Hoffman Challenges Mayes’ “Politically Driven Prosecution” Against Republicans

Hoffman Challenges Mayes’ “Politically Driven Prosecution” Against Republicans

By Matthew Holloway |

Arizona Senator Jake Hoffman (R-LD15) has raised a potent legal challenge to the politically driven prosecution that he and 17 other prominent Republican alternate electors have faced at the hands of Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes whom he referred to as “zealously partisan.” Hoffman released a scorching statement to accompany a legal motion to dismiss the case on July 2, along with his official mugshot taken after his indictment “in response to Kris Mayes political persecution campaign against the 2020 Republican electors.”

Hoffman wrote,

“In war, only leaders are targeted for assassination.

This is a political war.

You can persecute us.

You can attack us.

But you will never silence us.

Truth will always prevail.

NEVER SURRENDER.

Before an investigation had even been conducted and with no evidence, Kris Mayes declared that she believed electors such as myself were guilty of a crime, that it was her job to get Biden re-elected, and that she would control the timing of the indictment.

Let me be unequivocal, I am innocent of any crime, I will vigorously defend myself, and I look forward to the day when I am vindicated of this naked political persecution by the judicial process.”

Hoffman’s attorney Tim La Sota filed the motion citing Arizona state law that allows for rapid dismissal of cases under special circumstances to protect citizens from legal action for exercising a constitutional right known as “SLAPP” or “strategic lawsuit against public participation,” according to the Arizona Republic.

La Sota called the charges against Hoffman “politics by other means,” describing it as, “an effort by an overtly partisan elected attorney general to shame and punish her political opponents and critics for exercising their constitutional rights.”

In the motion, La Sota added, “The attorney general’s novel, overzealous, and retaliatory prosecution is also tied to Sen. Hoffman’s Republican colleagues’ efforts to conduct oversight of her office.”

Hoffman’s attorney pointed to multiple examples of extra-judicial speech from Mayes and her Chief Deputy Dan Barr for prejudicial statements posted to social media, such as a July 2022 post in which Mayes wrote she “would have immediately investigated the fake electors” stating they “videotaped their crime for all to see.” He also pointed to an August 2022 post from Barr who wrote, the alternate GOP electors were “criminals” claiming they “should be prosecuted as such,” according to AZCentral.

La Sota wrote in the motion, “Attorney General Mayes’ and Chief Deputy Attorney General Barr’s extrajudicial statements demonstrate a strong animus against those who questioned the 2020 election and particularly the alternate electors, including Senator Hoffman, and a desire to prosecute them before any investigation had taken place.”

In an email to the outlet Tuesday, he explained that Mayes’ and her surrogates had effectively branded his client and his co-defendants as criminals before any investigation into their actions began. “It was more than a mere pledge to investigate whether or not they committed a crime, which would have been ethical.”

Executive Director of Save Arizona and Chairwoman of Strong Communities Action Merissa Hamilton reposted Hoffman’s post to X supportively writing, “Future generations will look back on this dark time in our nation’s history and remember those that stood in the gap to save our freedom! Please keep @JakeHoffmanAZ and his family in your prayers! They have backbones of steel! Every day wake up and ask yourself what you can do to save Arizona today! Then go forth like your freedom and life depends on it!”

Matthew Holloway is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow him on X for his latest stories, or email tips to Matthew@azfreenews.com.

Former Lawmaker Wants Bill Prohibiting Explicit Materials In Schools To Apply To Maricopa County

Former Lawmaker Wants Bill Prohibiting Explicit Materials In Schools To Apply To Maricopa County

By Elizabeth Troutman |

Former Arizona state Senator Michelle Ugenti-Rita called on Rep. Jake Hoffman, founding chairman of the Arizona Freedom Caucus, to amend a bill involving sexually explicit materials in schools to include the Maricopa County Library District. 

Senate Bill 1007 proposed by Hoffman, a Republican, makes it a class 5 felony for a public school to show a student sexually explicit materials or use it in the classroom in any way. 

