WASHINGTON — US Representative Liz Cheney was kicked out of Republican leadership today for being one of the only members of the Republican Party willing to tell the truth about the 2020 election. At every level of government, the GOP has chosen its path forward and is committed to supporting Trump’s dangerous lies that led to a deadly insurrection. If you need more proof than just the Cheney ouster, look no further than Republican statehouses. From newly elected Oath Keepers like Senator Wendy Rogers in Arizona to long-standing conspiracy theorists in leadership like Majority Leader Mike Shirkey in Michigan, who sits on state legislative Republicans’ national executive board, statehouses are full of extremists.
“Republicans don’t just have a leadership problem in the halls of Congress. Right now, several state legislatures are being run by conspiracy theorists and are passing policies that have the most impact on Americans’ day-to-day lives,” said Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee executive director Heather Williams. “At every level of government, GOP extremists have become the face of the party, bringing with them anti-democratic policies and no plans for making the lives of their constituents better. Instead of distancing themselves from right-wing fringe members, the mainstream Republican Party is embracing them and ousting their few members willing to tell the truth.”
Here are just a few examples of the radical right-wing lawmakers that are the face of the party in the statehouses:
- Over 600 Republican state legislators fanned the flames of the January 6th insurrection by spreading conspiracy theories or signing onto letters, legislation or legal briefs saying that Congress should delay or overturn the presidential election results. Over a dozen were present at the insurrection.
- Arizona Senate President Karen Fann, now infamous for spearheading Arizona’s election ‘fraudit’ and hiring a firm called “cyber ninjas” run by a conspiracy theorist, spread a discredited conspiracy about Georgia Soros funding a U-haul truck that dropped shields and riot supplies off for protestors after no charges were filed against police officers involved in Breonna Taylor’s death.
- Arizona Representative Mark Finchem is considered an extremist by the ADL’s Center on Extremism for his involvement with COWS and Oath Keepers. He also provided legislative assistance to a QAnon member. According to text messages, Finchem was in contact with Ali Alexander, the architect of the January 6th “Stop the Steal” event that led to the insurrection, to plan his speaking and appearance at the rally that preceded the riot. He’s an ardent supporter of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election and now he’s running for secretary of state in Arizona.
- Arizona Senator Wendy Rogers is a proud member of Oath Keepers and peddles the conspiracy theory that Trump won Arizona.
- Michigan Majority Leader Mike Shirkey advised militia groups on their “messaging” just months before a group with ties to the militia tried to kidnap and execute Governor Gretchen Whitmer. Shirkey was also caught on video saying the insurrection was a hoax that Mitch McConnell was in on, then apologized, then was caught on a hot mic saying he meant it. As the leader of Republicans in Michigan, he’s also spread the false claim that dead people voted.
- Minnesota Senator Roger Chamberlain not only thanked the author (“Bronze Age Pervert”) of a racist, neo-fascist, and misogynistic manifesto and attended a book club for the manifesto, but he also follows neo-Nazis on Twitter and openly defended the Proud Boys.
- Pennsylvania Senator Doug Mastriano appeared on a QAnon radio program where he spread election conspiracy theories and was present at the Capitol insurrection. He’s slated to appear at a Qanon conference and Mastriano is holding a fundraiser with disgraced former Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani later this week.
- The far-right Virginia Senator Amanda Chase attended the insurrection in DC on January 6th and called the rioters “patriots” before leveraging the event for her campaign to become the GOP nominee for governor. She also yelled at a Virginia Capitol Police officer after she parked in a no-parking zone and managed to call the Senate clerk “Miss Piggy” among other insults in the same incident. Her antics took a darker turn this year, with her calling for Trump to impose martial law and repeatedly downplaying the toll of the pandemic.
The Republican Party has chosen its future, and they’re going with the conspiracy theorists.