Arizona Legislators Join Fight For Trump On The Ballot At Supreme Court

Arizona Legislators Join Fight For Trump On The Ballot At Supreme Court

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona Republican legislators continue to work alongside state attorneys general in significant legal fights in federal court.

On Friday, the Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus announced it had joined an amicus brief to the Supreme Court of the United States in Trump v. Anderson, defending the former president’s right to remain on the ballot in Colorado – and every other state – for the upcoming election. This action follows a similar effort, where legislators, led by Senate President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma, signed their names to a brief that successfully petitioned the nation’s high court to hear the case.

This latest amicus was led by the States of Indiana and West Virginia and co-signed by twenty-three additional states. Notably, the legislative leadership of North Carolina also joined the coalition of attorneys general and the Arizona Legislature in the filing. As with Arizona, North Carolina has a Democrat attorney general and a Republican-led legislature.

Senator Jake Hoffman championed the newest sign-on from the state legislature, writing, “With a Leftist AG in Arizona who refuses to stand up for the rule of law, the conservative-led Legislature has stepped up to defend not only the laws of our state, but the very fabric of our republic. Proud to stand with Warren Petersen and the Arizona Senate Republicans on these legal battles.”

Representative Alexander Kolodin added, “Democrats are trying for a Chinese style election where only their presidential candidate appears on the ballot. The Arizona House and Senate Republicans are stepping up to defend democracy against this threat!”

In their brief, the attorneys general and legislators warn that “if the Court endorses what happened in Colorado, then the chaos can only be expected to worsen. No doubt a political tit-for-tat will ensue, in which competing parties will find new avenues to disqualify their opponents. And elections could then come down to small variations among state elections laws and the political composition of state administrations. In short, indulging challenges of this sort and in this posture will ‘sacrifice the political stability of the system’ of the Nation ‘with profound consequences for the entire citizenry.’ At a minimum, it will ‘expose the political life of the country to months, or perhaps years, of chaos.’”

The legislators’ sign-on to this brief marks yet another time they have joined Republican attorneys general on their legal filings over the past couple months. At the start of the year, the Arizona Legislature joined an amicus brief in federal court to help challenge California’s Assault Weapon Control Act. That brief was led by the attorneys general of Idaho, Iowa, and Montana, and co-signed by almost two dozen additional states.

In December, Petersen and Toma joined a public comment letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to address its newly proposed rule, Definition of “Engaged in the Business as a Dealer in Firearms.” That letter was led by the States of Kansas, Iowa, and Montana, and co-signed by 22 other attorneys general.

Over the past month, the two Republican legislative leaders have signaled a more aggressive shift in taking the reins from Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes to defend the law and Constitution. Attorneys general are not usually joined by outside parties on their amicus briefs, yet multiple coalitions of Republican state prosecutors have included Petersen and Toma on these major filings. In previews for the 2024 legislative session, both the House and Senate Majority Caucuses indicated more of these efforts are to be expected throughout this year.

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

Toma And Petersen Join Fight Against Colorado Trump Ruling

Toma And Petersen Join Fight Against Colorado Trump Ruling

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizona’s leading Republican lawmakers are again joining state attorneys general on another matter of national importance.

Last week, the Arizona State Senate Caucus revealed that President Warren Petersen and House Speaker Ben Toma had joined an amicus brief to urge “the U.S. Supreme Court to take up a dangerous ruling out of Colorado” that had barred “former President Donald Trump from the GOP primary ballot in the 2024 presidential election.” The filing was led by the States of Indiana and West Virginia and joined by 25 additional states, as well as the Arizona Legislature.

In a statement that accompanied the announcement, Petersen said, “If the high court does not immediately act, we anticipate election chaos will ensue over former President Trump’s eligibility as a candidate. This is clearly a case of judicial activism and a violation of the separation of powers. Leftist bias and prejudice are on full display from the Colorado Supreme Court. These justices are only playing partisan games by recklessly feeding a false media narrative that seeks to disenfranchise voters. I’m confident the U.S. Supreme Court will strike down this dangerous attack on our democracy.”

Petersen’s news release called the Colorado State Supreme Court’s decision to bar Trump from the ballot under the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution “an egregious abuse of power,” asserting that America’s governing document “reserves the power to determine the political question of what constitutes an ‘insurrection’ to Congress – not rogue courts.”

Shortly after the brief was transmitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, the challenge was scheduled for arguments before the nation’s high court in early February.

The legislators’ sign-on to this brief marks the second time they have joined Republican attorneys general on their legal filings in 2024. At the start of the year, Senate Republicans shared that the Arizona Legislature had joined an amicus brief in federal court to help challenge California’s Assault Weapon Control Act. That brief was led by the attorneys general of Idaho, Iowa, and Montana, and co-signed by almost two dozen additional states.

