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Monday, December 09, 2019

Second Green Party Candidate Exposed As Secret Republican

@EricBoehlert

Scrambling for ways to hold on to power through November’s midterm cycle, it seems Republicans are opting to back phony Green Party candidates in hopes of confusing voters.

After all, in a close contest a Green Party candidate siphoning away a few thousands votes from Democrats could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

That strange scenario is currently playing out both in a New York House race and the Montana Senate race, where local Green Party candidates have been found out to be GOP operatives.

The latest instance involves incumbent Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY). It turns out the one-time Green candidate Michael Zack, who abruptly dropped out this month after questions were raised about his background, used to intern in Collins’ office.

“The former Green Party candidate in a Congressional race has been exposed as a Republican plant with ties to the GOP congressman he supposedly sought to challenge,” the Daily Beast reports.

Previous and since-removed social media posts tag Zack as a far-right conservative. He’s not someone committed to the Green Party agenda of ending war and advocating for clean energy.

“I have a hard time believing that someone in [Collins’s] campaign wasn’t aware of this,” said Erie County Green Party chairman Eric Jones. “The local Republican leadership is aware of this; it’s part of their playbook.”

Out in Montana, we saw the same type of duplicitous scheming.

“A man who registered as a Green Party candidate for Montana’s U.S. Senate race was on the state Republican Party’s payroll and heads a newly formed anti-tax group, according to a review of election documents,” the Great Falls Tribune reported last month.

The state’s Green Party coordinator told the newspaper it cannot deny anyone from filing a candidacy under the party’s name, but that they would do their best to vet all candidates.

Underhanded tricks like these are what Republicans during the Nixon era referred to as “rat fucking” — finding unique, unethical ways to try trip up your opponent.

It’s likely we’ll see more of these desperate maneuvers as Republicans brace for a possibly punishing November.

IMAGE: U.S. presidential election ballot in 2000, when Green Party candidate Ralph Nader drew enough voters to deny Al Gore the White House, despite his popular-vote majority.

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Jeff Danziger lives in New York City. He is represented by CWS Syndicate and the Washington Post Writers Group. He is the recipient of the Herblock Prize and the Thomas Nast (Landau) Prize. He served in the US Army in Vietnam and was awarded the Bronze Star and the Air Medal. He has published eleven books of cartoons, a novel and a memoir. Visit him at DanzigerCartoons.

Wen Ho Lee

Down at Mar-a-Lago and anywhere else that former President Donald Trump is still venerated, he and his entourage are excited about a publication that has never before drawn his attention. The Columbia Journalism Review has just published a four-part, 24,000-word essay that purports to debunk the Trump-Russia "narrative" — and seeks to blame rising public disdain for the press, among other ills, on The New York Times and The Washington Post for their coverage of that scandal.

Its author is Jeff Gerth, a reporter who worked at the Times for three decades. His former colleagues are said to be seething with fury at him. They have ample reason, not out of feelings of personal betrayal, but because Gerth has betrayed basic journalistic standards. Unfortunately, this is not the first time.

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