Karen Fann

Photo via AZPBS

Fann Makes Last Ditch Effort To Keep Election Audit Records From Public
 
PHOENIX — Senate President Karen Fann is making a last-ditch effort from having to publicly release the records of the firm conducting the Senate-ordered audit of the 2020 election.
And the attorney for the Prescott Republican is doing it, at least in part, by telling the Arizona Supreme Court that judges can’t force her to cough up the documents now held by Cyber Ninjas.
“The right of a constitutional department of government to control its own records is the hallmark of institutional independence and the fulcrum of the separation of powers,’’ attorney Kory Langhofer is telling the justices. And he pointed out that, just weeks ago, the court said former House Speaker J.D. Mesnard had “absolute immunity’’ for what he did as part of his legislative job.
But Langhofer may have no better luck convincing the state’s high court than he did when he made similar arguments to the Court of Appeals. In a strongly worded ruling Thursday, they said he was misreading that immunity.
The appellate judges pointed out that the ruling for Mesnard said he could not be held personally liable for release of an investigative report about sexual harassment charges against another legislator. This, they said is different, noting the issue is compliance with the public records law that they themselves approved.
“Legislators are not afforded absolute immunity for all acts that are in any way related to the legislative process,’’ wrote appellate court Judge Maria Elenz Cruz for the unanimous panel. “Nor is legislative immunity intended to make legislators ‘super-citizens’ immune from all responsibilities.’’
And she noted that lawmakers could have — but did not — exempt themselves from the public records law. Now, Cruz said, someone is suing to enforce that law.
“Legislative immunity does not prevent this action against legislators in their capacity as elected officials, or the legislature, for its failure to comply with statutory obligations,’’ she said.
The petition to the Supreme Court comes as Cyber Ninjas this coming week is supposed to turn over its report to the Senate. But it is unclear when the public actually will get a look, as Fann said she first wants to review the findings with her staff and, if necessary, recommend changes.
No date has been set for public release.
But that isn’t stopping some others from issuing what amount to “prebuttals’’ designed to undermine what they contend will be a flawed report from a firm that had never done such a review and started out with a pre-determined bias.
The most extensive came this week from Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer.
Elected in November, he had nothing to do with the 2020 race and how the ballots were handled and counted, meaning he has nothing to gain by defending how the election was conducted by his Democratic predecessor.
In a 38-page letter to fellow Republicans, Richer made a point-by-point argument about why the results were not flawed and why any conclusion by Cyber Ninjas to the contrary should be dismissed.
Some of it has to do with the process, like having volunteers use rotating turntables where they would get just a few seconds at most to count the votes. Then there were issues of chain of custody and even pre-audit pronouncements from Cyber Ninjas CEO Doug Logan that there was fraud in the 2020 election.
And then there was everything else that happened after the election, including a legally required hand count of a sample of ballots, a series of failed lawsuits, and two audits that Maricopa County conducted itself that found no problems — and no evidence that, as alleged, the counting equipment ever had been connected to the internet.
Fann, for her part, remains unconvinced, and continues to insist the county produce the routers so Cyber Ninjas can make its own determination.
The county has refused, leading Senate Majority Whip Sonny Borrelli, R-Lake Havasu City, to ask Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate.
The more immediate issue are the records sought by American Oversight, an organization launched in 2017 initially to track the activities of the Trump administration and look for potential fraud.
Some of what is sought already has been produced, like a copy of the contract between the Senate and Cyber Ninjas. But American Oversight also wants more, including any communications involving Cyber Ninjas related to the audit.
Fann has argued that records belonging to private companies are not public, even if those companies are doing business with the state. But Cruz, in the appellate court ruling, said that’s not how the public records law works.
She said that statute requires public officials to “make and maintain records reasonably necessary to provide knowledge of all activities they undertake in furtherance of their duties.’’ And Cruz said the audit is being conducted by the Senate as an official legislative duty.
The judge said that a ruling allowing the records of Cyber Ninjas to be kept from public scrutiny would amount to letting the Senate “shield itself from the responsibility to inform the public of activities regarding the audit.’’
Nor was Cruz impressed by Fann’s argument that the Senate doesn’t actually have the records.
”The Senate defendants, as officers and a public body under the public records law, have a duty to maintain and produce public records related to their official duties,’’ she wrote.
”This includes public records created in connection with the audit of a separate governmental agency, authorized by the legislative branch of state government and performed by the Senate’s agents,’’ Cruz continued. “The requested records are no less public records simply because they are in the possession of a third party, Cyber Ninjas.’’
The Supreme Court has not said when it will rule.
Aug. 20, 2021
Karen Fann Might Be The Only One Who Doesn’t Realize The ‘Audit’ Is All About Donald Trump
"More than anything else, the disclosure last week of who has paid nearly $6 million for the embarrassingly incompetent so-called “audit” of the Maricopa County election blows to smithereens the insistence from Senate President Karen Fann that the audit isn’t about Donald Trump."
Aug. 4, 2021
Arizona's Election Auditor Appears In Film On How Election Was Stolen? Oh Come On, Sen. Fann
"It's just beyond belief that the Arizona's election auditor, the Cyber Ninjas' Doug Logan, would appear in a movie about how the election was stolen. And yet, there he is ... Come on, Sen. Fann. How can you allow this state-sanctioned farce to continue?"
Jun. 27, 2021
GOP Official Promised $20,000 'Contribution' To Arizona Rangers To Guard Ballot 'Audit': Report
"documents reveal that the Arizona Senate GOP leader Karen Fann, along with a right-wing dark money group, made a "contribution" of $20,000 to the Arizona Rangers to help guard the controversial "audit" of ballots in Maricopa County"
Jun. 24, 2021
Arizona Audit Could Lead To ... Mass Executions? What Have You Done To America, Sen. Fann?
""OAN, Arizona's audit partner, says 'radical Democrats' should be executed once evidence of a 'coup' is unearthed in Arizona and other audits. Look what you started, Sen. Karen Fann.""
Jun. 24, 2021
There Will Be Winners And Losers When Arizona's Election Audit Ends. Here Are A Few
LOSER: Senate President Karen Fann

