It’s Time to Hold AG Kris Mayes Accountable for Abusing the Power of Her Office

It’s Time to Hold AG Kris Mayes Accountable for Abusing the Power of Her Office

Nobody likes a bully, and yet some people relish playing such a role. Here in Arizona, perhaps no person has taken on that persona quite like Kris Mayes. When she began her political career with the Arizona Corporation Commission, Mayes quickly gained a reputation for bullying other people around, but since becoming Arizona’s Attorney General (AG) in January 2023, she has taken it to a whole other level.

Within months of occupying the AG office, Mayes began using her post to target and investigate the very people and entities she is constitutionally obligated to defend. First in her crosshairs was the Arizona Department of Water Resources (ADWR), a state agency she is legally obligated to represent and provide legal advice to. But because she wants to score political points with her radical environmental allies, she decided to threaten legal action against ADWR unless they provide her with documentation showing that the agency is in compliance with its water management responsibilities.

Mayes then turned around a few weeks later and went after the Empowerment Scholarship Account (ESA) program at the Department of Education. In a public tirade, she falsely claimed that the budget agreement that protected universal school choice would bankrupt the state, despite the expenditure data showing that the ESA program actually saves the state money. When that didn’t stop the Republican budget bill from being signed by Governor Hobbs, Mayes doubled down on her ESA assault by threatening legal action against her own client, the Arizona Department of Education, over the program.

And now that she has had more time to get comfortable in office, Mayes is discovering new and creative ways to abuse her power, including collusion and the usage of dirty tactics to target political opponents.

Mayes Colluded with Cochise County Attorney to Pursue Indictments Over the Election Certification

Last year, the State Bar began investigating Cochise County Attorney Brian McIntyre for a possible violation of attorney-client privilege with his clients the Cochise County Board of Supervisors. And it proved to be quite revealing.

According to a letter recently submitted as evidence to the State Bar, McIntyre appears to have colluded with Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and AG Mayes against Cochise County Supervisors Peggy Judd and Tom Crosby. In the letter, McIntyre asked Mayes to retract an opinion set by her predecessor, Mark Brnovich, on expanded hand counts. But this request was made while McIntyre’s clients were actively appealing to be able to complete those hand counts. That’s a big no-no.

But did Kris Mayes stop him? No. Several months later, Mayes withdrew Brnovich’s opinion as requested by McIntyre. And then, in November of last year, she secured indictments against Judd and Crosby for delaying certification of the 2022 elections results—charging them with felonies for election interference and conspiracy. That’s an outrageous abuse of power, but Mayes’ overreach didn’t stop there.

Mayes Used Dirty Tactics to Secure Indictments Against Alternative Slate of Electors

Last month, an Arizona grand jury indicted a slate of alternate electors for the 2020 election and hit them with charges of conspiracy, fraud, and forgery. But according to a new report from Politico, these indictments were unprecedented and “unusually aggressive.”

And who do you think was leading the probe? Kris Mayes.

One witness described the questioning as “intense” and having “exceeded the limited scope that prosecutors had publicly acknowledged.” On top of that, some of those indicted were promised by prosecutors that they were not the subject of the investigation nor any charges.

But that proved to be a lie. Just ask one of President Trump’s lawyers, Jenna Ellis, for example. According to the report, Mayes’ prosecutors asked Ellis to appear for a “free-talk interview.” And a prosecutor in Mayes’ office even indicated in a letter that Ellis was not the target of the State’s investigation. But after a follow-up letter to arrange an interview reiterated as much, Ellis was indicted just four days later. And the same thing happened to another of Trump’s attorneys, Christina Bobb.

That’s low…and dirty. And you would think that our own corporate media, like the Arizona Republic, would be on top of such a revealing news story, but no. The Republic is so infatuated with Mayes that it would rather write glowing puff pieces about her while national news outlets and other alternative media blow the whistle on such government overreach.

