Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) is an anti-solar front group that was involved in electing anti-solar candidates to the Arizona Corporation Commission in 2014. Because the organization is a 501(c)4 nonprofit, Arizona Free Enterprise Club does not have to disclose its donors but it has been reported that APS might have been the front group’s primary source of funding for the 2014 election campaign. APS has neither confirmed nor denied its involvement.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club worked to defeat pro-solar candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission, Lucy Mason and Vernon Parker, while supporting the candidacies of pro-utility candidates, Tom Forese and Doug Little. In total, as reported by Kate Sheppard at Huffington Post, the AFEC spent a total of $1.1 million on the 2014 primaries.
Election officials at the Arizona Secretary of State office stated that there was reasonable cause to believe that the Arizona Free Enterprise Club violated state election law by spending more than $1 million on the state’s elections. Ryan Randazzo at The Arizona Republic reported, “An [August 15, 2014] reasonable-cause notice by Deputy Secretary of State Jim Drake said state officials found the Arizona Free Enterprise Club failed to properly file as a political committee and failed to report campaign contributions and expenses. The case is being referred to the state Attorney General’s Office for further review.”