Conservative Talk Radio hosts once supported the recounting of Arizona’s Republican elections.Now he warns the Republicans against it


Phoenix-based conservative talk radio host Mike Bloomhead is recording his morning show.

Phoenix-based conservative talk radio host Mike Bloomhead is recording his morning show at the KTAR 92.3 FM studio. (Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

Mike Bloomhead makes a living, but for a moment last week he could only sigh.

He continued to work, feeling a wordless resentment. We kept the listeners of his eponymous Morning Talk radio show up to date on the Maricopa County elections.The news of the day was coming soon Conspiracy-theoretic documentary What the organizers call an audit-but Bloomhead soon turned his attention to the officials who oversaw the scene of this development.

“You’re turning this into a show of clowns you’ve been accused of … … turning this into a sideshow of state fairs,” he said.

This was either a Democrat who was initially opposed to the recounting effort, or one of the many election experts who warned against a complete deviation from established auditing practices, or a Republican without Mr. Trump. Steal the party from the rule of the former president.

However, Bloomhead has voted twice for Trump, is a stubborn conservative, and supports this recount only once. It has been shaped as a reality check.

Bloomhead and colleagues are pondering how the story ends as the 2.1 million ballots cast seven months ago are being recounted for a long time. The most enthusiastic supporters of the recount believe that former President Trump will return to the White House (despite the lack of a legal mechanism to do so). Its most intense critics anticipate harmful precedents that will allow others to unfoundedly challenge the outcome of elections they dislike.

The increasingly loud share of Arizona Republicans sees recounting as a self-destructive act and creates albatrosses for state-wide candidates for a significant election year. Broomhead is in this camp, but another concern remains.

“One of the things we can agree on wherever you stand is that there’s a big wedge in this community,” he told listeners earlier this week. “That’s the worst of this for me. Part. This is another reason why we stand on the other side of the street and complain to each other. “

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Bloomhead, 54, in a Harley-Davidson T-shirt, sat in front of the microphone, put on earphones, and gesturing with her gaze straight forward. The unnatural pantomime was translated as a natural conversation on the air when the listener was taken to another recount riff.

“We are standing here. It’s June,” he said. “It’s June. It’s less than a year and a half before the next election.”

However, supporters of the recount are keeping a close eye on the last election.

Joe Biden won the state by a small margin, the result of which was immediately challenged by Trump and his allies, but they did not provide evidence of voting ineligibility or change. The Republican Maricopa County Supervisory Board has commissioned two independent audits to mitigate the fear of fraud. Both reports state that the number of votes is accurate.

However, Republicans in the State Senate demanded a broader recount, Hired an ambiguous company, With no experience in auditing this scale, leaders Promote unfounded theory The number of fraudulent voting machines stealing Mr. Trump’s votes.

Since recounting began at Phoenix’s dilapidated Veterans Memorial Coliseum, ballot security has been compromised, opaque procedures, and technical errors have been plagued by confusion.

next, Conspiracy theory — Look for watermarks and bamboo fibers that don’t exist on ballots, inspired by unfounded rumors about ballots airlifted from Asia. The organizer has granted priority media access to the far-right network OAN. Leading a grassroots fundraising campaign For recounting without disclosing donors.

The farther the effort goes Expert-approved best practices And the more unfounded speculation, the more Bloomhead lost confidence in its integrity. He tried to imagine if the liberal Democrats were pushing the same process, and if the two parties were reversed. It’s fair to admit in an interview that “Republicans will be insane.” I said that.

Senate Republican President Karen Fann said the recount does not overturn the 2020 election results, but merely to answer questions about the results and perhaps find ways to improve the elections. (Bloomhead said. He said his first support for the recount was to restore voters’ confidence in the system and never believed that the election was stolen from Trump.)

“Our voters, or voters, deserve an answer, whether they are legitimate concerns or not,” fans told the Times in February. Her spokesman said last week. I did not respond to the interview request.

Bill Gates, Republican Maricopa County overseer, said the apparent nature of the procedure completely ruined its intended goal.

“I don’t know how a person with the right idea can claim that what’s happening in the Coliseum is instilling voter confidence,” he said.

The review has no authority to change the 2020 results, and Trump, who frequently praises the recount, would have missed the presidency, even if he won 11 Arizona electoral votes. Nonetheless, according to reports from the New York Times and The Washington Post, at least some supporters and the former president himself see recounting as a step towards Trump’s regaining power.

Former Huntington Beach lawyer Kelly Johnson doesn’t just hope so. He must be. Arizona will be the “first domino effect” to overturn the 2020 outcome, he said, reflecting predictions driven by followers of QAnon, a routine Trump-supporting conspiracy theory.

