By Corinne Murdock |
The operative whose political action committee (PAC) received $27 million from fallen crypto giant FTX also received over $1 million from committees for Senator Mark Kelly and governor-elect Katie Hobbs.
The operative, Dacey Montoya, also served as the treasurer for these committees. Montoya has been behind numerous other political committees and PACs in Arizona and across at least 16 other states. Usually, those committees also pay her consulting firm, The Money Wheel (TMW).
Montoya serves as the treasurer for the Mark Kelly Victory Fund and Mark Kelly For Senate. TMW received over $832,000 from the two committees over the past two years.
Katie Hobbs’ secretary of state and gubernatorial committees paid TMW about $188,500 over the past four years, with the greatest payouts occurring over the last year. Although Montoya wasn’t listed as the treasurer for either of Hobbs’ campaigns, her firm’s email was listed in the contact information.
That combined $1 million doesn’t include payouts from other political action committees (PACs) and political candidates. (Note: AZ Free News discovered that Montoya’s PACs didn’t always file timely reports, so funds like expenditures, income, and TMW funding may be underreported).
Arizona-based PACs or campaign committees that paid TMW: Outlaw Dirty Money, $61,900; Arizona Pipe Trades 469, $54,000; Invest in Phx, $10,700; Rural Arizonans For Accountability, $10,500; Arizonans For a Just Democracy, $5,500; No On Proposition 126 Committee, $1,200; Solutions for Arizona, $500.
Arizona-based PACs that Montoya ran, and how much they paid TMW: Invest in Education, $504,400; Protect Our Future PAC, $134,500; Way to Lead PAC, $67,800; Moms Fed Up, $52,000; Way to Lead State Power Committee, $49,600; Invest in Education Committee, $40,700; Arizonans For Fair Elections, $40,000; Arizona Families First, $38,900; Change for Arizona 2024 PAC, $31,000; Arizonans For Fair Lending, $27,000; Arizona Future Fund, $25,000; Invest in Arizona, $25,000; Guarding Against Pandemics PAC, $16,000; Families United For Freedom, $15,000; Opportunity For Tomorrow, $11,000; Lead the Way 2022, $9,800; Not Our Faith, $9,200; Liftoff PAC, $3,500; E Pluribus PAC, $9,100; Win the West 2020, $3,100; Win Blue 2020, $2,600; Restore Hope, $2,500; Arizona Washington Victory Fund, $1,800; Arizona Maine Victory Fund, $1,800; Arizona New Jersey Victory Fund, $1,800; Kelly, Cisneros, Rouda, Smith Victory Fund, $1,700; Yes For Phx, $1,400; Saguaro Victory Fund, $1,100; and Arizona New Mexico Victory Fund, $800.
Political candidates for whom Montoya served as treasurer, and how much they paid TMW: Mayor Kate Gallego, $76,300; Reginald Bolding, $51,800; and Jevin Hodge, $42,000.
Political candidates whose campaigns paid TMW: Kirsten Engel, $46,900; Judy Stahl, $11,500; Ann Kirkpatrick, $118,500; and Heather Ross, $36,000.
At minimum, Montoya’s firm has made over $2.7 million over the past few years through Arizona political candidates, committees, and PACs.
Montoya also founded and ran an influential PAC that didn’t pay TMW: Will of the People Arizona, a PAC dedicated to defeating Propositions 128, 129, and 132. In their tweets, the PAC tags multiple progressive organizations in their effort, including Pro-Choice Arizona, LUCHA Arizona, Mass Liberation Arizona, Black Lives Matter Phoenix Metro, Poder in Action, CASE, AZ Coalition 4 Change, Healthcare Rising Arizona, All Voting is Local – AZ, ACLU of Arizona, and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona.
The PAC identified The Arizona Republic as an endorser of their efforts.
Prop 128, allowing the state legislature to amend, divert funds from, or supersede an initiative or referendum found to contain illegal or unconstitutional language, failed; Prop 129, limiting ballot initiatives to a single subject, succeeded; and Prop 132, requiring initiatives and referendums seeking a tax change to receive at least 60 percent of votes, succeeded.
As AZ Free News reported in October, outside funding accounted for 99 percent of the PACs funds. However, the PAC claims on its website that outside funds only amount to 20 percent, and their mailers claimed that number was 43 percent.
The PAC received over $2.1 million from the Service Employees International Union United Healthcare Workers (SEIU-UHW): the California union that largely financed the dark money-fueled Predatory Debt Collection Act, Proposition 209, which voters just approved. Prop 209 essentially makes all debt collection futile. That PAC also received $250,000 from the National Education Association (NEA); nearly $258,600 from the Fairness Project, established by SEIU-UHW; $60,000 from Every Single Vote; and over $51,000 from the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center (BISC). Nearly all of these funds derive from organizations dedicated to influencing the outcome of state-level ballot referendums in favor of progressive policy.
Will of the People Arizona spent over $1.6 million on communications like ads and mailers, and over $66,500 on polling and consulting.
As of this report, AZ Free News uncovered Montoya’s influence as campaign committee or PAC treasurer, or TMW payee, in at least 16 other states: California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Texas, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.