A monthlong series of presentations in the state Senate Elections Committee came to a head on Feb. 23 with the airing of a massive conspiracy theory involving alleged “bribery” of Arizona elected officials by a drug cartel.
The dubious allegation scandal exploded on social media, with conservative pundits highlighting portions of the testimony that smeared Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs and Secretary of State Adrian Fontes.
But the source of the information, a Scottsdale attorney with a suspended law license, told The Arizona Republic in a phone interview that two members of the joint special meeting of the Senate Elections and House Municipal Oversight and Elections committees, its chair and election conspiracy champion Sen. Wendy Rogers, R-Flagstaff, and Sen. Ken Bennett, R-Prescott, also were potential bribe-takers.
None of the information was backed up by confirmed facts, but neither was other information given prominence in the past few weeks in presentations held at state Senate Elections Committee hearings.
Viewers of this and other hearings, whether in-person at the Arizona Capitol or watching through archived video livestreams, have heard about more than 60 election-related bills that Republicans are pushing this year and have also seen a host of election deniers given opportunities by GOP committee chairs to present their suspicions and unproven facts.