Friday, December 9, 2016

Sessions’ first move at DOJ should be to clear Rep. Rick Renzi

Once Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is confirmed as attorney general, he must work with Congress to clean up the corruption within the Department of Justice. One of the first cases he should review is the prosecution of former Arizona Congressman Rick Renzi.

As a former assistant attorney general for the state of Arizona and a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, I have never seen a more egregious political prosecution as well as corrupt electioneering by a foreign interest than the DOJ’s crusade against Renzi.

Some may remember that Renzi was convicted in a split verdict on some corruption counts involving two proposed federal land exchanges. What has been found since casts grave doubt on the legitimacy of the investigation, prosecution, and conviction.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

New AG Sessions and Congress Must Investigate DOJ Corruption in the Case of Rep. Rick Renzi

Now that Donald Trump has selected Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) as his likely incoming Attorney General, there is no doubt Sessions —  an ethical, proactive conservative —  will fight to clean up years of mounting corruption in the Department of Justice under the Obama administration, which has destroyed its reputation. The DOJ has become so politicized that few elected officials feel safe anymore. As attorney Harvey Silverglate wrote in his book, Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, the average American unknowingly commits three felonies a day because of the growing number of vague laws on the books and the desire for prosecutors to get their trophies.
One of the first steps Sessions must take is to end the DOJ’s political case against former Congressman Rick Renzi, and discipline the corrupt prosecutor and FBI agent. As a former Assistant Attorney General for the state of Arizona and a former prosecutor with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, I first began investigating this case almost two years ago, and by far it is the worst I have encountered of a politically targeted official.
Back when Renzi was starting his first congressional term in 2002, Resolution Copper Company —  a joint venture controlled by foreign mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton — began lobbying Congress for the rights to mine on federal lands inside Renzi’s congressional district which were sacred to the Apache tribe.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Sign the petition to impeach corrupt AZ Bar disciplinary judge William O'Neil

Petitioning State Supreme Court of Arizona and 7 others


Star Moffatt, Co-Owner Moffatt Law Firm Lancaster, CA

Sunday, November 13, 2016

VIDEO: DES Director Tim Jeffries instills a caring atmosphere at agency, watch his speech to employees

He may have been attacked numerous times by the sleazy Phoenix New Times, which targets Christian conservatives relentlessly who dare to actively challenge wrongdoing, but that's not stopping DES Director Tim Jeffries from trying to create the most good at the agency. He's cleaned out 475 of the worst employees, making it a much more pleasant place to work for everyone else. Instead of being credited for reducing a bloated government agency, he was viciously attacked by the New Times, which is now targeting him. Watch this video for yourself to see what Tim is like, as he gives a talk to DES employees. In contrast to the foul things written about him, you will see he actually is the best type of director, because he legitimately cares about each and every employee as if they are family. To find this atmosphere at what usually has the reputation of being a "cold, welfare agency" is refreshing and expect to see metrics improve in the near future.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

The article the Arizona Bar doesn't want you to see - they got it removed from Forbes after two hours!

If you follow this website, you know about the depths of corruption within the Arizona State Bar. It's gotten so bad that one of the former members of the Bar's Board of Governors wrote an op-ed for Forbes recently exposing it. Well, within a couple hours after the article was posted here on the Forbes site, it was removed! (note the title is still in the url - proof it was there) When the author inquired about it, he discovered that the Bar had complained to Forbes - on frankly bogus pretenses. Well, that's OK, we'll just post it here for everyone in Arizona to read. And perhaps re-post it on other sites, and re-post it again and again. We've learned that the Arizona Bar disciplinary judge William O'Neil "is a member of the Barnett family, which is basically a one family crime syndicate that everyone in Pinal County knows." While throwing the book at innocent conservative Republican attorneys, disbarring many of them, he hired a bailiff who had seven felony convictions, and after another buddy put through a crooked short sale for him to benefit O'Neil's mother-in-law, O'Neil rewarded him by letting him continue to practice law in prison after killing a woman in a DUI! (click here) So we're basically up against organized crime, but there are now enough of us fighting back, through legislative reform and media exposure, that they can't keep us silent any longer through threats and squelching free speech.

