Maricopa County Grassroots Republican PCs Provide ‘Golden Tickets’ to Guide Arizona Voters, Sparking Accusations of Far-Right Radicalism

Some grassroots Republicans in Legislative District (LD) 3 (previously 23 before redistricting), located predominantly in Scottsdale, put together a “Golden Ticket” for voters in their district this year listing which candidates to vote for and which ballot measures to support in the Nov. 8 election. They expanded it to include as many LDs as they could obtain information for, and now have almost all 30 LD Golden Tickets posted. However, some Republicans are loudly objecting, including Nancy Ordowski, the First Vice Chair of LD 3, and there is some opposition to limiting the endorsements for the Paradise Valley Unified School District Governing Board (PVUSDGB). 

Maricopa County GOP Member-at-Large Brian Ference, who was substantially involved in preparing the Golden Tickets, designing the One Day Vote website for them, told The Arizona Sun Times he believes those objecting are “RINOs” who are disgruntled that their gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson lost the primary to Trump-endorsed Kari Lake. 

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Arizona AG Brnovich Discusses Settlement with Google over Deceptively Obtaining Users’ Location Data for Profit

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has sued numerous big players throughout his two terms, including the Biden administration, Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, Arizona State University, and the City of Tucson. Perhaps the biggest entity he sued was Google in 2020, for “deceiving consumers” by tracking their location on smartphones without their knowledge and then selling the information. After over two years of litigation, the tech giant capitulated, settling for $85 million, more than the country of Australia snagged in a similar settlement with Google, $60 million. 

The first attorney general in the country to sue Google over the practice, Brnovich told The Arizona Sun Times that what prompted him in part to file the complaint was the shocking extent of how much personal information was obtained. “Google knew more about where you were going and who you hung out with, more than your travel agent or spouse,” he said. He found out about the practice after a news article revealed that Google was tracking users through its app preloaded on Android smartphones even after they’d disabled their “Location History” setting. Google was told to stop and did not.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Sues Biden Administration over Student Loan Debt Cancellation Program

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed another lawsuit against the Biden administration on Thursday, this time challenging the president’s authority to cancel student loan debt. He argued that it goes contrary to several recent Supreme Court decisions striking down federal agencies’ assertion of power never granted to them by Congress. The Biden administration intends to cancel $10,000 to $20,000 of student loan debt for people who make less than $125,000 annually, or $250,000 annually for a married person filing jointly.

In his lawsuit, Brnovich said, “This loan cancellation … is a naked handout by one administration and one party to favored political classes (college graduates and those employed by the higher education industry) at the expense of taxpayers everywhere.”

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Disputes Kris Mayes’ Claims During Arizona Attorney General Debate of ‘Prosecuting’ While a Commissioner

The first debate between Trump-endorsed Republican Abraham Hamadeh and Democratic candidate Kris Mayes for Arizona Attorney General (AGO) took place Wednesday evening on Arizona PBS, sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission. The two candidates sparred for much of time over whether the other was qualified for the position. The moderators’ questions focused primarily on the candidates’ willingness to prosecute abortion laws and voter fraud from the 2020 presidential election, where there were stark differences. 

In Mayes’ opening statement, she touted her seven and a half years serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission, and said she’d been a member of the Arizona State Bar for 15 years. She claimed she had experience prosecuting consumer fraud, and pledge to protect reproductive rights and democracy if elected. 

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Disputes Kris Mayes’ Claims During Arizona Attorney General Debate of ‘Prosecuting’ While a Commissioner

The first debate between Trump-endorsed Republican Abraham Hamadeh and Democratic candidate Kris Mayes for Arizona Attorney General (AGO) took place Wednesday evening on Arizona PBS, sponsored by the Clean Elections Commission. The two candidates sparred for much of time over whether the other was qualified for the position. The moderators’ questions focused primarily on the candidates’ willingness to prosecute abortion laws and voter fraud from the 2020 presidential election, where there were stark differences. 

In Mayes’ opening statement, she touted her seven and a half years serving on the Arizona Corporation Commission, and said she’d been a member of the Arizona State Bar for 15 years. She claimed she had experience prosecuting consumer fraud, and pledge to protect reproductive rights and democracy if elected. 

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Kari Lake Leads Katie Hobbs with Millions in Ads from GOP Governors Association and Superior Independent Support

As the heated Arizona gubernatorial campaign between Trump-endorsed Kari Lake and Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs continues, Lake is pulling ahead with spending related to her campaign. Through a funding maneuver, Republicans figured out how to adjust their TV ad buys in order to get better purchasing power, allowing them to obtain more than double the spots Democrats had purchased. At the same time, independent expenditures (IEs) in the race greatly favor Lake over Hobbs by over four to one.

