Two Ukrainian-born associates of Rudy Giuliani who were recently arrested for federal campaign finance violations gave to a political action committee that supported Martha McSally in her Senate run last year, records show.
The super PAC spent about $407,000 in a single day in late October supporting the Tucson Republican, paying for a flurry of phone calls, text messages and mailers in the hyper-competitive race she lost to Democrat Kyrsten Sinema.
Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas pleaded not guilty earlier this week to four charges that they attempted to launder $325,000 in foreign money by using straw donors to hide the illegal donations.
Their donations went to America First Action, a PAC tied to former White House Spokesman Sean Spicer. It spent $29 million in 2018 on Republican candidates for the House and Senate.
The McSally for Senate campaign didn’t have a comment on the activities of outside groups, including America First Action PAC.
“We encourage everyone participating in campaigns to follow all the laws, rules and regulations governing our campaign finance system,” said Dylan Lefler, campaign manager for McSally.
Kelly Sadler, the communications director for the America First Action PAC, said they followed their internal practices to “donor form from the contributor attesting that the true contributor was Global Energy Producers.”
Following a complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission concerning this contribution, the money was set aside in a separate account and has not been used for any campaign purpose.
Sadler said her group is being targeted for supporting President Trump.
“As supporters of the President, we are used to being attacked and our motives questioned by political adversaries, but we remain undeterred and focused on our mission to Keep America Great,” she said in a written statement.
A previous McSally campaign faced repeated complaints about violating FEC guidelines and it was fined earlier this year by the federal agency for excessive contributions related to her 2014 campaign.
The super PAC is prohibited from contact with the McSally campaign.
Pima County deputies issue no-confidence vote against Napier
Last week, we reported Pima County Sheriff Mark Napier, a Republican, already has a challenger for his run at a second term.
Democrat Kevin Kubitskey has filed paperwork to run against Napier in 2020.
And now, the Pima County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and the Pima County Corrections Officers Association issued a vote of no confidence in one-term sheriff.
Napier had pledged to fully fund a “step plan” for salaries and “to make every effort politically and publicly to make this happen.” Instead Napier abolished the plan, they say.
The fight over pay is related to an ongoing lawsuit against the county, representing 108 plaintiffs seeking more than $12 million in promised pay raises.
The unions also criticized Napier for appointing the “largest command staff in the history of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.”
“These actions have palpably deflated morale, created an untenable and unsafe work environment, and compromised the public’s safety in Pima County. We continue to lose ground with Sheriff Napier who, while unwilling to listen, fails to recognize his mistakes,” the groups wrote.
“We hope he will abide by his repeated promise to us: if the employees of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department do not ‘want [him] for a second term,’ he would graciously step down.”
Napier did not respond Thursday to a request for comment.
In September 2016, a few weeks before the general election, the deputies’ union issued a no-confidence vote against Chris Nanos, a Democrat who was sheriff at the time.
Nanos lost to Napier.
Biggs, Lesko and Gosar among GOP impeachment hearing crashers
Andy Biggs, Debbie Lesko and Paul Gosar were among the 41 Republicans listed by Rep. Matt Gaetz as GOP congressional members planning to protest the closed-door impeachment inquiry hearing on Wednesday, the Arizona Republic first reported.
Storming the House Intelligence Committee’s hearing led to a five-hour standoff between the GOP lawmakers and their Democrat colleagues.
The impeachment inquiry falls under the combined jurisdictions of the House Intelligence, Foreign Affairs, and Oversight committees.
A total of 48 Republicans serve on one of those three committees, including Gosar, who is on the oversight committee.
On Wednesday, Gosar tweeted: “[House Intelligence Committee Chairman]Adam Schiff’s Soviet-style inquiry is a total sham. Not ONE member from Arizona is allowed to enter Schiff’s secret room.”
Despite complaints that Republicans are being shut out of the impeachment process, members of the three committees — including Republicans — are able to attend closed-door hearings and ask questions.
Gosar, as a member of the oversight committee, is one of them.
Gosar was not available for comment. Phone calls Thursday to his Washington, D.C., Prescott, and Gold Canyon offices went unanswered.
Gallego pushes DNC to hold debate for Presidential contenders
The behind-the-scenes maneuvers to convince the Democratic National Committee to schedule a presidential primary debate in Arizona was confirmed to the Arizona Republic by Rep. Ruben Gallego.
Gallego said that his attempts included speaking directly to DNC Chair Tom Perez.
“I don’t want to go too much into the details because I have to wait until we get more information, but my last conversation with Tom is that he really wants to have one in Arizona,” Gallego told the Republic. “We have no confirmation yet that that’s going to happen, but they’re going to do everything possible to make it happen.”
A DNC spokesperson declined to discuss the issue Thursday.