We the People AZ’s Lawsuit Against Runbeck for Video Surveillance Compares Runbeck to Cyber Ninjas Being Held Subject to Public Records Requests

Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Brad Astrowsky conducted a hearing Wednesday regarding Maricopa County and Runbeck Election Systems’ motions to dismiss a lawsuit filed by We the People AZ Alliance (WPAA). WPAA requested video surveillance from Runbeck showing ballots being transferred to and from Runbeck on Election Day and the day after the 2022 general election. Runbeck refused to turn them over, claiming it was not subject to public records requests as a private entity, so WPAA sued the company.

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Parents Protest ‘Pornographic’ Books at Arizona Public Library Meeting

Several parents and children attended a meeting of the Chandler Public Library Board Tuesday night to protest “pornographic” books geared to children located in the children’s section of the Basha branch library. The board, which met at that branch, let each attendee speak for two minutes, who used their time to read from the offending books and describe what was contained in them. 

A young woman named Audrey, who said she was the 2021 class president of the adjacent high school, read from a book for 10-year olds that discussed masturbation and abortion. A book about “genderqueer” discussed “strap-ons” and “blow jobs,” she said.

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Kari Lake Files Opening Brief with Arizona Court of Appeals in Election Lawsuit Containing New Evidence and Alleging Crimes

Kari Lake’s appeal of the second dismissal of her lawsuit by the trial court judge is winding its way back up through the courts. Last week, she filed her opening brief with the Arizona Court of Appeals. Much of the brief focused on Maricopa County’s failure to conduct Logic & Accuracy (L&A) testing and the failure to compare voters’ signatures on their mail-in ballot affidavits to the signatures on their voter registrations, both a violation of state law and the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM). Violations of the EPM are class 2 misdemeanors.

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Georgia Election Integrity Expert Confounds Bar Attorney in Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Former Attorney John Eastman

The fifth week of the disbarment trial of former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar, John Eastman, ended on Friday, featuring more testimony by Garland Favorito, co-founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA). Favorito, a retired IT professional with extensive experience with electronic voting machines and investigating election fraud in Georgia, underwent cross-examination by State Bar of California attorney Duncan Carling, frequently thwarting his questions.

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Testimony from Georgia Election Integrity Expert Continues in Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman

The fifth week of the disbarment trial of former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar, John Eastman, is winding down with direct and cross-examination of Garland Favorito, co-founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), who has extensive experience with electronic voting machines and investigating election fraud in Georgia. The State Bar of Georgia is trying to prove that Eastman gave Trump advice when he suggested that one option after the 2020 presidential election would be to have Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept electoral slates from states suspected of election fraud or delay the certification.

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Georgia Election Fraud Expert Testifies at Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman, Casts Doubt on Biden’s Win

The disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s attorney and constitutional legal scholar John Eastman continued on Tuesday, into its fifth week. Eastman’s attorney Randy Miller questioned expert witness Garland Favorito, co-founder of Voters Organized for Trusted Election Results in Georgia (VoterGA), who has extensive experience with electronic voting machines and investigating election fraud in Georgia.

A former trial lawyer and evidence professor told The Arizona Sun Times that he thinks California Bar Disciplinary Judge Yvette Roland’s actions in the trial are so egregious that even the California Supreme Court — which is composed of all Democrats — may not uphold a disbarment. Instead, he thinks the court might issue a reprimand or some smaller amount of discipline. While serving on the bench, Roland donated to Democrats including California Governor Gavin Newsom.

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Berkeley Constitutional Law Professor John Yoo Testifies at Disbarment Trial of John Eastman That Vice Presidents Can Reject Electoral Slates

The disbarment trial of former President Donald Trump’s former attorney and constitutional legal scholar, John Eastman, started its fifth week with testimony from Eastman’s star witness, Berkeley Constitutional Law professor John Yoo. The State Bar of California contends that Eastman gave Trump advice when he said one option to deal with the allegations of election fraud in disputed states was to have former Vice President Mike Pence refuse to accept the electoral slates from those states or delay their certification, but Yoo said the majority of scholarship on the issue agrees with Eastman’s position.

