ICYMI: Boos, lies and QAnon: Kari Lake hits campaign turbulence [Phoenix New Times]

“Lake was booed by Republicans, she spoke at a QAnon fundraiser, and her campaign lied about $75,000 in speaking fees.”

ARIZONA Kari Lake’s nightmare Senate campaign is made up of “boos, lies and QAnon” as reported by Phoenix New Times, summarizing Lake’s “wild few weeks” and “roller coaster ride” of “alienated MAGA supporters” and “failing to appeal to the moderate Republicans.”

In case you need to catch up on the last couple weeks of Kari Lake’s chaotic nightmare campaign for Senate:

Phoenix New Times: Boos, lies and QAnon: Kari Lake hits campaign turbulence

By TJ L’Heureux

February 8th, 2024

Key Points:

  • Kari Lake just had a wild few weeks.
  • The U.S. Senate candidate, Trump worshipper and sore loser of the 2022 election for Arizona governor orchestrated the very public ouster of the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. Her reward? Getting booed at the state GOP’s annual conventionThen, Lake’s financial disclosures revealed that her campaign lied about speaking fees. She fumed as the U.S. Senate worked out a bipartisan border compromise.
  • She ended the roller coaster ride in Prescott cozying up to QAnon conspiracy theorists for a fundraiser.
  • Lake’s adventures began when someone close to her leaked a March 2023 recording of Jeff DeWit, then the chair of the Arizona Republican Party. DeWit told the candidate that people “back East” were willing to make good money flow Lake’s way if she stayed out of the Senate race. The tape was released publicly by the Daily Mail on Jan. 23.
  • “This conversation never happened,” DeWit told Lake and asked her several times not to tell anyone about the “buyout.” Dewit resigned after Lake threatened to release a more damning recording.
  • At the time of the release of the recording, Lake herself was back East, hanging out in New Hampshire as former President Donald Trump won the state’s GOP primary and staying true to form by campaigning anywhere but Arizona.
  • Trump was scheduled to speak at an Arizona Republican Party event in North Phoenix on Jan. 26, but he bailed the day before.
  • On Jan. 27, Arizona Republicans held their annual party meeting and chose a replacement for DeWit… 
  • Then, when Lake spoke at the meeting, she was booed loudly by party faithful.
  • Is there a rift opening in the MAGAverse? KTAR’s Barry Markson and the Arizona Republic’s Phil Boas later speculated that the people who wanted to pay Lake to get out of the race are connected to Trump. The Washington Post’s Yvonne Wingett Sanchez reported that a fallout of key Republican support for Lake had begun after the debacle.
  • In addition, Republican consultant Lorna Romero Ferguson noted on KJZZ that at the same time Lake alienated MAGA supporters, she also is failing to appeal to the moderate Republicans she’ll need to win the U.S. Senate seat in November.
  • The DeWit recording ordeal was just the beginning of Lake’s wild few weeks.
  • A financial disclosure on Jan. 30, which was amended on Feb. 3, showed that Lake accepted $75,000 for seven speeches in 2023. That directly contradicted her campaign’s claim in November that Lake “doesn’t charge a speaking fee.” The campaign made the false claim after Lake had already spoken at the events.
  • The financial disclosure also revealed that Lake received more than $100,000 from Superfeed Technologies, of which DeWit was CEO and president during some of Lake’s two years’ advising at the company.
  • Phoenix New Times asked Lake’s campaign about her role as an adviser to the company but received no response.
  • Campaign finance disclosures also showed Lake at a disadvantage in terms of campaign funds. At the end of 2023, Lake had just over $1 million in cash on hand and $300,000 in debt.
  • Perhaps to rake in some more cash, Lake attended a fundraiser for her campaign on Friday organized by QAnon supporters Caryn and Michael Borland. The couple hosted her at their Prescott mansion. The Borlands also have contributed significantly to a Trump legal defense fund, according to the New York Times…
  • QAnon, a system of conspiracy theories that took the U.S. by storm during the Trump presidency and ripped families apart, promotes the idea that Trump was fighting off a group of Satan-worshipping elites who ran a child sex ring and tried to control politics and media coverage. The group attracted zealous followers and also promoted disinformation about COVID-19, the 2020 elections and Black Lives Matter protests.
  • So much for the moderate messaging Lake tried out in October when she formally announced her U.S. Senate run.

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