The Arizona GOP’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election may have been divisive, but they were also profitable.
The party reported more income in the period that ended after the general election than it did in any period before the general election.
For the period from Oct. 18 to Dec. 31, the party reported donations of $297,896, most of it coming in after the election. After spending $70,353 over the period, that left the party in the unexpectedly healthy post-election position of having a $640,870 cash balance.
By comparison, the party reported donations of $179,147 in the period ending Oct. 17, $184,469 in the period ending Sept. 30, and $77,598 in the period ending July 18.
After the election, party chair Kelli Ward and the rest of the party apparatus committed themselves to spreading the dubious idea that now-President Biden had stolen the election in Arizona and nationwide from then-President Donald Trump.
By Nov. 9, the party had filed the first of about a half-dozen suits it or Ward eventually filed or signed on to, and Ward began fundraising off the idea the election had been stolen. It wasn't an original idea: Then-Pres. Trump, too, was fundraising constantly after the election, claiming the money was going to protect election integrity, when it actually was going mostly to a new political action committee he had formed.
Already using the hashtag #StopTheSteal, Ward said in a Nov. 9 email, “Here in Arizona we’re taking steps to ensure President Trump isn’t robbed of a victory by fighting for election integrity.”
Time and again, judges threw out the GOP’s or Ward’s lawsuits either for procedural or evidentiary reasons, though one remains outstanding, but week after week the GOP continued pushing out emails with similar pitches. They worked.
Among the top donors after the election was an LLC or corporation associated with George and Nancy Records, founders of Oklahoma-based MidFirst Bank. They donated $25,000.
The push to contest the election divided the party, though. Ward and others have criticized fellow Republicans Gov. Doug Ducey and House Speaker Russell Bowers for not giving their complaints of election fraud more of a hearing.
On Saturday, the state party holds its annual meeting, including an election of new officers.
As to Trump's effort, his windfall topped $200 million in the two months after the election, most of it going to his PAC and the Republican National Committee.
‘Scholar’ Finchem compares deplatforming to Holocaust
In February 2020, state Rep. Mark Finchem said this about the Holocaust during a House Judiciary Committee hearing: “This is probably one of the most horrific things that has ever been done in modern man’s history.”
He had not yet seen the deplatforming of U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley.
On Sunday, Finchem, the Oro Valley Republican representing LD11, tweeted his dismay that Loews Hotels had canceled a planned fundraiser in February for Hawley. He’s the Missouri Republican senator who performatively objected to the certification of electoral votes in the Senate, from Arizona, among other states, amid the Capitol insurrection Jan. 6.
“Lowe’s has permanently lost my business,” Finchem said, initially misspelling the name of the hotel chain. “This is what Hitler and Stalin did, what’s next camps? Ovens? Patriots you might want to #cancelLoews reservations.”
Finchem constituent Sidney Finkel, who traveled to the state Capitol to support a bill related to anti-Semitism last session, is a Holocaust survivor and was aghast at the comparison.
“Him using the Holocaust as a political stunt minimizes the Holocaust,” he said. “It makes a mockery of my mother and father and three sisters who died in the Holocaust.”
Finchem is, by his own description, “a scholar of history.” He is also facing a recall effort as a result of his attendance at the Jan. 6 rally that became an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Recall leader attended DC event
The man who is chairing the effort to recall Tucson Mayor Regina Romero also attended the Jan. 6 event in D.C.
Joseph Morgan, who ran unsuccessfully for the GOP nomination for the U.S. House in Congressional District 2 last year, began the recall effort in September.
A devoted supporter of Trump, Morgan says the election was stolen from him and supports the effort to commit civil disobedience at the U.S. Capitol.
“I fully support the occupation,” Morgan said via text. “Vandals and looters should be dealt with harshly.”
“That was a great day in America,” he said. “The saddest part of that day was later on that evening.”
He was referring to the vote to certify the presidential election, not to the indisputably sad and frightening moments in the day.
Morgan, who held a demonstration outside Romero’s home last year, said the recall effort has about half the signatures it needs in final, notarized form. The campaign needs a little under 25,000 valid signatures to force a recall.
Morgan contributed opinion columns to the Arizona Daily Star’s editorial page until he decided to run for Congress.
Biggs’ Tucson brothers call for his removal
U.S. Rep. Andy Biggs has been spearheading efforts to question the presidential election results, and his brothers in Tucson apparently are sick of it.
The Arizona Republic reported Wednesday that Biggs’ brothers, Daniel and William, sent a letter to the editor decrying the Arizona congressman’s actions.
“By attempting to cause uncertainty in the election’s outcome, Andy is at least partially to blame for the riot at the Capital on January 6,” the Biggs brothers wrote in their letter, according to the Republic, which wrote a story about it but hadn’t published the letter yet. “Political ambition, peer pressure and fealty to (former President Donald) Trump proved to be too strong a drug to resist.
“These are violations of his oath of office and erode the trust of the American electorate. For these reasons we call for the timely removal of Congressman Biggs from office.”
Arizona leaders react to storming of US Capitol
In America, we have fair elections and peaceful transfers of power; democracy prevails over chaos; and those who commit violent acts are held accountable. That won’t change today. This unpatriotic attempt to overturn our election – and silence the voices of Arizonans – will fail.— Senator Mark Kelly (@SenMarkKelly) January 6, 2021
In America, we practice peaceful transitions of power. We respect the law and law enforcement. The scene at the United States Capitol right now is wrong and has no place in our form of government. All should denounce, and it should end now.— Doug Ducey (@dougducey) January 6, 2021
You know what could have prevented this? #ElectionIntegrity and full transparent investigations into 2020 fraud. Audits, eyes on paper ballots, full audit of ALL digitally adjudicated and all duplicated ballots, full evaluation of Dominion machines. Remember: Democrats refused.— Dr. Kelli Ward 🇺🇸 (@kelliwardaz) January 6, 2021
I am shaken and gravely concerned watching the act of domestic terrorism in the US Capitol today. It is time for every American, no matter our political affiliations, to collectively denounce this behavior and unite behind our democracy and Constitutional processes.— Kathy Hoffman (@kathyhoffman_az) January 6, 2021
I am safe and was evacuated to a secure location almost immediately after defending the integrity of Arizona’s elections on the House Floor.— Raul M. Grijalva (@RepRaulGrijalva) January 6, 2021
Thank you for your concerns.
I am safe.— Kyrsten Sinema (@SenatorSinema) January 6, 2021
Abigail O’Brien, chief of staff for Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick, said around 1:15 this afternoon:
“We are safe right now, remaining calm,” O’Brien said. She called the feeling at the moment “pretty anxious.”
“We are sheltering in place” in one of the House office buildings, O’Brien said.
They were evacuated from a House office building around 11 a.m. due to a report of a suspicious item. The evacuation lasted about 45 minutes. Shortly after they returned to the office building, they were put on lockdown. They remain on lockdown. They are in what she called a “holding pattern” waiting for further guidance about what they should do.
She has not heard of any injuries. Kirkpatrick is calm and spoke with her family by phone.
“I’ve been in and seen a lot of different marches and protests in D.C.,” O’Brien said. “I was at the Women’s March, the Black Lives Matter march and it was not like this. This certainly feels wildly different.”
“I believe that the majority of these people just want to have their voices heard, but there are some that are behaving more aggressively,” she said. “Entering the building when you’re not supposed to pass the barricades is aggressive and wrong.”
“I’m just hoping to get me and the congresswoman out of here before night time, but I don’t know how that’s going to work,” O’Brien said.
By Arizona Daily Star reporter Curt Prendergast
I am safe. Democracy is not. We need national guard to clear the Capitol so we can continue with our jobs.— Ruben Gallego (@RubenGallego) January 6, 2021
Ok. I said let’s do an audit. Let’s not get carried away here. I don’t want anyone hurt. We are protesting the violation of our laws. We are builders not destroyers. BLM burns and loots. We build. If anyone on the ground reads this and is beyond the line come back. pic.twitter.com/cSu6CLKbby— Paul Gosar (@DrPaulGosar) January 6, 2021
Are we suddenly a banana republic? Police officers injured; violence inside and around the Capitol; members of Congress and the VP evacuated; Entire D.C. National Guard being called in. This is complete lawlessness to overturn a legal election as upheld repeatedly by the courts. pic.twitter.com/npVDgSsGTv— Chris Magnus (@ChiefCMagnus) January 6, 2021
Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick's statement
The Office of Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick released the following statement Wednesday evening:
Tonight, the Office of Rep. Kirkpatrick responds to ongoing violence and disruption of democratic processes in the nation’s capital. Rep. Kirkpatrick and her staff remain safe and locked down.
