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Crybabying and bellyaching over the 2020 election has now entered an entirely new phase at the Arizona Legislature.
Oh sure, the 100 or so bills to “reform” Arizona’s election laws continue to flow forth to combat all that still-undiscovered election fraud – the stuff the Senate’s own auditors couldn’t find.
But now comes a new idea from the sore loser set: A plan to strip the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors of their power by splitting up the county into four smaller counties.
— Nathan Brown (@NateBrownNews) February 8, 2022
Three would be controlled by Republicans and one by Democrats.
House Bill 2787 is brought to you by none other than Rep. Jake Hoffman, R-Queen Creek.
Hoffman is well versed in deception
Maybe you’ve heard of this esteemed stateman. Before getting elected to the Legislature in 2020, Hoffman was running what amounts to an internet troll farm – paying teenagers to post conservative talking points and baseless conspiracy theories aimed at getting President Donald Trump reelected.
Hoffman’s Rally Forge paid teens, some of them minors, to set up fake personas and blanket social media with thousands of nearly identical posts designed to undermine confidence in the validity of election and downplay the impact of COVID-19.
In other words, Hoffman wanted to fool you into thinking these were real people spontaneously expressing deeply held conservative beliefs instead of what they were — a group of kids being paid to deceive you.
Speaking of deception, Hoffman went on to pose as a fake elector in December 2020, avowing that he had been duly elected by Arizona voters to cast one of the state’s 11 electoral votes for Donald Trump.
As he recently explained to The Arizona Republic’s Richard Ruelas, “In unprecedented times, unprecedented actions occur.”
Like, for example, plots to overturn democracy.
And now, his plan to stick it to the Republican-run Maricopa County Board of Supervisors for the apparently unforgivable offense of refusing to throw in with the conspiracy crew about the many, often fantastical ways in which the election was stolen.
Why do we need 4 of everything?
Hoffman didn’t immediately return a phone call to explain the crying need to break up Maricopa County, which is the nation’s fourth largest.
HB 2787, which is scheduled to be heard in the House Government and Elections Committee on Wednesday, would split it into four smaller counties:
Maricopa, comprised of much of Phoenix, Tempe, Glendale and Avondale.
Mogollon, covering north Phoenix, Scottsdale and Peoria.
O’odham, which is now western Maricopa County.
And Hohokam, taking in Mesa, Chandler and Gilbert.
The proposed counties are artfully gerrymandered, packing Democrats into one county and leaving Republicans to control the other three.
Caught wind of a Republican-backed bill to split Maricopa County into four new counties. Here's a look at what it would do, politically. pic.twitter.com/EbKdoecozb
— Leon Sit (@politicsmaps) February 8, 2022
Giving us four boards of supervisors where there now is one.
And four county sheriffs, four county attorneys, four county jail systems and four court systems.
Also, four county treasurers, four county recorders, four county school superintendents, four county tax assessors, four county health departments, four county transportation departments, four community college districts and on and on and on.
Not to mention the nightmare of divvying up responsibility for the county’s debts and ownership of its various assets.
All this, brought to you by ... the party of smaller government?
This idea should die, but who knows?
As for the impact on taxes, I shudder to think. (Unless I happen to live in O’odham, site of the Palo Verde nuclear power plant, which generates a substantial amount of county property tax revenues to help pay for stuff.)
Normally, I would say this bill has no chance of seeing the light of day, but do not underestimate the level of Republican legislative anger at their brethren on the GOP-run Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, the ones who dared to speak the truth when Republicans all around them were clinging to conspiracy theories.
Hopefully, House Speaker Rusty Bowers, and Mesa Republican and one of the few adults over at crybaby central, will consign this bill to the same fate as Rep. John Fillmore's proposal to allow the Legislature to simply veto the results of any election it doesn’t like.
But as Hoffman said, “In unprecedented times, unprecedented actions occur.”
Also unhinged ones.
Who signed on to Hoffman's bill?
Here are the co-sponsors to Hoffman’s bill to split up Maricopa County: Reps. Travis Grantham of Gilbert, John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills, Justin Wilmeth of Phoenix and House Majority Leder Ben Toma of Peoria. Also, Sens. Sine Kerr of Buckeye, David Livingston of Peoria, J.D. Mesnard of Chandler and Senate Majority Leader Warren Petersen of Mesa.
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Arizona election crybabies' latest plan: Split Maricopa County