Friday, December 7, 2018

BREAKING: McSally Locked, Loaded and Ready For 2020 Run - Well, Definitely Loaded

Outgoing Rep. Martha McSally is locked, loaded and ready for another run at a U.S. Senate seat from Arizona. Or, at a minimum, she is loaded. The former fighter pilot, who narrowly lost an expensive campaign to replace retiring Sen. Jeff Flake, keeps more than $1M in the McSally For Senate bank account.

Considering that she spent more than $19.7M on the race against fellow Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, keeping approximately 5% in the tank may not seem like much. But, given that there is already pressure on Governor Doug Ducey to appoint her to take Sen. Jon Kyl's place serving out the term for the late Sen. John McCain, having a significant head start has already increased speculation that she will soon join Sinema in the Senate.

The ongoing war-chest numbers come from the campaign's latest FEC filing, which is re-produced below in all of its 5,073-page glory. For comparison, the Sinema campaign has $212k in the tank, although she will not be running for re-election until 2024.

We have requested a response from the McSally campaign, and will update as needed.

McSally Post-Gen FEC by on Scribd


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Wednesday, December 5, 2018


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Friday, November 30, 2018

NOT BOTTLED UP: Embattled Interior Secretary Zinke Goes "Full Trump" On Arizona Rep. Raul Grijalva

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) is set to become the Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee next year. After publishing a column in the USA Today calling on Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to resign, the embattled Secretary went "Full Trump" on the Arizona Representative.

Questioning Rep. Grijalva's alcohol intake and payments made to a former committee employee who had made hostile workplace claims, Zinke took to the President's favorite forum for slinging insults. (In order to free himself from Twitter's character limits*, he fashioned his rant as a public statement from the "Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke".)





To be clear, although Grijalva's call for Zinke to resign focused on the Secretary's scandals and ethics, he did not call Zinke names. He did make the case that Zinke lacks "credible leadership" and warned that scrutiny of the Department will intensify in January when Democrats become the majority party.

Zinke's impolitic and nasty tweet also slurs what little is known about the severance package that became public knowledge last year. The unsourced report claims that the Committee employee was prepared to file a lawsuit that alleged that Grijalva "was frequently drunk and created a hostile workplace environment." There is no specific allegation that any drunkenness was in the workplace, and the Congressman has publicly and flatly denied ever being impaired or drinking while on the job. He also said that he does not have a drinking problem.

The former employee was paid $48,000 as part of an agreement authorized by the House Employment Counsel in 2015, and no complaints or lawsuits were filed. Grijalva states that the ex-employee would not release him from the confidentiality clause to speak further.

*A strange (non-sexual) double entendre if ever there was one.

(Edited to remove reference to the hashtag used by Zinke.)

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

COMMENTARY: Arizona Republicans "Monkeyed" With Law To Replace Senator McCain, Made It Unconstitutional

The following is a commentary by Chandler election law attorney Tom Ryan, in response to the lawsuit filed Wednesday challenging the constitutionality of Arizona's law to replace the late Senator John McCain, and calling for a special election within six months:

I think it is overdue! Look, the AZGOP in the Legislature monkeyed with the statute re: replacing a U.S. Senator to give Ducey this kind of power to make serial appointments. The purpose of the 17th Amendment was to give the power of direct election to the citizens of each state. There is a power of temporary appointment but that is intended to be just a stop gap measure until the special election can be held.  Here we hear rumors of Kyl resigning and Ducey getting a 2nd appointment!!  All the while critical issues are popping up in the Senate that the citizens of Arizona are being deprived of the opportunity to elect their own voice, not the voice of just one individual.  Think about that for a moment! We passed the 17th Amendment to remove the appointment of U.S. Senators from the state senates, and gave that power to the citizens. If it was bad to let the state senators wield such power, how much worse is it to give that same power to just one person – the governor?!

So the Gov has set the replacement election for McCain’s seat for the 2020 election cycle. That is more than 2 years from the date McCain passed away. Why do we need to wait 2 years?!  Trent Franks resigned on December 8, 2017 because of his sex scandal. The Gov set the dates for the special election to replace Franks so quickly that Debbie Lesko was put into office just five months later on May 5, 2018. If you go back and look at the newspaper accounts of when the AZ GOP was monkeying with Title 16 you will see they were doing so in anticipation of McCain’s passing and giving Ducey this power of serial appointments.  That’s just wrong.

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AZ LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL? A Special Election To Replace Senator McCain Must Be Held In 6 Months, Claims New Lawsuit (BREAKING, READ)

The constitutionality of Arizona's law giving Governor Doug Ducey the right to control the U.S. Senate seat vacated by the passing of John McCain has been challenged in federal court.

A group of plaintiffs led by William Tedards filed the action against Ducey and Senator Jon Kyl yesterday and asks that the Governor be required to call for a special election within six months. Their contention is that the 17th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution (text below) which requires that U.S. Senators be elected invalidates the Arizona law (also below) that the special election for a Senate vacancy can only be held at a biennial general election.
17th Amendment, U.S. Constitution

McCain passed away in August, too late for Governor Ducey to add a primary and general election to be held by November 6, 2018. Instead, he appointed former Kyl to the seat, even as Kyl indicated that he might very well only stay in the position through the end of 2018. That would permit the Governor to make a new appointment for another two years, for a total of 28 months.

