Paul Babeu's Dark Money Group Is All About...Paul Babeu

So here's a giant surprise, Pinal County Sheriff and unannounced candidate for U.S. Congress Paul Babeu is the "honorary chairman," of a dark money, 501(c)4 non-profit that is pimping....yes, you guessed it, Paul Babeu. 

Babeu's new Arizona Security and Prosperity Project's website promises that the group will pursue "public advocacy for enhanced border security, economic strength and individual liberty," and that, in so doing, the group "will be non-partisan, and will not advocate the election or defeat of any identified candidate for public office."

And yet, the ASPP brazenly shills for Babeu, who has all but jumped into the fray in the GOP primary for Arizona's First Congressional District.

Indeed, all of the ASPP's featured videos spotlight the man it calls "our chairman," the most recent being a 10-minute snooze-fest, where Babeu, playing host, smooches up to former Arizona Governor Jan Brewer, who is just as daffy now as she was during her disastrous term as this state's chief executive.

In it, Babeu and Brewer spend most of their time blaming President Obama for all of Arizona's ills, from forest fires to the state's economy to illegal immigration. 

"We believe we know best what we can do for our states and make is successful," Brewer says at one point. "And he [Obama] gets in the way, every dang time."
According to Brewer, if it hadn't been for Obama, Brewer's much touted (by her) "Arizona comeback" would have been more than just empty rhetoric. 

Later in this edition of the "Paul Babeu Show," Brewer maintains that she did an awesome job, piloting Arizona's economic ship 
through turbulent times, despite the economic disaster she incurred by signing Arizona's anti-immigrant law, Senate Bill 1070, which resulted in a boycott of the state during a massive recession, when the state could least afford it.

Along with Babeu, she bewails all the illegal immigrants coming "acrost" [sic] Arizona's border with Mexico, and she declares that we need new leadership at all levels in Washington, DC.

"We certainly need people in Congress to stand up and be tall," she says, as Babeu sits across from her in his politician suit, rather than his usual polished sheriff's badge and belt. 

"It's important that people remember that it's not too far away," Brewer says of the 2016 election cycle.

"Yes!" Babeu enthuses.

"There's elections on the road," she continues. "So it is, um, something that, um, I hope that everybody's listening and they will do something about it, [because] the squeaky oil — the squeaky wheel gets the oil."
Now there's the Brewer we all know and despise, as inarticulate as ever.

No doubt Babeu's hoping his butter-up of ol' Brewer will score ASPP a fat donation from Brewer's Jan PAC, which had around $330,000 on hand as of January 1.

He could use the boost, since his national "Paul Babeu for America PAC" has almost no cash to speak of.

Additionally, Babeu's state PAC had around $9,400 as of December 2014. And his "Paul Babeu for Sheriff" committee had about $25,000 during the same reporting period. 

Which begs the question: Who will give money to a Mexican-bashing candidate whose affair with Jose Orozco, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, was exposed in 2012 when Orozco went public with allegations that he was threatened with deportation if he did not keep quiet about Babeu's being gay?

Though it's been three years since those revelations forced Babeu out of the race for Congress in Arizona's Fourth Congressional District, Babeu's ex-boyfriend, the raunchy e-mails between the two, and photos of Babeu in various states of undress are still around, as are screenshots of Babeu's profile on the explicit, gay hookup site, where he went by the handle "studboi1" and boasted of his manhood being, "7' cut."
But Babeu's ASPP affords him the opportunity to campaign without looking like he's campaigning, and to raise money for a "social welfare" organization that, in reality, mostly promotes Babeu.

The site even boasts an upcoming tele-town hall, which it says GOP presidential candidates Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina have committed to, though all candidates are invited to participate.

Carson recently received a presentation on border security from Babeu (whose county is not on the border, by the way), after which Carson suggested that drones be used to take out cartel members on American soil.
The degree to which Babeu can snooker presidential candidates into appearing with him or participating in ASPP events will assist with fundraising and help make Babeu look more like an option for the Republicans in the CD1 GOP primary, which currently includes former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett and Gary Kiehne, an Arizona rancher with deep pockets.  

ASPP's director is Brian Seitchik, a veteran GOP operative who last ran Christine Jones' unsuccessful 2014 campaign for the GOP gubernatorial nod. The group's board of directors lists former Babeu campaign manager and ex-Pinal County GOP chair Marty Hermanson as a member.

It's obvious that ASPP is a tool for Babeu's naked ambition. Hopefully, CD1 voters will see this snake coming.
KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons