Tennessee Super-PAC Attacks Arizona Democrats Before Primary

Photograph by Ross D. Franklin/AP Photo

From left to right, Senate Democrats including Minority Leader David Schapira, D-Tempe, Kyrsten Sinema, D-Phoenix, Minority Whip Paula Aboud, D-Tucson, and Steve Gallardo, D-Phoenix, during a special session on June 10, 2011 in Phoenix.

A Democratic U.S. House primary in Arizona has drawn interest from another out-of-state group, this time a super-political action committee based in Tennessee.

The super-PAC, Progressive Independent Committee, has paid for mail pieces attacking the voting records of Kyrsten Sinema, a former Arizona state senator, and David Schapira, the state Senate minority leader. They are seeking the 9th District in metropolitan Phoenix along with Andrei Cherny, a former state Democratic Party chairman who’s the intended beneficiary of the super-PAC’s campaign in the Aug. 28 primary.

Progressive Independent Committee paid $33,676 to a Pennsylvania firm for mail in opposition to Sinema, the PAC said in a paper filing to the Federal Election Commission on Aug. 13.

Progressive Independent Committee hasn’t yet disclosed its donors. The PAC’s treasurer is Matthew Langley, whose Nashville firm M.D. Langley & Associates LLC helps campaigns meet compliance requirements, according to its website. Langley hasn’t yet responded to questions sent by e-mail on Aug. 17.

“I don’t know who these folks in Tennessee are of if they’ve ever been to Arizona or if they care about the 9th District and the families who are here, or whether they’re just trying to help a friend who seems to have most of his support from Washington, D.C., and California and Tennessee and New York,” Rodd McLeod, Sinema’s campaign manager, said in an interview.

“It’s clear who the super-PAC is supporting by who they’re attacking,” DJ Quinlan, who’s managing Schapira’s campaign, said in an interview.

“I believe it’s because Andrei Cherny is in third place and they need to take down both Kyrsten and David to be successful,” Quinlan said.

Cherny’s campaign didn’t respond to requests for comment yesterday.

Cherny is a target of another super-PAC, Restoring Arizona’s Integrity, which reported a single donation of $75,000 from DPUS LLC in Wilmington, Delaware, Political Capital reported Aug. 17. Restoring Arizona’s Integrity hasn’t responded to questions about its funding sources and operations.

Each Democratic candidate has influential backers. Sinema is backed by EMILY’s List, which aids Democratic women who support abortion rights. Schapira is backed by Harry Mitchell, a former U.S. Representative and mayor from Tempe, which is wholly in the 9th District. Cherny, who worked for Al Gore when he was Vice President, has the backing of former President Bill Clinton.

Seven Republicans are seeking the 9th District, which no incumbent is defending.

What do you think about this article? Comment below!