When asked by Arizona's Politics about the timing of this action, nearly three months after the Kyl appointment, lead attorney Mike Persoon stated there was no plan to wait until after the November 6 election: "Lawsuits -- particularly those brought by ordinary citizens -- take some time to pull together. They rarely happen overnight. That said, the lawsuit is proceeding quickly.”

Persoon - who also represented the plaintiffs in a similar case in Illinois in 2010 - and local attorney Michael Kielsky have asked for a preliminary injunction which would order the Governor to call a special election within six months.

Arizona election attorney Tom Ryan has been speaking out on this subject since the Governor appointed Kyl. Today, he told Arizona's Politics that it is about time: "the AZGOP in the Legislature monkeyed with the statute re: replacing a U.S. Senator to give Ducey this kind of power to make serial appointments. The purpose of the 17th Amendment was to give the power of direct election to the citizens of each state."

(Ryan's full comments are posted as a sidebar editorial here.)

Governor Ducey's office has been asked for comment on the new suit, and this article will be updated as necessary.

(This article was provided by Tempe election law attorney Paul Weich.)




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Monday, November 26, 2018

BREAKING: Judge Allows Navajo Nation To Withdraw Request That Could Have Delayed Arizona Election Certification

(UPDATE: Judge Lanza did permit the Navajo Nation to withdraw its TRO application today, thus permitting Arizona to finish certifying the results from this month's election on time next Monday. The Court's simple explanation (below) is that he wanted to learn more about the basis for withdrawing the request that approximately 100 Navajo Nation voters be permitted to cure their early ballots this week. This indicates that the Navajo Nation is dropping that request and focusing more on ensuring better voting access for residents of the large area in future elections. The headline has been edited to reflect the Judge's decision, but the article below remains intact.)

U.S. District Court Judge Dominic Lanza DENIED the Navajo Nation's request to vacate a court hearing this morning on a case that could delay the certification of Arizona's November 6 election results.

The Navajo Nation filed suit last week to give approximately 100 Navajo voters the chance to cure their early ballots which were properly filled out but not signed. The suit also seeks other measures in the future to make it easier for Navajo Nation members to access their right to vote in future elections.

Sunday, attorneys for the sovereign government asked Judge Lanza to vacate the hearing on the Temporary Restraining Order set for Monday at 10am, saying that they now believe that they will be able to work with elections officials in the three Arizona counties which include portions of the Navajo Nation. It appeared that they were prepared to forego a reopening of the cure period for voters in this month's election.

Judge Lanza denied the request to vacate the hearing, and said the hearing will address the motion.







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Thursday, November 15, 2018

WATCH: "Go Get Him, Acosta! Do Not Back Down" - Sen. Flake's Exhortation To The Press, In a "Search For Truth" Keynote



https://cs.pn/2RWLfxs

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Tuesday, November 13, 2018

DEFAMATION: Arpaio Serving NY Times, Immediately Ready To File A 2nd Defamation Suit - Rolling Stone Calls Him "Ex-Felon"

(UPDATE, 4:15pm: The Rolling Stone has changed its description of former Sheriff Arpaio and removed the "ex-felon" descriptor. The article now reads "presidential pardonee and former Maricopa County sheriff, Joe Arpaio. (Arpaio was convicted of contempt of court, a misdemeanor, in 2017 and pardoned by Trump less than one month later.)"

As a (very) public figure, Arpaio has a higher legal burden to prove defamation than does an ordinary citizen. Arpaio will have to be able to prove "actual malice" for his lawsuit against the NY Times (or, the potential suit vs. RS) to go anywhere.)

Former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio and his attorney are serving the New York Times with their defamation lawsuit today, and sighted their second media target today.

Rolling Stone published an article this afternoon about Rep. Kyrsten Sinema's apparent victory in Arizona's U.S. Senate election. In it, the article notes that Rep. Martha McSally had beaten Kelli Ward and Joe Arpaio in the August primary; Ward was described as a "tea party conspiracist" and Arpaio was touted as both the former Sheriff and an "ex-felon."

This grabbed the former lawman, who immediately tweeted that he "was never arrested or charged with a felony."  He calls the Rolling Stone description "completely, misleading, defamatory statements by Rolling Stone is calculated to harm his reputation. Fake news, Already suing large newspaper for 147.5 mil. (all, sic)"
Of course, Arpaio was convicted of criminal contempt of a Court Order for his role in the racial profiling lawsuit Melendres v. Arpaio. The conviction carried a maximum 6-month jail, and was thus considered to be a misdemeanor. Arpaio was pardoned by President Donald Trump before sentencing, and the former Sheriff is currently trying to expunge that finding of guilt. (It is in the 9th Circuit, and the Arpaio legal team is appealing the appointment of a special prosecutor to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

Last month, Arpaio and his attorney Larry Klayman did file a $147.5M defamation lawsuit against the New York Times and columnist Michelle Cottle. Cottle celebrated Arpaio's defeat in the primary and compared Maricopa County jails under Arpaio to "concentration camps". As a (very) public figure, Arpaio has a higher legal burden to prove defamation than does an ordinary citizen. Arpaio will have to be able to prove "actual malice" for his lawsuit against the NY Times (or, the potential suit vs. RS) to go anywhere.

Klayman told Arizona's Politics today that the "ex-felon" descriptor is also defamatory. He declined to indicate whether he had already discussed this article with Arpaio, and said that "the New York Times is being served today." He also promised that things "will heat up soon."

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