“I would like to encourage the bill sponsor, @JakeHoffmanAZ and my former colleagues to amend this bill to include the Maricopa County Library District since @ThomasGalvin won’t do anything to stop county libraries from facilitating a liberal woke agenda by promoting sexually graphic and sensitive material to children,” said Ugenti-Rita, a Republican who represented Arizona’s District 23 from 2019 to 2023.

The bill prohibits Arizona public schools to refer students to sexually explicit material unless “the material possesses serious educational value for minors or serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value” or “the public school requires written parental consent, on a per-material basis, before referring a student to or using the material.”

The public school must also provide students whose parents do not consent for them to see the material with an alternative assignment that does not contain sexually explicit material. 

Sexually explicit materials include “textual, visual or audio materials or materials accessed via any other medium that depict sexual conduct, sexual excitement or ultimate sexual acts,” the bill says. 

Charter schools can require parents to waive the right to object to learning materials or activities as a condition of enrollment if the charter school provides a comprehensive list of books and materials used for instruction each school year before the student enrolls. 

The parent keeps the right to object to those materials if they are altered after the students’ enrollment.  

Elizabeth Troutman is a reporter for AZ Free News. You can send her news tips using this link.

AG Mayes Accused Of Overreach For Indictment Of Cochise County Supervisors

AG Mayes Accused Of Overreach For Indictment Of Cochise County Supervisors

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s chief law enforcement officer announced a legal action over the 2022 election, angering some of the state’s legislative Republicans.

On Wednesday, Attorney General Kris Mayes revealed that “the State Grand Jury has returned an indictment charging Peggy Suzanne Judd and Terry Thomas ‘Tom’ Crosby with the felony offenses of Interference with an Election Officer and Conspiracy.”

In a statement issued in conjunction with the announcement, Mayes said, “The repeated attempts to undermine our democracy are unacceptable. I took an oath to uphold the rule of law, and my office will continue to enforce Arizona’s elections laws and support our election officials as they carry the duties and responsibilities of their offices.”

According to the indictment, Judd and Crosby are alleged to have “conspired to delay the canvass of votes cast in Cochise County in the November 2022 General Election,” and to have “knowingly interfered with the Arizona Secretary of State’s ability to complete the statewide canvass for the 2022 General Election.”

Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs cheered on the indictments, posting, “To give Arizonans the free & fair elections they deserve, we must hold those who seek to undermine our democracy accountable. Thank you, AG Mayes, for protecting our democracy & enforcing the law without fear or favor.”

Republican lawmakers were not as complimentary toward Mayes. Arizona State Senator Jake Hoffman issued a lengthy statement, attacking the decision and the process for these indictments, calling it “a disgusting weaponization of the AZ Attorney General’s office.” Hoffman said that “this is ELECTION INTERFERERNCE by an extremist AG who wants to chill any future efforts by local election officials to challenge potentially inaccurate elections.” He predicted that these indictments would set a precedent that would be used against other local officials and encouraged Arizona County Supervisors to “leverage every tool you have at your disposal to make it clear to the entire AG’s office that weaponizing Arizona’s government has harsh consequences.”

Both Senator Anthony Kern and Representative Jacqueline Parker threatened Mayes with impeachment for these indictments.

Parker also broached the idea of indicting other County Supervisors around the state to ensure “equal treatment under the law in AZ.”

On the other side of the aisle, Democrat Representative Oscar De Los Santos praised the action, writing, “A grand jury of everyday Arizonans has indicted two MAGA politicians for conspiring to prevent the certification of a free and fair election. Criminals who conspire to undermine our democratic republic and the rule of law must be prosecuted to the fullest extent.”

These Cochise County indictments from the State Grand Jury may be the start of Mayes’ actions against Republicans on the election front. The Democrat Attorney General is believed to be progressing in her investigation over the presidential alternate electors from the Arizona Republican Party in 2020. Not much is known about this investigation or the timeline for any possible indictments, but legal action over this matter would undoubtedly create an exponentially greater firestorm with Republicans than the expressed outrage over the Cochise County indictments.

The growing dispute between the Republican-led legislature and Attorney General’s Office could have major implications for the state’s budget negotiations in 2024. Earlier this year, Attorney General Mayes expressed disappointment over the lack of resources appropriated to her office in the compromise between legislative Republicans and Governor Hobbs. At the time, Mayes said, “Today, we see a budget proposal moving forward that appears to be politically expedient for a few, but wholly inadequate for the majority of people in our state.”

