Fri, Jan. 24

Jan PAC spends money on Flake

PHOENIX -- Gov. Jan Brewer delivered a nearly $100,000 infusion Wednesday into the campaign of Republican Jeff Flake to become the state's next U.S. senator.

Reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission show Jan PAC spent $99,998.72 printing and sending out a mailer promoting Flake over Democrat Richard Carmona. That comes just a day after the governor poured more than $35,500 into an attack mailer on Democratic congressional candidate Ann Kirkpatrick and another $29,651 to help elect Republican Martha McSally in a different district.

And Brewer spent $23,257 last week in a bid to keep Democrat Kyrsten Sinema from getting elected to yet another congressional slot.

The governor's spending, coming just two weeks before the election, could be crucial.

In the Senate race, polls at various times have shown Carmona, a political newcomer, could be within striking distance of Flake despite the registration edge that Republicans have in Arizona. PAC spokesman Paul Senseman said his boss believes she needed to add her voice -- and her cash -- to ensure there is not a Carmona victory.

"She is very fond of Congressman Flake (and) believes his record and his approach to problem solving is exactly what we need in Washington, D.C.,' Senseman said.

A similar situation exists in all three congressional races where Brewer has chosen to intercede, with Democrats given a good chance of winning one or more of the seats.

But the pro-Flake mailer is in sharp contrast to the one Brewer's PAC financed in CD 1, where Kirkpatrick is facing off against Republican Jonathan Paton. In that race, Brewer chose to spend her money not in praising Paton but instead in going after the Democrat.

"The governor felt strongly about some of the congresswoman's voting record and shared that directly in the mailer,' Senseman said.

That mailer specifically focused on border and immigration issues, saying that as a state legislator she opposed making it a crime to smuggle illegal immigrants into Arizona, opposed proof of citizenship to receive public benefits and sponsored a tax credit for the costs of applying for citizenship.

By contrast, the governor chose not to attack Democrat Ron Barber who was chosen in a special election earlier this year to replace Gabrielle Giffords. She chose to quit to focus on the recovery from the January 2011 shooting; Barber had been her chief of staff.

Instead, Brewer focused on why voters should select McSally.

"There's a variety of reasons that go into the decision making process of determining what's the best method to apply,' Senseman said. "But tactically speaking, the governor wanted to share some of the details of the attributes of that particular candidate and why McSally would make an outstanding member of Congress.'

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