The Daily Agenda: Is it canvassing time already?
We'll be canvassing 2020 until 2030... and you can't get rid of Jay Lawrence that easy.
Editor’s note: We’re still testing out what time makes the most sense for our morning email so it may arrive at different times for the next few weeks.
A group of “citizen volunteers” hit the streets again this weekend doing the exact kind of door-to-door canvassing that the U.S. Department of Justice warned the Arizona Senate’s audit against.
And while Arizona Senate President Karen Fann vaguely promised not to do it, who’s to blame if a group of audit sympathizers and insiders take the project on themselves?
Likely leading the charge is failed legislative candidate Liz Harris, whose group was behind the “canvassing” that sent Yavapai County elections officials scrambling to warn voters that hucksters were claiming to be election workers.
She previously told the Republic she wasn’t exactly sure if she’s officially part of the audit, and she has spent the last few months recruiting door-to-door fraud investigators.
Whether this is an officially sanctioned activity from the audit is still unclear.
But Harris is working with people in the audit’s orbit, including Seth Keshel, a baseball analyst turned fraud conspiracist who is working with Patrick Byrne’s The America Project, the audit’s main funder.
Which all begs the larger question of the federal government’s role in policing rogue election recounts, which are sure to become an ongoing feature of elections.
The Department of Justice recently issued guidance on what post-election audits should and should not do.
But as the Senate prepares to release its report, all eyes are on the feds to see if they’ll ramp up the pressure on auditors, or perhaps even look to intervene in future endeavors.
Too much of a good thing: Gov. Doug Ducey announced he’s spending $5 million to repair damage from flash floods in the Gila Bend area. He did not, however, strap on his tool belt and put up some drywall.
Well, shit, Richer hurried up for nothing: We’re all still awaiting the results of the audit, but Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer was typing furiously late last week to wrap up his tome of a prebuttal.
We don’t know a whole lot about sports: The Arizona Coyotes told fans the team will stay in the Phoenix area after the City of Glendale announced last week that it won’t renew the team’s lease. Any other town wanna subsidize some sports?
Who polices the prosecutors?: The probe into Phoenix PD won’t include prosecutors because federal law limits these kinds of investigations to “law enforcement officials,” the Republic’s Joseph Darius Jaafari wrote. And civil rights groups say the Maricopa County Attorney’s office deserves the spotlight, too.
The kids aren’t all right: School is back in session, and it’s not going too well. Kids are ping-ponging in and out of quarantines for COVID-19 exposures while parents and school boards tangle over masks and other health measures, reports the Republic’s Yana Kunichoff. The hope we all had for some normalcy a couple months ago? We hardly knew her.
The law isn’t always good: Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich seemed to reluctantly declare employers have the right to force employees to vaccinate, though he said that doesn’t apply to cities like Tucson, which is requiring vaccinations for employees.
Top Democratic attorney Paul Eckstein is defending Ducey against a series from former Republic reporter Craig Harris, writing that Harris’ report suggesting Ducey aides Danny Seiden, Mike Liburdi and Kirk Adams broke conflict of interest laws was “irresponsible.” Maybe what they did should be illegal, he writes, but it ain’t.
Quick reminder that Christina Bobb went to ASU: Fearing the possibly imminent delivery of the audit’s findings, the Republic’s Bill Goodykoontz suggests sticking to local coverage of the looming report and warns that OAN has a financial interest in it. Unfortunately, no OAN viewers actually read the Republic.
Uncomfortable convos aren’t Doug’s strong suit: Fernanda Santos, Arizona’s attaché to the WaPo opinion pages, accuses Ducey of distorting the meaning of critical race in theory in a purposefully vague law that will keep students from talking about critical topics, like why the Department of Justice is investigating Phoenix police.
We’re treating you to a LOL-worthy twofer this morning!
We must have missed the first annual Rap Hoedown and Festival, but we won’t make that mistake twice. Turning Point USA’s Charlie Kirk will join U.S. Senate Republican candidate Jim Lamon, state lawmaker and congressional candidate Walt Blackman, and David Marshall, who’s running to replace Blackman in the state House, at the Taylor Rodeo Grounds Saturday for a concert from conservative rap artists with songs like “No Vaccine,” the lyrics to which are exactly what you’re expecting. Our favorite verse? “Lock you up and put you in a cell for a long time if you don’t put that little needle in your bloodline.” VIP tickets are just $100.
After losing his re-election bid for the state House, former lawmaker Jay Lawrence is back on the air. Sort of. The longtime KTAR talk radio host has his own live-streamed show on Hub Radio Phoenix. His interview with former lawmaker Anthony Kern, last spotted auditing ballots with his name on them, was actually pretty good — except the real awkward part where he wasn’t up on the news about now-former Democratic state Rep. Tony Navarrete’s arrest for child molestation.
Democrats of Greater Tucson is hosting David Lujan and Luci Messing for a virtual meeting at noon to discuss the effort to refer three laws that undercut Prop 208, the Invest in Education initiative, to the 2022 ballot. Register in advance.
Tempe Republican Women is hosting two candidates for superintendent of public instruction: Tom Horne, former attorney general and superintendent of public instruction, and political newcomer Shiry Sapir, at 6 p.m. at Native Grill & Wings, 5030 E. Ray Rd.