The reality is that all of this should be more than enough to conduct a deep dive into the actions of AG Kris Mayes. And while the legislature may have started an investigation into her prosecutorial conduct, our court system and the Bar Association need to hold her accountable as well. All of this stinks, and if our legal system is really concerned about setting precedent and protecting norms, then these types of actions by a prosecutor need to be stopped.

Let’s start with Kris Mayes.

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Ballot Measure Gives Secretary of State Total Power to Select Candidates That Appear on the Ballot

Ballot Measure Gives Secretary of State Total Power to Select Candidates That Appear on the Ballot

Who thinks it is a good idea to let voters decide which candidates appear on the general election ballot? Probably everyone. How about letting just one politician decide instead? You would hope that question is rhetorical, and the answer is no one. But right now, out-of-state special interests are spending millions of dollars to put their so-called “Make Elections Fair” measure on the ballot that would do just that. 

The groups pushing these ideas are trying to trick voters into signing their petitions and supporting their poorly written constitutional amendment, arguing it will lead to less partisanship and more centrist candidates on the general election ballot. But hidden in the measure is a provision that lets just one politician, the Secretary of State, decide how many candidates move from the primary to the general election. 

And it isn’t limited to just some elections. Under the measure, the Secretary of State would have the power to decide for every single election on the ballot, including his own! The Secretary of State could go up and down the ballot, selecting just two candidates for the general election in one race, then select three, four, or five in another when only one candidate can win in the general.

It gets even more confusing when two candidates can win the general election for two seats (like for the State House). The Secretary of State can select four candidates for one race, but seven in another, picking and choosing all the way up and down the ballot for every single race however many candidates would most benefit his own political party. 

How about his own race? If it is better for him to go head-to-head with just one opponent, he can unilaterally declare that just two candidates will be on the ballot. But if it is better to “crowd the field,” he can let five candidates show up on your ballot to have his opponents fight with each other while he sneaks his way to victory. 

This new candidate selection scheme would be in addition to the fact that their measure will result in some races where candidates from only one political party appear on the general election ballot, depriving many voters of any choice at all.  If this sounds familiar, it’s because California uses this exact same system to select its candidates. That’s right. The proponents are trying to fix Arizona’s election system by bringing in ideas from San Francisco.

When the legislature writes election laws, their bills have to pass through two legislative chambers consisting of 90 different lawmakers elected from every corner of Arizona. There are committee hearings, public testimony, amendments, recorded votes, and then the Governor has to approve it too. 

But according to the proponents of this measure, what is “fair” is removing all those checks and balances and just consolidating all power into the hands of one politician so he can install a confusing system no one wants. 

California politicians like to pick their opponents. In Arizona, we like to let the voters make that choice. Placing all power in the hands of one politician isn’t fair, it won’t lead to more centrist candidates, and for a group that purports to support and defend “democracy,” this is one of the most undemocratic measures ever written.   

But the drafters of this measure likely don’t care. Their goal is to buy their way onto the ballot, then hope voters won’t discover all the easter eggs they hid in the initiative. No question that this is a very cynical strategy that speaks volumes about their low opinion of voters, but given that they thought it was a good idea to give one politician the power to pick their own opponents, it shouldn’t come as a surprise. 

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As Democrats Panic Over the ‘Secure the Border Act,’ Republicans Should Keep Their Foot on the Gas

As Democrats Panic Over the ‘Secure the Border Act,’ Republicans Should Keep Their Foot on the Gas

Illegal immigration is the number one issue heading into November’s election, and Democrats have no one to thank but themselves. Over the past three years, the left has single-handedly created an open-border disaster under the neglectful policies of a Biden administration that has completely abandoned its constitutional duty to protect each state from invasion. As ground zero for the current border crisis, the people of Arizona know this all too well.

