By John R Brakey AUDITAZ@cox.net
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Hernandez Encourages Pima County Election Integrity Commission "Don't Be Bullied, Don't Be Threatened"
By John R Brakey AUDITAZ@cox.net
The Pima County Election Integrity Commission (PCEIC) was formed as a result of litigation surrounding the RTA election. In what appears to be a move intended to intimidate the commission and retaliate for their watchdog efforts, Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry filed a complaint with Attorney General Tom Horne to subvert his group’s efforts. Then Huckelberry moved to have the attorney of record (who represented the RTA in election integrity trials) put on the agenda, and schedule an “executive session” for the upcoming July 11 commission meeting in an effort to discourage transparency. What an amazing show of arrogance by Huckelberry.
Huckelberry claims that on May 9th the PCEIC broke the opening meeting law. This after Richard Hernandez Chairman of Sunnyside Unified School District recall committee addressed the PCEIC, Hernandez, three candidates and others were asking them for their assistance to ensure a fair, honest, transparent and verifiable vote count in the Sunnyside Unified School. As seen in the video of the May 9th meeting, Hernandez and others pleaded with the commission not to count the votes five days out, but count it on Election Day
If a bureaucrat like Huckelberry wants to stop something from happening in Pima County, he forms a committee that lets some of his opposition participate. Ultimately, he controls the agenda with his team while pushing an extreme interpretation of the open meeting laws. After a while, it seems members are worried more about what you can’t say than what you can say. Many have stated to me that they lost their voice. Sometimes, however, Pima County does not get its way. Outside observers can tell when this happens by watching member Benny White's reactions. He will usually have a temper tantrum or walk out when a majority of votes contradict the county's intentions (like in the video above).
Pima County has a history of counting early ballots a week or two before election day, and has been accused of using early results to alter the election. That was the subject of the long-running lawsuit concerning the RTA election of 2006.
After the May PCEIC meeting, and thanks to Ally Miller, a member of the BOS, and the Arizona Daily Independent, the count was done on Election Day in only took 69 minutes to count.
Pima County administrator Chuck Huckelberry along with Pima County supervisors Ray Carroll, Sharon Bronson, Richard Elias, and Ramon Valadez have all been previously accused in four open meeting law complaints in a four month period currently being investigated by the Arizona Attorney General’s office.
Hernandez explained in the July 11th meeting that as an “individual - someone who lives in the city and the county,” and as a voter, he appreciated the work of the commission. Hernandez said, “The most fundamental right we Americans have is the right to vote and I'm really glad to see both sides,” engage in a robust conversation. “I don't know who's side you are on, or who has appointed you, because personally, it does not make a difference.”
“I wish there were forty more Joe Q. Publics here, standing behind me to tell you that you are doing well,” said Hernandez. “We want you to protect us. To make sure that the process is fair.”
Hernandez urged commissioners to resist the efforts by Huckelberry to force them into an executive session and out of the public’s view at last week’s PCEIC public meeting. Some commissioners believed that Huckelberry was trying to force them into executive session backrooms away from public scrutiny, so that he could scare them into inactivity.
Pima County is the only county in the state where an unelected county administrator oversees completely the election department rather than the duly per the Arizona Revised Statutes delegates the responsibility to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) simply because these boards are partisan and made up of 3 to 5 persons. In Title 16 over 75 times it referees to the BOS.
Hernandez reminded the commissioners that they were the only entity the citizens had to protect their vote. “This it really upsets me,” he told the commissioners, “because I'm a voter, the one that you are representing and it's very important to me that you understand how what you do is so important.”
Sunday, July 13, 2014
On May 21st of this year, the Maricopa appellate court denied the Libertarian Party's pursuit of injunctive relief for rigged elections. Stemming from litigation over the 2006 Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) election in Pima County, the Libertarian Party was well on its way towards pursuing their claim that the RTA election was fraudulent. Once fraud was established in the courts, the Libertarian party would obtain injunctive relief for rigged elections.
Back in 2010, the Libertarian Party had won an appellate court decision for that same claim in Pima County's district. Pima County immediately requested the appellate court to reconsider its ruling, describing the rigging of the RTA election as “a discrete incident of past wrongdoing.” The request was denied.
Over the past four years, the promise of a resolution slowly withered as Pima County Superior Court judges kept ruling in defiance of the appellate court decision. They refused to hear the case, so the Libertarian Party was forced to appeal for a second time.
Pima County's next legal maneuver may have ended their eight-year war of attrition against transparent fair elections. County operatives forced a change in appellate court venue by contriving an amicus brief through the Republican Party to develop a conflict of interest in the elections case. As a result, Pima County's bureaucratic political machine finally achieved an appellate court decision to deny the pursuit of prospective relief for rigged elections in the courts. According to Rule 2.11 in the Arizona Supreme Court rules for judicial ethics:
A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned.Not so for Kent E. Cattani, one of three appellate court judges who served with the Arizona State Attorney General's office until his appointment as a Maricopa appellate court judge on February 9th, 2013. He had worked at the Attorney General's office at the time of Attorney General Terry Goddard's dubious investigation of the RTA election.
For the millions of taxpayers' dollars spent by Pima County, key evidence in the form of RTA ballots stored for eight years without a forensic exam or a meaningful comparison to precinct totals, will be destroyed.