Thursday, November 8, 2012

BREAKING, FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS: In Possible Two-Fer, Gov. Brewer Goes Robocalling In Montana; May Have Violated State and Federal Laws; Also, Dem Tweaks McCain

Governor Jan Brewer used her SuperPAC to robocall Montana voters in support of GOP Senatorial challenger Denny Rehberg shortly before election day.  In so doing, she may have violated both Montana  AND federal election laws.

On Tuesday, Huffington Post reported on the robocalls supporting Rehberg in what proved to be an unsuccessful effort to unseat Sen. Jon Tester.  Tester's campaign had posted the audio of Brewer's appeal on Election Day, along with scrolling text with the Montana law banning robocalls - even in the context of political races.

Huffington Post notes that the Montana law banning election-related robocalls is not being enforced because prosecutors do not want to risk it being found unconstitutional.

Federal elections laws require any last minute independent expenditures to be disclosed within 24 hours of the expenditure.  That law is enforceable.  As of this writing, JanPAC has not disclosed the Montana robocalls.

It is possible that the eponymous SuperPAC did not need to file a 24-hour report with the FEC, if the expenditure was less than $1,000.  A call to the JanPAC spokesman is out, and we will update upon receiving a response.

An interesting sidebar to the Governor's robocall is that it came fast on the heels of Sen. Tester taking a full-page ad out thanking and praising Arizona Senator John McCain (R-AZ) for fighting against the Citizens United Supreme Court decision permitting big money SuperPACs like Brewer's. (McCain had come to Montana to campaign for Rehberg.

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