Trump supporters are across the country are running for — and in some cases winning — key elections oversight posts, from local judge to secretary of state, in what one Democrat called “the most important issue of our time.”
The New York Times pointed in a report Saturday to the case of Stephen Lindemuth, who attended former president Trump’s Stop the Steal rally on Jan. 6 before announcing his candidacy for judge of elections, which administers polling, in Mount Joy Township, Pennsylvania.
“Mr. Lindemuth’s victory in November in this conservative rural community is a milestone of sorts in American politics: the arrival of the first class of political activists who, galvanized by Donald J. Trump’s false claim of a stolen election in 2020, have begun seeking offices supervising the election systems that they believe robbed Mr. Trump of a second term,” the NYT reports. “This belief has informed a wave of mobilization at both grass-roots and elite levels in the party with an eye to future elections. In races for state and county-level offices with direct oversight of elections, Republican candidates coming out of the Stop the Steal movement are running competitive campaigns, in which they enjoy a first-mover advantage in electoral contests that few partisans from either party thought much about before last November.”
Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic secretary of state of Michigan who may face a Trump-backed GOP challenger in 20222, told the newspaper: “This is a five-alarm fire. If people in general, leaders and citizens, aren’t taking this as the most important issue of our time and acting accordingly, then we may not be able to ensure democracy prevails again in ’24.”
The Times reports that efforts by Trump and his supporters to overturn the 2020 election “have evolved rapidly into an effort that looks forward, not backward: recruiting like-minded candidates for public offices large and small, and proposing and, in some cases, passing laws intended to give partisan actors more direct control over election systems.”
And Democrats don’t appear to be taking the issue seriously enough. “Where Mr. Trump’s partisans see the issue of election system control as a matter of life and death, polling suggests Democratic voters broadly do not,” the newspaper reports.
“I am frustrated that at this point, after everything we endured last year and after we all witnessed what happened on Jan. 6, there isn’t more of a sense of urgency,” Benson said. “We all have to band together and say, ‘Never again’ — as opposed to saying, ‘Well, maybe it will happen again, and maybe we’ll be ready.’”
Enjoy this piece?
… then let us make a small request. The New Civil Rights Movement depends on readers like you to meet our ongoing expenses and continue producing quality progressive journalism. Three Silicon Valley giants consume 70 percent of all online advertising dollars, so we need your help to continue doing what we do.
NCRM is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. From unflinching coverage of religious extremism, to spotlighting efforts to roll back our rights, NCRM continues to speak truth to power. America needs independent voices like NCRM to be sure no one is forgotten.
Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure NCRM remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to NCRM, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.
Arizona GOP Nominee Caught Red-Handed Using Footage of Russian Troops Marching in a Victory Parade in Her Campaign Ad
The ad opens showing Lake and says she will “stand with Arizona’s border sheriffs,” a plea to anti-immigration voters. It immediately cuts to footage of marching troops. Those troops are Russian soldiers, not Arizona National Guardsmen.
Heartland Signal reports, “this footage can be found in its original form on the stock footage website Shutterstock, which shows that the troops are, in fact, Russian soldiers marching in a victory parade.”
“Another website called Russian Army Shop sells the very same uniforms shown in the footage, which is the desert camouflage version of Russian Army fatigues. These are very different from the Arizona National Guard uniforms.”
NEW: Arizona GOP gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake uses footage of Russian soldiers marching in her campaign ad, claiming (incorrectly) that they are the Arizona National Guard. https://t.co/EmaoWstXtG pic.twitter.com/txTb4K8zZb
— Heartland Signal (@HeartlandSignal) October 6, 2022
Democratic gubernatorial nominee, Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs, blasted Lake.
“If Kari Lake can’t identify a uniformed member of the Arizona National Guard from a Russian soldier, she has no business leading our brave men and women as governor,” Hobbs told Heartland Signal.
Lake is considered by some to be a Christian nationalist. Her recent endorsement of Jarrin Jackson, an virulently antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ Christian nationalist extremist who tells his supporters being LGBTQ is a “gateway to pedophilia,”and that “Jews will go to hell,” received wide condemnation. Lake, a former journalist, responded by stating it’s “impossible to dig into everything someone has said in their life. If his reported comments are true, I obviously rescind my endorsement.”
