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The Big Lie in the Grand Canyon State

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Republicans on the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors are upset that the leopards are eating their faces:

Bill Gates is vice chairman of the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, one of four Republicans on that body. On Monday afternoon, he made his frustrations with the ongoing “audit” of votes from the 2020 general election in that county apparent.

“It’s time to say enough is enough,” Gates said. “It is time to push back on the ‘big lie.’ We must do this. We must do this as a member of the Republican Party, we must do this as a member of the Board of Supervisors. We need to do this as a country.”

In addition to his comments at the news conference, Gates was one of seven signatories (most of them Republican) to a brutally blunt letter offered in response to questions posed by Arizona state Sen. Karen Fann (R). Fann, as president of the Senate, has been the legislative face of the vote-counting effort that her Republican-led chamber authorized. The questions she posed were apparently inspired by the team leading the audit, a group called Cyber Ninjas, and centered on various vague allegations of improper handling of ballots or deleted material.

The response from Gates and his colleagues is unsparing.

“The Arizona Senate is not acting in good faith, has no intention of learning anything about the November 2020 General Election, [and] is only interested in feeding the various festering conspiracy theories that fuel the fundraising schemes of those pulling your strings,” the letter to Fann reads. “You have rented out the once good name of the Arizona State Senate to grifters and con-artists, who are fundraising hard-earned money from our fellow citizens even as your contractors parade around the Coliseum” — the location of the vote-counting effort — “hunting for bamboo and something they call ‘kinematic artifacts’ while shining purple lights for effect. None of these things are done in a serious audit. The result is that the Arizona Senate is held up to ridicule in every corner of the globe and our democracy is imperiled.”

And what is really imperiling our democracy is that telling the obvious truth about Donald Trump’s election fraud claims disqualifies you from a position of any authority in the Republican Party. Which should be seen as an existential threat, but I would put the over/under on Elise Stefanik’s appearances on Meet the Press before the next midterms at about 20.

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