Republican Arizona gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake has vehemently denied allegations that she hosted a drag queen event in her home that was attended by her young daughter after a Phoenix-area transgender stripper accused the staunch conservative of being a hypocrite over her vocal opposition to events where children are exposed to sexual degeneracy.
In what has all of the markings of a Democrat political smear campaign, the Arizona Republic published a story quoting Rick Stevens, a drag performer whose 25 year history of shaking his booty under the name of Barbra Seville at bars, theatres and private parties has established him as “one of the Valley’s best known drag artists,” according to the outlet.
“She’s friends with drag queens, ”Stevens told the paper. “She’s had her kid in front of a drag queen. I’ve done drag in her home for her friends and family. She’s not threatened by them. She would come to shows constantly. To make me be the bogeyman for political gain it was just too much.”
Along with giving his account to the Arizona Republic, Stevens also provided pictures of Lake standing next to a drag queen as well as from a costume party where Lake who is dressed up like Elvis Presley posed with another individual wearing a skeleton mask that Stevens claimed was him.
The day prior to the story’s publication, Lake slammed drag queens on Twitter.
“They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens,” she wrote. “They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow. They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies.”
“Let’s bring back the basics: God, Guns & Glory,” a tweet that was referenced in the Arizona Republic story.
They kicked God out of schools and welcomed the Drag Queens.
They took down our Flag and replaced it with a rainbow.
They seek to disarm Americans and militarize our Enemies.
Let’s bring back the basics:
God, Guns & Glory. 🇺🇸
— Kari Lake for AZ Governor (@KariLake) June 18, 2022
The hit-piece was unleashed as Lake has been making a strong showing in early polling for the governorship of the critical swing state, she has also been endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump which puts a big target on her back.
Lake punched back, accusing Stevens of not being honest while denouncing groomers.
“Richard’s accusations were full of lies,” Lake said in a statement to reporter Laurie Roberts. “The event in question was a party at someone else’s house, and the performer was there as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator. It wasn’t a drag show, and the issue we’re talking about isn’t adults attending drag shows, either. The issue is activists sexualizing young children, and that’s got to stop.”
After publishing her statement in fairness, the reporter corrected Lake, “Actually, a man dressing up as a female and entertaining an audience is considered a drag performance.”
In her report, Roberts writes that Stevens “says he met Lake in the late 1990s when she and some of her Fox10 co-workers would come to the 307 Lounge, a downtown Phoenix gay bar that hosted (adult) drag shows featuring Barbra Seville, Ms. Ebony, Pussy Le Hoot and Celia Putty, among others,” and that he was ” was sort of her go-to gay person sometimes,” for LGBTQ stories.
“Stevens says Lake invited him to her central Phoenix home to perform as Marilyn Monroe at her birthday party 10 or 12 years ago and later to do a drag routine at a 2015 baby shower for a fellow news anchor. He says he specifically remembers Lake’s young daughter at one of the performances because she wore glasses and he sympathized, having hated wearing them when he was a child,” according to the outlet.
One indication that there something may be a bit fishy about the story is how quickly that the allegations were amplified by ultra-partisan influencers on Twitter.
Trump-endorsed AZ Gov candidate Kari Lake, who has been railing against Drag Queen performances, has had a Drag Queen performer in her own house perform FOR HER CHILDREN! https://t.co/oTqDHvEjOL
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 18, 2022
Kari Lake is a fraud. https://t.co/Snas0b8uha
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) June 18, 2022
Kari Lake hanging out at a drag show in 2012. The Republican candidate for governor has recently attacked drag shows.
Caption: “Hanging out with ‘the girls.” pic.twitter.com/BrJwwobR4N
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) June 19, 2022
Lake’s campaign Twitter account was undeterred by the attacks, vowing to fight back.
When we fight back, we win!
That's why @KariLake will never stop fighting.
Keep the attacks coming.
It just strengthens her resolve to put #ArizonaFirst.
— Kari Lake War Room (@KariLakeWarRoom) June 19, 2022
Lake – who is running against current Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to replace Doug Ducey – earned the endorsement of Trump last year.
“Kari Lake is running for Governor in the Great State of Arizona. She is a fantastic person who spent many years working as a highly respected television anchor and journalist. Because of this, few can take on the Fake News Media like Kari,” wrote Trump.
“She is strong on Crime, will protect our Border, Second Amendment, Military and Vets, and will fight to restore Election Integrity (both past and future!) She is against Covid lockdowns, Cancel Culture, and will end “woke” curriculum in our schools,” he added. “She will do a far better job than RINO Governor Doug Ducey — won’t even be a contest! Kari will make her wonderful family, and the MAGA movement, very proud. Kari Lake has my Complete and Total Endorsement. She will be a great Governor for the incredible people of Arizona!”
In her article, Roberts doesn’t exactly view the drag queen shows as a detached, neutral observer, defending the Dallas event where young children mingled with transgender strippers in front of a neon sign bearing the obscene message “It’s not gonna lick itself!”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 5, 2022
“While conservative politicians were fairly fainting over what they called the “sexual perversion” of our children, it’s unclear what was giving them the vapors. In the video clip that went viral on social media, prompting all the outrage, the performers were clothed and the dancing didn’t appear overly sexual,” she wrote. “There was a neon sign that was rather risqué and a child was pictured handing a dollar bill to one of the dancers. But tipping a dancer doesn’t seem all that much different from tipping your garden variety street performer.”
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