By Corinne Murdock |
Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer mocked a candidate for asking him about electronic petition eligibility, something which falls under the recorder’s knowledge.
The candidate, Rob Canterbury, is running for the District 4 seat in the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (BOS). Canterbury is a 20-year Navy veteran who served in the Iraq War, and currently the Arizona GOP sergeant-at-arms.
Canterbury asked Richer when Maricopa County candidates would be eligible for electronic petitions. Richer responded with “lol,” followed up with a criticism that Canterbury wasn’t a suitable candidate for the BOS.
“That’s something the position you’re running for controls,” said Richer. “Maybe this is a pretty good indicator about how much you don’t know about the process before you talk about it?”
Richer didn’t offer an answer to Canterbury’s question in his initial reply.
Canterbury informed Richer that he reached out to ask because he’d learned conflicting information about electronic petition eligibility from another county-level candidate.
This wasn’t the first time that Richer poked fun at the expense of those kept at a distance from government knowledge. Last September, Richer tweeted a gif calling himself “fancy,” in a retweet response to then-Arizona Republic reporter Jen Fifield remarking that Maricopa County’s new press pass requirements would prevent The Gateway Pundit, a controversial outlet, from engaging in journalism.
Maricopa County then denied a press pass to a reporter from The Gateway Pundit on the basis that the outlet wasn’t objective or apolitical enough for their standards.
A month after launching the press pass system, the county launched a disinformation center and further limited press access on county property.
Around the time that The Gateway Pundit sued over the county’s exclusionary treatment, Richer deleted his tweet. The Ninth Circuit Court ruled in December that Maricopa County’s press pass admissions process was unconstitutional.
“Permitting ‘truth’ to be determined by the County violates our foundational notions of a free press,” stated the court.
Richer told AZ Free News that he didn’t have a specific reason for deleting the tweet. Rather, Richer said that he occasionally deletes posts that he dislikes or deems to be unproductive in hindsight.
Maricopa County paid a $175,000 settlement to the outlet in April.