Maricopa County Republican Leadership Passes Unanimous Resolution Rejecting the 2020 Presidential Election Results

In a unanimous vote, the Maricopa County Republican Committee Executive Board voted on Tuesday to approve a resolution rejecting the certification of the 2020 presidential election for Joe Biden. Modeled after a similar resolution passed by the Texas Republican Party last weekend as part of its platform, the board urges the Arizona Republican Party to pass it and the Arizona Legislature to take steps to decertify. 

Brain Ference, who serves on the board as member at large, drafted the resolution after the documentary 2,000 Mules came out, concerned that it exposed massive election fraud through ballot harvesting. He told The Arizona Sun Times, “It’s clearer than ever that Joe Biden and his regime should not have won.”

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Kari Lake’s Campaign Says Former Friend, a Drag Queen Who Called Her ‘A Complete Hypocrite,’ Will Be Subject to Defamation Lawsuit

A drag queen who said he used to be friends with leading gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake turned on her this month after she posted some concerns about introducing sexualized drag queens to children. However, Lake made it clear that she has no problem with adults engaging in drag shows, or impersonators who aren’t sexualized interacting with children. Rick Stevens, who goes by the stage name Barbara Seville, appeared to blur the distinction. The Arizona Legislature is working on legislation to prohibit children under age 18 from attending drag shows, which Lake supports. 

Lake tweeted criticism of a video of a scantily dressed drag queen dancing provocatively for young children in Dallas on June 4, stating “This is grooming. This is child abuse.” 

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Arizona Legislature Considering ‘Build Back Broke’ Type of Budget with Earmarks, Funding for School Social Workers, and Government Employee Pay Raises

The Arizona Legislature is rushing to pass a budget before the 2022 session ends in a few days on June 30, but some Republican legislators are balking at agreeing to vote for the 12 budget bills due to the amount of spending, $17.9 billion. State Sen. Michelle Ugenti (R-Scottsdale) tweeted on Monday, “Arizona’s version of @JoeBiden’s Build Back Broke (aka the legislature’s introduced budget) is not fiscally responsible. You cannot spend your way out of a looming recession.”

She objected to the budget adding an extra half a billion dollars. “I can’t think of anything more fiscally irresponsible than spending recklessly on member pet projects while Arizonans struggle to keep up with crushing inflation,” she tweeted. The Republican Liberty Caucus of Arizona called the budget “bloated and wasteful.” 

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads 24 States Objecting to SEC Requiring Climate Change Disclosures by Businesses

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is leading a coalition of 24 states objecting to proposed rule changes by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) that would require publicly-traded businesses to disclose information about their greenhouse gas emissions and discuss climate risks. The coalition filed formal comments indicating the 500-page rule titled “The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors” goes beyond the jurisdiction of the SEC and into environmental regulation. 

In a 44-page letter addressed to the SEC, Brnovich and the others stated that the Biden “administration has tried and failed to impose regulation directly, and it now appears content to use back-door financial regulatory actions to implement its political will.” The coalition warned, “profit will become secondary to political interests, and capitalism will fall by the wayside.” The proposed rule “seeks to make ‘decisions of vast economic and political significance.’” They accused the SEC of “taking on major policy decisions that belong to Congress.” 

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‘Maricopa County Transit Slush Fund Tax’ Looks ‘Optimistic’ for Legislative Referral to the Ballot

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.”

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Arizona Legislature Considering ‘Most Expansive Education Savings Account Program in the Nation’

The 2022 Arizona legislative session is almost over, but there are still a few key bills policy watchers say have a good chance of making it into law. One is HB 2853, which would expand school choice by opening Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) to all K-12 students in the state.

Cory DeAngelis, a national education policy expert who serves as national director of research for the school choice organization, American Federation for Children, tweeted, “This would be the most expansive education savings account program in the nation. All families would be able to take their children’s education dollars to the education providers of their choosing.”

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City of Phoenix to Vote on Increasing Phoenix Police Officers’ Starting Salaries by 40 Percent

The Phoenix City Council is set to vote next Wednesday on a salary hike for new recruits that would lift their base pay from $48,942 (or $51,459 if they have college degrees) to $68,661. Officers making less than the new minimum base pay would be brought up to $72,779, and pay grade steps from recruits to assistant chiefs would increase. Other Phoenix Police Department (PPD) employees would receive a 3% pay increase in October.

