Leftist Dark Money Successfully Influenced Arizona Voters on Propositions

Leftist Dark Money Successfully Influenced Arizona Voters on Propositions

By Corinne Murdock |

The left’s network of dark money appears to have successfully influenced voters in passing Propositions 209 and 308.

Prop 209, the Predatory Debt Collection Act, was passed by voters overwhelmingly, 72 to 28 percent. It’s a California-union backed effort to eradicate all debt collection in the state; the political action committee (PAC) driving support for the measure received the vast majority of its $12.7 million from the California union, Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers (SEIU-UHW). They’re rooted in the leftist infrastructure of dark money, since they don’t disclose the source of their millions in funding.

Marketing for Prop 209 promised a protection against medical debt collection. However, the measure goes much further by encompassing all other debts. The measure essentially makes all debt collection futile. 

Prop 308, which would award in-state college tuition rates to Dreamers, was passed narrowly, 51 to 49 percent. According to the campaign finance data, the proposition was backed by at least $1.2 million in out-of-state dark money, such as NextGen, SEIU-UHW, United We Dream, and American Business Immigration Coalition Action.

Another $1 million came from Chicanos Por La Causa, a Phoenix-based organization, though their tax returns indicate that neither their organization or their political action arm raise anywhere near that amount in revenue respectively. 

Those millions together make up the vast majority of the $2.6 million raised, $1.8 million spent to back the measure.

In-state tuition rates for Dreamers will add onto the increasing cost burden faced by Arizona’s public schools. As AZ Free News reported in September, illegal immigrant children cost Arizona public schools over $748 million in 2020. 

The influence of leftist dark money will likely only grow in strength in the coming years, thanks to the success of another proposition.

Prop 211, the Voters’ Right to Know Act, was also passed by voters overwhelmingly, 72 to 27 percent. It proposes to remedy the influence of dark money in the state. However, it establishes neat carveouts ensuring leftist dark money isn’t affected: corporate media, Big Tech, labor unions, and “nonpartisan” PACs.

The main financier of the measure, David Tedesco, is the founder and CEO of the Phoenix-based venture capitalist firm, Outlier.

Tedesco donates heavily to both Democrats and Republicans according to state and FEC campaign finance records. He spent $211,600 backing Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s failed Senate campaign. He’s given at least $116,400 to Democrats for this election: $100,000 to the Arizona Democratic Party, over $5,000 to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs, over $5,000 to Congressman Greg Stanton (D-AZ-09), and over $5,000 to failed Democratic candidate Aaron Lieberman. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Democratic PAC Invests Over $120K Into GOP State Representative That Defends Unions

Democratic PAC Invests Over $120K Into GOP State Representative That Defends Unions

By Corinne Murdock |

Since last summer, a Democratic political action committee (PAC), Revitalize Arizona, has invested over $120,200 into State Representative David Cook (R-Globe). Their latest investment was nearly $12,500 in communications advocacy, reported on Monday. 

In total, Revitalize Arizona invested 250 percent more into Cook than in the next-highest candidate from 2021 and this year, all of whom were Democrats.

Altogether, Revitalize Arizona spent about $128,500 in favor of Democratic candidates from 2021 to present — about $20,800 more for eight candidates. 

Over the past decade, Revitalize Arizona has spent well over $1 million opposing Republican state and local-level candidates. By comparison, the PAC spent approximately $10,000 opposing one Democratic candidate in 2020: State Representative Richard Andrade (D-Glendale). 

Revitalize Arizona funds began flowing to Cook last June, after Cook was the only Republican to join Democrats in voting against legislation that would’ve prohibited cities and counties from requiring prevailing wages or union labor as a condition of receiving a bid or contract. 

Revitalize Arizona, a Tempe-based PAC, is chaired by Israel Torres, a partner in the Torres Consulting and Law Group, which chairs the same address as the PAC. The PAC funneled $48,000 to the group in 2020, totaling over $122,100 over the past decade. It also paid Torres Multicultural Communications, previously known as Torres Marquez Communications, over $681,200 over the past decade, with the majority paid out to the firm in 2019: nearly $646,000. 

All of their funds come from another PAC run by Torres: Residents for Accountability. That PAC receives its funds largely from unions. Among its funders from the past two years are the Arizona Pipe Trades 469 PAC, affiliated with a union, and Chicanos Por La Causa (CPLC) Action Fund PAC, affiliated with a social justice nonprofit. Over the past decade, a number of other union-affiliated PACs have funded Residents for Accountability.

The PAC has a history of investing in Democratic polling companies such as the D.C.-based Lake Research Partners, whose past clientele have included President Joe Biden, former President Bill Clinton, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Janet Napolitano, Sheila Jackson Lee, AFL-CIO, and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Arizona.  

They’ve also invested in Democratic polling company SKD Knickerbocker, from which Anita Dunn hailed — Biden’s senior advisor and former President Barack Obama’s communications director. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.