Court sanctions against Mark Finchem won’t stop future Finchems (Or Lakes)

Losing Republican candidate for secretary of state Mark Finchem was ordered to pay sanctions.
Losing Republican candidate for secretary of state Mark Finchem was ordered to pay sanctions.

Losing is winning.

In politics, anyway. In Arizona, for sure.

Losing pays better.

Over the weekend we learned that losing Republican secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem and his attorney were ordered to pay sanctions by Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Melissa Julian in connection with Finchem’s joke of a lawsuit challenging his 120,000-vote loss to Adrian Fontes.

In a previous ruling in the case the judge said in part, “Here the preponderance of the evidence demonstrates the existence of bad faith in the filing of this election challenge.

“The evidence appended to Finchem’s own amended statement demonstrates that he pursued this contest in bad faith.”

Sanctions are chump change for Finchem

For this offense Finchem was ordered to pay $40,272 that Secretary of State Fontes spent in attorney fees, while Finchem’s attorney, Daniel McAuley III, is to pay the $7,434 attorney bill of Gov. Katie Hobbs, whose office was named in the lawsuit from when she was secretary of state.

Judge Julian noted in her previous ruling that Finchem and his attorney made a “conscious decision to pursue the matter despite appreciating that the contest had no legal merit.”



The winner of an election is stuck with a government salary.

The loser gets to grift from gullible individuals who fall for bogus claims of a stolen election and send money.

The grift of a 'stolen election' pays more

In requesting sanctions, Fontes’ attorney, Craig Morgan, wrote, “This case is a politically motivated weaponization of the legal process meant to perpetuate the dangerous narrative that our elections are unreliable, our elected leaders are corrupt, and our democracy is broken.”

Yes, that’s exactly what it was, because a con artist has to sell a compelling story to the suckers he’s hoping to scam.

The sanctions issued against Finchem are not enough to stop future Finchems from trying the same flimflam, however.

After the trials: How Maricopa County is preparing for 2024 election

Not as long as wide-eyed, unsuspecting marks are willing to fall for a political scam.

It worked for former President Donald Trump. It has worked like a charm for losing governor candidate Kari Lake.

The donations keep rolling in.

The key to a good con job is 'good faith'

Sanctions were also sought after the last of Lake’s losing court cases got tossed, but Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Peter Thompson declined to issue them.

The civil division chief in the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, Tom Liddy, argued for sanctions, saying evidence of false assertions was clear and that without sanctions “the reputation of attorneys and the judicial system descends.”

But the judge said no, allowing the possibility that Lake’s looney claims were made in “good faith.”

That’s the key to a successful con job.

People with bad intentions convincing others that they’re acting in good faith.

Reach Montini at

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Mark Finchem faces court sanctions, but they won't stop his grift