Arizona house speaker Russell “Rusty” Bowers, Republican, testified yesterday (Tuesday, 21 June 2022) before the select committee investigating the events of 6 January 2021.
He told the committee he “didn’t want to be used as a pawn”. Trump singled him out before the fourth day of hearings, calling him a RINO, meaning “Republican In Name Only”.
Among other things, Rusty Bowers spoke about his daughter, Kacey Rae Bowers, who died on 28 January 2021 at the age of 42.
What do we know about the life and illness of Kacey Rae Bowers, whom her father described as a “marvellous and talented woman”, and what happened to her during the month of January 2021?
What happened to Rusty Bowers following the events of 6 January 2021?
According to Rusty Bowers’ testimony yesterday, his office received “in excess of 20,000 emails and tens of thousands of voicemails and texts, which saturated our offices so we were unable to work”.
But it was what happened at home that placed a more significant and long-lasting emotional strain on the Bowers family.
“At home,” he said, “up until even recently, it is a pattern in our lives to worry what will happen on Saturdays.”
He didn’t name names or identify specific groups, but Rusty Bowers told the select committee yesterday that people had visited his neighbourhood with “video panel trucks”, and harassed him by playing videos of the long-time Arizonian politician.
The videos apparently make horrible accusations that he is a “paedophile and a pervert and a corrupt politician”.
Where does Rusty Bowers’ daughter Kacey Rae Bowers come in?
Those allegedly harassing Rusty Bowers and his family would, he told the select committee on Tuesday, leave literature on his property and argue with and threaten his neighbours.
One “gentleman”, he said, who had “the three bars on his chest”, even carried a pistol.
“At the same time as some of these (incidents),” he continued, “we had a daughter who was gravely ill, who was upset by what was happening outside.” His wife, too, was emotionally affected by the ongoing harassment described.
“It was disturbing.”
Bowers announced, “with great difficulty”, the death of his daughter Kacey via a tweeted statement. It is embedded below. She died on 28 January 2021.
What do we know about Kacey Rae Bowers, and what was her cause of death?
Rusty Bowers’ daughter Kacey Rae died at the age of 42 on 28 January 2021. It was little more than three weeks after the events of 6 January.
She passed away “in the loving company of her son Lorenzo Bowers”, an online obituary states. She is survived by her son and parents – Rusty and Donetta – six siblings, and 19 nieces and nephews.
Kacey was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona. She was a “fiery competitor” – she was part of the Rough Riders volleyball team – and had a “varied” professional career.
Rusty Bowers’ daughter earned a master’s degree in professional counselling and worked with “populations with challenging needs”. Before she died, Kacey Rae Bowers was in the care of her 20-year-old son. Ultimately, however, she succumbed to long-term illness.
Her father described her as a “marvellous and talented woman”. He added she was a “strong defender and vibrant advocate for her son Lorenzo, for her family and faith, and for the wonderful people she worked with in her counselling work”.
Find his full statement below:
What does ‘three bars on his chest’ mean in the context of Bowers’ testimony?
During his testimony, Rusty Bowers mentioned one of the individuals who visited his family wore “three bars on his chest” – meaning what, exactly?
The Three Percenters (aka 3%ers, III%ers or “Threepers”) are an American and Canadian far-right and libertarian anti-government militia. Political Research Associates (PRA) describes them as a “patriot movement paramilitary group”.
Among other things, Three Percenters pledge armed resistance against attempts to restrict private gun ownership. PRA adds they believe the federal government to be tyrannical. The “three bars” refer to the “(disputed) percentage of American colonialists who took up arms against the British during the Revolutionary War”.