Arizona Republicans chose the big lie: Mother Jones

Kari Lake, Republican nominee for governor of Arizona, blows a kiss to supporters in Scottsdale on Tuesday.Ross D Franklin / AP

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The Republicans of Arizona are build a large tent. Below it sits a Mormon fundamentalist, a former reporter who once voted for Barack Obama, a Michigan citizen who calls himself a Western lawyer and the protege of billionaire Peter Thiel, a Stanford-educated venture capitalist. There is really only one criterion for entering the tent: claiming that Donald Trump won in 2020.

On Tuesday, these Trump-approved candidates defeated Rusty Bowers, the Speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives and a lead witness on the Jan.6 Committee, Attorney General Mark Brnovich, a frequent Fox News guest who committed l mistake to admit Biden won and Beau Lane, a candidate for secretary of state who also acknowledged Biden’s victory.

Kari Lake, a former news host, is in the lead to be the Republican candidate for governor, although the race has not yet been decided. She’s asked to lock up Katie Hobbs, the Democratic secretary of state who certified the 2020 election results. If Lake prevails, she will run against Hobbs, the secretary of state she thinks should be jailed.

Below is a little more about the Arizona Republicans.

Farnsworth, a former Arizona state senator, left retirement to take revenge on Bowers for turning against Trump.

In September the Arizona mirror reported that Farnsworth’s sympathy for QAnon’s conspiracy theories had deeply concerned his friend Ethan Watkins. “The view that there is a secret cabal of satanic pedophile Democrats running sex trafficking rings and that Trump is apart [sic] of an effort to dismantle the Deep State, “Watkins wrote to Farnsworth.” At least that’s what QAnon is spreading to be true. ”

“I don’t think it’s just Democrats involved, Republicans are involved, too,” Farnsworth replied.

Farnsworth believes the “devil himself” intervened in the 2020 election and “has no doubts” that it was stolen from Trump, although he admits he has no evidence to back up that claim.

ace Business Insider reported, his worldview generally tends towards conspiracy:

By the time our conversation reached the one-hour milestone, Farnsworth had pulled a large, worn, and scarred copy of the Book of Mormon off his shelf, and was reciting passages from it as he explained how the scriptures affected his thinking. ..

He later moved on to a section detailing the “secret combinations” that “will seek to destroy the freedom of all lands”, which he likened to the “insiders, world government people, socialists” of the day. our. At one point during that discussion, he made a passing reference to the “Clinton Body Count” conspiracy theory.

On Tuesday, Farnsworth defeated Bowers, another Mormon, by nearly 30 points.

Finchem, a state representative since 2015, spent the first half of his professional life as a firefighter and paramedic in Kalamazoo, Michigan. “What a great career,” he declares on his he LinkedIn. Apparently her former employer thought otherwise. “Retired, poor rating, don’t summarize,” she says in a note in her personal file obtained from New York Times.

Finchem’s efforts to present himself as a family man have also been complicated since Times‘ relationships:

When asked about his family life by an interviewer, he said his “children have all grown up and gone” and added that nowadays, “I’m thinking about my grandchildren” in the battles he faces. .

But his family life was rocky. He has been married four times and separated for more than two decades by two adult children, and he doesn’t know their children, family members said. (He also has two stepchildren.)

In February, a Twitter page that appears to belong to one of his separated children commented on the fact that Finchem was being sued by the Committee on January 6 for his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. On Tuesday, the same account posted an image of Smokey the Bear calling on voters to “Resist the fascist liars”. He did not specify which ones.

Finchem, who in 2014 claimed to be a member of The Oath Keepers, a right-wing militia, was photographed outside the Capitol during the January 6 uprising. He has called for the 2020 election results to be decertified, wants to ban early voting in Arizona and require mandatory manual ballot counting, and has co-sponsored legislation that would allow state lawmakers to overturn election results. He told his supporters that if he had been secretary of state in 2020 “we would have won. plain and simple. “

A former colleague interviewed by Phoenix The magazine recalled the former local TV host as an “Obama supporter Buddhist”. These days, Lake accuses Democrats of having a “demonic agenda”.

In a March campaign event, a Times the reporter reported that Lake claimed nearly a dozen times in an hour that the election had been stolen. She said she would not have certified the 2020 election if she had been governor.

Like Finchem, he wants to eliminate early voting and get rid of machine counting. Both candidates hinted during a joint appearance in June that they are willing to blame the primary losses for the fraud. “It’s not going to be a concession speech from this guy,” Finchem said. “I will ask for a hand count of 100 percent if there is the slightest hint that there is an impropriety.” Now, with a primary win assured, Finchem didn’t require hand counting.

The efforts of Masters, Thiel’s former employee who attended Stanford for undergraduate and law school, to claim Trump won in 2020 are, predictably, more intellectual. Masters blamed Trump’s loss of mail-order voting expansion, Big Tech censorship, and media bias. He has avoided claims of outright fraud that it is hard to imagine him believing.

This is not to say that Masters and Thiel, who long ago declared that freedom and democracy are incompatible, have much affinity with our current democratic order. As I wrote about the Masters:

[A]Having spent much of his youth as a libertarian purist, Masters now positions himself as an ally of Tucker Carlson’s America First. Always a venture capitalist, Masters sees the US as another bloated company that could be turned around with the right investments. If the system that most Americans call democracy ends up being disrupted in the process, this could just be the cost of doing business.

For Masters, winning a crowded primary with Trump’s blessing and $ 15 million from Thiel was the easy part. In the general election, he will face Mark Kelly, the former astronaut and husband of former Congressman Gabby Giffords, in one of the few races scheduled to determine which party controls the Senate.