 Arizona's Legal Ethics, Public Corruption And Lawyer Discipline' Sui Generis' Or A National Pattern?
Mr. Levine was a member of the Arizona Bar’s Board of Governors from 2011 to 2013.

Do Arizona lawyers really have lower ethical standards than lawyers in New York, Illinois, California and other states? Or is Arizona merely unique and not representative of the practice of law elsewhere? 

Undeniably, our nation’s large law firms play a valuable role in our legal system by handling complex legal matters such as multinational corporate business transactions, IPO offerings, corporate mergers and acquisitions, patents and copyrights, international law, intellectual property rights, etc. However, due to the scope and magnitude of their work, large law firms also have the capacity to cause enormous harm when engaged in illegal or unethical conduct, either on their own behalf, or at the direction of unscrupulous clients.

Curiously, there are far more sole practitioners and smallfirm lawyers who become the subject of disciplinary proceedings than bigfirm lawyers. In addition to the possibility that bigfirm Capital Flows Contributor Guest commentary curated by Forbes Opinion. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. lawyers may not be reporting unethical conduct among their own, one might also conclude that more sole practitioners and smallfirm lawyers receive discipline for alleged ethical violations than bigfirm lawyers because the ethical standards of bigfirm lawyers may be higher than that of sole practitioners or smallfirm lawyers. In one sense, this may be true because the large law firms generally do a better job of overseeing ethics among associates and frequently have “inhouse” ethics counsel who “nip problems in the bud” before they become bar complaints. Also the big law firms carry malpractice insurance and are quicker to “lawyer up” to defend and litigate against complaints, while many sole practitioners and smallfirm lawyers may not carry such insurance.

Also, a deeper exploration of this issue suggests that when firmwide unethical conduct occurs in big law firms, it occurs as a matter of law firm policy and because of this may be of such enormous magnitude that for political, economic, social or other reasons, it has been totally ignored by the lawyer regulation system of the various state bar associations.

The role of large firm lawyerlobbyists, raising substantial sums of money for members of state legislatures on behalf of clients seeking to influence a particular legislative agenda should be a matter of some ethical concern to the profession, not only in Arizona, but everywhere. In Arizona, we have also been occasionally treated to the spectacle of large law firms carrying on legislative lobbying activities for clients while their partners are, at the same time, active members of the legislative body they are seeking to influence.

Large firms’ “captive client” relationships

Over a number of years, two of Arizona’s largest law firms have gradually taken over control of the state’s two largest public utilities by placing their firm members, former firm members and relatives on their governing boards and executive offices, while at the same time each serving as their law firms. It is also a matter of some irony that while these law firms were taking control of their public utility clients, members of one of these law firms served for many years as the State Bar’s Chief Ethics Counsel.

When a law firm controls a public utility’s governing board and executive offices, this results in the creation of a “captive client” who is powerless to make independent decisions concerning what law firm should represent them, what legal services they require and, most importantly for the utility’s ratepayers, the size of the law firm’s legal bills. Not only is this an egregious ethical violation, but there is concern that excessive legal fees paid to these law firms over the many years that these arrangements have existed may have amounted to billions of dollars. If these practices did not exist, the cost of water and electricity would be considerably less for consumers than they are now. Are these practices limited only to Arizona or are the financial incentives for large law firms to impose their control over our public utilities so great that these practices exist everywhere?

Another unethical scheme that has long existed in Arizona that has gone unchallenged and, may also be ignored in other states, has been the practice of large law firms contributing bundled campaign contributions from firm members, relatives and friends to political candidates who, when elected, control government agencies at the state, county and municipal levels. These contributing law firms are then generously rewarded by successful candidates through the referral of all of their agency’s outside legal business to the law firm. Such “pay to play” schemes also have many of the earmarks of a “captive client” relationship between the contributing law firm and the government agency, because the head of the government agency who has received gifts of campaign money is less likely to look out for the interests of taxpaying citizens.

