Group tries to dodge fine for campaign finance law violation

By Howard Fischer |Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times

A group that spent $260,000 attacking a 2014 foe of Doug Ducey in his first gubernatorial race is trying again to escape paying a fine for violating state campaign finance laws.

Attorneys for the Legacy Foundation Action Fund contend that the Citizens Clean Elections Commission lacked the power to impose a $96,000 fine for the commercials targeting former Mesa Mayor Scott Smith. They say there was no proof that the ad was done to advance the political fortunes of anyone else in the Republican gubernatorial primary.

Beyond that, the lawyers contend that the commission lacks the authority to enforce the campaign finance laws.

So far that argument has not held water. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Christopher Whitten ruled in August that the lawyers for the fund were misreading the law.

Now the fund is seeking intervention by the state Court of Appeals.

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