Fontes Fumed Over Budget, Stormed Through State House

Fontes Fumed Over Budget, Stormed Through State House

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s recently passed budget continues to divide Democrats as they bemoan Governor Katie Hobbs’ failure to negotiate more progressive additions.

Before the new budget was approved by the Arizona Legislature and signed into law, Democrat Secretary of State Adrian Fontes tweeted, “The present form of the budget proposal fails to fulfill the requirements we’ve conveyed to the Governor and the Legislature. This is because relying on one-time funds cannot address our urgent need for a larger number of SOS staff to boost IT security and offer technical support to the counties. As elections are critical infrastructure, the current budget proposal neglects the significance of maintaining the security and quality of our elections over time.”

After the budget was signed by Governor Hobbs, a Republican lawmaker alleged more discontentment from Fontes. Freshman Representative Austin Smith wrote, “During a House Elections Committee meeting this year @Adrian_Fontes came to testify for the ballot images bill to @electjacqparker, @realAlexKolodin, @azjustinheap, @RJ4arizonaand me. Fontes was storming through the State House yesterday cussing because he didn’t get what he wanted in the state budget for his left-wing pet projects. You CAN question ANYTHING in this country including elections. Only actual fascists and democracy frauds like Adrian Fontes hate it. Pound sand, @Adrian_Fontes.”

A few other individuals added some insight to this revelation by Smith, including Representative Jacqueline Parker, who stated: “Maybe if he stopped calling us fascists & working against us, & did his job better we would care about funding his department more… if I was in charge, A LOT more government agencies would have received much less funding. I thought he was treated too generously, considering…”

Representative Justin Heap said, “Uh oh. SofS Adrian Fontes is fuming about the Budget! He just discovered that the House Elections Committee made sure we stripped his control over millions of HAVA dollars he planned to use to “fortify” our elections. Tough break, Man. Seeya at the Joint Oversight Committee!”

Jen Wright, a former top attorney in Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s administration, tweeted, “Why would Sec. Fontes storm thru the AZ State House upset about the budget? Maybe because @realAlexKolodin & the @AZHouseGOP, & @AZSenateGOP refused to give him unfettered access to the MILLIONS in HAVA money that he had requested? #ElectionIntegrityHeroes #ThankALegislator”

Another freshman representative, Alexander Kolodin, responded to Wright’s post, saying, “Oh Gina Swaboda and I went through his budget MOST carefully. A little legislative oversight never hurt, right?”

Senator Wendy Rogers also chimed in to praise Kolodin for his contributions to the budget: “@repalexkolodin applies THE finest-toothed comb of anybody I know on planet earth… seriously. Picayune. Wonkish. But freakin’ sharp. I’m glad he’s on our side, is all I can say.”

Fontes’ issues with the budget follow the high-profile pushback from Democrat Attorney General Kris Mayes, which occurred before the budget was passed and signed into law. Mayes previously sent a letter to Hobbs and members of the Legislature, writing, “The Legislature and Governor need to go back to work and produce a budget that is in the best interest of all Arizonans. We need a budget that funds essential state services that protect the well-being and safety of all Arizonans. I will continue to fight, especially for our most vulnerable residents, as well as the dedicated, hard-working public servants in the Attorney General’s Office.”

Mayes also threatened legal action if the Legislature swept “the authority of the Attorney General to direct funds received through consent judgments against several pharmaceutical companies for their roles in the opioid crisis.” Republican Representative David Livingston fired back against those statements, tweeting, “Attorney General Mayes should learn the facts first, and accurately convey those facts in committee hearings, before making demands and threats to sue the Legislature and the Governor over the budget.”

Daniel Stefanski is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send him news tips using this link.