FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Monday, November 1, 2010

SIGNS, SIGNS, EVERYWHERE ARE SIGNS: Blocking Exit Ramps, Polluting Our Minds; LD20 Counter-Sign Attack Reaches New, Apparently-Illegal "Heights"

The anti-Rae Waters campaign in LD20 took a couple of interesting twists and turns on election eve.  Hired sign holders were present at at least two freeway exits this afternoon, with signs attacking first-term Rep. Waters (Dem., SE Valley).  The signs did not disclose who paid for them, which is a violation of Arizona election law.  Additionally, the signs were being held on freeway right of way, which is also a violation.

The sign at I-10 and Ray (no relation) Road attacked Waters' "Horrible Attendence (sic)" and cited five votes which she did not participate in.  They also accused her of "Union Run Smear Campaigns", an accusation that Arizona's Politics previously found to be unfounded. Full text below.*

The sign holder was hired by Jet Media, which is owned by former legislative candidate Jim Torgeson.  There are three plausible alternatives:
1) Jet Media paid for the signs on its own.  This would be a violation of Arizona election law, because there are no records with the Secretary of State for either Jet Media or Torgeson. (Not to mention the lack of acknowledgment.)
2) Friends of Jeff Dial paid for them.  The controversial 8' X 8' signs placed at intersections last week (without a "paid for by" marking) directed readers to a web page that was paid for by Jeff Dial's official candidate committee.  However, as of October 13, Friends of Jeff Dial (Jeff Dial, Treasurer) had only $1,758.63 cash on hand.  Dial is a Clean Elections candidate and has not received additional funds since the 13th.  Several possible violations.
3) The AZ Republican Party paid for them.  As noted earlier, the GOP - led by Dial roomie (or ex-roomie) Brett Mecum - has spent $42,000 on this single legislative seat in the past week alone.  The Party's disclosure statements have all indicated that they paid for mailings

The signs being held at freeway exits on election eve are just the latest in violations.  Ahwatukee and Chandler have been blanketed with the 8' X 8' 's and smaller anti-Waters signs - also without "paid for by" acknowledgments.  Certainly, the culprit or culprits may not be discovered before the election is complete; however, due to the magnitude of these apparent violations, it is likely that an investigation will continue post-election.

* Text of sign held at I-10, Ray Road exit ramp: "Rae Waters/Horrible Attendence/Runs From Tough Votes/For Example SB1070 HB2400 HB2564 HB2250 SB1025/Union Run Smear Campaigns

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