Have you ever given any thought to how you would campaign if you ran for office? Not just boring stuff like “I’d spend more money on good communications and less on consultants that do nothing but suck money out of my coffers,” but more specifically–how would you engage with potential voters and convince them to trust you with their vote?
Personally, I’m a big fan of a modernized Pappy O’Daniel strategy: big events, radio, TV, social media, internet, etc. Like Pappy said, “We ain’t one-at-a-timin’ here. We’re MASS communicating!”
Other folks might prefer a more traditional method. Yard signs, targeted mailers, soft-focus ads featuring a golden retriever named “General MacArthur.” That kind of stuff.
Heather Beech Turchi, Republican candidate for House District 75 in west Little Rock, chose door number 3: find potential voters with Ashley Hudson signs in their yards and then berate and belittle the homeowner. Because nothing says “Vote 4 Me!” like laughingly badgering someone on their front porch, right?
That is…certainly an option, I guess. Not a good one–especially in a day and age when those video doorbells record the conversation–but definitely an option.
Seriously, though, I wouldn’t vote for my own mother if she came to my video doorbell and started berating me like some kind of over-caffeinated Kayleigh McEnany.1 So I have no idea why Turchi thinks this is a winning approach.2
Then again…I don’t understand a lot about Heather Beech Turchi.
Or, to be more accurate, I didn’t understand much about her. So, about ten months ago, we started a file on her and began researching. There’s a goodly amount to unpack, too. So, for this first post, I thought we would tackle it list-style. Without further ado, I present to you, the very attractive reader, The Top Five Nuttiest Things About Heather Beech Turchi:
1. She Got Banned from TikTok
I don’t know what it is about TikTok–I assume it’s the short-attention-span aspect–that makes right-wing loons flock to that app to rant about things they don’t understand in the least, but Heather Turchi was one of those loons, posting under the screenname @americanbabe1.3 And let me just tell you, her TikTok account was an adventure.
On the one hand, she loved posting lip-syncing thirst traps, and she even had some loyal simps who loved to jump in and stitch those videos, just to share cyberspace with her. That’s to be expected. On the other hand, though, she also enjoyed posting…um…more unhinged odes to her own lack of understanding.
Imagine such minimal understanding of communism that you think “whenever you have to show a piece of paper to go about your daily life…that’s communism,” while also being so sure of your ignorant take that you decide to record and post yourself actually saying those words. Gah. (Though, between the camera slapping and the weirdly chaotic message, I am starting to understand where her front porch strategy came from!)
Not that this was her only video that was too dumb to ignore. A TikTok account called @goodtrouble_ spotted one of Heather’s videos a while back and did his own tremendous reaction video.
“Given the hence, soy boy betas.”
If someone says that to you, in any context other than mocking Heather Turchi, please have that person checked out. They’re either suffering from a head injury or a stroke.
Unfortunately for our mockery purposes–but fortunately for the folks on TikTok who don’t have to hear her insanity on that app any longer–it appears that Turchi was banned from TikTok and her account was deleted at some point prior to when we started gathering information on her in January. Why? Well, it’s hard to know for certain. Maybe it was her anti-vaccine content. Maybe it was just the overwhelming cringiness of whatever this is supposed to be. Maybe it was her use of a Tyler Childers song underneath her idiotic explanation to legislators about what the Republican Party of Arkansas’s platform said.4 Who can really say?
Just kidding, it was her repeated insults towards groups and individuals, as well as repeatedly posting fake health information during a global pandemic. Or, as TikTok put it “multiple violations of our Community Guidelines.” (Heather’s take–which shouldn’t surprise you–is that she was banned because “communism.”)
2. Her Lunacy Ramped Up on Facebook After the TikTok Ban
A fun fact about Heather Turchi is, all available evidence notwithstanding, she appears to fancy herself as the kind of person who connects better with people through video than in writing.
At first glance, that seems kind of nuts. I mean, just look at this video from her Facebook page:
This starts off “normal” enough, save for some navel gazing about being busy. Around the 1:30 mark, however, it starts to derail. Between 1:30 and 3:10 or so, we get a charcuterie platter of crazy:
You think these mask mandates are bad? You wait until they force a vaccine on your child. You wait ‘til they are forcing CRT down your child’s throat.
America is starving for bold, conservative leaders. If you can’t be that boldness, step aside. Let somebody else do it, who is bold, who will step up to the plate and manhandle what’s going on in our country.
We are in a time in our country right now, in our state, in our cities, that we don’t have room, we don’t have enough patience for people who don’t want to hurt people’s feelings.
Or how about this one, also from her Facebook page, where she has opinions on the tax provision that was up for a vote last fall:
This one my actually be my favorite,5 if only because she manages to cram a lot of very specific lunacy into 65 seconds.
[The mayor is] trying to push this narrative that [the tax money] is going to go toward safer communities and police officers, which it’s not. It’s actually going towards a $30 million giraffe for the zoo.
Um, and last time we bought a giraffe, it killed the other giraffe, ya know.
No giraffe is going to cost a zoo $30M, because that’s just so patently absurd that you should understand why it’s wrong before it even forms as a thought in your brain.
