The left attacks Kari Lake with a big lie about the Jan. 6 riot

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake labels the press "fake news" as she refuses to answer questions from the media after filming on the set of AZTV7 on Oct. 22, 2022.

One feels sympathy for anyone who outlives their own child. Gladys Sicknick suffered a great tragedy when her son, U.S. Capitol police officer Brian Sicknick, died following the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

One should feel only contempt for political operatives who exploited this bereaved mother, packaged her grief in a lie and used it to attack Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.

The liberals who play this game surrender all moral authority to call out conservatives on their lies, such as the now thoroughly debunked accusation that Democrats stole the 2020 presidential election.

These are not your typical Republicans

A group called the Republican Accountability Project, which, as Axios reports, is funded in large part by “people who contribute heavily to Democrats,” is out with a new political ad that features the mother of officer Sicknick pinning her son’s death on “people like” Kari Lake.

“Kari Lake is very dangerous for our country,” Gladys Sicknick says in the ad.

“She saw what happened on Jan. 6 and continues to spread the big lie. And we’re going to have more violence because of people who believe whatever she says.

“So dire for our democracy, our country with candidates like Kari Lake.

“My son died because of people like Kari Lake.”

Their political ad is a rank distortion

The ad is false.

And the Republican Accountability Project is unethical to air it.

Shortly after the riot, U.S. media, relying on unnamed federal law enforcement sources, reported that Brian Sicknick was struck with a fire extinguisher and died afterwards. That wasn’t true.

Eventually, the media corrected the story and reported that Sicknick did not die of blunt force trauma.

In March 2021, federal law enforcement accused two men – Julian Elie Khater, 32, of Pennsylvania, and George Pierre Tanios, 39, of West Virginia – of assaulting Sicknick with chemical spray during the riot.

Brian Sicknick died of natural causes

But in April 2021, the chief medical examiner for the District of Columbia reported that Brian D. Sicknick “suffered two strokes and died of natural causes a day after he confronted rioters,” as reported by the Washington Post.

Medical Examiner Francisco J. Diaz told The Post he found no evidence that Sicknick suffered an allergic reaction to chemical irritants or any internal or external injuries.

Sicknick “suffered two strokes at the base of the brain stem caused by a clot in an artery that supplies blood to that area of the body,” The Post reported. Diaz would not say if Sicknick had a preexisting medical condition, citing privacy laws.

In Kari Lake's campaign: Misinformation and deception remain hallmarks

According to The Post, “The medical examiner noted Sicknick was among the officers who engaged the mob and said ‘all that transpired played a role in his condition.’ ”

But that is a thin reed in which to base an accusation that protesters killed Sicknick.

As reported by The New York Times, the medical examiner’s office “attributes death to natural causes when it can be ascribed to disease alone and that ‘if death is hastened by an injury, the manner of death is not considered natural.’ ”

Again, the medical examiner’s office classified Sicknick’s death as “natural.”

The ruling makes “it difficult for prosecutors to pursue homicide charges in the officer’s death,” The Post reported.

Opposing the 'Big Lie' with a lie? That's Huge Hypocrisy

Who are the people airing an ad that falsely says Jan. 6 protesters killed Brian Sicknick?

The Republican Accountability Project is one of a number of groups “nominally connected to the Republican Party,” reports The New York Times.

Their major donors are Kathryn Murdoch, the liberal wife of James Murdoch, whose family owns News Corp. and Fox News; Gordon Gund, the former Cleveland Cavaliers owner; and Reid Hoffman, co-founder of LinkedIn, reports the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

All three have contributed significant dollars to the Democratic Party.

“Kathryn (Murdoch) emerged during the last U.S. election cycle as a major donor to the Democrats, tweeting “We did it!!!!” following Joe Biden’s victory, reports the Financial Times.

Gordon Gund and his wife Llura appear to be more moderate than Murdoch. They contributed heavily to John Kasich’s run for president in the 2016 Republican Primary before giving $30,000 to Hillary Clinton’s campaign in the general election, reports OpenSecrets.

Reid Hoffman has been contributing millions to Democratic candidates through his Mainstream Democrats PAC. He gave $1.45 million to the House Majority PAC, a super PAC backing Democrats running for House seats, reports CNBC. And “he actively raised money for President Joe Biden’s campaign and donated over $2 million toward super PACs backing Biden’s candidacy for the White House.”

Democrat duplicity is ripe this election.

This is the party that calls Trump Republicanism a threat to democracy and then goes out and bankrolls Trump candidates in GOP primaries with tens of millions of dollars.

Now Democrats and their supporters are happy to oppose Republicans and “The Big Lie” with a lie of their own.

You might call it “The Huge Hypocrisy.”

Phil Boas is an editorial columnist with The Arizona Republic. Email him at

This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Anti-Kari Lake ad speads a 'big lie' of its own about the Jan. 6 riot