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Expert to Arizona Legislature: Kari Lake Would Have ‘Won Easily’ If Google Hadn’t Interfered in the 2022 Election

State Representative Alex Kolodin (R-Scottsdale), chair of the Arizona House Ad Hoc Committee on Oversight, Accountability, and Big Tech, held the first of a series of hearings last week investigating the impact of big tech’s election interference. The first half of the four-hour long session featured testimony by Harvard educated academic Dr. Robert Epstein, who discovered how Google influences election results. The second half consisted of testimony by First Amendment attorney James Kerwin of the Mountain States Legal Foundation, who discussed where the law is in regards to officials pressuring big tech about posts. He went over what then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ office emailed to big tech during the last election, and suggested legislation the Arizona Legislature could propose to curtail the officials. 

Kolodin said during the hearing, “It is not acceptable for the government to censor free speech simply because it acts through the private sector.” He warned that the country is in the beginning of a nascent police state … nascent totalitarian society … I go to grassroots meetings where people are afraid to speak … afraid they will be arrested.” Kolodin said some presenters who were invited to speak at the hearing dropped out due to fear. 

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Week Four of Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman Wraps Up with More Testimony About Wisconsin’s Botched 2020 Election

The disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s attorney and constitutional scholar, John Eastman, concluded its fourth week on Friday, as Eastman’s team put on his case featuring their key witness, former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. The Wisconsin Assembly contracted Gableman to conduct a small investigation into election fraud in the state’s 2020 election, the same issues prompted Eastman’s involvement in the election litigation in Wisconsin.

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Explosive Testimony from Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice at Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman

The disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s attorney John Eastman is in its fourth week, and on Thursday the State Bar of California rested its case and Eastman’s attorney began putting on witnesses, beginning with former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman. Gableman was directed by the Wisconsin Legislature to conduct a minimal investigation of the 2020 election, and he revealed numerous instances where he believed the law was broken, and had election officials referred for prosecution.

Thursday’s proceedings began with wrapping up the California bar’s case, as its attorney Duncan Carling finished his cross-examination of Eastman. He asked Eastman if the alternate slates of electors were valid, then could any private group of citizens submit slates to the vice president who would have to consider them? Eastman responded and said the difference is that in 2020, the slates were composed of electors “formally nominated by their own party,” not private people who chose themselves. He referenced a woman in Tennessee who submits her own private slate of electors regularly that gets ignored. Neither she nor her “slate” have been prosecuted or disciplined. 

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Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman Features Testimony by Progressive Michigan Secretary of State’s Spokesman

The disbarment trial of constitutional legal scholar John Eastman, who advised former President Donald Trump on challenging election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, continued on Wednesday featuring cross-examination of Eastman by the State Bar of California’s attorney Duncan Carling and testimony from Jake Rollow, who was progressive election official from Michigan.

Rollow was the communications director for the Michigan Secretary of State during the 2020 election.

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Week Four of the Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman Brings Out Reasons Judges Dismissed Election Cases

The fourth week of the disbarment trial of Donald Trump’s attorney John Eastman resumed on Tuesday, with State Bar of California attorney Duncan Carling continuing his cross-examination of the constitutional scholar.  The bar is trying to take away his license to practice law due to advising Trump that Vice President Mike Pence may have had the authority to reject electoral slates from states suspected of election fraud.

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Arizona State University Psychology Professor Teaches That ‘White Guilt’ Can Be Used to Transform Students into Social Justice Activists

Dr. Lisa B. Spanierman, a faculty member in the psychology department of Arizona State University, teaches that “white guilt” can be used to coerce students into social justice activism. The counseling and counseling psychology professor, and associate dean for academic personnel and faculty success in ASU’s College of Integrative Sciences and Arts, is developing a reputation for pushing this in higher education.

