Why Is The DOJ Not Enforcing The 14th Amendment?
Last night, the Arizona gubernatorial race was called for Democrat Katie Hobbs, who beat MAGA crackpot Kari Lake. Earlier the crucial Arizona secretary of state election was called for Adrian Fontes, who beat MAGA extremist and insurrectionist Mark Finchem, by 5 points. The Attorney General race hasn’t been called yet but Democrat Kris Mayes in leading MAGA nut Abraham Hamadeh by about 3,000 votes, 50.06% to 49.94%. And in the U.S. Senate election, Democrat Mark Kelly crushed another fringe MAGA lunatic, Blake Masters, by 5 points, despite Masters’ rumored ex-lover, gay neo-Nazi billionaire Peter Thiel, spending upwards of $30 million smearing Kelly.
Yes, in Arizona Democrats did well statewide but because of the nature of the gerrymander— congressional and legislative districts being drawn to elect Republicans— there are now 6 Republicans going to Congress and just 3 Democrats. All but one state senate seat has been called— Democratic incumbent Christine Marsh slightly ahead of Republican incumbent Nancy Barto. But even if Marsh wins (likely), the Senate will still decontrolled by the GOP because of the way the districts were drawn. Similarly, the state House has elected 22 Democrats and 25 Republicans with 6 seats too close to call, 4 leaning blue and 2 leaning red. One legislator that one in a breeze is the most extreme of all the MAGA crackpots running in Arizona, a profoundly mentally disturbed sociopath named Wendy Rogers. She beat Democrat Kyle Nitschke 50,400 (63.4%) to 29,149 (36.6%) in a rural district that goes from Tusayan in the north, through the Flagstaff area (though not the city) and Sedona to Payson and Show Low in the south. It’s a district that has no problem with electing a mentally deranged, anti-American racist.
A few months ago, Washington Post reporters Beth Reinhard and Rosalind Helderman wrote about Rogers calling for more political violence— and then being flooded with contributions in appreciation of the sentiments!
And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds
Above the clouds
Rogers was at a neo-Nazi conclave hosted by white nationalist Nick Fuentes in Orlando in February, being applauded for “calling for gruesome violence against ‘traitors’ after excoriating critics of the ‘honorable’ Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and proponents of the ‘bioweapon’ coronavirus vaccine. ‘We need to build more gallows,’ the speaker said, adding that such a deadly fate would ‘make an example of these traitors who’ve betrayed our country.’” Arizonans I ask about her all say the same thing: “She’s from Kentucky.”
Reinhard and Helderman reported that Rogers had created “a rising national profile as a face of the radicalized wing of the GOP. Rogers’s trajectory shows the political and financial incentives of going to extremes. After losing her earliest races as a mainstream Republican, she moved further and further right until she beat an incumbent by campaigning as the more [fascist] choice. Now, after a year of fanning bogus allegations about election fraud and other false claims, she is the most successful fundraiser in the Arizona state legislature. She raised nearly $2.5 million in 2021, outraising even statewide candidates for governor, attorney general and secretary of state, according to campaign finance records. Nearly $2 million of that money came from small donations from outside Arizona as she traveled the U.S. calling for the 2020 election to be overturned and demanding audits of the vote without credible evidence of fraud. While her support for former president Donald Trump’s election falsehoods puts her in line with many Republicans, Rogers has moved unapologetically further to the edges of American politics: Calling for jailing and executing her political opponents, identifying herself as a member of the Oath Keepers militia group, and attending a conference organized by a group linked to QAnon, the violent anti-government ideology.”
After she spoke at the Nazi conference in Orlando the Arizona state Senate censured her with a stinging 24-3 vote. Undaunted, she used that to raise even more money, painting herself as a tireless champion against the elites. “Like fellow GOP provocateurs in Congress, such as Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) and Madison Cawthorn (R-NC),” wrote Reinhard and Helderman, “Rogers’ inflammatory rhetoric has gained her widespread notice in the pro-Trump media ecosystem and on social media, making her a sought-after endorsement well beyond her rural home district around Flagstaff. Of the 20 candidates she has endorsed in this year’s midterms, only one is from Arizona. ‘She’s so great,’ said Trump, who has endorsed Rogers’s reelection, at an Arizona rally in January.”
They reported that Rogers, 67, was once a mainstream conservative but after losing 5 elections, “she found her message and moment.” She’s a Russo-Republican fascist and, as long as she can find a gerrymandered district filled with low-IQ imbeciles to run in, she’ll never be defeated.
