Saturday, May 8, 2021

BREAKING: Judge DISMISSES Lawsuit To Force AZGOP Special Meeting To Address Voting "Irregularities" In Election Of Ward, Others (TODAY IN "THE OTHER RED MEAT AUDIT" NEWS*)

UPDATE, 5/10 at 3:30pm: Judge Kemp today granted the AZGOP's motion to dismiss the case. "Whether or not any chicanery took place in the voting process on January 23, this Court finds that it does not have judicial authority to intervene in an inter-party dispute...." Another lawsuit seeking to review all of the election documents and materials is still pending. The 3-page Minute Entry dismissing the case is published below.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: "NEW: AZGOP "Fundamentally Dishonest" About Results Of Yesterday's Audit/Inspection; No Attorney Disqualification"

While most eyes continue to be focused on the Veterans Memorial Coliseum and the swirling news around the recount/audit being conducted by the State Senate/Cyber Ninjas, plenty was happening in the ironic intramural clash roiling the Arizona GOP over its (state-mandated) party reorganization election.

The rebellion began immediately following the results of that January meeting, in which Kelli Ward was relected as the Chairperson. The lawsuits focus on that and two of the other races for seats on the state committee - Sandra Dowling (former long-time Maricopa County School Superintendent) was first announced has having won before it was changed and Bill Beard lost a southern Arizona (CD2) seat.

On Tuesday, Superior Court Judge Mike Kemp refused to allow the AZGOP to force attorney Tim LaSota from representing the plaintiffs and has taken the AZGOP's Motion to Dismiss under consideration after oral arguments. LaSota has represented the state party in other matters, and the judge admonished him to "not use any information relating to his prior representation that would disadvantage Defendants in any way."

Friday, a group met at attorney Jack Wilenchik's (representing the AZGOP in this case) office to inspect the ballots and other records. More concerning than the small discrepancies between the number of ballots and the reported totals, according to the plaintiffs' supporters, were a large pile of completed ballots which were found together with blank ballots. 

Further frustrating the plaintiffs was that the inspection did not include other integral documents which could validate - or, invalidate - the election results. Jeremi Hale, a career auditor and state committeeman who was at both the January meeting and yesterday's inspection, described those missing items: "There were no credential reports or other crucial evidentiary artifacts to validate the ballots they gave us were complete or reflected total eligible votes."

The AZGOP declared the inspection "a win" in an email to party members, with state committeeman Constantin Querard declaring that "fundamentally dishonest".

In a statement to Arizona's Law/Arizona's Politics, Querard - who was present for yesterday's inspection - bluntly explained the frustration and irony of the situation:

I can't know for sure why they limited it, but I know that when the Maricopa County authorities or Democrats try to limit or stop audits the GOP wants of the November election, the AZGOP's position is that they are afraid, they're hiding something, they did something wrong, they cheated/stole, etc...  Do we apply the AZGOP's rhetoric to the AZGOP when it does the same thing?  Feels kind of harsh, so I'd generally want to avoid it.  But things were not done very well from what we were allowed to see, the counts were off compared to the number of ballots cast, and the Party is refusing to allow anyone to see any of the usual documents (credentials, sign-in sheets, proxies, etc.).  Why is anyone's guess, but if they did a great job and ran an accurate election, there would be no reason to spend big $ fighting in court to prevent people from being able to prove they ran an accurate election, right?

Two court cases are still proceeding, and if Ward and her folks manage to short circuit the meeting that had been called by the State Committeemen, I'm sure another call will result.  Sooner or later the Party will do things right.  Hopefully sooner, so we can move on past this.  (emphasis added)

Hale also notes that although the ballots cast number was three off in CD2 (Beard) and that was the exact number he lost by, it does not constitute proof that the election was intentionally tampered with, but it is another point of concern.

The AZGOP again urged the plaintiffs to "drop the nonsense" so that the Party can "remain focused on our sole mission: to elect Republicans and defeat Democrats." Meanwhile, Ward and the AZGOP twitter account remained focused on what she calls "America's Audit" (even though the stated purpose is to improve election laws).


(Correction: It was the CD8 at-large race which was off by three ballots, not CD2. Corrected in article. Re-correction: the original version was correct. Also, clarified that the lawsuits could also impact the State Chair results. Thanks to both Hale and Querard for post-publishing clarifications.)

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Saturday, April 17, 2021

AZ Rep. Gosar Sets Personal Record For Fundraising Following Jan. 6 Insurrection

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar set a new personal fundraising record following the January 6 Electoral College certification and insurrection. Gosar played a prominent role in objecting to Arizona's votes for Joe Biden, and had also encouraged Trump supporters to come to Washington DC for the January 6 events.

