Governor-Elect Hobbs Dictated Twitter Speech While Secretary of State

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Editors’ Note: Americans are learning more each day about the role of Twitter (thank you Elon Musk!!) in 2020 and 2022 election interference and the role of almost all social media platforms and search engines (especially FaceBook, Google and YouTube) as state actors and arms of the Democrat party. Note especially the sentence below about the Center for Information Security (CIS) ‘tapping’ Twitter to remove tweets by direction of Katie Hobbs. Also note that ‘CIS works with all 50 states in over 2,900 election offices nationwide’ and that CIS has received almost $200 million in federal grants since early in the Obama administration. Does this information explain or suggest that elections in America are no longer the critical instrument for citizens to be governed ‘by their consent’ as conceived by our Founders and the U.S. Constitution? 

 

Court filings reveal that Governor-elect Katie Hobbs dictated Twitter’s content moderation while serving as secretary of state.

According to the emails disclosed in court filings, Hobbs’ office asked the Center for Information Security (CIS) to review two tweets posted by an account with 21 followers. Within 30 minutes, CIS tapped Twitter to handle the issue, who promised to “escalate.” Twitter resolved the issue several hours later by removing both tweets.

“These messages falsely assert that the Voter Registration System is owned and operated by foreign actors,” complained Hobbs’ office. “This is an attempt to further undermine confidence in the election institution in Arizona.”

The exchange occurred last January, the day after the attack at the Capitol.

The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) told The Washington Post that they don’t interfere in election-related speech online. Instead, the government agency told the outlet that it deferred to CIS to engage in those issues.

In 2021, CIS shared through its Elections Infrastructure Information Sharing & Analysis Center (EI-ISAC) year-end report that it was “uniquely positioned to handle both cybersecurity and misinformation reports to protect election infrastructure.” The nonprofit disclosed that it created a communications hub — called the Situation Awareness Room (SitRoom) — to identify and address 2020 election threats with federal, state, local, and private partners.

CIS used its EI-ISAC to coordinate election officials, federal partners, and social media platforms.

“The success of these efforts in the 2020 election [Trump defeated?] established the foundation for expanded efforts on mis/disinformation reporting for future elections,” stated CIS.

CIS works with all 50 states in over 2,900 election offices nationwide.

CIS is a nonprofit founded in 2000; its president and CEO, John Gilligan, was formerly a senior intelligence and security advisor for the Air Force, Department of Energy, and White House Cyber Security Commission under the Obama administration. CIS has received around $196.5 million in federal grants since 2010 [beginning early in Obama administration], and nearly $3.7 million in federal agency cybersecurity contracts since 2005.

The coordination between Hobbs and Twitter was revealed in court filings for a case before the Louisiana Western District Court: Missouri v. Biden. At issue in the case is whether President Joe Biden and his administration violated the First Amendment by directing social media companies’ censorship of speech pertaining to COVID-19…..

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Read more at Arizona Independent Daily.

What Happened To Our Civility?

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

We see an increased level of crime in our country. We see an increased level of negative political discourse. More importantly in our daily actions with the people around us, we see a degradation of human interaction and consideration for people in general. That has been on full display recently in one of my main hobbies – attending concerts.

During the pandemic, the principal thing I missed more than anything else was live musical performances. Most people I know think of me as a baseball person, but my main activity is music. Music is on at my home, my car, and my office as much as possible. There is nothing like a live performance though for me.

At concerts, I have seen the deterioration of people’s behavior over a period of years. It is especially fascinating because the price of concert tickets has soared – due in part because of people’s willingness to pay but also to compensate for the artists’ lost revenue on CD sales. Regardless, one must wonder why people act like they are in their own homes while surrounded by others trying to listen to a performance. Why are they loudly chatting about recent shopping trips instead of listening to the performer they paid so dearly to see.

This has been accelerating for years. I have had to “get in the face” of people during more than one Steely Dan concert to tell them in a not-so-nice manner to either close their traps or exit. With the return of shows in full force this summer, the bad behavior seems to have stepped up even further.

This all came to a head for me during a recent show at the world-famous Hollywood Bowl. As part of our Friday night series, we had a concert of Boys II Men and TLC. As TLC performed (and they are not a quiet act) you could hear the people in the boxes behind us chattering. As the level of sound increased from the stage, the chatter got even louder. I had been told by the young man in the box beside us that TLC was his favorite musical act of the 1990s. I felt so bad for him. When Boys II Men came on stage, they sang some traditional Philadelphia soul ballads. I could hear the people behind through each song. I said enough was enough.

The following week the Beautiful Wife and I headed to Lake Tahoe to see one of the few Rock ‘n’ Roll acts she is interested in – Train. Train had a series of hit songs in this century for those not aware and has an outstanding and engaging frontman/lead singer in Pat Monahan. Harvey’s Casino built an outdoor facility seating about 7,500. This concert was postponed a year ago when fires across Northern California spread too close to Tahoe making the concert impossible.

We had a picture-perfect evening after a very soggy day. The opening act was someone I was not aware of by the name of Thunderstorm Artis. He is an acoustical act, just him and his guitar. After a couple of songs, I was beginning to enjoy him. That is when a man and woman came in and sat in the row in front of us. The woman was very loud and got louder when she befriended the person next to her. I leaned over to her and said, “Excuse me, I would like to listen to this performer.” She turned around and instead of saying “I am sorry” and then quieting down she told me “F— Off.” She then proceeded to harangue me with four more versions of that very classless response while the man she was with tried to make peace. Instead of quieting down, she was now disrupting everyone around us.

I have become used to over-the-top reactions from young beer-induced males, but now this kind of behavior from grown women has become more common. I thought to myself – “this is why we fought for women’s liberation?” Susan B. Anthony would be so proud.

The Beautiful Wife went to see about relocating our seats as we saw no cure for this obnoxious woman who was bought another alcoholic drink. BW found someone to relocate us to a suitable alternative location. I then sought out the head of operations for the facility.

