Apparently, Jay Lawrence is not the only Republican Legislator that likes the fringe conspiracy enthusiast group OAnon.
Vince Leach does as well.
AZ Mirror Journalist Jeremy Duda first reported that the Legislative District 11 State Senator posted a Ben Garrison editorial cartoon of Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, and QAnon imitating the three men from Willards “Spirit of 1776” painting. In the cartoon, the trio is celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, singing “Long Live Liberty” by squashing little people that represent Globalists, Marxists, and Traitors.
Unlike Lawrence who at least saw that his July 4 posting supporting QAnon was politically problematic, deleted it, pleaded stupidity, and issued an “apology,” Leach has not commented on his Independence Day post and has kept it on his Facebook Page.
The two Democrats competing for the Party’s nomination to run against Leach this fall offered their views on Leach’s fondness for QAnon.
Gunnery Sergeant JoAnna Mendoza wrote:
“We shouldn’t be surprised that Mr. Leach is at it again with his cartoons. His social media is full of inappropriate and offensive cartoons. This is just one more example. In this case, Mr. Leach was one of two GOP legislators who posted the QAnon cartoon. While the other GOP legislator apologized and walked back posting the cartoon, Mr. Leach had no comment when he was asked about the QAnon cartoon. As someone who served our country in military uniform for 20 years, with several tours to Iraq and Afghanistan, I find this alarming. The FBI has labeled QAnon as a domestic terror threat and conspiracy theories like QAnon have incited violence across the United States. For years, the GOP has tried to claim that we need to build a wall to keep Americans safe and Mr. Leach continues to talk about how he’s “fighting to secure our border”. But his actions are not consistent with someone who is serious about national security and keeping Americans safe. National security is about ensuring that we protect America from ALL enemies, foreign and domestic, not just the ones we want to target for political or prejudicial reasons. Not to mention Mr. Leach’s seeming lack of knowledge on the limitations of State government regarding issues of national security. Legislative District 11 needs someone who has demonstrated sound leadership through their actions and experience, and who can truly lead the people of our district through difficult times.”
Educator Linda Patterson stated:
“I am extremely concerned that Vince Leach posted on his Campaign Facebook Account another disturbing cartoon that is completely out of touch with the residents in LD11. A few weeks ago, he was called out by me when he posted two very racist and discriminatory caricatures. This time he has another outrageous post supporting Q-Anon; a wide-reaching conspiracy theory of right-wing extremists. Leach and Trump are one of the same in terms of racism and extremism.”
“Q-Anon first emerged in 2017 and is first and foremost an online trolling and disinformation movement. Those who follow it believe world governments are being controlled by a shadowy group of pedophiles who will eventually be brought to justice by Trump. In addition, it includes an antisemitic and anti-government following that exists in order to sow distrust in democratic institutions. This very extremist movement has inspired violent acts.”
“My concern about Leach’s support of racist and fringe and extremist conspiracy theories like Q-Anon is that both are dangerous subcultures that have no place in Arizona or the nation. To me, it points to an individual who is using his State Senate seat to advocate for and promote extremely dangerous views. In doing so, he is revealing a part of himself that is beneath the dignity of the office of who should be representing those of us in LD11 who work our hearts out to do what is right. Leach is wrong and must be held to account!”
“I know that the best way to perceive the character of a future state senator is to examine what her past reveals about what kind of person she has built a solid reputation upon. I place the fact that I have been recognized as an excellent public servant who was highly recognized and positively regarded. To receive accolades as “High School Teacher of the Year”, “Staff Member of the Year: High School Counselor”, and “Administrator of the Year”, demonstrates my character in relation to fairness, excellence, ability to lead, dedication and passion. I will do the same in the State Senate.”
“I ask for your vote as State Senator for LD11 and promise I will work my heart out for you and make you proud!”
As both Mendoza and Patterson have pointed out, this is not the first time Vince Leach has put offensive and questionable material on his Facebook Page.
While this is a free country and Mr. Leach is free to post whatever he wants as long as it conforms to social media guidelines, people should expect better judgment, tolerance, and openness from their elected representatives.
The people of LD 11 can do better than this white nativist fringe reactionary conspiracy enthusiast.
Voters have two excellent alternatives to choose from who have demonstrated they know what public service means.
It is time for a change in LD 11.
It is time for Vince Leach to go.
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