The Daily Agenda: A preview of the audit
The devil works hard but Garrett Archer works harder ... And Stephanie Grisham will finally take your questions.
The unofficial audit-related canvass released its findings yesterday in an error-ridden report that was quickly and easily debunked.
Failed legislative candidate Liz Harris ran the effort, which garnered headlines after the Senate promised the U.S. Department of Justice that it would not do the canvass, but people with close ties to the audit went ahead and did it anyway.
The findings were, of course, nonsense. We’re not going to bother repeating the lies in depth here, other than to say they claimed there were almost 175,000 lost votes and another 100,000 ghost voters based on an amateur canvass of fewer than 5,000 people done by volunteers who signed up through the totally legit website, ItSmellsFunny.com.
Even its cover, an image of a vacant lot that was allegedly home to two mail-in ballots, was bullshit, as ABC15’s Garrett Archer quickly pointed out.
Archer — who, it should be noted cut his teeth in politics at the Arizona Republican Party and as an operative for Sean Noble’s firm, DC London, before becoming the “data guru” for former Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan — found that the “vacant lot” in question had a house on it with registered voters at the address.
So Harris and crew changed the cover image — to another “vacant lot” that also was home to registered voters. Talk about amateur hour.
Senate President Karen Fann, who still insists this is definitely not a part of the official audit which is definitely not meant to stoke conspiracies or rile up those who nonsensically believe it will lead to Trump’s reinstatement, told the Arizona Capitol Times’ Kyra Haas that the Attorney General’s Office should investigate the canvass’ claims.
But Arizona’s most conspiratorial lawmakers, Sen. Wendy Rogers and Rep. Mark Finchem, don't need no stinking investigation. They both screamed into the Twitter void that the latest “evidence” proves we should #decertify the election, as Buzzfeed noted. (Do we need to say once again that’s never gonna happen?)
The official audit is still at least three inches of Jen Fifield’s hair growth away from completion, but we imagine this is a good preview.
Both feature amateur sleuths with no experience in election administration who have proven their disdain for facts and who are setting out to prove the election was stolen.
Those of us who adhere to reality will continue to debunk the irresponsible claims of massive, coordinated fraud, while the likes of Rogers and Finchem will use the claims to further their fantastical beliefs, political careers and fundraising.
Speaking of fundraising, if you’re not a paying subscriber, we really would appreciate a few bucks. It costs less than a cocktail per month to keep us in business. Subscribe now!
Autographed copies all around: Stephanie Grisham, the former spokeswoman for scandal-plagued Arizona politicians who became the only White House press secretary in modern history to never hold a press briefing, is writing a memoir, appropriately titled “I’ll Take Your Questions Now.” Axios reported that it’s already scaring the bejesus out of Trump world, as Grisham knows where the bodies are buried because, as one source told Axios, “she buried a lot of them herself.”
"When I heard this, all I could think about was Stephanie surrounded by a lake of gasoline, striking a match with a grin on her face,” one of her colleagues told Axios.
Wonder how this will end: Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is trying to allow voters to cast ballots in the wrong precincts, U.S. Supreme Court be damned, Howie Fischer reports. Hobbs’ office argues that despite the recent ruling rebuffing Democrats’ attempts to allow out-of-precinct votes to count, there’s no law preventing the policy, which she inserted into a recent revision of the state’s elections procedure manual. Republicans disagree, and in the end, both Gov. Doug Ducey and Attorney General Mark Brnovich have to sign off on the manual.
The Great Resignation strikes again: Democratic state Sen. Kirsten Engel resigned from the legislature to run for Congress in U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick’s southern Arizona district. She’ll hardly be the last to do so. That leaves two vacant seats in the Legislature as the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors still hasn’t filled the vacant seat left by former Democratic Sen. Tony Navarette, an accused child molester.
And another one bites the dust: Sophomore Republican state Rep. Bret Roberts, after less than three years in office, decided to resign yesterday. He didn’t offer an explanation or return our call. As of two weeks ago, he was still asking for petition signatures for his petitions on his official Facebook. This week, on his personal Facebook, he was selling off his pool table. (Excellent condition and just “$600 OBO. Must go!!!”)
Have mattress, will travel: Former lawmaker Darin Mitchell has placed his bare mattress in a new district. After nearly being kicked out of the legislature for faking his address in 2012, the former representative at-large is once again running for the legislature, this time in Scottsdale’s Legislative District 23.
We are also journalists, not those things: The trial against Backpage employees continued yesterday, with the judge denying the defense’s mistrial motion. You should read about how it went, if only to see this quote: “He’s not a pornographer. He’s not a pimp. He’s not a trafficker. He’s a journalist.”
Sounds vaguely familiar: Politico wrote about how school board races are becoming the new proving grounds for GOP candidates and the new battle in the culture wars. Arizona played prominently.
And it’s not even the first of the month: With the federal and state eviction moratorium over, advocates are seeing a spike in landlords evicting tenants, which will eventually be reflected in court filings, the Phoenix New Times reported. And once they have an eviction on their record, tenants are screwed.
The Arizona Republic’s two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer and all-around good guy Nick Oza was in a car accident last Friday. He’s spent the better part of two decades documenting life in the Valley, and his family could use some help. If you can afford to donate, here’s the link.
Two weeks ago, in one of our many Alice Cooper-related missives, we noted that gun-lovin’ hair rocker Ted Nugent endorsed Republican Matt Salmon for governor back in 2002, and we wondered aloud whether he would swim upstream with Salmon again 20 years later. Nugent answered our question yesterday, announcing that he still has 🎵Matt Salmon Fever🎵.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meets today at 2:30 p.m. in an executive session to discuss election litigation.
Sierra Club Grand Canyon Chapter director Sandy Bahr and state Rep. Andrés Cano are presenting “2021 Legislative Session: A Bad Session for Democracy, Water, Climate and More” at 7 p.m. tonight. It’s on Zoom; register here.