During Tuesday’s Jan. 6 committee hearing, Arizona state Speaker of the House Russell “Rusty” Bowers, a staunch conservative Republican, testified as to his experience being harassed by both Trump and his minions in the days and weeks before and after the Jan. 6 certification of the 2020 election. Rep. Bowers chose to honor his sworn oath to the country when he refused to pretend that the Big Lie being pushed by disgraced president Trump and others had any legal validity. He has subsequently been forced to step in and stop his own political party’s attempts to flip the Copper State’s constitution on its head.
The only disappointment in Bowers’ testimony is that Schiff didn’t ask the Arizona Speaker of the House more about the emails he received from Ginni Thomas, which urged him to throw away millions of Arizona constituents’ votes. Thomas is the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, and should probably be deposed 1,000 times for her part in the attempted overthrow of our government.
But Rep. Bowers gave powerful and righteous testimony as to why he chose to follow our country’s laws and support our Constitutional framework for a functioning democracy. The most emotional and powerful moment of his testimony came at the very end, when Rep. Adam Schiff asked him about the threats and protests his family faced because of his decision not to join in the attack on our government.
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Rep. Bowers spoke to the overwhelming number of emails and phone calls he received from Trump supporters, the campaigns with trucks and screens out front of his office and home with claims that he was a “pedophile” on display and “blaring loudspeakers” in his neighborhood, and all of the other dirty tricks we have come to expect from the Trump world of perverse projectionists. But he also revealed some of the profound anguish and emotional toll that these lies promoted by Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Ron Johnson, Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Jim Jordan, and many other GOP officials have had on his family.
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Rep. Bowers’ 42-year-old daughter Kacey Rae Bowers passed away on January 28, 2021, after a prolonged illness. She had been in the care of her 20-year-old son Lorenzo, as well as that of Speaker Bowers and his wife, Donetta. Bowers released a moving tribute to Kacey after her passing.
While Rep. Bowers was protecting the votes of Arizonans from the claws of fascists like Trump, his family was caring for their daughter. There are reasons to protest officials, and Rusty Bowers and most people on this website probably disagree about 99.9% of most policy plans, but we can all agree that every vote counts, and that in 2020, Joe Biden got more votes than Donald Trump.
The protesters out front of Rep. Bowers’ Arizona home were brought there by bad actors like Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump, by right-wing media outlets like Fox News and OAN, and by other GOP elected officials like Jim Jordan and Ron Johnson. Shame on them all.
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