Conservative group leader says he didn’t make Prop 105 contributions




    Scot Mussi, president of Arizona Free Enterprise Club. Screenshot via Arizona Horizon/Arizona PBS.

    The head of a prominent conservative advocacy group said he didn’t give $40,000 to the campaign against light rail expansion in Phoenix, and that the contributions attributed to him actually came from his organization and an associated political action committee. 

    Building a Better Phoenix, which led the fight for Proposition 105 in Tuesday’s municipal election, has reported in campaign filings that Arizona Free Enterprise Club President Scot Mussi made three contributions to the committee: $5,000 on March 7, $10,000 on July 10 and $25,000 on Aug. 2.

    The committee appears to have mistakenly attributed to Mussi money contributed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and Freedom Club PAC, its political action committee. 

    Freedom Club PAC reported to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office that it gave $5,000 to Building a Better Phoenix on March 7, the same day the anti-light rail committee reported receiving the same amount from Mussi. Mussi told the Mirror that the $25,000 check came from Freedom Club PAC, as well, while the $10,000 check came from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club. 

    Calls to the treasurer of Building a Better Phoenix, who is responsible for filing accurate campaign finance reports, were not returned.

    As of Aug. 10, the end of the city’s last campaign finance reporting period, Building a Better Phoenix had raised about $459,000, according to its most recent report. 

    Mussi and the Arizona Free Enterprise Club were heavily involved in the campaign for Prop. 105, according to the Phoenix New Times. The newspaper reported that Mussi played a role in crafting the language for the ballot initiative, helped organize a campaign event in September and consulted for the committee throughout the campaign. 

    Phoenix voters overwhelmingly rejected Prop. 105 in Tuesday’s special election, with 62 percent of voters casting their ballots against it. Proposition 106, a proposal to cap budget growth in some city expenditures until the city’s pension system is fully funded, lost by a similar margin.

    Jeremy Duda
    Associate Editor Jeremy Duda is a Phoenix native and began his career in journalism in 2003 after graduating from the University of Arizona. Prior to joining the Arizona Mirror, he worked at the Arizona Capitol Times, where he spent eight years covering the Governor's Office and two years as editor of the Yellow Sheet Report. Before that, he wrote for the Hobbs News-Sun of Hobbs, NM, and the Daily Herald of Provo, Utah. Jeremy is also the author of the history book “If This Be Treason: the American Rogues and Rebels Who Walked the Line Between Dissent and Betrayal.”

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