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Maricopa County Spokesperson Admits 20,000 ‘Late’ Ballots Were Scanned Before Verification; Expert Says Likely a Crime

In an email exchange with The Arizona Sun Times this week, a Maricopa County Recorder’s office spokesperson may have unwittingly admitted that the county mishandled thousands of ballots from the 2020 general election that one watchdog groups says were accepted after the legal deadline.

Megan Gilbertson, the communications director for the Maricopa County Elections Department (MCED) – a department of the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office – said that the department processed ballots by scanning them into the tabulating machines at MCED before transferring their custody the next day to Runbeck Election Services, which verifies their legitimacy with signature verification.

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Maricopa County Officials Declare ‘Election Is Over’ as Newly Revealed Records Show 19,000 Ballots Were Counted After 2020 Election Day Deadline

Maricopa County election officials ignored questions Friday about an 11-page report by an election integrity group that say they discovered 20,500 ballots were received by the Maricopa County Recorder’s office — and subsequently counted — after the legal deadline of 7 p.m. on Election Day, November 3, 2020. Only 934 of those ballots, the groups says, were rejected for lateness. Joe Biden was certified the winner of Arizona by 10,457 votes.

The Arizona Sun Times asked the recorder’s office several questions regarding the ballots, including why they had difficulty producing the ballot receipts for months; why the late ballots were tabulated; whether there were really only 934 ballots rejected for being late; and why there were no records indicating whether ballots received the day after the election were transferred to the Maricopa County Treasurer.

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Leading Arizona Gubernatorial Candidate Kari Lake Celebrates First Anniversary of Campaign on a ‘Lakefront’: ‘We’ve Set So Many Records’

Trump-endorsed Kari Lake celebrated the one year anniversary of launching her leading Arizona gubernatorial campaign Wednesday with a party. Still leading her Republican primary opponents by double digits, she told the crowd of her top supporters at the Pleasant Harbor Marina in Peoria, which she referred to as a “Lake front,” that the campaign has broken multiple records. 

Lake brought the crowd to laughter multiple times, especially describing her opponents. She characterized one of the other Republican candidates, Karrin Taylor Robson, “If John McCain had a baby with Liz Cheney, who grew up to marry a 95-year-old billionaire.” Taylor Robson is “frail, nervous; a RINO who puts millions into deceptive ads, trying to buy the election.” 

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True the Vote Testifies to Arizona Legislators Regarding ‘2,000 Mules’ Documentary on Ballot Harvesting, Urges Passage of HB 2289

Two representatives from True the Vote, the election integrity organization whose work using GPS smartphone data to investigate ballot harvesting in Arizona and other states was featured in the recent 2,000 Mules documentary by Dinesh D’Souza, testified during an Arizona Legislative hearing on Tuesday providing further details. Catherine Engelbrecht, the founder and president, and Gregg Phillips, a data expert, drew frequent gasps and clapping, despite a request for no clapping at the beginning. When asked by legislators what Engelbrecht recommended for action, she said pass HB 2289. Sponsored by State Rep. John Fillmore (R-Apache Junction), it bans drop boxes and has passed the House, but has been held up in the Senate. 

Democrats in the legislature tried to interfere with the hearing by forcing a vote on a gun control bill, stalling it for well over an hour. Right Side Broadcasting filmed the hearing live on YouTube, but it was yanked by YouTube by the time it was finished. 

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Five Arizona Cities, Led by Queen Creek, Are Among 15 Fastest-Growing Cities in the Country

New census data reveals that Arizona has five of the fastest-growing 15 cities in the U.S.

The five areas are Queen Creek, Buckeye, Casa Grande, Maricopa City and Goodyear. While Phoenix was further down on the list, it was one of only two of the largest 10 cities in the country to gain residents.

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Arizona Senate Plan to Address Water Concerns Would Scale Back Governor’s Proposed Arizona Water Authority

Concerns are growing in Arizona that a water shortage may be looming down the road. Gov. Doug Ducey proposed creating an Arizona Water Authority (AWA) earlier this year in his 2022 State of the State address, but now the Arizona Senate majority caucus is suggesting a simpler plan that would use the existing Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona (WIFA). 

Ducey’s plan to augment water resources, which he forged in partnership with Arizona Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) and Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa), would cost $1 billion and include integrating new technologies such as desalination, start large scale water augmentation projects, and encourage reuse and efficiency with current supplies.

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State Lawmaker Alleges House Speaker Bowers Is ‘Playing Games’ with Election Integrity as Key Bills Fall Short

State House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) considered sending armed Department of Public Safety (DPS) officers after two conservative legislators during remarks on the State House floor, despite State Representative Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek) telling multiple members of House leadership and their staff that there would not be enough legislators present for a vote to hear election integrity bills.