The Republican Governors Association (RGA) has spent over $4 million on ads attacking Hobbs. That strategy is shifting, as the RGA has decided to coordinate with the Yuma Republican Party in order to get more out of their money. Since candidates and their local political parties get better airtime rates than outside groups, the RGA will fund the Yuma GOP $6.5 million to buy a total of $7.1 million in ads through election day on Nov. 8. State law allows political parties to coordinate with candidates, not out-of-state independent expenditure (IE) organizations. The first ad attacked Hobbs on border security and the second ad on taxes and spending.

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As Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward Alleges Maricopa County Broke the Law in the 2022 Primary Election, Groups Launch Drop Box-Watching Operations

The Arizona Legislature was unable to get a bill passed this year clearly banning unmonitored absentee ballot drop boxes, so local activists are organizing schedules of volunteers to watch them, concerned after reports of unusual activity during the primary election this year. Existing law, A.R.S. 16-1005(E), prohibits absentee ballot drop boxes operated by entities other than the government, but legal disputes remain over how much the government is required to monitor them.

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Arizonans Flood Maricopa County Recorder with Requests for ‘Cast Vote Records’ from 2020 Election

Election officials around the country, including the Maricopa County Recorder, saw a flurry of public records requests at the end of August asking for the “cast vote record” (CVR) from the 2020 presidential election. The requests came after My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, who is actively investigating election discrepancies in 2020, urged attendees at his Moment of Truth Summit in August to request them. The CVR reveals the type of ballot used by each voter and how they cast their votes, without exposing their identity.

Walter C. Daugherity, who has a background in computers and engineering, two degrees from Harvard University, and experience in artificial intelligence and quantum computing, submitted a declaration about his analysis of CVRs in a lawsuit filed by Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed candidate for State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State. Their complaint aims to stop the use of electronic voting machine readers in the Nov. 8 election. 

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Group Sounds Alarm on Arizona Voting Machine Readers Lacking Accreditation

For the last year and a half, three Arizona activists have been investigating the lack of accreditation of voting machine readers used in Arizona. Concerned that the machines are susceptible to fraud — not just fully electronic voting machines but also electronic voting machine readers that are used with paper ballots here in Arizona — the trio has made several unsuccessful attempts legally to halt their use in the elections this year, as well as calling upon elected officials in the state, executive, and legislative branches for assistance.

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Arizona’s School Choice Expansion Very Likely to Be Halted as Signatures Mount for ESA Blockage

Arizona’s historic legislation expanding school choice to every child in the state appears likely to be placed on hold right now, as a ballot measure aimed at stopping the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) expansion will probably make the 2024 ballot. Save Our Schools Arizona (SOSAZ) said its signature collectors turned in 141,714 signatures for “Stop Voucher Expansion” to the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office on Friday. Only 118,823 valid signatures were required by Sept. 24, leaving plenty of room for error with bad signatures.

Jenny Clark, the founder of Arizona-based Love Your School and a new appointee to the Arizona State Board of Education whose children participate in the ESAs, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Today 11,000 Arizona students had the opportunity of an ESA put on hold. Every day that a child struggles in a school that’s not working for them is detrimental. But this is far from over. We will be monitoring the signature verification process, and continuing to walk alongside Arizona families and their children.”

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Accusations Fly Between Finchem, Fontes During Arizona Secretary of State Debate Focused on Voter Fraud

Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) faced off against Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes in a debate Thursday evening hosted by Clean Elections on KAET PBS. Most of the lively exchange focused on the candidates’ stark differences regarding voter fraud, with Fontes more dismissive and Finchem stating election integrity is a priority. 

Finchem said in his opening statement that he is running due to what’s happened to the office under the current officeholder, Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor. He said he wants to “restore honor, integrity, and security” to the position. “It’s not up to the secretary of state to make the law, they enforce the law that’s already laid down.” In addition to other controversies, Hobbs has been involved in a high-profile legal dispute with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich for making changes to the state’s Election Procedures Manual that Brnovich asserts are outside of her authority.

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Trump-Endorsed Mark Finchem Leads Adrian Fontes by over Six Points in Arizona Secretary of State Race: Poll

A new poll from The Trafalgar Group shows Trump-endorsed State Representative Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona secretary of state, more than six points ahead of his opponent, Democratic former Maricopa County Recorder Adrian Fontes. Conducted between September 14 and 17, the survey of 1,080 likely voters by the Republican-aligned pollster found that 47.5 percent chose Finchem and 41.1 percent chose Fontes.