Also, of concern are large law firms who have profited in real estate transactions from information supplied to them by firm members serving on committees entrusted by the public to select sites for county and municipal development projects. In addition, during the Arizona Savings & Loan scandal of the 1980s, an investigation revealed that members of large law firms acted as intermediate “purchasers and sellers” of their clients’ real estate in order to fraudulently boost the value of such land so that their developer clients could obtain higher sale prices and larger loans based on these artificially inflated values. 

Large firms’ relationship to the bar

One would think that the intentional involvement in such egregious conflicts of interest would result in severe condemnation and drastic disciplinary sanctions, but the State Bar of Arizona has been strangely silent on such issues. It has been suggested that one of the reasons the State Bar, as well as bar associations in other mandatory bar states, may consistently turn their otherwise stern gaze away from the activities of the big law firms is because lawyers in the large law firms in these states constitute a substantial voting block which controls the election of candidates to the bar’s governing boards.

In addition, because large firms have such a significant financial stake in perpetuating these unethical moneymaking practices and have substantial resources to defend themselves against disciplinary charges, this serves as an effective deterrent to disciplinary action by the various state bar associations. Taking on one of the big firms over such issues would require an enormous expenditure of time, money and effort by state bar associations in pursuing such a task, which could quickly exhaust their financial resources. It is much easier for state bar associations to pursue sole practitioners or smallfirm lawyers who rarely have the financial ability to defend themselves. With legal bills in such cases sometimes running as high as $50,000 or more, very few sole practitioners or smallfirm lawyers can afford legal representation in disciplinary matters, not to mention the time that this takes away from their practice and, the emotional strain of undergoing a disciplinary proceeding without an extensive support system, such as exists in the large law firms.

Also, one disturbing feature of Arizona’s disciplinary system, which may be occurring elsewhere, is the assessment of fines, denominated by the bar as “costs” ranging from $1,200 up to $100,000 against lawyers charged with ethical misconduct. These “costs” when collected are lumped together with the State Bar’s other revenues and used to pay the salaries of staff members in the Lawyer Regulation Office which average over $100,000 a year. Perhaps the most disturbing feature of Arizona’s disciplinary system is the perception on the part of many lawyers that the State Bar uses its disciplinary system as a device to intimidate lawyers to prevent them from speaking out against the State Bar’s policies and actions with which they disagree. This chilling perception was recently reinforced when several sole practitioners who openly advocated for the conversion of Arizona’s mandatory state bar to a voluntary bar at legislative hearings on this subject found themselves on the receiving end of “questionable” disciplinary charges pursued against them by the State Bar.

Flawed lawyer disciplinary programs

It is generally agreed that the core function of a lawyer discipline system is to protect the public against unethical lawyers and to instill a sense of confidence in the legal profession. This leads to a brooding concern among many who are involved in enforcing the profession’s ethical rules in the various states that if they do not demonstrate that they are being sufficiently “tough” on lawyers, the public may demand that state legislatures step in and remove the disciplinary function from state bar associations and set up their own disciplinary agency under the legislature’s control.

It may be for this reason that Arizona’s disciplinary system often functions in its pursuit of sole practitioners and smallfirm lawyers much like the black holes in outer space—once you enter its orbit, “nothing escapes, not even light.” As a result, those lawyers in Arizona who specialize in defending other lawyers in disciplinary proceedings make it a routine practice to advise their clients to plead guilty and accept whatever plea agreement is offered by the State Bar’s Lawyer Regulation Office. This is so, because if lawyers demand an evidentiary hearing, they will almost without exception be found guilty, and punishment for the lawyer will usually end up being far more severe than if they had accepted the State Bar’s original offer for discipline.