Republicans who have watched Rogers over the past decade wonder if her views have changed or if she is merely opportunistic. Either way, Rogers’s MAGA-charged rants helped her achieve a long-elusive victory at the polls.
“When she first ran, she was nothing like she is today,” said Rick Romley, a Republican and former Maricopa County attorney. “My wife gives me hell to this day for having supported her.”
Her shift to the far right has coincided with an outpouring of grass-roots, small donors. Nearly 40,000 individuals contributed to her campaign last year, of which only a handful gave the $5,300 maximum. That means Rogers can keep dipping into this large pool of donors in 2022.
In a feat remarkable for one of 30 state senators, Rogers is outraising statewide incumbents such as Republican Attorney General Mark Brnovich, who is campaigning for U.S. Senate and has raised about $1.8 million. Her 2021 fundraising also surpassed totals collected by other Trump-endorsed contenders in the state, including gubernatorial candidate Lake, with about $1.5 million, and secretary of state candidate Mark Finchem, with roughly $663,000.
Of candidates for state offices, only Democratic Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, who is running for governor and collected more than $2.9 million in 2021, surpassed Rogers.
Arizona, which Biden won by about 10,500 votes, has been at the forefront of Trump’s push to undermine the 2020 election. Rogers has been pushing for “decertification,” a process election experts say is not possible under state or federal law.
“There is no way to nullify the election, yet that is how she is raising money, being disingenuous with the voters,” said Sylvia Allen, the Republican Rogers beat in 2020.
Rogers is the prime sponsor of about a dozen voting-related bills, including some that experts say would make statewide elections virtually impossible. She has proposed eliminating electronic vote-tabulating machines and requiring hand counts in a state that cast more than 3.3 million ballots in 2020. Rogers has echoed Trump’s baseless assertions that mail-in voting is a major source of fraud, and backed another bill that would do away with early voting, except when a voter is physically unable to cast a ballot in person. In 2020, the vast majority of voters statewide and in Rogers’s own district cast ballots before Election Day.
Rogers herself has been on the state’s permanent early voting list since at least 2006, public records show. That means an absentee ballot is automatically mailed to her for every election in which she is an eligible voter. In her previous campaigns, she repeatedly urged supporters to meet absentee ballot deadlines.
None of her election-related bills are expected to pass. In the closely divided Senate, her bills need unanimous support from Republicans.
“I don’t know of a single one of her election bills I can support, and I am not the only Republican who feels that way,” said state Sen. Paul Boyer, one of a few GOP lawmakers who have openly repudiated conspiracy theories about the 2020 vote. “If her bills passed, elections would be Helter Skelter.”
Rogers posts constantly on six social media accounts, ranging from mainstream platforms like Twitter to sites favored on the right, including Telegram and Gab. She has more than 700,000 followers between the six accounts. In a sign of how her social media presence dwarfs that of other Arizona Republicans, her Twitter following exceeds 276,000, while Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey counts fewer than 152,000 followers.
While the 2020 election remains her signature issue, she also has spread false claims about former first lady Michelle Obama and the Sept. 11 attacks. In the three months leading up to her speech to Fuentes’s event, the America First Political Action Conference, about a half dozen posts suggested sending political foes to the gallows. She expressed support for Fuentes more than 30 times.
At this year’s AFPAC, Fuentes said that his group’s “secret ingredient” was “young white men.” He led the crowd in a cheer for Russian President Vladimir Putin, days into the deadly military assault on Ukraine. Fuentes noted Putin has been compared to Adolf Hitler. “They say that’s not a good thing,” he said, adding with a chuckle, “I shouldn’t have said that.”
Republicans have widely spurned Fuentes. Even Greene, one of the most right-wing members of Congress, tried to distance herself from Fuentes after attending the conference, saying she did not know him but wanted to talk to “his very large following.” AFPAC claims 1,000 people attended.
Rogers, though, called the conference “a major success” and posted a meme depicting her and Fuentes crouching in a field holding a rifle, with a dead rhinoceros splayed out in front of them labeled “CPAC.” The acronym had been tweaked so that inside one of the letters was a Jewish star.
The Anti-Defamation League, which battles antisemitism, had already added Rogers to its list of extremists in January, citing her support for Fuentes along with her association with the Oath Keepers militia group and interviews with a website that has espoused antisemitism.
