Left-wing ASU student groups allege infiltration by Kari Lake campaign staffers

Jeremy Duda

Arizona Mirror

Five members of Kari Lake’s campaign team attempted to infiltrate planning meetings for an anti-sex assault protest organized by a coalition of left-leaning student groups at Arizona State University, the groups say.

Members of student groups grew suspicious after alleged members of Lake’s campaign made statements espousing conservative talking points and unsuccessfully attempted to emulate progressive ideals. They also aroused suspicion by making inappropriate comments criticizing Lake and supporting Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Katie Hobbs.

Students for Socialism ASU tweeted his allegations
Friday, saying organizations involved in planning the protest compared photos of the alleged infiltrators, who joined the coalition using false names, to photos of members of Lake’s campaign team on social media.

The alleged members of Lake’s campaign team attended several meetings organized by Students for Socialism, Sun Devils Against Sexual Assault, ASU’s MECHA, Students for Justice in Palestine, Young Democratic Socialists of America and El Concilio. The groups were planning a protest on Feb. 17 against what they say is ASU’s insufficient efforts to prevent or respond to sexual assaults on campus.

Daniel Lopez, an officer with Students for Socialism, said the five members of the Lake campaign attended several meetings without drawing attention to themselves, initially hanging around at the back of meetings and saying little. New people attend these kinds of events all the time, Lopez said, so nothing seemed wrong.

“Until someone opens their mouth, it’s really hard to tell the difference between someone who’s supposed to be there and someone who isn’t,” Lopez said. Arizona Mirror.

It wasn’t until an event on February 7 where they gathered to make signs for the upcoming protest that the organizers became suspicious. Lake residents began making critical comments about the People’s Republic of China, alleging that the communist country was trying to control the United States and was using slave labor. One of the five told people her pronouns were “she” and “it”, appearing to mock people who specify their pronouns in order to be trans-inclusive.

And they started talking about how they were big Hobbs fans and how much they didn’t like Lake, although the gubernatorial race was not a topic of discussion and nothing to do with the anti-sexual assault message that the organizations were trying to promote with their protest. One create a sign with the message “Hey, Kari students, you are not welcome here.”

The groups that organized the meetings have a more left-wing politics, Lopez said, and aren’t really involved in Democratic-vs.-Republican “cultural debates,” which makes the comments about the governor’s race stand out, especially given how context they were with the rest of the meeting. The groups began to suspect that the new recruits were actually conservative agents trying to infiltrate the group, perhaps with the intention of taking secret videos to discredit them or others.

“It’s really unclear what they were trying to do, because they didn’t do it very well,” Lopez said.

The groups delayed arranging additional meetings after this incident so they could decide what to do with the suspected infiltrators. Lopez said phone numbers provided by the five to reach the coalition’s internal communications quickly lead them back to their social media pages, which included their real names and identified them as members of Lake’s campaign. He said they also identified some of them as participants in a protest at ASU supporting Kyle Rittenhouse, the Illinois teenager who was acquitted of murder after shooting three people during a protest against a police shootout in Kenosha, Wisc.

Lopez said they suspect the undercover may have been trying to obtain incriminating Project Veritas-style videos. Rather than give them the option of getting an undercover video or claiming harassment from the groups, they declined to directly confront the undercover, instead announcing on Twitter what had happened. Lopez said they also hope to alert other groups that may have been infiltrated by the lake residents. A Democratic high school organization called Keep Arizona Blue Student Coalition has since said to have been contacted by the lake countryside workers as well.

“We can guess what they were trying to do, but we don’t really know what they were trying to do. It’s like a very scary thing when you’re…a bunch of clubs and organizations that have undocumented students, you have students of color, and you have students that face harassment on campus,” a Lopez said.

Ross Trumble, a spokesperson for Lake, said the five were not acting on behalf of the campaign when they infiltrated the coalition of left-wing groups.

“The Lake campaign does not condone any of these activities. Those involved will be disciplined internally,” Trumble said in a statement provided to the Mirror.

Trumble did not say how they would be disciplined or if they would remain on the campaign trail.

Three of the five did not return messages from Mirror. One of them immediately hung up when he was informed that he was speaking with a journalist from the Mirrorwhile the coordinates of the fifth could not be found.

Students for Socialism said two of the five students were ASU students and the coalition contacted the university administration alleging they violated provisions of the board’s code of conduct. of Arizona for students that prohibits impersonation, interference with university-sponsored activities, bullying and harassment. . Two of the others attend Grand Canyon University. Students for Socialism said the group is asking GCU, which is a private school not bound by ABOR’s code of conduct, to acknowledge that these two students violate several of those provisions.

Spokespersons for the ASU and GCU did not respond to messages from the Mirror.

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