One of the common misperceptions that is thought to fuel many of the attitudes and beliefs held by those involved in enforcing the various state bar disciplinary programs is that the public’s image of the legal profession has fallen to its present low level, primarily because of the conduct of unethical lawyers. However, public polling conducted a number of years ago by the American Bar Association on this issue suggests otherwise. Their study concluded that although individual acts of unethical conduct do clearly hurt the profession, this does not even approach the collective damage done to the image of lawyers by billboards and other mass media advertising, soliciting accident victims in order to bring personal injury claims and law suits. If lawyers seek to improve their public image as “ambulance chasers,” constitutionally valid restrictions imposed by state bars on personal injury advertising might be a far more effective way to do this than continuing to beef up their disciplinary programs.

Lawyer disciplinary reform

In order to promote fairness and to comply with basic “due process” requirements, it is necessary to ensure that those who administer state bar disciplinary programs be “fairminded” individuals. One of the principal flaws in the way these programs have been administered is the jaundiced view that is frequently acquired by lawyers and others who serve, year after year, as hearing officers, members of hearing committees or as members of disciplinary commissions, who consider appeals from hearing committees. Also, many who fill these positions are recruited for these positions by the lawyer regulation offices of the various state bars.

Many of those who respond to such recruiting do so because of a desire to rid the bar of unethical lawyers, a desire which is too often psychologically “projected” on all lawyers who come before them, thereby creating a powerful negative bias when considering individual cases. Although, those who are accepted for appointment for these positions normally go through an orientation program, the program is usually conducted by the state bar’s disciplinary staff and recruits then serve year after year as hearing officers, on hearing committees and disciplinary commissions, working closely with the state bar’s disciplinary staff in deciding the fate of lawyers in disciplinary cases.

By comparison, if a county attorney or state attorney general solicited applications from those who were willing to serve as jurors in criminal cases so that criminals could be punished or eliminated from society and, who were then trained by the prosecutor for their duties and, only then were permitted to serve as jurors in case after case, year after year, surely there would be a thunderous outcry that such a system was grossly unfair and an outrageous denial of “due process.” Yet, this is precisely how many state bar disciplinary systems have always functioned in mandatory bar states. In the view of many lawyers in such states, the state bar acts much like a “Frankenstein Monster,” running amuck among the lawyers, far too often striking down the innocent as well as the guilty. Despite substantial revisions in recent years to the rules of procedure in disciplinary cases, it is believed by many that these changes have done little to tame the “Frankenstein Monster.”

One of the clearest indications that fairness and due process are frequently lacking in state bar disciplinary cases is the curious practice of imposing increased sanctions against lawyers who do not show remorse at their disciplinary hearings. In disciplinary matters, an expression of remorse is considered an important mitigating factor and, conversely, lack of it is considered an aggravating factor in determining an appropriate sanction for the lawyer. In one disciplinary case, In Re Shannon, 179 Ariz. This article is available online at: 2016 LLC™ All Rights Reserved 52, 81 (1994), Justice Thomas Zlaket, of the Arizona Supreme Court, much to his credit, recognized the absurdity of such a practice: 

“I fear that today’s opinion sends an erroneous message to those facing the disciplinary process: that if they dare to challenge the charges against them, the consequences may be more severe than if they simply confess wrongdoing and pray for mercy. There is something demoralizing and destructive in such a message, something that violates the very spirit upon which our legal system is premised.”

Despite the adoption of recent reforms, including intake procedures designed to prevent frivolous complaints from entering the system and an “ethics school” for lawyers accused of minor violations, the lack of essential fairness in many parts of the lawyer disciplinary process has yet to be addressed. If efforts at lawyer selfregulation are to be honored and respected by the public and members of the legal profession, the basic inequities in the present system must be resolved and its foundations restructured consistent with essential notions of fairness and “due process.” There is widespread concern among lawyers in Arizona and elsewhere, that if state bar associations cannot provide a disciplinary system where justice prevails for lawyers, can lawyers seek it for others?

