By Howard Fischer | Capitol Media Services via Arizona Capitol Times
Claiming he’s been defamed, Attorney General Mark Brnovich is suing the backers of the Proposition 127 campaign for telling what he said are lies about him.
Legal papers filed Wednesday in Maricopa County Superior Court claim commercials paid for by the Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee say there is a link between Brnovich’s changes to the Proposition 127 ballot description and money from the parent company of Arizona Public Service to help his reelection campaign.
Brnovich said there was no communication between him and the state’s largest electric utility as he crafted the ballot language and added that the new renewable energy mandate, if approved, would occur “irrespective of cost to consumers.” And he defended that language even though state Elections Director Eric Spencer, a Republican like Brnovich, called it “eyebrow raising” and suggested the changes come with both political and legal risks.
But what most offends Brnovich – and a key basis for the lawsuit – are contentions in commercials paid for by the committee that the attorney general is “corrupt” and that he was helping to “rig” the election.
With early voting already started and the election just two weeks away, Brnovich is not asking a judge to order the commercials halted. Instead he is seeking unspecified damages and a punitive award “to punish defendants and deter it and others from emulating defendants’ conduct.”