I gave him a little background on myself. I told him my first concert was The Four Seasons (with all four original members) in 1966. I told him I have been to roughly 1000 live performances. The Beautiful Wife queried me on that. I told her she was not around when I went every weekend to either the Troubadour, The Roxy, or the Whisky A Go-Go. She was not around when my friends and I went to see the Allman Brothers four nights in a row or Jethro Tull three nights in a row. I reminded her I toured with Electric Light Orchestra and saw thirty shows in less than two months. I went on from there.

I spoke to the operations manager about the crowd’s generally degrading behavior. I did not need to sell him from there. He was totally on board. He said “I don’t understand. They pay $100 for a ticket, and they behave like this. Why are they here?” This was “music to my ears” for two reasons. First that he totally got it, and then I was wishing I could pay “just” $100 for tickets for an L.A. show. We agreed that there must be someone who comes on stage and welcomes the crowds, and then states, “Out of respect for the performers and the people around you, please do not talk during the artists’ performance.”

I had the same discussion soon after with the young man who runs the floor of the Bowl every night. He told me of the daily challenges he has because of inconsiderate patrons. The Bowl asks people in their opening recorded statements to remain quiet during the performance, but most people are not paying attention. I suggested they need to have a live person on the stage welcoming the crowd and focusing them and asking them to remain quiet while the artists are performing. He thought it was a good idea and was going to run it up the flagpole and see what the bosses thought. Unfortunately, they did not adopt the new policy.

This was proven out when recently a couple behind me was chattering while Roger Daltrey was singing the lyrics of a Who song at a recent concert. I turned and just gave them a look and the next thing I knew they were knocking on my shoulder and asking what was wrong with me. Of course, they were asking me in the middle of a song.

It is sad we have gotten to this situation in our society. There is little sense of decorum. There is little respect for others. There is little self-awareness. It seems every time you call someone on their ill behavior, you get rude tongue-lashing. Or my favorite is when people are driving, and they flip you the bird after they almost crashed into your car or run you over while you’re in a crosswalk. So graceless. Do you wonder why the bigger issues of bad behavior are occurring?

The Broken Windows Theory is applied to crime, but it is applicable to our everyday lives. When apparent upstanding members of the community act like this, what would you expect from others?

Twitter Execs Didn’t Have a Good Explanation for Censoring Hunter Biden’s Laptop, New Emails Reveal

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

After Twitter CEO Elon Musk teased a massive reveal Friday afternoon, journalist Matt Taibbi released a Twitter thread revealing the confusion at the social media company after it censored the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential election.

Taibbi’s Twitter thread, which Musk retweeted, revealed that Twitter’s top executives didn’t have a good explanation for censoring the story, but stuck with the decision, anyway. It also showed that Republican and Democratic congressional staff weighed in against the move.

Taibbi recounted that Twitter took “extraordinary steps” to suppress the Post’s Oct. 14, 2020, story reporting on emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop implicating Joe Biden in his son’s foreign business dealings. The social media company even went so far as “removing links and posting warnings that it may be ‘unsafe.’ They even blocked its transmission via direct message, a tool hitherto reserved for extreme cases, e.g. child pornography.”

Twitter locked then-White House press secretary Kaleigh McEnany out of her account for tweeting about the story. Taibbi shared an email from then-President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign staffer Mike Hahn, who noted that all McEnany did was “cite the story and firsthand reporting that has been reported by other outlets and not disputed by the Biden campaign.”

“I need an answer immediately on when/how she will be unlocked,” Hahn added. “At least pretend to care for the next 20 days,” he added, referencing the election.

Taibbi next shared a message from public policy executive Caroline Strom, who asked her coworkers, “Are you able to take a closer look here?”

An analyst responded that “the user was bounced by Site Integrity for violating our Hacked Materials Policy.”

Yet it remains unclear what sparked the initial decision to censor the story, according to Taibbi.

“Although several sources recalled hearing about a ‘general’ warning from federal law enforcement that summer about possible foreign hacks, there’s no evidence—that I’ve seen—of any government involvement in the laptop story,” he wrote. “The decision was made at the highest levels of the company, but without the knowledge of CEO Jack Dorsey, with former head of legal, policy and trust Vijaya Gadde playing a key role.”

Taibbi quoted one former employee, who said of the decision, “They just freelanced it.”

“Hacking was the excuse, but within a few hours, pretty much everyone realized that wasn’t going to hold. But no one had the guts to reverse it,” the employee reportedly added.

Taibbi shared a few messages illustrating the confusion. Communications staffer Trenton Kennedy wrote: “I’m struggling to understand the policy basis for marking this as unsafe, and I think the best explainability argument for this externally would be that we’re waiting to understand if this story is the result of hacked materials. We’ll face hard questions on this if we don’t have some kind of solid reasoning for marking the link unsafe.”

“By this point ‘everyone knew this was f—ed,’ said one former employee, but the response was essentially to err on the side of … continuing to err,” Taibbi added.

Yoel Roth, Twitter’s then-safety chief, cited “hacked materials” as the policy rationale, but noted that “this is an emerging situation where the facts remain unclear. Given the SEVERE risks here and lessons of 2016, we’re erring on the side of including a warning and preventing this content from being amplified.”

Brandon Borrman, then Twitter’s vice president of global communications, asked, “can we truthfully claim that this is part of the policy?”

Jim Baker, then-deputy counsel, wrote that “caution is warranted.” He suggested Twitter “assume” that the materials “may have been” hacked, even as he noted that “some facts” indicated “that the computer was either abandoned and/or the owner consented to allow the repair shop to access it for at least some purposes.”

Taibbi noted that some Twitter staffers seemed not to understand the basic tenets of the First Amendment and Supreme Court jurisprudence on it.

He cited an exchange between Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., who alerted Twitter to the “huge backlash” this move had been generating among members of Congress on the issue of “speech,” as in free speech.

