Turns out Shane Wikfors (pictured), who runs the blog, considers church-mate Dan Saban a friend. Who knew? Wikfors slams the infamous attack ad on Saban as "disgusting." And although the blog's only unmasked cowboy (there's also one unmasked cowgirl) doesn't quite level both bores on the SCA, he does seem to understand something has gone wrong:
Incidentally, if the ad was really an independent expenditure, anyone close to either candidate who gave to the effort for or against either of the candidates could be interpreted as violating campaign finance law.
In fact, at least half of the people involved with the SCA are close to the candidate in question, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Wikfors folds his opinion into a short anecdote about nearly getting hired by Steve Ellman, a contributor/member of the SCA:
In early 2008, the Ellman company sought to fill a media relations position. I was told that it would have actually been broader than media relations. Nevertheless, as a recently unemployed county worker, I applied for the position. As you can guess, I did not land the position. End of story = no further connection. However, let me just say that if I had been in the position to say something about funding a borderline sexually-explicit political attack ad, I would have stood up and opposed it.
We wonder, who did get that job -- and was that person ever in a position to say something about funding a political attack ad? Ellman, naturally, hasn't said a word about the SCA since his involvement was revealed last week.
Also interesting are the comments to Wikfors blog post. Conservative Republicans don't usually speak against their own party in mainstream news sources, perhaps to present a more unified front. But on the conservative blog, the Republican Party more resembles what became of Yugoslavia. Here are some excerpts:
July 18th, 2009 at 9:11 am
The thing not considered in the accusation of conservative blogs, SA in particular is this, a post is a call to comment. And let me say...we do! Many of us screamed online that the ad was despicable, that Saban was a good man who did not deserve such horrible public exploitation of a tragic circumstance, and have long held Arpaio as a phony at what he really is hired to do.
Not all of us with a conservative voice are caught up in the Joe love fest.
Richard Wayne Says:
July 18th, 2009 at 9:56 am
It is not necessarily a love fest to recognize that an elected official is actually doing his job of protecting the citizens from an invasion of our country that is destroying our sovereignty and way of life.
That ad was wrong on many fronts. It was reprehensible to personally attack Saban in that manner. The ad was politically stupid especially since Joe was never threatened by Saban. It was done in a manner that was legally improper.
James Davidson Says:
July 19th, 2009 at 3:06 pm
For those of you in Rio Linda, the Sheriff is an incompetent old fool, a traitor to the Republican Party, a publicity hound of the first water, and a bully as evidenced by his treatment of Sandra Dowling (her door was kicked in, helicopters circled around her house, her little dog was kicked, and she beat every one of the charges the sheriff pushed.)
In case you all in Rio Linda forgot, he betrayed the Republican Party and supported Democrat Janet Napolitano in the 2002 governor's election, and even appeared in a commercial for her. She barely squeaked by in a cliff hanger that took three weeks to figure out the winner. Without the traitor's support, Matt Salmon would have been governor and the state would not now be in bankruptcy.
Captain Joel Fox also comments on the post. With each retelling, Fox adds a bit more zaniness to his story. For instance:
The press also likes to report that I struggled for months to avoid revealing the names of SCA donors, which is completely false. I struggled for months to avoid paying a fine of $315,450.00.
His post inspires a couple of SA readers to ask excellent follow-up questions:
James Davidson Says:
July 20th, 2009 at 6:50 pm
Let me ask some questions:
1. Do you repudiate the attack ad against Saban?
2.Did you ever suspect there might be an issue with "others, who mailed large donations to help fund [your] effort." Did you ever hear of the concept of the appearance of impropriety? Or to focus specifically on the case at hand, did you ever hear of the appearance of influence buying?
2. When you realized in 2008 that there might be an issue with influencing an election, why give the money to the Party? Why not give it all back to the donors without it ever touching the Party's hands?
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3. You say you started SCA in 2006. How much did your group spend before 2008?
July 20th, 2009 at 10:51 pm
Fox- answer me this one question. If this [has] nothing to do with attack ads, why then did many of these out of state donors conveniently make first time ever donations to the AZ Republican Party after getting refunded their money? Some made donations larger than I have given combined in the last 5 years!
Spin it all you want- this is too close to Arpaio for him to not know anything about it.
It looks like skepticism about the SCA donations has bipartisan support.