A surge in illegal immigrants in the Tucson Border Sector along with a dramatic rise in the number of “gotaways” has left our state on edge. Meanwhile, cartel violence has increased near southern Arizona communities, and we’ve even seen a report revealing that thousands of “special interest aliens” from mostly Middle Eastern countries have been apprehended while crossing the border illegally in the past two years. And that’s just barely scratching the surface of the catastrophe that has become our border.

You would think that the governor of a state facing a daily invasion would do something, but Katie Hobbs has proven time and time again that she would rather ignore the problem and hope it goes away. So, after Hobbs vetoed the Arizona Border Invasion Act (SB 1231), which would have significantly enhanced our state’s border security, Republican legislators decided it was time to allow voters to take matters into their own hands through the Secure the Border Act (HCR 2060). And the response from Democrats has been telling.

Immediately after the Senate announced they planned to put a border security measure on the ballot and had a hearing to discuss the issue, Democrats and the corporate media began freaking out. Hobbs responded by putting out a press release begging the business community to rescue her and Democrats from having the Secure the Border Act on the ballot. Most business groups responded to her cry for help by essentially telling Hobbs to leave them out of it.

Other liberal organizations vented their frustration to their supporters, upset that the Republicans would have the audacity to “change the subject” from abortion to immigration. And of course, our local legacy media joined in on the freakout parade with a conveyor belt of poorly written opinion pieces attempting to tear down HCR 2060.

What does that tell you?

The left is not even pretending to hide the fact that they are more upset about how the Secure the Border Act hurts their chances in November than the actual damage being caused by the open border. Democrats created this problem, and now they are angry that Republicans are trying to do something about it and (gasp) even go so far as to make it a campaign issue?

Ridiculous.

Voters in Arizona deserve an opportunity to enact solutions to help solve our border crisis, which is why the legislature should stay focused on this issue with their foot pressed firmly on the gas.   

And if this is about election prospects in November, the Democrats have no one to blame but themselves. Their radical woke agenda has led to a freefall in Democrat voter registrations. Immigration and the economy remain the top issues for voters. And Biden and Hobbs remain the two most unpopular politicians in Arizona.

Now, the ball is in the Republicans’ court. They can spend the next six months playing the left’s game of talking about abortion and fighting among themselves (the dream scenario for Democrats), or they can unite and focus on the issues that most voters care about. The choice is up to them.

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!

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Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Driving Arizona’s Bright Economic Outlook

Pro-Growth Tax Reform Is Driving Arizona’s Bright Economic Outlook

A strong economy is a key piece of the foundation for any society. But while the Biden administration has been busy doing anything it can to destroy the economic climate in America over the past four years, Arizona is set up for success—not just for today, but for decades to come.

Last month, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) released its latest “Rich States, Poor States” report, and the Grand Canyon State received the number three ranking for economic outlook among all 50 states. Such a high rank is impressive enough on its own, but when you consider that our state was ranked 13 back in 2021, Arizona’s dramatic rise up the chart especially shines. So, how did we get here?

Pro-Growth Policies Have Led the Way

Arizona’s high ranking is a direct result of significant pro-growth income and property tax reform that have supercharged our economy. In just the last decade, we have cut taxes on capital gains and drastically reduced the property tax burden on small businesses. Then, in July 2021, the Free Enterprise Club helped lead the charge as the Republican-led legislature passed a 2.5% flat tax, delivering historic tax cuts for every single Arizona taxpayer. And if that wasn’t enough, Republicans also included tax relief for Arizona’s families in last year’s state budget to help with the growing cost of gas, groceries, housing, and energy under the Biden administration.

Each of these pro-growth policies have set up Arizona as a leader in the country with many other states looking to mirror these reforms, but if the left had gotten its way, we never would have been here.

Stopping the Left’s Push to Double Arizona’s Income Tax

For five years, the left fought to give our state one of the highest income tax rates in the country. And after an ugly campaign where Red4Ed deceived voters and spent more than $23 million, Prop 208 barely passed in Arizona with only 51% of the vote—doubling our income tax. But in a case that the Free Enterprise Club joined as a plaintiff, the Arizona Supreme Court struck down the unconstitutional tax hike. Then, a superior court judge put the final nail in the coffin of Prop 208 when he ruled that the money raised from the tax would exceed the constitutional spending limit for education. But the battle was far from over.

