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10/22/2013 10:51:00 AM
AG Tom Horne discredits Polk's findings against him; has no intention of paying back $400,000

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services


PHOENIX -- Attorney General Tom Horne said Monday he will not be distracted by the findings by the Yavapai County Attorney that he knowingly violated state campaign finance laws.

In his first extensive comments about the report, Horne said he has no intention of paying back $400,000 that Sheila Polk said was illegally funneled into his 2010 race by what was supposed to be an independent campaign committee. He called the allegations "technical' and insisted he will be vindicated.

And Horne said he will be able to keep his focus on the job he was elected to do. He pointed out that this has now been an issue for more than a year, since Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery first said there was evidence that Horne had broken the law.

"In fact, I have personally argued in Arizona superior court, Arizona Supreme Court, in federal district court, 9th Circuit, and personally argued two cases in the United States Supreme Court during this period,' he said. "And it's definitely not been a distraction.'

All that, however, was before Polk last week released a detailed and often scathing 26-page report laying out what she said was a pattern of phone calls and e-mails involving Horne and Kathleen Winn. She had been on Horne's primary election campaign committee but formed a separate group, Business Leaders for Arizona, to help with his general election campaign against Democrat Felecia Rotellini.

That group eventually spent more than $500,000 in a last-minute TV commercial designed to help Horne.

Polk said there is "convincing proof that Horne and Winn coordinated on the development of the political message to be conveyed by the Business Leaders for Arizona anti-Rotellini advertisement.'

The Yavapai County Attorney also said that Horne, in giving information from his campaign to Winn, "intentionally and blatantly' violated the law.

"This is just an allegation,' Horne said Monday. And he said that, by rejecting Polk's demand to return money spent in excess of campaign finance limits, he will force a court hearing.

"We will shortly be coming out with information showing that the allegations are definitively proven to be false by documentary records,' he said.

There is technically no law that makes it illegal for a candidate to coordinate with a supposedly independent campaign.

What makes what Horne is accused of doing illegal are separate statutes that limit how much a candidate can take from any one source. For the 2010 election, that was $840 for candidates for statewide office.

Polk said the individual contributions to Winn's group were far larger than that. And that, in and of itself, is legal.

But if there was coordination between her group and Horne, that effectively made the contributions to her group contributions to Horne. And that would mean he took more than permitted from any individual.

Polk also said there were corporate donations to Business Leaders for Arizona. That is legal for an independent committee.

Candidates, however, cannot take corporate dollars for their campaigns. And if Winn's committee were simply an arm of Horne's campaign, that means those corporate dollars flowed directly to him.

Polk, in her report, said the ties she found, including Horne forwarding polling information and advice to Winn, convince he this was no accident.

"The breach is so clear that Horne must have recognized it to be improper,' she wrote.

Rotellini already has announced she intends to make another run at the office in 2014.

But she may not get to face off against Horne. He faces Republican Mark Brnovich in the Republican Party primary.

Related Stories:
• Editorial: Horne makes things awkward for Arizona GOP


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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: OMG LOL ask good questions.

OMG LOL says

"Money is not speech and corporations are not people."

Money is not speech...but without money you
can not campaign or advertise your point of view
...not unless you force others to pay for all your
advertising and speech.

Corporation are not people. But in fact they are
an association of one or more people for
example: factories, stores, shops, unions,
schools, universities, pacs, political parties,
churches, civic organization.

You see in this country we have freedom of
speech and freedom of association.

OMG LOL also ask:

Were the laws FOUND unconstitutional in a court of law?

Answer: Not yet. The question assumes that a
law is unconstitutional ONLY when a court 'finds'
it so....when in fact the law in question is
unconstitutional from the day it was written and
the elected officials (sworn to protect/uphold
the constitution) choose to look the other way.


Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Babbitt

Party infighting on the public's dime.

Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: OMG LOL

Frank Henry,

Were the laws FOUND unconstitutional in a court of law, or is that just your opinion?

You know what they say about opinions . . .

It seems to me there are at least TWO people on this thread that do not know what they are talking about.

Money is not speech and corporations are not people.

Now we know why Sheila posts marijuana propaganda . . . the REAL criminals just ignore her. What else has she got to do?


Posted: Sunday, October 27, 2013
Article comment by: @ it seems

Frank is a wise man and a nice guy.

You sound like you need to work on 'ethics.'

pf


Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Article comment by: It seems to me:

Frank Henry is a wise man.

PF should listen to him more often.


Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013
Article comment by: Your Right About ...

'Hit and Run' laws...if Tom Horne was involved in
an hit and run case he should face the music.

The campaign laws of our state were the
'unconstitutional' laws I was referring to. We all
have rights to free speech and association.

Thanks for your observations,

Good Luck,
Frank Henry


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Weak Defense

It is very obvious Horne has no defense to a thorough job done by Polk. The states AG does not make one legal argument in defense. Rather he tries to deflect and spin by bulking up his resume. Cheap theatrics from the man who is suppose to have the trust of the states electorate. I hope the voters remember he is the guy who cheated to win election, he was having an affair with a coworker and he did a hit and run in his car to escape investigators.

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Do your job, Shelia

Arrest him!

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: @ Frank Henry

What's unconstitutional about 'Hit and Run' laws, or laws against Bosses coercing sex from employees, or lying to investigators?

Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Ah! Horne's

moment, at last!

Predictable.

Kinda ironic, two of the biggest "Law Enforcers" for the state of Arizona are renegade sheriff Joe and Mr. Horne.

Foxes: guard henhouse!

pf


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: You VOTEd for these crooks . . .

How many more crimes does he get to commit and get a free walk?

Florida's governor is a felon, he committed medicare fraud.

Banksters wrecked the economy and still gamble with it . . . not one in jail, bonuses abound.

They laundered money for cartels and fixed rates worldwide (racketeering).

And you all just keep voting their protectors in.

When are you sheeple gonna wake up?


Posted: Thursday, October 24, 2013
Article comment by: Accusation of breaking unconstitutional laws.

Its too bad that elected and appointed officials
are burden with unconstitutional laws.

Their energy should be expended in pushing for
election and campaign laws that respect and
honor every individual voters "Full Voting Rights".

Thanks and Good Luck,
Frank Henry
fmhenry4@netzero.com


Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: What did You expect out of a crook?

Send him to jail. Horne has no conscious.

Posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
Article comment by: Mary Jane

Is anybody really surprised that Mr. Horne refuses to abide by the law? He is a repetitive offender that should be residing in Sheriff Joe's Tent City, pink underwear and all!

But that would require treating Mr. Horne like he treats others, and of course that would never do!




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