“Our broad concern is with the normalization of extremist ideas, hateful rhetoric and the type of narrative geared toward undermining democratic institutions,” said Oren Segal, vice president of the ADL Center on Extremism. “Even blatant support for extremist movements is no longer disqualifying in the eyes of many voters.”
Rogers boasted about widening the boundaries of the political mainstream, the so-called Overton window, in response to the ADL’s admonishment. “Just moving the ol’ Overton window,” she said, “Thanks for the award losers.” She added: “#JesusIsKing.”
In the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Rogers’s online commentary has leaned into antisemitic tropes. She has blamed international financiers and Jewish investor and activist George Soros for the war in ways that seem to echo the long-standing slur that the world’s problems are caused by an international cabal of Jews.
“I stand with the Christians worldwide not the global bankers who are shoving godlessness and degeneracy in our face,” she wrote on Feb. 27 on Telegram.
She also has criticized Ukraine’s Jewish president, Volodymyr Zelensky, who has received global acclaim for inspiring his country and refusing to flee in face of death threats. “Zelensky is a globalist puppet for Soros and the Clintons,” she wrote.
Rogers is following the path paved by other online provocateurs whose profiles have risen since Trump’s election in 2016, said Jared Holt, a domestic extremism expert at the nonpartisan Atlantic Council.
“This is what the base wants,” Holt said. “The fringe has totally captured the conversation.”
When Ducey was pressed last month to comment on Rogers’s impending speech to the Fuentes rally, he spoke of the “governing majorities” needed to advance his agenda. “She’s still better than her opponent Felicia French,” Ducey said, referring to the Democrat Rogers defeated in 2020.
She addressed the Fuentes conference the following day, along with Greene and GOP Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona. After the members were rebuked by a handful of prominent Republicans, Rogers lashed out on social media.
“I will not apologize for being white,” she said. “I will personally destroy the career of any Republican who partakes in the gaslighting of me simply because of the color of my skin or opinion about a war I don’t want to send our kids to die in.”
By Tuesday, under pressure to take a stand, the Arizona Senate voted to censure one of its own. The chamber has not done so in at least three decades, according to a Senate official.
“What we do not condone is members threatening each other, to ruin each other, to incite violence, to call us communists,” Senate President Karen Fann (R) said on the Senate floor.
Rogers’s online followers reacted with fury, and in some cases, threatened her colleagues with violence. In a letter Rogers posted on social media, constituents Rose and Richard Sperry, wrote, “Up until Senator Rogers came on the scene, there was NO voice for us and it appears that with these actions you have made it pretty clear that we still don’t have but ONE voice and that is the voice of Senator Rogers. May she never yield to your class of warfare.”
An early draft of the censure accused Rogers of “inciting general racial and religious discrimination,” but that phrase was stricken before the final tally. The censure rebuked her for “conduct unbecoming a Senator” and “encouraging violence.”
Ducey, who had faced criticism for declining to reproach her took to Twitter Tuesday night, saying “Anti-Semitic and hateful language has no place in Arizona.”
Arizona Republican Party Chairwoman Kelli Ward, a leading voice in the “Stop the Steal” movement to deny Biden’s victory, did not respond to requests for comment on the censure. A Trump spokesman did not respond to questions about her either.
Less than 24 hours after the Senate reprimand, Rogers was leveraging it in a fundraising email.
“It used to be that if someone said something crazy, they would get slapped down by the party leaders in a way that could hurt,” said Chris DeRose, a longtime Republican election law attorney in Phoenix. “Now it’s a badge of honor if people are mad at you.”
This morning, another Post reporter, Michael Kranish, noted that at least two of the J-6 rioters, Derrick van Orden (R-WI) and George Santos (R-NY) were elected to Congress. “While the Republican Party suffered surprising losses in the midterms, including defeats of many who bought into Trump’s false election claims, the arrival of freshman lawmakers who had come to Washington as pro-Trump activists on that violent day underscores the extent to which the House Republican caucus remains a haven for election deniers. As of Saturday, at least 150 election deniers were projected to win House races, compared with the 139 who voted against certifying President Biden’s election on Jan. 6, 2021. Van Orden and Santos stand out because of their presence at Jan. 6 events and subsequent election victories, which Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) called ‘horrific and bone-chilling. It is very difficult to serve with people who took part in any way, shape or form in what happened on Jan. 6,’ said Jayapal, who was trapped in a House gallery with several dozen other members when rioters tried to enter the chamber. ‘There’s a very physical reaction for many of us who were trapped there and who went through a lot of traumatic experiences.’”