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Tag: mike lindell

Bizarre Extremists Dominate GOP Primary For Arizona House Seat

A leading contender for the Republican nomination in a competitive Arizona House seat said that doctors who perform abortions and people who receive them should both be charged with homicide.

State Rep. Walt Blackman made the comments during a GOP primary debate for Arizona's 2nd District after the moderator asked him whether he stands by a past comment about wanting to charge abortion providers and those who get abortions with homicide.

"Exactly," Blackman said, saying that homicide charges for abortions are, "already in our statute, Arizona statute. If a person commits abortion or kills a baby while in the womb, it's in our criminal statute."

Blackman is listed as a top candidate for the seat by the National Republican Congressional Committee, which seeks to elect Republicans to the House.

It's not the only controversial comment Blackman has made in the past.

In September, Blackman voiced his support for the Proud Boys — a white nationalist group that helped plan the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. A leader of the extremist organization was arrested in March and charged with conspiracy for his apparent role in helping plan the attempt to subvert democracy and stop the certification of President Joe Biden's victory.

"The Proud Boys came to one of my events, and that was one of the proudest moments of my life," Blackman said at a September event seeking "justice" for those charged in the insurrection. He added that the Proud Boys set an "example of how to be an American."

Blackman saying women who get abortions should be charged with murder wasn't even the most controversial moment of Wednesday night's primary debate.

Another candidate, Ron Watkins — one of the leaders of the baseless QAnon conspiracy movement — lied about voter fraud in the 2020 election.

Watkins ran the far-right website 8chan, which the New York Times has described as a "go-to resource for violent extremists" who have committed mass murders. At Wednesday night's debate, Watkins bragged about his efforts to push the false conspiracy theories about a stolen election.

Former Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell — who was sanctioned for filing baseless lawsuits seeking to overturn the 2020 election — based some of her "evidence" on Watkins' conspiracy theories.

During the debate, Watkins defended his efforts to try to "decertify" Biden's 2020 victory, after Blackman told him that nothing in the Constitution allows for the decertification of an election.

"During the Revolutionary War ... there was nothing that said we could fight the British, but we did," Watkins said, using an analogy to describe why he would embark on a destined-to-fail endeavor. "Americans go, and they fight even when they know we can't win."

Watkins went on to tout his relationship with Powell, as well as pillow mogul and election conspiracy theorist Mike Lindell, saying that "we found that the machines were stealing the votes." (The machines did not steal votes.)

Arizona's 2nd District is currently represented by Democratic Rep. Tom O'Halleran. In the redistricting process, the district became much more conservative, going from a seat Biden carried in 2020 to one that now has a 15-point Republican lean, according to FiveThirtyEight. The nonpartisan political handicapping outlet Inside Elections projects that Republicans will likely flip the seat.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.

Idaho Republicans Bitterly Divided Over Lindell’s ‘Fraud’ Claims

Although now-President Joe Biden enjoyed a decisive victory in the United States’ 2020 presidential election — winning 306 electoral votes and defeating then-President Donald Trump by more than 7 million in the popular vote — it certainly wasn’t because of Idaho, a deep red state that Trump won by 30 percent. But far-right conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a tireless promoter of the Big Lie, has claimed that Trump’s margin of victory was even higher than 30 percent in Idaho but that votes were stolen from Trump there through widespread voter fraud. And Lindell’s false claim, journalist Allan Smith reports for NBC News, has become a divisive issue among Idaho Republicans.

“Last summer, Idaho officials received demand after demand to investigate extraordinary claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election,” journalist Allan Smith reports in an article published by NBC News’ website on March 6. “In a state where former President Donald Trump won by more than 30 points, people claimed a vast conspiracy cheated the former president out of an even greater margin of victory. Almost all the e-mails referred to theories promoted by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck said. Lindell, people claimed, had proof of major malfeasance — if only someone would look into it.”

Houck and the office of Idaho Secretary of State Lawerence Denney, according to Smith, investigated Lindell’s claims and “found them to be totally without merit.”

