Mark Brnovich's Wife, Judge Susan Brnovich: Did She Pull a Lester Pearce?
In a blog item last week, I discussed a YouTube video sent out by Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne's GOP primary rival, former Arizona Gaming Director Mark Brnovich. The video talked about his family life and included some heartfelt comments from his wife, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Susan Brnovich.
The video did not identify Susan Brnovich by name or profession, other than hubby Mark noting that they met while they were working at the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. It was embedded in an e-mail from the campaign.
Basically, Susan talks about what attracted her to Mark and praises him as a good father. Titled "Live Your Values, Do the Right Thing," the video is a not-so-veiled jab at Horne's lack of family values, at least in the sense that Horne hired his alleged mistress to a state job at a salary of $108,000.
The note from Mark in the e-mail included an appeal for campaign contributions and a direct swipe at Horne.
"As you know, I am running against an incumbent Attorney General that has been plagued with scandal after scandal," reads the text. "It will take help from Arizonans like you to help me win in August and be afforded the opportunity to run in the General Election in November.
"Arizona's Attorney General should be able to work with law enforcement, not have their personal lawyer on speed dial."
Pretty standard stuff for what promises to be a rough-and-tumble primary. Save for one issue: In being a part of the video, did Judge Brnovich violate Arizona's Code of Judicial Conduct, which prohibits judges from campaigning on behalf of anyone other than themselves?
The rule occurs in Canon 4, specifically Rule 4.1., which states that a judge shall not, "publicly endorse or oppose another candidate for any public office," or "actively take part in any political campaign other than his or her own campaign for election, reelection or retention in office."
Comments accompanying the rule make clear that this includes campaigns for family members as well.