Sunday, May 22, 2022

'Stop the Steal' Republicans Now Dominating State Legislators (VIDEO)

Wyoming's state Republican Party chairman isn't a particularly "stop the steal" guy, or at least not from what I read at the story from the other day, "W. Frank Eathorne Shakes Up the Wyoming Republican Party (VIDEO)."

But Eathorne's a Trump man through and through, and that goes for a lot of another state party political leaders as well (regardless of gender).

At the New York Times, "How Trump’s 2020 Election Lies Have Gripped State Legislatures":

LANSING, Mich. — At least 357 sitting Republican legislators in closely contested battleground states have used the power of their office to discredit or try to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election, according to a review of legislative votes, records and official statements by The New York Times.

The tally accounts for 44 percent of the Republican legislators in the nine states where the presidential race was most narrowly decided. In each of those states, the election was conducted without any evidence of widespread fraud, leaving election officials from both parties in agreement on the victory of Joseph R. Biden Jr.

The Times’s analysis exposes how deeply rooted lies and misinformation about former President Donald J. Trump’s defeat have become in state legislatures, which play an integral role in U.S. democracy. In some, the false view that the election was stolen — either by fraud or as a result of pandemic-related changes to the process — is now widely accepted as fact among Republican lawmakers, turning statehouses into hotbeds of conspiratorial thinking and specious legal theories.

357 lawmakers took concrete steps to discredit or overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. That amounts to 44 percent of the Republican lawmakers in those states.

23 percent took steps to delay the vote count or overturn the election by supporting lawsuits or by signing letters to Congress or former Vice President Mike Pence.

11 percent supported sending alternate slates of electors to Congress that would override the choices of voters in those states.

7 percent supported a legally dubious theory of “decertification” of the 2020 election, which legal experts say has no basis in U.S. election law.

24 percent of the Republican lawmakers voted for an outside, partisan review of the 2020 election (often referred to as an “audit”). The reviews have been used to justify new voting laws and efforts to decertify the 2020 election.

Legislators in Florida and North Carolina did not face as much pressure to overturn the election because Mr. Trump carried both states. In Nevada, Democrats control the Legislature, and though the state Republican Party pushed for alternate electors, no legislators took action...

Election and democracy experts say they see the rise of anti-democratic impulses in statehouses as a clear, new threat to the health of American democracy. State legislatures hold a unique position in the country’s democratic apparatus, wielding a constitutionally mandated power to set the “times, places and manner of holding elections.” Cheered on by Mr. Trump as he eyes another run for the White House in 2024, many state legislators have shown they see that power as license to exert greater control over the outcome of elections.

In an interview with The Times, Mr. Trump acknowledged that in deciding whom to endorse in state legislative races, he is looking for candidates who want state legislatures to have a say in naming presidential electors — a position that could let politicians short-circuit the democratic process and override the popular vote.

The Times’s review provides only a glimpse of the ways that state legislatures fueled the movement to deny and challenge the 2020 results. The analysis focused on concrete actions and did not include lawmakers’ posts on social media or statements they made in campaign speeches.

Some legislators who were among the most vociferous in their support of subverting the election have tried to use their 2020 efforts as a springboard to higher office, all while still pledging to further remove democratic guardrails...