By Corinne Murdock |
In a move prompted in part by Big Tech’s interference in the 2020 election, State Representative Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix) introduced a bill to prohibit election officials from running a political action committee (PAC).
The bill, HB2270, is concise: 50 words total. It exempts those PACs backing an election official’s own campaign.
“An individual who is an election officer or employee or who oversees any significant aspect of election operations may not be a chairperson, treasurer, or other member of a political action committee,” read the bill. “This section does not apply to an individual’s membership in a candidate committee for that individual’s own candidacy.”
In a statement, Bolick recounted how Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s foundation, the Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), gave over $5 million to counties across Arizona, with $3 million to Maricopa County alone. She expressed gratitude that the legislature passed a law last year barring election offices from receiving private funds.
“Leading up to the 2020 elections, money from Big Tech and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg played an outsized influence in Arizona’s elections,” said Bolick. “Arizonans want us to restore election integrity and their faith in their election officers to conduct fair and honest elections. This bill would ensure Arizona is not for sale by special interests or out-of-state billionaires. It is time to close the final loophole by prohibiting an election officer or employee who oversees any significant aspect of election operations from running a political action committee that could potentially sway an election outcome.”
If passed, the bill could squash the aspirations of some prominent figures associated with the contentious 2020 election. One such figure would be Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who launched a PAC last November, a little over a year after the presidential election.
Richer’s PAC, Pro-Democracy Republicans of Arizona, backs those GOP candidates running for legislative and county-level seats that profess a Lincoln Project or Republican Accountability Project-esque stance, as reported by AZ Mirror: “acknowledg[ing] validity of the 2020 election and condemn[ing] the events of January 6, 2021 as a terrible result of the lies told about the November election.”
The Republican Accountability Project is an initiative by the Democratic “Never-Trump” dark money group, Defending Democracy Together. Last September, Richer and Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates appeared in a video by the group to discuss the Senate’s election audit led by Cyber Ninjas as well as the January 6 riot. Afterwards, Richer told AZ Free News that he believed January 6 reminded him of the French Revolution.
State Representatives Walt Blackman (R-Snowflake), Frank Carroll (R-Sun City West, Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), Lupe Diaz (R-Hereford), and Quang Nguyen (R-Prescott) cosponsored Bolick’s bill.