In an unlikely twist of interstate politics, Sen. Rob Sampson, one of the more conservative members of Connecticut’s General Assembly, finds himself embroiled in an online squabble with Wendy Rogers, a far-right state senator in Arizona.
Sampson, a Wolcott Republican who perhaps more than any other Connecticut legislator raised the specter of voter fraud in the wake of discredited allegations of widespread fraud associated with the 2020 presidential election, pushed back Monday against claims he was not sufficiently committed to auditing that election.
“As a result of misleading reporting and the incompetence of a legislator in another state, I have had dozens of people – people who ought to be my strongest supporters and defenders – dragging my name through the mud,” Sampson said in a statement.
The dispute stems from a letter, posted last week by Rogers, which seeks an audit of the 2020 election results of all 50 states and compels any state where an “inaccurate election was held” to “decertify its electors.” Since the election, claims of widespread fraud have been dismissed by courts across the country and Rogers’ letter did not offer any new evidence in that regard.
The letter did include a list of 186 legislators who apparently supported the effort and one of them, allegedly, was Sampson. For his part, Sampson denied signing the document, saying his office corresponded with Rogers but never agreed to attach his name to the letter.
Rogers, meanwhile, is an active social-media user. On Saturday, she tweeted a photo of former Sen. Joseph McCarthy – who was censured by the U.S. Senate in 1954 for abusing a legislative committee during his notorious anticommunism crusade – with the caption: “Be more like Senator McCarthy. Get rid of the communists.”
Rogers responded to Sampson’s disavowal of her letter by promising to remove him, but on the social media site Telegram, she questioned Sampson’s election audit credentials.
“I took his name off of the letter. But now he has to answer to the people for why he doesn’t want to audit the 2020 election,” Rogers wrote. “He should WANT to be on the letter.”
In his long statement Monday, Sampson clarified that he too favors a nationwide forensic audit of the 2020 presidential election. He does not, however, favor Rogers’ conduct, which he called “ignoble,” “unethical,” and “dishonest.”
“Her failure to acknowledge that it was entirely her error shows that she is a reckless and dishonorable person,” Sampson said. “By further implying that I changed my mind and am therefore a ‘RINO,’ she proves that she is more interested in elevating herself at the expense of others than restoring elections.”
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