Abe Hamadeh, the Trump-backed candidate for attorney general in Arizona, called for an ethics investigation into the Arizona Republic over the outlet’s alleged failure to disclose a conflict of interest in last week’s debate between him and Democrat candidate Kris Mayes.
In a letter sent to the Arizona Newspaper Association’s executive committee, Hamadeh’s campaign urged the committee to investigate the Arizona Republic for its failure “to disclose conflicts of interest, especially when it involves their coverage and their relationship with a former employee who is now a candidate for public office whose campaign they are actively covering.”
Today, my campaign called for an ethics investigation of the Arizona Republic. Trust in the media is at an all time low. We hope there are still honest journalists who value the truth over propaganda.
There must be accountability. pic.twitter.com/hIzen3fze9
— Abe Hamadeh for Arizona AG (@AbrahamHamadeh) October 6, 2022
Hamadeh’s letter comes after one of the debate moderators, Stacey Barchenger of the Arizona Republic, failed to disclose that Mayes had a lengthy career as a journalist at the Arizona Republic.
“Stacey Barchenger, a journalist for the Arizona Republic and a co-moderator for the Clean Elections debate, failed to disclose her employers relationship with one of the candidates on the stage – Kris Mayes – at the beginning of the debate,” Hamadeh’s letter said.
Although neither Mayes nor Barchenger disclosed the Democrat’s connection to the Arizona Republic, Hamadeh drew attention during last week’s debate.
Hamadeh told Barchenger at the debate:
I want to make sure that you’ve done the viewers a disservice by not doing your journalist ethical duty by disclosing the fact that my opponent used to be a reporter at your paper. And she was accused of insider trading when she was at the Arizona Republic, and you have not disclosed that.
Hamadeh’s letter noted that the debate moderators failed to ask Mayes a single question but instead asked Hamadeh “multiple probing and negative questions with multiple follow-up questions.”
As Breitbart News reported, the moderators spent 17 minutes of the 27-minute debate hounding Hamadeh on his 2020 presidential election and abortion views.
In addition to Barchenger, Hamadeh called for an investigation into Arizona Republic editor Kathy Tulumello.
The letter said:
We are calling for your organization to conduct an ethics investigation of the Arizona Republic, Stacey Barchenger and Kathy Tulumello. Their ethical failures are a grave concern to the voters of Arizona. Stacey’s failure to disclose her employers’ relationship with a candidate for office while moderating the debate of that candidate is a breach of public trust. We would ask you to pay particular attention to what Kathy Tulumello instructed Stacey to do at the debate and whether or not Tulumello demanded that Barchenger not ask Mayes a single question or follow-up question. We would also ask you to probe the conversations between the Mayes campaign and all Arizona Republic employees in the lead up to the debate.
Hamadeh revealed that Tulumello initially agreed to disclose Mayes’ ties to the Arizona Republic but did not follow through on her commitment. He said his campaign plans to “show that facts about Mayes’ insider trading accusations and far Left policy positions were provided to the Arizona Republic, but the editors ultimately shut down all negative coverage.”
“Your organization has an ethical duty to appoint a neutral arbitrator to understand why the Arizona Republic refused to make proper disclosures to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest as well as the one-sided coverage of a former employee seeking public office,” Hamadeh’s letter concluded.