Super-PAC opens Tucson office to help Rep. Martha McSally


  • The Gaggle: Trump rally costs, gay couple's rights

    The Gaggle: Trump rally costs, gay couple’s rights

  • The Gaggle: Mark Brnovich sues Arizona Regents, Constitutional Planning Convention

    The Gaggle: Mark Brnovich sues Arizona Regents, Constitutional Planning Convention

  • The Gaggle: State school vouchers, DACA and Hurricane Harvey relief

    The Gaggle: State school vouchers, DACA and Hurricane Harvey relief

  • The Gaggle: Arpaio pardon, future of DACA and Flake's re-election campaign

    The Gaggle: Arpaio pardon, future of DACA and Flake’s re-election campaign

  • The Gaggle: Trump's visit, school voucher referendum update

    The Gaggle: Trump’s visit, school voucher referendum update

  • The Gaggle:  Trump's Phoenix rally, Arpaio pardon and Sinema's run

    The Gaggle: Trump’s Phoenix rally, Arpaio pardon and Sinema’s run

  • The Gaggle: Flake's new book, health care and bipartiship

    The Gaggle: Flake’s new book, health care and bipartiship

  • The Gaggle: McCain's return to the Senate and more

    The Gaggle: McCain’s return to the Senate and more

  • The Gaggle: School voucher petition, health care and McSally

    The Gaggle: School voucher petition, health care and McSally

  • The Gaggle: Health bill, school-voucher program

    The Gaggle: Health bill, school-voucher program

  • The Gaggle: Foster families, Trump's agenda and voter information

    The Gaggle: Foster families, Trump’s agenda and voter information

  • The Gaggle: Arizona's Teacher Shortage

    The Gaggle: Arizona’s Teacher Shortage

  • The Gaggle: A Secret Recording, Mexico Trade and Kids' Health

    The Gaggle: A Secret Recording, Mexico Trade and Kids’ Health

  • The Gaggle: The governor's race and infrastructure funding

    The Gaggle: The governor’s race and infrastructure funding

  • The Gaggle: Corporation Commission scandal and renewing an AUMF

    The Gaggle: Corporation Commission scandal and renewing an AUMF

  • The Gaggle: McCain Trump feud, Ducey's veto pen and Phoenix city hall

    The Gaggle: McCain Trump feud, Ducey’s veto pen and Phoenix city hall

  • The Gaggle: Unfinished business and hallway laments

    The Gaggle: Unfinished business and hallway laments

  • The Gaggle: Legislative session recap, May 2017

    The Gaggle: Legislative session recap, May 2017

  • The Gaggle:  Teachers protesting, a budget afoot and what's up with Stanton?

    The Gaggle: Teachers protesting, a budget afoot and what’s up with Stanton?

  • The Gaggle: Voucher vote, Arizona university funding

    The Gaggle: Voucher vote, Arizona university funding

  • The Gaggle: DCS warrants and Flake gets scorched

    The Gaggle: DCS warrants and Flake gets scorched

  • The Gaggle: Health care in Congress and school voucher expansion

    The Gaggle: Health care in Congress and school voucher expansion

  • The Gaggle: Is the filibuster busted and will Michele Reagan show us the money?

    The Gaggle: Is the filibuster busted and will Michele Reagan show us the money?

  • The Gaggle: Teacher raises, ACA repeal and ballot initiatives

    The Gaggle: Teacher raises, ACA repeal and ballot initiatives

  • The Gaggle: Federal budget and few women in the Legislature

    The Gaggle: Federal budget and few women in the Legislature

  • The Gaggle: Obamacare replacement, George W. in town and TANF benefits

    The Gaggle: Obamacare replacement, George W. in town and TANF benefits

  • The Gaggle: Tax that did not get cut, tweets from Gosar and a non-job

    The Gaggle: Tax that did not get cut, tweets from Gosar and a non-job

  • The Gaggle: SB 1142 is dead and town halls get rowdy

    The Gaggle: SB 1142 is dead and town halls get rowdy

  • The Gaggle: Bigfooted, McCain and HB 2404

    The Gaggle: Bigfooted, McCain and HB 2404

  • The Gaggle: How much debt is too much?

    The Gaggle: How much debt is too much?

A super-PAC friendly to House Speaker Paul Ryan has opened a field office in Tucson in an effort to boost U.S. Rep. Martha McSally’s prospects in her often-competitive district.

The move by the Washington, D.C.-based Congressional Leadership Fund reflects an unusually hands-on approach for a political-action committee, said Corwin Bliss, the group’s executive director and a veteran campaign manager.

The independent committees, which spent $1.1 billion during the 2016 election cycle, can raise unlimited amounts from individuals, corporations, unions or other organizations to advocate for a candidate’s election. They are, however, prohibited from coordinating with candidates or directly contributing to them.

“Managing campaigns across the country made me hate super PACs,” Bliss said. “In my experience, 90 percent of the super PAC money spent on behalf of my candidate was nothing more than a total waste of money. It was not impactful. It was the quickest TV ad made by someone who never spent one second in the state the campaign was in.”

The Tucson office is one of 17 nationally already operating in districts held by Republicans who are expected to face difficult re-election bids. The CLF, which raised and spent $50 million in the last election cycle, expects to operate 30 offices by next year’s midterm elections.

TALKING POLITICS: Listen to our Arizona politics podcast, The Gaggle, on Apple Podcasts, SoundCloud, Stitcher or Google Play.

Bliss said he is transferring some of the lessons learned from his successful effort managing the 2016 campaign for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, to a super PAC.

Most importantly, Bliss said, CLF needs to press key voters on local issues they care about, early and often. The CLF also won’t try to reach everyone; just those who can make the difference, he said.

McSally, a Republican, breezed to a second term last year. But with the GOP controlling the federal government, she is expected to face a more difficult campaign this time. Her campaign declined to comment about the super PAC’s early support.

“When it comes to Martha McSally, we’ve got her back,” Bliss said. “We’ll do whatever it takes to get her re-elected.”

For now, the CLF has one full-time worker who has recruited high school students to reach out to voters in McSally’s district.

Rachel Irwin, a spokeswoman for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said the early support is needed “to prop up Rep. Martha McSally.”

“She’s more vulnerable than ever given her vote to raise health-care premiums for Arizona families, and Republican special interests will do whatever it takes to keep her in office so they can advance their harmful agenda,” Irwin said.

Several candidates have already entered the race for the Democratic nomination, including former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, whom Bliss singled out as an opponent he expects to eventually paint as a “rubber stamp for (Minority Leader) Nancy Pelosi.”

Rodd McLeod, a spokesman for the Kirkpatrick campaign, said the CLF’s early efforts show how worried McSally and Republicans are about the 2018 race.

“Paul Ryan and the D.C. operatives who run his super PAC are absolutely terrified of Ann Kirkpatrick,” he said, noting in particular that Kirkpatrick voted for the Affordable Care Act in her congressional tenure, while McSally voted to repeal it.

READ MORE:

Trump surprised by McCain stance on health bill

Russia tried to hack Arizona voter rolls, feds say

McCain will vote no on Graham-Cassidy bill

Giffords says ‘common sense’ gun laws needed

Court: Gay couples have same rights as other parents

Read or Share this story: http://azc.cc/2ymmFfv

Source