Brnovich’s campaign ads violate code of conduct

Mark Brnovich is a candidate for Attorney General, recruited by McCain allies to challenge a conservative incumbent. Brnovich’s wife, Susan, is a Maricopa County Superior Court judge, appointed by Gov. Janet Napolitano in 2009.  Although liberal Napolitano reserved her appointments for kindred spirits, Judge Brnovich’s problem has to do with ethical violations rather than her associations. Susan M. Skibba Brnovich has appeared in her husband’s political commercials (one such video is linked here), in which she is identified as a former prosecutor. That’s true. However as a judge, she is prohibited from such activities. She’s been on the bench long enough to have at least a passing knowledge of the Canons of Ethics. Her husband Mark, a candidate for the state’s top law enforcement post, who purports himself to be a devoted family man, should be more principled than to have encouraged his wife to engage in such a violation. In turn, the judge surely should have known better.

The Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct is very clear in citing which political activities judges are permitted to engage in (Page 35).



RULE 4.1. Political and Campaign Activities of Judges and Judicial Candidates in General

(A) A judge or a judicial candidate shall not do any of the following:

(1) act as a leader in, or hold an office in, a political organization;

(2) make speeches on behalf of a political organization or another candidate for public office;

(3) publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for any public office;

(4) solicit funds for or pay an assessment to a political organization or candidate, make contributions to any candidate or political organization in excess of the amounts permitted by law, or make total contributions in excess of fifty percent of the cumulative total permitted by law. See, e.g., A.R.S. § 16-905.

(5) actively take part in any political campaign other than his or her own campaign for election, reelection or retention in office;

(6) personally solicit or accept campaign contributions other than through a campaign committee authorized by Rule 4.4;

(7) use or permit the use of campaign contributions for the private benefit of the judge, the candidate, or others, except as provided by law;

(8) use court staff, facilities, or other court resources in a campaign for judicial office;

(9) make any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court; or

(10) in connection with cases, controversies, or issues that are likely to come before the court, make pledges, promises, or commitments that are inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of judicial office.

Comment 7 (page 36) is specific regarding a family member’s political activity or campaign for public office:

7. Although members of the families of judges and judicial candidates are free to engage in their own political activity, including running for public office, there is no “family exception” to the prohibition in paragraph (A)(3) against a judge or candidate publicly endorsing candidates for public office. A judge or judicial candidate must not become involved in, or publicly associated with, a family member’s political activity or campaign for public office. To avoid public misunderstanding, judges and judicial candidates should take and should urge members of their families to take reasonable steps to avoid any implication that the judge or judicial candidate endorses any family member’s candidacy or other political activity.

It hasn’t escaped the notice of political watchers that Brnovich’s first quarter filings show his donations far below what would be expected from one recruited by establishment elites. It was filed in the late hours of the Jan. 31, deadline, no doubt hoping it might escape notice. He dropped $2,000 of the weak total into his own campaign coffers, and nearly $10,000 was donated by his in-laws, the Skibba family. In actual donations from supporters, many state legislative district candidates have far exceeded Brnovich’s statewide fundraising.


17 Responses to Brnovich’s campaign ads violate code of conduct

  1. Arizona Conservative Guy says:

    I had to laugh when I watched the video clip. Brnovich calls it “Live Your Values, Do the Right Thing.”
    Maybe he thinks he’s exempt, that those instructions are for others to follow?

  2. East Valley PC says:

    I’ve spoken to a lot of PCs who are very angry that he is challenging a solid Republican incumbent. He’s doing nothing more than helping the Democrat Rottelini.

    • Anthem Al says:

      Besides being caught in this serious infraction, Mark B. (won’t attempt to spell his last name) is having trouble raising money. That will prove harmful to his attempt at campaigning. He needs to get Jan McBrewer to find him another job, before she’s out the door herself. Maybe she can put the “family values” guy back in charge of state gambling.

  3. Wm T Sparky Smith says:

    He would be hard pressed to do a better JOB for the CITIZENS of AZ than Tom Horne has.

  4. Kent says:

    Wow! If this statue/canon is accurately copied in the post, this is a blatant violation.

  5. LD 23 PC says:

    Besides the McCain cabal connection, Mark Brnnovich is also tied at the hip to Medicaid expansionist Jan Brewer. She’s kept him employed over the last several years, not as a lawyer or the prosecutor he claims in the video, but as the state gaming director, overseeing gambling casino diversions, that actually bring untold harm to many families.