Red4Ed immediately set its sights on Arizona’s historic flat tax, spending over $5 million to hire an army of paid circulators to put a referendum on the ballot to block the tax cuts from going into effect. But after the referendum was submitted, the Free Enterprise Club filed a lawsuit, challenging the constitutionality of the ballot referral because it did not comply with the “support and maintenance” clause in our state’s Constitution.

Once again, we defeated the teachers’ union when the Arizona Supreme Court ruled against the referendum and issued another big win for taxpayers. But we knew these rulings wouldn’t stop the left from trying to jack up taxes at a later date.

Protecting Taxpayers from Future Increases

It’s clear that the left has an insatiable desire to take more of your hard-earned money and put it into their coffers. In the case of Prop 208, they were able to do that by winning only 51% of the vote (until the court system killed it). But allowing 51% of the population (who may not have to pay a tax increase) to vote to tax the other 49% is wrong. That’s why the Club also led the charge on Prop 132, a constitutional amendment that requires a 60% majority vote of the people on any ballot measure that seeks to raise taxes.

The ballot initiative passed in 2022, ensuring that if the people of Arizona are asked to part with more of their paycheck, it will require a broad agreement from every part of the state.

Now, it is critical to keep all these reforms in place. Slashing income taxes and increasing the approval threshold for future tax hikes has made Arizona a destination for both families and entrepreneurs. And if we stay on this path, our state is on track to continue its route of economic growth and perhaps one day see that number one ranking.

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!

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Is Arizona Turning Blue? The Latest Voter Registration Numbers Tell a Different Story.

Is Arizona Turning Blue? The Latest Voter Registration Numbers Tell a Different Story.

Everyone knows that political pundits, social media influencers, and the corporate media love a good narrative. And one of their favorites for years has been the claim that Arizona is trending blue—that a demographic shift toward Democrats is inevitable.

This ‘conventional wisdom’ is repeated so often that much of the Republican political class in the state has accepted it as fact. Some are even advising candidates that the only path forward for Republicans is to abandon their conservative principles, embrace center-left policy solutions, and settle for a future of divided government.

But a funny thing about narratives and conventional wisdom: numbers don’t lie, especially those showing party preference when people are registering to vote.

Last month, the Secretary of State updated the statewide voter registration data prior to the Presidential Preference Election. The latest figures show that Republicans are once again the largest voting bloc in Arizona, surpassing Independents by nearly 40,000. This is certainly an important development—especially given all the attention it received on social media when Independent registrations surpassed Republicans last year.

But that’s not the most significant voter registration trend. It’s the one that could spell doom for the Democratic party in our state’s upcoming election.

The Data Shows a Widening Gap Between Registered Republicans and Democrats

According to the Secretary of State’s recent report, the voter registration advantage for Republicans over Democrats is now 5.77%, with approximately 236,000 more people registered as Republican than Democrat.

How significant is this?

On Election Day in 2022, the gap between Republicans and Democrats was 4.03%—or about 166,000 more Republicans than Democrats. And on Election Day in 2020, the gap was only 3.04%—or about 130,000 more Republicans than Democrats.

This means that in less than four years, the percentage gap between Democrats and Republicans has nearly doubled, and in raw numbers went from 130,000 to 236,000 more Republicans than Democrats in the state!

Arizona Voter Registration Totals 2014 - 2024

At first glance, this already looks impressive, but the registration numbers from the last decade show an even greater long-term trend. Based on the data from the Secretary of State, the gap between registered Republicans and registered Democrats is stronger today than at any point in the last 10 years! (See graph above and chart below)

Arizona Voter Registration Percentage Breakdown 2014-2024

So, despite the ‘conventional wisdom’ of the political class, there is no evidence that Arizona is trending blue. In fact, the registration numbers suggest the opposite. Now, Republicans look to be positioning themselves in 2024 to look a lot more like the 2014 and 2016 elections that featured a massive red wave and the election of President Donald Trump.

