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Remember when Arizona had an attorney general, and he would issue cease-and-desist letters to unscrupulous businesses engaged in deceptive practices to sucker people out of their money?
Now he gets them.
The Washington Post on Monday reported that Donald Trump’s lawyers sent Attorney General Mark Brnovich a cease-and-desist letter, warning him to stop implying that he is Trump’s choice for the U.S. Senate in his fundraising appeals.
“Your use of President Trump’s name, image, and/or likeness is likely to deceive individuals into believing President Trump supports, endorses, or otherwise promotes your candidacy for U.S. Senate in Arizona – he does not,” wrote an attorney for Save America, Trump’s political action committee.
Arizona's top law enforcer is trying to fool folks
Brnovich is certainly not the only candidate trying to attach himself to Trump’s, um, coattails to squeeze a little money out of Republicans by implying that he’s on “the team”. Or the only one being warned to knock it off.
It is, however, a particularly stark shade of sleazy when the state’s top law enforcer engages in a campaign designed to fool people into parting with their money.
Brnovich has been at it since November, when he blasted out a photo of Trump on Facebook, asking people to “Defend Trump’s Legacy” by joining the “Trump Legacy Defenders Club.”
“Can he count on you to step up and DEFEND HIM against the radical Democrats!?!” Brnovich wrote.
If you read the small print, you’d find out you were donating to Brnovich, not Trump.
Brnovich is not on 'Trump's team'
By December, Brnovich was putting out ads guilting dupes into sending him money.
“Have you ABANDONED President Trump because your Trump Membership is expiring!?!” Brnovich wrote.
He warns people “Renew Your 2022 Membership Before It’s Too Late.”
And by renewing, of course, he meant give him, Brnovich, money. It was right there, in the fine print.
In January, Brnovich warned Republicans that they were in danger of being kicked off of “Trump’s team if they hadn’t yet donated to his Senate campaign.
“Are you really going to IGNORE President Trump? We thought he could count on you,” Brnovich said, in a fundraising plea making the rounds to Republicans on Facebook. “This is your LAST CHANCE to help FLIP AZ and TAKE BACK THE SENATE.”
Attached was a picture of Trump and Brnovich mugging for the camera, along with this warning:
“DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE TO BE ON TRUMP’S TEAM!”
Emails and ads conflict with his day job
I wrote about that one at the time, suggesting that he should resign given the inherent conflict in chasing after Trump’s approval and doing his actual day job. It’s unseemly at best for an AG who should have been investigating the state’s fake electors to instead be sending out pleas for money, implying that he was on Trump’s team.
Especially since Trump already had branded him a “lackluster” attorney general – for his refusal to start prosecuting elections officials for (non-existent) election fraud.
Especially since Trump already had thrown a fundraiser for one of Brnovich’s opponents, Blake Masters.
From the Senate debate: Candidates dig on Blake Masters, Mark Brnovich
None of which mattered a whit to our attorney general.
In February, Brnovich announced it was your “LAST CHANCE” to “make sure Trump knows he has your support.” And that you could "INFLUENCE" Trump as he decides whether to run in 2024.
By donating to Brnovich, naturally.
Brnovich apparently has also been been sending out e-mails attaching himself to Trump.
Never mind that Trump endorsed Masters
In their June cease-and-desist letter, Trump’s lawyers pointed to a recent email with subject line “ACCOUNT TERMINATION NOTICE”, according to the Post. The email threatened potential dupes … oops, I mean, potential donors … with losing “[a]ny chance of continuing to receive our Trump polls, Trump rally alerts, and 2024 Endorsement opportunities”.
This, if they did not give money to Brnovich.
It’s worth pointing out that Trump endorsed Brnovich’s opponent, Blake Masters, in June.
It’s also worth pointing out that Brnovich, for a year, has been shamelessly using his office as a cheap campaign tool in his quest to snag a seat in the U.S. Senate.
Brnovich writes: Our office found election vulnerabilities that must be fixed
From his endless lawsuits against the Biden administration, guaranteed to land him a friendly interview on Fox, to his interim report on the elections – a report in which he breathlessly noted that his Election Integrity Unit found “serious vulnerabilities” in Arizona’s election system and “uncovered instances of election fraud.”
“Our concerns about early ballots were on the mark,” candidate Brnovich wrote, in a plea for cash that came just hours after Attorney General Brnovich issued that report.
Isn't it time for Brnovich to resign?
Of course, that inevitable plea for cash that came within hours of that report never mentioned that the “instances of election fraud” numbered exactly nine.
And that’s not counting Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, fellow Senate candidate Jim Lamon, state Rep. Jake Hoffman and the other phony Trump electors who in December 2020 signed a document avowing that they represented the true electoral votes from Arizona. Then they sent it by registered mail to the U.S. Sente and the National Archives.
Somehow, Brnovich didn’t see fit to investigate Arizona’s fake electors for fraud.
Any attorney general possessed of ethics and a keen sense of fair play would have long since resigned to pursue his Senate dream, noting that he cannot faithfully serve both Arizona’s 7.2 million residents and Donald Trump.
Instead, we have Brnovich, who apparently never saw a conflict of interest he couldn’t ignore, implying an endorsement that he never got.
Speaking of ceasing and desisting, isn’t it time for Brnovich to resign?
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Trump tells Mark Brnovich to stop misleading voters. Yes, really