Kari Lake lost – again – before a judge who probably never intended to judge her case fairly. So yesterday (May 23) she held a press conference in which she vowed to fight on. But that fight will not include a Senate run, and probably not include a Vice-Presidential run, either. Instead she announced “the largest ballot chasing operation in history,” while teasing further appeals, the nature of which she refused to specify. But not because she has no channels of appeals – but because one does not usually announce such things in advance. More to the point, she comported herself well, and had the support of the attendees – though not of the media.
Where Kari Lake stands
On Monday afternoon, shortly before the close of business, Judge Peter A. Thompson of the Superior Court of Arizona for Maricopa County ruled against Kari Lake. (See CNAV’s earlier article.) In his six-page ruling he seemed to say that whatever a county recorder says, goes. Courts, he said, may not interfere, and to rule otherwise would violate separation of powers. Moreover he said the legislature set no minimum standard of time to review a signature for verification. In fact he officially found that “a casual glance” suffices for signature verification, according to law.
Rachel Alexander, reporter for the Arizona Sun-Times, took pointed exception to the ruling.
Calling the ruling “a travesty of justice,” she expressed confidence that the Arizona Supreme Court would “not let all of it stand.” In a column she wrote yesterday, she explained that Judge Thompson set too high a bar for proof sufficient to invalidate the election. Neither statute nor case law requires one contesting an election to prove actual and decisive misconduct. Yet that is what Judge Thompson required. Nor is this the first time; he did this also in the first trial, shortly after the election. Every relevant precedent seems to say, “actual fraud is not a necessary element,” or words to that effect. But Judge Thompson demanded a showing of actual fraud.
Clearly he never intended to be The Judge Who Threw Out An Election.
The press conference
Rachel Alexander did not know – at the time – whether Kari Lake would appeal further. But that was before the press conference, which occurred fifty-five minutes after her column appeared.
She declined to announce any Senate run next year, and said nothing at all about being Donald Trump’s running mate. Kari Lake did, however, promise to appeal. Along that line she said her lawyers were looking at “several” avenues of appeal. She declined to say which avenue she would pursue first. But she confirmed that she would go to the United States Supreme Court, if necessary.
Obviously she would exhaust any State remedy that remains open. Perhaps legacy media are not willing even to speculate on what remedies remain open at State level.
But the other big announcement drew all the attention. Kari Lake announced what she called “the largest, most extensive ballot chasing operation in history.”
The influencer Maximus Knight teased out further details:
CNAV can confirm this. Yes, she will register everyone eligible who is not already registered. Further, she will use the Permanent Mail-in Ballot List and track down every voter on it. But she did not say that she would take ballots from voters and hand-deliver them. Instead she will remind the voters involved to fill out their ballots, sign them, and mail them – or arrange hand-delivery. Encouraging voters to do these things on their own, distinguishes ballot chasing from ballot harvesting.
These users shared video clips and other details.
One of the first questions any reporter asked, concerned the security of electronic voting machines. At this, another member of the Kari Lake team, identified as “Marisa,” told her story. This “Marisa” was the official Republican Party of Arizona observer for voting machine certification. And the points she made were sobering:
- The name of the electronic voting machine vendor is Dominion Voting Systems. Yes, that Dominion, whose CEO is very much afraid of going out of business, eventually.
- “Marisa” called it “a vendor-driven, glorified sales demo[nstration].”
- The machines failed the tests before lunch. Then when everyone came back from lunch, someone had changed the testing protocol. So that now the machines passed.
Kari Lake also revealed that she has no income, and is living off her savings. She said this in response to a canard that someone was paying her. Lake also acknowledged that she had the funds to continue the campaign, and thanked small contributors nationwide for making that possible. Though she also made another point: that certain “powerful people” have offered her, in effect, blank checks to get lost. And she consistently refuses.
Kari Lake tells a reporter: “You’re on the wrong side of history.”
She also directly confronted Reporter Brahm Resnik of KPNX-TV (Channel 12, NBC, Phoenix, Arizona). Her tone, and that of Resnik, showed clearly that these two have a history. Resnik began first by asking whether she would stick with her legal team, after losing twice; Lake, undeterred, said yes. She spoke of a corrupt judicial system, so Resnik asked whether her lawyers were part of that corruption. Lake said, no. Then she recounted Resnik’s coverage of a rally at Arizona State University, of mothers “wanting to get our students out of masks.” Resnik, Lake charged, was “rooting” for masks to remain in place. “You’re on the wrong side of history,” she said. “And I remember you distinctly that day, because you refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance and put your hand over your heart.”
That provoked angry murmurs, as Kari Lake went on, “So that’s what we’re dealing with.” Then she held up a hand for silence, and the crowd quieted. That’s when the argument began:
Resnik: I remember, and…
Lake: And I’m keeping … let me answer the question…
Resnik: No, I remember that day. And you keep making [stuff] up,…
Except that he didn’t say, “stuff.” At that, the crowd shouted at him, perhaps calling on him to mind his language in front of children. “I am not making anything up,” Kari Lake continued. But she did not castigate him for his foul language, nor return to his refusal to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. Instead she returned to why masks were unhealthy, and Resnik was “cheerleading” for masks. And similarly, he was “cheerleading” for a sloppy election, she said.
Throughout her press conference she maintained her poise – and kept her head while a reporter clearly lost his. This should give the lie to the canards she draws (and that Trump draws, too), of being non compos mentis. In evaluating any reaction she or Trump gets, remember that one’s philosophy of government – and feelings of nationalism on one hand, and internationalism on the other – will color that person’s opinions.
Rachel Alexander is correct; the ruling by Judge Thompson makes zero sense. An official court finding that signatures need take only a casual glance to verify, demeans the court that makes it. Once again we’re back to Actress Mae West saying that, far from endeavoring to show contempt for a court, she is in fact endeavoring to conceal it. Every lawyer worth the mahogany paneling in his office suite is familiar with that dialogue.
Rise of the Machines
Her proposed “ballot chasing” operation might be the only way to win. But it could also be the final true test of what crooked County Recorders are capable of, or how far they’re willing to go. (Leopold and Loeb missed their calling; election fraud, not murder, is the True Test of the Superior Intellect.) Electronic voting machines remain a problem – and Dominion Voting Systems has the worst reputation. That explains why the Arizona Legislature tried to outlaw all such machines, except those built in America from American parts, and with properly verified software. Katie Hobbs vetoed that law. Now the Arizona solons hope to enforce it anyway, at the Federal level, using the “Time, Place and Manner” Clause of the U.S. Constitution.
But they can’t enforce it at State level. So much depends on how the State will process those ballots.
Then again, the repeated calls and follow-up visits that ballot chasing entails, might provoke the final confrontation. Surely the reception by voters of such visits should be more accurate than any poll. If that’s not enough to decide an election, that will prove her right and Hobbs, Thompson, Resnik, et al., wrong.
Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.
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