The Maricopa County Republican Committee withdrew a proposal to give up to $250,000 to a far-right election-reform group, We the People AZ Alliance PAC, for a project to “clean up the voter rolls.” The proposal was criticised by another Republican official, Dan Farley, who saw a conflict of interest in the fact that the group was co-founded by the party’s vice chair, Shelby Busch. The committee later decided to sideline the proposal after the group found a donor who would cover the initial costs.
Maricopa County GOP Abandons $250k Project with Controversial Election Reform Group
The Maricopa County Republican Committee recently reversed their decision to fund a $250,000 project with the far-right election-reform group, We the People AZ Alliance PAC, which aimed to “clean up the voter rolls”. Concerns over conflicts of interest arose as the PAC was co-founded by the party’s vice chair, Shelby Busch.
Dan Farley, GOP chair of Phoenix’s Legislative District 4, criticized the vote due to perceived ethical issues. His concerns were further heightened when he revealed that Busch’s partner, Steve Robinson, CEO and co-founder of We the People AZ Alliance PAC, receives income from the group.
Campaign finance information shows that the PAC spent $24,000 on Robinson’s unsuccessful write-in campaign for the state Senate last year. Furthermore, Maricopa County Republican Committee’s chair, Craig Berland, and the committee itself made donations to Robinson’s campaign.
Shelby Busch dismissed Farley’s comments as a “personal attack”, claiming that only a handful of people had voiced complaints, and denied any integrity issues.
The County GOP’s Change of Heart Explained
Busch stated that the decision to abandon the funding was not due to criticism but rather because a donor, who wishes to remain anonymous, agreed to cover the initial costs. Therefore, the PAC’s project will proceed with the donor’s funding rather than the county GOP’s.
Busch and Berland clarified that another vote would have been required to distribute any raised funds. “I would obviously abstain from that vote,” Busch added.
More About the Voter Roll Cleanup Project
The project, which includes educational programs and a potential computer app for data compilation, aims to allow party members to understand and analyze voter registrations in their precincts. “It’s similar to a get-out-the-vote effort, only it includes elements of election and integrity,” Busch explained.
The strategy also involves a verification process to ensure no one is disenfranchised. “So if someone says, ‘I don’t think this person lives here anymore,’ and they submit that, they can verify that to make sure that it’s not a fraudulent claim,” Busch said.
A Closer Look at We the People AZ Alliance PAC
We the People AZ Alliance PAC, co-founded by Busch and Robinson, has been a controversial player in Arizona’s recent election disputes. Despite enjoying support from hard-right Republicans, the group has yet to win any of its seven lawsuits against county and state officials, and its dissemination of election disinformation has been widely criticized.
State GOP Party Chair Jeff DeWit, who is attempting to reconcile party factions ahead of the 2024 election, declined to comment about the issue.
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