Campaign Cash

Published — April 5, 2011 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Fiesta Bowl accused of reimbursing execs for campaign contributions

Introduction

The Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW) today filed a complaint alleging that Fiesta Bowl executives and their wives violated the campaign finance law by being reimbursed for contributions made to Arizona Republicans.

The complaint, filed with the Federal Election Commission, claims 13 people were reimbursed a combined $28,500 by college football’s Fiesta Bowl for their campaign contributions over five years.

Politicians who received the money were Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jon Kyl, former Rep. J.D. Hayworth, and Rep. John Shadegg, along with McCain’s leadership PAC, called the Straight Talk Express, according to the complaint.

Fiesta Bowl officials also were accused of hosting fundraising events at the Fiesta Bowl Museum for Hayworth, McCain and the Straight Talk Express, another violation of campaign finance laws, CREW said.

The allegations of improper campaign contributions were first raised by The Arizona Republic in late 2009. An outside law firm hired by the Fiesta Bowl to investigate the allegations interviewed 52 employees and last month issued a public report detailing how the bowl reimbursed individuals for making campaign contributions to both federal and local candidates and flew politicians on football junkets. Transcripts of the employee interviews have not been released.

John H. Junker, the president and CEO of Fiesta Bowl, was fired after the investigative report was issued. Junker is among the 13 named in the CREW complaint to the Federal Election Commission.

The Fiesta Bowl had no immediate comment on the new complaint.

Read more in Federal Politics

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