Bruce Ash, Republican National Committeeman for Arizona, Won't Deny Truth of Statement About Source of Saban Smear-Ad Funds
Ash, if you'll recall, is a key figure for anyone trying to figure out the origins of the scandal. Back in early October, the vicious smear ad by the Republican Party against Dan Saban, the Democratic opponent of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, had raised enough controversy that even other Republicans were criticizing it.
In response to the criticisms, Ash commented on a now-defunct blog site run by former Arizona Republican Party chairman Nathan Sproul. In his statement, Ash seems to be explaining to fellow pachyderms that they shouldn't concern themselves over the idea that the Party spent its own money on the smear ad:
The Saban ad campaign was not done using ANY funds from AZGOP which were donated for any other cause other than the specific campaign and would not have been donated had the ad campaign not been run.
Don't you think, judging by this comment, that Ash seems to be quite knowledgeable about this contribution? In fact, he seems to know for a fact this was an illegal earmark, doesn't he?
And as we now know, the money Ash is talking about came from Arpaio's top commanders, his buddy Steve Ellman, and a few out-of-state rich guys (who may have been connected somehow to Ellman, Arpaio, Chief Deputy Dave Hendershott, or all three).
So what does Ash, a pillar of his community, have to say today about his involvement?
"I would have no comment," Ash tells us after we ambushed him on his mobile phone.
What? We incredulously reply. So, we ask Ash, can we assume you told the truth in your comment?
"You can assume whatever you want," he retorts.
Okay, then. Assuming what Ash wrote was true, campaign finance laws were broken.