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Mid-Term Election 2022: August 2 Primary, Arizona Edition [UPDATE-2]

[Updates will appear at the bottom.]

There are a lot out there and will probably still be dribbling in through tomorrow. Use this thread to chat about them. The big one is the Kansas abortion issue, and it looks like the good side has a resounding victory.

In one of the most red states in the Union. Kansas. Go figure. Take that you conservatives at SCOTUS.

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Rayne here, taking the reins on this post. Apparently bmaz and I were writing posts about the primaries at the same time.

Let’s use this one bmaz started to focus on his own state, Arizona, because there’s plenty to dish about in the Grand Canyon State.

Biggest story is the GOP primary for the governor’s race. There’s been a big field, eight candidates with three withdrawn; of the eight in the running, there’s one unofficially withdrawn candidate and three write-ins.

What a mess. But now we get to the hot mess.


Kari Lake is a Trumpy Big Lie election truther. I’d use stronger terms here but I don’t want this to reflect on bmaz (though he’s probably thinking what I’m not saying).

How batty does a Trumper have to be for the National Review to exhort AZ GOP voters not to cast a vote for a GOP candidate? Kari Lake is that bad. She wants to decertify the 2020 election results and call it for Trump even though doing so might jeopardize a 2024 run for Trump.

Fortunately, AZ voters appear to be paying heed. Lake has been behind GOP opponent Karrin Taylor Robson all evening.

Let’s hope the final results resemble these early numbers.

More results as they come in from the dry heat.

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bmaz observes long-time sportscaster Vin Scully has died.

Scully called games for the Dodgers from 1950 to 2016, the longest career of any sportscaster of any sport. He was an institution. He has been and will be missed.

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Not a good night for QAnon-Arizona in Arizona’s 2nd Congressional District.


With 43% reported, there’s no realistic way for Watkins to pull out a win let alone a tie coming from the basement.

But I’m sure there will be some spin put on this because the grift never ends. There must be some conspiracy theory which will prop up this fail and bring home the bacon.

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UPDATE-1 — 12:35 PM ET — 03-AUG-2022 —

Oh great, another election truther won their primary — this time for AZ’s Secretary of State.


Mark Finchem was at the U.S. Capitol on January 6. I don’t know if he made it inside the Capitol Building that day; he has not been charged for trespassing.

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UPDATE-1 — 2:15 PM ET — 03-AUG-2022 —

I don’t know about bmaz but I just received my first fundraising email from Sen. Mark Kelly for his re-election campaign based on the outcome of yesterday’s primary.

What’s amusing is that Kelly’s email never mentions Blake Masters by name, only says Kelly now has an opponent. Was this an email drafted before the primary was finished, prepared for any eventually? Or is this Kelly’s campaign helping voters a la Lakoff, not naming the elephant?

Whatever the case, super Trumpy MAGAnoid Blake Masters is now the AZGOP candidate for U.S. Senate opposing incumbent Mark Kelly.

Masters shouldn’t be too glib about his win because of 622,098 total GOP votes cast, 379,218 were not cast for Masters. If those GOP votes are adamantly against Masters, they may not turn up in November for him.

Masters drew fewer votes than AZGOP gubernatorial candidate Karrin Taylor Robson, who won with 238,486 over super Trumpy MAGAnoid Kari Lake. Compare to Democratic gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs who won with 311,210 votes.

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The AZGOP candidate for Secretary of State is the problematic Mark Finchem, an admitted member of the Oath Keepers who was at the Capitol Building on January 6, 2021. He won over three other competitors, though he shouldn’t be too smug about it. He may have won with 243,403 votes, but there were 350,398 GOP votes cast for other AZGOP candidates.

The outcome of the Democratic primary race for Secretary of State between Adrian Fontes and Reginald Bolding has not yet been determined as 31% of the votes cast are yet to be counted. Fontes currently leads 52.8% to 47.2% over Bolding and is likely to maintain a lead.

Here’s Fontes if you’re not familiar with him:

More than Twenty Transcripts: The January 6 Committee’s Investigation into Fake Electors

Last week, Politico reported that the January 6 Committee is preparing to share twenty transcripts from their investigation. Thus far, no outlet has confirmed which twenty transcripts are in that bunch. But the delay of the Proud Boy leader trial has alleviated the urgency — one that arose out of discovery requirements, not investigative curiosity — behind DOJ’s request for those transcripts. Though unless the Oath Keepers’ bid to move their trial succeeds, there will be some urgency to obtain and turn over transcripts of Stewart Rhodes, Kellye SoRelle, Jason Van Tatenhove, Roger Stone, Alex Jones, and probably Ali Alexander’s depositions.

That suggests the initial twenty transcripts might pertain to the fake electors scheme, which (as CNN also noted), Bennie Thompson had previously said was a priority focus for DOJ.

If that’s the case, though, the number — twenty — is rather curious. That’s because the Committee subpoenaed more than twenty people involved in the scheme and spoke to still more.