"One of enduring mysteries of the year has been why a business-oriented conservative would order an audit of an election she has said she doesn’t believe was stolen. And why oh why she would then hire an auditor whose biases are clear and whose experience auditing elections is non-existent.

But then, roughly half of Fann’s 16-member GOP caucus and a shockingly sizable number of Republicans bought into the belief that the election was stolen despite no actual evidence of a problem.

Fann could have put a stop to the crazy but it might have cost her the presidency. So instead, she threatened to arrest the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors and promised an unbiased, independent, transparent audit that was, laughably, anything but that.

Fann will be easily re-elected in her heavily Republican district, should she run again. But she can forget about using her position to run for higher office a la Andy Biggs.

In fact, with the Senate now a laughingstock, I’d bet it has a new president come 2023."

Jun. 22, 2021
'A Personal Call From Trump': GOP Senate Leader's Emails Reveal Contacts With Former President, Giuliani In Runup To Partisan Arizona Audit
"I have been in numerous conversations with Rudy Giuliani over the past weeks trying to get this done," Fann said Dec. 28, 2020, in response to an angry email from a self-described "Patriot voter." Fann added, "I have the full support of him and a personal call from President Trump thanking us for pushing to prove any fraud."
Jun. 6, 2021
AZ GOP Senate Pres. Karen Fann: Idiot, Liar, Or All Of Them, Katie?
"Sure, you've read the amazing letter the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors (80 percent Republican) sent Fann responding to her batshit accusations against them, related to the shitshow fraudit Fann and the other Arizona GOP legislators have unleashed on the state. You might remember her trying to deflect from her clownass frauditors literally hunting for bamboo on the ballots"
May 26, 2021
'Deleted' Files Found? Donald Trump And Karen Fann Owe Maricopa County A Bigtime Apology
"Senate President Karen Fann and her auditors clearly screwed up when they accused Maricopa County of deleting election files. Did I miss the part where they apologize?"
May 20, 2021
Maricopa County Just Made Karen Fann And Her Senate Ninja Auditors Look Like Fools
May 18, 2021
Fann Threatens Maricopa County With More Subpoenas
"One question that neither Fann nor Petersen asked of Logan is where he is getting the money to conduct the review. [...] Logan has long since acknowledged the audit is costing more than the $150,000 authorized by the Senate. And outside interests tied to efforts to discredit the election results have been engaged in fundraising efforts."
May 18, 2021
County: Senate Making ‘Mockery’ Of Audit
"Maricopa County supervisors on Monday accused Senate President Karen Fann, of allowing a “mockery” to be made of the election process with her audit."
May 17, 2021
Fann Really Thinks Accusing Maricopa County Supervisors Of Election Crime Isn't Personal?
"Senate President Karen Fann wonders why the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors took it personally when auditors basically accused them of a crime. Is she really this clueless?"
May 18, 2021
The Fraudit Doesn’t Add Up
"Senate President Karen Fann just can't understand why so many people view her so-called "audit" of Maricopa's 2020 election as a sad and pathetic joke."
May 13, 2021
Justice Department Warns Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, Of Civil Rights Violations In 2020 Election Audit
May 6, 2021
Fann Passes On Experienced Auditor, Picks Cheapest
"The records request revealed only two firms that put in an official offer – neither of which was Cyber Ninjas, the group Fann ultimately selected"
Apr. 23, 2021
