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OPINION

Why RINOs Are RINOs

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Matt York, File

A lot of scrutiny is on Maricopa County’s RINO leadership due to the botched 2022 midterm election, where four Democrats strangely allegedly won Arizona’s top races despite three of them being well behind in the polls. The Maricopa County Supervisors and Recorder have adamantly defended the integrity of the electoral process, despite hundreds of thousands of misdemeanors and countless anomalies which all coincidentallyhappened to favor Democrats, violating the Law of Large Numbers. 

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RINOs always declare that they side with Democrats out of “principles,” and attack conservatives for the exact same reasons the left does; the usual vague claims that they’re offensive, too extreme and unelectable. But their assertion of being principled is a smokescreen. Ever notice how RINOs are always well off, well networked and have been around a long time as GOP establishment? It comes down to follow the money and who they know, but they’re too dishonest to admit it. 

Much of politics comes down to funding, and since most people in politics don’t earn a lot of money, they are dependent upon Republican millionaires and billionaires. This includes all kinds of ventures in politics, not just running for office. Nonprofits and think tanks, media, even Republican Party operations are often funded by quirky billionaires with their own agendas, usually tied to protecting their money. 

Businesses are so heavily regulated by the government now that they can no longer be considered purely private actors. They receive subsidies and tax breaks in exchange for complying with woke policies. The Human Resources departments of corporations have long lists of rules and regulations they must comply with. Over half the workplace is employed by big business. So any money from wealthy businessmen comes with strings attached.

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When it comes to the Maricopa County Supervisors, much of their funding comes from the real estate industry. If you look at their campaign finance reports, it’s a who’s who of the homebuilder, developer and other wealthy related interests. Many previous supervisors have come from that industry, contributing to why they developed a reputation as RINOs. 

One of the most notorious was former Supervisor Don Stapley, whose ties to convicted felon and developer Conley Wolfswinkel caused even progressive publications like the Phoenix New Timesto criticize him. Wolfswinkel received $1.4 million from taxpayers over the stress of being investigated in 2013, yet when litigation from another shady land deal finally came to a close in 2018, he was ordered to pay $72 million.    

Supervisor Bill Gates is a member of the State Bar of Arizona, so with all the conservative election attorneys targeted with bar complaints around the country, it was clear why he came out loudly denouncing any election integrity efforts. That Bar has a reputation for going after conservative attorneys worse than any other state bar in the country. Gates also serves on the board of multiple nonprofits. A second election-fraud denying supervisor who is brand-new to the board, Thomas Galvin, is an attorney as well.

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Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer is another member of the Bar. He apparently wanted to impress the Bar so much with his stance asserting there is no voter disenfranchisement that he started a PAC for GOP election fraud deniers. The Bar doesn’t care that it appears to violate ethical rules by supporting candidates in elections he oversees as Recorder, what some legal experts say is a conflict of interest. 

Kari Lake could not find election attorneys to represent her suing over the botched election because they were too terrified of the Bar. In contrast, the left was represented by the most powerful progressive election attorneys in the country like Marc Elias. He proudly champions opposing election integrity lawsuits around the country.

Supervisor Clint Hickman comes from Hickman’s Family Farms, the largest egg producer in the southwest. Supervisor Jack Sellers serves on the GPEC International Leadership Council, where he’s taken trips to China to help attract investment specifically from China’s Jiangsu Province and their Z Corridor, making inroads with solar and renewable energy companies. GPAC is tied to multiple woke companies

The big money behind these corporations doesn’t want to disturb the status quo on issues like illegal immigration, since many of these companies employ illegal immigrants, which caused a real rift in Maricopa County several years ago. 

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When someone has been active in politics for years, they inevitably become friends with powerful, charismatic people who influence their viewpoints. This is how the late Sen. John McCain became so influential in Arizona. Many were threatened by him. He threatened me three times, and one time he was successful, because he threatened the career of someone I worked for, so I had to capitulate and remove a lot of my writing.  

RINOs are almost all wealthy, and they don’t want to lose that wealth. They have families to support and a lot to lose, unlike the rest of us deplorables who mostly come from the middle class. 

The RINOs’ behavior becomes a real problem when they cruelly smear principled people. Like the left, they don’t just limit their attacks to the fringe right, it now encompasses anyone who dares to take on the woke mob, whether Donald Trump or Elon Musk. Instead of being honest and admitting they have a financial or personal interest affecting their viewpoint, they destroy the reputations and careers of others. 

This takes place within the legal system as well. Judges pretend to be objective, but legal insiders know they frequently write their opinions to fit their predisposed outcomes. No one ever talks about this, however, since most of the people who are aware of this — attorneys — are prohibited by ethical rules from criticizing judges. Most state bars are mandatory and have adopted those rules, a double whammy since not only does that infringe upon free speech, but being forced to join a state bar in order to practice law — like a union — violates right-to-work laws in the states that have them. 

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So the next time a RINO gets all high and mighty talking about principles, follow the money and connections. 



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