She did not condemn Jackson, but stated: “I respect Jarrin’s service to our Nation, but clearly denounce that kind of derogatory language. Let me be clear: Our great movement welcomes anyone and everyone who wants to fight for a better future,” as Axios Phoenix reported.
Lake is far from the only Republican who uses Russian video and photos in their work.
House Republicans led by Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy two weeks ago “unveiled their ‘Commitment to America’ agenda for 2023 ― and with it, an inspirational video chock full of scenes presented as exceptional imagery of America but that are actually stock footage from Russia and Ukraine,” HuffPost reported.
“Serg Grbanoff, a filmmaker based in Russia…told HuffPost that he filmed” a scene used in the GOP’s video “in Russia’s Volgograd region.”
“In another scene,” HuffPost reports, “a boy is seen smiling and running in a field with a toy airplane. The words ‘Liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ appear on the screen, a reference to the Declaration of Independence.”
That “clip was also created by Grbanoff, and also filmed in the Volgograd region of Russia.”
That’s not the first time McCarthy has used Russian footage.
In 2019, as NCRM reported, McCarthy released an ad defending then-President Donald Trump which included footage from Russia.
The ad itself was widely mocked, but that CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski identified the stock footage was from Russia. Several years ago McCarthy was caught saying he believes Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying Trump.
In 2020 Trump’s Make America Great Again Committee asked Americans to “support our troops” in an ad that ran on 9/11. It featured Russian fighter jets and a soldier carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle.
“According to a review by American Ledger,” that website, published by the progressive super PAC American Bridge 21st Century, reported in 2020, “a political advertisement featuring several Texas Republican congressional candidates used stock footage of a Russian warship and an Israeli military helicopter to promote their campaigns.”
“Cut by Representative Dan Crenshaw’s campaign, the ad is inspired by a range of action and spy films and features a slate of candidates running for the House of Representatives in Texas: Wesley Hunt (TX-7), August Pfluger (TX-11), Beth Van Duyne (TX-24), Tony Gonzales (TX-23), Genevieve Collins (TX-32), and Crenshaw (TX-2) himself.”
It’s been going on for years.
In 2016, then-candidate Donald Trump released an ad decrying the treatment of American vets.
“Our great veterans are being treated terribly,” Trump said in a video. “The corruption in the Veteran’s administration, the incompetence is beyond. We will stop that.”
Gawker at the time reported “it was pulled down before most anyone could see it after commenters pointed out that the footage clearly depicted Russian veterans wearing the distinctive St. George ribbon and pins with the Communist hammer and sickle.”
For reasons unknown the accidental usage of Russian imagery appears to have only occurred in ads by Republicans and only Russian footage. Footage from any other country, for instance, Canada, Australia, or Mexico, does not appear to have ever mistakenly been used.
See Lake’s ad above or at this link.
Christian Nationalist GOP Nominee Doug Mastriano to Speak to Radical Conspiracy Theorists Ahead of Election
In April 2021, business consultant and right-wing podcast host Clay Clark organized a conference in Tulsa, Oklahoma, aimed at defying national and local restrictions put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic. A radical right-wing conspiracy theorist, Clark filled the event with a variety of like-minded COVID-19, election, and QAnon conspiracy theorists such as Michael Flynn, Greg Locke, Scott McKay, Ann Vandersteel, Mark Sherwood, Gene Ho, Patrick Byrne, Stella Immanuel, Jackson Lahmeyer, Leon Benjamin, Mark Burns, and Mike Lindell.
The event was such a success among the MAGA crowd that Clark decided to launch a nationwide “ReAwaken America” tour to bring his carnival of misinformation to churches all across the country. Later this month, the tour will be stopping in Manheim, Pennsylvania, and listed among the speakers is Doug Mastriano, the election-denying, Christian nationalism-promoting Republican nominee for governor of Pennsylvania (Mastriano can be seen in the lower right-hand corner of the promotional image below).
Mastriano already has deep ties to the far-right fringes of the conservative movement, having appeared earlier this year at a QAnon conference that was rife with wild conspiracy theories. Organizers of that conference even presented him with a “Sword of David” because, they said, “you are fighting for our religious rights in Christ Jesus.”
