Monday, April 02, 2012

Attorney General Tom Horne: Facts Dealing With False Allegations Made By Don Dybus

1. Applicable Statute

The rules are set forth in the definition of “independent expenditure,” in A.R.S. § 16-901(14). The definition of “election” is that it means any “primary, general,…or runoff election.” (Emphasis added). Therefore the primary is a separate election from the general. A.R.S. § 16-901(7) also states “for purposes of § 16-903 and § 16-905, the general election includes the primary election.” Neither of those Sections is applicable to the issue presented here. This reinforces the fact that, for our purposes, the primary election is a separate election from the general election.

2. Facts

Kathleen Winn was a victim of Andrew Thomas’ unjust practices as County Attorney, and false charges against her were repeatedly dismissed by the court. Ultimately she prevailed. In December 2009, she filed an independent committee called Business Leaders for Arizona, to oppose Andrew Thomas. This was done on her own initiative, and was “without cooperation or consultation” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf, and without “any arrangement, coordination or direction” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. She never received any compensation from Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. She raised $2,480, paid almost all of it ($2,100) to a website/graphic design expert in January 2010. He took the fee, but did not do anything. The project fizzled, and she abandoned it.

Although Kathleen filed papers with the Secretary of State’s office because she thought there would be an independent campaign, in fact there was no independent campaign during the primary. The above quoted statute defines “independent expenditure” as an expenditure “that expressly advocates the election or defeat of a clearly identified candidate…” There was no express advocacy, because there was no activity at all, other than a payment for which nothing was ever received.

Kathleen then volunteered in Tom Horne’s campaign in the primary election in 2010. She was not an “officer, member, employee or agent of the committee” of that campaign, but solely a volunteer.

When the primary was over, Kathleen told Mr. Horne she was withdrawing from the campaign, in order to be able to conduct an independent campaign during the general election. This was on her own initiative, and was “without cooperation or consultation” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf, and without “any arrangement, coordination or direction” with Tom Horne or anyone acting on his behalf. Those who participated in the campaign can confirm that, after the primary, Kathleen stopped coming to meetings.

3. Motive for False Charges

When Don Dybus sent his letter, he knew he was about to be fired. He sent letter to the Attorney General’s Office indicating that he could not be fired. Sharon Collins, the Manager of the Tucson Office, asked him why he sent a letter of charges, as referred to in his letter, and he responded that “I knew that Rick Bistrow [the Chief Deputy in the Attorney General’s Office] was about to fire me, and I was afraid of losing the health insurance.”

On February 9, shortly before the letter was written, Tom Horne was on the telephone with Sharon Collins, and with Rick Bistrow, the Chief Deputy Attorney General. Horne told Collins to tell Dybus that he had not been working to standard, and that if he did not start working to standard, he would have to be let go. Collins passed this message, in substance, to Dybus, shortly before he sent his letter.

4. Hiring of Kathleen Winn

There was never a promise made to hire Kathleen Winn. She was not among the new employees processed during the transition period following the election. Kathleen Winn was not the first choice for that job.

The offer was first made to Kim Owens, who decided she wanted to pursue other avenues in the private sector. Only then was the offer made to Kathleen Winn, based on her qualifications, and the confidence Tom Horne had developed in her during the primary.

A statement of her qualifications is attached as Exhibit A. It is common for public figures to hire people in whom they have developed confidence during the election. The point is that no promise was made, and this is obvious from the fact that she was not hired at first, and that when the job for which she was hired opened up, something else was the first choice. Winn’s salary is the same as that of her predecessor.

5. Nathan Sproul

Tom Horne has had no contact with Nathan Sproul since the before the last election. Kathleen Winn chose his consulting company for the independent campaign. Tom Horne had no participation in that decision, nor did he know of it.

6. Contribution from Richard Newman

Tom Horne did not know that Kathleen Winn was approaching his sister for a contribution to the independent campaign. His sister and Kathleen Winn had met at the primary victory party, at which time his sister gave Kathleen Winn her phone number and asked her to call if there was anything she could do to help in the general election.

Richard Newman formed Horne Consulting, L.L.C. on March 26, 2010, not in October 2010, which illustrates the falseness of the charges that have been made, by facts that can be confirmed by the public record.

Richard Newman ceased to be an employee of a company called AACOM on April 1, 2010, but he remained as a non-executive chairman of the board, and a consultant.

Horne Consulting was formed in connection with his becoming a consultant. It had nothing to do with this election. No money passed through Horne Consulting for political contributions. All contributions in the independent campaign were from personal funds.

Tom Horne had not heard of Horne Consulting until the article published today.

7. Formal Findings Against Rotellini Independent Campaign

The democratic Attorney General’ Association is the sole source of funding of a front group called the Committee for Justice and Fairness.

[ 1 ] It spent $600,000 attacking me on behalf of my opponent Felicia Rotellini. It made the willful decision not to comply with Arizona’s requirements for filing disclosures with the Secretary of State, and oral disclosures in advertising. An Administrative Law Judge made that finding, and a copy of that decision is attached as Exhibit B. By contrast, Kathleen Winn diligently complied with all filing and disclosure requirements.

In addition, in September 2010, Felicia Rotellini attended a meeting of the Democratic Attorney General’s Association, and their funding of an independent campaign on her behalf followed shortly after that.

[ 2 ] I attended no meeting of the Republican Attorney General’s Association or similar organization prior to the election. The irony of the present inquiry is that I went much further than many other candidates to stay far away from the line that separates
campaigns from independent campaigns.

Footnotes:[ 1 ]' STRONG>

[ 2 ] 9/14/10 Tim Nelson contribution in kind for “Daga conference.”


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1 comment:

Tony GOPrano said...

I'm no lawyer, but I would bet that there is a big, fat lawsuit waiting against the 'American Post Gazette' for slander? We know who wrote the article and they better be careful! Just saying!