The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) issued its annual ratings of legislators this month, with four state senators and 13 state representatives receiving perfect scores. The scorecard analyzed 25 bills in the House and 30 in the Senate during the 2023 session that addressed priority issues for AFEC. Many legislators scored well since “[f]or most of the legislative session, the caucuses in the House and Senate were unified, and there was less bad policy that made it onto the floor for a vote in either chamber.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) warned Secretary of State Adrian Fontes (D) it will bring a federal lawsuit against him over his alleged failure to maintain accurate voter lists in Arizona. AFEC gave the state until November 6 to rectify these issues, or else the non-profit will launch a federal lawsuit against Fontes.
In a report stating there are more registered voters than residents, or an “abnormally high” number of registered voters, in 14 of Arizona’s 15 counties, AFEC said it sent its letter to Fontes on August 8, urging him to “take his job as Secretary of State seriously” or face legal action.Read More
Attorneys for Scot Mussi, the president of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, sent Democratic Secretary of State Adrian Fontes a letter earlier this month threatening litigation if Fontes did not clean up the state’s voter rolls. Attorneys Jason Torchinsky and Dallin Holt of Holtzman Vogel said they “determined that at least four counties have more registered voters than adult citizens over the age of 18.” Apache County had the highest, with 117.4 percent, and Maricopa County was close to 100 percent with 97.8 percent.
The attorneys warned, “This letter provides statutory notice that Scot Mussi, acting as a registered Arizona voter with a substantial interest in secure elections, will bring a lawsuit against you and, if appropriate, against the counties named in this letter, if you fail to take specific actions to correct these violations of Section 8 within the 90-day timeframe specified in federal law.” In anticipation of the litigation, the letter asked Fontes and the 14 counties to “take steps to preserve documents.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit against the state Monday, alleging that the early ballot signature verification process outlined in the Elections Procedures Manual (EPM) violates state law.
“The signature presented on an early ballot affidavit is the fulcrum on which the integrity of that ballot pivots; it is the only means by which the county recorder can verify that a person casting an early ballot by mail is, in fact, a duly qualified elector,” according to the lawsuit. “And given the centrality of early ballots to elections in this state, signature verification is also foundational to the overall integrity of Arizona’s elections.”Read More
Arizona Republican Gubernatorial nominee Kari Lake told Arizonans she supports Propositions 128, 129, and 132, which are all up for a vote on the November election ballot, in a video released Sunday.
“Blue state billionaires are spending tens of millions of dollars to raise taxes in Arizona. Don’t let them California our Arizona,” Lake said. “Vote yes on Propositions 128, 129, and 132.”Read More
The Republican Legislative Victory Fund (RLVF), a PAC which is run by Camelback Strategy Group (CSG), filed a campaign finance report this past week revealing that between the middle of July and the end of September, they raised over $1,606,795, but only about $7,000 ended up being spent to help Republican candidates. Instead, the RLVF spent about $735,000 on operating expenses for consultants, fundraisers, accounting, polling, etc.
Other than $7,398.45 for flyers/handouts/door hangers for one candidate, RLVF’s only expenditures helping candidates during this crucial point of the primary race and the beginning of the general race was $5,619 each for campaign websites. Maricopa County Republican Committee Member at Large Brian Ference, who designs websites for a living, told The Arizona Sun Times, “$5,619 for a simple website is considerably overpriced in the Arizona market. I have created dozens of political sites including candidates and the most a candidate should be paying is $2,000-$3,000 for a simple campaign website.”Read More
Political organizers and lawmakers have successfully added a total of 10 measures to the November ballot. With the start of early voting less than a month away, Arizonans can expect to see a growing number of campaigns by public policy organizations and special interest groups vye for the support – or in some cases, rejection – of these proposals.Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) shared its full support for prop 132, which is set to appear on the November ballot and would require a 60 percent majority vote of the people on any ballot measure that seeks to raise taxes.
“Today’s tax increase may not affect you, but tomorrow’s most certainly will. Allowing 51% of the population (who probably don’t have to pay the tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% that do have to pay it, is wrong. And eventually, you will be in the minority,” said AFEC President Scot Mussi.Read More
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.Read More
A watchdog group sued Arizona’s Secretary of State, along with a left-wing group over that group’s effort to have a “radical” initiative that would weaken election integrity in the state placed on the ballot in November.
The lawsuit, filed by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, says:Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) filed a lawsuit last week against a sweeping elections initiative modeled after the federal HR 1 that is seeking to get on the ballot this fall. The complaint alleges the PAC behind it committed seven statutory violations, including collecting over half the signatures illegally, and provides evidence that many of the initiative’s paid circulators provided false information or failed to register with the Secretary of State.
