Tom Horne's Snakepit, Bill Montgomery's Dirty Money, and the Problem with Carmen Chenal
Arpaio helped Monty with more than a half-million bucks in 2010, but, um, that was different...
The media's been hot for Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's head over allegations that during the 2010 campaign he was improperly involved in supporter-turned-staffer Kathleen Winn's independent expenditure committee Business Leaders for Arizona.
-Tom Horne's Alleged Hit-and-Run at an Address Listed for Carmen Chenal (w/UPDATE)
-Bill Montgomery Takes Action Against a Campaign Scandal -- While His Campaign Uses a Consultant From Another Scandal
-Attorney General Horne Hired Carmen Chenal to a Highly Paid Top Post -- 'Cause She's His Goomba
-Tom Horne's Pal Carmen Chenal's Bar File Partially Sealed by Judge
-Carmen Chenal Overwhelmed as Tom Horne Pulls an Andy Thomas on Redistricting
-Tom Horne's Female Trouble: Kathleen Winn Not "the Mole"
-Bill Montgomery Rushes to Arpaio's Aid -- Just As Disbarred Predecessor Andy Thomas Used to Do
This, after Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery thought the AG's actions so egregious that he called a big press conference Monday to tell us all about them, and even got the FBI's Phoenix division Special Agent in Charge James Turgal to be present and back him up.
"Why isn't Horne being prosecuted criminally?" newshounds cried at the presser. "Why isn't Monty calling for Horne's resignation?"
Why? I'll tell you why. Because all politicians do the same damn stuff, they just try a little harder not to get caught.
So Monty is not going to start looking for ways to prosecute people criminally for civil violations that most pols engage in.
One reason Monty is not seeking Horne's head on a platter: Arpaio's ad attacking Romley on Monty's behalf in 2010
Who do you think he is, Rick Romley in the AzScam days? Yes, there was once a time, back in the early 1990s, when the Maricopa County Attorney set up stings to catch crooked pols. But those days are gone.
Because, if you'll wind your brains back to 2010, you'll recall that Romley, then acting Maricopa County Attorney, was clobbered by Monty in the primary of a special election held to replace ex-County Attorney Andrew Thomas (now a disbarred, wannabe-Wal-Mart greeter), who was off to joust with Horne and lose in a tightly-contested GOP primary.
How did Monty best Romley? With the help of more than a half million dollars in TV ads and mailers paid for by Monty's benefactor, Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Interestingly enough, it was none other than Lincoln Strategy Group, the same firm Winn used to do her ad defending Horne, which was hired to do those mailers attacking Romley on behalf of Joe.
Well, ostensibly on behalf of Joe. Actually both they and the TV ads were on behalf of Monty, because Arpaio wanted his guy heading the MCAO, not his longtime enemy Romley, who is constitutionally incapable of rolling over for our scalawag of a sheriff.
An administrative law judge agreed that the mailers were an in-kind contribution to Montgomery. Though, for reasons only the judge seemed to understand, the more expensive TV ads were not.
As a result, Arpaio's campaign war chest, administered by Chad Willems of Summit Consulting, was dinged to the tune of $154,000.
Only Arpaio appealed, and got the amount knocked down to $77,000 before paying it.
At Monday's press conference, I asked Monty what the difference was between the solid Arpaio did him and the solid Kathleen Winn did Horne?
It's all about that alleged coordinatin', according to Monty.
"The nature of the action was very similar," he admitted. "But, unlike this particular action, there was no coordination in that other election, certainly not with respect to monies raised for that expenditure, certainly not with respect to how that expenditure was put together."