Gadde replied, noting that McEnany’s account “was not permanently suspended—we requested that she delete the tweet containing material that is in violation of our rules and her account is restricted until she complies.”

Gadde noted that Twitter “put out a clarifying threat of Tweets earlier this evening to explain our policy around the posting of private information and linking directly to hacked materials,” as if this policy would resolve any free speech concerns.

Khanna replied, “But this seems a violation of the 1st Amendment principles. If there is a hack of classified information or other information that could expose a serious war crime and the NYT [The New York Times] was to publish it, I think the NYT should have that right.”

“A journalist should not be held accountable for the illegal actions of the source unless they actively aided the hack,” the congressman added. “So to restrict the distribution of that material, especially regarding a Presidential [sic] candidate, seems not in the keeping of the principles of [the 1964 Supreme Court case] NYT v. Sullivan.”

Khanna continued, “I say this as a total Biden partisan and convinced he didn’t do anything wrong. But the story now has become more about censorship than relatively innocuous emails and it’s become a bigger deal than it would have been.”

Carl Szabo of the research firm NetChoice sent Twitter staffer Lauren Culbertson an email with the results of a quick poll involving congressional staffers. The survey suggested that a “blood bath” would await the company in congressional hearings, and that nine Republican staffers said, “this is a tipping point. It’s just too much.”

One staffer said the scandal represented “tech’s ‘Access Hollywood’ moment and it has no Hillary to hide behind.” Another said, “tech is screwed and rightfully so.”

Meanwhile, Democratic staffers suggested the censorship hadn’t gone far enough.

“In their mind, social media … doesn’t moderate enough harmful content so when it does, like it did yesterday, it becomes a story. If the companies moderate more, conservatives wouldn’t even think to use social media for disinformation, misinformation, or otherwise.”

Szabo added, “When pushed on how the government might insist on [more tech moderation], consistent with the First Amendment, [the Democratic staffers] demurred: ‘the First Amendment isn’t absolute.”

Taibbi noted that Twitter’s Hunter Biden move followed an increasing censorship trend. While “some of the first tools for designing speech were designed to combat the likes of spam and financial fraudsters,” outsiders started “petitioning the company to manipulate speech.”

He cited an exchange between Twitter executives, where one sent a list of items “to review from the Biden team,” and the other would reply, “handled these.” (Micah Lee, a blogger at The Intercept, noted that the tweets in the particular list Taibbi included contained revenge porn.)

Although Twitter received and honored requests from both team Trump and team Biden, “the system wasn’t balanced” but rather “based on contacts,” and Twitter’s staff leaned heavily Democratic. Indeed, Twitter staff long have leaned left, with 99% of their donations going to Democrats in the 2022 midterms, as they did in previous years.

“Today’s revelations demonstrate once again that Big Tech is an ideological monopoly policing Americans’ speech,” Kara Frederick, director of The Heritage Foundation’s Tech Policy Center, said in a prepared statement about Taibbi’s reporting. “Big Tech’s control of information and access to the digital space undermines free speech, interferes in our elections, and jeopardizes U.S. national security.” (The Daily Signal is The Heritage Foundation’s news outlet.)

“Musk has done what lawmakers should have already accomplished: exposing Big Tech companies as foot soldiers of the progressive Left,” Frederick added. “When Americans believe the 2020 presidential election outcome would have changed given information deliberately hidden by the Left with the help of Big Tech, apologies from former Silicon Valley executives will not cut it.”

Although it is impossible to know what would have happened had Twitter not suppressed the Post’s reporting on the contents of Hunter Biden’s laptop, a Media Research Center poll conducted in the days after the 2020 election found that 36% of self-described Biden voters said they were not aware of the evidence behind claims that Joe Biden was personally involved in his son Hunter’s business deals with China, a claim bolstered by emails found on Hunter’s laptop. Thirteen percent of those voters (4.6% of all Biden voters in the sample) said that if they had known the facts, they would not have voted for Biden.

Such a shift away from Biden would have given Trump the election, according to the Media Research Center’s analysis of the election results. Had the Biden-China story seen the light of day, Trump would have won the election with 289 electoral votes, the analysis claimed.

Twitter also banned conservatives, including a Heritage Foundation expert, shortly before the 2022 midterms.

Frederick added that “Americans should not have to rely on billionaires to deliver this necessary transparency,” and that elected officials should “constrain Big Tech’s pernicious practices. It is past time for aggressive reforms and proper oversight to ensure that Big Tech is held accountable.”

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This article was published in The Daily Signal and is reproduced with permission.

Give The Gift Of True American History With These Wonderful Biographies For Children

Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes

Photo credit: Joy Pullman/The Federalist

Everyone was reading the Heroes of Liberty books in my home for Thanksgiving, from the early elementary kids to their twenty-something aunts and uncles to their grandpa.

 

After I opened a box containing the children’s history series Heroes of Liberty and set the books on the playroom table, I hardly saw five of my six kids for the next three days. (My sixth is 2 years old and never sits still.) They were all gobbling down the beautifully illustrated biographies of notables such as Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Harriet Tubman, and Alexander Hamilton, pitched at ages 7 to 12 — exactly the ages of my oldest four.

Even though my children are notorious readers because we don’t allow them screen time except for Monday movie night, this was still a slightly startling development. Usually, I have to carefully source books for my kids by interest and age. Even low-screen kids like mine turn up their noses at certain books, according to each one’s persnicketies. This series, however, captured the attention of every one of my readers. And not just them.

When several dozen people filled my home for the long Thanksgiving weekend, the phenomenon repeated among all ages. Everyone was reading the Heroes of Liberty books, from the early elementary kids to their twenty-something aunts and uncles to their grandpa. They sat in the living room passing the volumes around like a funny cat video. Except these held their attention far longer and gave them far more meaningful scope for thought.

Kid-Attractive and Sturdy

The series consists of well-bound, engaging, inspiring, and accurate biographies with child-attractive illustrations. They have a high-quality look and feel. As a mom of kids who read books to bits, I know that the strong hardcover binding will help these books last, hopefully all the way to my grandkids.