According to this week's filing with the Federal Election Commission, Gosar raised $120,000 in the 11 weeks following the insurrection. That was double his average receipts for his five previous comparable* efforts. In fact, his collections the past three months from contributors across the country was nearly one-fifth of what he raised in the entire 2019-2020 cycle.

Standing out among the new contributions was a $1,000 contribution from the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. An analysis of Gosar's reports indicate that political contributions from Native American nations in Arizona and around the country have dropped significantly in the past couple of years. 

Arizona's Politics has reached out to UKB officials in light of this week's news that Gosar is co-founding an America First Caucus in Congress, with a manifesto that calls for Americans and immigrants to have "respect for (our nation's) uniquely Anglo-Saxon political traditions."

*"Comparable" meaning the first quarter of a new election cycle, January through March of an odd-numbered year. 

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Friday, April 16, 2021

"Arizona Audit" Updates: Fmr Secy of State Can't Convince Companies Audit Is Not Part Of "Big Lie"; Notorious Atty Lin Wood Is Major Funder AND Has Ties To Head "Cyber Ninja"

Two related updates today on State Senate President Karen Fann's slow-moving effort to recount Maricopa County's November Presidential election ballots.

First, former Arizona Secretary of State Ken Bennett - who has become "the liaison for the AZ Senate" in the audit effort - has been unable to convince two publicly-owned tech companies that his effort to recruit volunteer observers for the recount is legitimate and is not an effort to promote election misinformation - known to some as the "Big Lie".

Yesterday, Bennett cried "censorship" after Google removed his recruitment form. He announced that he had re-posted the form on Wuhoo/Survey Monkey. It did not take long for that company to also disable his account.

Bennett has declined to answer questions from several reporters (including Arizona's Politics) about how he will ensure that the volunteer observers who claim to be Democrats are not simply re-registered Trump supporters trying to give the Senate GOP's effort a false veneer of objectivity.

In the second development, the center-left website TalkingPointsMemo.com reported today that the connections between the lead auditor for the effort - Doug Logan of Cyber Ninjas - and admittedly-biased former Trump attorney Lin Wood are far more extensive than previously reported.

Wood apparently provided Logan (and others) with a home and office during late 2020 in order to support his investigations into any possible fraud in the Presidential election. 

Further, Wood has contributed $50,000 of the $150,000+ in private donations raised to assist Fann's recount.


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Friday, March 19, 2021

PRESENT? AMERICA ONLY?: AZ Reps. Biggs and Gosar Among 15 Refusing To Pass Resolution Condemning Military Coup In Burma (READ Resolution)

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs led a group of 14 Republicans opposing a resolution condemning last month's military coup in Burma (also known as Myanmar). Rep. Paul Gosar could not bring himself to vote "no" and instead voted "present".

The final vote was 398-14, and Gosar was the sole abstention.

Gosar (R-CD4) has not yet made public his reasoning, but Biggs (R-CD5) posted a video explanation. Biggs worries that the resolution is setting ourselves up to be make Burma another Afghanistan and becoming "the military police for the entire world."

"The resolutions won't stop the military junta. I condemn the violence, I condemn what's happening there. But we have to understand, passing these resolutions can't be a way to put our foot in the door in Burma. There are other solutions." He did not suggest what those solutions might be.

The text of the resolution, of which Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-CD7) was among the original bipartisan group of co-sponsors, is below.

This resolution came up for a vote as U.S. diplomats are having a tense meeting with Chinese counterparts. It is not clear whether China is backing the Burma coup, but the Communist nation did block a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning it.

So, Biggs and Gosar uncomfortably find themselves on the same side of the issue with China on the same day when conservative media are blasting the Biden Administration's for its meeting with China.



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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

NEW, "BEHAVE LIKE GROWN-UPS": AZ Rep. Andy Biggs Leads Band of Disruptive GOP Reps In House (ARIZONA'S POLITICAL SHORTS)

"Behave like grown-ups." That was the wish made by Democratic Rep. Tom McGovern, in reference to the group of disgruntled Republican Representatives who are intentionally slowing down the process in the Democratic-controlled House. Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R-CD5) is the face of that group.

Specifically, McGovern was wishing that House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy would tell the Biggs-led group to act like grown-ups. Here is the Politico article featuring Biggs and discussing the internal GOP rift between Biggs' group and McCarthy's leadership which boiled over earlier today. It includes Biggs taking a not-so-subtle dig at the McCarthy-led delegation who went to the U.S.-Mexico border this past week.

Sources told Politico that "Biggs responded that some members have been visiting the border for years and didn’t just show up there recently."

For his part, after the meeting, Biggs told reporters that “I didn’t think anything was heated. People are passionate. If we won’t use every procedural tool in the toolbox we have … yes, that frustrates me.” Biggs added that, as a member of the minority party, “You’ve got to get in the way and try to slow things down as much as you possibly can.”

Those slowing techniques include "requesting recorded House votes on non-controversial bills and forcing votes on motions to adjourn."

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

JUST MEET US IN THE MIDDLE: Sens. Sinema and Kelly Part Of Mega-Block Of Bipartisan Centrists Meeting Tomorrow On Minimum Wage, Immigration, More

Arizona makes up an out-sized portion of a mega-group of U.S. Senators from both sides of the aisle who will be discussing the way forward on immigration reform, raising the minimum wage and more.

Politico's Burgess Everett reported today on the group of 20 Senators - fittingly*, 10 Democrats and 10 Republicans. They were unsuccessful in forging a bipartisan consensus on the $1.9T stimulus package enacted into law last week, but will convene tomorrow to discuss their next efforts.

Both Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Mark Kelly (D-AZ) have both staked out this middle ground in their Senate campaigns, and have been facing heat from Arizona partisans from both major parties.

Sinema Communications Director Hannah Hurley confirms that Arizona's senior Senator is part of the group, and that she remains "committed to working across the aisle to get things done for Arizona."

Arizona's Politics has asked our Senators about what they hope to see come out of tomorrow's meeting, and we will update this article as warranted.

* Fittingly, as there is an even 50-50 split in the Senate.

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Thursday, March 11, 2021

$1.9T Relief Package Signed Into Law Today Includes Sinema's Long-Touted Restaurant Rescue Aid ( (ARIZONA'S POLITICAL SHORTS)

4:55pm: $1.9T Relief Package Signed Into Law Today Includes Sinema's Long-Touted Restaurant Rescue Aid

President Joe Biden signed the $1.9T Covid relief package into law today, and it includes the $28.6B in restaurant rescue aid which Arizona Senator Kyrsten Sinema has been fighting for since just after the pandemic began.

Sinema tells Arizona's Politics that “Arizona restaurants fuel jobs across our state, and these employers need support now more than ever. Establishing a restaurant rescue plan will get Arizonans back to work and ensure local Arizona restaurants can keep their doors open as we continue to fight the ongoing pandemic and lay the groundwork for a full economic recovery,”

Sinema worked with the Arizona Restaurant Association in crafting the measure. She and Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) also worked together to make sure it was included in this bill. (Wicker is receiving attention from the media for boasting about this, while trashing the rest of the package and voting against it.)

$5B of the fund is set aside for smaller restaurants/bars/etc, defined as those which had gross receipts of less than $500,000 in 2019.

Here is the text of the Restaurant Rescue Aid portion of the bill.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Arizona Should Prioritize People with Disabilities for COVID Vaccines - Like Other States (GUEST COLUMN)

(This Guest Column is contributed by Kara Karlson, disability advocate and election law attorney.)


Arizona has administered over 2 million COVID-19 vaccines.  This is a huge milestone and great news.  Unfortunately, despite promises from state leaders that the most vulnerable would be prioritized, pleas from multiple disability advocacy organizations have so far fallen on deaf ears.  The failure to vaccinate our most vulnerable should (and can) be rectified immediately.  It is the morally right thing to do, it saves taxpayer dollars, and would be simple to administer. 

 

COVID-19 Disproportionately Affects People with Disabilities

 

COVID-19 poses a disproportionate burden on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  People with disabilities may be more likely to be infected with COVID-19 because many require care from people outside the home, use mass transit, or work jobs without a telework option.  We know that children (0-17 years old) with intellectual and developmental disabilities (“I/DD”) are significantly more likely to be diagnosed with COVID-19 than other children.


 People with intellectual and developmental disabilities are also much more likely to suffer adverse outcomes than people without disabilities.  Evidence early in the pandemic indicated that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities were two to three times more likely to die from COVID-19.  This early finding has been repeatedly confirmed by independent research.  Arizona recently prioritized vaccination for people with Down’s Syndrome, who are ten times more likely to die from COVID-19.  This is a step in the right direction, but it leaves many others in the disabled community unprotected.

 

The increased risk of death is most marked in children with intellectual and developmental disabilities, who are ten times more likely to die from COVID-19 than other children.  The increased likelihood of death for children, who can’t yet get vaccinated, makes it very important that their caretakers are prioritized.  Despite the clear and urgent need to prioritize people with I/DD, they are not currently a priority for state health officials. 

 

Savings to the State

 

In addition to being the right thing to do for people with disabilities, it is also the right thing to do for Arizona’s taxpayers.  Care for people who are hospitalized with COVID-19 is costly, and often includes long-term ICU care.  This care is more expensive if complicated by other health conditions that many people with I/DD have.  On the other hand, COVID-19 vaccines cost between $10 and $30 per dose.  A growing number of other states have recognized the value of prioritizing people with I/DD for COVID-19 vaccines, and Arizona should join their ranks. 

 

Verifying Eligibility

 

A simple way to verify eligibility for vaccination would be to allow people 16 years of age and older (or caregivers to younger DDD members) use their Division of Developmental Disabilities (“DDD”) insurance card to be vaccinated. 


To be a DDD member, a person must be diagnosed with at least one of the following disabilities:  cerebral palsy, epilepsy, autism, or intellectual disabilities.  In addition to the diagnosis, a member must have “significant limitations in daily life skills” such as an inability to communicate, requiring significant help with bathing, and needing daily supervision for their safety.  DDD members are significantly more likely to have multiple comorbidities that make them more susceptible to severe COVID-19. 

 

The state vaccine portal already requires anyone who is registering for an appointment to provide their insurance information.  DDD Members have unique Member IDs, and the group name “AZDDD” on their insurance card immediately identifies them as a DDD Member.  The state portal should recognize DDD Members and allow them to make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination.  Alternatively, the member could show their insurance card at the vaccination site.    

 

Call to Action

 

Under the current vaccination schedule, thousands of Arizona’s most vulnerable people remain susceptible to a virus that could kill them or add health complications to a population already coping with significant, chronic health conditions.  The new age-based approach taken by the state in some ways exacerbates this disparity.  There is no scientifically-based reason a healthy middle-aged person should qualify for vaccination before a person with severe developmental disabilities.  Given the increased risk of hospitalization and death DDD Members face as a result of their disabilities—and the fact that the infrastructure exists to allow the state to reserve these vaccines for those who qualify—there is no excuse to not prioritize DDD members for COVID-19 vaccines. 

 

If you want to help make a difference for people with I/DD, please join the Momvocate community.  We need everyone involved, and contacting their government health and elected officials, to make a difference.  


(Kara is the mother of two vivacious daughters, disability advocate and member of the Arizona Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council, election law attorney, and Arizona Pioneer descendant. Arizona's Politics and Arizona's Law publish guest commentaries from time to time. If you have something on your mind that would be of interest to our readership, please inquire within. Better yet, send an email to "Paul.Weich.AZlaw @ gmail.com".)

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BREAKING: Shooter Can't Butt In As AZ Supreme Court Considers Whether Mesnard Had Legislative Immunity In Discussing Sexual Harassment Investigation

Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter tried to supplement his counsel's arguments to the Arizona Supreme Court, but was rebuffed. The brief interaction occurred after the Justices grilled both sides about whether former House Speaker J.D. Mesnard had immunity while expelling Shooter for sexual harassment charges.

Shooter claims that Mesnard defamed him and lost his legislative immunity when he edited and released the investigative report in 2018, and when he then issued a press release explaining his actions to expel. Mesnard's counsel told the Justices that "he was Speaker and he was doing something that is immediate" and therefore the absolute immunity should apply to both the report and the release.

The one thing that both attorneys seemed to agree on, albeit for different reasons, is that Mesnard did not get special immunity coverage because of his role as Speaker. Several of the Justices pressed the idea, and Justice Bill Montgomery finally told a very hesitant Stephen Tully (representing the Mesnards) that "these aren't gotcha questions".

Philip Byler represented Shooter and tried to emphasize that Mesnard was "making it up (as he goes along) and that's why he should not be having immunity." Justices seemed equally frustrated with many of his responses, and Byler closed by warning the Court that "the facts of this case are pretty ugly - do you want that absolutely immune?"

Justice Ann Timmer repeatedly asked why the press release should not be covered by the Arizona Constitution's immunity provisions, and mused whether Shooter's position would force Arizonans to watching hours of ACTV (Arizona Capitol Television) to know what their lawmakers were doing.

Chief Justice Robert Brutinel thanked the attorneys at the close of arguments. Shooter then started speaking up, although it was not audible on the livestream. Brutinel shut him down, saying we are not hearing from you, Mr. Shooter, this argument is done. (Shooter can be seen moving down to the front row during Tully's arguments, above.)

