Mitch McConnell-Backed Super PAC Ignores Arizona Senate Race

WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 02: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) speaks at a news conference following the weekly Senate Republican Caucus Meeting in the U.S. Capitol Building on August 02, 2022 in Washington, DC. During the news conference the Republican Senators spoke on their dismay with the Inflation Reduction …
Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images, Ash Ponders/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Mitch McConnell-backed super PAC has recently spent a total of $18 million on multiple Senate races while ignoring the Arizona senate race with Trump-endorsed candidate Blake Masters, according to FEC filings.

The dump of money is a part of the post-Labor Day spending jolt by the Senate Leadership Fund, which is run by McConnell’s former chief of staff, Steven Law. The money funds just about every senate swing state race but Arizona, Politico reported on the spending breakdown:

  • $2 million, Nevada (Adam Laxalt and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto)
  • 2.4 million, Wisconsin (Sen. Ron Johnson and Mandela Barnes)
  • $3.1 million, Ohio ( J.D. Vance and Rep. Tim Ryan)
  • $3.5 million, North Carolina (Ted Budd and Cheri Beasley)
  • $3.6 million, Pennsylvania ( Mehmet Oz and John Fetterman)
  • $3.7 million, Georgia (Herschel Walker and Sen. Raphael Warnock)

The lack of funding for Blake Masters raises questions as to why the McConnell-backed super PAC is not supporting the Trump-endorsed candidate in his highly contested race against Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ). The incumbent leads Masters by about five points.

According to a report by Politico in August, the Senate Leadership Fund suddenly canceled about $8 million worth of ad buys in Arizona. That has left Peter Thiel, MAGA billionaire investor, to convince the fund to recommit money to the race.

“McConnell told Thiel over the phone last week that Vance’s race in Ohio was proving more costly for the Senate Leadership Fund than anticipated, that money was not unlimited and that there was a need for the billionaire to ‘come in, in a big way, in Arizona,’” the Washington Post reported last week.

“Law, in a call with Thiel the day before his group cut back on the Arizona ads, expressed concern about Masters as a candidate and pessimism about his campaign’s viability,” the Post continued. “Both Vance, 38, and Masters, 36, are friends and former business associates of Thiel’s; Masters stepped down from roles at Thiel’s investment firm and foundation this year.”

McConnell’s attack on Thiel may be a cover for his feud with Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) and is in charge of retaking the Senate in 2022. Scott has called out McConnell directly for misaligning his political agenda with the NRSC, accusing him of McConnell’s GOP wing of “trash-talking” MAGA Republicans who McConnell allegedly does not favor — like Blake Masters:

Sen. McConnell and I clearly have a strategic disagreement here … We have great candidates. … And I think it’s important that we’re all cheerleaders for our candidates. … If you trash talk our candidates … you hurt our chances of winning, and you hurt our candidates’ ability to raise money. … I know they’re good candidates, because I’ve been talking to them and they’re working their butts off.

In a Washington Examiner opinion piece last week, Scott slammed McConnell for being “responsible” for losing the Senate in 2020 while working against the party in 2022.

“It’s an amazing act of cowardice, and ultimately, it’s treasonous to the conservative cause,” Scott boldly stated. “Giving anonymous quotes to help the Washington Post or the New York Times write stories trashing Republicans is the same as working with the Democratic National Committee.”

But the establishment has pushed back on Scott’s criticism of McConnell. On Wednesday, the establishment media accused Scott of “using the NRSC as a springboard for his own future political ambitions.”

“Scott has cut NRSC-funded ads with himself pushing his own legislative agenda, an effort that McConnell strongly opposed,” Punchbowl News claimed. “The NRSC’s fundraising has stalled out after a spike early in the cycle, and now the DSCC has more than twice as much cash on hand as the midterm elections loom.”

It should be noted former President Donald Trump in 2022 has reportedly recruited Scott to replace McConnell as GOP senate leader. Scott reportedly responded by stating he is focused on retaking Senate majority from the Democrats.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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