Rep. Chris Millis’ witch hunt against Secretary of State Elaine Marshall once again shows the hypocrisy of the current GOP. The party of small government continually uses the power of government to intimidate and threaten opponents. The silence of supposedly responsible Republican leaders gives a profile in cowardice.
Most of the Republican leadership knows the impeachment charges are bogus. They virtually admitted it in committee. Rules Chair Nelson Dollar called out Millis during an exchange when Dollar asked if any agency, state or federal, had questions about Marshall actions. When Millis tried to equivocate, Dollar said, “The answer to the question is no.”
GOP Rep. John Blust almost admitted it was a witch hunt. “I’m going to need something that meets a pretty high standard and proves substantial evidence before I’m going to go anywhere beyond just an investigation. An investigation could restore credibility. I’m not pre-judging this in any way.” Marshall’s credibility has never been in doubt. Chris Millis and his alt-right buddies are the ones with credibility issues.
Despite the obvious skepticism of GOP members, the Rules Committee voted along party lines to approve a legislative investigation since law enforcement sees nothing wrong. The vote was a profile in cowardice. The Republican members of the committee are more concerned with the reaction of their anti-immigrant base than they are about protecting the integrity of the legislature.
Millis is trying to smear Marshall. She’s served over twenty years as Secretary of State and no one has ever accused her of corruption. She earned respect from people of both parties for cleaning up the Secretary of State’s office when she took over in 1997 and keeping it a model of efficiency ever since.
Let’s be clear. The allegations Millis makes imply that Marshall was intentionally authorizing notaries who are not citizens for ill intent such as voter fraud. That’s tinfoil hat conspiracy stuff. The real issue is a disagreement on how to interpret regulations handed down by the federal government, not some impeachable offense. Even if Millis’ claims were determined to have some validity, they would be minor mistakes, not criminal actions. The whole episode is a waste of taxpayer money in an attempt to reverse the will of the voters.
Republicans running in gerrymandered districts are willing to indulge crackpot schemes to attack public servants to ensure they don’t enrage their base. Many of them have worked with Marshall for years, and despite political differences, know that she’s always been a straight shooter with the best of intentions. They’re catering to big government bullies while claiming to be small government conservatives. What hypocrisy.