As for the “it killed the other giraffe,” that’s just a strange way to try to justify not getting another giraffe. Mesi the giraffe came to the Little Rock Zoo in 2006 as a one-year old from the San Diego Zoo, and it got along fine with Jigsaw (a 6-year-old giraffe) from the start. Seven years later, in 2013, Mesi and Jigsaw had some sort of fight in the middle of the night, and Jigsaw died. I don’t pretend to know how giraffe-on-giraffe beef works, but spinning this as, basically, “new giraffes are murderous rampagers who will kill old giraffes” is weird as hell.
With as certifiably ridiculous as these videos are, you might be wondering why she would possibly think that she’s better on video than in print. And the answer to that is…
3. Her Non-Video Content Is Even Worse
No, seriously, just check out this assortment of squirrel turds from her Facebook page.
I particularly like this last one because Centerpoint is in Pike County, which, to my knowledge, is not a hot bed of Nazism.6 It’s like she was writing her “review,” decided that she needed a word stronger than “communism,”7 and all she could come up with was “Nazism.”
4. Her Campaign Finance Reports Are…Questionable
As of the end of August, Turchi’s campaign-finance reports showed a total of $47,085 raised in this raise and $22,174.11 spent, leaving her with $25,910.89 going into September. When you look at her actual expenditures, however, it seems like maybe she doesn’t know quite what she’s doing.
Consider: If you were just to look at the expenditure overview page in each report and total the categories, you’d get $1,692.25 for “Office Supplies,” which seems like a metric ton of post-it notes. But if you look at the details, you’ll see that $1,167.20 of that “office supplies” total is reimbursing one of her consultants (K. Ryan James) for something he spent on behalf of her campaign. You’ll see another $58 in “postage” (at least) included in her “office supplies” total, even though, um…
Yeah, there’s a separate category for postage. Solely for postage. Not a reason in the world that a person should look at that page and think, “Huh, I guess postage goes in office supplies.”
Likewise if you look at her very first campaign-finance report, which she filed for the fourth quarter of 2021, you’ll see these two separate entries, which are by definition completely incompatible with one another.
Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t come up with a way that a person can “repay” herself $50 without first loaning her campaign $50. Seems like something that should be self-explanatory, really.
These reports also have multiple contributions that are either illegal (because they come from businesses) or are just entered without any information to suggest that they might be a PAC or other non-illegal contribution.
Now, if any of those contributions were not from PACs, they are illegal. In fact, they would be misdemeanors under Arkansas law and would bar her from office. Maybe they are PACs, but then…why didn’t she label them as such? She’s shown multiple times in her reports that she knows what a PAC is. See, e.g., this dung pile:
So why report these the way she did, where they look like contributions from businesses, without doing something as basic as labeling them as PAC contributions? It is ignorance about what information is required on these forms, ignorance about what kind of contributions are legally allowed, or just the quiet confidence that comes from being someone who is blissfully unaware of their own complete lack of understanding?
5. She Unironically Refers To Herself As A “Constitutional Activist”
Remember how derisively people used “community organizer” as a pejorative against Barack Obama? People frequently joked that “community organizer” wasn’t an actual job and that Obama should be embarrassed to claim such a role as part of his resume. The mere mention of the phrase evoked hearty laughter from the same kind of people who actually believe that Mike Lindell has proof of 2020 election fraud.
“Community organizer,” however, was a real thing. At least in Obama’s case. He worked for the Developing Communities Project in 1985, helping Chicagoans work together to get action from their elected officials on issues like potholes, asbestos, and the like.
But if Obama as a “community organizer” is funny, Heather Turchi claiming with a straight face that she is a “constitutional activist” is uproarious. It is Richard Pryor: Live in Concert in 1979. It is the Stonehenge scene in This is Spinal Tap.
It’s funny as hell, is my point. Because Heather Turchi somehow understands the constitution even less well than you are probably expecting. Heck, she understands the constitution less than she understands “communism,” which shouldn’t be possible.
Yet, here we are, with Turchi unironically referring to herself as a “constitutional activist” on crappy MAGA-centric YouTube channels like this:
Best I can tell–because my brain is going to leak out of my ears if I listen to any more of this than I already have–is that her entire “constitutional” argument regarding masks was, and I quote: “they don’t have the constitutional rights to do what they’re doing.”
//another deep breath
Sooo…yeah. That’s the Republican option for House District 75. Grand, huh? At least now when she shows up on your porch and starts mocking and berating you through your Ring doorbell, at least you’ll have some context. And if you get some good footage of her campaigning–like, perhaps, if you have someone sneak around from the back and spray her with a hose8–please do send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We started this post with a quote from the movie “Heathers” in the title, so we might as well leave you with another: “The extreme always seems to make an impression.” In Heather Turchi’s case, though, it’s not a good one.
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Me, over intercom: “Oh, sorry mom…I think the doorbell battery is dy–” as I delete the doorbell app from phone↩
That’s true even before you factor in the potential embarrassment of, say, a rakishly handsome local blogger getting copies of her front porch theatrics.↩
Pro-tip for wannabe right-wing nutters on TikTok: ALWAYS put some version of “America” or “American” in your handle, some reference to your gender or state, and a number that shows you weren’t original enough to come up with something someone else hadn’t already used. That’s the formula.↩
Keep Tyler Childers’ name out of your mouth, lady. No chance he would support anything about you.↩
I’m using that word in a way that god did not intend.↩
To be fair, while it is a lovely place that contains many people I love quite a bit, Pike County is not really a hotbed of anything.↩
Because, even for a moron, that word loses all meaning if you apply it to literally everything you don’t like.↩
Which I would never actually encourage you to do, of course↩