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Gov. Ducey Suggests Reviving His ‘Red Flag’ Gun Control Bill, Arizona Citizens Defense League Responds with 53,000 Email Alerts

Politicians, including some Republicans, are calling for gun control after a recent spate of mass shootings, particularly last week’s involving a gunman who shot and killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Texas. Gov. Doug Ducey pushed for “red flag” gun control laws previously, including in 2019 after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, and indicated this week he may renew that effort. The Arizona Citizens’ Defense League (AZCDL) immediately sent out 53,000 email alerts.

“Politicians like Ducey are dancing in the blood of victims as opposed to saving people’s lives,” AZCDL Communications Director Charles Heller told The Arizona Sun Times. “We need to stop the psychopaths who are doing this, by taking action like implementing FASTER, which trains teachers and staff at schools to arm themselves after proper training. Ducey’s statement is a profile in cowardice, he’s acting like politicians do when they are afraid of not getting votes.”

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Arizona Sens. Sinema, Kelly Pivotal Two Votes Preventing Confirmation of ‘Radical Left-Wing’ Gigi Sohn to FCC

Gigi Sohn has been nominated by President Joe Biden to serve on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), but not a single Republican in the Senate has said they will vote to approve her confirmation. If every Senate Democrat votes to confirm her, plus Vice President Kamala Harris as a tie-breaking vote, Sohn will be confirmed, but insiders say two pivotal Democratic senators have indicated they will vote no, Arizona’s Kyrsten Sinema and Mark Kelly.

In an op-ed for The Register-Herald, former West Virginia legislator Mike Oliverio said Sohn has “radical left-wing viewpoints.” He cited her “record calling Fox News state-sponsored propaganda and questioning whether Sinclair Broadcasting should have their broadcast licenses revoked.”

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11 Substantial Election Integrity Bills Were Signed into Law Last Year in Arizona; So Far This Year, Only One

A couple of Republican legislators have been holding up election integrity bills from passing this year, but there was plenty of groundwork made last year. The Arizona Legislature pushed hard to get 11 of these bills passed in 2021, in large part due to concern there was fraud in the 2020 presidential election. So far this year, Gov. Doug Ducey has only signed one election integrity bill into law. 

Along with a list of last year’s successful bills provided to Republican Briefs, State Sen. Vince Leach (R-Tucson) said, “For those of you who think that our legislature did nothing for election security, here are the actual bills passed this [past] session. … The rest will have to wait until we have a larger majority.”

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Arizona Free Enterprise Club Labels Red4ED ‘One of the Most Expensive Failures in Arizona Political History’

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.”

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After Felony Conviction in for Casting Ballots in Arizona and New Hampshire in 2016, Man Obtained Arizona Ballot for 2020 Election

A man who was convicted of voting in Arizona and New Hampshire for the same election has continued voting in Arizona. Court documents show Sigmund Boganski, 77, voted in both states in the 2016 election, but according to the Maricopa County Recorder, he requested an early ballot for the 2020 election.

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Arizona Charter Schools Rank First in the Nation: Report

Arizona is frequently criticized for funding its schools less than most of the other states, usually tied for last with a handful of other states. But what doesn’t get covered as much is that it is ranked number one among the states for academic growth and charter schools.

Matthew Ladner, director of the Arizona Center for Educational Opportunity, a researcher with the Arizona Charter Schools Association, and former vice president of research for the Goldwater Institute, told The Arizona Sun Times, “If you had to choose between states with the most funding or states with the most academic growth, which one would you choose?”

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Kari Lake Outraises Democratic Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs’ in Gubernatorial Race During First Quarter of 2022

Democrats are mostly resigned to supporting Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs as their candidate for Arizona governor, despite the fact she admitted to participating in furthering systemic racism, by firing a black staffer which resulted in a $2.5 million dollar jury verdict. Yet despite the near consensus supporting Hobbs, her fundraising numbers were stagnant for the first quarter of 2022.

Hobbs triumphantly issued a press release after compiling her total fundraising numbers for 2021, nearly $3 million. But she hasn’t gained any momentum despite the party starting to coalesce around her; during the first quarter of 2022 she raised about $750,000, which is in line with the same rate she raised money last year. A Democratic insider told The Arizona Sun Times in January that the party was resigned to Hobbs getting the nomination, yet there was no bump to reflect this.

