Opinion: Why did The Arizona Republic need to sue to try to get information when Republican Senate President Karen Fann and the Cyber Ninjas CEO promised transparency?
When Republican Arizona Senate President Karen Fann gave the go ahead for the sham audit of Maricopa County votes, she said the process would be conducted professionally and transparently.
She’s 0 for 2.
That went out the window with the hiring of the Florida-based firm Cyber Ninjas to conduct the audit.
Not only had the company not done such a thing before, but the CEO, Doug Logan, is a confirmed conspiracy kook who spread unproven election fraud claims and has appeared in a film claiming the CIA or former members of the intelligence agency are involved in some nutty “disinformation” campaign concerning election fraud.
Then, there is the transparent part. The audits already conducted by the Maricopa County Recorder’s office, and the two certified firms who also were hired to check the election process, were open to the public and transparent. They found no fraud.
This audit, too, was to be that way. Supposedly.
Audit should be ‘transparent, truthful and accurate’
Logan said of his audit, “The big question should not be, ‘Am I biased,’ but ‘Will this audit be transparent, truthful and accurate?’ The answer to the latter question is a resounding ‘Yes.’ ”
Except, it’s not.
If it was, The Arizona Republic would not be going to court and asking a judge to have the Senate and Cyber Ninjas turn over records the public has every right to see.
For example, information about audit procedures, about subcontractors, about who’s paying for it.
As attorney David Bodney, representing The Republic, said, “Arizona law entitles the public to know how this audit is being conducted and funded. And the Arizona public records law does not permit the Senate to play ‘hide the ball’ by delegating core responsibilities to a third party like Cyber Ninjas and concealing records of government activities and public expenditures in Cyber Ninjas’ files.”
The Senate and Cyber Ninjas are trying to say the sham auditors have no obligation to turn over any of this information because Cyber Ninjas isn’t a state entity but just a firm hired by the state. As if state business isn’t state business when it’s being done by a private contractor.
A lame argument, at best.
Senate, Cyber Ninjas aren’t living up to the promise
And not exactly transparent, right?
So, exactly what are Senate Republicans and the Cyber Ninjas trying to hide?
If the handling (Or was it manhandling?) of our precious voter information has been completely on the up and up that fact should be apparent when the records requested by The Republic are made public.
Remember, the CEO of Cyber Ninjas said, “Will this audit be transparent, truthful and accurate? The answer to the latter question is a resounding ‘Yes.’”
So, are Senate Republicans and the Cyber Ninjas living up to that promise?
The answer to the latter question is a resounding “No.”
Reach Montini at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more opinions content, please subscribe.