Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich Files Lawsuit Against California Billionaire-Funded Ballot Committee Over Slanderous and False Ads Against Him
(PHOENIX) Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court today against the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee (“Yes on 127”) for their unfounded, false, defamatory and misleading campaign that has attacked Brnovich with over $3.6 million in malicious attack advertisements. Committee members, including California billionaire Tom Steyer, are also named in the suit.
The advertisements falsely claim Brnovich altered ballot language on the renewable energy initiative based on corruption and not his constitutionally mandated job of protecting consumers and informing voters of changes in the law. Records provided to the public have proven that the Attorney General’s Office had no communication with anyone outside of the office in crafting the ballot language and that the Attorney General was acting within his constitutional and legal obligations to provide voters with accurate ballot descriptive language.
“I have taken no position on Proposition 127. I do understand, however, that it may be losing badly at the ballot box and financiers are now looking for a scapegoat. I have dedicated by entire life to integrity and independence. For someone to spend millions against me alleging I am corrupt merely because they disagree with me is exceptionally offensive to my family, and should be offensive to every Arizonan, whether they are for or against Proposition 127, and whether they are Democrat, Independent or Republican,” Brnovich said.
As it relates to allegations of coziness with Arizona Public Service (APS) in the advertisements that’s likely news to the utility itself after Brnovich sided with Arizona Corporation Commissioner Bob Burns’ efforts to investigate the utility’s past, controversial spending in Arizona Corporation Commission races, the governmental body that regulates APS and other state utilities.
And in one of the more amusing and interesting anecdotes of the 2018 Arizona campaign season, Brnovich first got his start in politics at the age of 12, organizing neighborhood protests against Arizona Public Service’s Palo Verde Nuclear Plant. The story was captured in this story by Stephen Lemons, a long-time liberal columnist for the Phoenix New Times. Here is a link.
The Brnovich lawsuit states: “[T]he changes made by the Attorney General’s Office to the language of the description of Proposition 127 were not made to benefit APS, or anyone else, rather Mark Brnovich exercised his duty as Arizona Attorney General to assure that the descriptions of ballot measures are fair and accurate, and provide necessary and appropriate information to the voting public, ensuring that voters of all persuasions are able to understand what a “yes” or “no” vote could accomplish.”
Much of the “Yes on Prop. 127” spending now is focused on tipping the scales in the race for Attorney General. California’s Steyer is a major, direct financial contributor to Brnovich’s opponent, January Contreras. Of late, the television advertisements in question barely mention Proposition 127. Instead, they attack Brnovich.
“I stand up for Arizonans every day whether it’s taking on powerful interests like the state universities to lower tuition costs or gain something back from corporations that have wronged our citizens. Standing up for Arizonans also means standing up for yourself and your family that has to watch these false, sickening ads that are contrary to everything I believe in and do on the people’s behalf. The Attorney General is the ultimate umpire for citizens. I call balls and strikes to the best of my ability. I understand some may like those decisions while others don’t. But I always act, always, with independence and integrity at the heart of decisions,” Brnovich said.