Watchdog group calls for investigation of $500,000 contribution to Ducey PAC

Arizona Capitol Times

A nonpartisan campaign finance watchdog group is claiming that a $500,000 contribution to Gov. Doug Ducey’s PAC is illegal and has asked Secretary of State Michele Reagan to investigate the contribution.

Citing campaign finance rules against shielding the real source of campaign contributions, the Campaign Legal Center says the Ducey Victory Fund Committee accepted a half million dollar contribution this election cycle from a shell corporation that was a front for an Arizona auto billionaire.

The Washington, D.C.-based group today asked Reagan to look into Blue Magnolia Investments, LLC, which it asserts was a company created by wealthy businessman Larry Van Tuyl, who made billions when he sold his auto dealership network to Berkshire Hathaway, Inc. The nonprofit group is asking Reagan to investigate both Van Tuyl and Blue Magnolia, but not the Ducey Victory Fund or Ducey’s campaign.

Brendan Fischer, Campaign Legal Center’s federal reform program director, said his group identified Blue Magnolia as a “suspicious contributor” because all the evidence shows it did not have sufficient income from business revenue, assets or earnings to make the sizeable campaign contribution. In the very least, the legal center is hopeful that, with the investigation, campaign finance reports will be updated to show that Van Tuyl was behind the contribution to Ducey’s PAC.

The Campaign Legal Center was founded in 2002 and describes itself as a watchdog on ethics and campaign finance issues. The group’s founder, Trevor Potter, served as general counsel to John McCain’s 2008 and 2000 presidential campaigns.

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