Back in 2007, then-Governor Janet Napolitano opened her Competitive Edge PAC with a great deal of fanfare and speculation that it was a precursor to a run for Senate. Two years later, the PAC goes out with a wimper, shutting down in May of this year. You can check out the complete financial disclosure right here.
There are a lot of interesting tidbits within the reports, including the fact that it appears that the PAC was never really able to raise more than $300,0000. Not quite the powerhouse PAC that was predicted at the launch. We're sure more research would reveal even more tidbits, but the final disbursements is what really caught our eye. The PAC itself held on to nearly $170,000 until the end, spending very little comparitively during the 2008 Election Cycle.
In the termination report, this is how they spent their final money:
The Arizona Democratic Party - $5000
Harry Mitchell for Congress - $10,000
Pastor for Arizona - $10,000
Giffords for Congress - $10,000
A Whole Lot of People for Grijalva - $10,000
Kirkpatrick for Arizona - $10,000
The committee has 3 main consultants on the payroll, who received money not only in the termination statement, but throughout its time in operation. Here is just what they received in the final report:
The Copperstate Group received $15,000. Not to be confused with Stan Barnes and the Copperstate Consulting Group, this Arizona/DC based consulting group received the bulk of the consulting fees from the PAC during its operation. The business is run by another in Napolitano's orbit, Michael Frias, who is the former campaign director for the Arizona Democratic Party.
CommonCentsConsulting, LLC received $3,000. This group is run by democratic operatives Darryl Tattrie and Richard Luckhard-Tattrie who have made thousands of dollars in donations to Democratic causes over the past few years.
Rankin Consulting, LLC received $2,000. Devin Rankin is the former deputy finance director and current development director for the Arizona Democratic party. Also, Rankin also worked for Bob Lord for Congress and finance consultant for the PAC during the same exact period of time. Was Rankin being paid by the PAC to help Lord?
The Committee disbursed its final $87,000 to AERO an economic development group founded and operated by Napolitano's friends and former employees. The group is also managed by Sal Rivera who helped launch the PAC in the first place.
In the end, it appears that the Competive Edge PAC was little more than a short lived slush fund for Napolitano to reward her friends and bankroll Democrat loyalists.