Sen. John McCain's Arizona campaign chairman, fellow Republican Sen. Jon Kyl, is missing from McCain's list of 26 Arizona bundlers who have raised $50,000 or more in contributions for his presidential campaign.
Kyl, the Senate minority whip, bundled more than $100,000 of campaign contributions for President George W. Bush in 2004. Kyl frequently appears at campaign events as a McCain stand-in and the two are close friends. Kyl, a hard-line conservative, supported the presumed Republican presidential candidate on comprehensive immigration reform, but splits with McCain on some major issues -- including energy policy, campaign-finance reform and climate change. Calls to Kyl's Phoenix and Washington office for comment Wednesday were not returned.
(Matt Mahurin) Kyl is one of a group of leading Arizona Republican fund-raisers more active in raising money for Bush than they have, to date, for McCain. Many expected names appear on McCain's Arizona big contributor list -- but there are glaring omissions. Leading GOP state elected officials and some key state party activists are giving far less financial support to the party's national candidate this election cycle than in 2000 and 2004 -- though their favorite son is the likely nominee. This could well be because Bush was considered more acceptable on issues the conservative GOP base cares about, with his anti-tax, pro-business agenda and his willingness to move religion into the center of the political mix.