Feathered Bastard

Tom Horne Testifies, Channels Bill Clinton

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(By Wednesday, Horne's legal "dream team" had dropped the ludicrous assertion that someone else, other than Horne and Winn, might have used their cell phones to make these calls. Dumb stuff, especially since Horne admitted to me he paid his phone bill from that time, and then under oath, did not dispute the calls, just the content.)

Fields didn't press this point. But he deftly explored Horne's Clinton-esque interpretation of campaign finance laws.

Horne said President Obama and Mitt Romney directed people to contribute to IEs in 2012, so what he did in 2010 was OK.

Prosecutor Fields noted that the October 27 e-mail also included information about strategy, such as depicting Rotellini as opposed to Senate Bill 1070, and linking her to unions. Fields indicated this would violate a prong of the federal election law guidelines, used in part by Arizona officials.

Sure, that strategic advice got forwarded to Winn, too, Horne explained, but he ignored it, so that doesn't count.

"Whatever it said there, it made no sense to me, and I paid no attention it," Horne stated. "I had my ads running. This was directed to me, not to an independent campaign....It was the last two weeks of the election. My ads had a strategy from a nationally known, sophisticated consultant...That part of his e-mail was utterly meaningless to me."

Horne slices the salami so thin on this one you can see through it. At one point in the testimony, he complained that, with e-mails, you have to forward everything, you can't pick and choose.

Maybe not if you're in a hurry. Horne was desperate to beat Rotellini at all costs. This guy would have sold his alleged mistress Carmen Chenal to Al-Qaeda, if it would've helped. That's assuming they'd have taken her.

And he and Winn say they never used this info, as the BLA ad was done on October 21.

Thing is, this e-mail is far from the only evidence of coordination between Win and Horne. There's the mountain of calls between the two, and there's Winn's use of the words "we" and mention of her having "many masters" in her e-mails to Murray, as she's confabbing with Horne.

In her testimony, Winn said the plural pronouns involved other people involved in the IE, even though in a sworn affidavit, she said she ran the IE and created the ad with no help from anyone, save Brian Murray.

Finally, there is the letter of state law itself, which Horne is alleged to have abridged.

Take a look below at the definition of "independent expenditure" in Arizona Revised Statutes 16-901. The italics are mine.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons