Arizona Senate passes bill strengthening its investigative powers amid Maricopa County vote audit dispute

By The Epoch Times

The Arizona Senate passed a bill Thursday that would grant the Arizona legislature the authority to subpoena election records like ballots and tabulating equipment, and ignore any laws to the contrary.

The bill amends a portion of the Arizona statutes such that county election equipment, systems and records, and other information that is under the control of county personnel “may not be deemed privileged information, confidential information, or other information protected from disclosure.” It also subjects such records to a subpoena and stipulates that they “must be produced” and the legislature’s authority to conduct related probes “may not be infringed by any other law.”

The rule change is to be retroactive as of Dec. 31, 2019, meaning it would apply to records around the November election.

State Sen. Warren Petersen, a Republican, introduced the bill amid a battle between Republican Senate leaders and Maricopa County officials over the attempt by GOP senators to audit the 2020 election.

Republican lawmakers in the Arizona Senate have issued subpoenas to Maricopa County demanding that it turn over a range of election records, calling for a scanned ballot audit and a forensic audit of ballot tabulation equipment and software. But the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted against complying with the subpoenas, instead seeking judgment from a court about whether they have to comply. Arizona senators filed a countersuit, asking the court to enforce the subpoenas, which was subsequently dismissed.

County officials alleged the subpoenas were “far in excess” of the state legislature’s power. “The subpoenas are unlawful,” the county said in its lawsuit. A Maricopa County Superior Court judge will hear arguments in the case next week and is expected to rule on the matter in short order, according to the Arizona Mirror.

Arizona’s attorney general has also weighed in on the case, saying that the state legislature has the authority to issue subpoenas regarding the administration of elections.

“The Arizona Legislature has broad power to issue subpoenas regarding election administration in connection with the 2020 general election, both to review how the county discharged its duties during that election and to craft future election legislation. Any argument by the county otherwise should fail,” Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a Republican, said in a court filing.

The passage of Senate Bill 1408 on Thursday gives further impetus to Republican senators’ efforts and their subpoenas, which were spurred by claims of irregularities in the November election.

But Sen. J.D. Mesnard, a Republican, told the Arizona Mirror that the bill is less about continuing to litigate the November election as it is about ensuring that the legislature’s investigative authority is clarified and protected to allow a greater impact on election integrity in the future.

“This is a much broader statement about the legislature and our subpoena powers, because as of late, it seems those powers are not respected,” Mesnard told the outlet. “Our subpoenas are supposed to matter. This is making that very clear.”

“Even if you set aside this election, if something nefarious happens in the future, regardless of whether you believe it happened now, and suddenly you wanted to investigate it, you would find yourself in the very same situation,” he added.

Arizona State Sen. Martin Quezada, a Democrat, took aim at the bill, saying it serves to spread disinformation about the election.

“The more we continue down this path, we continue to spread the ‘Big Lie’ that something was wrong with our elections. The more we continue to go after the county board of supervisors and try to subpoena all this information … we are furthering and perpetuating this lie,” Quezada told the Arizona Mirror.

Meanwhile, Maricopa County officials said in late January that they will carry out a comprehensive forensic audit of its voting systems to allay concerns raised by some constituents about the integrity of the November 2020 election.

The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at a Jan. 27 meeting to hire two independent companies to conduct an audit that will review whether voting machines counted votes correctly, and whether they were tampered with or hacked in any way.

The Republican-dominated board defended the accuracy of the county’s election results, while expressing hope that a comprehensive equipment and software audit would dispel concerns that the results were inaccurate.

“Maricopa County elections were administered with integrity throughout 2020. That’s a fact. Multiple audits to date have proved as much, and multiple court rulings have concurred,” Chairman Jack Sellers said in a statement.

“It’s also true that a significant number of voters want the additional assurance that a full forensic audit of tabulation equipment might bring, especially given all the misinformation that spread following the November 3 election,” Sellers said.

Senate Bill 1408 now heads to the Arizona state House for reconciliation, after which it would head to the desk of Gov. Doug Ducey for a possible signature.

Vote NO On Proposition 208

Legislative Council reports that Proposition 208 will impose a 3.5 percent surcharge on taxable income over $250,000 for a single person or a married person filing jointly, on anyone earning $500,000 as a married couple or single person who is the head of a household. This will be added to the current 4.5 percent tax rate to come up with an 8 percent tax rate. Fifty percent of the tax revenue generated would go to education for youths and classroom support personnel hiring and base salary increases, 25 percent goes to education grants, 10 percent to grants for mentoring and retaining new classroom teachers and 12 percent to train high school students for career training. Also, an Arizona Teachers Academy would get 3 percent to incentivize college students to commit to teaching school in Arizona.

Among the risks of voters passing Prop 208 are these:

  • It would be the largest permanent tax increase in Arizona history and move the state up to fifth nationally for highest tax rate;
  • It would unfairly punish small businesses;
  • It will not inject additional funds into Arizona classrooms’
  • There will be no accountability;
  • There will be no education reform;
  • It will reverse the state’s economic progress and will not help K-12 education in the long run;
  • It is largely funded by out-of-state interest groups;
  • It doubles the income tax on tens of thousands of Arizona families;
  • It is opposed by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and the Arizona Manufacturers Council;
  • It does not provide funding for colleges and community colleges;
  • The revenues generated will go almost entirely to salaries;
  • Education funding should be shared by all Arizonans, not unfairly on only some citizens who are being punished for job and wealth creation;
  • 208 is favored by the radical National Education Association, which is more concerned about politics than educating our children;
  • It is an ill-advised and poorly written proposition full of loop-holes on the money will be handled;
  • It makes future pay raises for teachers unlikely;
  • It will discourage economic growth in Arizona;
  • It is neither sustainable nor a wise path for Arizona. Imposing an uncompetitive personal income tax on higher wage-earners and hamper the innovative spirit of the state’s economic dynamism and hurt Arizona’s potential for attracting employers and job creators, who will simply take their business to states with a more friendly business climate. In other words, Prop 208 will make Arizona more like Califronia–a state losing businesses due to excessive taxes.

 

Trevor Loudon To Speak To Grassroots Tea Party Activists of AZ Sept. 30

Grassroots Tea Party Activists of AZ grtp@grassrootsteapartyactivists.com will meet with international known Trevor Loudon of New Zealand at 6:30 pm., on Wed., Sept 30. Loudon latest book is The Enemy Within the Church. He has authored Enemy Within and The Enemy Within Part 2 and made DVDs of both. GRTP meets at 17224 N. 43rd Ave Ste 102, Glendale Az. Limited seating. Mask free zone. Wearing masks is acceptable.

“The Enemies Within” is designed to show American voters exactly how modern communism works and how it impacts on your life, every single day. Just how do the communists win big on things like Obamacare and immigration “reform,” which go completely against the wishes of the American people?

Trevor Loudon’s research has been cited by Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, countless articles, blog posts and in books by well known authors Paul Kengor, Aaron Klein and Jerome Corsi. He has given countless radio interviews and addressed audiences in more than 30 states in his four tours of the United States.

Trevor Loudon speaks on internal subversion, communism and socialism, national security, culture and constitutional conservatism.Loudon also released a new book, White House Reds, in February.

Arizona Congressmen Support Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020

Congresswoman Debbie Lesko and Congressman Paul Gosar supported Jim Jordan (R-OH), in the introduction of the Holding Rioters Accountable Act of 2020 to hold the rioters responsible for destruction for their actions and ensure local officials do not turn a blind eye to the chaos in our cities. “We have laws in our country for a reason and if cities and states choose not to uphold them, they should not be rewarded with money from federal grants,” said Lesko following the introduction of the bill. “I hope this bill will incentivize cities and states to follow the law and hold rioters accountable. There is no place in our nation for this lawlessness.” The bill grants the attorney general the authority to withhold up to 10 percent of Department of Justice (DOJ) grants from cities and states where prosecutors are failing to prosecute crimes arising from riots and other violent protests. The DOJ is responsible for determining prosecutorial misconduct for the purposes of implementing this legislation. “Chaos and violence have no place in American cities,” said Jordan. “It’s time for Democrats to denounce violent left-wing extremism , reject efforts to defund the police, and hold anarchists and criminals accountable for their lawlessness.” Lesko is a Ranking Member of the House Committee on the Judiciary.

You can bet the lawless Democrats in the House will defeat this. Remember that in November.

Maricopa County Republicans Vote To Urge Jeff Flake To Join Democrats

After waiting for two weeks for the Maricopa  County Republican Committee Chairwoman  to release the votes on the “Flake Resolution”, Activist Dan Schultz has compiled a list of how MCRC EGC members voted on  Joe Neglia’s “Flake Resolution” at the Sept 1 Zoom meeting. See full resolution 8-31-20 Briefs . The Jeff Flake Resolution encourages Flake to join a political party more in line with his actions: the Democratic Party. The resolution included a Voter Registration Form for his convenience. The vote was 15 in favor, and 12 against. Schultz attended the Zoom meeting and recorded the following votes.  On Sept 6, he emailed the Secretary Colleen Lombard and Chairman Rae Chornenky, asking for the “official” tally of these votes.  Colleen responded that she had to forward the request to the Chairman.  Schultz questioned what “policy” she was referring, and copied the Chairman.  He has not received a response. Responding to the grassroots PCs and Briefs reader requests, Schultz writes, “Here are those members of the Maricopa County Republican Committee Executive Guidance Committee (consisting of the then 10 elected officers and members-at-large and the 20 elected legislative district committee chairmen) who voted against Joe Neglia’s Jeff Flake Resolution. Schultz notes “(All precinct committeemen are members of the Maricopa County Republican Committee – they are the committee; the elected EGC members are to serve the precinct committeemen as their elected representatives.  All the precinct committeemen and elected officers are volunteers, and I sincerely thank, and am grateful to, all who have stepped up, now or in the past, to serve as officers knowing how much extra time and effort the officers put in to carry out their duties.).  See  9-14-20 Briefs. Also see reader request Neglia 9-2-20 Briefs, Briefs 9-4-20 Briefs, April Riggins and Sara Dunsford 9-4-20 Briefs, Lyle Tuttle, Sara Dunsford: 9-6-20 Briefs, Barbra Medal 9-8-20 Briefs

Mark Kelly is NOT A Leader

Eli: “I’m a former Navy Seal. When 9/11 happened, I dropped out of school and I went and joined the Navy. 

I went to Seal Team 3, went to Fallujah in 2010, and I’ve served with so many guys that put their life on the line for freedom.

What I see going on in this country today just breaks my heart.

 If we are going to get this country back on track, our leaders need to quit playing it safe. They’re going to have to actually lead, and I don’t see guys like Mark Kelly doing that. He’s gone quiet because he’s a part of this nonsense.

When I look at what he supports, it’s not courageous at all and that bothers me to see other veterans going along with the mob and destroying this country.  

Mark is looking out for himself.

When things get tough, you want people who have walked through a storm. Who have been forged in fire.

I love supporting Martha McSally because she’s courageous. She broke barriers. We should all go out and support the candidate who’s going to be a fighter when times are tough.”

Vote Against Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bruce Cohen

Very seldom does anyone get an opportunity to vote on the retention of judges with any personal experience or knowledge. I have had two such experiences that moved me to strongly discourage voters from retaining Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Bruce Cohen.

In the first example, Judge Cohen allowed a deadbeat dad to lie through his teeth in his court room. As a result, children were denied medical insurance from the judge refusing to make this man stand up and honor his responsibilities. It was an appalling miscarriage of justice, and this judge had no problem allowing it.

In the second example, I was among the juror pool for a criminal trial in Judge Cohen’s court room. When we were all assembled in the court room, Judge Cohen went on a long rambling dialogue about the weather and he told us that he gets his best jokes from his bailiff.

There is no doubt in my mind that Judge Cohen is a nice, pleasant man. However, he is not fit to serve as a judge. It was clear to me that he’s not willing to do the hard work of meting out justice, not willing to roll up his sleeves and focus on the seriousness at hand and that he did not grasp the gravity of the circumstances that needed to be decided by a serious, qualified judge. Being a judge carries responsibilities and qualities that Judge Cohen did not posse. He was just along for the ride, and he would be better suited for another line of work.

Please vote against the retention of Judge Bruce Cohen, and please forward this recommendation to others as well. Thank you.