PHOENIX — The ads by the conservative group Arizona Public Integrity Alliance come after
a tough week for Horne, who faces a primary challenger and, if he survives, a
tough general election race against a Democrat who nearly beat him in 2010.
On Monday, Horne was hit with an election-law complaint alleging his executive
staff did extensive work on his campaign. On Wednesday, a prosecutor reinstated
a campaign-finance complaint against him alleging that he and an aide illegally
coordinated spending by an outside group during his 2010 election bid.
The ads don’t mention either Yavapai County Attorney Sheila Polk’s complaint or
the new election-law complaint filed by former Horne staffer Sarah Beattie.
Instead, they refer to an FBI report saying Horne was having an extramarital
affair and his 2012 parking lot hit-and-run accident and urge him to resign.
An attorney for the group backing the ads, Kory Langhofer, said it plans a
media buy large enough so that people across the state will see the message.
Meanwhile, one of the Horne staffers named in Beattie’s complaint resigned this
Horne spokeswoman Stephanie Grisham said the resignation of state and federal
relations staffer Garrett Archer was unrelated to the complaint. Archer’s wife
is pregnant, and he plans to return to his private political consulting firm,
“It’s actually just incredibly bad timing,” Grisham said. “This has
absolutely zero to do with the allegations.”
Beattie said Archer is a “self-described political guru” who was part of a
“dream-team” of election workers Horne hired as staffers. She said in her
complaint that a review of his computer will show “a substantial amount of his
time was devoted to Tom Horne’s campaign, done on official State time.”
Horne denies allowing his staff do campaign work on state time, calling the
allegations “completely untrue.”
He also denies the 2010 campaign-finance allegations.
Those allegations were renewed by Polk when she rejected an administrative law
judge’s decision that they should be withdrawn for lack of evidence. Horne now
plans an appeal to Superior Court.
Prosecutors allege Horne and aide Kathleen Winn illegally coordinated campaign
spending while Winn ran an independent group during his 2010 election bid. Polk
ordered Horne to repay $400,000 and amend his campaign finance reports.
Grisham confirmed that some staffers named in Beattie’s complaint are
consulting attorneys, but said they were not doing so because of fear of
Instead, they were considering suing Beattie, she said.