PHOENIX — Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kyrsten Sinema quietly unloaded more than $33,000 in tainted campaign contributions, marking the second time in one year that she has done so.
Sinema is running for her party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Jeff Flake next year.
The incumbent congresswoman’s campaign quietly got rid of $33,800 from a Democratic donor whom the Arizona Republic reports “has come under scrutiny after a male escort died of a drug overdose at his California home last year.”
“The latest problem involves the death of Gemmel Moore, a 26-year-old homeless man whom the Los Angeles Times described as a male escort who overdosed in Buck’s West Hollywood apartment in July,” according to the newspaper. “In August, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department opened an investigation into the matter after Moore’s mother and friends raised doubts about whether the drug was self-administered …”
Sinema unloaded the $33,800 in two increments. The first disbursement ($18,800) appears in her campaign committee’s most recent filing with the Federal Election Commission, and the second disbursement ($15,000) appears in her leadership PAC’s most recent filing with the agency.
The Democratic candidate came under fire in 2017 for accepting tens of thousands of dollars from individual affiliated with the controversial website Backpage, which was investigated by a U.S. Senate committee regarding the facilitation of sex trafficking.
Sinema was found to be “the biggest individual beneficiary of their donations in Arizona” and subsequently donated the money to charity — but not before one charity returned the money after discovering the original source.
Sinema will face Deedra Abboud — who is under pressure for refusing to correct a “completely untrue” claim promoted by her campaign — in August 2018.