A shadowy third-party flier sent to the homes of voters in Arizona’s Third Congressional District attacking Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva originates with a group tied to the campaign of Grijalva opponent Amanda Aguirre, according to information recently discovered by the Grijalva campaign.
Carlos Sierra, the man who leads the group responsible for the mailer — a PAC called the “Opportunity for All Committee” — is a former staffer for GOP Senator John McCain. Aguirre’s online media is being handled by DeeDee Garcia Blase, the founder of the Hispanic Republican group Somos Republicans. Although Sierra has denied knowing Aguirre or any of her staff, two photos — freely available at the Somos Republicans Web site — show Sierra and Blase working together, in one case at a McCain office. (In this group photo, Sierra is third from left and Blase is fourth.) Another photo shows Aguirre and Blase together at a Latina Trailblazers event in March of this year. A fourth shows Blase at an event with paid Aguirre consultant Luis Gonzalez.
The headquarters address Sierra filed with the Federal Election Commission is an empty dirt lot in El Paso, Texas. When asked directly by KVOA, the NBC affiliate in Tucson, where the money came from for the attack mailer, he refused to answer. You can watch the KVOA segment here. A video of Rep. Grijalva’s Aug. 25 press conference denouncing the mailer and asking Aguirre to explain her involvement is viewable at http://bit.ly/RdNGEA.
Aguirre hasn’t denounced the attack piece. In fact, she told KVOA that Sierra is “welcome to support me because I need all the help I can get.” Her press release responding to questions about the mailer called Grijalva’s press conference “a direct example of his underhanded bullying tactics.” Her campaign consultant, George Braun, is a member of the Republican National Lawyers Association.