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New Super PAC-Funded Ads Arrive to Revive Blake Masters’ Campaign Against Senator Mark Kelly

As Blake Masters pulls to within striking distance of incumbent U.S. Senator Mark Kelly (D-AZ), according to new polling by Trafalgar Group, the Frontiers of Freedom Action (FFA) Super PAC has jumped in to the Arizona media market to buy ads focused on opponent Kelly’s voting record.

The Arizona Sun Times asked Frontiers of Freedom President George Landrith, who also heads the FFA, why he thought the race was still winnable after Masters lost significant financial support. Landrith pointed to the gubernatorial race in New Jersey last year, where the Republican candidate, Jack Ciattarelli, was also a little-known newcomer like Masters, and written off by some in the Republican Party. Ciattarelli surprised everyone, losing by only 3.1 points in a very blue state.

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Maricopa County Hired 145 More Democratic Poll Workers than Republicans to Staff August Primary Election

The Republican National Committee sent a letter to the Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) demanding to know why MCED broke the law assigning significantly more Democrats than Republicans to poll worker positions for the August primary election. State law requires that each board handling the election must be “comprised of two members of different political parties,” but the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) discovered through public records requests that 857 Democrats were hired for those positions, while only 712 Republicans were. At 11 voting centers, there wasn’t a single Republican hired. 

Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor, who is leading an effort to stop the use of electronic voting machines in the Nov. 8 midterm election, expressed his concern to The Arizona Sun Times. “This makes no sense, considering there are far more registered Republicans than Democrats in Maricopa County, and Republicans are super eager to serve on these boards due to concerns about voter fraud,” he said. “There were significantly more Republican precinct committeemen compared to Democratic precinct committeemen hired, so it doesn’t pass the smell test that the county couldn’t get enough Republicans overall. Based on Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer’s constant snide remarks belittling Arizonans concerned about voter fraud, it’s like he’s doing it deliberately to stick it to us and raise tensions, at best. At worst…”

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Appeal Judge’s Decision to Dismiss Their Electronic Voting Machines Lawsuit

Although the deadline for printing ballots for Arizona’s midterm election on Nov. 8 has passed, ending the time for litigation regarding items that must appear on the ballot, one lawsuit regarding the election continues to wind its way through the courts. After their lawsuit requesting the halting of electronic voting machines in the election was thrown out by an Obama-appointed trial court judge, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi, the attorneys for Trump-endorsed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, filed a notice of appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Tuchi stated in his order dismissing the case that “speculative allegations that voting machines may be hackable are insufficient to establish an injury in fact,” it was too close to the election to file, and the lawsuit should have been filed in state court, not federal court. 

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Grassroots Groups Pressure Arizona Officials to Follow 110 U.S. Counties and Not Use Voting Machines

Voters concerned about election fraud are increasing the pressure on public officials to take additional steps during elections this year to provide additional security, including counting ballots by hand instead of using electronic voting machines for tabulation. Arizona Corporation Commissioner Jim O’Connor sent all Arizona county election officials and sheriffs a letter on August 30 urging the change, and now grassroots organizations are following up with their own campaign.

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Longtime Arizona Legislator, Husband, and Father: Rick Murphy Dies at Age 50

Rick Murphy, who represented the areas around Glendale and Peoria in the Arizona Legislature from 2005 to 2014, passed away Thursday, leaving behind his wife, Penny Murphy, their five children, and many foster children. Born with hemophilia, he received a tainted blood transfusion as a child that led to hepatitis and finally liver disease, which ultimately took his life at age 50.

His widow, Penny Murphy, who was married to him for 22 years, told The Arizona Sun Times, “He was so deeply loved by his family and friends. He was a loving husband and father. He cared deeply for all of us. Shortly before he got so bad, he insisted on a quick trip to the beach with just the two of us, and I believe that was his way of saying he knew the end was near. There is so much I could say about him but there are not enough words to say how much I loved him. A part of me died with him that day. He will forever be in my heart.”

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Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) slashed $474,280 from their Arizona ad buys after tweets surfaced from a public relations (PR) consultant for Arizona Democratic AG candidate Kris Mayes. The details of the spending cuts were independently confirmed by The Arizona Sun Times by sources familiar with the organization. 

In the past, Mayes’s PR consultant Stacey Champion made numerous tweets attacking law enforcement and white people. Champion is white.

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Democratic Attorneys General Association Cuts Almost $500,000 from Candidate’s Campaign After PR Consultant’s Anti-Police Tweets Surface

The Democratic Attorneys General Association (DAGA) slashed $474,280 from their Arizona ad buys after tweets surfaced from a public relations (PR) consultant for Arizona Democratic AG candidate Kris Mayes. The details of the spending cuts were independently confirmed by The Arizona Sun Times by sources familiar with the organization. 

