Arizona Democratic Sen. Kyrsten Sinema is scheduled to visit Utah next week for a high-dollar fundraiser. Sinema will be the latest high-profile politician to visit the state in search of campaign dollars.
The fundraising event for Sinema is scheduled for the evening of Aug. 30. An invitation for the fundraiser obtained by The Salt Lake Tribune lists suggested donations for Sinema’s leadership PAC ranging from $500 to $10,800. Attendees are required to be fully vaccinated and have had a booster shot against COVID-19.
Republican-dominated Utah may seem like an odd choice for Sinema to prospect for campaign donations. The invitation says Sinema is “a friend to the financial services community, both in her willingness to meet and the policies she espouses.” The invitation says Sinema “courageously advocates for common sense approaches to taxation, regulations, business concerns, etc.,” and she has “prevented Congressional attempts to unreasonably increase debt and government overreach.”
Sinema has come under fire recently for taking nearly $1 million in campaign contributions from various banking and Wall Street interests while tanking Democratic proposals to raise taxes on wealthy investors. Sinema also received criticism after she forced Democrats to scale back a proposal allowing the federal government to negotiate prescription drug prices, which would lower costs for Medicaid.
Sinema has also been the recipient of campaign donations from several multilevel marketing businesses, including Utah-based USANA Health Sciences.
The fundraiser is hosted by Zions Bank President Scott Anderson, Utah Bankers Association President Howard Headlee and lobbyists Meghan Holbrook and Frank Pignanelli.
Organizers of the event did not respond to requests for comment.
Utah Democratic Party spokesperson Ben Anderson offered a terse comment on Sinema’s visit.
“We’re always happy to have Democrats visit the most beautiful state in the nation,” Anderson said.
Sinema joined Sen. Mitt Romney when he dressed up as Ted Lasso last Halloween. Romney, fake mustache and all, posted a photo of him delivering a box of cookies to Sinema for “biscuits with the boss,” a mainstay from the hit TV series.
Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis visited Utah for a pair of fundraising events hosted, in part, by Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes and Nomi Health founder Mark Newman. Utahns ponied up big bucks for DeSantis’ 2022 reelection campaign. A review of DeSantis’ campaign finance disclosures shows $276,500 in donations from Utah residents on the day of the fundraising events. The largest donation was $100,000 from doTERRA founder Greg Cook. DeSantis also reeled in $25,000 from Lumio ECO Greg Butterfield and Clark Capital Partners.
Former Vice President Mike Pence stopped in July in Park City to raise money for Utah Rep. Burgess Owens. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst and South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem made their way to Utah in March to fundraise in support of Sen. Mike Lee’s reelection bid.
Other high-profile Republicans who have come to Utah to chase cash include Illinois Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who trekked to the state in support of independent Senate candidate Evan McMullin. Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney hosted a fundraising event for Rep. Blake Moore in Salt Lake City last September, then returned in October to raise money for her own reelection campaign.