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Elections Expert Gina Swoboda Discusses Maricopa County Officials’ Missteps in the 2022 Election

Gina Swoboda, executive director of Phoenix-based Voter Reference Foundation (VRF) discussed election problems and what to do about them recently on the Jenny Beth Show. Jenny Beth Martin was an early leader in the Tea Party movement as co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. In this third part of a three-part series from the interview, Swoboda delved deeper into the problems that occurred during the 2022 election, many which were caused or exacerbated by election officials, and the hurdles to fixing them.

She observed that switching from precinct voting to vote centers did not increase turnout as election officials claimed it would, which they did in order to convince voters the switch would be beneficial. Republican legislators ran bills that would have made precinct voting easier, she said, like holding voting on a school holiday so the schools could be used as voting locations, but the bills were unsuccessful. 

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Blake Masters to Enter U.S. Senate Race, Will Face Kari Lake and Sheriff Mark Lamb in GOP Primary

According to The Wall Street Journal, Blake Masters is about to announce a run for the U.S. Senate, potentially as soon as next week. Masters lost the Arizona senate race last year to incumbent Democratic Senator Mark Kelly and will join a Republican primary field that includes Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb. Kari Lake is expected to announce her run in October. Incumbent Kyrsten Sinema, who switched her party registration from Democrat to Independent and is now seen as vulnerable, has not announced whether she is running for re-election. State Representative Ruben Gallego (D-AZ-03) is widely expected to obtain the Democratic nomination, challenging her from the Left.

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Arizona House Speaker’s Brother Buys Majority Interest in Runbeck Election Services

Runbeck Election Services (RES) confirmed this week that Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma’s (R-Peoria) brother, Mihai Toma, purchased a majority stake in the company on August 18. 

RES is the private company that processes Maricopa County’s mail-in ballots.

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Election Expert Gina Swoboda Explains How the Problems Happened in Maricopa County’s 2022 Election, Condemns Officials’ ‘Gaslighting’

Gina Swoboda, executive director of Phoenix-based Voter Reference Foundation (VRF), recently discussed election problems and what can be done about them on the Jenny Beth Show. The first part of her interview in mid-August with the co-founder of Tea Party Patriots went over how VRF’s websites can be used to look through voter registrations and spot problems with the voter rolls. The second part dug into the election anomalies in the 2022 midterm election, what led to them, and how they could have been easily avoided by officials who blew off fixes.

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Gives 17 Arizona State Politicians 100 Percent Ratings in Its 2023 Scorecard

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.”

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Jury Selection Begins in Backpage Prostitution Trial of Former Phoenix New Times Owner

A victim who was 14 when she was sex trafficked through the now-defunct website backpage.com is helping bring the site operators to justice. Testimony from Eryka Brewster, now 24, helped lead to a conviction of the former site’s CEO, Carl Ferrer, her pimp, and the ongoing prosecution against one of the site’s co-owners, Michael Lacey. Co-owner Jim Larkin, who was also being prosecuted, killed himself on August 1. Lacey and Larkin owned the Phoenix New Times for years, known for its scathing attacks on conservative Republicans.

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Former State Elections Director Under Hobbs Testifies at Disbarment Trial of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman

The disbarment trial of Trump’s attorney and constitutional legal scholar John Eastman resumed this past week on Thursday and Friday, and continues next on Tuesday, September 5. On Friday, Eastman’s attorney Randy Miller cross-examined the State Bar of California’s expert witness Matthew Seligman, an election fraud denier and attorney who serves as a  fellow at the Constitutional Law Center at Stanford Law School, and former Secretary of State Elections Director Bo Dul also testified.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, posted on X regarding the proceedings, “Kangaroo court proceedings in California to disbar John Eastman, one of the nation’s leading constitutional lawyers, for daring to provide legal advice on the Biden election controversy.”

