Attorney General Mark Brnovich retains Wilenchik & Bartness to Bring Defamation Suit Against Proposition 127 Opponents Airing False and Malicious Ads

Wilenchik & Bartness, P.C. was retained by Arizona’s chief law enforcement officer, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, in his personal capacity, to pursue proponents of the Proposition 127 Campaign. The firm is pursuing numerous individuals associated with Defendants Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona, LLC, and Clean Energy for a Healthy Arizona Committee for false and malicious advertisements and aiding and abetting. Individual Defendants include Darryl Tattrie, Jessica Grennan, Alejandra Gomez, and liberal activist, fundraiser and California resident Tom Steyer. The suit was filed on October 24, 2018 in Maricopa County Superior Court, Case Number CV2018-013379. A copy of the Complaint is here: Brnovich v Clean Energy 2113 [DIW DJW DAT VMS HJM CMF] 10-24-18 Complaint.

Brnovich alleges that the advertisements running on Arizona’s major stations, which are being repeated in print and web media, are defamatory, false, and impeach his “honesty, integrity and personal reputation.” Brnovich also alleges that the ads are a disingenuous effort to attempt to derail his re-election campaign for Attorney General. Proposition 127 focuses on increasing the state’s renewable portfolio standards from 15 percent by 2025 to 50 percent by 2030. According to Ballotpedia, most of the major utilities, including Pinnacle West Capital Corporation, have publicly opposed Proposition 127. See Ballotpedia.

Brnovich alleges that the Defendants falsely claim that Brnovich’s campaign took $425,000.00 from Arizona Public Service, that he is “corrupt,” and that Brnovich purportedly manipulated the wording of Proposition 127 in favor of APS to help APS block affordable solar, raise consumers’ bills and protect APS’ profit, among other allegations. The allegations are false and defamatory. Brnovich also alleges that the parties aided and abetted to perpetrate the smear campaign. Brnovich has an impeccable record as an attorney with the State Bar of Arizona and the State Bar of California and has been in practice in Arizona since 1992. He has served as Arizona’s Attorney General since 2015 and previously served as Director of the Arizona Department of Gaming, an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, and an Assistant Attorney General with the state of Arizona.

Articles from The Arizona Capitol Times and The Arizona Republic (azcentral.com) have covered the litigation. Dennis Wilenchik stated in the Arizona Capital Times article, “Nothing of the sort occurred here.” He continued: Brnovich did not “manipulate” the ballot language “but rather exercised his duty as Arizona attorney general to assure that the descriptions of ballot measures are fair and accurate and provide necessary and appropriate information to the voting public.” For coverage of the litigation, see the following links: azcentral; and Arizona Capitol Times.

Wilenchik & Bartness, over the past two years, has represented former State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt, a United States Senator’s family, former Attorney General Tom Horne, current Secretary of State Michelle Reagan and the State of Arizona and Attorney General Mark Brnovich in his official capacity in litigation.

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