After speaking at the “Patriots Arise” event last weekend, Pennsylvania GOP gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano was awarded a “Sword of David” by QAnon conspiracy theorist hosts Alan and Francine Fosdick: “You are fighting for our religious rights in Christ Jesus.” pic.twitter.com/FWc5F1A5Sh
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) April 26, 2022
Clark’s “ReAwaken America” events have likewise been overflowing with conspiracy theories, Christian nationalism, Trump cultism, and violent rhetoric. Mastriano is set to be on hand October 21 and 22, courting attendees just weeks before the midterm elections.
Right-wing anti-vaccine “expert” Stella Immanuel claims that Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Bill Gates and others are dead and have had their brains downloaded to the internet while their bodies have been replaced by demonic clones. pic.twitter.com/WcC5TWbp2j
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) May 23, 2022
Eric Trump spoke at the ReAwaken America Conference in Dallas last weekend. Just before he took the stage, Leigh Dundas was up there ranting that COVID vaccines are genocide. pic.twitter.com/9FGZljcWBV
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) December 13, 2021
Sherri Tenpenny, one of the right’s leading anti-vaccine “experts,” claims that COVID vaccines are creating “quantum entanglement” between those who take them and “the Google credit scores and the dematrix and all of those things.” pic.twitter.com/1Hft5GXZMu
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) January 27, 2022
During the last ReAwaken America event, anti-vax activist Jim Meehan uncorked an unhinged rant urging right-wingers to seize power & punish their enemies: “I’ve got a message to the Luciferian cabal, to the overlords: We’re coming for you … We’re gonna knock you into the dirt.” pic.twitter.com/gNdQOvJ6JA
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 7, 2022
MAGA pastor and GOP congressional candidate Mark Burns riled up a crowd gathered for a right-wing conspiracy theory conference at John Hagee’s church, encouraging them as they chanted “Let’s Go, Brandon” and demanded that Trump to return to office “now!” https://t.co/zZvGqysoAA pic.twitter.com/aYRWCY3uyi
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) November 15, 2021
QAnon conspiracy theorist Scott McKay (aka “Patriot Streetfighter”) keeps threatening to kill people and the ReAwaken America tour keeps putting him on stage to do so: “I’m gonna rain this shitstorm down on all these scumbags until they are dead.” https://t.co/yI12BMzd7e pic.twitter.com/n7i4rYIyxR
— Right Wing Watch (@RightWingWatch) March 21, 2022
We need your help. Every day, Right Wing Watch exposes extremism to help the public, activists, and journalists understand the strategies and tactics of anti-democratic forces—and respond to an increasingly aggressive and authoritarian far-right movement. The threat is growing, but our resources are not. Any size contribution—or a small monthly donation—will help us continue our work and become more effective at disrupting the ideologies, people, and organizations that threaten our freedom and democracy. Please make an investment in Right Wing Watch’s defense of the values we share.
This article was originally published by Right Wing Watch and is republished here by permission.
‘Nothing to Be Ashamed of’: Herschel Walker Says if He Paid for an Abortion He Would ‘Be Forgiven’
Georgia GOP senatorial nominee Herschel Walker is doubling down on his denials he paid a girlfriend to have an abortion, emphatically insisting he knows “nothing” about it – after saying, “why in the world would I not be forgiven of something like that?” and insisting it’s “nothing to be ashamed of” – despite wanting to criminalize and ban all abortion.
Walker Thursday morning spoke with right wing propagandist Hugh Hewitt and suggested he’s been “forgiven,” in the biblical sense, of paying his girlfriend to have an abortion, only to backtrack moments later.
“The Daily Beast has updated the story about your paying for a woman’s abortion,” Hewitt began. “The anonymous woman has now also alleged that she had a child by you. Your response?”
“I say the same thing I said, that you know, I know this is untrue. I know it’s untrue, and they keep telling me things like that, and it’s totally, totally untrue. And I’m not sure why that would be told. I know nothing about any woman having an abortion,” Walker insisted. “And they can keep coming at me like that, and they’re doing it because they want to distract people.”