Shooter is primarily represented by Tom Horne, a former Arizona Attorney General. Tully also presently represents state Senate Republicans in the November election audit wars with Maricopa County.

There was no decision below on whether Mesnard actually defamed Shooter in his characterization of the report. This appeal is strictly on the immunity issue. The decision will be made by five of Arizona's seven Justices, as both Andrew Gould and James Beene did not participate.



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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

NEW: GOP Election Audit Wars Continue, Maricopa Supervisors Hold Emergency Meeting After GOP Lawmakers Ask Them To KEEP Ballots At County Facility... For Now

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors held another emergency meeting today on the November Election Subpoena Wars, after being surprised by a request from State Senate Republicans to HOLD ON TO the millions of ballots ready to be turned over.

According to attorneys for the GOP Senators, the request is until "suitable arrangements for storing the materials elsewhere" can be made, and would not be "a frustration of the Senate". However, given the statutory security requirements for ballots, this uncertainty was not welcome news to the County.

Maricopa Communications Director Fields Moseley told Arizona's Politics: 
"The subpoena commands the Board produce documents and equipment and deliver them to 1700 W. Washington.  There has never been a discussion or agreement to conduct another audit on Maricopa County property and that is not what the subpoena compels. Maricopa County invited legislative leaders to participate in the two forensic audits conducted this year.  The chairman also invited them to tour the facility, view the equipment, and learn more about the processes during the 2020 election season.  The Board has serious concerns about allowing anyone other than Election Department and County Recorder staff into sensitive areas during the current Goodyear election and other municipal elections scheduled during 2021."

The Supervisors did not take any formal action after the 1 1/2 hour emergency meeting (in Executive Session, of course), but likely discussed with their attorneys on how to proceed. (Both the County and the Senate Republicans are represented by outside, private counsel.)


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Saturday, February 27, 2021

WATCH: Gosar Speaks Between White Nationalists And Redefines "Climate Crisis" To Be About "Angry, Violent Communists" Favoring Aliens

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar not only did not "debate" the attendees at the White Nationalist gathering in Florida known as AFPAC on Friday, he whipped them into a froth before the final speaker of the evening.

Gosar has received criticism for speaking to the America First Political Action Conference before going to the slightly more mainstream CPAC on Saturday. The Arizona Representative justified it to the Washington Post by saying that "it's always about the debate."

However, Gosar's 15-minute speech did not challenge any aspect of the recurring theme that "White people" and "our country" was in danger from immigration. Rather, he repeatedly fed the audience red meat.

In talking about the need to resume building a U.S./Mexico border wall, Gosar received loud cheers for saying "a nation without a people is not a nation."

However, one climactic part of his speech was when he declared:
"We have a climate crisis. but it is not about the moon and the oceans. We have a climate crisis of intolerance. a climate crisis of communists who suppress free speech, suppress our votes, suppress our citizens in favor of aliens and undermine our republic. That is the climate crisis. It is a climate of angry, violent communism."
He claimed that the Presidency was "usurped" by the forces that would destroy the country, and that "the China virus was weaponized against President Trump."

"But men don't gripe about fairness.... I will not be silent.... "America First" is inevitable and the Republican Party must be prepared to continue President Trump's agenda - "America First".

Gosar also went out of his way to (twice) praise former Congressman Steve King moments after King had urged the audience to "restore our country...with our babies."

As detailed in Ron Hansen's article in the Arizona Republic, Gosar used the ongoing pandemic as the basis for voting by proxy on Friday in the House of Representatives as the newest Covid relief package was debated and passed; he had previously blasted Democrats for changing the proxy rules last year in light of the pandemic.



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COMING UP AT CPAC: Rep. Biggs With Boebert, Loesch On 2nd Amendment

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs - a late add to the CPAC list of speakers - will be on a loaded panel later this morning, and you can watch it live.

Biggs (R-CD5) will speak about well-regulated militias and the 2nd Amendment on a panel moderated by NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch. He will be joined by the newest #2A star, freshmen Representative Lauren Boebert (R-CO) and former Georgia lawmaker Vernon Jones.

The panel begins at 11:50am Arizona Time, and can be viewed here.

Biggs was added to the speakers list last week, at about the same time that former President Donald Trump joined the conference in Orlando.

Earlier this morning, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar (R-CD4) participated in a panel on "The Devaluing of American Citizenship".


