Arizona GOP wants Dem faction investigated for alleged unreported contributions

A political faction associated with the Democratic Party drew scrutiny when Arizona Republican Party Chairman Robert Graham filed a legal complaint last week alleging that the group failed to lawfully report political contributions.

Graham said the Open Nonpartisan Elections committee neglected to report contributions totaling more than $100,000, as required by state law. Graham filed the grievance with Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan.

The committee previously claimed to have received a $100,000 contribution from national organization Open Primaries; a $10,000 contribution from an individual named Jeff Covill; and possibly two additional act constituting what Graham asserts are violations. Arizona State law requires all political entities to report contributions amounting to $10,000 or more within 24 hours of receipt.

“When it comes to losing elections, Arizona’s Democrats have a lot of experience and we’re hearing a lot of excuses to go along with those losses,” Graham said. “Their attempt to eliminate the role of political parties failed miserably last time, and with their second try they’ve clearly gotten off on the wrong foot once again.”

The group is led by Democrat Paul Johnson, who was defeated in his first attempt at statewide office in 1994 and again in 1998, when he lost the general election by a wide margin. He’s been joined by former Democratic candidate Terry Goddard, who lost statewide elections four times in a bid for Secretary of State—the office responsible for enforcing state elections laws.

Urging the Secretary of State to “take action to protect the integrity of the campaign finance system,” the letter was co-signed by the Arizona Republican Party General Counsel, Timothy A. La Sota.

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