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A shadowy fake conservative political action committee ran an attack ad against Kari Lake, running for Arizona governor this year. The ad ran on the Sunday, final day, broadcast of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. This Professional Golf Association event is unique in its working-class, people’s tournament atmosphere, with a raucous crowd lining the course and no silence for every golf stroke. CBS carried the WM Phoenix Open, making this a large local market event in the hours before the Super Bowl. A quick search of both the state and federal databases shows this shadowy PAC is entirely off the radar. A reasonable conclusion is that we are seeing a technically independent Mitch McConnell/Kevin McCarthy/establishment GOP attack on the MAGA candidate.
The Waste Management Phoenix Open was great viewing, on the course or on-screen, with a hole-in-one on both Saturday and Sunday. “Clean up on 16” was the call on the famously loud hole with multistory viewing stands.
In this non-political party atmosphere, a very sketchy PAC ran an attack ad against the leading Republican candidate in the Arizona gubernatorial primary. Kari Lake is a well-known former Arizona television news broadcaster who turned against the establishment media’s reporting bias over the past two years. Kari Lake used Rumble to publish her declaration against the media. President Trump endorsed Lake early for Arizona governor. Arizona’s primary is in August, with the general election falling on the congressional midterm date in November 2022. Candidates need not start reporting finances until March, so we have more slack time than many states.
Doug Ducey is term-limited out, so the field is open, with several Arizona gubernatorial Republican and Democrat candidates, in addition to two minor party candidates, already declared. President Trump endorsed Kari Lake in September, 2021. The biggest name alternate is former Congressman Matt Salmon, who claimed family reasons when he left Congress in 2017. Salmon came to Congress as part of the Contract with America team, then left briefly to run for governor in 2002. He lost to Democrat Janet Napolitano, then went back to the U.S. House of Representatives from 2013-2017. In this context, we see political ads starting to prep the battlefield, trying to shape opinion and funding for or against candidates.
The anti-Kari Lake ad was run by an organization styling itself “Freedom’s Future Fund.” No such entity exists in either the FEC PAC database or the Arizona political organization official reporting page. The ad is posted to YouTube on a new account, created at the beginning of February 2022, with no identifying information. The ad points to “KariLakeFacts.com,” which is strictly a brochure site, no detail or depth. At the bottom of the KariLakeFacts page is “Paid for by Freedom’s Future Fund” with no contact information or link.
This has all the marks of a technically independent GOP establishment/McConnell/McCarthy/Chamber of Commerce smear operation. It relies on the usual visual video tricks and cherry-picked facts. Indeed, it looks a bit like an ad run right after she announced her candidacy, where that earlier ad was run by Arizona Best, a political action committee created to push Matt Salmon’s candidacy.
Lake has no record of conservative or MAGA activism or posturing before March 2021, when she came out in reaction to the difference in media coverage between Trump and Biden. She has tried to establish support and credibility with a detailed set of policies. Kari Lake’s official website “Issues” page reads well, sounds good, and like Donald J. Trump’s 2016 run, not backed by decades of political office position-taking. It is entirely right to test and challenge her. AND. Truly shadowy organizations attacking her, or any other candidate, may be taken as a mark in the attacked candidate’s favor.
If Freedom’s Future Fund is a legimate organization, where is their website? Where are their filings with the Federal Election Commission or the Arizona Secretary of State? Absent that basic level of honesty, I’ll take their poison pen video as a Valentine card to Kari Lake.Published in