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Report: Yavapai County Has Unmonitored Ballot Drop Box Despite Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Stating Drop Boxes Violate Felony Law

State Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) was driving through Skull Valley in Yavapai County, Arizona, two weeks ago when she noticed an unmonitored ballot drop box in the parking lot of the U.S. Postal Service. Unmonitored ballot drop boxes have become a big concern lately due to the new Dinesh D’Souza documentary 2,000 Mules, which traced GPS cell phone locations to show that around 2,000 people may have illegally transferred handfuls of ballots repeatedly from left-leaning nonprofits to these drop boxes in swing states including Arizona.

Bolick tweeted, “Why does the Skull Valley, AZ US Post Office have an unmanned drop box for mail-in ballots in its parking lot when it has a blue mailbox in front of the post office that can already receive mail-in ballots?” She told The Arizona Sun Times she has a call scheduled with the Yavapai County Recorder Leslie Hoffman to discuss them.

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National Border Patrol Council-Endorsed Arizona Candidate for U.S. Senate Jim Lamon Running Barrage of Gutsy Ads, Some Censored by Big Tech

U.S. Senate candidate Jim Lamon, who is running as a Republican for office in Arizona to defeat incumbent Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly, is making waves with his provocative, bold TV campaign spots. The left-leaning big tech companies don’t like them, however, and so both Yahoo and Facebook have pushed back, with Yahoo actually censoring them. While broadcast TV is generally required by law to run political ads (FCC rules state that if a station allows state and local political candidates to run ads, they must accept them from all candidates), big tech is not. Yahoo refused to run an ad of his because it merely said “Let’s Go Brandon.” 

Stephen Puetz, one of Lamon’s campaign staffers, told The Arizona Sun Times the ads are making a difference in getting Lamon’s name known, since polls show his support is increasing. Lamon is running against Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich in the Republican primary, who has considerable name recognition, and another candidate, Blake Masters, is making significant ground due to funding from his boss, Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel. 

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2,000 Mules Revealed Alleged Massive Ballot Harvesting in Arizona, AG Brnovich Already Prosecuting

Conservative commentator and filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza recently released a documentary, 2,000 Mules, which features the work of True the Vote tracking GPS cell phone locations from around the 2020 election period to track what they have named “mules,” people purportedly illegally transporting hundreds of thousands of ballots from left-leaning nonprofits and depositing them in unmonitored drop boxes in several key swing states, including Arizona. Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich may have already prosecuted one of the mules discussed in the documentary, a Democratic former official in San Luis, and he is currently litigating in court with Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs over her attempts to allow unmonitored drop boxes in the state Elections Procedures Manual (EPM). 

In the documentary, a whistleblower whose identity is disguised discusses a prominent Democratic official in San Luis — which is a small town of about 25,500 located in Yuma County — who engaged in ballot harvesting and even enlisted her to assist. Last year, Brnovich’s office prosecuted Guillermina Fuentes, who was a previous mayor of San Luis, a Democratic precinct committee person, and a member of the Gadsden Elementary School Board. A grand jury indicted her in December on one count of ballot abuse, also known as ballot harvesting, for collecting four ballots from people and turning them in. She has a change of plea hearing scheduled for June 2.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Pulls Out of Leftward-Drifting National Association of Attorneys General

The Arizona Sun Times reported last week on rumors that Arizona Attorney General (AG) Mark Brnovich might withdraw from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) due to its leftward drift, and he did this week. He became the fifth state attorney general to leave NAAG over its left-leaning agenda, an exodus that began with Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall last year, followed by the AGs of Texas, Missouri, and Montana last week. 
“We are hereby notifying you that the Arizona Attorney General’s Office had decided to withdraw its membership from NAAG,” Brnovich said in a letter to NAAG President and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller. “The Association is supposed to function as a nonpartisan forum but the speakers and topics presented at recent NAAG meetings indicate otherwise. We believe NAAG must take immediate steps to remedy this partisan permeation.”

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Abortion Protesters Hit, Scratch, and Spit on Young Kari Lake Student Supporters and Staff at Arizona Capitol

Some young people from Trump-endorsed Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s campaign were greeted with violence when they showed up at a protest organized by Planned Parenthood over Arizona’s expected post-Roe v. Wade abortion laws at the Arizona State Capitol on May 3 to engage in civil conversations with the demonstrators. Two student staffers who coordinate Students for Kari and a student intern were hit, scratched, shoved, spit on, and pushed into vans, they told The Arizona Sun Times. Some of it was caught on video, including the spitting.