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Friday, January 29, 2021

ELECTION AUDIT WARS CONTINUE: County Supervisors Schedule Friday Meeting To Discuss Next Steps

UPDATE, 2/4/21, 11a.m.: ELECTION AUDIT WARS CONTINUE: County Supervisors Schedule Friday Meeting To Discuss Next Steps

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will meet Friday morning to discuss and possibly take action on the ongoing election audit wars with fellow Republicans in the State Senate. They will go into Executive Session at 10am to discuss the battle plan before coming out into public session to perhaps take official action.


State Senate Republicans introduced a resolution yesterday to hold the 5 members of the Board of Supervisors in contempt - which could result in arrest - for failing to comply with the most recent subpoena regarding election information/software/hardware. They have not resumed pursuing the matter in the existing Superior Court case about whether the County should - or, can - turn over the materials


Original Article, 1/29, 2:30pm: ELECTION AUDIT WARS CONTINUE: State Senate, Maricopa County Both Moving Forward With Audits; Unclear What Senators Can Audit On Their Own
The State Senate's GOP leadership says that it has hired a firm to start its own forensic audit. However, details such as the identity of the firm, the scope of the audit, and even what data/equipment/etc is available to be audited remain unclear.

In Maricopa County's responsive statement this afternoon (below), it is clear that some information that had been subpoenaed has been turned over. County Communications Director Fields Moseley tells Arizona's Politics/Arizona's Law that a thumb drive full of stuff was provided a couple of weeks ago, but that it did not contain any of the contested items - private data, ballots, passwords, security codes, etc.

"We continue operating in good faith" to negotiate some agreement with Senate President Karen Fann's representatives, said Moseley.

Earlier this week, the County Board of Supervisors approved two separate audits in an effort to build confidence in the elections systems. Those will take place over the next two weeks. The easy-to-understand framework of those audits is posted below.

The court battle regarding the legislators' subpoenas remains in limbo as the parties continue to negotiate.



XXX


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Thursday, January 28, 2021

UPDATE: Arizona's "QAnon Shaman" Transferred To New Jail That Can (and, Will) Meet His Organic Dietary Needs

UPDATE, 2/4/21, 1:40pm: 

Jacob Chansley has been transferred from D.C. jail to a facility in Virginia, due to his organic dietary needs. The move was announced by Judge Lamberth in a one-paragraph Memorandum this afternoon. 

"(T)he D.C. Department of Corrections has requested that defendant be removed from their facility immediately because they are unable to comply with the Court's February 3, 2021 Order. Defendant has been transported by the U.S. Marshals to the Alexandria Detention Center. The Sheriff there has advised the U.S. Marshal that the Alexandria Detention Center is able and willing to accommodate defendant's dietary requests."

This is now the third detention center for Mr. Chansley since being arrested by the FBI following the January 6 insurrection. Chansley indicates that his organic requests were met while initially behind bars in Arizona.

Here is yesterday's court order deciding that Chansley should receive food designated as "organic":

Update, 1/29/21, 2:00pmUPDATE: Arizona's "QAnon Shaman" Arraigned Today On Jan. 6 Insurrection Charges, Will Remain In Custody Pending March 5 Status Conference

 Chansley was arraigned today, and will remain behind bars. Next status conference scheduled for March 5. (Speedy Trial clock tolled 'til then.)

Original Article, 1/28/21, 2:30pm: "Arizona's "QAnon Shaman" Faces Arraignment Tomorrow On Jan. 6 Insurrection Charges; READ Detention Order"

Arizona's self-described "QAnon Shaman" will be arraigned in federal court tomorrow on the six charges for his activities at the January 6 violent takeover of the U.S. Capitol.

Saul Loeb (AFP)

Jacob Chansley (aka Jake Angeli) will appear at 2:30 (EST) for his arraignment, per a minute entry issued this afternoon. Chansley has been in custody since his arrest on January 9.

As reported in the Arizona Republic, Chansley - in his distinctive outfit and carrying a flag-strewn spear - left a threatening note for then Vice President Mike Pence. According to the detention order (below), he had also advocated on Twitter that "traitors within the United States government" should be identified and hanged.

Prosecutors had also convinced the U.S. Magistrate in Arizona to keep him in custody because he "had the motivations and capabilities to participate in similar unlawful acts." (aka lack of remorse).

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Tuesday, January 26, 2021

BREAKING: Maricopa County Supervisors To Vote On Independent Audit Of Dominion Election Equipment

The Maricopa Board of Supervisors will discuss and vote tomorrow on a proposal to conduct an independent audit of Dominion election hardware and software used in November's election. It appears that this is unlikely to be part of an agreement with Republican lawmakers who have subpoenaed far more information from the County to conduct their own audit.

