KOLD INVESTIGATES: Arizona politicians fueled by out-of-state money

Outside influence

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The general election is just days away and the political ads are running non-stop on every possible medium.

“They do get to you. So it gets very tiring," said Terry Colligan. “It does feel like an assault on your eyes practically.”

Colligan said he’s an educated voter who feels assaulted when he sits down to watch television.

“I don’t think they’re helping,” he said. “Helping any of us to be bipartisan or impartial. They’re firing up passions, but not firing up thoughts - thinking for ourselves. There’s a lot of mudslinging, and I don’t feel like it’s helping."

Political ads are a way of life in our country.

A big reason they paper the airwaves is all the money that is a part of politics.

Politics is big business.

KOLD Investigates looked into exactly where all that money comes from.

What Arizonans might not realize is almost every candidate in our state’s big races get the majority of his or her money from people and groups outside our state.

We looked through all the numbers from the Federal Elections Commission. Candidates are required to file paperwork for all of their donations.

Eyes and pocketbooks from all over America are on our high profile race for senate between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Republican Martha McSally.

Sinema raised more than $15 million, but only $3 million came from Arizona. McSally raised about $12.5 million, $3 million of which came from the state.

That’s $21 million in outside money in a single race.


Democrat Tom O’Halleran

  • $2.2 million raised
  • $1.6 million from outside Arizona

Republican Wendy Rogers

  • $1 million raised
  • $750,000 from outside Arizona


Democrat Ann Kirkpatrick

  • $3.7 million raised
  • $3 million from outside Arizona

Republican Lea Marquez-Peterson

  • $1.2 million raised.
  • $815,000 from in Arizona

Colligan said most people don’t realize just how much money comes from outside Arizona and he thinks that’s bad for politics - no matter your party.

“I don’t like it - I live here," he said. “Pretty much none of the citizens are going to have that much money. no matter how gung-ho they are they won’t be able to compete with donors. They have their own interests - and they’re not always our interests.”

Keep in mind - these numbers are just for the candidates themselves.

They do not include all the money raised and spent on advertising by outside groups. Those groups don’t need to say exactly where their money comes from.

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