Update to Something Wicked This Way Comes: The GQP Primary For Secretary of State(June 2021) (excerpt):

We saw this earlier this year [2021] right here in Arizona. As I posted at the time, Authoritarian Rethuglicans Propose The Most Blatant Voter Disenfranchisement Bill Ever (Updated) (excerpt):

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Now comes along the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clint Bolick, former litigation chief for the “Kochtupus” Death Star the Goldwater Institute, Rep. Shawnna Bolick (R-Phoenix), who wants to reclaim the power of the state legislature, which she apparently assumes will always be GOP-controlled, to elect presidential electors regardless of the popular vote of the citizens of the state. The will of the voters be damned.

Bolick’ s bill seeks to amend A.R.S. §16-650, among other provisions of law, but somehow overlooked A.R.S. §16-212.

Had this bill been in effect in 2020, it would have facilitated Donald Trump’s theft of Arizona’s electoral votes because you can rest assured that Trump’s sycophant supporters in the Arizona legislature would have voted to award him the state’s presidential electors regardless of the outcome of the popular vote of the citizens. The will of the voters be damned.

Why even hold an election then? This is GOP authoritarian fascism writ large.

* * *

The chairwoman of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced a bill January 27 that would allow the Legislature to override the secretary of state’s certification of the state’s electoral votes.

HB 2720 (.pdf), sponsored by Rep. Shawnna Bolick, R-Phoenix, says the Legislature “retains its legislative authority regarding the office of presidential elector” and can, by a simple majority vote, at any time before the inauguration of a new president, revoke the certification regardless of whether the Legislature is in regular or special session or has held hearings on the matter.

Bolick’s bill would also make it easier to contest the results of an election by not letting a court dismiss a challenge or enter a summary judgment until after a jury trial, and limiting the circumstances under which laches, a legal doctrine dealing with unreasonable delay in filing a suit, can be used to dismiss election challenges.

It would require at least 10 members of the general public who live in a county be chosen by lot and allowed to observe recounts, and it would require continuous video coverage of recounts, with the live feed clearly displaying the ballots being counted and the electronic screens being used by the Electronic Vote Adjudication Board.

Luckily this anti-democratic vote nullification bill died without even getting a committee hearing, because of all the bad publicity it received in the media.

But wait! Shawnna Bolick is not done. This wannabe vote nullifier is going to run for Secretary of State so that she is in a position to do exactly what her anti-democratic vote nullification bill would have done.

It turns out that Shawnna Bolick was one of the many co-conspirators in Donald Trump’s Coup Plot. She appears to have been working at the request of the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas – family friends – who was an advisor to the coup plotters in emails to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows along with Justice Thomas’ former law clerk, John Eastman, the author of the coup memo, who is still promoting his bogus Independent State Legislature doctrine, which Bolick’s bill sought to codify into law. The Trump Lawyer Plotting the Next American Coup.

In a pleading filed on Thursday, John Eastman is still trying to shield a number of his emails from the January 6 Committee. ‘Coup Memo’ Author Discloses That He Communicated with Former President Donald Trump Through ‘Six Conduits’. “Eastman says that some of the documents at issue involve communications with state legislators, who factor into the so-called “coup memo” as part of his theory that they had near-absolute discretion to certify electors of their choosing, whatever the vote totals.”

Tuckerism, “just asking questions”: Will Shawnna Bolick turn up in Eastman’s emails to state legislators? What about other Arizona GQP legislators like Mark Finchem, Bolick’s GQP primary opponent for Secretary of State, who was in Washington, D.C. for January 6? Or Jake Hoffman, who signed his name to the slate of fake GQP electors? Or Senate Republicans, including Seante President Karen Fann, who all voted for the GQP sham “fraudit” of the election results in Maricopa County?

The Washington Post reports, Ginni Thomas, wife of Supreme Court justice, pressed Ariz. lawmakers to help reverse Trump’s loss, emails show:

Virginia “Ginni” Thomas, the conservative activist and wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, pressed Arizona lawmakers after the 2020 election to set aside Joe Biden’s popular-vote victory and choose “a clean [alternate] slate of Electors,” according to emails obtained by The Washington Post.