And while the last three elections may have been razor thin close, a combination of ridiculous Democrat policies—along with critical Republican successes—are setting up the opportunity for Republicans to have a big year.

Democrats Are Hemorrhaging Support Due to Absurd Policy Positions

One thing these voter registration numbers tell us is that people are seeing just how crazy Democrats are on the issues. We can start with the current border crisis where the Biden administration has abandoned its constitutional duty, and Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs has done everything she can to pretend it doesn’t exist. In the meantime, we’ve seen a dramatic rise in the number of “gotaways,” a surge of illegal immigrants in the Tucson Border Sector, and an increase in cartel violence—to name just a few of the problems.

Then, there’s our schools where Critical Race Theory and radical gender theory have been spreading like wildfire—especially over the past four years. In the Scottsdale Unified School District, we’ve seen administrators encourage students to replace their “deadname”—the name that individuals reject upon transitioning genders—with their preferred name on their school ID. In Phoenix, a sixth grade teacher was recorded teaching her students about gender identity and not trusting their parents on the subject. And a Tucson High School held its first annual drag show in May 2022, weeks before one of the counselors who organized the event was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a 15-year-old girl.

But we also can’t forget about how the Left handled COVID. Democrat-run states had some of the most restrictive stay-at-home orders in the country. Just ask the people of Michigan. And many of them also pushed “vaccine passports” to allow citizens to use their freedoms. Then, of course the Biden administration rolled out a dangerous vaccine mandate with Democrat-run cities like Phoenix quick to get on board.

On top of all this, the Left continues to push preposterous bans on gas stoves and gas cars while now trying to adopt taxes on our vehicle miles traveled as inflation eats away at the average citizen. Meanwhile, the only thing Katie Hobbs seems to be able to accomplish is breaking the record for most vetoes in a legislative session and massively growing the size of the state government.

Republican Successes Have Created Great Momentum

People want to live in a state that’s free. That’s why Arizona’s Republican leadership has made it a top priority—especially in the last four years—to ensure that our freedoms are both protected and expanded.

During COVID, our state’s response put it ahead of most other states in the country. While we certainly weren’t immune from restrictions, Arizona remained open as blue states like California, New York, and the aforementioned Michigan continued with extreme lockdowns and other measures that crushed their state’s economies.

Then, in July 2021, Republicans delivered historic tax cuts for all Arizona taxpayers, giving them some much-needed relief from rising inflation. But they didn’t stop there. With gas, grocery, housing, and energy prices climbing under the Biden administration, Republicans also included tax relief for Arizona’s families in last year’s state budget.

Along with this, conservatives got to work on passing a law that both saves taxpayers money and provides universal school choice for every single child in the state. Upon the launch of the expanded Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESA), the program was so popular that the ESA website became overwhelmed by the large number of families looking to escape the woke agenda in our union-backed public schools.

Now, the latest voter registration numbers are demonstrating that these policies have resonated with the electorate in Arizona while attracting even more conservatives to our state. That’s probably why Democrats have been so frantic trying to repeal school choice and falsely blame our historic tax cuts for the budget shortfall. They are worried that it will be game over for them if these structure reforms stand.

It’s also important to note that none of this guarantees electoral success for Republicans. A registration advantage is like a head start in a race. Great to have but means nothing if the GOP doesn’t work hard to unify around a conservative platform, conduct a robust GOTV program, and support their general election candidates. Poor voter turnout and infighting within the party cost Republicans several races throughout the state in 2022.  

But the overall political trend lines are clear. Arizona’s freedom-focused policies have laid a foundation for us to be a red state. Now, we need to use this momentum, build on it, and ensure that we become an even more red state for years to come.

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.