It has been a hectic month for Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, what with hopes dimming for quick passage of a state budget along with the fact Arizona does not have a valid, compliant Elections Procedures Manual. Without an EMP in place for the upcoming 2022 elections, Fann does not know if lawmakers need to pass any emergency election related legislation.
So with all the serious issues of state governance at play, it is understandable that Fann has no time for gamesmanship and political posturing. Which is why she took umbrage at the May 4 comments by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors about the election integrity investigation ongoing by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich.
According to Fann, county officials again tried to cover up the fact the 2020 General Election was not as “perfect” as they often insist.
“It still goes beyond me that they are still denying the mistakes that happened,” Fann told radio host James T. Harris. “Mind you, they kept saying everything was fine and perfect. No, it wasn’t.”
The press event Fann found so disingenuous featured comments by current Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who wasn’t even in office during the 2020 election cycle. In fact, Richer ran against incumbent Recorder Adrian Fontes, on a platform focused almost entirely on Fontes’ mismanagement of the recorder’s office which handles voter registration, mailing of early ballots, and signature verification of early ballots.
That alleged mismanagement included areas where the Senate’s audit and the attorney general have pointed to concerns. Yet Richer, a registered Republican, has been whistling a different tune about his Democratic predecessor and about how the election was conducted.
“He’s part of the cover-up by saying, ‘Oh no, everything is fine,’” Fann told Harris of Richer, noting it was the Arizona Senate that was the first in the country to step up to spend the time and money to look into concerns with the election process in Maricopa County.
The Senate turned over dozens of documents to Brnovich last fall concerning Maricopa County’s 2020 election. Brnovich issued an interim report in early April, noting an in-depth investigation was ongoing but pointing out some immediate concerns.
The formal response from Maricopa County officials to Brnovich’s interim scrutiny came last week, and Fann was quick to recognize a pattern.
“The Senate has been attacked from Day One, before the auditors were selected, before anything happened, they started attacking us, “ Fann noted. “I will also say that Attorney General Brnovich, right now, he’s getting the same gaslighting treatment.”
Which raises red flags for Fann as to why the attorney general’s efforts are being attacked.
“He’s doing his job. And he’s doing it courageously,” Fann told Harris, noting that Brnovich is putting himself in the crosshairs by pursuing the election investigation. “He is doing his job at the risk of being attacked by the liberal media and the board of supervisors, and Richer for doing his job.”