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

Hobbs Refuses To Follow The Law On Director Nominations

Hobbs Refuses To Follow The Law On Director Nominations

By Daniel Stefanski |

A year-long political feud over Arizona’s agency nominees has just entered uncharted territory.

On Monday, Democrat Governor Katie Hobbs sent a letter to Republican Senate President Warren Petersen, informing him that she would “withdraw all director nominations that remain pending before the Senate and pursue other lawful avenues of ensuring State government can continue to function for Arizonans.”

The governor blamed Senate Republicans for not “fulfilling (their) statutory obligations in good faith,” adding that they have proven themselves “unable or unwilling to carry out a valid process for confirming nominees.” She specifically attacked the “complete lack of fitness” of chairman of the Committee on Director Nominations, Jake Hoffman; and she accused him of “disrespectful behavior” and attempts to “leverage the confirmation” of qualified nominees.

Senate Republicans were quick to respond to the governor’s action. President Warren Petersen issued a statement, saying, “This move by the Executive Branch showcases another prime example of an elected official who believes they’re above the law and will go to extreme measures to bypass the requirements of the law when they don’t get their way. The law is very specific on who is to run our state agencies. Without directors fulfilling these obligations, the legality of every decision made by these state agencies is dubious, and litigation against the state would surely prevail.”

Petersen promised Arizonans that the process for vetting and confirming Hobbs’ nominees was, in fact, working and that legislators would be awaiting a new list of appointments from the state’s chief executive. He said, “Our members of the Committee on Director Nominations will continue to be professional and stand ready to resume the confirmation hearings created to critically vet her appointments in order to protect the people of Arizona from government overreach and tyranny from unelected bureaucrats. The process is working. Because of the committee’s thorough vetting, we have been able to recommend several directors for appointment and have also rejected those who proved they were not competent to serve. We are prepared to receive a new list of nominations. If they are competent and not hyper-partisan, they will have no problem getting confirmed.”

The primary target of the governor’s outrage, Senator Jake Hoffman, also released a statement to respond to the new developments. Hoffman stated, “With this latest stunt, Katie Hobbs has doubled down on her commitment to weaponizing the government of Arizona to enact her extreme far-left agenda. The people of our state deserve highly qualified, non-partisan individuals to lead these agencies, instead Hobbs has chosen to nominate partisans and ideologues. Hobbs is the only person to blame for her nominees struggling to succeed under actual due diligence. She should have done her homework prior to making her nominations, yet she chose not to and is now attempting to blame everyone else except herself for her failures.”

The East Valley legislator added, “If the Governor wishes to limit her own authority by foregoing rulemaking and other director-required activities in the absence of confirmed directors, we certainly welcome this limitation of her power. Hobbs has made it abundantly clear that she has no intention of working constructively with the Legislature the voters gave her. Instead, she’s choosing to throw petulant temper tantrums when she doesn’t get her way. The only ones who stand to lose in the wake of her childish games are the citizens of Arizona. I’m incredibly disappointed, but I’m certainly not surprised.”

According to the Governor’s Office, the following nominees were withdrawn and reassigned as Executive Deputy Directors of their respective agencies:

  • Elizabeth Thorson, Arizona Department of Administration
  • Angie Rodgers, Arizona Department of Economic Security
  • Karen Peters, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality
  • Carmen Heredia, Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System
  • David Lujan, Arizona Department of Child Safety
  • Jackie Johnson, Arizona Department of Gaming
  • Joan Serviss, Arizona Department of Housing
  • Barbara Richardson, Arizona Department of Insurance and Financial Institutions
  • Lt. Col Dana Allmond, Arizona Department of Veterans Services
  • Alec Esteban Thomson, Arizona State Lottery
  • Cynthia Zwick, Residential Utility Consumer Office
  • Lisa Urias, Arizona Office of Tourism
  • Robyn Sahid, Arizona State Land Department

Hobbs’ release also noted that at the Committee’s current pace, Hoffman’s Senate Committee would “be holding nomination hearings well into (her) second term” – a comment (and a bold prediction) that is certain to intensify the political fires between the Governor’s Office and Legislative Republicans as they prepare to enter the second year of a very divided government.