Andorra Blattner, data director for the campaign, who can be seen in the second half of the video in a bright red shirt, told The Sun Times, “They told me that my mom should have aborted me, and since she didn’t, I should kill myself.” Protesters pushed her, tripped her, and ripped her sign “Unborn Lives Matter” out of her hands. One woman with extremely long nails kept poking them in her face, almost hitting her in the eye. The protesters called her profane words used to demean women. 

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At America Pack’s Arizona Attorney General GOP Primary Debate, None of the Candidates Sounded Like Moderates

The grassroots patriotic group America Pack put on a debate for the Republican primary candidates for Arizona Attorney General Friday night, and of the five candidates who participated, none of them came across as moderates, to the pleasant surprise of the audience (Dawn Grove, who sounds very conservative, could not participate). The main issue championed by the five was border security, with election integrity a close second. 

Their agendas mainly mirrored that of current AG Mark Brnovich, who is now running for U.S. Senate. Brnovich has been one of the most proactive AGs in the country pushing back on the Biden administration, filing tens of lawsuits over election integrity, border security, and other areas of overreach or inaction. Endorsed by both Mark Levin and Sean Hannity, the candidates sounded like they were trying to out-conservative him.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Could Pull Out of Leftward-Drifting National Association of Attorneys General

The attorneys general of Texas, Missouri, and Montana are withdrawing from the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG) over its “leftward shift over the last decade,” and so many expect Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich will be the next to exit. Since NAAG’s activities fall along partisan Democrat lines, and Brnovich has sued the Biden administration numerous times over its policies, he may find there are too many conflicts to remain a member.

Brnovich told The Arizona Sun Times he had no comment at this time, but would be looking into it next week. 

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Responds to Maricopa County’s ‘Flames of Division’ in Their Reaction to His Interim Report on Election Fraud

Maricopa County officials held a press conference and issued a response Wednesday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s first Interim Report on the 2020 Maricopa County independent ballot audit, prompting a sharp reaction from Brnovich. He said in a letter to supporters, “[T]he Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and County Recorder continue to throw stones at Attorney General Brnovich instead of working to address the serious issues identified in the interim report.” Jen Wright, head of his Elections Integrity Unit, who has lengthy experience investigating voter fraud for the Arizona Republican Party, sent a response back to their attorney with “serious concerns.”

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Arizona Senate President Karen Fann: Decertification Is an Option If AG ‘Finds Huge Differences in the Vote Count’

Many Arizonans are concerned that if there is clear evidence of massive voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election race in Arizona, the election will need to be decertified. Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) reaffirmed this during an interview with the progressive organization Under Current. Fann appeared to be under the perception the reporter was a conservative.

Under Current reporter Laura Windsor asked Fann about the investigation into the independent Maricopa County ballot audit by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who has produced a preliminary interim report. “Is Brnovich taking this seriously, is he going to certify?” Windsor asked. Fann responded,

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Lawmakers Slam Northern Arizona University’s Decision to Offer Free Tuition to Half of Arizona Households

While Arizona’s three public universities are demanding tuition increases, at the same time one is also announcing that it will provide free tuition to about half of Arizona households. Northern Arizona University (NAU) said its new financial aid initiative, Access2Excellence, will cover tuition expenses for every Arizona resident who is admitted to the university and has a household income of $65,000 or less. The median family income in Arizona is $65,000.

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Leads Coalition of States Suing Biden Administration over New Rule to Speed Up Asylum When Title 42 Is Rescinded

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has filed another lawsuit against the Biden administration over its lack of defending the southern border. Leading a coalition of 14 states, the lawsuit challenges a new asylum rule that switches much of the authority over granting asylum away from federal immigration judges, giving it to asylum officers with the Department of Homeland Security.

“This is nothing more than a radical attempt to set up a system that encourages illegal immigration and undermines the rule of law,” said Brnovich in a statement. “President Biden may not care about the American people, but I do. I will continue to push back against his unlawful policies and imperial edicts.”

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Arizona GOP Chair Kelli Ward’s Husband Michael Ward Permanently Suspended from Twitter for ‘Multiple, Severe Violations’

Twitter suspended Michael Ward, the husband of Arizona Republican Party chair Kelli Ward, Wednesday morning for “multiple, severe violations” according to his wife. She tweeted, “Weird. He’s not a terrorist or a tyrant. He’s a doctor, dad, & veteran. That must be it!”

https://twitter.com/kelliwardaz/status/1519313005174874113

Michael Ward told The Arizona Sun Times, “I want to know whether they’re targeting me because I opposed COVID-19 restrictions, or because I am a conservative physician, or because I’m a retired colonel who opposes the Biden administration.” He believes he was probably singled out because of who he’s married to. He said Twitter first suspended him on Jan. 7, 2021, his first account, @JimmyTheMole01, because he retweeted former President Donald Trump after the Jan. 6 protest at the U.S. Capitol. He was never given a warning, temporary suspension, or second chance when he tried to appeal, the account was permanently banned.

