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The Arizona Republic

Harper, Thomas spar over election

Senate hearing ends peevishly between officials

Jan. 19, 2006
by Casey Newton

Just because it's called a "hearing" doesn't mean they plan on listening . . .

The enmity between state Sen. Jack Harper and Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas reached new heights Wednesday at a hearing on voting-machine irregularities.

Harper, who had called Thomas to testify about the September 2004 District 20 primary, wound up adjourning the meeting as Thomas was in mid-sentence.


Harper, R-Surprise, wants to see the ballots to rule out fraud as an explanation for all the new votes. Thomas has blasted Harper's methodology, which has included handwritten subpoenas and funding from New Times, the weekly newspaper.

On Wednesday, Harper's Government Accountability and Reform Committee met to hear testimony from county election officials on a controversial report that said fraud could not be ruled out in the primary without seeing the ballots.

"This is not about you. This is not about me. This is not about the two candidates. This is about the integrity of elections," Harper told Thomas, as the audience applauded.