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After His Arrest in Georgia Indictment, Disbarment Hearing of Trump’s Attorney John Eastman Resumes

The disbarment trial of former Donald Trump attorney and constitutional scholar John Eastman for his role advising the previous president about challenging the 2020 presidential election resumed on Thursday after almost a two-month break caused by conflicting schedules among the parties. It was scheduled to resume on Tuesday but was postponed for two days due to Eastman’s brief arrest in Georgia as one of the 18 people along with Trump who were indicted for their efforts investigating election fraud after the 2020 election.

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Cochise County Supervisor Sues Arizona Officials over 2022 Election, Requests Decertification or Other Major Remedies

Cochise County Supervisor Tom Crosby, who attempted to conduct a hand count of ballots during the 2022 election and delayed the certification of election results, filed a lawsuit with another Arizonan, David Mast, against numerous Arizona officials challenging the results of the election. The lawsuit cited lawbreaking regarding signature verification on mail-in ballots, asserting that the violations resulted in “hundreds of thousands of illegal votes in all statewide results for the 2022 General Election.”

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Arizona State University Joins Kari Lake’s Motion to Dismiss Stephen Richer’s Defamation Complaint Against Her

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer filed a defamation lawsuit in June against Kari Lake on June 22 over her statements alleging election fraud in Maricopa County, and now ASU’s Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law  First Amendment Clinic is joining Lake in her defense. The clinic co-authored a motion to dismiss with Lake’s attorneys, which was filed on August 21. 

Jennifer Wright, one of Lake’s attorneys who previously served as the Election Integrity Unit civil attorney for the Attorney General’s Office, said in a statement provided to The Arizona Sun Times, “In 2022, the legislature strengthened laws protecting the rights of citizens to speak freely on matters of public concern. Richer’s lawsuit is precisely the kind of abuse of the legal system the law was designed to stop. I have every confidence the court will agree, and dismiss the lawsuit.” 

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Election Expert Gina Swoboda Discusses Arizona’s Problems with Voter Rolls

Gina Swoboda, executive director of the Voter Reference Foundation (VRF), which is headquartered in Phoenix, discussed election problems and what to do about them recently on the Jenny Beth Show. Jenny Beth Martin was an early leader in the Tea Party movement as co-founder of Tea Party Patriots. In this first part of a three-part series from the interview, Swoboda explained how VRF’s websites can be used to look through voter registrations and spot problems with the voter rolls. 

Swoboda, who is also a Vice Chairman of the Arizona Republican Party and previously worked for the secretary of state’s office, told Martin, “The entire security of the election depends upon that list being accurate.” 

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President of Arizona Free Enterprise Club Threatens Lawsuit Against Secretary of State Over Voter Rolls With More Registered Voters Than Adults

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.” 

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Latest Round of Legal Filings in Abe Hamadeh’s Election Challenge Pick Apart Arizona AG Kris Mayes’ 280-Vote Lead

Abe Hamadeh is forging ahead, challenging his 280-vote loss to Democrat Kris Mayes in the attorney general’s race, the closest statewide race in Arizona’s history. He is in the midst of challenging the trial court’s refusal to grant him a new trial after discovering that then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs withheld evidence from him prior to his trial regarding undervotes, votes that were not counted that resulted in narrowing Mayes’ lead. On Wednesday, he filed a reply to Mayes’ objections simultaneously with two amicus curiae briefs in support; one from Arizona legislative leadership and one from the America First Legal Foundation.

Hamadeh’s reply brief, primarily authored by Jennifer Wright, who previously served as the Attorney General’s Election Integrity Unit civil attorney, pointed out various contradictions in Mayes’ response. Mayes claimed that Hamadeh was “both too fast and too slow in attempting to obtain relief in this Court,” the brief stated. On the one hand, Mayes claimed that Hamadeh was causing “unreasonable delay,” yet she still asked for a regular appeals process, not a speedy one. 