I prefer a slightly more elegant and detailed illustration style, but I’m unusual in my strong taste for the traditional. It makes sense for the illustrations in these books to meet at the intersection of quality comic book and animation. It is certainly several steps up in quality from the illustrations I like least in children’s books: those that imitate the artistic efforts of preschoolers, who have the excuse of undeveloped fine motor skills.

The poor bindings and illustrations of many good older books I regularly introduce to my kids often repel them before they even open the cover. This series cleverly attracts children even if its pictures don’t rise to Sistine Chapel-level artistic standards. If I had to choose between the two artistic possibilities, I’d make the same choice as the series editors, because there’s no point in putting out a book people don’t read.

Extremely High Production Quality

Also delightfully surprising was the amount of text these books contained, and how interesting the fact-driven storytelling was. I’ve read thousands of picture books with my children and hundreds of children’s books about American history. This series is competitive with the best I’m aware of, if not the best of their own category. It is delightful to see something at this level of quality from a smaller and conservative-marketed publisher, due to the cliché of religious and conservative materials often not being quality-competitive with big corporate.

There are indeed good history books for kids (try the Cornerstones of Freedom series; a few are politicized but most are solid), but I don’t know of any this good that provide a toe-for-toe counterpart to the heavily politicized junk biographies filling library shelves in the children’s history section. That is why I also set aside my reservations about writing biographies of living people such as Amy Coney Barrett — those already exist of leftist counterparts like Ruth Bader Ginsburg, so they ought also to exist of exemplary Americans such as Barrett. These biographies should truly be on every school library’s shelves.

If your public library doesn’t already have these and allows patrons to request titles as mine does, request that your local library purchase this set. Also, or alternatively, buy your own if you’re able — you won’t regret this investment in your family’s self-education. Since this series is sadly less likely to land on those shelves due to the library and teaching profession’s deep political bias, parents, grandparents, and others have an obligation to provide children good histories when our corrupted public institutions will not.

Honest about American History

Like me, the Heroes of Liberty editors are clearly not interested in replacing leftist propaganda in children’s history with conservative propaganda. The series does no propagandizing, as I (perhaps foolishly) worried given its affiliation with conservative personalities. The books instead simply state true and compelling facts in an easy-to-follow story form and let the truth speak for itself.

Here’s an example from the Harriet Tubman biography in the series: “…blacks were not only free in Philadelphia,” where Tubman escaped from slavery. “They were also active in public and religious life. The city was home to the Pennsylvania Society for the Promotion of the Abolition of Slavery, the oldest anti-slavery society in the country. Its first president was Benjamin Franklin.”

As mentioned, these are all simple and simply stated facts. Yet in themselves they undercut several false narratives about race and American history, including that black Americans lack agency, and that the American founders were wholesale slavers and the Constitution they produced a “pro-slavery document.”

It’s utterly refreshing. These books destroy false historical narratives without displaying bitterness or bias and without fulfilling the lies and smears always launched against such efforts, such as claims that conservatives “don’t want to talk about slavery or America’s sins.” When appropriate, these books absolutely do so. The Tubman biography, for example, is not at all shy about illustrating the horrors of slavery in age-appropriate detail. In fact, it does an exemplary job of educating about American chattel slavery.

Here’s another example of that from the Hamilton biography: “Then there were also the slave markets where human beings were bought and sold, like cattle, in plain sight. Young Alexander saw it all. And he never forgot what he saw. It all shaped who he would become.” On the same page as this text is an illustration of a slave auction.

Although the books do not shy away from tragedy in their subjects, both personal and national, they also are deeply hopeful because they show how these great Americans worked to rise above the inevitable tragedies of life. This is why biography is known as an inspirational genre, even when it necessarily treats of difficult subjects. At its best, biography reveals human nature and ideally human greatness amid life’s suffering and sometimes crippling constraints. Very little better reading material can be made available to all, but especially children, who like all of us need such examples to look toward as they grow.

Definitely Worth Buying

I’ll admit, I was skeptical of this series until I looked at them. Now I and my children are dedicated fans. My 7-year-old, whom I required to tell me what he had learned in exchange for giving him the next book in the set, summed up with this: “If you stop reading anywhere, it’s a cliffhanger.”

It’s refreshing as a parent to be able to trust the writers and publishers of a book so I don’t have to pre-read, scrutinize, and pre-emptively guard my children’s minds from those who seek to prey upon them with popular lies. It’s refreshing to learn facts about my beloved country and its wonderful people that celebrate the human spirit and especially its peculiar American expressions. It’s refreshing to let my guard down and just enjoy reading about American history with my children from a trustworthy source that isn’t trying to push us in any direction politically, but just to tell true human stories of our ancestors and their dreams, failures, and achievements.

The review copies the Heroes of Liberty team sent me will be donated to a K-12 school library to encourage, educate, and inspire as many children as possible. We will be buying the forthcoming books as they arrive and donating those, too — after we’ve all gobbled them up in our living room. For Christmas, birthdays, and beyond, the Heroes of Liberty team is offering Federalist readers an amazing 20 percent off with the special code FED22.

Quite frankly, I would go with the 12 books for $129 or all 14 currently published for $159 Christmas specials — that’s a ridiculous steal for brand-new hardbacks, and the series is worth it. It’d be a wonderful and enduring present for a special child or family in your life. The two-year book-of-the-month subscription offers a similar value with the bonus of your recipient getting to look forward to personalized mail each month — something my kids absolutely adore.

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This article was published at The Federalist and was reproduced with permission.

Joy Pullmann is executive editor of The Federalist, a happy wife, and the mother of six children. Here’s her printable household organizer for faith-centered holidays. Sign up here to get early access to her next ebook, “101 Strategies For Living Well Amid Inflation.” Her bestselling ebook is “Classic Books for Young Children.” Mrs. Pullmann identifies as native American and gender natural. She is the author of several books, including “The Education Invasion: How Common Core Fights Parents for Control of American Kids,” from Encounter Books. Joy is also a grateful graduate of the Hillsdale College honors and journalism programs.

