Thursday, April 21, 2022

EXCLUSIVE: Incredible Chutzpah! AG Brnovich Decides Elections Manuals Are Important Enough To Sue... Unless the Secretary of State Is Republican (READ Letters, Complaint))

UPDATE, 6/22, 11:50am: AG-Candidate Brnovich Files Emergency Appeal To Force Changes To Elections Manual

Candidate/AZ AG Mark Brnovich has filed an emergency appeal to attempt to force a new Arizona Elections Procedures Manual in advance of the August and November elections.

Brnovich teamed up with the Yavapai County Republicans to bring the unsuccessful case in Yavapai County Superior Court, but Judge John Napper soundly rejected it last week as being "far too late for this to occur without disrupting elections that have already begun."

Brnovich filed an "Emergency Motion to Open Appeal" on Monday, and the Court of Appeals (Division 1) granted the motion yesterday. Both Governor Doug Ducey and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs - who is running to replace Ducey - are listed as appellees.

(The following is an introductory commentary written by Chandler attorney Tom Ryan.)

In 2016, then Arizona Secretary of State Michele Reagan boldly announced she would not update the Arizona Elections Manual. 

As a concerned citizen – and recognizing the absolute folly of such a position – I took pains to point out that such an intentional dereliction of duty was a violation of Arizona law. I took time out of my busy practice to advise the Attorney General he needed to take action to ensure that the Arizona Elections Manual would be appropriately prepared in time for the 2016 election cycle. 

Attorney General Brnovich’s unqualified response was “Meh!” No enforcement action of any sort was taken. 

Reading today’s announcement that the Brnovich intends to have his office pursue litigation against his own client (the rules of lawyer ethics have still not changed to allow him to sue his own client) is incredible chutzpah considering his office’s prior dereliction of duty when it came to a sitting Republican Secretary of State – Michelle Reagan. 

There is another important fact to consider here: Katie Hobbs DID submit a new Arizona Elections Manual for 2022. Attorney General Brnovich outsourced his duty to attorney Tim LaSota, counsel for the Kari Lake for Governor campaign! Mr. LaSota made significant changes that Secretary of Hobbs could not agree to. 

The problem, Mr. Brnovich, is you and your political pandering.

(Editor's addition: It is worth noting that today's Complaint was filed in the Yavapai County Superior Court, where the AZGOP recently found a friendly court to throw out the Legislature's Precinct Committeeperson statute. The AG's Office has teamed up with Yavapai County Republicans to attempt this venue.)

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