The emails, sent by Ginni Thomas to a pair of lawmakers on Nov. 9, 2020, argued that legislators needed to intervene because the vote had been marred by fraud. Though she did not mention either candidate by name, the context was clear.

Just days after media organizations called the race for Biden in Arizona and nationwide, Thomas urged the lawmakers to “stand strong in the face of political and media pressure.” She told the lawmakers that the responsibility to choose electors was “yours and yours alone” and said they had “power to fight back against fraud.” [John Eastman’s bogus Independent State Legislature doctrine.]

Thomas sent the messages via an online platform designed to make it easy to send prewritten form emails to multiple elected officials, according to a review of the emails, obtained under the state’s public-records law.

The messages show that Thomas, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, was more deeply involved in the effort to overturn Biden’s win than has been previously reported. In sending the emails, Thomas played a role in the extraordinary scheme to keep Trump in office by substituting the will of legislatures for the will of voters.

Thomas’s actions also underline concerns about potential conflicts of interest that her husband has already faced — and may face in the future — in deciding cases related to attempts to overturn the 2020 election. Those questions intensified in March, when The Post and CBS News obtained text messages that Thomas sent in late 2020 to Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, pressing him to help reverse the election.

The emails were sent to Russell “Rusty” Bowers, a veteran legislator and speaker of the Arizona House, and Shawnna Bolick, who was first elected to the chamber in 2018 and served on the House Elections Committee during the 2020 session.

Cut the crap, Coup Plotter. You are up to your eyeballs in this.

Thomas’s name also appears on an email to the two representatives on Dec. 13, the day before members of the electoral college met to cast their votes and seal Biden’s victory. “Before you choose your state’s Electors … consider what will happen to the nation we all love if you don’t stand up and lead,” the email said.

It included a link to a video of a man delivering a message meant for swing-state lawmakers, urging them to “put things right” and “not give in to cowardice.”

“You have only hours to act,” said the speaker, who is not identified in the video.

By December, the claim that legislators should override the popular vote in key states and appoint Trump’s electors was also being pushed publicly by John C. Eastman, a former law clerk to Clarence Thomas, and Rudy Giuliani, Trump’s personal lawyer.

[M]any legal experts have called those arguments unpersuasive and anti-democratic, and no state legislature complied. Efforts to persuade state lawmakers to name new electors are among the issues under examination by the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.

Courts turned back dozens of lawsuits filed by Trump and his allies in an attempt to challenge the 2020 election outcome, and there is no evidence of voting machine manipulation or other widespread fraud.

* * *

Ginni Thomas has insisted that she and her husband have kept their work separate [yeah, sure], but her political activism has set her apart from other Supreme Court spouses. About a decade ago, she and Stephen K. Bannon — who later became chief strategist in the Trump White House— were among the organizers of Groundswell, a [fascist] group formed to battle liberals and establishment Republicans. Groundswell dedicated itself to “a 30 front war seeking to fundamentally transform the nation,” according to emails uncovered by Mother Jones at the time. “Election integrity” was among the topics discussed in the group’s first months, the emails show.

Thomas’s influence in Washington grew during the Trump presidency as her views moved into the GOP mainstream. Clarence and Ginni Thomas had lunch with Trump at the White House in 2018, then attended a state dinner the following year. Also in 2019, she and fellow right-wing activists attended a White House luncheon, where the New York Times reported that they told Trump his aides were blocking their preferred candidates for administration appointments.

Note: An ex-Trump official said Ginni Thomas’ lists of suggested administration hires were ‘insane’ and ‘unworkable’.

Over those same years, at annual luncheons, Thomas handed out “Impact Awards” to right-wing figures. Recipients have included Mark Meadows, then a congressman chairing the hard-right Freedom Caucus; Project Veritas founder James O’Keefe; and Fox News host Sean Hannity.

Thomas is a member of the Council for National Policy, a network of prominent conservative activists, some of whom helped press claims of election fraud. She recently said she attended the pro-Trump rally at the Ellipse in Washington on Jan. 6, 2021.

Thomas sent the emails via freeroots.com, a website meant to give political organizers an efficient means of conducting email campaigns. The email address of the sender in Thomas’s emails is displayed as “Ginni Thomas<noreply@freeroots.com>.”