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Arizona Could Be the Next State to Indict Trump, Others

Former President Donald Trump has been indicted by grand juries in Washington, D.C. and Georgia over his efforts to challenge election fraud after the 2020 election, and an indictment in Arizona may be next.

As concerns spread that Arizona could soon indict Trump, Arizona Republican Party Chair Jeff DeWit denounced recent news that Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs urged Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes to charge Trump.

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Prosecutors Signal They Will Try to Make the Case Donald Trump Did Not Really Believe There Was 2020 Election Fraud in Arizona

people voting

Politically motivated prosecutors convinced a grand jury to indict Donald Trump on August 1 for challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election, blaming him for the raucous protest at the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021. To prove their case, prosecutors intend to show Trump believed there was election fraud in several states, including Arizona. Trump genuinely believed there was election fraud in the state leading up to the protest. 

Trump’s campaign, along with the Republican National Committee and Arizona Republican Party, filed a lawsuit against then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs on November 7, 2020, alleging that poll workers told voters who marked extra fields on their ballots, known as “overvotes,” to submit their ballots to the voting machine tabulators anyway. The lawsuit alleged that the overvotes were not counted by the tabulators. The judge dismissed the case, citing no reason other than mootness. 

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Arizona Legislative Leadership Threatens Litigation Against Secretary of State Fontes over Draft Changes to Election Procedures Manual

Every two years, the Arizona Secretary of State is required by law to update the state’s Election Procedures Manual (EPM), but similarly to what happened in 2021, the process is not going smoothly. After reviewing the proposed changes Secretary of State Adrian Fontes suggested making to the EPM, State Senate President Warren Petersen (R-Mesa), accompanied by Speaker of the House Ben Toma (R-Peoria), issued a statement on Monday threatening legal action.

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Emails Reveal Katie Hobbs While Secretary of State Pressured Twitter and Facebook to Censor Her GOP Opponents

Newly released emails reveal that Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs, while serving as secretary of state overseeing elections, had her staff pressure social media companies to censor posts by her Republican opponents under the guise of “misinformation.” Her targets included the Arizona Republican Party and former conservative powerhouse legislator Kelly Townsend.

The AZGOP responded in a tweet, “EXPOSED: @GovernorHobbs has relentlessly censored major entities, including the Arizona Republican Party. Shocked? We’re not. It’s time for transparency and accountability. This goes beyond politics—it’s a matter of principle.”

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Concerns Arise over Arizona Supreme Court’s Task Force on Countering Disinformation

The Arizona Supreme Court launched a Task Force on Countering Disinformation in 2019 that is raising concerns. It is the first state court system in the country to establish one. The task force has issued two reports with recommendations since its launch.

The task force members include some partisans, and none of them appear to be conservative.

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Educator Announces Primary Challenge to Maricopa County School Superintendent Accused of Financial Mismanagement

Nickie Kelley, an Arizona schoolteacher, recently announced she is running as a Republican for Maricopa County School Superintendent (MCSS), challenging the Republican incumbent currently in office. The Maricopa County Supervisors (BOS) accused current officeholder Steve Watson of financial mismanagement in May, and voted for a resolution to defund the Maricopa County accommodation school district he oversees next fiscal year. Under Watson, the district has gone $3.4 million in debt. The state Auditor General has been investigating MCSS.

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Accusations of Fraud and Illegal Activity Pile Up Regarding Arizona’s Elections

Kari Lake and Abe Hamadeh continue to contest their election losses in the 2022 election for governor and attorney general respectively, producing ongoing new evidence of irregularities and possible wrongdoing in the election. Much of the evidence has taken months to come out, including evidence related to the problematic 2020 presidential election, due to stonewalling by Maricopa County and other government agencies at turning it over. Maricopa County mostly ignored four repeat requests for data and equipment regarding the 2020 election from Jennifer Wright, the Election Integrity Unit civil attorney for the Attorney General’s Office, who resigned at the end of 2022 and now represents Hamadeh in his election contest. 

