Arizona Republicans are running a shameless post-election scam

Arizona Republicans are running a shameless post-election scam

In hindsight, an article from the Washington Post last month detailing the Arizona GOP’s ability to raise funds through former President Donald Trump’s 2020 election lies was instructive. It showed how state Republicans have mastered politics’ most shameless trick — and that scam is fully effective today.

Call it the industrial complex of fascism: a system that monetizes or profits from the illiberal impulses of conservative voters by attempting to undermine democratic elections and stir up violence by playing on fears of a culture war against conservatives.

The Post’s report explained how the Arizona GOP, led by Kelli Ward, raised money throughout 2021 by touting election lies and basically an audit it suggested baseless was needed to prove that Trump had actually won Arizona the previous year.

According to the Post:

Republican officials in Arizona have found fundraising through the audit to be a resounding success. From May to September 2021, at least 92 emails mentioned the audit as a reason to give to the Arizona GOP. The state party secured nearly $1.1 million during this five-month period in a non-election year, compared to about $865,000 for 2020 and 2022 combined.

It seems we are seeing the same plan in action today: the right is using the Arizona election as a springboard for their conspiracy-based politics and using conservative voters as a piggy bank.

The Arizona Republic reported on Tuesday that far-right Senator Wendy Rogers has already begun fundraising for “a new election for Maricopa County.” (It will not happen.)

I still believe that the most shameless scam in politics today is that of Turning Point USA – a Phoenix-based group for young Trump-loving Christian nationalists – and its founder, Charlie Kirk.

As I have written here previously, Kirk and co. have been severely reprimanded during this election cycle. Young people have overwhelmingly backed Democrats over Republicans in key races and, specifically, many Turning Point-endorsed candidates have failed. (I’m looking at you, John Gibbs.)

This face-plant comes at the wrong time for the organization, which has planned its second annual meeting “AmericaFest” December conference.

That’s useful information when you watch Kirk and others in his organization constantly try to stoke right-wing fervor over the Arizona election results, in which several candidates Trump has endorsed for key positions in the statewide suffered losses. Turning Point is now in the unenviable position of having to fill a Phoenix convention center with rabid righties just a month after the band’s proof-of-concept as a youth outreach group was, well, essentially disproved. .

So how do you get there?

Maybe, by offering discounted tickets.

Or, as Republicans in Arizona demonstrated so well last year, you can animate the GOP base with dangerous election lies and fears of a repressive, dictatorial government.

I happily watched Kirk’s webcast and scoured his Twitter feed on Election Day and after this month to witness his slow implosion as Arizona voters rejected Trump-endorsed candidates for the job. governor, secretary of state and US senator. I watched Kirk and his hapless co-hosts go from pre-election arrogance to Election Day depression to post-election conspiracy theories — while intermittently promoting AmericaFest and trying to save Turning Point’s reputation as a force to be reckoned with. in the GOP.

And, I should say: most of Arizona’s failed right-wing candidates in this year’s midterm elections also seem to be into this perennial campaign intrigue. GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake and GOP Secretary of State Mark Finchem refused to concede — each suggesting (without evidence) that Republican voters were disenfranchised in the election.

This is shades of Trump in 2020 Arizona conservatives too attention-hungry and money-hungry to fully acknowledge defeat.

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