First, there are the fourteen people who were subpoenaed back on January 28, the chair and secretary of the fake elector slate for each of seven states.

Of these fourteen people, DOJ is reported to have obtained warrants targeting McDonald and DeGraffenreid and included Cottle, Pellegrino, and Shafer in subpoenas, and probably also the Michigan electors.

In addition, there were six people subpoenaed in February. Here’s how the Committee described them:

Michael A. Roman and Gary Michael Brown served, respectively, as the Director and Deputy Director of Election Day Operations for former President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign. They reportedly participated in efforts to promote allegations of fraud in the November 2020 election and encourage state legislators to appoint false “alternate” slates of electors.

Douglas V. Mastriano was part of a plan to arrange for an “alternate” slate of electors from Pennsylvania for former President Trump and reportedly spoke with President Trump about post-election activities.

Laura Cox reportedly witnessed Rudy Giuliani pressure state lawmakers to disregard election results in Michigan and say that certifying the election results would be a “criminal act.”

Mark W. Finchem advanced unsubstantiated claims about the election and helped organize an event in Phoenix, Arizona on November 30th, 2020 at which former President Trump’s legal team and others spoke and advanced unproven claims of election and voter fraud. He was in Washington on January 6th, 2021 and stated that he had evidence to deliver to Vice President Pence in an effort to postpone the awarding of electors.

Kelli Ward reportedly spoke to the former President and members of his staff about election certification issues in Arizona and acted to transmit documents claiming to be an  “alternate” Electoral College elector from Arizona.

Roman shows up in DOJ’s general fake elector subpoena (more on him here), and Finchem and Ward show up on at least some of the AZ-targeted ones.

Then there are others the Committee is known to have interviewed who show up on subpoenas from Thomas Windom’s DOJ investigation:

The Committee also sent the following people, also included in the Windom legal process, subpoenas and presumably interviewed them:

Finally, there are those with knowledge of the scheme whose depositions have shown up in Committee hearings, including, but not limited to the fourth hearing, which focused on The Big Lie (again, I’ve linked to those who received a formal subpoena).

  • Cleta Mitchell
  • Rusty Bowers, AZ House Speaker
  • Bill Stepien, Trump campaign manager
  • Matt Morgan, Trump campaign lawyer
  • Jocelyn Benson, MI Secretary of State
  • Mike Shirkey, MI Senate Majority Leader who visited the White House
  • Angela McCallum, Trump campaign staffer
  • Robert Sinners, Trump campaign staffer
  • Brian Cutler, PA House Speaker
  • Cassidy Hutchinson, who testified that discussions about fake electors started in November
  • Ronna McDaniel, GOP Chair

Mark Meadows, of course, was also key to the fake elector plot, but blew off a subpoena.

So the Committee subpoenaed at least thirty people who played roles in the fake elector schemes, with only Meadows known to have entirely blown off the subpoena, and also interviewed people like Justin Clark (Trump’s election lawyer, not the former DOJ official) who are also included on DOJ subpoenas.

I raise all this for several reasons.

I’m beginning an attempt to lay out the overlap (or not) between the various investigations, including Fani Willis’ Fulton County investigation, which has expanded to include the fake electors as well. The three investigations seem to be adopting fairly incompatible approaches, and that may create a conflict in the weeks ahead. This is a first pass at laying out the overlapping scope of the known Committee and DOJ investigations, which I hope leads others to correct and add to this effort.

But I started the effort when I realized that depositions of almost none of the fake electors themselves have appeared in the Committee hearings yet.

Just one, Andrew Hitt, was quoted in the January 6 Committee hearing focused on the Big Lie. Hitt claimed that the Wisconsin fake electors would only be used if a court ruled in favor of the state-based challenges to the election.

ANDREW HITT:

I was told that these would only count if a court ruled in our favor. So that would have been using our electors — well, it would have been using our electors in ways that we weren’t told about and we wouldn’t have supported.

Mind you, the Committee’s public focus was on those who rejected Trump’s attempts at fraud, even those who, like Laura Cox, had supported other schemes, like unnecessary audits. So it may well be that the transcripts of greatest interest to DOJ are those from depositions that were not shown publicly.

Or, it’s possible DOJ’s priorities have entirely changed, and they focused on other investigative prongs.

January 6 Committee Hearing Resources

June 9 Hearing (Peaceful Transfer of Power): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweet; post; transcript

June 13 Hearing (The Big Lie): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweetpost; transcript

June 16 Hearing (Pressuring Pence): Rayne’s open thread, live-tweet; post; transcript

June 21 Hearing (Election workers): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweetpost; transcript

June 23 Hearing (DOJ officials): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweetpost; transcript

June 28 Hearing (Cassidy Hutchinson): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweetpost; transcript

July 12 Hearing (Stephen Ayers): Rayne’s open threadlive-tweet post; transcript

July 21 Hearing (Sarah Matthews and Matthew Pottinger): Rayne’s open thread; live-tweet; post; transcript