Friday, October 24, 2008
Why Joe Arpaio Must go.
The "Sheriff Command Ascociation" gave the GOP $105K to run dishonest and filthy ads against Dan Saban. But who is the SCA? The AZ GOP party found themselves in trouble by taking the money and may have broken 8 seperate laws. Some are felonies.
A top Maricopa County sheriff's deputy is the point man for a mysterious political group that has given $105,000 to the state Republican Party in recent months, money that Democratic leaders say was used to pay for attack ads against Democratic candidates Dan Saban and Tim Nelson.
Sheriff Joe Arpaio has denied any link between his campaign and the attack ad against his opponent, Saban.
The ad was produced by the Republican Party and Arizonans for Public Safety, a group headed by state GOP Chairman Randy Pullen. The two groups also paid for a commercial attacking Nelson, who is running against County Attorney Andrew Thomas.
Donations from a group calling itself the Sheriff's Command Association made to the state Republican Party prompted the Arizona Democratic Party to file campaign finance complaints earlier this week with state and county elections agencies.
On Thursday, Sean McCaffrey, executive director of the Arizona Republican Party, said Capt. Joel Fox, a division commander in the sheriff's office, is the party's contact person for the mysterious association. The GOP's most recent finance report lists the association only by its initials and describes it as an "unincorporated association of individuals."
Fox "is, indeed, the individual with whom chairman Pullen requested the names of SCA's donors when their contributions to the Arizona Republican Party arrived, and we needed to have the information to file more properly," McCaffrey said.
Fox did not immediately respond to calls and e-mails seeking comment Thursday afternoon.
No one from SCA has responded to the party's request for specific information about the donors, McCaffrey said.
"We have since more loudly requested the information, and if that information isn't forthcoming from SCA, then we will act accordingly in a very timely manner," McCaffrey said. He refused to explain what those actions might include.
Pullen did not return calls for comment.
The Democrat's complaint alleges that SCA and the Republican Party have broken state campaign finance laws that regulate how political groups operate. SCA has not registered as a political action committee as required and is trying to hide who the money is coming from, the complaint alleges.
"This deeply underscores the need for a quick and independent investigation," Emily DeRose, spokeswoman for the state Democrats, said of Fox's connection to SCA.
On Thursday, Arpaio reiterated he had nothing to do with the ads. He said Fox's connection to the anonymous donations does not prove otherwise.
"I don't care," Arpaio said. "I have nothing to do with the independent expenditure, period."
Some TV stations refused to run the commercials, and the GOP ultimately pulled the ads.
McCaffrey said he does not know what position Fox holds within SCA or who else is involved.
The Maricopa County Recorder's Office, which runs county elections, has forwarded the complaint to the county attorney's office and to an outside law firm to advise the agency on how to proceed