Arizona: Attorney General won’t pursue Reagan over outdated election manual | Capitol Media Services

Calling her interpretation of the law “at least plausible,” the state Attorney General’s Office won’t pursue Michele Reagan for her failure to update the state elections manual this year the way her predecessors have done. Michael Bailey, the chief deputy, acknowledged Tuesday that the secretary of state adopted what appears to be a unique interpretation of the law requiring her to prepare the manual. That book, now nearly 400 pages, is a virtual bible for election workers on every facet of what the law requires and how to handle different situations. Put simply, she decided it’s OK to simply keep in place for this the 2014 manual prepared by her predecessor despite that not being how prior secretaries of state read the law. That decision resulted in a complaint by Chandler attorney Tom Ryan to Attorney General Mark Brnovich.

Arizona: Lawyer calls for impeachment of Secretary of State Reagan | Arizona Daily Sun

A Chandler lawyer called for the impeachment of Republican Secretary of State Michele Reagan on Friday after she failed to properly inform the public ahead of the May 17 special election. It’s unlikely that Arizona’s GOP-controlled Legislature would agree to move forward with an impeachment of a fellow Republican and former colleague, but attorney Tom Ryan said it’s necessary because Reagan intentionally hid an error resulting in hundreds of thousands of voters not receiving their election guides in time for next week’s special election. He also accused Reagan of campaigning in support of Proposition 123, one of the measures on the ballot in next week’s election. Ryan works on a campaign to oppose the same measure. “Here’s our problem: We have a secretary of state who fundamentally does not understand her job,” he said. “She is not supposed to be putting her thumb on the scales.”

Arizona: Olivia Cortes will remain on ballot in Pearce recall election, court rules | AZ Central

Recall candidate Olivia Cortes will stay on the Nov. 8 ballot despite allegations that her campaign is part of a fraud, a Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ruled.

Judge Edward Burke heard arguments last week in the lawsuit filed by a Legislative District 18 Republican alleging that Cortes is part of a sham campaign to draw votes away from candidate Jerry Lewis and help Pearce retain his seat. In Monday’s ruling, Burke wrote that no one during the all-day hearing last week “impugned Cortes’ honesty or integrity.”

The judge’s ruling

“The court finds that she is genuinely opposed to what she believes is Pearce’s harsh legislative treatment of and comments about illegal Hispanic immigrants,” Burke wrote.

Arizona: Why the lawsuit against Olivia Cortes had to be aggressively defended | Anthony Tsontakis/Arizona Capitol Times

It’s not because the lawsuit was politically motivated. Everyone knows how unapologetically brutal politics can be. And it’s not because the lawsuit was brought to defame Ms. Cortes, either. Placing your name on a ballot is the functional equivalent of sending the world an open invitation to attack your character.

The reason the lawsuit against Olivia Cortes had to be aggressively defended, rather, is that it asked a judge, without statutory authorization, to inquire into the political beliefs, motivations, associations, and activities of ordinary citizens — and then to find legal liability where no law says there is: in the details of those ideologies, agendas, friends, and practices.

Tom Ryan, the plaintiff’s attorney, built the bulk of his case against Cortes around one concept: the political motivations of Ms. Cortes’ nomination petition circulators.