Arizona Set to Certify the Lake-Hobbs Race; Here Are 3 Key Takeaways

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Arizona Republican candidate for governor Kari Lake said “stay tuned” as the Copper State is going to officially certify the controversial gubernatorial race between her and Katie Hobbs on Monday.

Lake, who lost by less than one percentage point to Hobbs and has refused to concede, cannot file her lawsuit under Arizona law until state officials certify the election results. That process will take place on Dec. 5, when Arizona’s governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and chief justice will validate the election outcome based on official results submitted by the state’s 15 counties.

In a video posted on social media, Lake said her lawsuit will include “at least one smoking gun” based on whistleblowers who have contacted her campaign. “I’m working with a team of patriotic, talented lawyers on a legal case to challenge the botched elections,” she said, adding that they will file the lawsuit per Arizona state law.

“And you’ll want to stay tuned for this one,” she said. “Trust me.”

Lake plans to sue Arizona’s largest county next week to overturn her election loss, sources familiar with the matter told TIME, as the state’s election system is beset by turmoil more than three weeks after Election Day.

The Legal Battle
On Dec. 1, U.S. District Judge John Tuchi granted the motion for sanctions (pdf) filed by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors against Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

“It is to make clear that the Court will not condone litigants ignoring the steps that Arizona has already taken toward [elections] and furthering false narratives that baselessly undermine public trust at a time of increasing disinformation about, and distrust in, the democratic process,” Tuchi said in the report, according to Phoenix’s KPHO CBS 5 News.

“It is to send a message to those who might file similarly baseless suits in the future,” the judge added. Lake will now have to pay a fine and reimburse Hobbs’s attorney fees. While the judge feels the sanctions must be enough to “deter repetition” of similar allegations in the future, he has not yet made clear how much Lake will have to pay.

Lake’s lawsuit was filed against Maricopa County election officials over their administration of the midterm elections on Nov. 23. Among the allegations was that of Maricopa County’s 223 polling centers: at least 118 locations experienced problems when “the County’s ballot printers produced ballots that were not printed darkly enough for the County’s vote tabulation machines to read the ballots.” Lake also asked the court to require Maricopa County election officials to produce records on how they conducted the midterm elections.

Lake, who has repeatedly questioned the integrity of Arizona’s midterm elections, has vowed to “continue fighting” the results of what she described as a “botched” election. Through social media, Lake also alleged that voting machine issues and long wait times for in-person voting “discriminated against people who chose to vote on Election Day.”

“Given instances of misprinted ballots, the commingling of counted and uncounted ballots, and long lines discouraging people from voting, as demonstrated in the attached declarations, these records are necessary for Plaintiff to determine the full extent of the problems identified and their impacts on electors,” the suit reads.

Lake’s complaint further charges that “the Defendants failed to detect, prevent or timely remedy this problem during setup and testing of their polling stations,” and “although poll workers tested the printers, according to observers they did not test whether the tabulators could read the test print.”

“People were still able to vote, it was just a matter of maybe not voting in the way they wanted to,” Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bill Gates said during ballot tabulation on Nov. 8. “We do not believe that anyone has been disenfranchised, because no one has been turned away.”

Other legal action includes:

  • April 22 – A lawsuit (pdf) was filed by Lake and Republican candidate for Arizona Secretary of State Mark Finchem—both endorsed by former President Donald Trump—requesting that the state’s two largest counties—Maricopa and Pima, respectively—use only paper ballots during the November midterm election.
  • June 8 – Lake and Mark Fincham filed a Motion for Preliminary Injunction against Hobbs and the Maricopa and Pima County Board of Supervisors
  • July 18 – Defendants Bill Gates, Clint Hickman, Jack Sellers, Thomas Galvin, and Steve Gallardo in their official capacities as members of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (“the County”) filed a Motion for Sanctions against Lake and Mark Fincham…..

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Continue reading this article at The Epoch Times.

Explaining Maricopa County’s Corrupt “Free and Fair” Midterm Elections

Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes

The future looks grim, with inflation high and the power of rigged elections on the Democrats’ side. Those who dare to speak out are soundly silenced, as America seems to be on an unstoppable train toward a Venezuela-style situation of corruption, poverty, and darkness. And running roughshod over the people are none other than both Republican and Democratic election officials, who seem to be blasting their way down the corruption track.

On Monday, Maricopa County Board of Supervisors Chair Bill Gates, a Republican, followed through with canvassing the county’s election results, fulfilling a “statutory responsibility” despite a “plethora of reports from election workers, poll watchers, and voters, including the county’s admission of widespread printer problems.”

The five-member Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to certify the election despite major grievances aired by an outraged public during a four-hour-long meeting preceding the vote. “Secure and accurate” was the mainstream media’s description of the botched election, though even Chairman Gates acknowledged “this was not a perfect election. There were issues,” adding, “but we were transparent about that.”

On Sunday, Maricopa County’s elections department had responded to portions of a multifaceted request by Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office seeking explanations of the problems that marred Election Day voting, including the malfunctioning of tabulators that were unable to read ballots, an issue affecting some 71 vote centers, which represents 31 percent of the 223 centers that were open on November 8.

In its nine-page report, the county defended its actions yet also admitted its errors within a single statement: “While Maricopa County’s printer issue in 2022 impacted more Vote Centers than normal, every voter was afforded the ability to legally and securely cast their ballot.”

During Monday’s review of the issues, Board Chairman Gates promised, “we will do everything we can to make sure this does not happen in future elections.”

Meanwhile, county officials have reported that roughly “one percent of total ballots cast ultimately couldn’t be counted at polling sites by those [faulty] machines but were later tallied at the county’s elections center.” Consider that it took all day to resolve the printer issues and implement setting changes, from 6:30 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. There is no question that many voters chose not to wait in the hours-long lines, or that many people who were told to vote at a second polling center didn’t make it to that center to vote.

