But Bruce: We Thought You Opposed Earmarks!

We mentioned in an earlier post about how the Arizona Republican Party was facing tough financial times because they had to return $105,000 in contributions from a group called SCA, which wouldn’t reveal its contributors to the AZ GOP.

That refund came after the party had spent a bundle on TV ads trashing Dan Saban, the opponent of Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The decision to spend money on the Arpaio race when he’s not even in danger of losing had some Republicans wondering why the money wasn’t spent on GOP legislative races, given that Democrats are spending a bundle in a bid to take control of the Arizona House of Representatives.

Bruce Ash, the local property manager who serves as the Republican national committeeman from Arizona, came to the defense of the Arizona Republican Party by announcing to the world–via a comment of GOP political consultant Nathan Sproul’s blog–that the GOP wouldn’t have gotten the SCA contribution unless it had agreed to run the ad.

“The Saban ad campaign was not done using ANY funds from AZGOP which were donated for any other cause other than the specific campaign and would not have been donated had the ad campaign not been run,” Ash said.

The problem: That sort of earmarking is usually considered, um, illegal.

Ash, who didn’t return our phone call, might want to check with his lawyers before making any more blog posts. We think they usually caution clients to stick with some some sort plausible deniability rather than blabbing about the backroom deals that get struck.

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