Trump has a very distinct penchant for endorsing men, like himself, who abuse women. We discussed this the other day and left out spoiled rich kid, Max Miller, a former Trump campaign roadie who he endorsed against former future GOP superstar Anthony Gonzalez (R-OH). Aside from running in a district he has nothing to do with, the Shaker Heights born-rich Miller is facing allegations of abuse from his ex-girlfriend, former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham. We'll come back to that in a moment.
Republican gerrymanderers in the legislature have not been kind to Miller now that Gonzalez has dropped out of the race. What was once an R+10 district that Trump won with 56.5% (and that Gonzalez won on the same day with 63.2%) is now a pretty even district that a Republican could win in a Red Wave year, like the one that appears to be shaping up now, but will always be looking over his should for a Blue Wave... and will always have to balance the extremism that wins GOP primaries with the bipartisanship that wins general elections in this kind of district.
Miller is "one of the big losers in both GOP plans. Under the current maps, Republicans enjoy a +14 advantage in the district, or projected as 14 points in favor of Republicans... but the equivalent of the 16th district is changing dramatically under Miller’s feet in both the House and Senate plans. The Senate plan is relatively generous to Miller, drawing Rocky River into a 50-50 district by grouping it with Lorain County, Medina County and the western Cuyahoga County suburbs of Bay Village, Lakewood, North Olmsted and Strongsville."
Yesterday, Politico's Alex Isenstadt identified Miller's target seat as a swing district, the kind that it will be very hard for an extreme Trumpist to hold for long. A few days ago, 2 other Politico reporters, Scott Bland and Ally Mutnick noted that swing districts are largely disappearing due to legislators drawing districts/gerrymandering to give their own parties easy wins. Everyone but Max Miller! "When most voters go to the polls to elect members of Congress next year," they wrote, "the general election will essentially be meaningless. That’s because winners are being determined right now, by a small number of party officials who are surgically ensuring preordained victories in the majority of the nation’s congressional districts.
Consider Democratic-controlled Illinois and Republican-controlled Texas, for example. Majority-party legislators in both states, consulting with their congressional delegations, methodically erased as many closely divided districts as possible in their new congressional maps. In Texas, that meant axing Democratic voters out of Republican districts in the suburbs that were trending uncomfortably purple. In Illinois, that meant extending tendrils out from Chicago and linking other metro areas together to make as many strong Democratic districts as possible.
There’s much more unpredictability in the states where legislators aren’t involved. Draft maps from California’s citizen redistricting commission, for example, would cause heartburn for incumbents from both parties, though they are likely to change significantly before being adopted.
And that takes us back to Miller, who CNN didn't do any favors for with their coverage today of the violent sex offenders who Trump has been endorsing around the country. "'Trump has gravitated toward some people with real skeletons and scandals in their pasts,' said CNN political commentator S.E. Cupp... 'There definitely seems to be a different tolerance level, and that's both inside the party and among voters, among Republican voters. I think once they swallowed Trump, that sort of conditioned the environment to kind of accept anything.'"
Ruth Glenn, CEO and president of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, said America is still failing at treating women equitably and holding people in positions of power accountable for their actions toward women.
"I don't think we have a level of awareness about violence against women, what it looks like, what the dynamics are, how it can be insidious within our culture and be acceptable," Glenn said. "What we hear as the underlying message is we-- survivors and particularly women-- don't matter."
... [Stephanie] Grisham, who served as Trump's White House press secretary from 2019 to 2020, described it as a "gut punch" and said it "kicked me in the teeth" when she saw the former President endorse Miller, her ex-boyfriend, for Congress.
"You have the opportunity to elect an incredible patriot to Congress, who I know very well," Trump told the crowd at an Ohio rally in June. "Max Miller, you know Max? Great guy. He loves our country. He loves the people of Ohio."
When Trump first endorsed Miller back in February, Grisham said she had already disclosed to the former President and his wife, Melania Trump, that her relationship with Miller had become abusive-- a claim Miller has denied.
"I had an ex that I dated and there was abuse in every way there," Grisham told CNN's Jake Tapper. "And that's something I actually told the President and the first lady about, and they did nothing. If it didn't affect them, and as long as I was keeping quiet and being good, then I guess that kind of behavior was OK."
Grisham has not referred to Miller by name when discussing the abuse, instead describing him as an ex-boyfriend whose congressional bid has been endorsed by Trump.
"The endorsement, really, it kicked me in the teeth," she told CNN. "That was a really, really tough one, based on what happened."
In the wake of those claims, Miller has denied the abuse and filed a defamation suit against Grisham.
"Ms. Grisham's allegations that Mr. Miller was violent and physically abusive towards her are absolutely untrue," said Larry Zukerman, an attorney for Miller. Zukerman described Grisham as "unemployed and unbelievable" and accused her of using deceitful claims to promote her newly released book.
Asked about the defamation lawsuit, Grisham told CNN, "I want to respect the legal process so don't want to comment other than to say the lawsuit is an attempt at intimidation, which is right out of the Trump playbook."