by Mariana Dale
The weekend was no vacation for the candidates of Arizona's First Congressional District.
On the heels of a Washington Post announcement that the race shifted from “Leans Dem” to “Toss Up,” the Rothenberg Political Report changed their ranking from “Leans Democrat” to “Toss-up/ Tilt Democrat.”
Friday saw new information about Paton’s supposed payday loan industry connections and a couple big media buys.
The Arizona Republic called out Paton for accepting money from payday industry supporters throughout his campaign.
“The Republican, a former state senator, has collected at least $28,500 this year from people and organizations connected to the payday-lending and auto-title-loan industries, campaign-finance records show.”
The 60 Plus Association Inc., a PAC that champions less taxes and senior issues, paid out $169,000 for an ad that compares Ann Kirkpatrick to CD 9 candidate Krysten Sinema, who is running against Republican Vernon Parker. The ad says both women were “wrong on healthcare” and “too extreme for Arizona.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee pitched in almost $300,000 in media buys and released “Quotes,” a 30 second ad-spot that pulls heated snippets from “independent news source” commentary on Kirkpatrick’s attacks on Jonathan Paton.
The majority of quotes were pulled the Tucson Weekly, specifically a blog post that addressed an ad accusing Jonathan Paton of wasting $200 million as a part of the Rio Nuevo Board.
The others were from the Oct. 11 edition of the paper and quoted from the endorsements and “The Skinny” column. Every quote addressed the same basic accusation that Paton had squandered money as a part of Rio Nuevo, no other campaign advertisements were addressed.
Kirkpatrick’s campaign responded Monday with a news release detailing “Paton’s 9 Lies.”
Among the lies is the oft-used point that Kirkpatrick voted to cut Medicare by more than $700 billion via her positive vote on the Affordable Care Act, which has been proven false on a national, level by Politifact and FactCheck.org.
The release also seeks to dispel the persistent accusation that Kirkpatrick “walked away” from a town hall meeting in Holbrook, a point that has been capitalized on in speeches and ads for the last two years.
Paton brought up her supposed walk out on Sunday during a TV interview with John Hook on Fox’s Newsmaker Sunday.
“She knows this district opposed ObamaCare that’s why that was a tough town hall for her in Holbrook and she walked out of that town hall because she couldn’t answer those questions, “ Paton said.
Hook invited Kirkpatrick to speak for 15 minutes on the program in person, via Skype and phone call, but she declined.
"Ann is out on the campaign trail in rural Arizona, so she does interviews whenever the schedule permits- we have several scheduled for this week," said Kirkpatrick Spokeswoman Jennifer Johnson. "Someone should remind Paton that he's the guy who dodged the NAU-AARP debate in Flagstaff a couple weeks ago - a debate that would've been televised had he bothered to show up. We had lively debates in Pima County and Pinal County, but Paton is avoiding Coconino County."