Trump Ninjas Don't Know What Ink Color To Use On Ballots. And They're Auditing Our Election?
"Arizona's farce of an election audit gets underway this morning and already it's clear that these people don't know what they are doing"
Apr. 23, 2021
Arizona Republicans Take Outside Money For Partisan Audit
"Senate President Karen Fann (R), who is leading the audit effort, has admitted the money she and other GOP allies are helping raise may go directly to the private firms hired for the audit"
Apr.15, 2021
Election Auditor Wrote ‘Election Fraud Facts’ Report For GOP Senators Who Tried To Overturn The 2020 Election
Apr. 9, 2021
Arizona GOP Hires Conspiracy Theorist To Conduct Third 2020 Election ‘Audit’
"Arizona Senate President Karen Fann announced that she has hired Cyber Ninjas, a firm led by a Donald Trump supporter who was active in pushing "Stop the Steal" conspiracy theories"
Apr. 2, 2021
Senate President Defends Auditors Over Election Fraud Tweets
"Arizona Senate President Karen Fann is denying that anyone involved in a sweeping audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County has links to conspiracies of stolen elections or fraud"
Apr. 1, 2021
Arizona Senate Hires A Trump Ninja To Do Its Election Audit. No ... Really
"Cyber Ninjas founder and CEO Doug Logan repeatedly promoted conspiracy theories that last year’s election was stolen" ... "This is who Senate President Karen Fann has hired to lead its "independent" audit of the election."
Mar. 31, 2021
Karen Fann Owns This Farcical Crusade To Prove Trump Isn’t A Big Loser
Mar. 22, 2021
About ALEC | Feb. 28, 2021
Who Are The Republicans Attacking Arizona’s Education?
"Senate President Karen Fann has jumped back into her notorious role of attacking any type of funding for Arizona’s students. Arizona voters should expect the Arizona Senate to hear bills not only attempting to weaken Prop 208, but also other attempts to undermine public education as a whole throughout the state ... Proposition 208 passed during the 2020 general election, and received 1,675,810 votes, with approximately 52% of the vote and also received more votes than President-Elect Joe Biden, or Donald Trump did this election ... Now, there is a group of Republican politicians that are teaming up with one another to find any possible way to undermine the education funding initiative–including a joint lawsuit attempting to challenge the constitutionality of the education-funding proposition. This Republican coalition to invalidate the Invest in Education initiative includes Republicans from both legislative chambers, and even statewide politicians.
Dec. 7, 2020
VERIFY: False Claim That Trump Ballots Are Being Thrown Out Shared By Arizona Politicians
Sep. 29, 2020
AZ Senate President Karen Fann Vacationed While Arizonans Suffered
"Fann traveled to Georgia to golf and lay at the beach with lobbyists while Arizonans were left to deal with COVID-19"
Sep. 8, 2020
Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2020 Survey Questions For Arizona Candidates
Position Sought: State Senate LD-1
Question 2: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
Question 4: Allowing biological males that identify as transgender to play on female sports’ teams.
Candidates' Position: Oppose
Question 9: Protecting a parent's right to seek professional counseling for their minor child with same-sex attraction or gender identity issues to help them reach their desired outcome.*
Candidates' Position: Support
Question 11: Protecting individuals and businesses from being required to provide services or use their artistic expression in a manner that violates their moral or religious beliefs.**
Candidates' Position: Support.
This is in reference to the dangerous and disproven "Reparative Therapy".
**Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.