Mr. Levine is also past Chair of the Arizona Bar’s Sole Practitioner and Small Firm Lawyer Section’s Study Committee On Lawyer Discipline.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

2016 GOP guide to voting for Arizona judges

H/T to Frosty of MCRC Briefs for posting this. LD22 PC Karen Thomas has updated her Judges 2016 report. I'll add that I have been impressed with the fairness of Paul McMurdie on family court issues. We previously published Karen's recommendations in 2014 here.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Backpage pimping raid: Arrest warrants issued for former New Times owners

Former Phoenix New Times owners Michael Lacey and James Larkin have been charged in California with conspiracy to commit pimping in connection with their controlling interest in the Backpage adult classified ad portal, and warrants have been issued for their arrests.
Winn said it was telling that the two men sold New Times, the journalism enterprise that started their business, but kept Backpage. “They were never going to give up that cash cow,” she said. “It was too profitable.”

Read the rest of the article

Friday, September 30, 2016

More yellow journalism from The Arizona Republic regarding the county treasurer

The Arizona Republic's Laurie Roberts is known for her frequent hit pieces on Republicans. Her latest piece is so lousy it's frankly embarrassing. Entitled "Why is Royce Flora allowed to campaign for treasurer on our dime?" she claims that election laws are violated because the Maricopa County Treasurer's Office - gasp - included a flyer with property tax bills containing a message and photo from the Deputy County Treasurer, Royce Flora, about things like paying your bill online.  Royce is running to replace the current treasurer, Hos Hoskins, and has a Democratic opponent.

Elected officials frequently send out mail like this, it happens every day, it's known as franking and it's perfectly legal. Yet Roberts claims that is illegal campaigning. She is smearing Royce for no reason - he will not be investigated because there was no wrongdoing. If he was a Democrat, she would have never written this column.

MCRC Briefs ran this response from Hos - 
Charles “Hos” Hoskins, Maricopa County Treasurer: Regarding Laurie Roberts: -Why-Royce-Flora-Allowed-Campaign-Treasurer-Our-Dime I am pleased that she included a copy of Mr. Flora’s letter so everyone can see that is void of any “vote-for-me” language. It is informative and states our commitment to service. It is also part of our effort to support Maricopa County’s Strategic Plan that states – “By the end of 2018, the Treasurer’s Office will increase the number of parcels enrolled to receive paperless statements to 10% . . .” View the entire plan at: The purpose of the tax bill insert was to persuade property owners to pay their taxes online. This allows us to capture email addresses of taxpayers that are computer savvy so we can offer them the option to receive their tax bills electronically instead of by mail. The cost of printing, paper and staff time to mail tax bills is expensive. Our mailing budget this fiscal year is $905,140 which is bordering on the absurd considering that the technology to go paperless has been around for decades. We have not been able to move toward a paperless environment due to our outdated (1988) IT system which we are in the process of replacing. In fiscal year 2016 we received 2,723,528 property tax payments of which 300,880 (11%) were made online. We need to get the number of online payments up to 500,000 to justify the programming costs associated with delivering tax bills electronically. I don’t expect Mr. Royce’s letter to come close to that, but every available opportunity to increase online payments must be pursued. Finally, anyone that thinks that there is some political benefit from associating your name with property tax bills that have increased considerably should see our mail and answer our phone.

I've known Royce for years, and he's one of the most ethical, honest people I've ever met. He would gladly give you the shirt off his back. This is nothing more than a sleazy attempt at character assassination to tip the election to the Democrat. Fortunately, it won't work. It is difficult for a Democrat to get elected to a Maricopa County office since the county is overwhelmingly Republican, plus no one reads the Repugnant anymore. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

AZ Bar spokesman periodically leaks info about me to media to smear me - years of this abuse now

AZ Bar spokesman Rick DeBruhl
We all know there are slimy people in politics who feed information to the press about their enemies. But to have this done to you for YEARS is pretty appalling. I was targeted by the Bar and the complicit former Maricopa County Supervisors beginning in 2009 and 2010 (the supervisors are all about gone now, but their staffers who targeted me are still there - I'm trying to get a hold of their names - and will not back down on the never-ending litigation I'm embroiled in with them merely to get them to pay for the costs of the Bar trial against me and two others).

