We all know it’s been a rough start for Governor Katie Hobbs as Arizona’s Chief Executive. Along with high-profile staff exits and breaking the veto record after killing the bipartisan “Tamale Bill,” Hobbs alienated many Democrats when she signed the budget sent to her by the Republican-led legislature.
Not to be outdone, Attorney General Kris Mayes has come along since taking office with one clear message to Hobbs: “Hold my Bud Light.”
Mayes has been occupying the AG office for a couple of months, and she has already figured out a way to abuse her power and violate her attorney client obligations. All driven by her desire for headlines and trying to claim the mantle as top Democrat demagogue in the state.
Her antics began in April when she decided it was a good idea to threaten action against the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), demanding that the department supply her with documentation showing that the agency is in compliance with its responsibilities.
Then she kicked off last month by falsely claiming that the budget agreement that protected universal school choice would bankrupt the state, despite the expenditure data showing that the growing and wildly popular Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program saves the state money.
When her social media blustering against ESAs didn’t stop the budget from being signed by Governor Hobbs, Mayes doubled down on her ESA assault by announcing her intent to investigate parents and the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) over the ESA program.
Kris Mayes has always had a reputation of trying to bully other people around (just ask anyone that dealt with her at the Arizona Corporation Commission), but one would think she would at least confer with legal counsel in the AG office before engaging in behavior that can get you disbarred. After all, making public threats as a lawyer that you want to investigate your own client (ADWR or ADE) and accusing them of illegal behavior is a severe ethical violation. But Mayes wanted the headlines and adoration from Red For Ed. Well she got it, and her reward is a formal complaint filed against her with the State Bar of Arizona demanding an investigation.
We believe a comprehensive investigation by the State Bar is necessary to hold AG Mayes accountable for her reckless behavior. At a minimum, a closer look at her inappropriate behavior should bring to a screeching halt any rogue investigation that Mayes was planning on conducting—without evidence—against the ESA program at the Department of Education.
And despite the rhetoric coming from Mayes, Hobbs, and other leftists like Rep. Andrés Cano that ESAs will bankrupt our state, the opposite has proven to be true. Arizona’s bet on universal school choice has been paying off in spades. During this fiscal year, the ESA program has exploded with more than 58,000 now enrolled.
But if you believe the lies of Mayes, Hobbs, Cano, and their allies in the teachers’ unions, you would think that Arizona would be suffering from a severe budget deficit. Instead, the nonpartisan Joint Legislative Budget Committee has estimated a revenue surplus by an extra $750 million—a surplus that has increased as ESA program enrollment has increased.
The fact is that a typical ESA scholarship award is around $7,000 per student. But public schools spend roughly twice that per student to the tune of $14,000 per year. This means that any time a student is awarded an ESA, taxpayers get a 50% discount. No wonder Arizona families will be getting some cash back from the state later this year. The ESA program is not only sustainable, but it puts money back into the wallets of taxpayers!
Once again, the left proves that it’s really bad at math. They can’t count signatures, and they think that spending less per student will lead to bankruptcy. No wonder they’re trying to prevent Abe Hamadeh’s challenge to the Arizona Attorney General Election. They’re worried that the over 9,000 provisional ballots remaining will put them on the wrong side of the count once again. And that would be the final straw for Kris Mayes.
Help Protect Freedom in Arizona by Joining Our Grassroots Network
Arizona needs to have a unified voice promoting economic freedom and prosperity, and the Free Enterprise Club is committed to making that happen. But we can’t do it alone. We need YOU!
Join our FREE Grassroots Action List to stay up to date on the latest battles against big government and how YOU can help influence crucial bills at the Arizona State Legislature.