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Arizona Faces The Fallout From Trump's Phony "Audit"-- State GOP In Disarray

Let me tell non-Arizonans how important Maricopa County is in Arizona politics. The state population is 7,520,103 and Maricopa County alone has 4,410,824 people, so significantly more than half. Of the 9 congressional districts, only one doesn't include at least some of Maricopa County-- Ann Kirkpatrick's. Maricopa County is represented in Congress by 5 members whose districts are entirely within the county: Andy Biggs (R), David Schweikert (R), Ruben Gallego (D), Debbie Lesko (R) and Greg Stanton (D).

Today, Maricopa Republicans were calling on Kelli Ward, an utterly deranged, neo-fascist Trump fanatic, to resign as chair of the state party. Reporting for KTAR News, Danny Shapiro wrote that Maricopa County Supervisor Clint Hickman (R) urged the top Arizona officials to force Ward to step down. Hickman told KTAR News' Mike Broomhead Show that "Republican Gov. Doug Ducey, Attorney General Mark Brnovich and Treasurer Kimberly Yee should push for the resignation of Ward, who has been heavily promoting the claim that President Joe Biden didn’t really win in Arizona. 'I think the time has come. She has now led us to a part where our former president has lost publicly the Arizona vote again to Joe Biden,' said Hickman. 'That is horrible and I will not stand for this type of leadership... She has caused a fracture in our party and has operated outside of it for the purpose of helping herself.'"

Hickman and the rest of the Republican-majority Maricopa County Board of Supervisors have been at odds with Ward and other state GOP leaders for months over the legitimacy of the audit, which began more than five months ago.

And Hickman isn't the only one who wants Ward out. Former Phoenix vice-mayor and current board of supervisors member Bill Gates tweeted his support for Hickman and blames Ward for the GOP losing races up and down the ballot. He has also noted that Ward is a grifter

Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richter, another prominent Republican office holder, tweeted that Ward is leading the party in the wrong direction:

But, predictably, Ward is just doubling down on her insanity, actually demanding another "audit" in Maricopa County and one in Pima County to boot. (Taxpayers are footing the bill for these crackpot Republican so-called "audits.")

Although Trump and his staunchest allies have attempted to spin the audit results as a positive, other Republicans admitted that the outcome was anything but favorable for the former president and his repeated evidence-free claims that massive fraud cost him the election.
"This was Donald Trump's best chance to prove his cases of elections being rigged and fraudulent and they failed," Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg said during a call with members of the media, according to Reuters. "It's a huge defeat for Donald Trump."
Republican Arizona state Sen. Paul Boyer, who initially supported the audit but later concluded that it made the GOP "look like idiots," told The Hill that the audit "wasted nearly $6 million to tell us what we already knew, meanwhile exacerbating an already unhealthy political environment."

Gov. Doug Ducey, a very right-wing Republican governor, a constant target whose political career Trump has ruined, struck back at Señor T after the fake audit was released. He tweeted that there will be "no decertification" of the state's election results, which is against the law in any case. This is from Ducey's tweet storm Friday:

It’s no secret that we’ve seen confidence erode in our election system in recent years. It’s not a problem exclusive to Arizona, and it didn’t start in the 2020 election cycle. There are some who simply do not trust election results. This is a problem, and it’s one that needs to be addressed. Elections are key to our democracy, and it should be a priority for everyone to listen to these concerns, and work to rebuild the trust of every voter.
When it comes to the audit, like the three audits that preceded it, it’s now over. The outcome stands and the 2020 election in Arizona is over. Any meaningful policy recommendations identified should be addressed in the next session of the legislature. Any findings of fraud should be referred to the Attorney General and the Department of Justice for them to take action. There will be no decertification of the 2020 election-- the audit does not call for one, and even if it had, there is no lawful way to decertify. As we have every step of the way, Arizona will follow the law.

Trump's childish, self-centered chaos and anomy have led to something the Democrats have been unable to do on their own-- turning formerly deep red Georgia and Arizona into bona fide swing states. It appears that Trump is about to do the same thing in Texas.

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