Arizona Eagletarian

Arizona Eagletarian

Monday, February 17, 2014

Redistricting, UNFair Trust and Sean Noble -- more revelations -- UPDATED 2-18-14 9:30pm MST

In the Yellow Sheet Report dated today (February 17, 2014), we receive a bit more background on Sean Noble and other contributors to the UNFair Trust.
After Friday’s revelation by ProPublica that consultant Sean Noble’s Center to Protect Patient Rights gave $150,000 to the GOP redistricting group FAIR Trust in 2012, a source familiar with the organization’s activities shed some light on its financing and spending. The source was unaware of Noble or his network of nonprofits having any involvement with FAIR Trust in 2011, but had a good idea who was writing the checks that launched the group.
According to the source, Tucson auto dealer Jim Click and then-Shamrock Foods CEO Norm McClelland each poured in about $100,000 to provide the group with its initial funding. A Sept. 7, 2011, email from fundraising consultant Michelle Marini listed 37 “confirmed guests” for a FAIR Trust fundraiser scheduled a few days later at the home of Dan and Marilyn Quayle, roughly 20 of whom were potential contributors.
In a separate email sent in early August 2011, fundraising consultant Corinne Lovas wrote that the list of invitees to the September event included about 10 people who had already given FAIR Trust at least $10,000, as well as “prospects” who could contribute at least $25,000. Among the confirmed attendees were AREAD Corporation CEO Nariman Afkhami; Apollo Group executive Mark Brenner; Dr. Jeff Mueller of the Mayo Clinic; then-GoDaddy general counsel Christine Jones; then-Arizona Assn of Realtors CEO Tom Farley; CAP President Cathi Herrod; and former IRC commissioner Jim Huntwork.
(Every GOP member of the congressional delegation except Flake was also listed as confirmed, as were Tobin and then-Senate-President Russell Pearce.) The source said a small number of the attendees did not contribute to FAIR Trust. The money from the September fundraiser was badly needed because, by August, FAIR Trust had already spent the roughly $350,000 it had raised initially, the source said. For the entire year, the source said FAIR Trust raised at least $500,000, and possibly as much as $600,000, from about 25 contributors, the source said.
According to two budget estimates prepared by FAIR Trust attorney David Cantelme in July 2011 and provided to our reporter, FAIR Trust expected to spend about $347,000 on “IRC Administrative Proceedings” and another $86,000 on “DOJ proceedings.” “They would have blown through that budget,” the source said, adding the group was hampered “because they kept having to go back to the well.” After the September fundraiser, McClelland held a fundraiser for FAIR Trust, as well, the source said. (emphasis mine)
Noble told our reporter today that the Center to Protect Patient Rights only gave FAIR Trust the $150,000 listed on its 2012 tax filings, and the redistricting effort did not receive money from any of the other nonprofits he was involved in. Though CPPR’s IRS filing showed the group giving money to “Fair AZ Independent Redistrict,” it listed a federal employer identification number for another Noble-run non-profit called Free Enterprise America, which ceased operations in May 2012. Noble said the mistake was due to a bookkeeping error – CPPR had previously given money to Free Enterprise America, and the group’s name was next to FAIR Trust on a spreadsheet – and that there is no connection between Free Enterprise America and FAIR Trust. Any allegation that the duplicate EIN is evidence that Noble is trying to hide something is “absurd,” he said. CPPR gave the $150,000 grant to FAIR Trust, Noble said, because “there was a need for additional legal action, and it fit the kind of mission that CPPR has been involved in.”
If you're at all like me on this one, you're not at all pleased with the extent to which plutocrats and would-be plutocrats have worked to subvert the will of the people of Arizona, in this case as it relates to independent redistricting.

UPDATE               UPDATE              UPDATE

The crybabies at the Arizona Capitol Times, who with impunity have stolen my work -- without granting even so much as credit for where they got the information -- have a problem with the FAIR USE doctrine. They demanded I take down this blog post. Sure, that's likely. NOT.

Fair Use cases have rested on balancing four measures.

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include— (emphasis mine)
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
I obviously do not charge for a subscription to the Arizona Eagletarian. Since I do not resell the credited content, it is obviously NONCOMMERCIAL and is for educational purposes, as there is (also obviously) an urgent need and compelling public interest in widespread disclosure of the nature of the influence that sinister actors such as David Cantelme and Sean Noble -- as TOOLS for the Kochtopus -- have had in what voters intended to be INDEPENDENT redistricting, free from special interests.

The nature of the items that the Cap Times squawked about? Again, obviously items of a compelling public interest demanding widespread disclosure.

The quoted material comprised substantially less than FIVE percent of the material they sent out to their high dollar subscribers yesterday (February 17).

The effect of my disclosure on their potential market? Seriously? Do they REALLY believe that Arizona's state capital lobbyists are going to abandon them -- an entire newsroom that reports in detail on what takes place in the legislature -- because my one-person blog discloses something of such a compelling public interest?

No, I don't think so either. If the Cap Times' market is going to be adversely impacted by anything going on these days at the Capitol, it would be the passage of bills like HB2554. The Cap Times uses corporate notices as a crutch, because for more than a century newspapers have been the beneficiary of a mandate that they served well back in the day. 

But requiring those incorporating new businesses to publish in newspapers no longer serves the public interest because those who want the information can find it in a simple database that doesn't require an archaic process. There is much more to be written on that subject, but for now, I digress.

The Capitol Times wants criticism? I have not been shy in criticizing their publication in the entire life of this blog and I certainly will not be shy today.

The fact of the matter is that much of what they reported in the blurb I republished is speculation. It might be educated guessing, but guessing nevertheless. From the first paragraph (above):
The source was unaware of Noble or his network of nonprofits having any involvement with FAIR Trust in 2011, but had a good idea who was writing the checks that launched the group.
An undisclosed source. That means that neither the Capitol Times nor anyone else verified any of the claims. "Had a good idea..." a hallmark of speculation.

By the way, back to the issue of FAIR USE, the Capitol Times, in its daily Legislative Report and Yellow Sheet Report did the exact same thing, but far more extensively, than they accuse me of having done. A high price subscription service reproduced copyrighted works from local newspapers, in total, without comment on the pieces.

They republished stories and columns written by EJ Montini of the Arizona Republic, Howard Fischer of Capitol Media Services, the Arizona Republic's editorial attacking John Kavanagh because Kavanagh sponsored HB2554 and an Arizona Republic Q and A with House Minority Leader Chad Campbell.

And they have the audacity to try to intimidate ME for republishing two brief blurbs.

It seems to smack of desperation, don't you think?

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