Non-profit

Advancing AZ

Website:

www.advancingaz.org

Location:

AZ

Tax ID:

83-4665335

Tax-Exempt Status:

501(c)(4)

Formation:

April 2020 [19]

Type:

Election Advocacy Group

Chairman:

Steve Gomez

Formation:

2019

Advancing Arizona (also known as Honest Arizona) is a left-of-center organization that focused on defeating former U.S. Senator Martha McSally (R-AZ) in the 2020 election. Politico described Honest Arizona as a “Democratic dark money organization.” [1]

In 2019, Honest Arizona received almost $4 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a left-of-center advocacy and fiscal sponsorship organization. [2] Honest Arizona has also been linked to another “dark money” group aligned with the Democratic Party, Majority Forward. [3] Honest Arizona used the funding in support of U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), who defeated McSally in the 2020 election. [4] Honest Arizona collaborated with other left-of-center organizations, including Planned Parenthood and Indivisible, in its electoral efforts. [5]

Funding

In 2019, Honest Arizona received approximately $4 million from the Sixteen Thirty Fund as part of an effort to fund state initiatives to oppose Republican elected officials.[6] The Sixteen Thirty Fund has been described as a “dark money” group, and the organization is controlled by the left-of-center  Arabella Advisors. [7]

Opposition to the McSally Campaign

Honest Arizona invested almost $1.8 million to defeat former Sen. McSally and elect Sen. Kelly in the 2020 election cycle. [8]

Honest Arizona invested over $1 million on a Spanish-language advertisement attacking Sen. McSally’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act. [9] The advertisement claimed that Sen. McSally’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act would eliminate healthcare coverage for 2.8 million Arizonans with pre-existing conditions and increase the price of prescription drugs for 94,000 senior citizens. [10] Another advertisement claimed that Sen. McSally lied about protecting those with pre-existing conditions because she supported the right of private insurers to sell low-cost options in order to compete with government healthcare programs. [11]

Honest Arizona hosted the “Missing Martha McSally” town hall event, which Sen. McSally did not attend, and had U.S. Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) answer voter questions as a stand-in for Sen. McSally. Honest Arizona coordinated the event with other left-of-center organizations, including the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Arizona Health Care Voters, the Human Rights Campaign, and Indivisible. [12]

The group also expressed concerns about the appointment of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court due her criticism of Chief Justice John Roberts when he voted to uphold the Affordable Care Act. [13]

In August 2021, it was reported that Advancing AZ had launched a new $1.5 million ad campaign to aid Kelly’s reelection. The advertisements applauded Kelly for his support of the expanding the child tax credit included in the Biden administration’s “American Rescue Plan.” In a statement to NBC News, Niles Harris, executive director of Advancing AZ, said “Senator Kelly is delivering for Arizona families and they need him to keep getting these kinds of results if we’re going to get Arizona fully past the pandemic and make sure working families can get by.” [14]

Affiliates

Honest Arizona was linked to other left-of-center organizations, including Progress Arizona, Issue One, and Forward Majority Action. [15] [16] It partnered with Change Research, a left-leaning polling company, on a survey which claimed that most Arizonans approved of Democratic senators and gave Republicans lower scores. [17] Honest Arizona’s research concluded that most Americans believed former President Donald Trump was a threat to national security who risked the peaceful transition to a new administration. [18]

