By Corinne Murdock |
Gov. Katie Hobbs’ spokeswoman issued a general death threat to “transphobes” hours after the school shooting in Nashville. Three children and three faculty were shot and killed at a Christian private school by 28-year-old Audrey Hale, who police announced had likely identified as a transgender male named Aiden.
(Twitter removed the tweet, but it is archived here).
Hobbs’ press secretary, Josselyn Berry, has issued controversial statements before. While communications director for the Arizona State Senate Democratic Caucus in 2020, Berry quote tweeted FBI Most Wanted Terrorist Assata Shakur several days after George Floyd’s death. Shakur escaped prison after having been convicted for murdering a cop and committing armed robbery, among other crimes.
Arizona Senate Democrats also tweeted the quote on their profile, but deleted the offending tweet and issued an apology after backlash.
Berry, a graduate of Arizona State University (ASU) Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Barrett Honors College, never deleted the tweet. (Her Twitter profile is now private, but this tweet is archived here.)
In addition to controversial public statements, Berry formerly served as a principal actor in Arizona’s leftist dark money network. She served as the program manager for Arizona Wins from 2015 to 2016, and executive director for ProgressNow Arizona (now Progress Arizona) from 2016 to 2019.
Progress Arizona’s sponsor, Way to Win, launched in response to former President Donald Trump’s 2016 victory. It served as a national donor network for the primary purpose of defeating Republicans.
Way to Win spent $110 million in key states, including Arizona, to ensure Democratic victories in 2020. Its major funders include George Soros’ Open Society Foundations and family, Stryker Corporation heiress Patricia Stryker, prominent D.C. consulting firm Arabella Advisors’ Sixteen Thirty (1630) Fund, and the Tides Foundation-backed One Arizona.
Of note, Hobbs’ campaign shared the same mailing address as ProgressNow and Arizona Wins: a UPS store in Phoenix. That address has been shared over the years by several other Democratic political action committees (PACs), activist organizations, and even candidates. These groups also have ties to the political operative behind at least 50 political action committees or candidate campaigns over the last five years.
That operative, Dacey Montoya, had the email for her consulting firm, The Money Wheel, listed as a contact for Hobbs’ secretary of state and gubernatorial campaigns, and received about $188,500 over the past four years. Montoya’s PAC received $37 million from fallen crypto giant FTX leader Sam Bankman-Fried, as well as over $1 million from committees for Sen. Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Governor Katie Hobbs.
Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.