According to Smith, “Houck’s office decided to manually count the ballots in two of Idaho’s smallest counties — Camas and Butte — as well as manually recount the ballots in eight of the 32 precincts in Bonner County, a medium-size locale in the state. Between the three counties, it found an error rate of roughly 0.1 percent.”

But Lindell’s supporters in Idaho are not satisfied.

“Idaho’s work combating Lindell only seems to have made supporters of his fraud narrative angrier, Houck said, and has set the stage for midterm battles along fault lines Republicans are contending with nationwide,” Smith reports.

Houck told NBC News, “We’ve received two types of responses back to the office. One has been: ‘How dare you attack a patriot like Mike Lindell.’ On the flip side, (others) said: ‘Thank you for standing up to Lindell’s narratives’…. I’ve had counties that have had individuals come into county commissioner meetings and threatened the entire county commission that they were going to be unseated. And if they couldn’t do it through bureaucratic means, then they’re going to do it through physical means, to a point where I’ve had counties that have requested assistance in funding to put additional security measures into their county buildings, just to secure the election office from physical threat.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Trump Restoration Prophecy Failed, But His Cultists Still Believe

Friday, August 13, 2021, according to far-right conspiracy theorist and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, was supposed to be "Reinstatement Day" — the day in which Donald Trump would be reinstated as president when evidence demonstrated that widespread voter fraud occurred in the 2020 election. But that evidence doesn't exist, Lindell's wacky conspiracy theories have been debunked by cybersecurity experts — and as of Friday morning, August 13, Joe Biden is still the democratically elected president of the United States and Kamala Harris is still vice president. Even if the non-existent evidence of election fraud appeared, there would still be no mechanism for returning Trump to power.

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Lindell And Dark Money Outfit Pushed ’Snake-Oil Covid Cure’ --With Tragic Result

A variety of bogus “treatments” or “cures” for COVID-19 have been promoted in MAGA World, from hydroxychloroquine to oleandrin (an extract from the poisonous oleander plant). According to Daily Beast reporters Roger Sollenberger and William Bredderman, one of the companies that has promoted oleandrin as a COVID-19 miracle cure is Propter Strategies — which has ties to two major allies of former President Donald Trump: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell and former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon.

“It’s an all-too-familiar story at this point: A person pushing an unproven COVID-19 cure — and pushing back against the vaccines — pays the ultimate price for their skepticism,” Sollenberger and Bredderman report. “But this time, there’s a new wrinkle. It’s not just one person dabbling in COVID quackery with tragic results; it’s actually a mysterious dark money organization, with ties to influential MAGA figures like Steve Bannon and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.”


The organization, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, was Propter Strategies — and the person who became a “victim” of its “secretive work” was partner Kenneth Happel.

“To this day, Propter Strategies is a black hole, despite its high-profile connections and multi-million-dollar budget,” the Beast reporters explain. “Aside from Happel’s account, there is no evidence of Propter’s activities anywhere in the public record. And that might be with good reason: Those activities included hawking the snake-oil COVID treatment oleandrin at the highest levels of the government, as the pandemic’s lethal second wave peaked across the country.”Happel, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, is presently hospitalized with his second COVID-19 infection — and his wife died from COVID-19 in January.

“In a phone interview from his hospital bed, Happel, 72, remained unrepentant and defiant about the numerous baseless theories that quite likely landed him back in the hospital, and killed the wife he loved dearly,” Sollenberger and Bredderman write. “Happel still places hope in the pseudo-science that he, Propter Strategies, and Lindell had pushed so hard — a proprietary compound derived from oleander extract, which the pillow tycoon and at least one Propter official had invested in.”

Registration data, according to Sollenberger and Bredderman, shows that Happel is the owner of Proper’s website, needsp.us, and Happel has “confirmed” to the Beast “that the Propter Strategies cited on his page was, in fact, the same group linked to those leading MAGA figures.”

