It is, we are told, a “bombshell”. A stunning piece of political skullduggery that has shaken our fair state to its very core.
Luckily, the Arizona Republican Party is on the job.
Not even 24 hours after Katie Hobbs’ election as governor became official, the Republican Party is calling on Attorney General Mark Brnovich to investigate her supposedly nefarious dealings.
Cue state GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward:
“Two days ago a bombshell was dropped that Arizona Secretary of State, Katie Hobbs, pressured Twitter to remove posts while she was running to become Governor of Arizona,” Ward wrote, in a Tuesday letter to Brnovich.
The party is asking Brnovich to “immediately investigate” Hobbs for “directing a private company (Twitter) to suppress free speech.”
So, what treachery did Katie Hobbs commit?
Ward also wants the outgoing attorney general to nail Hobbs for illegally coordinating with Twitter “to take down a message she presumably viewed as detrimental to her campaign”.
“It appears that Secretary Hobbs, acting in her official capacity, using state resources, and at times in coordination with the Biden Administration, privately asked Twitter to remove posts on her behalf,” Ward wrote.
Naturally, Kari Lake supports the call for an investigation, declaring that Hobbs' "war on political dissent and the First Amendment has only just begun."
So what manner of mischief did Gov.-elect Katie Machiavelli perpetrate on an unsuspecting public? What treachery warrants such angst over at GOP HQ?
According to internal Twitter documents that surfaced over the weekend, Hobbs’ office notified the nonprofit Center for Information Security (CIS) about a pair of tweets containing “election related misinformation”. CIS then passed along the information to Twitter, which deleted the two tweets.
The circumstances behind those deleted tweets
Allie Bones, assistant secretary of state, says the two tweets were flagged because they falsely claimed that Arizona’s voter registration system is run by a foreign corporation.
“Is our entire election system foreign owned?” one of the now-deleted tweets asked.
So the tweets – which came from a now-deleted Twitter account that appears German and was set up in June 2020 – were flagged on Jan. 7, 2021.
For the calendar challenged, that’s the day after U.S. Capitol was stormed by the Trump mob and nearly five months before Hobbs announced her run for governor.
Why did Hobbs win?Her campaign team details victorious strategy
Bones said it’s standard procedure for government agencies and other organizations to report social media content that violates a platform’s terms of service.
“It’s the Secretary of State’s job to make sure that voters are informed about how to vote and how our election system works,” she said, in a statement. “One of the ways we do that is by working to counter disinformation online that can confuse voters.”
Or put another way, working to counter lies intended to sucker voters into believing there was a conspiracy afoot.
But it's all an election conspiracy, right?
According to Ward and the most delusional on the far right, it was all an orchestrated plot aimed at stifling dissent so that Hobbs could then march, unchallenged, into the Governor’s Office two years later.
“The SOS of AZ and Gov candidate, Katie Hobbs, used the power of the AZ SOS to collude w/ Twitter to unconstitutionally violate 1st Amendment rights of Americans for her own political gain,” Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene declared on Sunday. “This is communism and Hobbs can not be governor. I’m calling for a Federal investigation.”
"Staffers for the Secretary of State of Arizona, ordered by gubernatorial candidate and then-Secretary of State @KatieHobbs directed censorship through CISA...this is illegal,” Fox's Tucker Carlson proclaimed on Monday. “This is a crime. A crime against our democracy."
“@katiehobbs war on political dissent and the First Amendment has only just begun,” Kari Lake’s campaign tweeted. “Shame on all those who have refused to hold this petty tyrant accountable. There’s still time to do the right thing.”
Gee, and you wonder why the Republican Party lost every major race in Arizona this year?
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This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Kari Lake demands a Katie Hobbs investigation. That's bizarre