Court, Clean Elections lack authority in challenge against Smith-Obama ad

A political advertisement in Arizona painted a misleading picture of former Mesa, Ariz., Mayor Scott Smith, a Republican candidate for governor in 2014,, as a supporter of gun control, ObamaCare and stricter regulation of greenhouse gas emissions.

By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Daily Sun

A group that mounted political attacks on former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith when he was running for governor in 2014 won’t get to challenge the authority of the Clean Elections Commission to impose a fine on it.

In a unanimous ruling Thursday, the Arizona Supreme Court said the Legacy Foundation Action Fund waited too long before pursuing an appeal of the $96,000 fine against it. What that means is that courts lacked any authority to hear the organization’s challenges, including to the authority of the commission.

But Justice Clint Bolick, writing for the court, said that does not preclude the group from pursuing other legal challenges, though those were not specified.

There was no immediate response from Jason Torchinsky, the attorney for the organization.

The case stems from a commercial that ran in early 2014 when Smith was pursuing the Republican gubernatorial nomination.


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