Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard, who is running for re-election, has accused his opponent of a campaign-spending violation and of using illegal immigrants during the filming of a campaign ad.
Marty Harper, an attorney for the Goddard campaign, filed the complaint Friday with the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Commission, claiming Republican candidate Bill Montgomery used primary campaign funds during the general election season. The complaint also states that the money was used to pay illegal immigrants to be in an ad on that topic.
Goddard’s campaign asked for an investigation into Montgomery’s spending on the Sept. 12 filming and requested a refund of the $73,000 spent on the production.
Montgomery and Goddard, a Democrat, qualified for state campaign funds but are regulated in how they can be used. Under state law, primary election funds must be spent on the primary campaign or returned.
“There were four Hispanic guys there,” Montgomery said. “But to assume that just because they were Hispanic that they are illegal, that’s the kind of racist characterization that my campaign has been very careful to avoid.”
Paperwork sent along with the complaint shows entries on Sept. 12 — the day of the primary — for payments of $30,000 and $43,000 to Red Sea LLC for a video shoot.
Montgomery said his campaign spending was legitimate, likening the money spent for filming to money spent on campaign signs. He said candidates don’t have to buy signs during the primary and then repurchase them during the general election, which this year falls on Nov. 7.
Montgomery said the production crew handled filming and he did not personally ask actors for proof of citizenship.