“Happel, a former Tea Party activist with an entrepreneurial history that intersects with biotechnology, recounted working on oleandrin in 2020 with Propter board member Andrew Whitney,” Sollenberger and Bredderman note. “A serial entrepreneur and former Bain Capital investor, Whitney was actually pulling oleandrin double-duty — he was on the board at the nonprofit Propter, as well as at Texas-based Phoenix Biotechnologies, whose research centered on the product. Happel also acknowledged the connection to Lindell, who, it turns out, also holds a financial stake in Phoenix Biotechnologies.”

Whitney and Lindell, according to the Beast reporters, “paired up for a MAGA media parade” and promoted oleandrin “as a neglected medical miracle” on right-wing outlets such as Newsmax and Diamond & Silk’s YouTube show. And Lindell “confirmed he still has a financial stake in Phoenix.”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Lindell Claims Banks Severing Ties With Him Over 'Reputation Risk'

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell is now claiming that some financial institutions no longer want to do business with him because he poses a "reputation risk" as he continues to push former President Donald Trump's false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election.

On Friday, January 14, Lindell appeared on Steve Bannon's podcast "War Room" where he claimed "Heartland Financial and Minnesota Bank and Trust are attempting to 'de-bank' him over concerns that they could face fallout related to having him as a client," Newsweek reports. During the broadcast, the two right-wing enthusiasts played an audio recording of what they claim was a discussion between Lindell and a bank official.

"Just because of our organization saying, 'Well, why are we connected with somebody that could be in the news.' And, not that the FBI is even sniffing and looking, but what if somebody came in and said, 'You know what, we are gonna subpoena all his account records...and then also we make the news,'" the person was reportedly heard saying in the recording. "So it's more of a reputation risk."

According to Lindell, he has been given 30 days to close his accounts but he has no plan to comply with the order.

"I said, 'I am not being part of this. I'm not leaving. So you're going to have to throw me out of your bank,'" he said. During their discussion, Bannon also exposed the names of the bankers and their contact information as he urged his listeners to flood their phone lines with complaints.

Lindell also appeared to echo Bannon as he complained about being criticized for his beliefs. "Where does it end everybody? Where does it end?" Lindell asked.

Lindell's latest interview comes follows his reaction to having his phone records subpoenaed in connection with the House Select Committee's January 6 investigation.

In a text message to CNBC News, Lindell said, "I wasn't there on January 6th and yes they did subpoena my phone records, but we filed a complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief against the January 6th committee and Verizon to completely invalidate this corrupt subpoena."

Despite ongoing criticism and blowback, Lindell is continuing his efforts to prove that his claims of so-called voter fraud are valid.

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Republicans Attended MyPillow  Guy's 'Cyber Symposium' On Taxpayers' Dime

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell held his three-day “Cyber Symposium” in Sioux Falls, South Dakota in August 2021, three of the far-right MAGA Republicans who attended were lawmakers from Washington State — and according to Seattle Times reporter Jim Brunner, they did so at the expense of Washington taxpayers.

Lindell, a far-right conspiracy theorist, has been falsely claiming, with zero evidence, that former President Donald Trump was the real winner of the 2020 election — and he claimed that his “Cyber Symposium” would offer “irrefutable” proof that the election was stolen from Trump. But the claims of widespread voter fraud that Lindell made at his event were aggressively debunked by elections experts. The “Cyber Symposium” was a joke, offering no proof that now-President Joe Biden didn’t defeat Trump by more than 7 million votes in 2020.

Brunner reports, “On hand at the symposium in Sioux Falls were dozens of state legislators from around the country, who have parroted Trump and Lindell’s false fraud narrative, demanding audits of the long-settled election. Among them were three Republicans from Washington, whose trips to the Lindell event were paid for with taxpayer dollars. Public records released to the Seattle Times last week show State Reps. Robert Sutherland (R-Granite Falls), Vicki Kraft, (R-Vancouver), and Brad Klippert (R-Kennewick) requested and received expense reimbursements from the Legislature for the symposium.”