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America Pack’s Arizona GOP Gubernatorial Debate: Lake Calls Out Missing Robson, Salmon Explains China Ties

Three of the four major Republican gubernatorial candidates faced off Friday night in a debate hosted by the grassroots group, America Pack. Trump-endorsed Kari Lake, Matt Salmon, and Steve Gaynor participated. Karrin Taylor-Robson, after indicating she would attend, canceled.

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Proclamation Under Consideration to Nullify the Censure of Maricopa County Republican Party Chair Mickie Niland over Election Integrity

Legislative District 12 Republicans censured Maricopa County Republican Party Chair Mickie Niland for “apparent bias against election integrity” last week, but some conservatives opposed the move and now a proclamation has been proposed for Maricopa County Republican executive board members and Arizona Republican Party board members to nullify the censure. Signed by major conservative leaders in the party, including Rep. Andy Biggs (R-03-Ariz.), State Sen. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), and MCRC Secretary Dan Grimm, it lists her strengths, which include championing election integrity, and calls for her to continue holding the office.

State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), one of the leading champions of election integrity in the Arizona Legislature, sponsoring numerous bills in that area, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Mickie Niland has been a warrior in the trenches for election integrity. She’s been a tireless champion for conservative values for more than a decade. There are few leaders in the Party, anywhere in the country, who have done more to fight the establishment and defend freedom than Chairwoman Niland.”

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Arizona Leaders Disappointed at Ducey’s Plan with 25 Governors to Secure the Border

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and 25 other governors launched the American Governors’ Border Strike Force on Tuesday to combat the expected surge in migrants and crime on the border when the Biden administration lifts the Title 42 restrictions in May. A statement from Ducey describes it as “a partnership to do what the federal government won’t: secure the southern border,” but some Arizona leaders are disappointed, believing it doesn’t go far enough.

Leading gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake expressed her skepticism of Ducey’s plan during an interview on The Clay Travis & Buck Sexton Show, saying he’s only taken “little pieces” from her border security plan. “We already have an invasion at our border … It’s going to get worse … the floodgates are open,” she said. “The question is, do we have the elected officials who are willing to do the tough work. And that means finishing that wall on the border. The materials are right there. The federal government abandoned them at the border and we need to take those materials back and finish the wall and get troops on the border.” 

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Kari Lake Calls Primary Opponent ‘Doug Ducey in a Dress’

The Arizona gubernatorial race is heating up in the Republican primary, as candidates attempt to distinguish themselves from each other. Former news anchor Kari Lake, who is leading in polling and has Donald Trump’s endorsement, has been calling out Karrin Taylor Robson’s record, referring to her as “Doug Ducey in a dress.” Lake is highly critical of Ducey’s record on COVID-19 restrictions, lack of action on border security, and, she says, being weak on election integrity.

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GOP Challenger to Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva Asks For Investigation Into New GOP Candidate He Suspects Is a ‘Plant’

Luis Pozzolo, who is running for Congress in Arizona’s 7th Congressional District as a Republican against incumbent Democrat Raul Grijalva (D-AZ-03), asked Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich this past week to investigate another GOP challenger, Nina Becker. He alleges that she “has a history of producing phony petition signatures” and is connected to “a known leftist white supremacist group.” Becker is currently being prosecuted by the AGO for multiple felonies and misdemeanors, including some related to collecting petition signatures, and a judge in the case has declared her mentally incompetent.

Pozzolo told The Arizona Sun Times, “She is not alone — she is mentally Ill but has been used for somebody else — we want to know who is behind it.

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Maricopa County Chair Mickie Niland Censured by LD12 PCs for ‘Apparent Bias Against Election Integrity’

Election integrity is one of the most important issues to Republicans in Arizona, and so when some Precinct Committeemen in Legislative District 12 thought Maricopa County Republican Chair Mickie Niland was dismissing concerns about it, they censured her. PC Lawrence Hudson wrote the censure, which he said passed by about 95-5. 

Dan Farley, who is one of the key grassroots organizers for Precinct Committeemen in Arizona and chair of LD 4, told The Arizona Sun Times he supports Niland because of her support ridding the party of the lingering John McCain influence, which has persisted due to his followers after his death. “While I generally view Hudson as a patriot, I disagree with this,” he said. 