The Nov. 9 email carried the subject line, “Please do your Constitutional duty!” In addition to pushing the lawmakers to appoint electors, the email asked for a meeting to discuss pursuing an “audit” of the vote.

Under the U.S. Constitution, states appoint presidential electors “in such manner” as the legislatures direct. Historically, some state legislatures appointed electors directly, but in the modern era states have delegated that responsibility to voters [by law]. In urging Arizona lawmakers to “choose” electors after Biden had already prevailed, Thomas’s messages claimed lawmakers could intervene in that process.

The records obtained by The Post do not show any response from Bowers, whose refusal to help overturn Biden’s victory in Arizona made him the target of a recall campaign. When Trump’s legal team pressed to replace Biden electors with Trump electors, Bowers released a public statement explaining that they were asking legislators to do something forbidden by state law.

[A] spokesman for Bowers told The Post that hundreds of thousands of messages were sent to the speaker’s office in the post-election period. “Speaker Bowers did not see, much less read, the vast majority of those messages, including the form email sent by Mrs. Thomas,” said the spokesman, Andrew Wilder.

Bolick is married to Clint Bolick, an associate justice of the Arizona Supreme Court, who worked with Clarence Thomas early in his career and has said he considers the justice a mentor.

Tuckerism, “just asking questions”: This raises questions about how much Clint Bolick knew about Trump’s Coup Plot, and when, and how deeply both he and his wife may hve been participants or advisors in the Coup Plot. The marriage privilege protects them from having to testify against one another for their coup plotting pillow talk, but it does not protect their conversations with anyone else they may have advised or conferred with in the Coup Plot. The same goes for their close family friends, Clarence and Ginni Thomas.

Shawnna Bolick wrote back to Ginni Thomas on Nov. 10, 2020, “I hope you and Clarence are doing great!” She gave Thomas guidance on how to submit complaints about any of her experiences with voter fraud in Arizona.

Thomas replied: “Fun that this came to you! Just part of our campaign to help states feel America’s eyes!!!”

In the reply, Thomas’s personal email address is visible, and it matches an address she has used previously, The Post confirmed. Under her message is an unusual tag line that has appeared in other emails that are confirmed to have been sent by Thomas, including in 2021 to the staff of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R): “Sent from Ginni’s iPhone, a by-product of entrepreneurial free market capitalism. Competition, hard work, innovations and lack of government interference make great things possible! God bless America!”

The Arizona Republic adds, Ginni Thomas, wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, pressured Arizona lawmakers on 2020 election:

On Friday, Bolick did not respond directly to The Republic’s inquiry about whether Ginni Thomas’ efforts played any role in her decision to introduce House Bill 2720. But in backing legislation that would give the Arizona Legislature the ability to pick the winning slate of electors, Bolick’s bill was in line with the intent of Thomas’ appeal to state legislators nationwide.”

A spokesperson for Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich did not immediately say whether Ginni Thomas filed a formal complaint alleging fraud.

Thomas was then serving on the board of CNP Action, the political advocacy arm of the Council for National Policy. CNP Action was using its influence in Republican circles at the time to try to keep Trump in office. On Nov. 13, 2020, CNP Action held a workshop titled “Election Results and Legal Battles: What Now?” featuring, among other speakers, Cleta Mitchell, according to an agenda that researcher Brent Allpress provided to the left-leaning watchdog group Center for Media and Democracy, which published it that same month. Mitchell, a lawyer, assisted Trump in his efforts to overturn Biden’s victory in Georgia.

After that workshop, the group circulated guidance to focus efforts on legislators in Pennsylvania, Georgia and Arizona. “Demand that they not abandon their Constitutional responsibilities at a time such as this,” read the guidance, which was also obtained by Allpress and first published by the Center for Media and Democracy. It said to push for new electors “in states where constitutional rights have been violated and evidence of substantial fraud has been established.”

The guidance advised visiting the website everylegalvote.com “to report fraud and take action.”

[T]he site everylegalvote.com initially said that it was produced in partnership with United in Purpose, a nonprofit group known for gathering and deploying data to galvanize conservative Christian voters. That organization has hosted the luncheons where Thomas presents her “Impact Awards.”

