The Daily Agenda: Adel's pattern of delayed disclosures
We grab the third rail and never look back ... Karen Fann is having a very bad day ... and more Stephanie Grisham
Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel announced she is seeking treatment for alcohol abuse, anxiety and an eating disorder, but only after Sheriff Paul Penzone threatened to out her for being in a California rehab and not working, the Republic’s Robert Anglen reported yesterday.
Adel entered rehab on Aug. 29. She only told the public about it 12 days later. And only after Penzone’s admonition.
This is now a pattern: Adel waited until election night to disclose she’d had a bad fall on Oct. 25, requiring brain surgery.
Much like when U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick announced that she had a drinking problem and would be entering rehab, Adel’s rehab announcement came as she was on the verge of news breaking with or without her spin on the narrative.
Choosing when to disclose the information becomes a political calculus: You want to break the news before someone else does. Instead, true leadership requires transparency. Sure, seeking treatment for problems many face is powerful. But hiding it from the public until you’re forced to admit it is not.
Adel’s short tenure has been marked by her health-related absences, questionable prosecutions/non-prosecutions and passing the buck. ABC 15’s Dave Biscobing has documented her office’s charging of protesters as gang members in depth and released an hourlong special on the issue on Monday night. Start there to understand why the office requires vigilant leadership.
Yet it’s become a third rail to question whether she can do her job right now — despite her lack of transparency (or rather, transparency only when forced), despite her absence from Arizona, despite the scandals plaguing her office.
You can wish her well in recovery while also holding her, as an elected official, accountable for the work she’s doing for the public.
And you can wish her well while hoping for more humane practices for others who need treatment when they end up before MCAO’s prosecutors.
The first across the finish line, though not exactly a winner: Attorney General Mark Brnovich beat all the other Republicans out the gate to file the first lawsuit against President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for private employers with 100 or more workers. His lawsuit makes the novel claim that the mandate (which isn’t even written yet) is discriminatory because immigrants coming into the U.S. aren’t required to receive the vaccine like workers at large companies in the U.S. It’s a claim that noted constitutional professor Paul Bender called “worse than nonsensical,” reports the Associated Press’ Jonathan J. Cooper.
That’s the sound of every reporter’s keyboard clacking: The Arizona Senate has to turn over public records related to the audit after the Arizona Supreme Court declined to take up Senate President Karen Fann’s appeal, which sought to block the disclosure of records related to the audit and the people running it.
You’re telling us she’s not a reliable narrator?: We noted yesterday that Arizona woman Stephanie Grisham claimed in her tell-all about the White House that she quit after Melania Trump refused to issue an anti-rioting statement on Jan. 6. But Politico Playbook today reported today that, like everything Grisham says, you should probably take that tale with a grain of salt. Grisham also texted with Arizona lobbyist Gretchen Jacobs, who said she had talked to Fann about proving fraud and asked Grisham to help find $104,000 to hire a political consultant to help. “I can’t bear that we would lose this over not having $100k to prove what we know is fraud,” Jacobs wrote. Grisham forwarded the request on to a Trump aide. In a separate thread, Grisham also texted that Brnovich was “useless” during Sharpiegate and “such an ass.” Jacobs and former Grisham partner-in-chaos Brett Mecum both told Playbook that Grisham doesn’t believe the election was stolen.
Legislative pranks are getting weirder: Guys, if one of you stole the bust of Carl Hayden from the Rose Garden at the Capitol, just give it back. It’s a strange thing to display in your living room anyway.
We used to get called to the principal’s office a lot, too: President Biden will meet at the White House today with U.S. Sen. Kyrsten Sinema (and separately tomorrow with “much too powerful mens cologne” Joe Manchin) to talk about their concerns with the Democrats $3.5 billion infrastructure package, which both senators have opposed, The Hill reported.
They’ll get a fair trial next time: Federal Judge Susan Brnovich said the government, in its attempt to prosecute Phoenix New Times and Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin, prejudiced the jury by repeatedly claiming that the website had perpetuated child sex trafficking, rather than the facilitating prostitution they were charged with. After prosecutors refused to heed her repeated warnings, she declared a mistrial, so we’ll do this all again someday.
Well, we’ll be damned: The Tucson employee vaccine mandate that got the Republicans at the Capitol in a twist actually worked to increase vaccinations, Tucson Mayor Regina Romero said. The vaccination rate increased by about 20%, to 83%, among city workers since the policy was adopted.
We’re all going to tell our kids that Phoenix used to be cheap back in the day: The Valley’s housing problem is getting so bad, people can’t afford the hundreds of dollars in application fees it takes to find a place that will rent to them. Arizona doesn’t restrict how much landlords can charge for these fees, the Republic’s Rebekah Sanders reports.
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The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission set its grid maps, the most basic lines that the commission will use as a starting point for drawing real congressional and legislative maps. And you can draw maps, too! You have to make an account, and the software isn’t exactly user-friendly, but if maps are your jam, draw us some seriously gerrymandered districts. We’d love to see what y’all come up with.
On Monday, we asked if anyone could explain Brnovich’s “sue the living Adam Schiff” out of Biden joke. We thought — hoped? — the joke would be more complex than Schiff’s name being a replacement for the word “shit.” It is not more complex than that. Trump’s campaign made this joke into t-shirts in 2019. This joke would absolutely kill at a junior high, we’re sure.
The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors meets in executive session this morning at 10:30 to discuss possible lawsuits and its reaction to the attorney general’s threat to withhold its state-shared revenues. Board hawks were expecting the supervisors to vote on the issues after its executive session last week, so we’ll see if they do something this week.
Also, the board is scheduled to pick an appointment to replace accused child molester and former Democratic Sen. Tony Navarette at its 9:30 a.m. open meeting.
Parents organized by ParentsTogether Action will rally outside Sinema’s office today at 3 p.m. to support making the Child Tax Credit permanent.
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer will join a panel discussion to discuss the county’s audit and other politically motivated threats to elections. It’s at 11 a.m. today on Zoom.