Maricopa County Board of Supervisors chairman Bill Gates, a Republican, has been forced out of his home by Kari Lake’s crazed band of conspiracy theorists.
Although Lake was declared the loser to Katie Hobbs on November 14, she is yet to concede.
On Saturday the Washington Post reported that another election official, Tom Liddy, had been warned by an RNC lawyer representing Lake that there were “a lot of irate people” there, adding we “can’t control them.”
Liddy took that as a definite threat.
Gates was also forced out of his home in the days leading up to the election, when Sheriff Paul Penzone told him there had been a credible threat on his life.
“Maybe I’d be more rattled if it was the first time I’d ever had to not sleep in my own bed because someone said they’re going to kill us,” Gates told The New Yorker soon after. “But it’s obviously not the first time.”
And it hasn’t been the last, as the supervisor has now had to go into hiding again.
Gates is a lifelong Republican – the kind who literally gave a speech praising Gerald Ford in elementary school. Yet that has not shielded him from accusations of favoring Democrats.
He first met with Republican wrath when he refused to fold to the pressure exerted by Donald Trump and others to hand Trump the county – and therefore Arizona – in the 2020 election.
Though the claims of cheating were completely debunked and multiple audits showed that the results were corrected and that Gates had handled his job with integrity, conspiracy-minded partisans continued to insist otherwise.
Gates shared his experiences before Congress last year, expressing his concerns about public acceptance of election results.
Hey @KariLake you lost, you fukn lost, you did not win, you no fucking question lost, you lost the election, by 20k, that ain’t close, losers lose and you lost, grow up.
— TITUS (@TitusNation) November 19, 2022
To try to preempt any false accusations, Gates and others installed numerous cameras and instituted procedures to make sure that no county in America would be more secure than Maricopa.
Everything they did was recorded on 24/7 surveillance cameras. But when machines at 70 of Maricopa’s 200 polling sites malfunctioned for a time, Gates knew the blame would fall on him and that accusations would once again be flung, despite the fact that a judge found no evidence that anyone was prevented from voting.
Like Trump before her, Kari Lake has built her following and her image by cultivating fear. As the election approached, she continually talked about cheating in order to create a “heads I win, tails you didn’t win” dynamic. Yet the atmosphere that this creates – that she has intentionally created – puts people like Gates in severe danger.
As the tweet below shows, she tries to make them targets.
These are the two most senior election officials in Maricopa County
They are running an Anti-Maga PAC
They spent the last 2 years lobbying against election integrity
They spent election day giving misinformation that disqualified people who listened from voting
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) November 17, 2022
Wouldn’t it be better, Kari, to just go cry in a room somewhere and leave these people alone?
Kari undoubtedly thinks Ross is part of the problem, but you can find him part of the solution. Find him on Twitter! @RossRosenfeld