Much of the evidence appears to show violations of the state’s Election Procedures Manual, which are Class 2 misdemeanors. While not all of the alleged violations can be described as fraud, many of them can be characterized as alleged criminal activity. Here is a look back at some of the most serious complaints regarding alleged wrongdoing during Arizona’s 2020 and 2022 elections. 

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Abe Hamadeh Asks Arizona Supreme Court for New Trial, Says Previous Trial Revealed Enough Uncounted Votes to Possibly Change Election

Abe Hamadeh filed a Petition for Special Action with the Arizona Supreme Court on Friday asking the court to consider providing him with a new trial in his election lawsuit contesting losing the attorney general’s race. Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied Abe Hamadeh’s request for a new trial in July, despite the fact Hamadeh discovered that then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs withheld evidence of undervotes in Pinal County, which led to Kris Mayes’ lead shrinking to only 280 votes over Hamadeh, making it the closest statewide race in Arizona history. Hamadeh believes up to 76,339 “undervotes” statewide were not counted in the election.

Hamadeh said in a statement provided to The Arizona Sun Times, “I stand by my commitment to keep fighting for the people of Arizona and protect their sacred right to vote. As a veteran, I took an oath to serve our country overseas, and I will continue to serve Arizona and our country. The evidence cannot be ignored — there are thousands of uncounted ballots. Although we have faced unusual roadblocks at the trial court, we are confident we will have our day in court to present the evidence and ensure that the will of the people is honored.”

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Many Dispute Claims That July Was Very Hot for Phoenix

The media has been full of headlines declaring how hot July was in Phoenix. The media reported multiple heat records broken in July, including the number of days above 110 degrees. Articles point to “climate change” as the reason. However, most accounts omitted key details, failing to provide the full context.

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Arizona AG Kris Mayes and Other Democratic AGs File Amicus Brief Supporting Government’s Ability to Pressure Social Media Companies

Congress and First Amendment supporters have condemned the Twitter Files recently after it came out that government agencies colluded with social media companies to censor information on controversial topics that went against the government’s position. A federal judge in July barred the federal government from communicating with social media companies after two Republican attorneys general sued, but now some Democratic attorneys general, including Arizona’s Kris Mayes, are joining the lawsuit in support of the government.

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Two Washington Elementary School District Board Members Attack Superintendent for Not Being ‘Inclusive Enough’ for the District

The school district is composed of 70 percent minority students. Stanton has served as WESD superintendent for eight years, with 27 years in education. He is past president of the Arizona School Administrators, and serves on the ABEC Board of Directors and the WESTMARC Education and Workforce Development Committee. He and his wife prepare food boxes for those in need on the weekends. 

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Arizona Legislature Sends Modified Prop. 400 Tax Increase Extension to Hobbs to Sign, Dividing Conservative Republicans

The Arizona Legislature resumed session this week to redraft a bill to extend Prop. 400 sales tax for public transportation. Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs vetoed an earlier version of SB 1102 that conservative legislators supported. The new version satisfied some of the conservatives in the legislature but not all of them and was sent to Hobbs.

The Arizona Freedom Caucus (AFC) issued a lengthy statement denouncing the bill and the Republicans who supported it. AFC said the earlier version would have sent the tax increase to the voters as a referendum broke down into two questions: whether to extend the tax to pay for roads and whether to extend the tax to pay for public transportation. SB 1102 combines both into one question for voters.

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Saudi Company Draining Arizona’s Water Hires Business Partner of Hobbs’ Top Campaign Advisor as Lobbyist, Who Quits After Uproar

Saudi Arabian company Fondomonte has come under fire recently for using large amounts of water in Arizona for its alfalfa farms, obtained through a very inexpensive land lease. Despite the outraged responses, a lobbying firm connected to Democratic Governor Katie Hobbs signed a contract representing the company two months ago — which suddenly ended, likely due to the negative publicity. Hobbs has a mixed record on allowing Fontomonte to continue draining Arizona’s water.