In the past, Mayes’s PR consultant Stacey Champion made numerous tweets attacking law enforcement and white people. Champion is white.

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Arizona GOP Disputes Katie Hobbs’ Portrayal of Herself as a Moderate in Her New Border Security Ad

Arizona Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor, is pivoting her campaign ads to “clone herself as a ‘moderate,’” Arizona Republican Party Chair Jerimiah Cota contends. A new ad from Hobbs states that she will “keep our border secure,” but Cota said in a statement that “this is far from the truth.” 

He said, “This statement is absurd implying that the border was secure to begin with. On top of that, Katie cannot expect the people of Arizona to forget her atrocious record when it comes to border security. … She has actively worked against securing Arizona’s border her entire career. We view Hobbs and her team’s attempt to trick an entire state into forgetting her anti-border security history as an insult to the intelligence of Arizonans.” 

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Arizona AG Candidate Abraham Hamadeh Calls for Opponent to Fire PR Consultant over Profanity-Laden Tweets Blasting Whites and Police

Abe Hamadeh, the Trump-endorsed Republican candidate running for Arizona attorney general against Kris Mayes, called on Mayes to fire Stacey Champion who is a PR consultant for the Democratic candidate.

Champion over the past couple of years tweeted profanity-laden insults regarding white people and law enforcement numerous times.

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Progressive Groups’ Aggressive Targeting of New Naturalized Citizens Helped Break Turnout Records in 2022 Primary Election

Arizona continues to have increasingly large numbers of registered voters participating in recent elections, with a record turnout of 34.92 percent of all registered voters casting a ballot in August’s primary election. Part of the reason for the high turnout may be due to the increase in naturalized citizens, whose population climbed by 63,857 new Arizonans between 2016 and 2020 alone, with many of them registered to vote by progressive advocacy groups.

Almost half – 28,864 – were born in Mexico.

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Progressive Groups’ Aggressive Targeting of New Naturalized Citizens Helped Break Turnout Records in 2022 Primary Election

Arizona continues to have increasingly large numbers of registered voters participating in recent elections, with a record turnout of 34.92 percent of all registered voters casting a ballot in August’s primary election. Part of the reason for the high turnout may be due to the increase in naturalized citizens, whose population climbed by 63,857 new Arizonans between 2016 and 2020 alone, with many of them registered to vote by progressive advocacy groups.

Almost half – 28,864 – were born in Mexico.

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True the Vote Calls Out Arizona AG Criminal Division Over ‘Mishandling’ Its ‘2000 Mules’ Complaint, Unmasking Informants

After over a year of “good faith attempts to work together,” Texas-based election integrity nonprofit True the Vote’s Catherine Engelbrecht and lead investigator Gregg Phillips of the OPSEC Group, an election intelligence company, say they no longer trust the intentions of the Arizona Attorney General Office’s Criminal Division.

The veteran grassroots organizer told The Arizona Sun Times the election integrity group turned over evidence to both the FBI and local law enforcement, including the Criminal Division of the Arizona Attorney General’s Office (AGO), and has met with AGO criminal investigators numerous times since first contacting them in the summer of 2021 – all to no effect.

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County Clerk Prosecuted After Exposing Election Discrepancies in Colorado Tells Arizona Republicans Her Story

Legislative District 10 Republicans and Michele Swinick of the Save My Freedom Movement put on an event Wednesday evening featuring the story of Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who says she believes she encountered programming discrepancies with the voting machines in her county in Colorado, and is now being prosecuted for election tampering.

The event included a screening of the documentary about her experience, “Selection Code,” and a Q & A session with both Peters and the documentary producers and directors, Matt and Joy Thayer. The title “Selection Code” refers to programming voting machines in order to choose certain candidates as winners.

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Urges County Officials to Nix Electronic Voting Machines for November Election

America First leaders and grassroots activists concerned about voter fraud in Arizona are taking steps to put as many security measures as possible for the November 8 election. Jim O’Connor, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and a leader in the grassroots community who brought patriots together to sign an “Arizona Election Integrity Declaration” demanding secure elections in May, is now taking his efforts a step further.

O’Connor sent a letter to all Arizona county supervisors, recorders, election directors and sheriffs on Aug. 30 requesting they refrain from using electronic voting machines to tabulate ballots. O’Conner alluded to his responsibilities on the ACC where the commissioners “find bad actors operating in our state causing harm to our state’s investors,” then “perform examinations and investigations, hold hearings, determine guilt,” and “refer criminal activity to our Attorney General’s office for prosecution. He urged, “I cite that judicial role as the basis for my strongest admonition and encouragement for all of our Counties to immediately cease use of all electronic voting machines for this November’s General Election and beyond.”