In December, Petersen and Toma joined a public comment letter to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) to address its newly proposed rule, Definition of “Engaged in the Business as a Dealer in Firearms.” That letter was led by the States of Kansas, Iowa, and Montana, and co-signed by 22 other attorneys general.

Over the past month, the two Republican legislative leaders have signaled a more aggressive shift in taking the reins from Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes to defend the law and Constitution. Attorneys general are not usually joined by outside parties on their amicus briefs, yet multiple coalitions of Republican state prosecutors have included Petersen and Toma on these major filings.

Both Majority Plans released by Senate and House Republicans preview their commitment to aggressively weigh in on state and federal litigation to defend the interests of Arizonans and uphold the rule of law. Senate Republicans wrote that they “firmly believe in the rule of law and will continue to defend state laws, especially when our Attorney General refuses to do so. We will also continue to seek appropriate relief through the courts to serve as a necessary check on abuses of executive authority at both the state and federal levels.” House Republicans added that “under the Biden administration, our constitutional rights and individual liberties are under daily threat…this complete disregard for the Constitution will not be tolerated. House Republicans will always protect rights guaranteed by the Constitution.”

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

Arizona Legislators Join Fight For Trump On The Ballot At Supreme Court

New Poll Shows Trump With 8 Point Lead Over Biden

By Daniel Stefanski |

Arizonans may be ready to do an about-face on a candidate for President of the United States if recent polls are any indication of next year’s results in the November 2024 General Election.

On Tuesday, Noble Predictive Insights released a poll, showing that former President Donald J. Trump has an eight-point lead over current President Joe Biden in the Grand Canyon State.

The snapshot of the still-distant race has many encouraging signs for the 45th President, although sixteen percent of Arizona voters may still be undecided. Trump holds an eighty-point advantage within the Republican Party for the General Election, while Biden appears to only command a net sixty-seven points inside his own party. Independents, who are Arizona’s largest voting bloc, are split between the two candidates (37-34 Trump), and there are still a significant portion of those voters who are unsure about who they will vote for – if at all – in November’s crucial contest.

Noble Predictive Insights also released a poll of the Republican primary field, showing Trump with a commanding lead over any other competitors. Trump’s numbers in the November survey grew to 53% of the Republican electorate (up from 50% in July), while Governor Ron DeSantis lost three points (19% from 16%). Ambassador Nikki Haley doubled her standing from the July report, acquiring eight percent of the Arizona GOP field (from four percent in July). Vivek Ramaswamy remained at nine percent. This poll was fielded at the end of October, when former Republican contenders Mike Pence and Tim Scott were in the race; Pence pulled in three percent, and Scott, one percent.

In the press release announcing the results of this latest poll, David Byler, the Chief of Research for Noble Predictive Insights said, “An eight-point lead for Trump is striking, but not surprising. Poll averages have Trump ahead of Biden by about a point nationally – that’s a five point swing from the 2020 results. If Arizona – one of the most closely contested states of 2020 – also swung that much, we’d expect individual polls to give Trump a mid-to-high single-digit lead. That’s exactly what our poll – and other recent surveys – have shown.”

The Noble Predictive Insights poll tracks what other recent surveys have telegraphed about the state of the General Election in Arizona: Trump does appear to have a lead over Biden in the state. The latest New York Times / Siena College poll has Trump up by five in Arizona in a head-to-head match-up (49-49 with 603 Registered Voters). Emerson College has the former President leading by two points with a set of polls of both “Likely” and “Registered” voters. And Morning Consult has Trump up four points (46-42 with 800 Registered Voters).

The poll from Noble Predictive Insights computed from 1,010 registered Arizona voters and took placed between October 25-31.

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

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates Claims PTSD Reaction To Trump-Supporting Plumber

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates Claims PTSD Reaction To Trump-Supporting Plumber

By Corinne Murdock |

Maricopa County Supervisor Bill Gates now claims to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which reportedly flared up recently after a Trump supporter came to do work on his home.

Gates revealed the diagnosis to the Washington Post in an article published over the weekend. After documenting at length Gates’ mental decline from 2020 onward, beginning with stress over the pushback against his decision to enact a mask mandate, the outlet concluded with Gates being triggered by the sight of a supporter of former President Donald Trump. 

The offending individual was a worker wearing Trump’s trademark “Make America Great Again” red hat, who’d come over to fix a leaky pipe at Gates’ residence. Gates told the Washington Post that he’d felt “anger swelling in his chest,” and had to leave the room where the worker was to take some “deep breaths” to control his anger.

