Kari Lake's trip to Mar a Lago yesterday may have been for more than just schmoozing. Caroline Wren was a major fundraiser for the Jan. 6 rally, and has now popped up as the gubernatorial candidate's "Senior Advisor", and is spreading inaccurate information about last week's election.
Wren was intimately involved with the planning for the Trump campaign's January 6 events in 2021, and boasted that she had raised $3M to support the rally portion. Her appearance on Steve Bannon's show yesterday as Lake's Senior Advisor raises all kinds of questions about how the former newscaster is going to contest the November 8 results. (Lake is currently more than 16,000 votes behind Democratic nominee Katie Hobbs, and is a few thousand votes short of receiving an automatic recount.)
Wren's involvement came to light as the nationally-known Rasmussen organization repeated some of her comments as facts (without attribution). Upon questioning by Arizona's Law, they linked the Wren video as their "source".
Wren stated that she had inside information that "48% of voting centers encountered tabulation problems on Election Day, when voters voted for Kari Lake 3-to-1", after "0% of the voting centers encountered tabulation problems" during the Early Voting period that began October 12.
This is an inaccurate claim in several different ways. First, 48% is a gross overstatement of the Maricopa County E-Day problem. 70 of the 223 Vote Centers is far less than 48%. Each center had two tabulators, so even if only one was having problems (which does not make sense if the problem was the printers' settings), that Vote Center was still able to tabulate ballots.
A bigger misleading statement was her comparison to the Early Voting period. In person ballots printed at those 12 27-day sites or the 43 12-day sites were NOT tabulated at the Vote Centers. As any person who voted then - and they were Democrats and Republicans - will tell you, those ballots were placed in signed envelopes and sent to the County for verification and tabulation (on significantly different tabulating machines).
Wren is a former national finance adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign, and previously worked for Sen. Lindsey Graham and Utah Governor Jon Huntsman. She has been subpoenaed by the House January 6 Select Committee.
It has been reported that, at the infamous command center meetings on January 5 (2021) at the Willard Hotel, Wren boasted that she had raised $3M for the Jan. 6 rally and had "parked" monies with Turning Point, the Republican Attorneys General Association and others to support it.
Wren may not have raised money on Bannon's show yesterday, but the host did warn/predict that Lake is "a fighter" and her campaign is going to do something "more aggressive". Wren agreed and immediately noted "the courts are not on our side."
The implication was left unsaid, but Kari Lake promptly tweeted the interview with the comment, "Caroline gets it."
Her most irony-filled statement was when she leveled the accusation against the County: "It's either total incompetence, or it's malice."
The full interview - complete with misleading and false statements - is here.
This article was reported by AZ Law founder Paul Weich. Paul was running for a seat in Arizona's House of Representatives.
"AZ Law" includes articles, commentaries and updates about opinions from the Arizona Supreme Court, U.S. Supreme Court, as well as trial and appellate courts, etc. AZ Law is founded by Phoenix attorney Paul Weich, and joins Arizona's Politics on the internet.