Johnson said Trump was “not thinking about 2024” to regain the White House. “I’m looking at 2021 and I think something will happen by the end of this year.”

A man wearing a playing card shirt and a gun on his waist swings

Kelly Johnson has traveled many times from her home in Huntington Beach to Phoenix to help recount the Republican-ordered Maricopa County elections. (Melanie Mason / Los Angeles Times)

Johnson, 60, has driven to Phoenix three times to show his support. In the three-digit heat, he lined up his collection of Trump flags on an extendable flagpole, while other supporters relaxed in camping chairs under the canopy and surrounded by handmade recount signs. ..

Johnson will be back in midsummer, when the final report will be released, he said, taking a break while sunbathing at the taco store across the street.

“I think many of us know some of the consequences,” he said, but said he believed in the Senate Republicans if no scams were found.

Few of the toughest critics of the recount think the conclusion is likely.

“There is no scenario in which we can expect the Cyber ​​Ninja audit report to say,’There is no fraud in Arizona,'” said Katie Hobbs, Democratic Secretary of State for Arizona. I’m ready to cook the book. “

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Broomhead is not shy in his opinion. This is the essence of being a talk radio host. But as he begins to talk about his supporters of recounting, his footprint becomes significantly lighter.

“I don’t want to offend those who believe in this,” he explained during a commercial break. “I don’t think they’re crazy. I think they’re the ones who really believe the elections have been stolen.”

Every time he talks about people like Fan and Ken Bennett, former Republican Secretary of State who is the official face of the recount, and Coliseum volunteer voting inspectors, he intends. He struggles to praise him. Nevertheless, he receives heat from some audiences who accuse him of being prejudiced against his efforts.

The fierce internal conflict within the Republican Party is nothing new in the state. Political party activists have constantly clashed with the late Republican Senator John McCain, saying they are not conservative enough. For Bloomhead, the rift has resurfaced at its worst. Just before the 2022 elections, Arizonas vote in six state-wide elections, including the Governor and the US Senator.

“The division is about to reach its peak,” he told the audience, warning that full support for state party audits has ruled out moderate Republicans and independents. “And Without everyone’s participation … we’ll see the Democrats win the majority of these six important races. “

Supporting recounting is good politics for state legislatures in safe Republicans. A poll by Arizona consulting firm HigherGround found that more than three-quarters of Republicans support auditing. Winning that base of voters ensures a major victory and, in effect, guarantees re-election.

However, the same poll found that 55% of all Arizona citizens were against this effort. This means that this effort will push the state as a whole and constituency candidates may fluctuate in November 2022.

The recount has already spilled over to next year’s governor’s election, which Hobbes attended last week. A few days ago, Phoenix-based polling firm OH Predictive Insights pushed Hobs to the top of the Arizona authorities’ power rankings based on her growing popularity and popularity. The company’s head of research, Mike Noble, linked her surge to cyber ninja and her high-profile challenge to the Western Australian Legislative.

“Republicans continue to chin to Hobs in a political sense, and she continues to make a profit every time she chins out, which is common in audits,” Noble said.

Most Republican candidates running for state-wide public office have been largely silent on this topic for fear of alienating their party’s foundations and broader voters. Also, Mr. Trump said last fall. Doug Ducey is called Republican Doug Ducey, despite continuing to blame Trump for his presidential election.

“I’m disappointed by the fact that this hasn’t been called by other Republican elected officials,” said Gates, Maricopa County overseer.

As the recount prolongs, some Arizona Republicans are losing patience. The Maricopa County Commission, which has long opposed recounting, is intensifying its opposition with an unusually ferocious momentum. Former Republican Governor Jan Brewer said in an interview with Bloomhead’s afternoon responder at KTAR 92.3 FM, “The Gados and Chad Show,” auditors should “call it abandoned.” .. Two Republican State Senators have shown varying degrees of discomfort with the procedure.

In the best-case scenario, State Senate Democratic leader Rebecca Rios said these lawmakers would “regain sanity and work with Democrats to stop audits.”

But all the signs are that the drama is set to dominate the political situation in Arizona for some time. There are reports that the State Senate is considering yet another digital recount. The Maricopa County Commission is preparing to sue the State Senate, but anti-corruption group American Oversight is in court seeking public records of recounts.

And the total price issue remains unclear, especially as those handed over to the State Senate after Hobs told the county to get a new voting machine could be at risk.

This is what Bloomhead is afraid of — followed by tremendous headlines for months. It could be a great radio, but it might not be good for his party or his state. And he keeps talking about recounting, lamenting the blunder that happened, and hoping the officials will listen.

This story was originally Los Angeles Times..

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