Kari Lake's campaign may be over, but the grift goes on

Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during an Arizona Republican election night gathering at Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on Nov. 8, 2022.
Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake speaks during an Arizona Republican election night gathering at Scottsdale Resort at McCormick Ranch on Nov. 8, 2022.
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It’s been nearly three months now since the election. And Kari Lake?

Yep, still screaming from coast to coast and all over social media about the many ways in which she was robbed by those scheming fellow Republicans who run Maricopa County.

Ever wonder why Lake won’t concede? Or at least storm off on some new adventure, now that hardly anybody in Arizona (other than the conspiracy crowd) is paying attention?


Turns out election denial is a lucrative business.

Kari Lake hauls in cash nationwide

Between the day after the Nov. 8 election she lost and the end of the year, Lake raised $2.5 million, according to an analysis by Arizona Mirror’s Jim Small. And that’s not counting the money that flowed to the nonprofit she formed in December, so that gullible supporters and easy marks across the nation can contribute.

Her biggest haul ever into her campaign fund ever came a week after the election – on Nov. 14, the day Gov. Katie Hobbs was declared the winner.

Small reports that more than 8,000 people contributed $338,388 on that day, as Lake called for donations to help her fight back against the “BS”.

Fewer than a quarter of those donations came from Arizonans. Money from as far away as Puerto Rico came rolling in, and that really is the point.

There are big bucks to be made by undermining Arizona and its elections. Facts don’t matter. Just continue to invent new and ever more hair-raising ways in which the election was supposedly stolen then stand back and watch the money roll in.

Finchem asks for cash, despite cash on hand

It’s why you see failed Secretary of State candidate Mark Finchem continuing to beg for donations to pay off his non-existent campaign debt.

In a fundraising appeal to supporters last week, Finchem asked people to “donate $25, $50, $100 or more” to “stand with election integrity” and “fight the propaganda,” according to Capitol Medial Services Howard Fischer. The request says any money raised will “help pay off campaign debt.”

The thing is, Finchem has no campaign debt. In fact, a campaign finance report filed just the day before his latest money plea says he has nearly $97,000 left in the bank after spending nearly $2.4 million on his campaign.

Vote count:How many GOP voters chose Hobbs over Lake?

And yet there he is, with his hand out for more.

“I have not conceded this election and we still have work to do,“ he wrote, noting that he was “calling for a new election”.

He may be calling for one but only in a grifty way. He lost by more than 120,000 votes and he has not contested his loss in court.

Meanwhile, Lake keeps dropping 'bombshells'

Lake, at least, went to court. She has even appealed her loss after being unable to present any actual evidence that she was robbed during a two-day trial in December.

The Mirror’s Small reports that she’s spent $228,000 on that lawsuit. That’s less than 10% of her post-election gusher. Much of the rest has gone to a Virginia-based marketing and communications firm, though it’s unclear whether those expenses were rung up before or after the election.

Regardless, she still reported having more than $462,000 in cash in her campaign account at the end of the year.

Yet she’s still reaching into people’s pockets. I suppose somebody’s got to pay for all those trips to Mar-a-Lago and post-election expenses at a posh Scottsdale resort. And don't forget that Door Dash tab

Since her loss last month in court, Lake has continued to drop what she calls “BOMBSHELLS” about the many new and creative ways in which the county denied her her due.

“HUGE: Arizona Senate Presentation Reveals That Hundreds Of Failed Tabulators In Maricopa County Likely Misread A QUARTER MILLION Ballots During 2022 Election - Lake's Team Says ’MORE EVIDENCE TO COME’ (VIDEO),” Lake tweeted on Tuesday, after Senate Elections Committee Chair Wendy Rogers staged the first of what undoubtedly will be a series of hearings about the many ways in which Lake was cheated.

(For those who are inclined, Rogers, one of the state’s loudest election deniers, is also accepting donations.)

If 250K voters were affected, where are they?

“On Election Day, tabulators rejected nearly 1/4 MILLION Vote Attempts. What happened here in Arizona was truly an assault on our Country. We must rectify this,” Lake tweeted on Tuesday, with a helpful link to her nonprofit.

For the factually inclined, the county says ballots that couldn’t be tabulated at voting centers on Election Day were taken downtown to be counted on more powerful machines. But, of course, Lake fails to mention that.

Really, it’s a genius strategy.

Small reports that 80% of the $2.5 million she raised in her campaign account between the time she lost and the end of 2022 came from out of state. There’s no way to know how much she’s raised since then as she daily ups the ante on her ridiculous charges, claiming always to have “new evidence.”

Me? I’m thinking that if a quarter of a million voters’ ballots weren’t counted, we might have heard from at least one or two of them, or 10,000 or 100,000. Surely, they’d be storming the ramparts over at Maricopa County HQ, pitchforks in hand.

Instead, the silence is deafening. Not so much as a single voter showed up to testify at Lake’s trial about being denied his or her right to vote.

Instead, the Kari Lake rally goes on

But hey, never mind. The grift goes on.

On Monday, Lake announced she’s having a Save Arizona Rally this weekend.

“Arizona, WE ARE STILL IN THIS FIGHT. Join @KariLake this SUNDAY & show the world just how resilient the people of Arizona truly are. Unite for Election Integrity,” she tweeted. “Celebrate our extraordinary movement. Help Us Save State 48. #Karizona”

No doubt, collection boxes will be on hand.

But what is she really rallying for, other than more of your money?

Reach Roberts at laurie.roberts@arizonarepublic.com. Follow her on Twitter at @LaurieRoberts.

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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kari Lake's election campaign may be over, but the grift goes on