Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich is running for U.S. Senate, challenging Democrat Mark Kelly, and much of the criticism against him may be coming from the out-of-state Silicon Valley billionaire-funded candidate Blake Masters who is also running as a Republican, inside sources say. Brnovich has a lengthy record as a solid conservative – the most proactive conservative I've ever encountered in my lifetime, filing numerous lawsuits against the Biden administration and championing issues like election fraud, illegal immigration and draconian COVID-19 policies – yet someone is constantly feeding stories to conservative media claiming he's a RINO.
The latest story making the rounds is that Brnovich was "hanging out" with Maricopa County recorder and election-fraud denier Stephen Richer, a Republican who started a PAC composed of GOP election-fraud deniers like himself. Since Brnovich is diametrically opposed to election-fraud deniers, the accusation doesn't even pass the smell test. Richer claims there wasn't any fraud in the 2020 presidential election in Maricopa County, whereas Brnovich is currently investigating the results of the independent ballot audit ordered by the Arizona Senate. Brnovich's shadowy opponents conveniently omit facts, such as after the Maricopa County supervisors agreed to conduct a partial hand counted audit immediately after the election, he demanded that they double the number of ballots. He also ordered them to comply with the Arizona Senate's subpoena.
Then there are claims about a photo of Brnovich speaking at an event standing several feet away from Richer in the small audience. The truth is that Brnovich had been invited to speak to an organization called Teneo. Brnovich accepts many invitations to speak. He had nothing to do with Richer. The two aren't friends; they're merely both lawyers.
And while there have been efforts to make Teneo look like a lefty organization, its homepage says, "We believe in limited, constitutional government. We support individual liberty and free enterprise. We place trust in a robust civic society and a strong national defense. We acknowledge a transcendent order, whether founded in tradition, philosophy, or theology." Doesn't sound very lefty to me. And if they have some members or associations that aren't solidly conservative, that doesn't mean a conservative can't speak to them. Using that criteria, Brnovich couldn't speak to the Federalist Society due to its association with people like Orrin Hatch.
Ready for the most ridiculous part about the accusation? Masters himself spoke at one of Teneo's meetings, one photo shows him arm in arm in a row with Richer, and another shows him speaking while looking at Richer a couple feet away – exactly like the photo of Brnovich speaking while Richer is looking at him!
Inside sources tell me that Masters or his campaign are feeding these stories to conservative media about Brnovich, not telling them the full story in order to fool them into writing inaccurate hit pieces. Masters' presence at those meetings makes it highly likely he was the one leaking the stories.
Masters also got caught slamming Brnovich on Twitter recently, claiming Donald Trump wanted nothing to do with Brnovich when Trump came to Arizona for a rally – but Brnovich had actually just met Trump at the airport in Phoenix that day and posted a photo of the two together. Masters hasn't bothered deleting the inaccurate tweet.
Masters visited Mar-a-lago in November and created a perception that Trump had endorsed him because Trump showed up at his event, but that wasn't true either. And if Trump were going to endorse him, wouldn't he have done it by now, four months later?
And, according to The Week, Masters doesn't even believe there was actual election fraud in the 2020 election.
The main attacks against Brnovich right now consist of slamming him for not finishing the investigation of the election audit results yet. Well, you know what happened to the last prosecutor who indicted Maricopa County supervisors? He was disbarred. And the supervisors turned around and awarded themselves huge amounts of taxpayer dollars over the "stress" of being prosecuted – one made off with $3.5 million, another $975,000. That's right; if this investigation is rushed, Brnovich will end up disbarred and useless to us, and the left will be able to point to it as just more corrupt conservatives.
Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs filed 12 bar complaints against Brnovich and his staff attorneys over his election-integrity disputes with her, which were fortunately dismissed. But former Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas successfully beat 13 bar complaints before the supervisors filed one against him and won.
I practiced law for 12 years, including as a prosecutor for Maricopa County, the elections attorney for Maricopa County and an Arizona assistant attorney general, and I guarantee you a lot of people simply don't understand how long investigations like this take, because they haven't been in the trenches. It's common knowledge that criminal prosecutions can take years – so why is Brnovich being held up to some different standard to rush and get convictions, risking technical errors that will end up getting cases thrown out?
Masters is clearly desperate because despite all the funding from an out-of-state Silicon Valley billionaire, he isn't getting any traction in the race. The latest polls in the race show Brnovich averaging 29%, Masters at 12% and the other candidates with even less support. Masters has no record, he's never been in office. Conservatives are skeptical of him because the billionaire funding him sat on the board of Facebook for years.
It's one thing to bring fresh novice blood to a political office where you have a RINO incumbent politician that needs to go. But portraying Brnovich as a RINO is dishonest considering his long, documented record in office, not to mention his years prior working as the director for constitutional government at the Goldwater Institute. He's now put his neck out there making himself a target by suing the Biden administration repeatedly, as well as Hobbs, the City of Tucson and more.
Don't be fooled, and think seriously about the character of whoever is planting fake stories with conservative media, using them and making them look sloppy and inaccurate.