The Bar and county supervisors consistently leaked damaging information about me and my superiors, former prosecutors Andrew Thomas and Lisa Aubuchon, because we were attorneys for Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Ray Stern from Phoenix New Times and Yvonne Wingett from The Arizona Republic were all too happy to write smear pieces about us. Wingett once tweeted that I was crying during the Bar trial against me, which incensed my husband because he was sitting in the courtroom much closer to me than her and knew it was a lie. Stern wrote more than once that I was "disbarred," which is flat out libel; I was merely suspended for six months.

Phoenix New Times wrote plenty of libelous articles about me over the years in regards to this, no doubt hand-fed to the reporters by the Bar! Skeptics will ask me, if you were libeled, why didn't you sue? Oh believe me, I've looked into it. The statute of limitations in Arizona is one year. With the hell they put me through merely defending myself in the other legal proceedings, I had no more energy and certainly not the health to learn libel law and file another lawsuit, nor did I have the money to hire an attorney to do it for me; it's not something attorneys will do on a contingency fee.

So guys like Brahm Resnik, Bar spokesman Rick DeBruhl's former buddy at Channel 12, feel they can brazenly say I was disbarred without consequences. I was invited to come on Kelli Ward's (who challenged John McCain in the GOP primary) brand-new radio show last Wednesday, and tweeted about it. I believe DeBruhl trolls me online, and told Resnik to tweet something cynical about it. See our exchange below (he's since deleted the libelous tweet, but not before I took a screenshot).

If you need anymore proof that DeBruhl is funneling stories to reporters about me, check out this article in March by Stern. Stern brazenly admits DeBruhl fed him this story about me supporting the Bar reform bill. "Rick DeBruhl, State Bar spokesman, alerted New Times about the bill after reading our Thursday article about a failed lawsuit filed by Lisa Aubuchon and Rachel Alexander, two former acolytes of disgraced former Maricopa County Andrew Thomas who lost their law licenses." Note the continued libel - I did not "lose" my law license, it was merely suspended. 

Aubuchon faced similar abuse. DeBruhl threatened her daughter on Twitter when she was tweeting about the Bar trial, she had called him out on something he'd tweeted that was a lie. He warned her that if she wanted any career here in media she better stay out of it. She is now a successful producer in NYC and he is....
It's been over six years since I was a Maricopa County deputy county attorney, and four years since I quit practicing law, successfully transitioning into journalism, yet the Bar and its spokesperson will still not leave me alone!
If you're a lawyer reading this, you need to know what your dues are paying for. The Bar spent over $500,000 to come after us, and almost seven years later they will not let up.Why? Because some of the others and I who have been wrongly abused by the Bar are now trying to convert it into a voluntary bar association to stop the corruption. Almost half the bars in other states are voluntary. If the Bar becomes voluntary, fat cats like DeBruhl will lose his hefty salary (probably around $150,000 if you look at what the other execs are making) and maybe even his full-time position. The Arizona Bar has the second highest mandatory dues in the nation, and its excesses have been widely documented by sites like Working for a Better Bar. Destroy my reputation so I can no longer work and afford healthcare - and that's one less activist working to dismantle the Bar.

I will not be silenced; I have successfully transferred into journalism since the corrupt Bar won't end my suspension until I pay $101,500, the cost of the bar trial against not just me but my superiors too. My immediate supervisor, who had a much larger role in everything than I did, turned on all of us to save his hide, so he had all of his disciplinary costs paid for by the county supervisors, was allowed to keep his job and only received probation!

I will continue writing and exposing these abuses until the Bar is cleaned up. For more information, check out the websites below, which I am unaffiliated with.

