The Meltdown

Welcome to The Meltdown, a weekly rundown of every laugh and gaffe in the chaotic and crazy GOP gubernatorial primary. The two major Republicans in the race, Kari Lake and Karrin Taylor Robson, are battling it out to prove who’s the most unhinged and on the fringe. It can be hard to keep track of every tweet, ad and interview, so we’ve done that for you. Enjoy!

Tweet of the Week

Lifestyles of the Rich and Wealthy-Wealthy lobbyist and developer Karrin Taylor Robson has been living lavishly on the campaign trail, according to recent reporting. For months, Taylor Robson appears to have been using a private jet for campaign events, and not listing the travel on her campaign finance reports as required by law. The jet, a Dassault Falcon 900EX cost $39 million new and resells for between $7 and 8 million on average. The total annual budget for flying a Falcon 900EX private jet 200 hours per year is approximately $1,465,269 or $2,387,235 for flying 400 hours per year.


Why It’s A Problem– The private jet is owned by her husband’s LLC and Campaigns cannot accept contributions from LLCs, according to ARS 16-913 which reads, “A candidate committee may accept contributions only from an individual, a partnership, a candidate committee, a political action committee or a political party.” If Taylor Robson’s campaign accepted the jet travel as an in-kind contribution, she looks to be in violation of Arizona campaign finance law. Private jet joy rides count as a contribution because it’s for campaign travel.

We Properly Report Campaign Travel, Except We Literally Don’t–When confronted with this reporting, Matt Benson from the Taylor Robson campaign called it an “oversight” and said, “the Karrin for Arizona campaign properly accounts for all campaign expenses, including air travel.” But reporting by 3TV/CBS 5 found the campaign hadn’t reported a single use of the jet in its campaign finance reports, even though it had been used to travel to a number of campaign related events.

Karrin Caught in 4K Using State Resources–According to reporting by the Arizona Mirror, after flying to Marana on her private jet for a campaign event Friday, Karrin Taylor Robson hitched a ride back on Governor Ducey’s state plane (her jet was ferrying former Vice President Mike Pence to Nevada.) Taylor Robson’s campaign will have to reimburse the state for not just that trip, but for the cost of sending the state plane to Southern Arizona to pick them up.

Kari Lake is Still in the Lead-Poll after poll shows Kari Lake is still leading the Republican primary as wealthy lobbyist Karrin Taylor Robson struggles to close the gap before August 2nd. Taylor Robson has already blown through $18.4 million and spent nearly $2 million in the first two weeks of July alone. However, undecided Republican primary voters make up over 30% of the field, leading Lake and Taylor Robson to fire off more increasingly desperate and incendiary attacks in this race to the far right.

Fraud if I Lose But it’s Legit If I Win—Kari Lake has been laying the groundwork that if she loses the primary on Aug. 2, it was all because of fraud. Lake claims she is “detecting some stealing” in the upcoming election, and on KTAR’s Mike Broomhead Show said,  “I’m not going to clarify it. We are onto some things that are very suspicious and possibly illegal. We’re working on it. I don’t want to ruin the investigation.”

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