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Gosar, Biggs and Finchem Respond to Lawsuit from ‘Random Members of the Public’ Trying to Remove Them from Ballot for ‘Insurrection’

An organization calling itself “Free Speech for People” filed lawsuits against three prominent Arizona Republican officials, asserting that they are unqualified to hold office due to their connections to the Jan. 6, 2021 protest at the U.S. Capitol. The lawsuits aim to stop Rep. Paul Gosar (R-04-Ariz.) and Rep. Andy Biggs (R-03-Ariz.) from running for reelection, and State Rep. Mark Finchem (R-Oro Valley) from running for Arizona Secretary of State, claiming the three engaged in “insurrection” which is prohibited by the Fourteenth Amendment. 

Jack Wilenchik, the attorney for Finchem, told The Arizona Sun Times, “The lawsuit is long on publicity but short on law. No convictions or congressional authority for suit.” He told Capitol Media, “We don’t allow random members of the public to accuse politicians of a crime and remove them from office.” He explained how it would open the floodgates for anyone to try and remove any elected official they disagreed with, from Donald Trump to Hillary Clinton.

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Inflation Hits 10.9 Percent in Metro Phoenix, Highest of Major Metro Areas and Substantially Above National Average

Inflation is soaring under the Biden administration, and it’s even worse in Phoenix. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that inflation in metro Phoenix jumped 10.9% from February 2021 through February 2022, significantly more than the national average increase of 8.5% and higher than any other major metro area. This is one of the highest levels reported for Phoenix, the Common Sense Institute found.

The 8.5% inflation rate is the highest in the U.S. in 41 years. In 2020, the last year of Donald Trump’s presidency, it was only 1.5%. It began spiking as soon as Joe Biden entered office. The main goods driving the spike nationally are food, gas, and housing. 

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Arizona Democratic Party Requests Investigation of Redistricting, Claims It Protects Incumbent GOP State Senators

The Arizona Democratic Party submitted a complaint on Monday to Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich, asking him to investigate whether a couple of members of the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission (IRC) violated the Arizona Constitution by drawing district boundary lines to protect at least three incumbent Republican state senators. Executive Director Charlie Fisher, who signed the letter, also asked the attorney general’s office (AGO)to determine if the members violated Arizona’s Open Meeting law, and whether members, as well as senators and their staff, improperly used state resources and funds.

The moves may have been done to include significant Republican enclaves in heavily Republican districts, not to just grab a single senator’s residence. State Senator Vince Leach (R-Tucson), one of the senators who was accused of being gerrymandered into a heavily Republican district, explained to The Arizona Sun Times about the area he lives in that was included, “Catalina has always been in LD 11. Since the election of 2012.”

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Gov. Ducey Signs 12 Bills, Including Banning Unions from Politicking on the Taxpayers’ Dime, and Stopping Religious Discrimination in Adoptions

As the 2022 Arizona Legislative season winds down, Gov. Doug Ducey is signing a slew of bills. On Wednesday, he signed 12, including the Goldwater Institute’s Release Time Reform Act and a bill protecting religious freedom in adoptions and foster care.

The Goldwater Institute (GI) drafted SB 1166, which was sponsored by State Sen. Vincent Leach (R-Tucson), to address the problem where public employees at the local, state, and federal level are “released” from their government responsibilities and instead are assigned to work for a private union — all while receiving full government pay, benefits, and retirement. 

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Maricopa County Admits They Used AI to Compare Voter Ballot Affidavit Signatures with Signatures on File

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issued an interim report this past week on his investigation of voter fraud during the 2020 presidential election in Arizona, which found “instances of election fraud by individuals who have been or will be prosecuted for various election crimes,” and a couple of days later he learned some more possibly troubling news. Attorneys for Maricopa County told him ballot tabulators used artificial intelligence to determine whether voters’ ballot affidavit signatures matched their signatures on file. 

During an interview with former Trump advisor Steve Bannon on Bannon’s War Room show, Brnovich broke the news. “We got another letter from their lawyer for the first time — and this is not in the report — admitted they are using AI to verify signatures,” he said. “And so the whole signature verification process, is something that I think that, regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, it should be troubling and concerning that they are trying to verify hundreds of thousands of signatures so quickly. And of course that raises the question, how is that even humanly possible?”

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Announces Prosecutions After Reviewing Maricopa County Ballot Audit, as Kari Lake Calls to Decertify Election

Mark Brnovich

The highly anticipated first report from Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s investigation into the results of the Maricopa County independent ballot audit are in, and includes criminal prosecutions. Addressed to Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott), who launched the independent audit, the letter referenced the work of his office’s Election Integrity Unit. Brnovich stated, “The EIU’s review has uncovered instances of election fraud by individuals who have been or will be prosecuted for various election crimes.” 