Working for a Better Bar
Judges Gone Wild
AZ Bar Watch (disclaimer: this site is fairly offensive)

Former Maricopa County GOP Chair Launches #NeverMcCain

Rob Haney

No one has done as much damage to the Republican Party or the Constitution as John McCain.  He continually attacked the Republican Party conservatives and sided with far left Democrats to get his left wing bills passed.   History is the best teacher and indicator.  McCain would do greater damage to a Trump administration than Kirkpatrick could ever dream of.  I believe we would even have more influence over her than McCain.  McCain certainly paid no attention to our wishes during his previous years in office.  Kirkpatrick would have neither the seniority or influence to do the damage that McCain has already caused.  McCain's defeat would create new life in the conservative wing of the Republican party.  It is just about finished now.

You have 4 choices

1. Vote McCain for him to continue his attacks on the country.
2. Do not vote in the Senate contest.  will hurt McCain
3. Vote for anyone you choose to.  They will not win, but it will hurt McCain.
4. Vote for Kirkpatrick which will hurt McCain the most. And she will be in no position to hurt Trump as much as McCain would.

Monday, September 12, 2016

VIDEO: Rachel Alexander on the Depths of Legal Corruption and State Bar Abuses in Arizona

Watch Ernie White Media interview IC editor Rachel Alexander, former prosecutor Lisa Aubuchon, and federal attorney Jeffrey Moffatt on how they were targeted as conservative attorneys by the State Bar of Arizona and others connected to the Bar, including the Bar’s crooked disciplinary judge William O’Neil. This kind of corruption isn’t just happening at the Department of Justice,  but on the local level. Alexander and Aubuchon were both briefly attorneys for Sheriff Arpaio, which is why they were targeted. They join a growing number of attorneys who have had their reputations, career, health and lives destroyed by these crooked, vicious partisans, and so they and Moffatt will not stop speaking out until the corruption is rooted out. Alexander and Aubuchon are now in their seventh year of the never-ending targeting, which Alexander has written about here.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Will Michelle Reagan's friendship with Christine Jones affect the outcome of the #AZ05 race?

The Arizona political scene was jolted out of the beginning of its Labor Day weekend on Friday night when the CD 5 race between Andy Biggs and Christine Jones suddenly became too close to call. It went from a Jones-37 vote margin to a Jones-6 vote margin to a Biggs-9 vote margin in the wee hours of Saturday morning.

Biggs won the race when all the ballots were counted (by 9 votes), but the proceedings are by no means over. There will be an automatic recount when the results have been canvassed, and lawsuits sure to follow. Christine Jones spent almost two million dollars to buy this seat on Election Day, and she will not be leaving any money on the table in her attempts to win this seat in court.

Though the Arizona Secretary of State’s office doesn’t have as much of a role to play in this election as the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office, it still has a small part. It is here – at the Secretary of State’s office – where Jones might have a leg up on Andy Biggs. Jones and Secretary Michelle Reagan appear to be close friends and share a strong sense of mutual respect and admiration towards one another (see social media posts below).

Also, Reagan just hired a new employee – Garrett Archer – who has singlehandedly given the Jones’ camp one of it’s arguments to contest the election in court. Archer, a data and analytics guru, could not hide his dismay and disbelief of the quickly-closing vote total between Jones and Biggs throughout Friday night. One other AZSOS employee was also considered as a possible Jones’ campaign staffer just before the former GoDaddy executive jumped into the race this past spring.

Michelle Reagan has had a rough two years as the Arizona Secretary of State. She cannot afford another topsy-turvy election on her hands – much less claims of using her official office to benefit a friend in one of the closest elections in Arizona history. Michelle Reagan must go above and beyond to show the Arizona public that she will remain neutral and impartial towards both sides in this ongoing saga. Failure to do so would be catastrophic to her future political career and to the integrity of the election process.

