4

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

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Phoenix and help keep the future of New Times free.

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.

Keep Phoenix New Times Free... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Phoenix with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Phoenix.