Arizona Secretary of State Candidate Chris Deschene Asks for Public Records from Political Opponent and Current SOS Ken Bennett

Chris Deschene wants at least two things.

First, the Democrat wants voters to elected him Secretary of State November 2.

Second, he wants Ken Bennett, his political opponent and current Arizona Secretary of State, to turn over public records, including e-mails, to help determine Bennett's role in the Green Party candidate sham. A judge noted that some of the Green candidates were registered in an effort to "perpetrate a fraud on voters."

Deschene believes e-mails and other correspondence in the Secretary of State's office will reveal whether the Green Party candidates were properly vetted by Bennett and his staff.

Either way, it's a clever political move to call for public records (that may or may not exist) to quietly shout out that his political opponent may have somehow played a role in this election sham.

The idea behind the fraud was to have Republican operatives, such as Steve May, recruit individuals to run under the Green Party label in areas where Democrats might have a chance of winning. That is, the Green candidates were planted to steal away votes from the Democrats, giving Republicans an edge.

Bennett, a Republican who is seeking re-election, serves as Arizona's chief election officer and is responsible for things like certifying candidates, ballot measures, and election results.

Deschene, a Democrat, questions whether Bennett and his staff explored ways to delay printing the ballots with the names of the so-called fake candidates.

Bennett has maintained that he followed the law.

It's not enough, says Deschene.

"For the state's highest elections officer, that simply isn't good enough," Deschene said in a press release issued today. "As an attorney, I understand the law. As an elected official, Ken Bennett had an obligation to uphold his promise to Arizona citizens and administer a fair election. He failed to do that."

He says the candidates didn't pass the "common sense test."

Even the Green Party didn't think the disputed folks were real candidates and filed a lawsuit to yank them from the ballot. Most of the candidates withdrew from their races on their own.

Some of the candidates, including those recruited by May, turned out to be street people from Mill Avenue in Tempe. One candidate listed a Starbuck's coffee shop as his address.

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