ANOTHER MILLION BUCKS IN CD2
GOP challenger McSally Outraises U.S. Rep. Ron Barber again
Republican Martha McSally, who is seeking to unseat Congressman Ron Barber (D-CD2) this year, had another great fundraising quarter.
While The Skinny hadn't seen the FEC report as of our print deadline, Team McSally sent out a press release announcing that McSally had raised a staggering $653,107 in the second quarter of 2014.
That's McSally's best three-month quarter to date and about $100,000 more than the $550,000 that Barber reported raising between April 1 and June 30.
It's the fourth quarter in which McSally has outraised Barber. Over the last year, she has raised $1.8 million for her rematch against Barber, while Barber has raised $2.2 million in the 2014 cycle.
In 2012, Barber defeated McSally by fewer than 3,000 votes and this year's race is expected to be one of the hottest in the country (assuming that McSally survives her GOP primary).
The fundraising reports gave both sides an opportunity to raise the names of various political boogeymen. Team Barber said McSally had been hobnobbing with soon-to-be-ex-Congressman Eric Cantor and "East Coast billionaires," while Team McSally linked Barber to Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and "Washington cronies."
Let's face it: Nobody raises as much money as these two candidates have in their bank accounts without getting plenty of help from special interests of some kind or another.
And the strong fundraising on both sides shows that the plenty of donors on both sides see a competitive race that either candidate could win.
SWIMMING WITH SCARPS
A motion-picture extravaganza like no other
As Team McSally and Team Barber went back and forth about who was hobnobbing with whom, National Republican Congressional Commmittee spokesman Daniel Scarpinato emailed reporters a collection of photos of Barber going to various D.C. fundraisers.
Democratic strategist Rodd McLeod took to Twitter to express his surprise that Scarpinato had "time for such silliness this week—what with your new movie coming out."
Attached was the image of a movie poster for Scarpnado—a play on the SyFy network's cult film Sharknado, with Scarpinato face superimposed on the sharks.
"I figured it was only a matter of time before the guy had a disaster movie franchise," McLeod deadpanned when The Skinny asked him about the poster.
Scarpinato said the poster now hangs over his desk.
"I love it!" said Scarpinato, a former reporter for the Arizona Daily Star and the Arizona Capitol Times. "Sharknado was one of my favorite films of the year, so I'm truly flattered that the Barber campaign devoted staff time to making such an awesome poster."
Barber and McSally agree: Don't impeach Obama
The biggest boogeyman in Arizona politics has to be President Barack Obama. Republicans are blaming him for encouraging refugee children from Central America to cross the U.S. border, plotting to destroy the school system with the Common Core learning standards and destroying the health-care system with the Affordable Care Act.
Obama is such a lightning rod that an independent campaign committee supporting gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey accused rival Republican Scott Smith of being "Obama's favorite mayor." And the team of Doug Little and Tom Forese in the Corporation Commission race has a simple slogan on their campaign signs: "Fighting Obama."
U.S. House Speaker John Boehner has announced that he'll be suing the Obama administration for delaying the employer mandate to provide health insurance for workers—even though Boehner opposes the mandate himself. And the political stakes got higher last week when Facebook superstar Sarah Palin called for the impeachment of Obama.
Congressman Ron Barber (D-CD2) has sometimes been supportive of the Obama administration and sometimes been critical of it—particularly when the topic is the border, where Barber consistently calls for better security, or the future of the A-10, with Barber opposing the White House's push to retire the fighter jet.
But Barber said this week that he does not support impeaching the president.
"Washington needs to get to work solving the problems at the VA, getting people back to work and securing our border," Barber told The Skinny via email. "That's what I'm focused on—getting something done for Arizona. This is just another example of DC political theater and a waste of time."
Republican challenger Martha McSally agrees with Barber. She also opposes Palin's call to impeach Obama, although she does support Boehner's recently announced lawsuit against the administration.
"Martha does not agree with impeachment," said McSally campaign spokesman Patrick Ptak. "Obviously this president has overreached, and the House's lawsuit is the best step to holding him accountable."
Shelley Kais, one of the Republican challengers to McSally, said that she does support impeachment, although she doesn't think the Senate would vote to boot Obama from office.
"I believe President Obama's transgressions are impeachable and as a member of the House I would vote in favor of impeachment," Kais said via email. "However, the reality is the Constitution gives the U.S. Senate the sole power to try all impeachments and that can only happen with a two-thirds majority. Therefore, even if the fall elections give Republicans a clear majority in the Senate, it is unrealistic to think it could ever garner the votes needed to put the president on trial for impeachment."
The other Republican in the race, Chuck Wooten, did not respond to an emailed request for