Friday, October 22, 2010

FOLLOWING MONEY IN ARIZONA'S POLITICS: Anti-Tom Horne Ads In Apparent Violation Of AZ Laws

(((Update: The Rotellini campaign on Monday afternoon declined to comment further on this report.  However, the Phoenix New Times did get a (surprised) comment from her, posted the ad and discussed its substance.)))

The Democratic Attorney Generals Association is behind a television advertisement attacking Republican candidate for Attorney General Tom Horne.  Neither the Washington-based group nor the committee name given at the end of the commercial have registered with the Arizona Secretary of State, making the independent expenditures illegal under Arizona law.

The 30-second attack ad is running on at least one Phoenix-area television station (as of yesterday), and identifies the "Committee For Justice and Fairness" ("CFJF") as paying for the ad.  The CFJF has registered with the Internal Revenue Service as a 527 organization, and they apparently spent more than one million dollars in the first two weeks of October.

Arizona law requires a political committee to file with the Secretary of State (for statewide races) BEFORE spending any money.  It is also required to file its previous finance reports (filed elsewhere) if it uses money raised before filing its statement of organization in Arizona.  The Secretary of State's office confirmed to Arizona's Politics this afternoon that it has received no filings from either the CFJF or the Democratic Attorney Generals Association.

An internet search on Google for CFJF reveals little about its Arizona efforts, other than that it has filed something (unavailable) with the Kansas state government.  Its website focuses on the Kansas race and does not mention Arizona. 

However, it is the same group (shares same P.O. Box in Washington, DC) that filed with the IRS last week that it has "raised" more than $2.0 Million October 1-13 and spent $1.3M of it in that time.  That summary information is available at (a great website), but not the details included in the IRS reporting.

The details of the filing show that ALL of the money has come from the Democratic Attorneys General Association, based in Denver.  However, neither their website nor the Horne attack ads reference that connection.  Arizona law requires the largest contributors to an independent expenditure campaign to be identified.

Friday afternoon calls have been placed to CFJF's political consultancy home in DC, and to the Horne campaign for comment.  Evan Brown, Communications Director for Felecia Rotellini's campaign indicated that they had no knowledge about who was behind the ads but admitted to curiosity.  He stated that the candidate would take no action before knowing the details of the alleged violations.

Copyright 2010 Arizona's Politics

We welcome your comments about this post. If you have a copy of the advertisement discussed in this report, please e-mail us.  Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com. Thanks.

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