55:28Z Texas politico backs Brewer political PACBy Howard Fischer Capitol Media Services Arizona Daily Star

PHOENIX — A Texas state senator being forced out of office by a tea-party Republican is helping Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer raise money to elect candidates to Congress.

A new report filed with the Federal Election Commission shows Jan Pac, the governor’s federal political action committee, got $6,652 from Associa Inc., which works for the boards of homeowner associations.

Company Chairman John Carona put in another $5,000 of his money. And Associa’s own PAC kicked in another $10,000.

That made the combination the largest source of funds in the three-month period that ended June 30.

Only auto dealer Jim Click came close, providing what the report says is $20,752 in in-kind transportation for the governor.

Click said Brewer needed a way to get to Salt Lake City, so he gave her his NetJets card to rent one for the trip. He said he paid the bill and listed the expense as a donation.

Overall, Jan Pac raised $66,285 in the three-month period. Even after expenses, Brewer has $313,359 in the bank, including funds from earlier reports.

Carona, who was first elected to the Texas Legislature in 1990 and had a moderate voting record, lost his March 4 primary race to a billionaire in a race in which the two sides spent about $6.3 million.

The funds came despite the fact that Brewer last year signed legislation opposed by HOAs, including provisions overturning limits on numbers of political signs and banning HOAs from conducting background checks on those who rent homes or condos within the association.

Associa spokesman Andrew Fortin said Carona was more interested in Brewer’s overall record as a non-doctrinaire Republican than in any specific issue.

“If you look at her record in Arizona, she tends to defy stereotypes of a strong conservative leader,” Fortin said. “She has consistently put what’s best for the folks of Arizona ahead of ideology.”

Brewer “gets painted as kind of an ideologue” due to her high-profile criticism of federal immigration and border policy, he said. “But then you see how she approaches issues about providing access to health care for Arizonans and how she deals with the budget situation.

“That’s the kind of strong governance from a corporate, and from Mr. Carona’s personal standpoint, that we want to support,” he said.

He said Associa, which does business in Arizona, is looking for opportunities to elect people who want to create “thriving economies so that people want to move there, and housing grows, and we have more communities to manage.”

The governor, who made her first PAC foray into federal races two years ago, said she has made no decisions where she will spend her money this time.

“There are people out there ... that supported the things I supported,” she said. “We’re going to spend that money appropriately — and probably not all of it in the state of Arizona.”

Brewer made only one non-Arizona effort in 2012, spending $5,200 on robocalls on behalf of an unsuccessful bid by Republican Denny Rehberg to win the U.S. Senate seat in Montana.

Closer to home, she fared only a little better.

She spent $75,000 on mailers in the Congressional District 1 race to help Republican Jonathan Paton, who lost to Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick.

Her financial backing of Martha McSally in CD 2 also failed to unseat Democrat Ron Barber.

And the approximately $45,000 she put into the race for the new CD 9 seat did not help Vernon Parker defeat Kyrsten Sinema.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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