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Arizona Corporation Commissioner Urges County Officials to Nix Electronic Voting Machines for November Election

America First leaders and grassroots activists concerned about voter fraud in Arizona are taking steps to put as many security measures as possible for the November 8 election. Jim O’Connor, a member of the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) and a leader in the grassroots community who brought patriots together to sign an “Arizona Election Integrity Declaration” demanding secure elections in May, is now taking his efforts a step further.

O’Connor sent a letter to all Arizona county supervisors, recorders, election directors and sheriffs on Aug. 30 requesting they refrain from using electronic voting machines to tabulate ballots. O’Conner alluded to his responsibilities on the ACC where the commissioners “find bad actors operating in our state causing harm to our state’s investors,” then “perform examinations and investigations, hold hearings, determine guilt,” and “refer criminal activity to our Attorney General’s office for prosecution. He urged, “I cite that judicial role as the basis for my strongest admonition and encouragement for all of our Counties to immediately cease use of all electronic voting machines for this November’s General Election and beyond.”

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GOP Support Swells for Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) has lined up numerous endorsements from prominent Arizona Republicans, announcing nearly 50 Republicans and independents behind him in July and over 40 more this month. As a Democrat in a traditionally red state, he is trying to portray himself as a moderate in the race against Trump-endorsed Republican candidate Blake Masters. 

Arizona political consultant Jason Rose told The Arizona Sun Times the endorsements may be very effective, pointing out how well they worked for a previous well-known Arizona Democratic politician and citing the endorsement of Mesa Mayor John Giles. “Former Governor Janet Napolitano reinvented effective Republican receptivity for Democrats,” he said. “Mark Kelly is now following that model. His ads along these lines are designed not for everyone but the narrow slice of swing voters that have and will determine such elections. Having them anchored by the Republican Mayor of one of the largest Republican cities in America is impressive, and will be effective. After all, where is Blake Masters’ Democrat group for him?”

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Arizona Citizens Defense League’s Founding President and Chief Lobbyist Dave Kopp Has Died

David Kopp

Dave Kopp, the longtime lobbyist and founding president of the Arizona Citizens Defense League (AzCDL), a Second Amendment organization in Arizona, passed away at age 56.

Kopp fought cancer for 12 years but succumbed to the illness on August 24. Several people in the Arizona gun industry told The Arizona Sun Times Kopp was responsible for transforming Arizona into the top-ranked state for Second Amendment-friendly laws.

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Lawmakers Refer Propositions to the Ballot to Address the Initiative Process in Arizona, Raise the Bar for Tax Hikes

The Republican dominated Arizona Legislature referred three propositions to the Arizona ballot this year that aim to improve the initiative process. Proposition 128 would allow the legislature to fix citizen initiatives that have had legal problems, instead of requiring them to go back to the voters for tweaking. Proposition 129 would require initiatives to stick with one single subject, as propositions referred to the ballot by the legislature must do, so partisan interests can’t ram through massive amounts of new laws. Proposition 132 would change the threshold of approval for a tax increase initiative or referendum from a majority to 60 percent of voters. Progressives have turned to initiatives in Arizona increasingly in recent years, due to difficulty getting legislation passed in the Republican dominated legislature.

Prop. 128, named the Legislative Changes to Ballot Initiatives with Invalid Provisions Amendment, was sponsored by State Senator Vince Leach (R-Saddlebrooke) and passed along party lines. The Voter Protection Act currently prohibits the legislature from tinkering with initiatives, even when a court has struck down parts of one. Passed in 1998 as Prop. 105, it allows a narrow exception for changes that further the measure’s purpose and receive a three-fourths vote in each legislative chamber. 

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Arizona Supreme Court Knocks ‘Radical’ Elections Initiative Modeled After Federal HR 1 Off the Ballot

A voting initiative backed by progressive activists won’t be on the ballot this fall in Arizona after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled on Wednesday that backers failed to provide a valid mailing address to receive certified mail.

The court remanded it to the trial court to determine how many signatures would be invalidated, and after a last-minute dispute between the two courts over how to count the signatures, the Arizona Supreme Court stated on Friday that Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections lacked the required amount of qualifying signatures.

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‘Bad’ Signatures Rejected 14 Times More Often During August Primary Election in Maricopa County than During 2020 General Election

In its final canvass report for the 2022 primary election, Maricopa County says it rejected 14 times more signatures than it did in the 2020 general election. This comes on the heels of Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s finding that the county’s standards for signature verification were “insufficient to guard against abuse.”

“Canvass Queen” Liz Harris, so named after conducting an 11-month long independent grassroots audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The entire voting system needs an entire overhaul. Period.”