Source         

Battle Lines Drawn In Arizona Gay Discrimination Case
Dec. 24, 2018
Arizona ALEC Politicians - SourceWatch
Sep. 21, 2018
Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2018 Candidate Questionnaire
Position Sought: State Senate LD-1
Question 4: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
Question 9: Protecting a parent’s right to seek professional counseling for their minor child with same– sex attraction or gender identity issues to help them reach their desired outcome.*
Candidates' Position: Support.
This is in reference to the dangerous and disproven "Reparative Therapy".

Source         

Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2016 Survey Questions For Arizona Candidates
Position Sought: State Senate LD-1
Question 4: Adding "sexual orientation," "gender identity," or "gender expression" to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
Question 6: Prohibiting government from discriminating against an individual, organization, or small business based on their beliefs about marriage.*
Candidates' Position: Support.
Question 10: Implementing policies to allow students and faculty to use the restroom, locker room, and shower room that aligns with their gender identity.
Candidates' Position: Oppose.
* Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.

Source         

Roll Call: Who Supported Expanding Dark Money In Arizona?
Jul. 18, 2016
Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2014 Survey Questions For Arizona Candidates
Position Sought: State Representative LD-1
Question 9: Arizona’s voter-approved constitutional definition of marriage should be defended to the fullest extent legally possible.
Candidates' Position: Support
Question 11: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in antidiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose
Question 15: Protecting individuals and businesses from being required to provide services or use their artistic expression in a manner that violates their moral or religious beliefs.*
Candidates' Position: Support
* Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.

Source         

List Of Arizona Republicans Who Voted For Anti-Gay Discrimination Bill
Feb. 28, 2014

Karen Fann And Stan Barnes Capitol Circus Act - Insult Arizona Activists

Feb. 22, 2013

Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2012 Survey Questions For Arizona Candidates
Position Sought: State Representative LD-1
Question 9: Amending the United States Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Candidates' Position: Support
Question 11: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose
Question 15: Protecting professionals from being required to provide services that violate their moral or religious beliefs.*
Candidates' Position: Support
* Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.

Source         

Center for Arizona Policy (Cathi Herrod)
2010 Survey Questions For Arizona Candidates
Position Sought: State Representative LD-1
Question 9: Amending the United States Constitution to define marriage as the union of one man and one woman.
Candidates' Position: Support
Question 12: Adding “sexual orientation,” “gender identity,” or “gender expression” to the protected classes of race, religion, age, sex, and ancestry in nondiscrimination law.
Candidates' Position: Oppose
Question 15: Protecting professionals from being required to provide services that violate their moral or religious beliefs.*
Candidates' Position: Support
* Discriminatory "Religious Freedom" laws.

Source         

 

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