But the reference to United in Purpose was deleted within days. It was replaced with language identifying three “Founding Sponsors”: the Texas security firm Allied Security Operations Group, the Texas nonprofit group Liberty Center for God and Country, and the online talk show “Economic War Room.”

Representatives of United in Purpose and the three sponsors of everylegalvote.com did not respond to messages seeking comment. All three sponsors have promoted [Big Lie] election-fraud claims, according to previous Post reports.

[By] early December, Eastman and Giuliani were telling lawmakers in key swing states won by Biden that they had the authority and even the obligation to disregard the vote and select their own electors. [John Eastman’s bogus Independent State Legislature doctrine.]

“Your argument is that essentially we have a failed election that would require the legislature to step in and assign electors. Am I correct?” a Georgia senator asked Eastman during a Dec. 3 hearing.

“Yes,” Eastman said.

The Dec. 13 emails repeated the claim that legislators could “choose” electors.

“As state lawmakers, you have the Constitutional power and authority to protect the integrity of our elections — and we need you to exercise that power now!” the email said. “Never before in our nation’s history have our elections been so threatened by fraud and unconstitutional procedures.”

The two-minute video it linked to, titled “A Word To Heroic Legislators,” has since been removed from YouTube for violating community guidelines. The video’s Web address, which is visible in the email, was included in a December 2020 newsletter written by activist Geoffrey Botkin, who appears to be the person featured in the video.

Botkin, who has published numerous podcasts and videos about the election and other matters, wrote in the newsletter that he had uploaded “A Word To Heroic Legislators” to another video hosting service. The video remains visible there.

“I’m asking you to stand up and lead heroically,” Botkin says in the video, urging lawmakers to appoint electors.

“We have to admit, legally and politically it’s way too late for other people to do it. Clever lawyers or the Supreme Court, they cannot now come to the rescue,” he continues. “This is a moment, a unique moment in American history, demanding that state legislators set America back on her foundations by using a power that you may never have known that you had — but you do have it.”

The video link and some of the language in the email match language that appears in an archived version of the landing page for a freeroots.com email campaign organized by Act for America, a group that has accused U.S. Muslim organizations of supporting terrorism and of trying to impose Islamic law across the country.

On Dec. 14, 2020, Biden electors in Arizona cast their votes, after the election results were certified by Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs and Republican Gov. Doug Ducey. On that same day, Bolick was among dozens of Arizona lawmakers who signed on to a letter to Congress calling for the state’s electoral votes to go to Trump or “be nullified completely until a full forensic audit can be conducted.”

Bolick told The Post she signed on to that effort because she backed the idea of an audit, not because of any communication she received from Thomas.

But wait! On December 14, 2020, the Arizona GQP also sent a slate of fake GQP electors to the Senate.

 

There was also a second group of fake GQP electors that claimed to represent the “sovereign citizens of the Great State of Arizona.” Fake electors try to deliver Arizona’s 11 votes for Trump.

The slate(s) of fake GQP electors was also a critical element of John Eastman’s Coup Plot. They are all co-conspirators in the Coup Plot.

The Arizona Mirror adds:

Shawnna Bolick also was named as a chair for a working group created by the “Kochtopus” American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization that crafts model legislation for state legislatures to pass similar laws. The working group –– where Bolick served as chair leading up to the 2020 election –– partnered with GOP election attorneys, including Cleta Mitchell, one of the most prominent figures involved in Trump’s attempts to overturn the election results.

Their objective, according to reporting by Documented, was to start a letter campaign, emailing secretaries of state “questioning the validity of an election.” The effort sought to engage state legislators nationwide and allow them “to kind of exercise their political muscle” by raising unfounded questions about the election.

ALEC CEO Lisa Nelson told the group during one of its meetings, “obviously we all want President Trump to win and win the national vote. But it’s very clear from all the comments and all the suggestions up front that really when it comes down to is the states and the state legislators.”

Bolick told the Arizona Mirror she did not attend that [particular] meeting in question.

Yes, but as chair of the working group, you were fully advised of its activities and read the minutes of this meeting. Did you ever object? (Doubtful). Did ALEC follow through with this plan and email secretaries of state “questioning the validity of an election”? If so, you consented by your failure to object and you were complicit in undermining public confidence in the election.




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