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Bennett headlining “audit” town halls with group that organized “Justice for J6” rallies

By: - October 13, 2021 1:58 pm
Ken Bennett

Senate liaison Ken Bennett watches as Maricopa County ballots from the 2020 general election are examined and recounted by contractors hired by the Arizona Senate on June 12, 2021, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Photo by Michael Meister | The Arizona Republic/pool photo

A group that has organized rallies across the country to support “political prisoners” of the January 6 insurrection will be holding a series of town halls across Arizona to discuss the so-called “audit” of the 2020 election, featuring former Secretary of State Ken Bennett, the state Senate’s liaison for its controversial review of the vote in Maricopa County.

The events, titled “What Happened at the Audit: A Town Hall Series with Ken Bennett,” are aimed at “giving the public a chance to directly question one of the central figures in the Arizona Audit,” according to a press announcement from the organization. 

The events will take place in Tucson, Scottsdale, Prescott and Lake Havasu City this month and are on a RSVP basis for in-person attendance, although the organizers state there will be a livestream of the events as well. 

Look Ahead America is run by Matt Braynard, who briefly worked on the data team for Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign . The group has come under scrutiny for organizing the J6 rallies and for claiming donations as tax deductible while losing its tax deductible status

Arizona’s rally last month was one of several held across the country, and came a week after a rally Braynard planned in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18 largely fizzled.

Bennett is the state chairman for Look Ahead America, while Julie Fisher, his deputy liaison, is the group’s state operations coordinator. Fisher also worked for the Trump campaign in Arizona in 2020. 

Bennett previously told the Arizona Mirror that he is on a “leave of absence” from the organization to focus on the election review when asked if he was involved with planning or organizing the January 6 “political prisoners” events. 

The former secretary of state and ex-Arizona Senate president did not respond to a request for comment asking for clarification on what exactly the town halls would focus on or if he was still on a “leave of absence” from the organization.

At least one of the town halls will take place at the location of a known purveyor of election misinformation. On Oct. 21, the town hall will take place at Scottsdale Studios, a frequent promoter of election fraud conspiracy theories that was also given access to the audit

Susan Wood, the woman behind Scottsdale Studios, was connected to “audit” spokesman Randy Pullen through Fisher, who also now works for Look Ahead America, according to previously released documents.  

The video-based platform has twice been kicked off of YouTube — once as Scottsdale Studios and again when it rebranded as Arizona Conservative News — for violating the terms of services. It has since moved to Rumble, a popular video platform for right-wing outlets and personalities, which often rebroadcasts clips from other shows.

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Jerod MacDonald-Evoy
Jerod MacDonald-Evoy

Reporter Jerod MacDonald-Evoy joined the Arizona Mirror from the Arizona Republic, where he spent 4 years covering everything from dark money in politics to Catholic priest sexual abuse scandals. He brings strong watchdog sensibilities and creative storytelling skills to the Arizona Mirror.