References

  1. KING, MAYA, and ZACH MONTELLARO. “How the Census Bureau Is Adapting to the Pandemic.” POLITICO. POLITICO, July 9, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021. https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-score/2020/07/09/how-the-census-bureau-is-adapting-to-the-pandemic-789053. ^
  2. Bland, Scott. “Liberal Dark-Money Behemoth Raised Nearly $140M Last Year.” POLITICO. POLITICO, November 20, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/20/liberal-dark-money-fundraising-438667 ^
  3. Lacy, Akela. “Dark-Money Groups Back Democratic Efforts to Retake Senate.” The Intercept, February 24, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021.https://theintercept.com/2020/02/24/dark-money-democrats-senate-2020-elections/ ^
  4. Wilson, Reid. “Democrats Spend Big to Put Senate in Play.” TheHill. The Hill, December 12, 2019. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/474196-democrats-spend-big-to-put-senate-in-play ^
  5. Stevenson, Camaron. “It’s Been Three Years Since Sen. Martha McSally’s Last Town Hall Appearance.” The Copper Courier. The Copper Courier, February 21, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://coppercourier.com/story/its-been-three-years-since-sen-martha-mcsallys-last-town-hall-appearance/ ^
  6. Bland, Scott. “Liberal Dark-Money Behemoth Raised Nearly $140M Last Year.” POLITICO. POLITICO, November 20, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021. https://www.politico.com/news/2020/11/20/liberal-dark-money-fundraising-438667 ^
  7. Ludwig, Hayden. “Arabella Advisors’ ‘Dark Money’ Backs Biden-Expect Even More.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, July 21, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://capitalresearch.org/article/arabella-advisors-dark-money-backs-biden-expect-even-more/ ^
  8. Wilson, Reid. “Democrats Spend Big to Put Senate in Play.” TheHill. The Hill, December 12, 2019. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/474196-democrats-spend-big-to-put-senate-in-play ^
  9. Daily Kos Staff. “Morning Digest: A Second GOP Pollster Finds Republican Senator Trailing by Double Digits in Arizona.” Daily Kos. Daily Kos, May 28, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/5/28/1948086/-Morning-Digest-A-second-GOP-pollster-finds-Republican-senator-trailing-by-double-digits-in-Arizona/ ^
  10. Swarner, Jessica. “Full Repeal of ACA, Supported By McSally, Could Mean 300K Arizonans Lose Coverage.” The Copper Courier. The Copper Courier, April 2, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://coppercourier.com/story/repeal-aca-mcsally-300k-arizonans-lose-coverage/. ^
  11. Cooper, Jonathan J. “Arizona Senate Ad Targets McSally Health Care Vote.” AP NEWS. Associated Press, November 14, 2019. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://apnews.com/article/57ede7d31f484637813d1122a001d527. ^
  12. Stevenson, Camaron. “It’s Been Three Years Since Sen. Martha McSally’s Last Town Hall Appearance.” The Copper Courier. The Copper Courier, February 21, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://coppercourier.com/story/its-been-three-years-since-sen-martha-mcsallys-last-town-hall-appearance/ ^
  13. Staff, Daily Kos. McSally, Ducey hail Trump Supreme Court pick of Amy Coney Barrett; others have misgivings. Daily Kos , May 28, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mcsally-ducey-hail-trump-supreme-court-pick-of-amy-coney-barrett-others-have-misgivings/ar-BB19snOn. ^
  14. “Meet the Press Blog: Latest News, Analysis and Data Driving the Political Discussion.” NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal News Group, May 4, 2021. https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/meet-the-press/blog/meet-press-blog-latest-news-analysis-data-driving-political-discussion-n988541 ^
  15. Staff, Daily Kos. McSally, Ducey hail Trump Supreme Court pick of Amy Coney Barrett; others have misgivings. Daily Kos , May 28, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/mcsally-ducey-hail-trump-supreme-court-pick-of-amy-coney-barrett-others-have-misgivings/ar-BB19snOn. ^
  16. Lacy, Akela. “Dark-Money Groups Back Democratic Efforts to Retake Senate.” The Intercept, February 24, 2020. Accessed March 20, 2021. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://theintercept.com/2020/02/24/dark-money-democrats-senate-2020-elections/ ^
  17. Tucson, News 4. “New Survey: 52% of Arizonans Support Recently Passed COVID-19 Relief Package.” KVOA. KVOA, March 11, 2021. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://kvoa.com/coronavirus-coverage/2021/03/10/new-survey-52-of-arizonans-support-recently-passed-covid-19-relief-package/ ^
  18. Research, Change. “Majority Support for Impeachment After Trump-Inspired Insurrection Attempt.” Change Research, January 11, 2021. Accessed March 20, 2021 https://changeresearch.com/post/majority-support-for-impeachment-after-trump-insurrection-attempt/ ^
  19. Advancing Arizona Articles of Incorporation. Accessed Dec. 17, 2020. Archived: https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/6382179-Advancing-Arizona-Incorporation-Records.html ^
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Advancing AZ

3058 E DERRINGER WAY
GILBERT AZ 85297