State Senator T.J. Shope (R-Phoenix) announced on Monday that he was filing an ethics complaint against Senator Juan Mendez (D-Tempe) for being absent for almost the entirety of this legislative session. Shope accused Mendez of abandoning his duties in the senate.
“I have informed the chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics that I will be filing an ethics complaint against the member from district 26 for essentially abandoning his position here in this body. I will be doing so over the next few days,” said Shope.
Shope made his announcement during a vote on whether to expel State Senator Wendy Rogers (R-Flagstaff) from the Senate. That measure failed along party lines.
Both Mendez and his wife, State Representative Athena Salman (D-Tempe), have stayed away from the State Capitol almost entirely, save for Mendez’s visit in February and Salman’s visit in April. They’ve done so with the blessing of Republican House and Senate leadership, who furnished them with excused absences for the last five months.
House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R-Mesa) explained to The Arizona Republic that he gave Salman excused absences because he was “just trying to be nice.” Senate President Karen Fann (R-Prescott) explained that Mendez had a doctor’s note recommending against the legislator’s return to in-person work.
The couple cited concerns about exposing their daughter to COVID-19, who was born in January. Salman requested to work remotely like the legislature had allowed during the last legislative session, but her request was denied.
Mendez and Salman argued to The Arizona Republic that they haven’t absconded from their responsibilities completely. Though they’re barred from voting remotely, the couple reported that they speak with the press and their constituents regularly as well as engage in the legislature by watching it virtually. Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The chairwoman of Planned Parenthood’s activist arm in Arizona bragged about her husband assaulting a supporter of former President Donald Trump.
In a midnight tweet over the weekend, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Arizona (PPAZ) Board of Directors Chairwoman Chris Love tweeted that her husband “body-checked” a man wearing a “Blacks for Trump” t-shirt while at a “Bans Off Our Bodies” pro-abortion rally in Phoenix on Saturday. PPAZ organized and hosted the rally as part of their national organization’s greater protest movement nationwide.
“My husband @MiQL got lost in the crowd and I had to send folks to find him. Instead of hanging in the tented area with the cool kids, he was organizing folks,” wrote Love. “He also body checked some dude in a “Blacks for Trump” shirt. Swoon!”
Love’s husband replied that he was just doing what was best for their movement.
“Doing what I can to support our collective efforts, Bew,” he wrote.
Others disparaged the man in the comments, mocking his hygiene and physical appearance.
This wasn’t the first time Love advocated for violence. In September, Love called for riots after the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) refused to intervene in Texas’ abortion ban. Elected Democratic officials approved of her messaging — both state legislators running for higher offices.
State Representatives Daniel Hernandez (D-Tucson) and Diego Rodriguez (D-Phoenix) retweeted Love’s urge to followers to “break some s**t” in response to Texas’ ban on abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
Hernandez is running for Congress and Rodriguez is running for attorney general.
The testimony of a whistleblower from San Luis, a border city in Yuma County, was featured in the 2020 election fraud documentary “2000 Mules.” The inspiration for the documentary title came from the number of alleged “mules” across the five battleground states that visited 10 or more ballot drop boxes during the 2020 election. A “mule” is an individual that delivers harvested ballots to election drop boxes.
In addition to the whistleblower testimony, the documentary presented ballot drop box evidence as proof that widespread election fraud rigged the 2020 election to ensure President Joe Biden’s victory over former President Donald Trump, a belief critics dubbed “The Big Lie.”
The Yuma County whistleblower explained that she worked as a receptionist for an organization that received harvested ballots all week long from various individuals, mostly female, who would come into the office on Fridays for their payment. She explained that it was part of a greater network she called the “Mexican Mafia.”
According to the woman, someone would call periodically to ask how many ballots were brought in to her and if they were already filled out. Then, a woman would come in to review the ballots. Afterwards, the other woman would deliver them in a drop box or ask the whistleblower to deliver them to a local library’s drop box at night because it had no cameras. The whistleblower didn’t have an estimate for how many ballots she dropped off, agreeing that the count could have ranged in the hundreds.
She asserted that ballot harvesting ensured fixed elections long before they took place.
“I don’t even think they know the meaning of what voting is,” said the woman. “[The elections] are fixed. They’ve been fixed. They already know, seriously, who is gonna win the next election before it even happens.”
The whistleblower explained that the people in her area are an easy target because they’re mostly Hispanics unfamiliar with the law.
“They look at [ballot harvesting] as ‘Oh, she’s trying to help us because we’re older, because she’s having someone come and pick it up at my house, because I don’t drive,’” said the woman.
The woman explained that peers dissuaded her from educating the community about ballot harvesting because she would “end up in the trash can in pieces” for subverting the election mafia’s will.
True the Vote, the nonprofit that combed through geotracking data and 4 million minutes of ballot drop box video feed, estimated that there were around 2,000 mules who visited 10 or more drop boxes across Arizona, Michigan, Wisconsin, Georgia, and Pennsylvania for the 2020 election. However, when they lowered the criteria to include those that visited five or more ballot drop boxes, the number of alleged mules increased to 54,000.
Under the first criteria of individuals who visited 10 or more drop boxes, Arizona had 200 mules in the Phoenix area averaging 20 drop box visits and five ballots each, totaling 20,000 votes. Biden won the state by around 10,000 votes. When accounting for the 54,000 suspected mules, researchers estimated that the average of five drop box visits and three votes cast accounted for about 810,000 votes in the 2020 election. Of those types of votes, Arizona accounted for over 207,400.
