Daily Beast: Disgraced Ex-Rand Paul and Mitch McConnell Aide Resurfaces in Arizona’s Senate GOP Primary


A Republican operative with a history of illegal politicking has resurfaced in Arizona, where he was just paid six figures to place ads that won’t run for months.

KelliPAC, a group supporting GOP Arizona senate candidate Kelli Ward, paid a firm run by the operative, Jesse Benton, $268,000 this month to place television ads slated to run on August 2, just weeks before Ward faces off against former Maricopa County sheriff Joe Arpaio and Rep. Martha McSally in the state’s Republican primary.


A legal complaint filed with the Federal Election Commission regarding that proposal remains under consideration. Brendan Fischer, the director of federal reform programs for the Campaign Legal Center, the watchdog group behind the complaint, told The Daily Beast he was surprised to see Benton’s name resurface.

“Benton has certainly demonstrated a pattern of disregarding the law,” Fischer said in an email. “And somehow this guy keeps getting hired.”

As for the structure of KelliPAC’s payment to Benton’s firm, Fischer said it’s not unusual for political groups to reserve ad time in order to get better rates. “That being said,” he added, “it is not clear why an Arizona super PAC would pay a Kentucky political operative to buy Arizona airtime months in advance.”

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