You’re incompetent. You’re complicit in fraud. You’re uncooperative and we’re taking you to court.
And by the way, what have you got to hide?
But don’t take it personal.
Senate President Karen Fann told a select audience this week that she was “ … disappointed and saddened” at the “hurtful” comments made by the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors regarding her request for a closed-door meeting to discuss the ongoing audit of 2020 election results.
Jack Sellers, county chairman, accused Fann of attempting to legitimize "a grift disguised as an audit," in a searing rebuke of the Senate President’s request for the meeting. It was the first and only emotionally-charged public statement endorsed by the five-member county board, which has a Republican-majority.
Sen. Fann, meanwhile, has harassed supervisors from the beginning of this debacle in January. She has routinely made public statements questioning the honesty, integrity and veracity of the county’s election process and those responsible for tabulating the ballots.
Her expression of disappointment on Tuesday is comparable to the best of Vladimir Putin’s mockery of American allegations of espionage — deny any and all wrongdoing, even when you’re holding the bloody knife.
Sen. Fann is completely responsible for the charade that she claims will restore voter confidence in the election process. At her command, an inexperienced firm led by an ardent Trump supporter who publicly claimed fraud was hired to conduct the audit. At her command, the State Senate went to court to force Maricopa County to turn over its voting equipment and the ballots, thereby compromising the personal security of every registered voter. At her command the public has been denied access to the audit, Democrats in the Legislature have been ignored and ostracized from the process and the sources of out-of-state “contributions” to pay for this circus have remained hidden.
Her personal and unfounded attacks on the Maricopa Board of Supervisors have failed to rally public support for what the Senate is doing and the day-after-day revelations of incompetency by the auditors has made Arizona a national laughingstock.
Tuesday’s statement by the Senate President confirmed the idiocy of a governing body that is completely out-of-touch with its responsibility to effectively govern the state. The Republican majority in the Senate — a total of 16 elected officials including our own David Gowan — have prioritized finding fraud where there is none and ignored vital functions like adopting a budget.
Resumption of the audit is scheduled for Monday and we’re confident that the ridiculousness will continue, further embarrassing the state and ultimately ending without convincing anyone of anything they don’t already believe.
How unfortunate that Arizona voters don’t have the good sense to put this tiny majority out of office.
This originally appeared in the Sierra Vista Herald.