New evidence shows Kari Lake’s takedown of Arizona GOP boss was orchestrated

Published January 26, 2024

Opinion: Forget political intrigue. If the MAGA plot to take over Arizona’s Republican Party succeeds, a guy who regulates APS will be the chief fundraiser for the mostly broke GOP. Conflict, much?

On Jan. 23, Team Kari Lake leaked her now-infamous 10-month-old tape of state GOP Chairman Jeff DeWit’s clumsy attempt at bribery.

The secretly recorded, heavily edited tape that — depending upon your interpretation of the parts of the Feb. 28 conversation we can hear — amounts to either outrageous skullduggery or a state party leader simply trying to get a losing candidate to step aside so Republicans can begin winning again.

On Jan. 24, DeWit resigned, saying Lake, who is running for U.S. Senate, set him up to get control of the Arizona Republican Party.

Now comes the interesting part.

Was O’Connor ‘asked’ to lead AZ GOP?
On Jan. 8, Arizona Corporation Commission Chairman Jim O’Connor — the “ultra grassroots” candidate hoping to replace DeWit — received a legal opinion from the commission’s attorney, which begins thusly:

“It is my understanding that you have been asked to serve as the Chair of the Republican Party,” Wesley Van Cleve wrote on Jan. 8.

ABC 15’s Garrett Archer snagged the letter, which rates as a bona-fide bombshell. A source at the Corporation Commission confirmed to me that the letter was written.

It suggests that DeWit’s undoing was orchestrated sometime before Jan. 8, though by whom is unclear. And for whom. Lake late Friday endorsed — after former President Donald Trump endorsed — another candidate in the election denial camp, Gina Swoboda, who was Trump’s election day director in Arizona in 2020.

But given that Lake’s recording of her now-former friend was a secret until Tuesday, isn’t it interesting that a fellow election denier, O’Connor, was seeking legal advice roughly a month ago about whether he could serve both as Corporation Commission chairman and chairman of the state Republican Party? This, when the party chairman wasn’t up for grabs until January 2025.

Van Cleve’s opinion is that he can, that there are no legal or ethical roadblocks.

APS may do cartwheels, if he succeeds
APS must be doing cartwheels.

Consider the dots and how they line up:

The Republican Party is in a fundraising funk. Once the rent is paid, I figure there’s probably just about enough left in the bank to buy the fixins’ for a ham sandwich.

APS is a heavyweight in political circles, tossing sizable contributions to both Democrats and Republicans (but mostly Republicans) and wielding a considerable amount of influence in return.

The Corporation Commission that O’Connor chairs regulates utilities and soon will decide whether APS customers should be hit with an average of an 11% increase in their monthly utility bills.

Can you imagine the money that’ll flow to the once-Grand Old Party if O’Connor’s commission delivers that 11% rate hike?

That seems like the definition of a swamp to me … or perhaps a slightly stinky lake.

Unless one views betrayal and blackmail — not to mention waiting 10 months for just the right time to politically destroy someone — as somehow patriotic.

Lake has said she didn’t release the tape, that no blackmail was involved and that she had a moral obligation to expose corruption, though I haven’t heard her explain why it took her nearly 11 months to do so.



RELATED: Trump no longer coming to Arizona; AZGOP Freedom Fest canceled

The AZGOP Freedom Fest has also been canceled and so has former President Trump’s visit for the event.
Published January 26, 2024

PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — Former President Donald Trump will no longer be coming to Arizona this week, where he was scheduled to speak during a GOP rally Friday evening in Phoenix. The AZGOP Freedom Fest has also been canceled, an Arizona Republican Party spokesperson confirmed to Arizona’s Family.

Trump was scheduled to be the keynote speaker at the event. Other speakers who were scheduled to appear included Congress members Andy Biggs, Paul Gosar and Eli Crane, as well as U.S. Senate candidate Kari Lake, Abe Hamadeh, Charlie Kirk and Tyler Bowyer. Tickets to the event were sold through eventbrite, and a state GOP spokesperson says refunds will be issued.



RELATED: Arizona GOP Chairman Resigns After Leaked Audio Relaying Alleged ‘Bribe’ from ‘Powerful People’ to Stop Kari Lake

Published January 24, 2024

Jeff DeWit, chair of the Arizona Republican Party who is at the center of controversial leaked audio allegedly attempting to “bribe” Kari Lake into backing down — which even alludes to veiled threats from “powerful people” — is resigning from his position, citing an ultimatum from Lake’s team, which is threatening to release more audio of private conversations.

In a statement released Wednesday, DeWit essentially confirmed the authenticity of the audio, although he called it “selectively edited.” Throughout the lengthy statement, he expressed more outrage toward Lake — who he said was employed by his private company — for recording their private conversation than for what was actually said, and he claimed that his discussion was “transparent” and “intended to offer perspective, not coercion.”

However, throughout the audio recording, DeWit made it abundantly clear that the conversation “never happened,” which seemingly debunks his claims of transparency.

DeWit did not address the details of the recording, including the implied bribes and his own suggestion that something very bad could happen to him if he exposed these “powerful people.”

While DeWit said he intended to fight for his position, he said he received an ultimatum from Lake’s team to resign or face the release of a “new, more damaging recording.”

“I am truly unsure of its contents, but considering our numerous past open conversations as friends, I have decided not to take the risk,” he said, ultimately resigning “as Lake requested in the hope that she will honor her commitment to cease her attacks, allowing me to return to the business sector — a field I find much more logical and prefer over politics.” He also added that he still supports former President Donald Trump.

Further, DeWit claimed that while he said things he regretted in the audio, he believes he was “set up,” accusing Lake of orchestrating the “entire situation to have control over the state party.” He failed to explain, exactly, how Lake set him up, supposedly tricking him into relaying these alleged offers from “powerful people” who do not want Lake to run for Senate.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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