A political action committee operating under the moniker Replace Sinema has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the Arizona Senator its name targets, Kyrsten Sinema. Originally elected to office as a Democrat, Sinema left that political party and is now registered as an independent.
Sinema also hasn’t evidently confirmed whether she will be running for another term. She is wildly unpopular, particularly among Democrats, considering a string of positions she’s staked that have often directly threatened the Democratic agenda. Infamously, she has stuck by the progress-suffocating filibuster rules in the Senate — provisions that demand much more than a simple majority for moving forward with most major initiatives. She has helped insure a tax break for private equity professionals was left intact during negotiations around Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act, opposed raising the federal minimum wage, and with her allegiance to the filibuster has threatened progress in areas from abortion to voting rights.
The complaint from Replace Sinema raises concerns about her spending habits, pointing out both discrepancies with the spending of other Senators and seeming correlations with what could reasonably be classified as just her own personal interests — interests that are normally supposed to be kept separate from campaign spending under the law. The campaign spending includes tens of thousands of dollars at hotels characterized as “luxury,” nearly $20,000 just on wine, and what approached $50,000 in chauffeured car services. The complaint pointed to airfare expenses incurred by other Democratic Senators from Sinema’s side of the country — whose totals were way less than Sinema’s. Between 2019 and 2022, Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) hit about $24,000. Sinema? About $117,000.
The complaint also named political action committees aligned with the Senator, whose team responded in comments to the Arizona Republic. “It’s not surprising that desperate political attacks from dark money Super PACs are based on lies,” a Sinema spokesperson claimed. “There’s no standing here, and Kyrsten remains laser focused on delivering lasting solutions to the challenges we face — including addressing our border crisis and ensuring Arizonans are protected from a national default.” Sinema already has a Democratic challenger leading the race for the party’s nomination to contend for the seat in 2024: Rep. Ruben Gallego (Ariz.).