The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Matthew DePerno

Youtube Screenshot

Two election conspiracy theorists in Michigan won Republican endorsements for critical state positions that would put them in charge of running elections and defending election law.

Matthew DePerno and Kristina Karamo won the GOP endorsement for attorney general and secretary of state, respectively, at a nominating convention on Saturday. Both Republicans will face off against Democratic incumbents in the swing state, which Biden won by a 3-point margin in 2020.

In Michigan, voters do not choose the nominees for attorney general or secretary of state. Rather, a group of party insiders hand-picks the nominees at a party convention. DePerno and Karamo won the endorsements after a vote of roughly 2,000 GOP delegates, which put them on a glide path to winning the nomination at a second nominating convention in August, according to local media outlets.

Both DePerno and Karamo were endorsed by former President Donald Trump, who has made his picks based on whether candidates support his lies that the 2020 presidential election was "stolen" from him.

DePerno — who would be the top law enforcement officer in the state — filed an unsuccessful lawsuit making the baseless claim that there was widespread voter fraud in Antrim County, Michigan, in 2020. That lawsuit helped fuel false conspiracy theories about Dominion Voting Systems voting machines and furthered the lie that Trump was the true winner in the 2020 election.

DePerno's lawsuit was dismissed by a judge in 2021. Two days before winning the GOP endorsement, DePerno lost his appeal of the case. A state court ruled that DePerno's lawsuit "raised a series of questions about the election without making any specific factual allegations as required."

DePerno is challenging Democrat Dana Nessel in the race to be Michigan's top law enforcement official.

"Even I am at a loss for words at this ridiculous turn of events. Running the State of Michigan is a serious business and these are clear[l]y not serious or competent people," Nessel tweeted on Saturday. "God help us if this party takes over our executive offices."

Karamo, who earned the state GOP's endorsement to be Michigan's next secretary of state, is a QAnon conspiracy theorist and self-described "anti-vaxxer" who opposes schools teaching the theory of evolution. She has also made bigoted anti-LGBTQ remarks, isaying that both LGBTQ people as well as unmarried people who have sex "violate God's creative design" and are the product of a culture of "sexual brokenness."

Karamo rose to prominence in Republican circles because she claimed that she witnessed votes being switched from Trump to President Joe Biden during Michigan's ballot counting in the 2020 election — a lie that experts said was just Karamo not understanding how the election process works. With the state GOP's endorsement, Karamo will now face current Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in the race to oversee Michigan's elections.

Benson tweeted on Monday that her race is now "ground zero in the battle over the future of our democracy."

Some Michigan Republicans have expressed fears that DePerno and Karamo's extreme views will make them unelectable in the fall.

"Every ad from April 24 through November is going to say 'QAnon Karamo is too crazy for us,'" Republican state Rep. Beau LaFave, who also ran for secretary of state, said at the convention on Saturday.

DePerno and Karamo are not the only election deniers running for attorney general and secretary of state positions across the country.

In Arizona, the leading candidate for the GOP nomination for secretary of state is Mark Finchem, who has pushed the lie that Trump won Arizona in the 2020 election. Finchem, who has claimed that the election was "rigged," was in attendance at the Jan. 6, 2021, "Stop the Steal" rally that preceded the U.S. Capitol insurrection. The congressional committee investigating the attack has subpoenaed Finchem for his involvement in the event.

And in Nevada, Republican election denier Jim Marchant is hoping to run the state's elections. He's been endorsed by major players in the failed effort to overturn Biden's 2020 victory. In January, Marchant told Steve Bannon, Trump's former chief strategist, that he is part of "a coalition of America First secretary of state candidates" that is working "behind the scenes to try to fix 2020 like President Trump said."

Printed with permission from American Independent.


Start your day with National Memo Newsletter

Know first.

The opinions that matter. Delivered to your inbox every morning

Sen. Bernie Sanders, left, and President Joe Biden during 2020 presidential debate

I look at September 2019 as a month where I missed something. We began with a trip to New York to do Seth Meyers’s and Dr. Oz’s shows. Why would we go on The Dr. Oz Show? For the same reason we had gone on Joe Rogan’s podcast in August: We could reach a vast audience that wasn’t paying attention to the standard political media. On Dr. Oz, Bernie could talk about Medicare for All and his own physical fitness. While at the time we believed Bernie was uncommonly healthy for his age, he was still 78. Questions would be raised related to his age, and we needed to begin building up the case that he was completely healthy and fit. It turned out to be a spectacular interview, ending with the two of them playing basketball on a makeshift court in the studio. Bernie appeared to be on top of the world.

Yet in retrospect, I should have seen Bernie growing more fatigued. After New York, with the school year starting, we did a series of rallies at colleges and universities in Iowa; this was the kickoff of our campus organizing program in the state. We would then fly to Colorado for a large rally in Denver before heading to Boulder to prep for the third debate, to take place in Houston on September 12. In Iowa, Bernie’s voice was a little hoarse. After the rally in Denver, he had completely blown it out. He sounded terrible.

Keep reading... Show less

Rep. James Clyburn

When I interviewed House Majority Whip James Clyburn in 2014 about his memoir Blessed Experiences: Genuinely Southern, Proudly Black, the South Carolina Democrat was confident in America’s ability to find its way, no matter how extreme the political swings might appear at any given time.

“The country from its inception is like the pendulum on a clock,” the congressman told me. “It goes back and forward. It tops out to the right and starts back to the left — it tops out to the left and starts back to the right.” And remember, he said, it “spends twice as much time in the center.”

Keep reading... Show less
{{ }}