October 18, 2013 9:27 am -

1746698_GWhen you do it once, it’s – well, no surprise these days. When you do it twice, it makes you look sorta kinda maybe a little corrupt and not too smart:

For the second time in a year, a county prosecutor has determined Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne and his political-ally-turned-staffer Kathleen Winn violated campaign-finance laws during Horne’s 2010 run for office.

Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk on Thursday gave Horne 20 days to return nearly $400,000 in donations to an independent-expenditure committee, Business Leaders for Arizona, that Polk said illegally coordinated its efforts with Horne’s campaign.

Winn ran the independent-expenditure committee, which paid for a negative television ad targeting Horne’s opponent in the race, Democrat Felecia Rotellini. Following Horne’s victory, Winn joined the Attorney General’s Office staff.

Polk, in her order, said severale-mails and the timing of phone calls “provide convincing proof that Horne and Winn coordinated” on the development of the anti-Rotellini ad and on raising money to pay for the ad.

Therefore, Polk said, the cost of the ad must be counted as in-kind contributions to Horne’s campaign and not to the independent-expenditure committee.

Campaign laws forbid coordination between candidates and certain activities with independent-expenditure committees.

This isn’t Horne’s second scandal. Last year, an FBI probe into a hit-and-run accident involving Horne exposed that he was having an affair.

D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.