The Arizona Senate Democrats Caucus sided with the governor, writing, “Jake Hoffman hijacked the Director Confirmation process for his own extremist agenda against abortion access. This waste of taxpayer dollars & time desperately needed to end. Arizonans can be confident that their government is running with sound and stable leadership.”

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

Hobbs’ Nominee For Housing Director Rejected By Senate Committee For History Of Plagiarism

Hobbs’ Nominee For Housing Director Rejected By Senate Committee For History Of Plagiarism

By Daniel Stefanski |

The future of another one of Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs’ agency directors is in legislative peril.

On Thursday, the Senate’s Committee on Director Nominations voted to recommend a ‘no’ vote on Hobbs’ selection for the Director of the Arizona Department of Housing, Joan Serviss.

In a press release announcing the result of the committee’s vote, the Senate Republican Caucus shared that “during questioning of Serviss, troubling information came to light regarding a history of repeated and seemingly pervasive plagiarism while serving as Executive Director with the Arizona Housing Coalition. The Caucus added, “Over a period of about four and a half years, an alarming number of individual statements were documented as written by other groups, but presented by Ms. Serviss as her own original works,” and “under her leadership, both government entities and the public were misled, threatening the credibility of this organization.”

The chairman of the committee, Senator Jake Hoffman, released a statement after the official recommendation, saying, “It’s frustrating that the Hobbs Administration once again did not conduct proper vetting of a nominee tasked with leading a critical agency, like the Arizona Department of Housing. We’ve carried out our due diligence and have so far identified several unqualified, partisan individuals placed by Hobbs in these positions of power that directly impact the lives and livelihoods of our citizens. As I stated during this hearing, we cannot have a Manchurian candidate who will blindly follow the direction of special interest groups. We need independent thinkers who are seeking to serve only the best interests of our state and our taxpayers. In the absence of Hobbs conducting her own thorough vetting, the Committee on Director Nominations will continue to ask the tough questions of these individuals because it is what our citizens expect of us, and our state can only afford to advance highly qualified directors to lead our agencies.”

According to the release prepared by the Senate Republican Caucus, “with the Director of the Arizona Department of Housing responsible for overseeing hundreds of millions in taxpayer dollars to address homelessness and affordable housing issues, it became apparent that Ms. Serviss would be unfit to serve in this position” leading to the 3-2 vote against her appointment. Unless the governor withdraws this nomination, the full Senate will likely vote on Serviss when it reconvenes in 2024.

Senate Democrats were outraged by the committee’s rejection of Serviss. Two Senators, Lela Alston and Flavio Bravo, quickly issued a press release, condemning the action. Alston said, “I have sat in more legislative committees than I would like to admit, but I have never seen worse behavior than that which was displayed by Senator Hoffman today. Director Serviss is broadly supported by veterans, housing experts, community members, and those in the advocacy community for this role.” Bravo added, “The accusations Republicans chose to throw were not that of a legislative official who should easily be able to distinguish the difference between an advocacy letter and an academic paper…He (Hoffman) put his own personal disagreements with Governor Hobbs above the dire needs of Arizonans in urgent need of housing.”

Alston also attempted to divide Republicans on the panel in her statement, expressing sympathy for Senators Wadsack and Shope allowing “themselves to be dragged along by Hoffman in his childish exercise in ego.” Both Republicans didn’t appear to see the situation as their Democrat colleagues. Shope reposted the Senate Republicans’ press release on the hearing and its result, while Wadsack stated, “It was an honor to sit on the DINO Committee today.”

Serviss was one of Hobbs’ first appointments to cabinet-level positions back in December 2022 – before the Democrat was sworn into office. In announcing the nominations of Serviss and others on December 27, Hobbs said, “These are some of the best minds Arizona has to offer, and I am proud that they have chosen to serve the people of Arizona by my side. As a social worker, I know firsthand the importance of these crucial agencies to the lives of the people who need them. I am confident that this group of talented individuals has what it takes to transform our state’s health, social, and safety systems so that they work for everyone across Arizona.”

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