Senate

Trump Sparks Arizona Senate GOP Powder Keg

Folks, he’s done it again: Donald Trump’s latest intra-GOP primary meddling, this time in Arizona, has once more helped make a “crowded” and “divisive” Republican U.S. Senate primary even messier and nastier.

Here’s the latest from the Arizona GOP U.S. Senate primary:

  • Jim Lamon: Blake Masters is a “puppet” of Big Tech” — To set the stage: The Arizona GOP primary has been getting negative for months.
  • Last month, Jim Lamon launched a TV ad for the first time targeting primary opponent Blake Masters, calling him a “puppet” of Big Tech — a direct reference to Masters’ more than $13,500,000 support from his longtime boss and top political backer, the tech billionaire Peter Thiel. (And even before that ad, Lamon was criticizing Masters for promoting his donor-boss’ business interests.)
  • Lamon: Masters is a “wholly-owned subsidiary of a Big Tech, California billionaire”— Last Thursday: Trump endorsed Blake Masters last week, prompting Lamon to “[double] down on attacking Masters, whom he called ‘a wholly-owned subsidiary of a Big Tech, California billionaire.’”
  • Thiel PAC: Lamon is “selling out American workers” — Last Friday: Masters’ Thiel-bankrolled super PAC went up with a TV ad attacking Lamon, slamming Lamon over his business ties to China and his refusal to “Buy American.”
  • Lamon ad: “You think you know Blake Masters?” — Also Friday: Lamon’s campaign “released an ad targeting fellow GOP candidate Blake Masters over Masters’ past writings about Israel and quoting of an antisemitic conspiracy theorist.”
  • Mark Brnovich: “California already has two Senators; do they need a third?” — During an interview that aired on Sunday: Lamon and Masters’ primary opponent Mark Brnovich attacked both Lamon and Masters, saying, “Unfortunately there are a lot of people right now […] trying to buy […] a Senate seat.” Brnovich then went on to take an even more pointed shot at Masters: “[T]here’s one thing that we like — or, dislike — more than self-funders, and that’s someone being funded out of New York and California. My goodness, California already has two Senators; do they need a third?”
  • Lamon: Masters “never really worked outside Big Tech” — Monday morning: Lamon’s campaign released yet another TV ad slamming Masters as a Big Tech puppet, noting that Masters “never really worked outside Big Tech.”

Somehow, even that long list doesn’t manage to capture all of the deeply-awful vibes emanating from Arizona’s GOP primary field over the past week. In just the last few days, Masters has made headlines for racist comments falsely blaming gun violence on “Black people, frankly.” As well as for agreeing that federal campaign finance disclosure rules are (somehow) like the Nazi’s “Kristallnacht” pogrom.

All of that, in the last week, alone. And it’s only been four days since Trump endorsed in the GOP Senate primary — with the primary still seven weeks away.

So buckle up, because things are only going to get nastier.

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