“It was a trigger to see that hat in my house,” stated Gates.

The Washington Post documented Gates ranting at the funeral last May for former Maricopa County Attorney Allister Adel. Gates recounted how an unnamed “prominent” Republican shared that he found election denialism “all very boring,” to which Gates said he “saw red” and thought, “F**k you.”

Gates reportedly began “wildly waving his arms” while ranting, described as “out of control” and disruptive. According to those around him witnessing the behavior, Gates was on “the brink.”

The outburst reportedly caused his wife to confront him. Gates’ wife insisted that he go to therapy, and he said he did. 

Gates described Election Day last year as a “war zone,” in reference to the flocks of officials and law enforcement at voting centers following the mass voting machine failures that may have disenfranchised thousands of voters. 

Gates told the outlet that, despite feeling relief at giving up his chairmanship in January, he still struggled with the same negative feelings.

This was the second profile piece of Gates in as many months. The Atlantic profiled him in March, though Gates made no mention of his PTSD diagnosis at the time. Gates offered a slightly different version of himself: calmer, less stressed. The words peppered throughout this more recent profile piece — “anxiety,” “anger,” “stress,” “insecurity,” “resentment” — were absent from the one released just several months ago. In that piece, he expressed hopefulness throughout, even in response to uncertain situations he’d faced throughout COVID-19 and the last two elections. The article characterized him as a “leading defender” of elections.

When asked by the outlet whether he felt “threatened” by the demands of former Arizona Republican Party Chair Kelli Ward, Gates demurred, saying that “threat” was “too strong a word.”

“I felt pressure. I felt like if I didn’t do what she wanted to do, that there would be political ramifications, certainly,” said Gates.

Gates expressed belief that although he considered himself “politically dead,” he felt he could run for office again at some point beyond 2024.  

Near the conclusion of his piece in The Atlantic, Gates said that he believed the current political climate is second only in severity to the Civil War. 

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.

Gabby Giffords Lawsuit Alleges NRA Illegally Funded Trump, GOP Candidates

Gabby Giffords Lawsuit Alleges NRA Illegally Funded Trump, GOP Candidates

By Corinne Murdock |

Previous Democratic state representative Gabby Giffords alleged in a federal lawsuit that the National Rifle Association (NRA) broke campaign finance laws by using shell corporations to coordinate advertising with individuals running for federal office. The lawsuit alleged that the NRA illegally gave up to $35 million to the campaigns of at least seven candidates: previous President Donald Trump, who may have received up to $25 million; Republican Senators Josh Hawley (MO), Thom Tillis (NC), Ron Johnson (WI), Tom Cotton (AR); former Republican Senator Cory Gardner (CO); and Representative Matt Rosendale (MT).

These illegal contributions allegedly occurred in the 2014, 2016, and 2018 elections. In that last year, Giffords filed complaints to the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against the NRA’s contributions. After the FEC didn’t act, Giffords sought and received a district court order this September to compel the FEC to act within 30 days. The FEC reportedly failed to act once again, allowing Giffords to sue. Those named in the complaint are the NRA, Rosendale, and Hawley.

Giffords’ counsel asserted that these allegedly illegal funds were the NRA “buying influence over elected officials” as part of a national scheme. Giffords Law Center Senior Staff Attorney David Pucino characterized the NRA and the politicians they backed financially as corrupt.

“The NRA has long acted like it is above the law, and it has done so flagrantly in the last several election cycles. This lawsuit demonstrates that the NRA broke the law by illegally coordinating with federal campaigns and funneling millions of dollars to candidates who supported their extremist, deadly agenda,” said Pucino. “We are suing the NRA to finally hold them accountable for actions that corrupted politicians and undermined our democracy.”

The NRA responded Thursday, asserting their innocence.

“[Just] another premeditated abuse of the public by our adversaries, who will stop at nothing in their pursuit of their anti-freedom agenda. This latest action is as misguided as it is transparent,” asserted the NRA. “Suffice it to say, the NRA has full confidence in its political activities and remains eager to set the record straight.”

Giffords’ lawsuit describes how she co-founded her gun violence nonprofit in 2013 to compete directly with the NRA after surviving a targeted shooting in 2011. The other co-founder was her husband, Democratic Senator Mark Kelly.

As AZ Free News reported in September, Kelly never recused himself from voting on President Joe Biden’s since-retracted nominee for the Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF), David Chipman, who his nonprofit hired, endorsed, and backed financially.

The lawsuit requests relief in the form of limited funding in future elections and a penalty payment matching their allegedly illegal contributions: up to $35 million.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to corinne@azfreenews.com.