Far-right, pro-QAnon attorney Lin Wood, who struck out trying to prove voter fraud in the 2020 election and is now facing an ethics investigation and a criminal probe for alleged illegal voting of his own, has embraced a new project: running for chair of the the South Carolina Republican Party.
According to POLITICO, this bid is also likely to go down in flames today, as incumbent party chair, Drew McKissick will likely rout him among party delegates. But GOP strategists are privately scared that his loss will not put an end to the base's embrace of his conspiracy theories.
"Like Trump, Wood is already accusing McKissick of election fraud — without any evidence — even before the first ballots are cast Saturday," reported Marc Caputo. Meanwhile, "Wood has gone so far as to make dark insinuations that McKissick isn't doing enough to stop 'the real pandemic' of pedophilia, and suggested he needs to resign over unspecified 'nefarious activities' with GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham. Wood has also called the coronavirus pandemic a 'plandemic,' suggesting it was part of an organized plot."
According to the report, Wood has even tried to cast doubt on the authenticity of Trump's endorsement of McKissick for re-election.
"What's going to happen Saturday is that McKissick is going to win, and Lin Wood is going to say it was fraud and scream and holler conspiracy theories," Joel Sawyer, a former South Carolina GOP executive director, told POLITICO. "The problem in South Carolina is many of the people at the county level, the delegate level, have been echoing the former president's fact-free claims of election fraud, but those very people are now going to have to turn around and defend the legitimacy of this election. But they don't have a lot of moral authority to dispute fact-free claims of election fraud."
Republican strategist Wes Donohue agreed. "Wood's candidacy is an immediate nothing-burger, but in the long term, everyone better pay attention," he said. "The base is pissed and questioning anyone and everyone who has been around for more than a couple years."
You can read more here.
'Horrified' Arizona Republicans fear Trump ballot audit has done lasting damage to the party: report
According to a report from Politico, the continuing audit of 2020 presidential votes from Arizona's Maricopa County has Republicans attacking each other over the search for Donald Trump votes and has led some to believe the state party has been damaged by the highly criticized fishing expedition.
Politico's James Arkin is reporting that opposition to the audit by some of the state's GOP leadership is growing and they are becoming more vocal about concerns the audit may hurt them in the 2022 midterms.
Writing, "Republicans in the state are still divided over the results of the last election, months after President Joe Biden was sworn into office," Arkin adds, "Republicans are speaking out to warn that the amateurish conduct of the audit and the conspiracy theories it has amplified could cause lasting damage to the party. Next year they must defend an open governor's seat and try to flip back one of the two Senate seats Democrats took in the last two elections."
According to Bill Gates, a Republican Maricopa County supervisor, the time to pull the plug on the operation being conducted by outside firm Cyber Ninjas was yesterday.
"First of all, you do need to get to a point where you say, 'Okay, we're done. We have sufficiently addressed concerns that might be out there in the community.' And I feel like we had gotten to that point," Gates explained before adding many Republicans in the state are deeply distressed at how the party looks to the rest of the country.
"I believe that this is only appealing to a certain segment of the Republican Party," he stated. "I think there are many Republicans who are horrified by what's going on. I think there are very few independents who aren't horrified by what's going on. But it's not too late."
Tammy Patrick, a former Maricopa County elections official, added, "This is not an audit. It's not even a recount. If we continue to indulge this kind of activity, we will not be living in a true, healthy democracy."
Politico's Arkin adds, "The worries go beyond the political ramifications. Election administrators and security experts are also gravely concerned it will further erode trust in the election and open the door to more unwarranted challenges to future elections, in the state and elsewhere."
"There's a great opportunity, but the last thing that the party should be doing right now is relitigating the 2020 election and basically saying that if you don't believe in the Big Lie, then you're not welcome in this party," Republican Gates added.
You can read more here.
Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on list of 101 ‘pro-life’ and ‘pro-family’ GOPers who just voted against pregnant workers
The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both "pro-life" and "pro-family" voted against the legislation.
The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.
The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it "a balanced approach that clarifies an employer's obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy."
The website Motherly put it even more simply: "No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy."
Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:
Pregnant workers have been fired or discriminated against simply for being pregnant. Today we passed legislation to protect pregnant Americans. This is just basic fairness. Proud to cosponsor this legislation.
— Rep. Val Demings (@RepValDemings) May 14, 2021
Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.
Among the more notable Republicans voting "no" were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).
Here's the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Budd (North Carolina)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Mace (South Carolina)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (West Virginia)
Norman (South Carolina)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
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