In politics, it is usual to allow bygones be bygones after election day has come and gone. Jonathan Lines may have gotten himself and the AZGOP into some serious hot water by continuing a long-running fued with former State Representative Maria Syms and her husband Mark.
In a lawsuit filed on January 23rd, the Syms’ allege that recorded remarks by Lines show that he made a number of false claims, including:
“After the Courts determined that she and her husband had committed fraud, uh, in trying to take out another Republican by registering her husband as an independent, uh the Governor and I sat down with her to try to get her to change course and she wasn’t willing to do it, she wasn’t willing to work with any of the Republicans and she put the state Senate at risk, um and because of that, um, she was left off of those slate pieces.”
“She was uh, she was convicted, and she was ordered to pay in the case, she was ordered to pay over $70,000 of restitution to Senator Kate Brophy McGee.”
Of course the courts have never determined any such thing, Lines has to know that there is no fraud that can possibly committed by someone changing their voter registration in order to run in a general election, Syms was never convicted of anything, nor was she ordered to pay restitution to Brophy McGee.
Brophy McGee was awarded legal costs so it may be that Mark Syms might end up on the hook for the $70,000 that Brophy McGee claims to have spent on the various legal fights, but even if you set that aside as possible confusion, Lines’ other claims seem defamatory, deliberate, and dumb. If the courts agree, Lines and the AZGOP may be on the hook for a substantial amount.
Let it go Chairman Lines. That fight is over and while you may think you won because Syms lost her seat, the fact is that the Democrats won because they’re the ones who picked it up, along with three other State House seats on your watch. So maybe spending more time fighting Republicans in District 28 isn’t such a great idea? How about negotiating an apology and clear retraction and see if the Syms will let you and the party off the hook in return?