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ICYMI: QPAC Continues to Come Under Fire For Elevating Election Lies As GOP Govs Commit to Joining

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The QPAC conference set to start on Thursday this week continues to come under fire for panels scheduled to repeat the dangerous conspiracy theory that spurred violent riots on January 6th. Still, GOP governors and candidates are committed to attending the conference – blatantly siding with extremists who push dangerous conspiracy theories.

QPAC’s “protecting elections” panels, which Republicans define as new laws to strip voters of their rights at the state level, sound straight out of a false Trump tweet: “The Left Pulled the Strings, Covered It Up, and Even Admits It”; “Failed States (PA, GA, NV, oh my!)”; and “Other Culprits: Why Judges & Media Refused to Look at the Evidence.”

Despite having zero evidence to back up their claims, Republicans apparently plan to continue stoking the flames of this dangerous lie. Trump’s own Department of Homeland Security declared this election “the most secure in American history,” and judges appointed by Trump himself resoundingly rejected his outrageous claims.

Even Republican governors, who certified the election results, plan to participate in the lunacy. Republican governors Ron DeSantis and Kristi Noem will be speaking at the conspiracy theory-themed event, as well as gubernatorial candidates Sarah Huckabee Sanders and Adam Laxalt.

QPAC and its advocates have been roundly criticized for their plan to undermine our elections:

  • Will Steakin and Libby Cathey, ABC News: “The Conservative Political Action Conference being held this week in Orlando, Florida, is shaping up to be an event that leans into the 2020 election conspiracy theories rather than rebukes them.”
  • Editorial Board, Orlando Sentinel: “We’re getting a new breed of 21st century conservatives, who, instead of focusing on economic policy and foreign affairs, obsess over fables of stolen elections and delusions of victimhood. […] A political clown car is arriving on I-Drive, driven by Sunday’s keynote speaker and today’s undisputed leader of conservatism — Donald J. Trump.”
  • Marc Ambinder, MSNBC: “What aren’t fair — or should be condemned as unreasonable and anti-democratic — are panels that work to further undermine confidence in the integrity of the voting system by perpetuating provable untruths.”
  • James Walker, Newsweek: “The subtitles for the talks vary but indicate that panelists are likely to take issue with state election rules, or allege that the November election was impacted by mass voter fraud in favor of President Joe Biden.”
  • Heather Digby Parton, Salon: “The excuse Republicans are using is that they must do this to ‘restore trust’ in the voting system — trust that was destroyed by the outrageous lies of Donald Trump and his henchmen. […] You can see how important this issue is right now by the fact that this week’s CPAC conference is featuring seven panel discussions on ‘election protection.’”
  • Philip Bump, Washington Post: “This week, Scalise will appear at the Conservative Political Action Conference, an annual gathering that has largely become a trade event for MAGA-ism. […] An hour after Scalise’s panel about violence on Feb. 26, CPAC will have a panel about ‘why we must protect elections.’ That will be followed by one about how ‘judges and media refused to look at the evidence’ of voter fraud.”
  • Dean Obeidallah, CNN: “Even CPAC’s schedule appears to be crafted to further Trump’s Big Lie. Under the guise of ‘Protecting Elections,’ the conference will feature seven panel discussions on election fraud and irregularities despite Trump’s own homeland security officials telling us the November 3 vote was ‘the most secure in American history.’ The titles of the sessions — if indicative of the content — suggest that speakers will seek to reaffirm Trump’s baseless thesis the election was stolen.”