“I know that, because you know, I’ve already been forgiven,” Walker said, in a nod to Christianity. “And if I’ve been forgiven, why in the world would I not be forgiven of something like that?”
Hewitt, appearing to help Walker along, asked, “Is there anything you need to be forgiven for vis-à-vis a woman whose name we do not know? Do you know who this woman is? And do you need to be forgiven?”
“No,” Walker again insisted. “And I’m saying I’ve been forgiven because of all of the things I did when I went to my, the thing with my ex-wife and all that, and things I did I don’t know how many years ago that I wrote in my book. I forgot. I wasn’t perfect. I had my problem with mental health,” he said once again describing it as something in the past.
But Walker, who is campaigning as a candidate who is against all abortion for any reason, including rape, incest, health or life of the mother, says abortion is “nothing to be ashamed of.”
“And I was, I’ve been, I hate to say I’ve been born again, but I have a new life. And I’ve been moving forward, and had that happened, I would have said it, because it’s nothing to be ashamed of there. You know, people have done that, but I know nothing about it. And if I knew about it, I would be honest and talk about it, but I know nothing about that.”
In May The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported “Walker promised to ‘protect the unborn with my life … because I believe from the womb to the tomb.'”
Wednesday night The Daily Beast’s Roger Sollenberger published a second piece on Walker paying for his girlfriend’s abortion, this time with the woman revealing she is the mother of one of Walker’s four known children. She told The Daily beast she was angry that Walker lied about paying for her aborton, saying he “urged” her to have it.
“Sure, I was stunned, but I guess it also doesn’t shock me, that maybe there are just so many of us that he truly doesn’t remember,” the woman told The Daily Beast. “But then again, if he really forgot about it, that says something, too.”
“I’ve been very civil thus far. I keep my mouth shut. I don’t cause any trouble. I stay in the background. But I’m also not gonna get run over time and time again,” she added. “That’s crazy.”
The woman, who is keeping her name out of the press for obvious family reasons, “said Walker frequently talked about being a Christian, but never once expressed any misgivings about abortion generally—or any regret about the one that they had. When she got pregnant again years later, the woman says she made a different choice, even though Walker said it still wasn’t ‘a convenient time’ for him.”
She says Walker “didn’t express any regret” about her having had the abortion.
“He seemed pretty pro-choice to me. He was pro-choice, obviously,” she said.
She also “said even though Walker often talked about Christianity, he uses it ‘when it works for him.'”
It worked for him Wednesday evening, when Walker’s campaign posted a new ad in which Walker does not address the abortion allegations at all, but rather talks about his mental health issues, claiming “by the grave of God” he has “overcome” them.
Watch a clip of Walker’s interview with Hewitt below or at this link.
“Why in the world would I not be forgiven of something like that?” Herschel Walker asks about allegations he paid a woman to obtain an abortion.
That comes closest imo to what people want to explore in re his advocacy for a nationwide abortion ban. pic.twitter.com/xj9bGuNK3q
— southpaw (@nycsouthpaw) October 6, 2022
- News3 days ago
‘Everything Has Been a Lie’: Christian Walker Drops Damning New Video Blasting His Father’s ‘Lies’ Over Abortion
- News3 days ago
Trump’s Chief of Staff Implicated in Mar-a-Lago Docs Scheme by New Bombshell Reporting
- RELIGIOUS EXTREMISM2 days ago
Kellyanne Conway Is Now a Religious Right Crusader Using Christianity to Attack Democrats as a Paid Fox News Contributor
- News2 days ago
‘Oddest’: Legal Experts Mock Trump’s ‘Nutty’ and ‘Doomed to Fail’ Emergency Supreme Court Motion
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Watch: Herschel Walker Says if Georgia Voters Don’t Elect Him They Won’t Even ‘Have a Chance to Be Redeemed’
- RIGHT WING EXTREMISM2 days ago
Experts Sound Alarm as ‘Urgent and Heated’ Threats of Civil War Ramp Up Before Midterm Election
- BREAKING NEWS2 days ago
Trump Asks Supreme Court to Intervene for Him in Classified Documents Case
- News2 days ago
‘It’s a Lot More Nuanced, Peter, You Know This’: Karine Jean-Pierre Forced to Explain to Doocy the Price of Gas