From Saturday's New York Times:
The article begins with WV Secretary of State Mac Warner’s early praise from his fellow state secretaries. It then explains how that has changed since the 2020 presidential election:
But some of them have been more reluctant to praise him since December 2020, when he climbed onstage at a rally outside the State Capitol in Charleston the month after Donald J. Trump lost the presidential election, holding up a sign that said “STOP THE STEAL.”
“It’s so important to keep him in office,” Mr. Warner, speaking of Mr. Trump, told an interviewer from Right Side Broadcasting Network at the rally.
I wrote about it here and included the following pictures of Warner at the "Stop the Steal" rally.
The Times article then discusses how most of the state secretaries tried to remedy the problem:
At a meeting of the National Association of Secretaries of State in August 2021, in response to a wave of highly partisan reviews billed as “audits” of the 2020 election results, a group of four Republican and four Democratic secretaries of state drew up a resolution setting clear standards for audits.
And guess who was among the dissenters?
The measure passed unanimously with the exceptions of Mr. Warner, who voted against it, and Mr. Ashcroft, who abstained, and shortly after that left the association entirely in protest of the measure, which he argues violated the group’s bylaws.
Of course, all we ever get from our local Ogden papers is Warner op-eds and editorials telling us what a great job Warner is doing. (He's an Ogden favorite.) Not surprising, the local papers have never mentioned his Trump-election partisanship. Instead, we see material like this weekend’s op-ed from Warner:
When Officials Follow Law, Election Confidence Ensues
In it, Warner does what he usually does when discussing the supposed 2020 election fraud – he creates a straw man and then begs the question:
I’m bothered when I hear people remark, “Well, there wasn’t enough fraud to change the outcome of the election.” The remark insinuates that we can tolerate some fraud, or that irregularities are acceptable.
I'm sorry, Mr. Secretary, no one is saying that there wasn't enough fraud to matter. More importantly, his statement assumes that there was fraud and yet Warner has never demonstrably presented any proof. I think the sad part for our democracy is that Warner has been given a pass by most West Virginia media.
There has been a few notable exceptions, however. In late August, the Morgantown Dominion Post ran the following editorial:
Secretary Warner is peddling Big Lie Lite
How disappointing to see West Virginia's top election official, Secretary of State Mac Warner, peddling sugar-coated election fraud conspiracies.
The long editorial refuted Warner’s complaints one-by-one and then concluded:
The 2020 election is over. There was no rampant fraud anywhere. Trying to sell the Big Lie Lite does nothing but undermine American democracy.
If officials—from both parties—and media are saying "nothing to see here, move along," as Warner claims, it's because there truly is nothing to see here. Except perhaps sycophantic charlatans trying to pass off smoke-and-mirror illusions as reality.
In September, the online Mountain State Spotlight presented refutation to the legal underpinning to the independent state legislature theory, which is the basis for Warner's and similar claims. Finally, last week, J. Damon Cain in the Beckley Register-Herald wrote:
That the rest of West Virginia media treat Warner as a neutral observer is chilling; he is an obvious Trump supporter in what should clearly be a non-partisan office.
I totally agree.