Northern California congressman under fire for stance on Texas election lawsuit

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale) has garnered criticism in his California district for joining House Republicans who backed a Texas lawsuit asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.
The lawsuit attacking four states Biden won (Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin) was headed by Attorney General of Texas Ken Paxton with support from 18 Republican attorneys general and 126 Republican members of Congress, including House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy. It was subsequently thrown out by the Supreme Court on Friday after it was determined the claims failed to withstand basic scrutiny.
The suit’s dismissal marked the second time in one week the Supreme Court rebuffed Republican requests that it get involved in the 2020 election, which culminated in Biden handily winning the Electoral College voting Monday.
LaMalfa has continued to cast doubt on the 2020 election process and results using his social media accounts, posting on Facebook and Twitter that election results pointed to a “fraudulent outcome,” referring to “reports we’ve seen,” without citing specific evidence. He has continued to echo statements made by President Trump about “ballot harvesting,” despite many of these allegations having been misproven or thrown out of court due to insufficient evidence.
An interview with CNN’s Chris Cuomo also generated criticism of LaMalfa for refusing to give specific evidence on why he backed overturning the election in four states.
On Monday, LaMalfa called Cuomo “a hostile host.”
”He was trying to get me to answer the questions the way he thought about it … different from the way I thought about it,” he said.
LaMalfa added Monday he stands by the amicus brief effort to contest the four states’ switch to mail-in elections. However, he admitted the Supreme Court’s ruling (that Texas does not have the legal right to sue those states without demonstrating ”a judicially cognizable interest in the manner in which another state conducts its elections”) showed “It (the lawsuit) was probably not going to be successful.”
”It was I suppose kind of a long shot, but it did legitimately ask the question of, did these states conduct change to the election process legitimately,” he said.
He has backed a separate bill to change “safeguards around the ballot collecting process,” joining Congressman Bob Gibbs (OH-07), and Congressman Ted Budd (NC-13) on H.R. 8815, the Election Certainty Act. The legislators say the goal is change requirements for mail-in voting.
”If Americans don’t trust the way ballots are counted, they will never trust the outcome of the election and we cannot move forward,” LaMalfa said. ”Why can’t we have election results on election night or within a few days in the closest of races?”
However, he added Monday he’s not contesting the election in California (or his own district) because he thought the state legislature handled the process correctly.
”What California did right was affirm the governor’s executive order with a state legislature action,” he said.
For this reason, he has not discounted the results of the local race in District 1 where he beat Audrey Denney in the race to retain his seat in Congress.
In Butte County, where Denney did win the vote over LaMalfa, many locals are reacting with concern over the way LaMalfa represented the district in backing an effort to contest other states’ election processes and votes.
Corresponding secretary for the Butte County Democratic Party, Bill Monroe (who is also District 1 and District 3 regional director for the California Democratic Party) said he thinks LaMalfa’s involvement was “an act of sedition, joining 126 to overthrow our government.”
”That’s not how democracy works, that’s how an authoritarian dictatorship works,” he said. ”Thank God for the Supreme Court for throwing it out without giving this any credence at all.’
”I think it was a criminal act, as close to treason as you can get.”
Of the 126 Congress members who supported the lawsuit, Monroe said, “We should all remember their names. They have no business being reelected.”
Two Butte County supervisors differed in their opinion of LaMalfa’s action.
”Even our Congressman should be free in seeking redress for perceived violation of laws,” Supervisor Doug Teeter said.
Supervisor Debra Lucero disagreed — ”I found it telling that out of 126 members of Congress that signed onto Trump’s case to disenfranchise millions of voters, only one – our Congressman would appear in public on CNN to tell why he supported this anti-democratic act; his performance was less than stellar.”
”He and his cronies may be self-described “friends of the court” but they are enemies of democracy and are literally tearing at the fragile edges of our nation,” Lucero added.
Chico’s Bob Mulholland, a senior advisor for the California Democratic Party, added support from Republicans may continue as a way to continue to side with Trump.
”When polls show X numbers of Republicans state that Trump was the real winner, some are just saying that to show their loyalty to Trump but they would not bet $5 on it,” Mulholland said. ”Politically I was glad that Congressman LaMalfa joined the Texas legal challenge to the U.S. Supreme Court because historians will record that while Trump was screaming in the White House, all nine judges of the Supreme Court sided with Biden.
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”Thus, I thank LaMalfa for helping making it clear to all Americans and the World that Joseph Biden is the duly elected next President of the United States.”
LaMalfa commented on the certification of election results Monday that it is “one important step closer” to completing election results. But he said he thinks the election is not “complete” until Jan 6, when he will participate in the House of Representatives and the Senate to formally tabulate electoral votes and raise any concerns about the results (which some Republicans have already stated could result in one last effort to turn the election for Trump by objecting to the election results).
“I have a role in that, on Jan. 6,” he said.
This story contains reporting from the Associated Press.

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