During public comments at Monday’s meeting, angry citizens pointed out the flaws of the compromised election, with many demanding a redo. A repeated conflict of interest is that Katie Hobbs, the acting secretary of state — who oversees elections — refused to recuse herself from the process, despite running as the Democratic gubernatorial candidate. Then there is Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo, who served as co-chair of the Latinos for Katie Hobbs Coalition, now a member of Hobbs’ transition team.

As The Gateway Pundit exposed in its coverage, the conflict-of-interest list runs long. In addition to the above,

  • Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer, who oversaw early voting, founded and operated the Pro-Democracy Republicans PAC, a dark-money PAC aimed at eliminating candidates with a MAGA agenda.
  • Maricopa County Chairman Bill Gates, who oversaw the election on Election Day, openly rooted against Trump-Endorsed candidates, calling their win in the primaries a “catastrophe” and saying, “I think they are electable, which is frightening.”
  • Katie Hobbs threatened to sue any county that did not certify this election and hand her the Governorship. She is moving forward with a lawsuit against Cochise County for delaying certification.

“No Choice” but to Certify

Maricopa, along with Arizona’s 14 other counties, had a deadline of Monday to collect their final votes and report the results to Secretary of State Hobbs’ office, which threatened lawsuits and felony charges should a county refuse to certify.

As of Monday morning, two counties — Mohave and Cochise — had delayed certification in protest of the widespread issues that disenfranchised potentially thousands of voters in Maricopa County, whether through mechanical error or a more sinister manipulation of the electorate system. No one really knows what happened that day.

By Monday afternoon, Mohave County’s Board of Supervisors, in a vote of 4-0, chose to canvass the election, with two supervisors telling the press that they felt pressured to certify, that they had “no choice” but to vote yes or face a felony.

Mohave County Supervisor Hildy Angius and Chairman Ron Gould were among the fear-filled and bullied. Angius reportedly spent part of Monday talking with constituents and Republican Congressman Paul Gosar, and felt that between the choice to certify the election or “essentially void the county’s votes in the state canvass,” the latter would “certainly disenfranchise” voters.

“I vote aye under duress,” Gould said at the meeting. “I found out today that I have no choice but to vote aye or I’ll be arrested and charged with a felony. I don’t think that’s what our founders had in mind when they used the democratic process to elect our leaders, our form of self-governance. I find that very disheartening.”

Meanwhile, Cochise County’s Board of Supervisors was less cowardly and thus slapped with two lawsuits, one by the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans, which demanded a canvass be completed by Thursday, and another by Secretary Hobbs, who said the three-member board could be charged with serious crimes for violating Arizona’s election laws. The county board is expected to meet Friday to further review the certification of ballot tabulators.

In a letter dated November 21 to the Cochise County board from State Elections Director Kori Lorick, Lorick stated that Hobbs is legally bound to approve the statewide canvass by next week, and that Cochise County’s votes would be void if they were not reported in time. The stakes are high because if those votes are not counted, two reportedly close races, one a U.S. House seat and another for state schools chief, would flip from Republican to Democratic.

Kari Lake: A Fighter the Left Fears

Of all candidates, Kari Lake is the one that the Left cannot let win. An outspoken supporter of election reform, the charismatic former TV host has called for a return to paper ballots and same-day voting. Of her gubernatorial race, which shows Hobbs leading by a thin margin of some 20,000 votes, Lake has vowed to continue to fight “sham elections” and to expose the “botched election, where half of Election-Day voting centers were inoperable,” and “Arizonans were expected to wait in line for two, three, four, even five hours, simply to exercise their sacred right to vote.”

“Maricopa County, where it took two weeks to count votes, is the poster child for broken and botched elections,” said Lake in a statement on Twitter. “But if you bring up any of these issues, you are labeled an ‘election denier’ or a conspiracy theorist.” Indeed, the Democrats don’t want anyone talking about shoddy elections, and they will shut down those who try.

But Lake is fearless, and her message is a plea to Americans to stand up, to speak out about their extraordinary experiences at the polls, and to demand accountability and election reform. For her part, Lake has moved to litigate a case challenging the elections. Having already filed one lawsuit, she hinted at another coming soon.

“You simply can’t make this stuff up,” she exclaimed, explaining that any ethical person would move to investigate and correct the issues. “We the People will not forget. God will not forget. And I will not quit.”

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This article was published by  The New American and is republished with permission.

More Circumstantial Evidence of Vote Fraud: Arizona’s Numbers Don’t Add Up

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

Call it The Tale of Two Purple States. In the 2022 midterms, Florida experienced precisely what pundits and prognosticators said the whole country would: A historic, perhaps unprecedented “red” wave. In contrast, Arizona had a bit of a “blue” wave — but only in the high-profile, upper-echelon races. This raises a few questions, the first being:

Are Florida’s and Arizona’s voters really that much different?

A recent analysis of Arizona’s down-ballot races indicates that, well, maybe they’re not.

Before getting to that, note here that the two states share many commonalities. They’re both sun-belt states whose populations have grown in the last decade by similar rates. They’re also both diverse places with similar demographics, which is significant because group identity is an excellent proxy for voting patterns.

Florida and Arizona are, respectively, 52.7 percent and 53.2 percent non-Hispanic white, with Latinos comprising more than a quarter of each state’s population. Yes, Hispanics, who traditionally lean Democratic, comprise a larger share (32.3 percent) of Arizona’s population than they do of the Sunshine State’s (26.8). On the other hand, black Americans have for decades been more solidly Democratic (90-plus percent) than any group, and they comprise 15.5 percent of Florida’s population but only 4.7 percent of Arizona’s.

In other words, you’d expect these states to be precisely what they had been regarded as for years prior to the midterms: “purple” states whose politics might shift a bit more toward one major party or the other in a given election, but remain very divided. But that’s not at all how it turned out November 8.

