So the Washington Post's pooh-poohing of '2000 Mules' gets a little comeuppance in Arizona

Election fraud is real. And there was a lot of it in the 2020 election. 

But the mainstream media in general, and the Washington Post in particular, would have you think that angry, Trump-deranged, radical Democrats, steeped in a "by any means necessary" revolutionary ideology, as well as long entrenched machine politics, would never dream of such a thing.

Unfortunately, (for them) yesterday's news from Arizona tells a different story:

Arizona woman admits guilt in ballot collection scheme

PHOENIX — An Arizona woman accused of illegally collecting early ballots in the 2020 primary election pleaded guilty Thursday in an agreement with state prosecutors that saw the more serious forgery and conspiracy charges dismissed and limited any potential for a lengthy prison sentence.

Guillermina Fuentes, 66, could get probation for running what Arizona attorney general's office investigators said was a sophisticated operation using her status as a well-known Democratic operative in the border city of San Luis to persuade voters to let her gather and in some cases fill out their ballots.

The Washington Post ran this Associated Press story, not bothering, despite its stable of well paid reporters, to report the matter itself.  The AP, based on what I could tell from a Google search, was the only non-local news outlet that did.  A few outlets cribbed from the AP story, but nobody else on the national scene put the hours in to cover the actual story.

Filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza felt a measure of vindication to see the story on the Washington Post's site:

The story itself was that a longtime Democrat operative engaged in "ballot abuse" or illegal "ballot-harvesting" and managed to plead down to some minor charges, admitting to some 12 ballots harvested and filled in by her, much of which was described in D'Souza's film 2000 Mules:

Investigators wrote that it appeared Fuentes used her position as a powerful figure in the heavily Mexican American community  [that's 98.7% Hispanic, according to Census records  -ed.} to get people to give her or others their ballots to return to the polls. Fuentes and her co-defendant were seen with several mail-in envelopes outside a cultural center in San Luis on the day of the 2020 primary election, the reports show. The ballots were taken inside and dropped in a ballot box.

She was videotaped by a write-in candidate who called the Yuma County sheriff. The reports said the video showed her marking at least one ballot, but that charge was among those dropped.

An investigation was launched that day, and about 50 ballots checked for fingerprints, which were inconclusive. The investigation was taken over by the attorney general's office within days, with investigators collaborating with sheriff's deputies to interview voters, Fuentes and others.

Although Fuentes was charged only with actions that appear on the videotape and involve just a handful of ballots, investigators believe the effort went much farther.

While the story unavoidably made the Post's claims of free and fair elections in 2020 look pretty skeezy, given that there was videotape, the AP story itself was pretty biased.

The AP's account focused not on the fraud that verifiably took place in that swing state, but on all the charges the prosecutors could not or did not pin on the woman charged, such as conspiracy, forgery, and paying voters for their unmarked ballots.  The AP concluded that it was just a little localized fraud, no major issue.

But there's no sign her illegal ballot collection went beyond the small-town politics Fuentes was involved in.

This is pretty naïve, given that just because a prosecutor cannot prove a charge, that doesn't mean that the problem isn't going on.  Election fraud, for the AP's information, is notoriously hard to prove, which is why so little of it gets prosecuted and so much of it winds up in films like 2000 Mules.  With election machinery welded to the political machinery, it's even less likely to be charged, given that prosecutors may fear political retaliation.  The dropping of the conspiracy charge in this Arizona case, for one thing, seems kind of ridiculous.  Why the heck would anyone stuff ballot boxes and collect ballots and pay off voters if it weren't for someone higher up in the political hierarchy?  Conspiracy seems baked in the cake, but it's possible the prosecutors couldn't prove whom this woman was talking to.

Instead of asking those questions, or asking the prosecutors why they weren't able to prove all of the charges they suspected, the AP idiotically concluded that the only possible reason for that outcome was that the Democrats didn't do it.

There also was some amazing naïveté about the style of the fraud described.  As Census information notes, the town of San Luis has seen a tremendous upsurge in population in the last few years.  It's 98.7% Hispanic, virtually everyone Mexican-American.  The style of the fraud was pure PRI-Mexico, in the style of Tijuana and Sonora state politics, which pioneered ballot-harvesting on behalf of what was once a one-party state known as "a perfect dictatorship" in the words of Nobel literature laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.  The buying of ballots, the collecting on behalf of a larger political machine, and the muscling of vulnerable migrants (only 44% of whom hold U.S. citizenship, meaning, a large illegal alien population is all but certain) pretty well says PRI all over it.  The AP didn't know about this stuff, which is quite likely, or, if it did (which is also likely), it certainly wasn't going to highlight it in a piece meant to inform readers.

But bad as this reporting was, the Washington Post's was worse.  Longtime national correspondent Philip Bump, who's known as the water-carrier for the WaPo's top management, pooh-poohed the whole thing in the post-2020 election scenarios as baseless and the work of "conspiracy theorists."  He focused on some inflammatory wording in his piece here instead of the substance of the charges and used that as the basis of his argument that there's no such thing as election fraud.  Again and again, the Washington Post took this line of argument.  In the Bump piece cited, he attempted to debunk the cell phone data that, along with video, pretty well proved that ballot-harvesting took place.  (Phil didn't mention the video.)  Comically, he mockingly placed an Arizona chart of the ballot-harvesting movements as his "proof" that nothing bad could be going on.  That, ummm, is quite likely the movements of the ballot-harvester who just got busted, or the other person who was similarly busted.  Bzzzt — kind of embarrassing now. 

Well, however meager, we are starting to see some charges now.  And the Post has a bit of comeuppance but, worse still, is behind the curve.

Image: Pixabay, Pixabay License image enhanced with FotoSketcher.

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