If ex-superagent Jeff Moorad concludes his proposed deal for the Padres, local Republicans may send up a cheer. Current team owner John Moores is known for giving big money to California Democrats, who returned the favor by passing various bills bestowing financial favors on the multimillionaire. While he was in the legislature, ex–state senator Steve Peace, now on Moores’s payroll and a member of the Padres’ board, engineered an increase in rental car taxes to finance a $25 million parking garage benefiting Petco Park.
But Moorad, the recently departed Diamondbacks owner who has homes near Phoenix and in Orange County, has been a faithful giver to the GOP in both Arizona and California. Last year, he was one of John McCain’s so-called bundlers, reportedly pledging to hit up friends and associates for at least $100,000 in contributions to the Arizona senator’s ill-fated presidential campaign. His wife came up with an additional $67,800 for the national GOP’s separate McCain Victory 2008 committee, to which Moorad himself gave $47,000.
Based on local demographics, one Arizona officeholder whom Moorad may try to distance himself from if he closes the Padres deal is controversial Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio. Moorad and his wife gave Arpaio’s 2008 reelection campaign at least $740. The outspoken Republican sheriff has been accused by Democrats of racial profiling and is under fire from immigrant rights groups for raids during which illegal aliens were rounded up in predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods around Phoenix.