Arizona Republicans are in a tough fight to keep the governor's mansion. Their candidate, state treasurer Doug Ducey, is effectively tied with Democrat Fred DuVal. Since voters in the state generally lean toward the GOP, DuVal has cast himself as a moderate outsider, a businessman who seeks answers—and gets endorsements—from both parties. That narrative has broken through—even his Wikipedia entry says DuVal is "often called upon as a bi-partisan, public policy negotiator through private employment and appointed roles."
As the Washington Free Beacon reported earlier this month, DuVal's career looks more like that of a Democratic consultant:
However, DuVal has spent nearly his entire career working predominantly with Democrats, even during the time at his lobbying firm DuVal & Associates.
DuVal & Associates was hired by UBS Financial Services to assist in bond deals it was working on from 2001 to 2005. DuVal was deployed almost solely to states that had Democratic governors that he likely would already have had a good relationship with.
21 out of the 25 states DuVal provided UBS with his consulting services in had Democratic governors.
Included was work in New Mexico during the administration of Bill Richardson, while DuVal was director of Richardson’s Si Se Puede! PAC. DuVal landed UBS the sale of $1.1 billion of bonds for the New Mexico Finance Authority in April 2004. DuVal later would contribute $1,000 to Richardson’s presidential campaign.
DuVal has made ethics and lobbying reform a cornerstone of his gubernatorial campaign amid stories that state legislators were given gifts like football tickets and campaign donations from the Fiesta Bowl. "As a taxpayer, I'm disgusted," DuVal has said.
But Republicans are quick to point out that the Democrat's consulting work looks and sounds a lot like lobbying itself. From 2001 to 2005, DuVal's firm did work in 25 states to help secure bonds. All of which might be unremarkable, except DuVal was never registered as a lobbyist in several states with tough lobbying regulations. Some of those states require those who incur minimal expenses while working to influence public officials—in Kansas, it's more than $40 on a meal, for instance—to register as lobbyists.
Furthermore, some of DuVal's lobbying work doesn't look squeaky clean. One 2009 Reuters article on DuVal joining Bill Richardson's PAC refers to him as a "Phoenix lobbyist." DuVal had joined Richardson's PAC as a fundraising consultant after his lobbying firm had helped the then-governor of New Mexico secure millions of bonds for the state. Those bonds later came under scrutiny as part of a federal investigation into whether Richardson had engaged in "pay for play" schemes by providing consulting contracts to political donors.
DuVal himself said he had nothing to do with securing the bonds, despite the fact that UBS had listed DuVal's firm as one that had performed underwriting services in their report to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. DuVal told Reuters that UBS had likely "over-reported" his firm's involvement.