Legislative Visit to Arizona: Audit talk is about headlines, nothing more


The audit of 2.1 million presidential election votes from Maricopa County, Arizona which has been directed by the State Senate of the Grand Canyon State has attracted a lot of attention.

Most Republicans are cheering the effort; and most Democrats are squealing like stuck pigs, calling the audit an “attack on our democracy”. One wonders why there is so much fuss from the Democrats over the effort if they have nothing to hide. Indeed, their resistance does not make them look very innocent, but I digress.

The conservative media coverage of the audit was apparently too attractive for some ambitious politicians; attracting them to the Desert Southwest like moths to a flame. 

From our area, 33rd District State Senator Doug “Call my Office” Mastriano and 89th District Representative Rob “Me too” Kauffman travelled to Arizona to grab a few headlines of their own. 

Mastriano, who is apparently going to run for PA Governor as soon as God tells him to, was especially visible on TV outlets such as One America News Network and numerous conservative media sites, giving many of his groupies a glimmer of hope that Pennsylvania would conduct a similar ballot audit that just might change the results of the last Presidential election. Nice thought, but unfortunately, it probably will not happen.

This is where the Kabuki Theatre begins.

For those who may not know, Kabuki is a traditional Japanese art form that consists of singing, dancing and acting.  A Kabuki play is designed to create the appearance of conflict or of an uncertain outcome, when in fact the actors have worked together to determine the outcome beforehand.

In other words, it is lot of noise, movement and acting, followed by a predictable finish. 

The term Kabuki theatre has been used to describe political machinations for awhile now.  In this case, Mastriano and Kauffman assumed the role of the “good guys” who were on a mission to bring the Arizona vote audit back to Pennsylvania, something that most of their constituents want.

Of course, playing the “bad guys” are the Republican leaders who have continually said that they are not interested in auditing the results of any past election, but only to ensure that future elections are secure and fair. 

The audience, in this case the voters, are kept on the edge of their seats through the action, waiting for a great ending; but alas, they find out that the whole thing was a sham all along.

The first stop for Mastriano and Kauffman after getting home was their favorite watering hole, NewsTalk103.7 FM; or as it is now known to many, “Mastriano FM”.

In an interview, Mastriano and Kauffman indicated that the Arizona visit is “not about overturning anything;” but to help lawmakers “find out what went right, what went wrong; and how do we have better elections in the future.”

Will anything change?

If that all sounds familiar, it is the same type of politico-speak for the three-month sham hearings on election integrity held by the PA House State Government Committee under Chairman Seth Grove. The hearings, consisting of 31 ½ hours of testimony (a measly 10 hours per month?), produced a report that was underwhelming. 

One fact that does stand out from the committee report is that “Act 77 (the Oct 2019 election reform bill) burdened counties with an unsustainable election system; both financially and practically, as well as an impractical administrative timeline in the weeks prior to an election”.

Well, guess who voted for Act 77? Yep, Doug Mastriano and Rob Kauffman. So all their headline-grabbing appears to be a continuing attempt to deflect from the fact that they helped create the problem over which they appear to be so concerned.

Even the conservative media is catching on, as shown by a June 4 Breitbart article about Senator Mastriano entitled; “PA State Senator Championing Election Integrity Voted for No-Excuse Absentee Voting in the State”.

In addition to calling out Sen. Mastriano for his “I was for no-excuse mail-in voting before I was against it” position; the Breitbart article also questioned Mastriano’s statement that President Trump asked him to run for Governor; and that he would have his support, which was batted down almost instantly by Trump spokesman Jason Miller.

Election integrity

The integrity of our elections is much too important for political theatre and grand standing. Instead of deluding the voters with fake hearings and even more fake boondoggles to other states; our Republican legislators need to get serious and get to the bottom of what happened last November.

Here is a hint: most Republican voters already know, and they also know that when the legislature had a chance to do something about the election last year, they went home early for Christmas.

About the author


Dwight Weidman is a resident of Greene Township and is a graduate of Shepherd University.  He is retired from the United States Department of Defense. His career included assignments In Europe, Asia and Central America. He has been in leadership roles for the Republican Party in two states; most recently serving two terms as Chairman of the Franklin County Republican Party. Weidman has been involved in web publishing since 1996. He is publisher of The Franklin County Journal; has been an Amateur Radio Operator since 1988, getting his first license in Germany. He is also a past volunteer with both Navy and Army MARS, Military Auxiliary Radio Service; and is an NRA-Certified Firearms Instructor.

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