Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 5:27 a.m.
Randy Kendrick, a donor to Republican causes and wife of Arizona Diamondbacks owner Ken Kendrick, is one of the most generous donors to a group that’s trying to defeat Proposition 205.
When you need to spend $1,500 on new tires, will you give money to Bruce Halle, the owner of Discount Tire, who gave $1 million to make sure pot stays a felony in Arizona?
The munchies gave you a craving for a slice of pizza — but did you know that Grimaldi’s Pizzeria in downtown Scottsdale recently gave $10,000 to the prohibitionist group Arizonans for Responsible Drug Policy?
Does opposition to Proposition 205 by Empire Southwest LLC of Mesa make you more or less likely to rent construction equipment from the firm?
Whether you’re pro or con on Prop 205, which voters will decide on Tuesday, it’s always important to follow the money. The money gathered and used by the group behind Prop 205 essentially comes from just two sources: the Arizona dispensaries that will benefit if voters approve the measure, and the national Marijuana Policy Project, which also put the Arizona medical-marijuana law and Colorado’s recreational-legalization law on the ballot.
The anti side has a larger, more diverse group of donors. Not that all these people or groups deserve a boycott like the one launched against Discount Tire, but their staunch belief that Arizonans should be thrown in jail for something half the state believes should be legal is worth a closer look.
Not only do these folks want marijuana to remain an arrestable offense in Arizona, but they’re backing an untruthful campaign. Representatives of the ARDP claim falsely that marijuana is killing children and that employers will lose the ability to maintain drug-free workplaces.
This week, three Democratic Colorado lawmakers slammed the opposition group for stating that money from marijuana taxes hasn’t helped Colorado schools, noting that the $138 million in pot taxes have gone to the state’s department of education in the past two years. The Arizona Legislature’s own budget-analysis division calculated last year that Prop 205 would bring in $124 million a year in fees and taxes by 2020.
Governor Doug Ducey’s name doesn’t show up here, by the way, but he should be considered the ARDP’s number-one fundraiser, considering his high level of campaigning and fundraising against the ballot measure.
Here’s the list (as of today) from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office of prohibitionists, politically minded business owners, and others who gave $10,000 or more to encourage the defeat of Prop 205. Companies and donors are from Arizona except where noted.
Discount Tire $1 million
Arizona Chamber of Commerce $918,000
Sheldon Adelson (Nevada casino magnate) $500,000
Insys Therapeutics Inc. (maker of Fentanyl and synthetic THC) $500,000
Empire Southwest LLC (construction-equipment company) $350,000
Services Group of America (food distribution company — has a division that sells food to private prisons) $180,000
SAM Action (national anti-marijuana group) $165,000
T. Denny Sanford (South Dakota businessman) $100,000
Larry Van Tuyl (auto dealership mogul who owns a $125-million-dollar yacht) $100,000
Randy Kendrick (wife of Ken Kendrick, Arizona Diamondbacks owner) $100,000
Arizona Mining Association $51,000
Arizona Automobile Dealers Association $50,000
Michael Ahearn (co-founder of First Solar) $50,000
Arizona Republican Party $45,570
Anita Farnsworth (Mesa philanthropist) $40,000
Pima Medical Institute $40,000
Dan Grubb (auto dealer) $35,000
Gila River Indian Community $25,000
Robson Communities Inc. (home developer) $25,000
Fulton Homes Corporation $25,000
Larry Clemmensen (Paradise Valley investor) $25,000
Southern Arizona Leadership (Tucson-boosting group) $25,000
Microchip Technology Incorporated $25,000