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State Rep. Parker Blasts Ousted Arizona Speaker Bowers for Calling GOP ‘Fascist’

Republicans furious with Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), mainly over denying election fraud and blocking election integrity bills, voted him out of office earlier this month, choosing a Trump-endorsed candidate instead. Bowers lost by almost 30 points to former legislator David Farnsworth, who he was running against for Senate (Bowers was term limited in the House). Bowers spoke out about his massive loss during an interview with The Guardian. 

He compared being voted out of office to “fascism.” He said, “The thought that if you don’t do what we like, then we will just get rid of you and march on and do it ourselves — that to me is fascism.” Bowers was referring to voters being upset about a multifaceted election integrity bill he killed using a technical maneuver. Among other things, HB 2596 would have given the legislature the power to reject election results, allowing an elector to call for a new election. 

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Kari Lake Accuses Mainstream Media of Biased Coverage, Ignoring Her Homelessness Plan

Kari Lake, the Trump-endorsed former news anchor running for governor in Arizona, expressed frustration about the mainstream media’s failure to cover her comprehensive plan to combat homelessness.

A news search reveals that other than one story in February from KTAR, the mainstream media has ignored her plan. KTAR, a radio station which politically leans right, is not considered a mainstream news outlet.

Lake issued her plan earlier this year.
“You choose to cover bogus stories to try and stir the pot,” Lake told reporters during a press conference about her homelessness policy on Aug. 12, directly addressing Brahm Resnik, a partisan local reporter for Channel 12. “And the people of Arizona are on to it, Brahm, that’s why they’re not watching you. That’s why you have just 2,000 viewers for your 10 o’clock newscast. “We have had this policy out for a number of months now, almost a year as a matter of fact. And none of you, not a single one of you, have tried to cover this story. You get caught up in a bunch of b.s. stories that the public doesn’t care about.” 

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Dispute Arises Within Maricopa County GOP Over Member-at-Large Revealing Who Voted Against Censuring Recorder Stephen Richer

After the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) censured Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican, over election integrity failures including denying there was election fraud in 2020, the author of the censure has found himself in hot water. Member-at-large Brian Ference responded to an inquiry in a Telegram channel for Maricopa County precinct committeemen (PCs) asking who voted against the censure. He provided a list of names in the channel — but also included their email addresses and phone numbers, prompting a stern email from the MCRC’s attorney.

Ference issued an apology for including the contact information, but told The Arizona Sun Times he didn’t regret sharing the names, because it exposed “Entrenched establishment Republicans who have proved again and again they offer little to no opposition to Democrats, but instead fight like hellcats against America First MAGA Republicans.”

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Judges Reject Arguments Challenging Two Progressive Initiatives on Arizona’s Fall Ballot

Two initiatives sponsored by progressives are still on the ballot for now, after judges rejected challenges from conservative groups challenging them. The “Voters Right to Know Act” (VRKA), which adds new disclosure requirements regarding campaign spending, was challenged over submitting incorrect campaign addresses. The “Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act” (PPDCA), which is backed by a California-based employee union and makes broad changes to debt collecting laws, was challenged for an “inaccurate and misleading” ballot description. Despite the adverse rulings, attorneys say they plan to appeal. 

President Scot Mussi, president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club which filed the lawsuit against VRKA, said there is another reason the ballot initiative may ultimately fail. “The practical implications of it is that this information will be used to dox, harass and intimidate anyone for supporting various organizations,” he said Monday. He cited a U.S. Supreme Court decision from last year that rejected California’s effort to have nonprofits identify their major donors.

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Two of Arizona’s New Election Integrity Laws Face Lawsuits

Only three election integrity bills made it into law this past legislative year in Arizona, and at least two of them are now subject to lawsuits from progressives and Democrats. Five lawsuits have been filed against HB 2492, which requires proof of citizenship in order to register to vote — with the exception of voting in congressional elections, which is pre-empted by federal law. Two lawsuits have been filed against SB 1260, which makes it a felony to knowingly help someone to register to vote when the person is already registered in another state.

State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who sponsored HB 2492, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Since Jim Crow, when the courts were used by Democrats to institutionalize racism against black Americans, the Democrat Party and their operatives have a long track record of exploiting the judiciary branch of our government as a back door for enacting their anti-civil rights agenda.”

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Kari Lake and Mark Finchem Denounce Maricopa County Supervisor’s Motion for Sanctions over Election Integrity Lawsuit

Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake filed a lawsuit along with Trump-endorsed State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, in April to block the use of electronic voting machines to count ballots in the 2022 election. The Maricopa County Supervisors responded last week with a motion requesting sanctions against the pair and their attorneys, which include former Harvard Law School Professor Alan Dershowitz, asserting that the suit was “frivolous.” 

