PHOENIX — A suspicious out-of-state political action committee appears to be quietly influencing the state senate race in Arizona’s 28th legislative district in an effort to prop up Democrat Christine Marsh.
In a little-noticed press release dated July 13, 2018, Marsh mentioned to supporters that she had been endorsed by a group called “Future Now USA.” Just three days later, a PAC called “Future Now Fund – AZ” filed its first campaign finance report with the Arizona Secretary of State.
The campaign finance report is illuminating.
From May 2018 through June 2018, the PAC was quietly raising money from a number of “small donors,” giving it the appearance of a grassroots operation. However, further analysis of the group’s finances reveals that nearly 92 percent of the “small donations” — 225 out of the 245 total contributions — come from individuals who live in New York. The remaining eight percent of contributions come from individuals who live in East Coast states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
In fact, not a single donation comes from Arizona.
The same can be said for the group’s second campaign finance report: All but 12 contributions come from individuals who live in New York. Not a single donation originates in Arizona.
The vast majority of the PAC’s funds come from another out-of-state group called the “Future Now Fund,” which is based in Washington, D.C. The “Future Now Fund” donated $110,000 to the PAC in two increments of $60,000 and $50,000.
It is unclear why the PAC — which collected sums of money from seemingly random people in states like New York — is attempting to influence a faraway state senate race in LD28 or what its East Coast donors are interested in accomplishing here.
The PAC has transferred its funds to six political candidates, but only two of those candidates live in Arizona. (The other four are running for office in New Hampshire.) Christine Marsh is one of those mere two candidates. Her campaign received several thousand dollars from the PAC just three days before she issued the little-noticed press release on July 13 mentioned above.
Why the PAC singled out Marsh for a donation remains a mystery. The group’s next campaign finance report, expected to be filed later this month, will shine more light on its funding sources.
Marsh, who has indicated that she supports the #AbolishICE movement, is running against Republican State Senator Kate Brophy McGee, who currently represents the 28th district.