Reagan’s Friendship with Jones:

Garrett Archer Tweets:

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Thoughts on yesterday's GOP primary

As expected, there was good and bad news. Sadly, John McCain easily beat Kelli Ward in the US Senate race. He had millions to spend, massive name recognition, and spread lies about her all over the Internet, you couldn't visit a political website without seeing his smears ("Chemtrail Kelly" - never mind that McCain himself once referred a constituent to the EPA who had chemtrail concerns, taking chemtrails even more seriously than Ward). The final insult to injury came when he strong armed Arizona Right to Life PAC into endorsing him, even though the organization told me couple of months ago that they were no longer gong to endorse candidates, considering the outcry in 2010 when I resigned from the board and the PAC due to the PAC endorsing McCain over JD Hayworth. Hayworth had a 100% pro-life rating in Congress; McCain only had a 75% rating due to his support for taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research - he is NOT pro-life unlike Ward.

McCain faces Ann Kirkpatrick in the general, who is polling neck and neck with him. If he loses, Republicans aren't going to forgive him or the GOP establishment, since the polls showed him likely to lose months ago (generally an incumbent polling that poorly early on ends up losing the general).

In better news, Don Stapley, who I believe is a crook who belongs behind bars, soundly lost the CD5 race for Congress. It is not certain yet who won, both Christine Jones and Andy Biggs are too close to call (Jones is up 876 votes currently). Fortunately, both would make excellent members of Congress. Biggs was a powerhouse conservative in the Arizona legislature, and Christine is a savvy businesswoman and lawyer who made her own millions while at Go Daddy (where she was my boss; I, alas, was not that savvy). Besides having a significant amount of money to put into the race, Christine, an evangelical, was the sole woman and non-LDS candidate in the race, which likely also helped, splitting up much of the LDS vote among the other three candidates.

Glad to see Dave Giles beat John Agra in my CD9 district. Agra wasn't very visible and he had nothing on his website about social issues. While it might be wise not to emphasize them during the general in this mixed district, it wasn't a good strategy during the primary. Have heard the NRCC is going to pour money into this race so Giles may actually have a chance against Kirsten Sinema in the general. Giles ran a tireless race during the primary, personally calling people (I must have gotten three phone calls at least).

David Schweikert had a challenger. Who knew? Paul Gosar easily won reelection in CD4. As an incumbent with a pretty good conservative record, it was nearly impossible for unknown Ray Strauss to defeat him.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, as predicted, beat his nearest challenger Dan Saban two to one. Too bad the left-leaning media detests him so much they couldn't even report accurately on how much he was ahead in the polls.

Helen Purcell, the county recorder, is neck and neck with her challenger.  There was a perception that she was responsible for long voter lines during the presidential primary, but I have debunked that thoroughly as the former Maricopa County Elections attorney. As a result of the ridiculous outcry, there were poll workers sitting around yesterday with nothing to do as few voters showed up, a complete waste of taxpayer dollars. Hopefully Helen pulls it off, she has ran one of the most innovative recorder/election departments in the country. (update: Helen did end up winning, but due to the bad press will face an unfair challenge in the general)

Was pleased to see Bob Burns easily won the Corporation Commission primary, coming in first. While all of the Republican candidates running seem decent, he is the one speaking out most strongly against the powerful utility companies that keep raising rates and doing everything they can to keep much cheaper solar out, even if it is properly regulated.

In my LD18, newcomer Frank Schmuck handily beat incumbent Jeff Dial in the Senate. Dial had voted for the Medicaid expansion and voted against our Bar reform and public notice reform bills, so it was time for him to go.

Was disappointed to see Anthony Sizer lost in the LD14 state rep race in north Tucson, but it's fairly uncommon as a newcomer to win your first race with no name recognition. Hope he runs again next term.  Also disappointed to see Matt Morales lose in the LD28 state rep race, but he was also a newcomer so hopefully next time around. Another newcomer, my old friend Ross Groen, also lost in LD25, but he's a fighter and will be back.