Overall, the 2000 alleged mules that visited 10 or more drop boxes each averaged 38 drop box visits each, with an average of five ballots inserted — about 380,000 votes the documentary claimed were illegal. Michigan allegedly had 500 mules averaging 50 drop box visits and five ballots each, totaling 125,000 votes. Biden won the state with 154,000 votes. Wisconsin allegedly had 100 mules averaging 28 drop box visits and five ballots each, totaling 14,000 votes. Biden won by around 20,000 votes. Georgia allegedly had 250 mules averaging 24 drop box visits and five ballots each, totaling 30,000 votes. Biden won by around 12,000 votes — 18,000 less than the votes linked to the mules. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania allegedly had 1,100 mules averaging 50 drop box visits and five votes each, totaling 275,000 votes. Biden led Trump by around 80,000 votes — around 195,000 less than the votes linked to the mules.
When accounting for the alleged mules that visited five or more drop boxes each, Wisconsin had over 83,500 of those drop box votes; Georgia had over 92,600; Pennsylvania had over 209,500; and Michigan had over 226,600.
The bulk of the research for the documentary came from True the Vote, a Texas-based election integrity organization founded in 2009. The founder and president of the organization, Catherine Engelbrecht, and an election intelligence expert of 40 years, Gregg Phillips, presented a summary of their discoveries in the documentary.
Engelbrecht shared that, according to whistleblowers, mules receive an average of $10 per ballot and are generally required to take pictures of the ballots as they’re delivered into the drop boxes. Engelbrecht dismissed rebuttals to the claim that those identified as mules might be individuals with large families or those who happen to drive by ballot drop boxes frequently. She explained that the mules’ travel patterns concentrated around origin points at organizations where ballots were given to the mules, then drop boxes, then back to organizations that had ballots to dole out for mules. Phillips clarified further that the drop boxes were often in locations that required individuals to diverge from main roads.
The pair noted that they discovered multiple drop boxes’ video feed was shut off.
“You don’t need a lot of fraud. You just need a little in the right places at the right time,” explained Engelbrecht.
The day of the announcement of a State Grand Jury indictment of two individuals in December 2020, Engelbrecht and Phillips showed video evidence that Georgia mules donned blue surgical gloves when stuffing drop boxes with ballots during the runoff election. Phillips explained that the FBI used fingerprints to identify the Arizona ballot harvesters.
The two ballot harvesters were from the same area as the whistleblower featured in the documentary.
“This is an organized effort to subvert a free and fair election,” said Phillips.
Last month, the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) gave a company $180,000 to do work already within the outlined responsibilities of its leadership: future planning and creation of a new mission statement.
In an email obtained by AZ Free News, Interim Chancellor Steven Gonzales insisted that the need to outsource the mission statement and strategic plan was due to the capacity constraints of the district’s Institutional Research/Effectiveness (IR/IE) experts normally responsible for those duties.
He further claimed that the increased community diversity necessitated a mission statement makeover and brand-new strategic plan. The allusion to diversity likely came, in part, from MCCCD’s new partnership with the technology company Intel to launch a semiconductor manufacturing bootcamp using American Rescue Plan funds — the entirety of the first class were women.
Gonzales projected that the new mission statement and strategic plan would be ready by New Year’s Eve, with implementation following in January of next year.
Although Gonzales said that the district was under capacity constraints, they formed a steering committee to offer resources to the vendor: MGT of America Consulting. The company has held many contracts throughout Arizona: they were hired by the city of Glendale, city of Scottsdale, city of Goodyear, Maricopa County, Coconino County, and Mesa Public Schools over the past few years.
The announcement came shortly after the Phoenix Business Journal selected Gonzales as one of the “Most Admired Leaders of 2022.” Gonzales assumed the interim chancellor role in January 2020.
75 percent of MCCCD’s income comes from property taxes. Only 23 percent comes from tuition. According to a railbird, MCCCD’s enrollment dropped to one-third of its previous enrollment.
The largest newspaper in Arizona hired two new reporters with the help of a group funded by some of the country’s most powerful Big Tech corporations and liberal companies.
The new Arizona Republic reporters came from Report for America, a program launched by the Big Tech and liberal-funded GroundTruth Project to place their hand-selected journalists in newsrooms across the world. The not-for-profit receives millions from the likes of Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and the Ford Foundation for its mission to “restore journalism.”
The program offers a major financial incentive for news outlets to take on its reporters. Report for America pays 50 percent of their reporter’s salary the first year with a cap of $25,000 for reporters with less than eight years experience or $30,000 for reporters with eight or more years of experience, then 33 percent of the salary the second year and 20 percent the third year with no cap.
Outlets don’t even have to worry about paying for the entire remainder of those reporters’ salaries. The program pledged to help fundraise half or more of the remainder of each salary. High turnover wouldn’t be an issue, either — the program requires reporters to commit to working at least two years in the newsroom to which they are assigned.
News outlets must relinquish some of their freedom when it comes to hiring the program’s reporters, however. Outlets don’t get to choose from all of the program’s reporters. Report for America hand-selects three to five candidates from which the outlets may choose.
The owner of the Arizona Republic, the mass media holding company Gannett, has given thousands to the program: an undisclosed sum ranging from $5,000 to $50,000.
In addition to the Arizona Republic, Report for America journalists are working for Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting and Tucson Sentinel.
Report for America claimed that its reporters are committed to non-partisan, non-ideological local reporting. Over 200 news outlets across each of the 50 states house at least one of the over 300 Report for America journalists. Two-thirds of those reporters are women, and nearly half are “journalists of color” according to the program.
GroundTruth’s editorial partners include The Washington Post, Time, The Atlantic, The New York Times, The Guardian, USA Today, PBS, NPR, NewsWeek, TeenVogue, CNN, Cosmopolitan, ABC News, and USA Today.