Finchem tweeted, “The threatened action by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, is nothing more than the attempted weaponization of the judicial process against the political process. If they can’t stand up to scrutiny for elections, that’s their problem — not our problem. Elections must be secure and trustworthy, Maricopa County has demonstrated neither is the case in the last election. “

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Republicans in Arizona’s Largest Legislative District Censure Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates, Call for His Removal from Office

Republicans in Arizona’s Legislative District 3, which is the largest legislative district in the state located in northern Maricopa County around north Scottsdale, issued two censures on August 12. The LD3 GOP censured the FBI for raiding former President Trump’s home in Mar-a-Lago, and censured Republican Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates for denying election fraud and opposing Republican candidates for office who believe there was. They called for him to resign and for the Maricopa County Republican Party to encourage Republicans to vote him out of office. 

The censure of Gates began, “Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates has made and continues to make disparaging public comments about Republican Arizona Representatives and Republican candidates during interviews, all while seeming to support Democrat candidates running against them.” 

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Arizona AG Brnovich and Coalition of States Fight Against Mask Mandates on Public Transportation

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich joined 22 other states this week in filing an amicus curiae brief at the appellate level opposing the Center for Disease Control’s attempt to continue a mask mandate on public transportation, which includes airplanes and buses. He sued the CDC over the requirement with 20 other attorneys general in March.

“Upholding the law is especially important during times of emergency,” he said in a statement. “Federal overreach is most often attempted under the guise of addressing a crisis.”

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Arizona Grassroots Groups Rally at ‘Redfest’ to Push Conservative Legislators for Leadership Positions in 2023

Freedomworks, one of the nation’s leading conservative grassroots organizations, recently launched a satellite office in Arizona and held a joint “Redfest Rally” with other Arizona conservative organizations Friday night to discuss getting conservative legislators into leadership positions in the Arizona Legislature. State Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale) is vying for Speaker of the House, likely facing off against House Majority Leader Ben Toma (R-Peoria), and State Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) is going up against longtime State Sen. David Gowan (R-Sierra Vista). 

Chaplik told the crowd that people don’t trust the “fractured caucus” that exists currently under the leadership of House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), who lost his primary election earlier this month due to defeating numerous conservative bills including many election integrity bills. Chaplik called the legislature a “cesspool” of “sham favoritism,” and said Arizonans can expect a “more conservative caucus” in 2023. 

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Arizona and Florida U.S. Representatives Introduce Bill to Fight Inflation, Boost Retirements

Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.-06) is concerned that Arizona is undergoing the highest level of inflation within the continental states (urban Alaska is the only part of the country with a higher level). To combat the problem, he co-sponsored H.R. 8579, the Retirement Protection Act, with Rep. Byron Donalds (R-Fla.-19).

In a statement, Schweikert said, “This bill would play a critical role in fighting inflation while helping Americans protect their savings.” He told The Arizona Sun Times, “It improves people’s retirement future so they stay even and don’t become a victim of inflation.” 

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Goldwater Institute Files Lawsuit to Remove ‘Misleading’ Healthcare Debt Initiative from Ballot

Eight ballot initiatives are on the Arizona ballot this fall, with three still waiting for approval after submitting petition signatures. One of those three is the Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act (PPDCA) which is being challenged by the Goldwater Institute over its description that will appear on the ballot, which the think tank alleges is “inaccurate and misleading.”

Filed on Aug. 8, the lawsuit states, “The Arizona Protection from Predatory Debt Collection Act would institute sweeping changes to debt collection in Arizona that extend far beyond the measure’s purported purpose of limiting the interest rate on medical debt.”

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Maricopa County GOP Censures Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer over Election Fraud Denials and Mishandling: ‘Resign or Be Recalled’

After an Arizona primary election last week full of anomalies, the Executive Guidance Committee of the Maricopa County Republican Committee (MCRC) issued a resolution on August 4 censuring Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, a Republican. The resolution cited problems that arose during the election and Richer’s previous denials that election fraud occurred in the 2020 presidential election.

Member-at-large Brian Ference drafted the resolution, which passed 13-11 with two abstentions. It cited “irregularities” in the primary election, including “reports of printers and scanners not working,” “Pentel felt-tip pen smearing and not drying,” and “late counting and delayed results.”

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Arizona and Texas Continue to Bus Thousands of Willing Illegal Immigrants to Washington D.C., Add NYC as a Destination

Arizona and Texas have bused over 6,100 illegal immigrants they apprehended crossing the border since May to Washington D.C.. The migrants volunteer for the trips, motivated partly by more generous laws towards the indigent in those cities.