The Republicans ran the table in Florida, with Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Marco Rubio winning by wide margins and even flipping Miami-Dade County, which should seem only a bit more likely than the GOP suddenly capturing New York City. What’s more, Republicans are set to control 85 seats in the state’s 120-member House — a historical record. The sweep is so profound that some observers have declared that Florida is now a red state.

Yet the sweep was different in Arizona: Democrats won every high-profile, up-ballot race — the governorship, Senate, secretary of state, and attorney general (though the last hasn’t been officially called). This seems a bit anomalous. After all, an election tends to have a certain character, with one major party or the other gaining ground nationwide within the context of each state’s particular character (e.g., a purple state becoming a bit more red or blue and a red state becoming somewhat more or less so). This raises the next question:

Can you remember an election in which two swing states registered such profoundly schizophrenic results, as if they’re suddenly operating in alternate universes?

Trying to explain this, earlier this month I pointed out an anomaly within the above anomaly: DeSantis and Rubio out-performed the polls, which is typical for Republicans (in 2020, it turned out that the GOP had under-polled by 3.3 points on average). Yet in most of the rest of our nation, including Arizona, the Republicans had apparently under-performed relative to the polls. This is odd because the polling “systems” are the same in Florida as elsewhere.

But then here’s what’s different: the voting system…..

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Continue reading this article at The New American.

Goodbye Ms. Pelosi

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

As soon as the news broke, a cavalcade of plaudits started coming in from left-of-center politicians and journalists lauding the accomplishments of Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House and leader of her party.  Ms. Pelosi had two four-year stints as Speaker. Let’s look at her years as leader of the House and second in line to the Presidency.

Ms. Pelosi is being heralded by her cronies and the Left-wing press as the most consequential Speaker in history.  A large part of that is because of legislation passed during her terms. They seem to have forgotten Democrat Sam Rayburn who served for seventeen years between 1940 and 1961.  He was the Speaker during two major wars and engineered the first civil rights legislation since Reconstruction.  He worked with President Eisenhower with funding for and building the national highway system. Unlike Speaker Pelosi, he worked with the opposition party and President.  But Ms. Pelosi is the current darling. 

Probably her most significant act of recent was traveling to Taiwan in the face of relentless pressure from the Chinese overlords. It was truly a shining moment, but we all get some things right. Probably her greatest skill was managing to get Blue Dog Democrats who pretended to be moderate to vote against their constituencies and their own self-interests which led to their ousting in the 2010 Democrat midterm bloodbath.

She expanded the regulatory state by promulgating lengthy and nearly incomprehensible legislation.  As a person who spent almost her entire career in Congress, she did as much as anyone in history to debase the power of Congress, passing it off to the regulatory state.  You didn’t hear her complain when President Obama said, “I have a pen and a phone.”  She did nothing to stop President Biden from issuing 60 executive orders in his first 100 days.  It could easily be said she encouraged the Presidency and the Supreme Court to take power from Congress to write legislation despite the Constitution giving that power to Congress and particularly the House of Representatives.

Then there is corruption.  To their credit, some members of her caucus have wanted to put a stop to members of the House trading stocks.  I am often fascinated by this.  As a financial professional I have had a managed account for about 20 years.  I could not tell you specifically what is in my portfolio.  Yet members of Congress have the time to make multiple trades of specific stocks that they apparently have researched on their own, on their own time, and then invested in those stocks with no regulatory oversight of those transactions. It is blatant corruption, and she knows it.  Yet she stopped any reform because somehow her husband, Paul, has made many genius investments and sales without the benefit of any information flowing his way from his powerful wife.

Ms. Pelosi should be principally remembered for destroying the Congress she oversaw.  The committee system which had run the Congress throughout its history by generating bills through debate and discussion ended during her reign.  Pelosi generated massive “backroom” bills with her staff and cronies and then presented them to Congress as a fait accompli.  She told the members they had just two days to brush up on these behemoths because the vote was imminent.  Ms. Pelosi will also be remembered as the person to make “CR” a famous acronym (aka Continuing Resolution).  Before her and even in between her two reigns the budget went through various committees and was voted on by the members.  Continuing Resolution became the rule of the day, making our country look like a banana republic because we could not properly run our finances and were always on the brink of disaster. 

There is another unique aspect of her Speakership.  She was the first Speaker to ban members of the opposition party from participating on Congressional committees. Incoming Speaker McCarthy has vowed to respond in kind.  This was so utterly unnecessary and destroys the idea of elections as all these representatives were duly seated by people in their districts.

In my mind, Pelosi will be remembered for two acts as Speaker.  First, the most astounding statement by a leader in our history while speaking of the Affordable Care Act weighing in at stupefying 2,700 pages that promulgated 20,000 regulations.  She stated, “We have to pass the bill to find out what is in it.”  An amazingly stupid and dangerous comment coming from a backbencher, but it was delivered by the Speaker.  The second was the most graceless act in the history of our government.  In front of the entire nation after the president had delivered the State of the Union Address, she ripped up her printed copy in a petulant act.  Both are black marks on our democracy.

Ms. Pelosi will be touted by the Left as the first woman Speaker.  That is not a definition of what she did; that is a definition of how she was born.  What she did was very harmful and mean-spirited destruction of the People’s house.

Andy Biggs And the U.S. House Leadership

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

Andy Biggs, the conservative Republican from East Mesa/ Gilbert, has become the pivotal force in either confirming or denying the leadership of the Republican majority in the House. Either by becoming Speaker himself, or determining who will become speaker, no Arizona Congressman has held that kind of power since John Rhodes.

Kevin McCarthy certainly seems the odds-on favorite, but due to a very narrow victory in the recent congressional elections, he needs to get 218 votes by January 3rd.

In a recent interview with John Soloman of Just the News, Biggs suggested that McCarthy does not have the votes. Biggs would like the position as well as Majority Leader, and he also could deny the post to McCarthy because the Freedom Caucus that Biggs chairs may have the swing votes to confirm or deny the Majority Leader.

