Following The Money: Democrats Spend Big in Southern Arizona Legislative Races

A Democratic mailer targeting Republican Frank Antenori sponsored by Victory 2008; Antenori charges that Democrats "made complete fabrications."

We’ve mentioned recently in The Skinny (here and here) how the Arizona Democratic Party is making a big push to flip the Arizona House of Representatives. To do it, they need to flip four seats into the Democratic column while hanging onto the gains they made in 2008.

That’s no easy task, but the Democrats are never likely to find themselves in a more advantageous political environment. And they certainly have the financial resources to make it happen, although we’ll have to wait until Election Day to see if they ended up spending all their money in an effective manner.

The Democratic Party has invested a half-million dollars into Victory 2008, a political committee pushing for Democrats in GOP districts across the state. They’re being backed up by Arizonans for a Healthy Economy, a political committee that, according to the most recent campaign finance reports, had been funded by the NEA Fund for Children and Public Education ($50K), the Arizona Fire Fighters ($50K), the SEIU labor guys ($50K), and Arizona’s List, a political committee dedicated to electing pro-choice Democratic women ($37K). Arizonans for a Healthy Economy also picked up a bunch of contributions from Tucson-area lefties.

Here in Southern Arizona, the Democrats have targeted Districts 25, 26 and 30 with more than $300,000 in campaign spending. They should get an easy pick-up in LD25, where Republican Rep. Jennifer Burns is retiring. The district leans Democratic and the Republican candidates are not especially credible; one of them, David Stevens, isn’t even in the country to campaign.

In GOP-leaning District 26 (Catalina Foothills, Oro Valley, Saddlebrooke), the Democrats have to protect Rep. Nancy Young Wright and carry Don Jorgensen to victory against Republicans Vic Williams and Marilyn Zerull. They also want to keep the state Senate seat in Democratic hands by supporting Cheryl Cage against Republican Al Melvin.

In LD26, the Democratic committees have combined to spend about $100,000 to support Wright, Cage and Jorgensen with TV ads, mailers and robocalls.

Victory 2008 has also spent roughly $50,000 on attack ads against the GOP team of Melvin, Zerull and Williams.

In even-more-GOP-leaning District 30 (east side of Tucson, Green Valley, Sonoita), the Democrats want to grab one of the seats with Andrea Dalessandro, who is facing Republicans Frank Antenori and David Gowan.

The Democratic committees have spent $130,000 promoting Dalessandro’s candidacy. Victory 2008 has focused more than $27,000 on attack ads aimed solely Antenori; Gowan has not been targeted.

Antenori cried foul over one of the mailers earlier this week that said Arizonans could find out they did not have coverage for cancer treatment under his health plan. Antenori called the accusation a “fabrication” in a press release and demanded an apology.

The Democratic mailer cited remarks made by Antenori during an appearance on KUAT-TV, in which he said the state should “reduce a lot of the mandated health-insurance requirements we’re putting on these businesses and go to an a la carte system to let them deal with their insurance needs based on their employee demographic and not mandate so much. That increases the cost of health care and makes it unaffordable for a lot of Arizonans.”

4 Responses

  1. So I guess the Dims see wanting to tailor a health plan to specific needs as cutting off healthcare to people diagnosed with cancer?

    That’s a bit of a stretch.

    Antenori is the target of their attacks because he opposes universal (socialized) healthcare, he’s also someone with a political future that like Jonathan Paton will start taking shots at their top dogs some day, better to take them out early in their careers while it’s still relatively cheap.

    That said, if there ever was a threat to deny healthcare to women with cancer it’s the government run healthcare system that Dims are pushing.


    The unions had better hope they’re successful and get control of the legislature, because payback is a bitch.

  2. I’m sure the unions are just terrified, Spartan.

    They are some of the biggest power brokers in this state. I’m sure that despite your really scary threat, they’ll get by just fine.

  3. The Democrats and Unions are lying all over the state. This year is their now or never year. If they can’t take the legislature, they’ll likely not see an opportunity again for a long time.

    Add to that the possibility of a GOP governor in the next couple of months, or two years from now and you have a recipe for disaster for the Democrats if they don’t take the legislature.

    As it looks now, the GOP will maintain their control, with somewhere between 32-34 seats.

    I hope the unions and their allies are ready for the ramifications of their lies and distortions, there are going to be a lot of ticked off GOP freshmen looking for payback.

  4. There also might be a lot of GOP freshmen in the minority sucking eggs. I think the Democrats will take over the House, because Constantine Queerard found the stupidest nimrods and got them to win primaries.

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