“Today will go down as a dark day in American history,” Rep. Kirkpatrick said. “What should have been a peaceful, honored, and routine process — the congressional certification of electoral votes — was shattered by senseless violence incited by the lame duck president.
“Make no mistake: today’s acts have been brewing for four years under the outgoing president. The cowardly assault on our democracy is not new — it’s simply more visible. It paves the way for a terribly slippery slope to fascism.
“Those who infiltrated the Capitol Building and threatened the lives of law enforcement, journalists, elected officials, essential workers, and many others, will not bring down democracy. Together, we are stronger than the mob.
“When it becomes safe to do so, we will return to the People’s House and affirm the people’s choice. Once we complete our certification, the work to regain our country and our values will begin immediately — and we will do so with grace, dignity, and honor.”
Rep. Raul Grijalva statement on "domestic terrorists" storming the U.S. Capitol
Congressman Raul Grijalva Wednesday evening released the following statement:
“Today’s events will go down as one of the darkest and most shameful days of our republic as domestic terrorists stormed the Capitol in an effort to threaten and intimidate lawmakers into overturning our free and fair elections. They interrupted just as Arizona’s Democratic Delegation began defending the integrity of Arizona’s election and the will of the people to cast Arizona’s Electoral College votes to Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.
“For years, President Trump has engaged in a relentless assault on our values, sought to divide us, and pitted communities against one another. He’s denigrated our institutions, attacked our values, and winked and nodded to the ideas of dangerous militias and conspiracy theorists.
“What occurred at the Capitol today was the product of Trump and all the havoc he’s wrought on our system—all with the tacit approval of his willing congressional enablers. Calling it a disgrace isn’t enough. It’s an outright abomination to this country, and those who engaged in these acts must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
“It remains my duty to certify the election and no domestic terrorists will stop that. I will certify the results for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris, and will not yield to conspiracy theorists and zealots attempting to overthrow our government.”
Jonathan Nez and Myron Lizer
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer released the following statement:
"First and foremost, the violent events unfolding at the Capitol in Washington D.C. are shameful, uncalled for, and need to stop immediately. We are praying for the safety and well-being of our leaders and staff in Congress, law enforcement officers, the Navajo Nation Washington Office staff members, and all citizens of the Navajo Nation and our country.
Today was a special day for the Navajo Nation as we held a peaceful inauguration for chapter and other local officials to carry out duties and service for our Navajo people. Unfortunately, this special day for many of our new and returning leaders and their families is being overshadowed by the violence occurring in Washington D.C. We pray that law and order will be restored for the federal government, and we pray that our nation heals from the divisive politics that has driven so much of the discord in our country. We must remember that the peaceful transition of power has always been a cornerstone of our country’s democracy and for the Navajo people.
The division and the violence that has escalated today is unacceptable and must not be condoned or perpetuated by anyone, including our own Navajo people and leaders. We must be united as Navajo people, and not let the divisiveness we are seeing in Washington D.C. unfold in our homelands. Remember the teachings of our elders and the examples set by our past leaders and ancestors. Despite differences in views of society, politics, and values, we must always maintain respect and dignity for all people and each other.
Our country and the Navajo Nation are facing unprecedented challenges and uncertainties, but we are strong, and we are resilient — our grandparents, parents, and many others have proven this time and time again throughout our history. In the midst of this pandemic, unprecedented numbers of COVID-19 infections, and the overwhelming of our health care system, it is important for all Americans to come together and to protect the institutions of democracy, the spirit and hope of democracy, and most importantly to protect the health and safety of all Americans. We ask you to join us in prayer for our Navajo people and our country at this time. Ahe’hee’"
Greater Phoenix Chamber and Arizona Chamber
Greater Phoenix Chamber President and CEO Todd Sanders released the following statement with Arizona Chamber of Commerce & Industry President and CEO Glenn Hamer:
"What we are seeing today on Capitol Hill is shameful and wrong. We urge a stop to this lawlessness.
Congress must be allowed to perform its constitutional duties and should be able to do so under calm and peaceful circumstances.
We are thankful that our delegation members are safe and we extend our deepest appreciation to Capitol Hill law enforcement for protecting them. We join leaders across the state of Arizona in calling for an immediate end to any violence."
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or 807-7789. On Twitter: @senyorreporter