In the interview, Biggs said he was actively calling members for his own candidacy.

What does Mr. Biggs want? In short, he thinks Republicans should be more than just speed bumps for Democrats. About all Republican leadership has been able to do is slow down the aggressive agenda of the Democrats, but it has not been able to either block or reverse many of the trends Biggs finds quite negative.  Biggs finds this inability due to many structural flaws in the way House rules and procedures have changed over the years.

For example, committees have lost the power that they once exercised. Legislation is often bundled in a way that requires a Congressman to vote up or down on the budget in one bill, stuffed with special interest legislation that has to be swallowed without much ability to discriminate. Often this legislation is so huge and complex, no one even has reasonable time to even read the legislation. Huge omnibus bills are created by leadership and then foisted on the membership, who can’t exercise much judgment or discretion. This reduces substantially input from members and their ability to represent their district, as opposed to just representing their party affiliation.

Congress has not even had a budget for almost 20 years, floating the country each year by continuing resolutions.

Biggs thinks all tools in the parliamentary toolbox need to be re-activated. This would include devolving power away from the center of House leadership, giving greater power to committees, and getting back to single-issue legislation. He also thinks the impeachment process and budgetary threats will be necessary to bring “rogue” Federal agencies to follow the law.

In an article Biggs penned for American Greatness, he suggests the power to appropriate money, which lies solely in the House of Representatives, should be used as leverage against the Department of Defense, which under President Biden, has declared that members of the Armed Services are “white supremacists”, and launched a whole laundry list of Woke social causes that have degraded combat readiness. It is only through controlling the money that Congress can get such large departments to stay on mission and not become training camps for left-wing ideology.

Impeachment has to be considered. For example, the head of Homeland Security continues to blithely say “the border is under control”, all the while refusing to enforce existing law.

It will be interesting to see if Biggs can either get concessions from McCarthy or whether new candidates for House Speaker besides the two of them will emerge.

Right now it appears Andy Biggs has leverage and he intends to use it.

As long as a relatively small number of conservatives can hold together, and not cave under pressure, they have a chance to make a significant change in leadership and the way the House does its business.

To be sure, getting rule changes, and bucking the party establishment, are long shots without great odds of success. But the extremely narrow victory in the House has created an unusual circumstance.

One senses that Andy Biggs understands this is a rare political occasion that cannot be ignored.

Taking a long shot is not that unusual for Biggs, however. His very entry into politics was an extreme long shot in the first place. It was only after he won the Publishing Clearance House sweepstakes, which provided him a secure independent source of income, that Biggs got into politics and quit practicing law.

At The Prickly Pear, we think the key to getting control of extremist ideology and rouge agencies, is for the House to regain control of its rightful Constitutional power, the ability to control the purse strings.

We wish him well in his epic battle.

Arizona County Refuses To Certify Election Results, Threatening A GOP House Win

Estimated Reading Time: 2 minutes

A county in Arizona is refusing to certify the results of its elections following Democratic statewide candidates winning in the state, which could flip a House seat won by a Republican to a Democratic win, according to the Associated Press.

The Board of Supervisors of Cochise County, Arizona, bordering Mexico and the U.S. state of New Mexico in Arizona’s Southeast, voted to not certify the official tally of votes in the general elections of Nov. 8, which saw Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly of Arizona reelected to a full term and Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs elected the next Governor of Arizona. (RELATED: RNC, Republican AG Candidate Sue Arizona Officials Over Alleged ‘Errors And Inaccuracies’ In Election Process)

A meeting of the board was held on Monday via Zoom, with the only agenda item being a motion to verify the results. In a voice vote, it received zero votes in favor and two votes against, with the Democratic chair not voting, resulting in an acclaimed failure among the three-member board.

While Republican senatorial candidate Blake Masters has conceded to Kelly, Lake has not conceded to Hobbs and is currently suing the Board of Supervisors of Maricopa County for records, seeking to contest the election. Lake’s challenge to the results has been supported by former President Donald Trump.

The two Republican members of the county’s board, who outnumber the Democratic chair, have sought to hear from experts, including Hobbs, regarding the “accreditation of voting machines,” with the members arguing that the machines used to accept ballots were not properly certified to do so under state law, as stated by members of the public in a meeting of the board on Nov. 18, per the AP.

The county’s non-certification comes on the day of Monday’s deadline for all counties to certify their results. Their announcement was met with criticism from Democrats, who announced they would sue the county to compel its verification.

“The only presentation Cochise is going to get is in a courtroom,” tweeted Marc Elias, the founder of Democracy Docket and a known Democratic election attorney, indicating that he would sue Cochise County. Meanwhile, Hobbs, in her capacity as Secretary of State, has previously said she would sue the county to affirm her win.

The Board has “failed to uphold their responsibility for Cochise voters,” wrote Sophia Solis, a spokeswoman for Hobbs, in an email to the AP.

Should the county not certify its votes, Arizona State Elections Director Kori Lorick has said that its votes may be excluded. If that happens, the results of two elections in the state – for the U.S. Representative for Arizona’s 6th Congressional District and the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, who oversees the state schooling system – will change, enabling Democrats to win the U.S. House race and Superintendent’s race, while leaving statewide races for governor and senator unchanged.

Republican candidate Juan Ciscomani, a former advisor to outgoing Republican Gov. Doug Ducey of Arizona, defeated Democratic former State Sen. Kristen Engel in the area’s congressional race by a margin of 1.4% or 5,232 votes. If Cochise County’s 39,650 votes are excluded, a majority of them being in Ciscomani’s favor, it would give Engel a slim plurality.

Meanwhile, in the Superintendent’s race, Republican candidate Tom Horne defeated Democratic incumbent Kathy Hoffman by a margin of less than 1% of the vote. Excluding Cochise’s votes would enable Hoffman to win a second term after previously facing a recall attempt.

The Board, Ciscomani and Horne did not respond to request for comment.

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This article was published by the Daily Caller and is reproduced with permission.