NPR and other new outlets interviewed the migrants, confirming that they preferred to be bused out of Texas or Arizona. One reporter said, “Ronald told me that he felt welcomed in Washington in a way he just didn’t in Texas.” The city is finding resources to deal with the migrants. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser secured a FEMA grant for an international nonprofit called SAMU to offer emergency services to migrants. The Catholic Charities umbrella organization is also assisting.

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Republicans Look to November as Concerns Linger over Ballot Tabulation Delays in Arizona

Although Arizona’s primary election was Tuesday, not all of the ballots have been counted yet, leaving the Arizona gubernatorial primary race for Republicans uncalled until Thursday evening. The Associated Press finally declared Trump-endorsed Kari Lake the winner, after Lake’s victory increased to 20,000, 46.78 percent to Karrin Taylor Robson’s 44.03 percent. By 1 p.m. on Thursday, there were still at least 242,414 outstanding ballots statewide. 

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward appeared on Steve Bannon’s War Room: Pandemic Wednesday evening to discuss the slow results. At that time, only 82 percent of the ballots had been counted. Ward blamed incompetence by Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer. “France can count millions of ballots within hours of their election,” she pointed out, calling him a “disgrace.” (She retweeted the information about France) Ward said his office announced they would have more results to announce at 7 p.m. from the 125,000 outstanding ballots left from people who had dropped their ballots off at polling locations, but never did.

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Trump-Endorsed Candidates Sweep Arizona; Lake Declares Victory as Final Vote Count Trickles In

After a large increase Tuesday’s primary election voters cast their ballots in person – which are tabulated last – Kari Lake and every other Trump-endorsed candidate in Arizona all appear to have won their primary races. Approximately 97 percent of all precincts have submitted their results. According to ABC-15’s “Data Guru” Garrett Archer, there are 186,067 ballots outstanding, including 112,000 from Maricopa County and 41,968 from Pima County. Maricopa County’s results usually mirror the state’s results.

Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, who has been very concerned about the possibility of voter fraud, expressed her frustration that all the votes had not been counted yet. She tweeted Wednesday night at the Maricopa County Elections Department, which is run by County Recorder Stephen Richer, “We all know that @MaricopaVote is ridiculous. Get the results, you fools.”

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Investigation Finds, Names the Maricopa County Elections Employee on Video Removing 2020 Election Files from Servers

The Arizona Senate-ordered independent Maricopa County ballot audit of the 2020 presidential election revealed questionable findings, including a Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) employee captured on video deleting, or what officials stated later was merely archiving, hundreds of thousands of files from an election server the day before the server was to be turned over to the audit. Last weekend, investigative journalist Lara Logan and cyber expert Matt Van Bibber stated at an election security forum hosted by We the People AZ Alliance that the employee has been identified, along with a couple of his co-workers who allowed him access into the election server room.

Van Bibber, who discovered the information through viewing videos and matching what he saw against server room logs, said the employee was Brian Ramirez, a database administrator at MCED. Van Bibber said Ramirez did not have the required credentials to enter the server room where the computer was, so two other employees gave him access with their card keys. One was Kristi Passarelli, assistant elections director, and the other was an employee named Charles Cooley, who appears to be an Administrative/Operations Specialist.

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Arizona GOP Gubernatorial Primary Race Too Close to Call Election Night, House Speaker Rusty Bowers Trailing by 22 Points

By midnight on primary election night, Aug. 2, with 82 percent of precincts reporting, the Arizona Republican primary race for governor was too close to call. The early ballots were counted first, showing Karrin Taylor Robson in the lead by several points, but local reporter Jeremy Duda, who has covered elections in Arizona for years, tweeted that the type of voters who would favor Trump-endorsed Kari Lake were far more likely this year to vote on election day than by early ballot. This is because of concern over ballot fraud, especially with mail-in ballots.

As of 6:30 a.m. Wednesday, Lake held a narrow lead of 46 percent to 44 percent over Robson with 635,000 votes counted and an additional 125,000 votes (a combined total from both the GOP and Democrat primaries) expected to be counted some time later in the day.

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Freedom From Religion Foundation Files Complaint with IRS Against Mesa Church After GOP Candidate Addresses Event

The Wisconsin-based, “freethought” watchdog Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) filed a complaint with the IRS against the Redeemer Apostolic Church in Mesa after pastor and CD 4 candidate Jerone Davis appeared at a prayer revival event hosted by America’s Revival, which is separate from the church. Davison was endorsed there by the founder of America’s Revival, Pastor Joshua Feuerstein. The FFRF wants the church’s tax-exempt status revoked, asserting that it crossed the line into the type of political activity that nonprofit 501(c)(3)s are prohibited from engaging in.

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