“After analyzing over 45,000 petition sheets and 420,000 signatures, it’s clear that well over half of the signatures on this election initiative were collected in violation of state law,” said AFEC President Scot Mussi. “That should be more than enough to invalidate this initiative.”Read More
A transportation bill dubbed the “Maricopa County Transit Slush Fund Tax” by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) is steadily advancing through the legislature, and its supporters say it will probably make it through the Arizona Legislature this year in a referral to the ballot. Senate Bill (SB) 1356 has passed the Senate, the Senate Transportation and Technology Committee, and the House Transportation Committee. Valley Metro’s new CEO Jessica Mefford-Miller said this week about it, “We are cautiously optimistic about SB 1356.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) recently released endorsements for the 2022 Arizona State Election.
“It is critical that Arizona elects leaders and policymakers who are able to articulate and stand up for individual liberties, free-market policies, and conservative values. We believe that these candidates are up to the challenge,” said Scot Mussi, AFEC club president.
AFEC endorsed 24 candidates from multiple legislative districts (LD) across Arizona. Five are running for State Senate, and the rest for the Arizona House of Representatives. The Arizona election is on November 8.Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) analyzed the success of the Red4ED movement in Arizona since it launched a little over four years ago, and concluded that after spending over $30 million, the movement not only failed to accomplish anything, but failed to stop historic tax cuts. Red4Ed’s two initiatives and referendum were struck down by courts as “legally flawed,” resulting in AFEC labeling its efforts “the largest, most expensive failure in Arizona political history.”
Arizona Educators United launched Red4Ed in 2018 ostensibly to increase teachers’ salaries and funding for K-12 education. People and teachers showed up all over, at the state capitol and at events and protests, wearing red shirts and carrying red signs. But AFEC said “the movement was quickly hijacked by the teachers’ unions and other out-of-state special interest groups.” It soon turned into “a singular quest to double the state income tax through a ballot initiative.”Read More
Arizona’s high court has pulled a ballot question from the November election that could have erased the state’s largest-ever income tax cut.
The Arizona Supreme Court ruled Thursday that a veto initiative to repeal a gradual change from Arizona’s progressive income tax to a flat 2.5% wasn’t appropriate for the ballot process. The court didn’t immediately offer an analysis of the opinion.Read More
Last year, Arizona enacted historic tax cuts, changing the state’s tax code law to mostly a 2.5% flat tax rate. But opponents collected enough signatures to put an initiative on the ballot this fall, Prop. 307, that would reverse the legislation. In response, Republican state legislators are working with Gov. Doug Ducey to pass legislation that would make the initiative null and void — and maybe implement even more striking tax cuts.
State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), who sponsored legislation last year that would have repealed and replaced the historic tax cuts with an even more far reaching 1.5% tax rate, told The Arizona Sun Times, “I told the Governor’s office that the 2.5% tax rate he’s pushing for can only be the starting point. With yet another year of record budget surpluses of nearly $4 billion, the people of Arizona are being overtaxed. We must cut taxes even more during the budget process.”Read More
The Arizona Legislature has voted to send the Arizonans for Voter ID Act to the ballot as a proposition this fall, and 15 more election integrity bills have passed the Arizona House. The Arizonans for Voter ID Act was initially launched as a citizens’ initiative by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which would have required 237,645 valid signatures to get on the ballot. SCR 1012, which passed along party lines, bypasses that time-consuming and often difficult process.
State Senator Kelly Townsend (R-Apache Junction), told the Arizona Sun Times, “Today the Senate Republican caucus met to discuss which bills they can support. We were able to get through much of what we have been proposing and received support from nearly all the members with two absent and not weighing in. I’m excited to see good election reform moving forward, ideas that will fortify election security so that voters can feel more secure about their votes. Bills deal with securing technology, ballot paper, chain of custody, removing drop boxes, improving signature verification, cleaning of the voter rolls, and many other items that we are looking to fix.”Read More
A consortium of Left-leaning groups is seeking to get an initiative on the Arizona ballot that is very similar to the federal HR 1. “Arizonans for Free and Fair Elections” rolls back recent election integrity laws passed by the Arizona Legislature, makes it easier for people to vote without proving citizenship, and removes standard election fraud safeguards like requiring registering to vote in advance of elections.
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club called the initiative “a leftist wish list of election law changes.” AFEC contends, “[T]heir federal takeover of elections has been held up in the U.S. Senate for months, so they have moved to ‘Plan B ’— taking over the election process in Arizona.”Read More
Over 70 election integrity-related bills have been proposed in the Arizona Legislature since the highly questioned 2020 election, as well as ballot initiatives. Lee Miller, a former attorney for the Arizona Republican Party, recently filed paperwork launching a petition drive to get the “Easier to Vote, Harder to Cheat Act” as an initiative on the ballot this fall. The initiative makes it easier to vote in four ways and harder to cheat in five ways. One of the provisions would shorten the time allowed for tabulating ballots.
