OPINION: House Speaker Rusty Bowers appoints a newly elected legislator who specializes in internet disinformation campaigns to the No. 2 post on the panel that oversees elections. Genius plan.
By Laurie Roberts | Arizona Republic
(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussion purposes only.)
The newly elected legislator who ran what amounts to an internet troll farm — paying teens to post conservative talking points and baseless conspiracy theories aimed at getting President Donald Trump re-elected — has been appointed to the state House committee that oversees elections.
House Speaker Rusty Bowers this week not only appointed incoming Rep. Jake Hoffman to the House Government and Elections Committee, he made this minister of disinformation the panel’s vice chairman.
The Washington Post in September exposed Hoffman’s Rally Forge, a digital marketing firm that paid teenagers, some of them minors, to set up fake personas and blanket social media with thousands of nearly identical posts aimed at undermining confidence in the validity of election and downplaying the impact of COVID-19.
Their posts, often replies to news stories, created the appearance of a social media groundswell of youth support for conservative causes but actually were slightly edited comments lifted from a shared document, according to the Post.