A clean energy campaign bankrolled by Tom Steyer submitted thousands of signatures to place their measure on the November ballot, but an investigation has already discovered numerous irregularities.
Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona is a campaign initiative calling for half of Arizona’s electricity to come from renewable sources, such as wind and solar, by 2030. The group submitted 480,464 signatures by the June 5 deadline to qualify for the ballot box. The high number of signatures were more than double what was required by the Arizona secretary of state’s office. The Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona campaign hired around 500 canvassers, many of them from out of state, to reach this signature goal.
However, not long after campaign supporters submitted their signatures and celebrated, opponents of the measure found numerous errors, inconsistencies, and what appears to be full-blown fraud.
“Based on what we’ve uncovered already, the effort to qualify Tom Steyer’s energy initiative for the Arizona ballot appears rife with fraud,” Matthew Benson, spokesman for the Arizonans for Affordable Electricity, said in a statement to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
Benson revealed a few examples of what his group has discovered so far.
Ever heard of a notary, @CleanHealthyAZ ? Stacks of worthless non-notarized petitions like this. Opening those boxes before July 5 would have been a good idea @roddmcleod pic.twitter.com/uypcsukqZq
— Matthew Benson (@MatthewWBenson) July 8, 2018
Signatures require addresses to be valid.
Addresses? @CleanHealthyAZ needs no stinking addresses!
p.s. Dear @roddmcleod : Whatever you paid those Nevada petition circulators, it was too much.
cc: @TomSteyer #SleazySignaturesAZ pic.twitter.com/mkmhFNCu9f
— Matthew Benson (@MatthewWBenson) July 7, 2018
Many signatures appear, even at quick glance, to be written by the same person.
More adventures in fraudulent signature gathering by @CleanHealthyAZ . I’m no expert, @roddmcleod – do these look legit to you?
I wonder if @TomSteyer knows his millions paid for this hot garbage in AZ.#SleazySignaturesAZ pic.twitter.com/O5XUubiCRZ
— Matthew Benson (@MatthewWBenson) July 6, 2018
“Page after page is filled with signatures that have been clearly forged. Fake names. Address fields left blank. Entire stacks without a notary stamp, as required by Arizona law. It is apparent the campaign took no care to review these signature petitions before submitting them to the state, probably guessing nobody would check closely. They guessed wrong,” Benson explained. (RELATED: Tom Steyer One Step Closer To Dictating Arizona’s Energy Industry)
Other lists studied by TheDCNF appear to be invalid, with one name that read “Mickey Mouse club.” There were even signatures collected by Clayton Lonetree, a convicted felon who served time in prison for giving secrets to the Soviet Union. Arizona state law bars convicted felons from serving as canvassers.
Many signatures will be invalidated upon review by the Arizona secretary of state, however, the sheer number of submitted signatures could still propel the campaign across the requirement threshold.
Steyer — a billionaire activist who supports environmental causes across the country — has funded the initiative. Through his climate change group, NextGen Climate Action, Steyer has donated nearly $1 million to Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona.
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