Valerie Grosso-Turley, founder of the grassroots Arizona-based America Pack, looked at the initiative and told the Arizona Sun Times, “With the continued skepticism of the 2020 election still top of mind of many voters, Arizona’s extended ballot-counting process adds to the distrust and suspicion of voters. Every voter must have confidence in our elections regardless of party affiliation. Polling has consistently shown that a majority of Republicans believe Biden won through fraud. I don’t know if the ‘easier to vote, harder to cheat act’ is the solution, but I do support the ongoing conversation to find a solution.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club is referring to a transportation bill that is sailing through the Arizona Legislature as a “Maricopa County Transit Slush Fund Tax.” HB 2598, with its corresponding Senate version, SB 1356, would send to the ballot a question to voters of whether to extend the Prop. 400 tax increase for transportation for another 25 years. It would increase taxes by $33 billion, allowing localities to direct the money with very few strings attached.
AFEC said the extension “creates a big slush fund for liberal city mayors to spend on light rail, street trollies, bike paths, trails, complete streets and other undefined ‘regional programs’ and NO REQUIREMENTS that the money be spent on actual freeways or roads to relieve congestion.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club (AFEC) held a forum on Tuesday entitled “Restoring Election Integrity in Arizona.” Former Republican official Ken Cuccinelli and other panelists discussed how the left started dominating elections, left-wing lawfare, poll observer problems, what’s going on at the federal level, and solutions to fix voter fraud.
Cuccinelli, who served as the deputy secretary of Homeland Security under President Donald Trump and as the Attorney General of Virginia, is now the national chairman for the Election Transparency Initiative. He warned that the Democrats have moved far to the left in recent years, and no longer want to uphold the Constitution with its voting protections and delegation of voting administration to the states. “They don’t believe the U.S. is great. They don’t like the Constitution.”Read More
A coalition of Arizona legislators and about 10 conservative groups launched an effort last month to get an initiative on the ballot that would combat voter fraud, the Arizonans for Voter ID Act. They began collecting signatures last week. Spearheaded by the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, the four-pronged plan would end the practice of voting without an ID — even for mail-in or dropped-off ballots. By requiring ID, ballot harvesting would become impossible.
Scot Musser, president and executive director of The Arizona Free Enterprise Club, told The Arizona Sun Times that the response from people interested in helping has been tremendous. “At the Constitution Celebration event in Queen Creek this past weekend, there were long lines of people waiting to sign the petition or seeking to become petition circulators.” He said many politicians and others have reached out eager to join the effort.Read More
A coalition of conservative organizations is working with Arizona Republican legislators to put the Arizonans for Voter ID Act on the ballot next fall. The initiative will require voter ID on mail-in ballots, improve existing in-person voter ID requirements, prevent ballot harvesting by enhancing voter ID requirements for in-person ballot drop off, and provide a free voter ID option to lawfully registered Arizona voters who need it for voting.
Scott Mussi, President of the Arizona Free Enterprise Club, which is spearheading the initiative, said in a statement, “This initiative will ensure that no matter when you vote, where you vote, or how you vote, identification will be required.” The AFEC went on, “Arizonans use these forms of identification commonly in their everyday lives to purchase alcohol or cigarettes, obtain a driver’s license, board a commercial flight, donate blood, open a bank account, purchase a firearm, receive unemployment benefits, obtain auto insurance, purchase or rent a home, confirm identity over the phone, and many other basic transactions.”Read More
The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona released its 2021 scorecard rating Arizona legislators this session, with just two legislators receiving perfect scores — and one of them actually scored 102 due to bonus points. Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) received an extra two points for his efforts on SCR 1001, a Senate Concurrent Resolution to terminate Governor Doug Ducey’s declaration of emergency on COVID-19. The resolution was highly critical of Ducey, observing that “Governor Ducey has subjected individual citizens to criminal sanctions for noncompliance with the stay-at-home orders.” It did not make it through the legislature.
Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who is running for Arizona Secretary of State, was the only representative to receive a perfect 100. Rep. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa) received the Rookie of the Year award as the highest scoring freshman legislator, with 94. Petersen, Bolick and Parker were among seven legislators to receive perfect scores earlier this month from the Arizona Free Enterprise Club for their voting.Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit recently against Invest in Arizona over the organization’s attempt to get three referendums on the Arizona ballot that would reverse Arizona’s recently passed tax cuts. The lawsuit contends that since the tax cuts “provide for, and directly relate to, the generation of revenues that are remitted to the general fund and appropriated to various agencies, departments and instrumentalities of the state government,” they cannot be the subject of a referendum and are unconstitutional.
AFEC President Scot Mussi, who is one of the plaintiffs, said, “All three bills directly provide for the support and maintenance of the state, were key aspects of the state’s budget, and therefore are not referable by Invest in Arizona.”Read More
The Arizona Free Enterprise Club completed its rankings of how Arizona legislators performed during the 2021 legislative session, and one Senator and six House members scored a perfect 100%. AFEC ranked them based on election integrity, income tax policy, “regulatory relief and ongoing government overreach from the covid-19 pandemic, banning critical race theory in our taxpayer-funded institutions and school choice.”
The seven legislators with a perfect score are Sen. Warren Petersen (R-Mesa) and Reps. Jacqueline Parker (R-Mesa), Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), and Travis Grantham (R-Gilbert).Read More