Democrats love throwing political curveballs, but they always seem to strike out when one is thrown at them in return.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs is the latest Democratic politician to swing and miss.
According to KNXV-TV in Phoenix, Hobbs, who has been a vocal critic of Arizona’s ongoing audit of the 2020 election in Maricopa County, has been stripped of most of her duties by a measure approved by the Arizona House Appropriations Committee.
If these changes are confirmed by the full Arizona legislature and enacted as part of a larger budget bill, KNXV reported, Hobbs will no longer be able to defend election lawsuits, and she will no longer have oversight over the Capitol Museum.
As Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer wrote in a National Review piece critical of the audit, the purpose of the exercise is to:
“Analyze hacking vulnerabilities of both the tabulation hardware and software.”
“Verify that no malware had been installed to the tabulators.”
“Determine if the tabulators had connected to the Internet at any point before, during, or after the election.”
“Assess if any vote switching occurred as a result of the tabulators.”
It is true that challenges to the 2020 election (including eight in Maricopa County alone) have been universally unsuccessful in court.
Although there were inevitably isolated instances of fraud, there has been no court-accepted evidence to date indicating that the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, and Republicans, in Arizona and elsewhere, performed extremely well down-ballot.
But, with that in mind, there is zero harm in an audit. States are rightfully taking an interest in election integrity measures, and some of the shenanigans of pandemic-era voting should not be allowed to become permanent.
But Arizona Democrats are trying to spin the audit as a partisan witch-hunt. After all, they need to keep attacking Trump to distract from the numerous crises of the Biden administration as well as their own partisan infighting.
Elvia Díaz, a columnist for the Arizona Republic, referred to the audit in a piece last week as “nothing more than a Republican attempt to get [Hobbs] out of the way to keep feeding Arizonans lies about a stolen presidential election and deepening the public’s mistrust leading up to the 2022 mid-terms.”
Hobbs herself made similar claims. In a statement posted on Twitter, she wrote that “the fact that the legislature has singled out me and my office for these unjustifiable restrictions—restrictions that expire at the end of my term—make it clear what this is really about: partisan politics.”
“The most extreme members of the legislature think they can stop me from doing my job and working on behalf of Arizona voters,” she continued.
The problem is that Hobbs is not working on behalf of Arizona voters. Arizona voters, having re-elected Republican politicians up and down the state legislature, are clearly interested in conservative policies and ideas — like election integrity.
This seems like attention-seeking behavior by the secretary of state more than anything else. Perhaps Hobbs has her sights set on higher office, like Florida’s Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Chaos is a ladder, after all.
Republicans, in Arizona and elsewhere, should keep in mind that even though no current evidence has been accepted by courts the election was stolen, there’s nothing wrong with fighting for election integrity. If that means playing (perfectly legal) political hardball, then so be it.