Kari Lake tweeted on July 27, “A Saudi Arabian company has been exporting Arizona water overseas despite our historic drought. They just hired the business partner of @katiehobbs’ TOP campaign adviser to lobby for them. This is corruption in broad daylight. Hobbs is selling Arizona out to the highest bidder. And I will fight like hell to stop her.” 

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Casa Grande Union High School Governing Board Adopts ‘Woke’ History Curriculum

The Casa Grande Union High School Governing Board (CGUHSGB) voted 4-1 on July 11 to adopt the history curriculum for a year from Savvas Learning Company LLC, a company known for producing “woke” educational materials. The board justified the decision since the existing curriculum was outdated, having not been updated within the past 15 years. Also, the board pointed out that some teachers had already begun incorporating the Savvas textbooks.

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Republicans Working with Hobbs to Extend Prop. 400 Public Transportation Sales Tax

Every few years, the Arizona Legislature works out legislation to extend the Prop. 400 public transportation tax. The half-cent tax, which started in 1985 to pay for roads but now also includes public transit and light rail in Maricopa County, faces strong opposition every time it comes up for renewal. Although the legislature mostly ended its 2023 session on June 30 after finalizing the budget, it is reconvening briefly next week to consider the extension.

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Verity Vote Issues Report on Numerous Chain-of-Custody Problems by Maricopa County During 2022 Election

Maricopa County failed to maintain chain-of-custody records for hundreds of thousands of early ballots dropped off at third-party contractor Runbeck Election Services, and a new report is out analyzing the extent of the illegal behavior, which is a class 2 misdemeanor. Election integrity organization Verity Vote issued its analysis last week.

The report observed that then-Secretary of State Katie Hobbs admonished Cochise County prior to the 2022 election about deviating from the state’s Election Procedures Manual. Yet “just one month later, Hobbs chose to disregard Maricopa County’s admitted deviations from the EPM and violations of law as she oversaw and certified her own election.” Verity Vote asserted that documents “long withheld” were finally produced revealing the lack of chain of custody, and “Maricopa officials misled the court about the process and the records.”

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DOJ, Attorney General Kris Mayes Investigating Arizona’s Alternate Slate of Presidential Electors from 2020

Politically motivated prosecutors have begun charging the slates of alternate electors from the 2020 presidential election with crimes, and are now investigating Arizona’s alternate electors. Democratic Attorney General Kris Mayes campaigned on a platform promising to investigate the alternate 22 Republican electors. No one has been ever charged with a crime for participating in an alternate electoral slate until now, even though there have been alternate electoral slates presented throughout history. 

Mayes said during an interview in February, “There has to be a deterrent to this happening again. We can’t have this occurring again in Arizona — or in the country.”

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Obama-Appointed Judge Blocks Arizona’s New Transgender Law Prohibiting Males from Playing in Girls’ Sports

Girl up to bat, swinging her bat at a softball game.

A judge has blocked Arizona’s new law prohibiting transgenders from participating in girls’ sports from going into effect. U.S. District Court Judge Jennifer Zipps, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, issued the injunction on July 20 after a lawsuit was filed by two anonymous transgender athletes. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne said he will appeal the ruling.

Arizona Women of Action issued a response afterwards to the ruling. “Title IX was enacted to protect girls,” the group said in a statement. “To give them equal rights to fair competition, safety, and future opportunities. Arizona’s Save Women’s Sports Act was enacted to solidify the intent of Title IX — to protect biological girls. Sadly, the judge ruled NOT to protect girls OR Arizona / US law.” 