The five-member Board - dominated by four Republicans - will consider a measure authorizing the Elections Department "to take the necessary steps to conduct an audit or audits of the Dominion Voting Systems equipment and software." It further would authorize finding auditors certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

Board Chair Jack Sellers says this vote is "to err on the side of transparency", and is "not about" the voters who will never be satisfied by any assurances that the election was fairly decided.

The County and State Senate President Karen Fann have been locked in a court battle since the lawmakers served subpoenas on the County last month for all of the hardware, software and many of the ballots and envelopes from the election. Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump in Maricopa County, and it has been the subject of much litigation since.





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Thursday, January 14, 2021

BREAKING: Rep. Biggs' Defamation Threat Against Former Opponent BOMBED By Greene's Counsel (READ Pithy Lawyer Letter)

When faced with an unthreatening letter from an attorney claiming you defamed a Congressman at the heart of last Wednesday's mob violence at the U.S. Capitol, a pithy retort referencing the downfall of the Third Reich may be in order.

Counsel for Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R-CD "the fighting Fifth") sent Democrat Joan Greene a letter referencing several of her tweets and posts after the Electoral College votes were done being counted by Congress.

When Greene noted the intimidation attempt on Twitter Monday, Chandler attorney Tom Ryan jumped at the opportunity to respond to a colleague he knows well (Kory Langhofer). He did not mince words.

"I could set forth a point-by-point refutation of your letter, but I see it as not helpful. Instead, I provide you with one of my favorite stories of WWII. On December 22, 1944, U.S. Brig. Gen. Anthony C. McCauliffe and the troops of the 101st Airborne Div. were near Bastogne, France*. A German Panzer division believed it had surrounded the Americans. The Germans sent a letter to Gen. McCauliffe demanding the Americans surrender. Gen. McCauliffe sent back a simple response:

To the German Commander,
N U T S !
The American Commander

I cannot improve upon Gen. McCauliffe's response and provide the same to you." 

No, there will not be a defamation suit.

Tom Ryan Ltr to Kory Langhofer by arizonaspolitics on Scribd

*Ryan tells Arizona's Politics he has one regret about the letter. "Bastogne is in Belgium, not France."

Disclosure: I have provided legal representation to Greene.


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BREAKING: Judge Refuses To Issue Injunction Stopping "Invest In Ed" Surcharge From Going Into Effect, Knocks Down Major Argument Against It

In an interim victory for the proponents of Prop. 208 ("Invest In Ed"), Superior Court Judge John Hannah refused to slap an expedited preliminary injunction against the income tax surcharge that will help fund Arizona schools.

Republican leaders of the both the State House and Senate have teamed up with the Arizona Free Enterprise Club and other opponents of the measure passed by voters in November to sue the state to overturn it. They had asked for an accelerated ruling on their preliminary injunction request because the Legislature was about to begin a new session and would have to consider a new budget.

MORE DETAILS - and the Judge's OPINION - can be found at Arizona's Law (our sister site)!


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Wednesday, January 13, 2021

BREAKING: Arizona, Impeachment - State's Delegation Votes Party Line As 10 Republicans Help Impeach, 232-197

(This is a developing story. Please check back for videos, votes, etc.)

Arizona's delegation votes party line on impeaching Donald Trump for his role in last week's mob violence. 

10 Republicans did cross the aisle to indict the President, and the final vote is 232-197.

Arizona Rep. Andy Biggs (R-CD5) was the first of Arizona's delegation to speak on the floor during today's historic impeachment debate. He expressed his "morbid curiosity" (transcript below)