According to Brunner, taxpayers in Washington State paid a total of $4,361 for their flights to Sioux Falls and their hotel costs.

Brunner notes that Sutherland, Kraft, and Klippert “have stoked doubts about the 2020 election, claiming widespread fraud and irregularities around the nation and in Washington — even as they touted their own reelection wins last fall.”

Austin Evers, director of American Oversight, resents the fact that taxpayers in Washington State paid for Sutherland, Kraft, and Klippert to attend Lindell’s “Cyber Symposium.”

Brunner quotes Evers as saying, “The Mike Lindell symposium was, on its face, a conspiracy theory designed to undermine faith in American democracy. It should not have been funded in any way by taxpayer dollars, and no one in public office should have been attending it.”

Article reprinted with permission from Alternet

MyPillow Guy Loses Defamation Lawsuit Against Daily Mail Over Alleged 'Romance'

Reprinted with permission from AlterNet

Mike Lindell, CEO of MyPillow, Inc., recently suffered a loss in court as a federal judge ruled in favor of The Daily Mail regarding his defamation lawsuit against the news outlet.

According to Newsweek, U.S. District Court Judge Paul Crotty reportedly rejected the suit "asserting in the ruling that the article the prominent conspiracy theorist took issue with 'cannot be reasonably construed as defamatory.'"

The ruling follows Lindell's lawsuit filed back in January following the release of a Daily Mail article wrongly alleging "that he and 30 Rock actress Jane Krakowski had a secret romance. The report was based on a tip from an "anonymous friend" and Lindell and Krakowski quickly denied the claim. Lindell even said he'd never heard of the actress."

In the ruling, Cotty pushed back against Lindell's claim: "Dating an actress—secret or not—would not cause 'public hatred,' 'shame,' 'ridicule,' or any similar feeling towards Lindell."

The judge also claimed that Lindell's argument "has not identified any statements in the Article that a reasonable person would view as defamatory."

Lindell, who founded the Lindell Recovery Network after overcoming his own battle with heroin, also claimed one line in the article damaged his reputation because it alleged that he'd pursued a woman with champagne. Due to the work his recovery network does, Lindell argues that the article hindered "his ability to provide services to addicts."

However, the judge also refuted that argument.

"The purchase of alcohol is a legal and ordinary act," Crotty wrote in his ruling. "If even more problematic depictions of alcohol consumption, such as underage drinking or alcoholism, routinely fail to qualify as defamatory in New York courts surely no reasonable reader could find it offensive to exchange champagne or other bottles of liquor as gifts between romantic partners."

The ruling comes after The Daily Mail's response in an attempt to defend itself. The news outlet highlighted Lindell's history of circulating conspiracy theories and misinformation.

"Plaintiff Michael Lindell is no stranger to scandal. In the last year alone, the self-described crack-addict-turned-CEO ventured beyond pillow sales to become a peddler of an unproven COVID-19 'cure,' and a leading proponent of baseless election fraud theories; stores dropped his company's product after Plaintiff was photographed leaving the White House in January 2021 with a notepad referencing 'martial law,'" an April memorandum pointed out.

The memorandum added, "He and his company have been mired in litigation—previously, in several suits alleging fraudulent advertisement practices, and more. Yet Plaintiff [literally] has made a federal case out of statements in an article about his rumored consensual romantic relationship with a popular, award-winning actress, claiming that these references irreparably harmed his reputation."

Idaho Sends Bill For Pointless Election Audit To MyPillow CEO

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

When MyPillow CEO contested Idaho's 2020 election results amid false claims of voter fraud, officials conducted an audit for three of the counties that were scrutinized. Now, the state office is sending Lindell the bill.

According to the Idaho-Statesman, Idaho Chief Deputy Secretary of State Chad Houck on Thursday, October 7 confirmed his office's intent to bill Lindell for the audit, which cost approximately $6,500.

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