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New Republican Voter Registrations Continue to Outpace Democrats by over Three Times as Much in Maricopa County

Recent voter registration numbers from the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office show an increasing number of voters in Maricopa County registering as Republican rather than Democrat. Between last fall’s election and April, Republican voter registration in the county increased by 9,905 to 851,047. Democratic voter registration increased by only 2,791, less than a third as much. Republicans maintained their registration advantage at 34.39 percent, while Democrats dipped below 30 percent to 29.69 percent.

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Obama-Appointed Judge Awards $122,200 in Sanctions Against Kari Lake’s Attorneys for Lawsuit over Voting Machine Tabulators

U.S. District Court Judge John Tuchi, who was appointed to the bench by President Barack Obama, awarded sanctions in December against Kari Lake’s and Mark Finchem’s attorneys over their lawsuit against electronic voting machine tabulators in December. In his July 14 order, he emphasized that the sanctions are to be used “only in the most egregious situations” and as a “deterrent” to others who might be considering similar lawsuits.
Lake addressed the sanctions during an interview Wednesday on The Colonel of Truth. “I sued to get rid of the machines in Arizona about a year before the election,” she said. “No, actually, I’m sorry. About six months. An Obama judge threw the case out, tried to sanction our attorneys. We took it to the 9th Circuit. They’re sanctioning our attorneys. I tried to prevent the disaster of voting machines with this lawsuit BEFORE the election. We get to the election, the machines break down & they’re saying ‘you shouldn’t have bought it.’”

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Kari Lake Requests Transfer of Her Appeal Directly to the Arizona Supreme Court Due to ‘Extraordinary New Evidence’

Kari Lake filed a Notice of Appeal in May with the Arizona Court of Appeals after a trial court judge ruled against her election challenge in a remanded trial. However, due to new circumstances, she is now asking the Arizona Supreme Court to bypass the appeals court and take the case instead. 

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Judge Denies Abe Hamadeh’s Request for a New Trial, Says Only ‘Six Votes’ Would Have Been Different

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied Abe Hamadeh’s request for a new trial in his election contest over the attorney general’s race on Friday, issuing his opinion with the reasoning on Monday. He said “the evidence showed that only about six votes difference would have been found after reviewing the numerous undercounted ballots.”

Hamadeh issued a statement shortly afterwards, “The court’s ruling is an invitation to an appeal, and we will do just that.” He added in a tweet, “I have every confidence that the (Arizona) Supreme Court is not going to let this precedent stand. It would be a terrible precedent in terms of the legal community to have the government be able to withhold evidence & get away with it.”

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Judge Denies Abe Hamadeh’s Request for a New Trial Despite 280-vote Difference

Almost two months after hearing oral arguments to determine whether Abe Hamadeh should be awarded a new trial in his election contest, Mohave County Superior Court Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied the request on Friday. Hamadeh’s legal team had requested the retrial based on discovering evidence that was withheld from them during the first trial; “undervotes” discovered in Pinal County that were erroneously not counted. The new votes shrunk Kris Mayes’ lead to only 280 votes. It is the closest statewide race in Arizona history. 

Jantzen said in the short ruling that he will be issuing his full reasoning behind the decision on Monday by noon, stating that it was a “close call in a close contest.” Hamadeh responded in a statement, “[W]e believe the situation is very simple: the contest was not as close as it stands now. If all legal votes are counted, I win this race for attorney general.”

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Report Finds 8,241-Vote Discrepancy in Arizona’s 2022 Election Between Number of Individuals Who Voted and Ballots Counted

A report from the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) found that there may be an 8,241-vote discrepancy between those who cast votes in Maricopa County’s 2022 election and the number of ballots that were counted. This is “about 29.4 times” the difference between the contested attorney general’s race, the report stated, which Democrat Kris Mayes won by 280 votes.

On Friday, Mohave County Judge Lee F. Jantzen denied Abe Hamadeh’s request for a new hearing in his election challenge.

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