    • Clementine says:

      Gambling can be so addictive that parents have actually left their young children alone in cars as they compulsively spend hours in casinos. Brnovich’s idea of “family values” don’t come into play with gambling, er, gaming. It seems HIS family deserves more than others while he earned a high $$$ salary as “Gaming” Director.

  6. LD 23 PC says:

    One more thing…..Why in the world would libertarian leaning Mark Brnovich, now claiming he’s a conservative, donate money to liberal Democrat Pete Rios?

    • American Patriot says:

      Giving money to Pete Rios?? What’s up with that? I hope there’s no prohibition against linking to another blog on this site, but I’ve never forgotten that Espresso Pundit had quite an expose on democrat Rios, who claimed residency in one town when he actually lived in another. Who he actually “represented” (besides himself) was up for grabs. Why would Brnovich, who claims to be a Republican, give campaign money to this phony dem legislator?

  7. Wayne Bauer says:

    Sounds like a totally exposed corrupt politician. When you see McCain in same paragraph that’s the tip off.

    • ZOO says:

      Let’s not forget Brnovich endorsers:

      Bill Montgomery
      Jon Kyl
      Trent Franks
      Debbie Lesko
      Linda Gray
      Len Munsil
      Dean Martin

  8. Justin says:

    Since Bernovich (I’ve taken the liberty of giving him a vowel) is beholden to the McWing of the Republican Party, does anyone think he would have taken the Flores English Language Learner case to the US Supreme Court as Tom Horne did when he was AZ Superintendent of Public Instruction? The open borders advocates who are backing Bernovich would have had collective apoplexy.

    On June 25, 2009, (I remember the date since it’s my daughter’s birthday) the US Supreme Court  overturned the decision of a federal district court which held that AZ was in violation, and ruled in favor of Horne, allowing the state of Arizona to determine its own requirements with regard to English Language instruction.

  9. Orion says:

    Obviously another “end justifies the means” kind of guy, exemplifying the entitlement mentality most of us have come to loathe.

  10. State Delegate says:

    Tom Horne won the Horne v. Flores case in the United States Supreme Court, saving Arizona taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. He joined with other states boldly fighting Obamacare in the U.S. Supreme Court. He also fought and WON against the union stranglehold on workers and against the leftwing National Labor Relations Board in court, ensuring that American workers can vote to reject unions in secret.

    Brnovich was busy working as a private prison lobbyist and later heading up the family destructive Dept. of Gambling in the state of AZ.

  11. goodyearconservative says:

    I can’t believe my congressman (Trent Franks) is backing Mark Brnovich. I remember he endorsed Duncan Hunter over RINO John McCain for the presidential nomination and Russell Pearce over Amnesty loving RINO Bob Worsley and he backed conservative businessman Wil Cardon over Jeff McFlake. Please don’t tell me he’s turning into another moderate like John McCain and Jeff Flake,

    • Arizona Conservative Guy says:

      Franks was my congressman, too. He’s good on many issues, such as those you mention, but fails on others. He disappointingly endorsed Vernon Parker over superior candidates and withdrew from his stated intention of challenging Jeff Flake for the US Senate. It was rumored he had been pressured to withdraw by the McCain/Kyl establishment who were strongly supporting their boy Flake. Recently, Franks allowed trespassing amnesty supporters to camp out over a two day period in his own front yard and actually joined them in prayer. What do you think they were praying for? Amnesty, of course!! Franks also supported the notorious liar Tony Bouie, who had been a lifelong Democrat and reregistered just five days prior to filing his papers to run for the state legislature.

      The facts are clear: They ALL get dazzled by DC. You might recall Franks actually endorsed John McCain over JD Hayworth in the 2010 senate race and was taken to task by the conservative Pachyderm Coalition. He gave a limp-wristed answer that was pure BS. I found this account of the meeting through a Google search. It led right back to this reliable site!! It might turn your stomach. It did mine when I read it. But it also made me remember important facts that too often get swept away.

  12. Seeing Red AZ says:

    That handle, as well as AZ Conservative Guy, are already in use by other commenters. You have previously used the name, “Inquisitive” in your comment postings. We opt for consistency and the “honesty” about which you claim to represent. Your inane comment will not go up.

    As to the post, we stick with the fact that Canon 4 of the Arizona Code of Judicial Conduct has been violated. “Love” is not addressed, but judges’ family relationships clearly are. Read it.