Leading gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake, who just called for the results of the 2020 presidential election in Arizona and Wisconsin to be reversed, told The Arizona Sun Times, “Today, Attorney General Brnovich confirmed what most of us have known since November 3rd, 2020: The election in Maricopa County was crooked and never should have been certified. This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. It’s an American issue. I look forward to seeing the prosecutions that the Attorney General has in store. It’s time for the perpetrators of this fraud to be held accountable for their actions.”

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Arizona Officials Brace for Surge of Illegal Border-Crossers as Biden Administration Ends Title 42 Restrictions

With the Biden administration’s decision to rescind Title 42 COVID-19 restrictions on the border by May 23, local officials near Arizona’s border with Mexico are bracing for a surge in migrants. The border situation was already dire, with Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich issuing a legal opinion in February declaring that it had reached the level of an invasion under the U.S. Constitution due to the crime, violence, and drug smuggling.

Republicans and even some Democrat officials in Arizona denounced the move. Both of Arizona’s two U.S. Senators, Democrats Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, condemned the move. Tucson Mayor Regina Romero, a Democrat, said she supported the move, but admitted to NPR that it will require federal assistance. “What we are asking the Biden administration is that they have the resources necessary to be able to have these local communities take over, because it costs money to be able to offer a safe place for asylum-seekers to come.”

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Democrat Arizona Secretary of State and Gubernatorial Candidate Katie Hobbs Praises Biden for Removing Title 42 Restrictions at the Border

Katie Hobbs

While many leading Democrats, including both of Arizona’s U.S. Senators, Mark Kelly and Kyrsten Sinema, are upset with the Biden administration’s decision to end the Title 42 COVID-19 restrictions on U.S. borders, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs praised the decision. The Title 42 order, issued by the Centers for Disease Control in March 2020 under the Trump administration, has been used by Customs and Border Protection to prevent 1.7 million migrants from entering the country. They are either sent back to Mexico or on flights to other countries.

When asked by 3TV about the change and how it would affect border security, Hobbs said, “Title 42 should not be a substitute for that. As governor, I will work to, with the federal government, make sure that Arizonans are secure, they need to put more resources and securing the border. We need more resources to address the influx of migrants coming to the border.” 

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Arizona Attorney General Brnovich Asks Cochise County Attorney for Felony Criminal Investigation into Arizona Secretary of State Hobbs

Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has come under fire for her handling of the electronic system used to collect online signatures for political candidates, E-Qual. The system was not updated to accommodate new redistricting, which has made it very difficult for campaigns to collect enough signatures in time to make the ballot this fall. On March 17, Hobbs took the entire system offline, making it impossible to collect any signatures at all online, so Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre on March 29 to “investigate and take any appropriate enforcement actions (civil and criminal).”

McIntyre told the Arizona Sun Times, “I can confirm that we have received the request and begun the investigative process.”

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Brnovich Takes Digs at Competitors in U.S. Senate Race for Not Doing Anything About Mask Mandates

Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich took a shot at his opponents in the U.S. Senate race for not doing anything about the lingering mask mandate on public transportation. He tweeted the criticism while joining a coalition of 21 states suing the Biden administration over what he characterized as an “unconstitutional, ineffective, and ridiculously burdensome policy.” 

His opponents frequently criticize him for inaction, but he has aggressively tackled various issues, including COVID-19 restrictions and mandates, border security, and election integrity, he told the Arizona Sun Times. 

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Gov. Ducey Signs 2022’s First Election Integrity Bill Which Closes Loophole on Non-Citizens Voting, Opponents Blast It

The whole country is watching Arizona to see if it will strengthen election integrity laws after fraud was highly suspected there in the 2020 presidential election. So far during the 2022 legislative session, the Arizona Legislature has referred one comprehensive measure to the ballot, the Arizonans for Voter ID Act, and sent its first bill to Gov. Doug Ducey to sign or veto. HB 2492, sponsored by State Rep. Jake Hoffman (R-Queen Creek), requires proof of citizenship in order to vote, with the exception of voting in congressional elections which is preempted by federal law. 

The law, which passed both chambers along party lines, establishes tough penalties for those who violate it; it is a felony for election officials to register voters without proof of citizenship. County recorders are required to regularly cross-reference registered voters with citizenship databases. It gives the Arizona Attorney General authority to investigate. 

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