(Transcript, Biggs: IT IS WITH A MORBID CURIOSITY THAT I WATCHED THE BEAST ATTEMPT TO DEVOUR PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP AGAIN. THE CRAVING TO CRUSH PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS NEVER BEEN SATISFIED. NOT THROUGH INVESTIGATIONS, NOT THROUGH FALSE ALLEGATIONS, AND NOT EVEN THROUGH AN IMPEACHMENT THAT WAS WHOLLY WITHOUT MERIT. AND THE TIMING OF THIS IMPEACHMENT MAKES LITTLE SENSE. YOUR CANDIDATE, YOUR CANDIDATE WILL TAKE OFFICE IN A FEW HOURS AND PRESIDENT TRUMP WILL RELINQUISH THE LEVERS OF POWER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN. BUT YOUR CRAVING WAS NEVER A BIDEN VICTORY, NOR WAS IT EVEN A TRUMP DEFEAT. YOU BELIEVE THAT YOUR HUNGER WILL BE FINALLY SATIATED BY IMPEACHING THIS PRESIDENT WITHOUT COMPLETION OF HIS FULL TERM OF OFFICE. YOU DON'T MERELY SEEK VICTORY, BUT YOU SEEK OBLITERATION OF YOUR INDEMNIFY SILLS. THE THIRST FOR TRUMP'S DESTRUCTION WILL NOT BE SLAKED, HOWEVER, EVEN IF YOU'RE SUCCESSFUL TODAY AND WERE THE SENATE TO CONVICT PRESIDENT TRUMP. YOURS WILL BE A PURIC VICTORY, FOR INSTEAD OF STOPPING THE TRUMP TRAIN, HIS MOVEMENT WILL GROW STRONGER FOR YOU WILL HAVE MADE HIM A MARTYR. SURELY YOU'RE AWARE OF THIS AND THAT IS WHY YOUR ALLIES IN THE MEDIA SEEK TO SENSOR CONSERVATIVE VOICES. YOUR CHUMS THAT SIT ON THE BOARDS OF CORPORATE AMERICA, YES, THE SAME COMPANIES THAT THE LEFT VILIFIES, PROMISE TO STARVE REPUBLICANS FROM RECEIVING THEIR P.A.C. DONATIONS. BUT I BET THE GROUNDSWELL OF SUPPORT FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP AND HIS POLICIES WILL NOT GO AWAY. YOU SEE, THE MOVEMENT HE STARTED IS BASED ON BUILDING AN INCREDIBLY ROBUST ECONOMY, ON A FOUNDATION OF LOWER TAXES AND FEWER REGULATIONS THAT HAS THE WONDERFUL EFFECT OF PUTTING MORE PEOPLE TO WORK THAN EVER. IT IS BUILT UPON A STRONG MILITARY THAT IS EXTRICATED FROM ENDLESS WARS, BORDER SECURITY, AMERICA-FIRST TRADE AGREEMENTS, MIDEAST PEACE AND STABILITY. THOSE ARE THE THINGS THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT. YOUR FOUR-YEAR APPETITE WILL BE TEMPORARILY ASSUAGED. WHILE YOU WILL NO DOUBT CONTINUE TO CHASE AFTER LEADERS OF THIS MOVEMENT. BUT YOUR APPETITE WILL BE UNFULFILLED. I URGE YOU, PLEASE DO NOT, I'M MIXING METAPHORS HERE, ATTEMPT TO DOUSE THE REMAINING EMBERS OF THIS MOVEMENT WITH GASOLINE. NO ONE WANTS THAT. I URGE YOU PLEASE TO RECONSIDER THE RECKLESS ACTION IN WHICH YOU ENGAGE TODAY.)

Here is Rep. Debbie Lesko (R-CD8), saying that this impeachment is "dangerous":

(Transcript, Lesko: I RISE IN OPPOSITION TO THE RESOLUTION, AT A TIME WHEN OUR COUNTRY NEEDS UNITY IT IS CONCERNING THAT MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES HAVE BEGUN IMPEACHMENT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST A PRESIDENT WHO HAS SEVEN DAYS LEFT IN OFFICE. ALL LEGAL CHALLENGES HAVE BEEN EXHAUSTED. CONGRESS HAS CERTIFIED ELECTORS OVER OBJECTIONS AND JOE BIDEN WILL BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES. PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS INDICATED HE WILL PEACEFULLY TRANSFER TO PRESIDENT-ELECT BIDEN NEXT WEEK. SO WHY PURSUE IMPEACHMENT JUST ONE WEEK BEFORE HE LEAVES OFFICE? I HAVE HEARD MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE SAY THEY HAVE TO IMPEACH THE PRESIDENT BECAUSE HE IS TOO DANGEROUS TO STAY IN POWER YET THEY KNOW THAT IT IS IMPOSSIBLE FOR THE SENATE TO REMOVE HIM BEFORE HIS TERM EXPIRES. SO WHAT IS THE POINT? THIS MOVES AND SETS A DANGEROUS PRECEDENT FOR OUR NATION. IF CONGRESS IS GOING TO IMPEACH A PRESIDENT, IT MUST NOT ONLY BE DONE AFTER INTENSE DEBATE AND DELIBERATION, NOT RUSHED THROUGH AT THE 11TH HOUR TO MAKE A POLITICAL POINT. THIS IMPEACHMENT ATTEMPT IS DANGEROUS FOR OUR COUNTRY AND HAS FAR REACHING IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR FUTURE. WITH THAT, I YIELD BACK.)

Finally, here is Democrat Greg Stanton (D-CD9), saying "we can't move forward without accountability":



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