The Democrats' latest special election hopeful Hiral Tipirneni attacks her Republican opponent in the Arizona congressional race for taking "marching orders" from "lobbyists," but records show her campaign has benefited from lobbyist contributions.
The Tipirneni campaign's website labels Republican Debbie Lesko, a state senator, "a career politician who gets her marching orders from big corporations and their lobbyists." It is this type of messaging that earned Tipirneni an endorsement from End Citizens United, a national PAC aimed at removing special interest money from elections.
Campaign finance records filed with the Federal Election Commission, however, show Tipirneni has received multiple contributions from individuals with active lobbyist registrations in Arizona, including a lobbyist for a major health care corporation and Planned Parenthood.
The campaign received late last year a $1,000 check from Frank Molinaro, an executive and active lobbyist for Tenet Healthcare Corporation, according to registrations filed to the Arizona secretary of state.
More recently the campaign received a contribution from Planned Parenthood Arizona CEO Bryan Howard, who is registered as an active lobbyist for the organization. Tipirneni has pledged to "fight fiercely to protect" pro-choice policies.
Also contributing to the campaign have been Darin Fisher, an active lobbyist for the Arizona Association of Community Managers, and Janet Johnson, an active lobbyist for the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community.
Tipirneni's campaign did not respond to an inquiry on the lobbyist contributions.