Northern Ohio’s 9th district, which stretches form the suburbs west and south of Cleveland, along the coast of Lake Erie through Lorian and Sandusky into Toledo. The partisan lean is D+16 and moderate Democrat Marcy Kaptur has represented OH-09 since 1983 when she beat Republican Ed Weber. She didn’t have a serious contest ’til 2012 when the Republican legislature gerrymandered her district to force her into a battle with fellow Democratic incumbent Dennis Kucinich— and then against right-wing icon Sam “Joe the Plumber” Wurzelbacher. She won the primary and the general. Last year, the Republicans in the legislature tried another gerrymandering trick, this time by adding removing one of her two main bases of support, the Cleveland suburbs. The district went from D+16 to R+14, the most blatantly vicious map drawn against any incumbent of either party in any state.
One would have to write Kaptur off as a victim of gerrymandering except for one thing: the Republican candidate. She may have lucked out with the craziest and most despicable of all the MAGA loons running this cycle, insurrectionist J.R. Majewski. Late yesterday, the Associated Press reported that on the campaign trails “Majewski presents himself as an Air Force combat veteran who deployed to Afghanistan after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, once describing ‘tough’ conditions including a lack of running water that forced him to go more than 40 days without a shower.” No one doubts he regularly goes without showers for over a month at a time, but military documents obtained by the Associated Press show— once again— what an inveterate liar Majewski is. I presume he’s never heard of “stolen valor.” He’s certainly never been deployed to Afghanistan. His overseas service was spent in two of the cushiest posts available— Japan and “a six-month stint helping to load planes at an air base in Qatar, a longtime U.S. ally that is a safe distance from the fighting. Majewski’s account of his time in the military is just one aspect of his biography that is suspect. His post-military career has been defined by exaggerations, conspiracy theories, talk of violent action against the U.S. government and occasional financial duress.”
“Majewski,” reported Brian Slodysko and James LaPorta, “is among a cluster of GOP candidates, most running for office for the first time, whose unvarnished life stories and hard-right politics could diminish the chances of a Republican ‘red wave’ on Election Day in November. He is also a vivid representation of a new breed of politicians who reject facts as they try to emulate Trump. Now that his record has been exposed, Majewski is hiding from the media. ‘It bothers me when people trade on their military service to get elected to office when what they are doing is misleading the people they want to vote for them,’ Don Christensen, a retired Air Force colonel, said of Majewski. ‘Veterans have done so much for this country and when you claim to have done what your brothers and sisters in arms actually did to build up your reputation, it is a disservice.’” All his ads claim he was a combat veteran but he’s never fired a weapon at any an enemy in his life and the closest he’s coming to combat was when he invaded the Capitol on January 6 with other insurrectionists. The NRCC is in on the lie and promoted him deceitfully claiming “squadron was one of the first on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11.”
Because the two normal conservatives in the primary, state Rep. Craig Riddle and state Sen. Theresa Gavarone, split the non-MAGA vote, Majewski was able to slither into the nomination with 35.8%. Before his good lucky, Majewski’s political participation had been playing around as a pro-Trump hip-hop performer a spreader of QAnon conspiracy theory lies and, of course, as a J-6 insurrectionist.
Majewski hasn’t been forthcoming when asked about the specifics of his service.
“I don’t like talking about my military experience,” he said in a 2021 interview on the One American Podcast after volunteering that he served one tour of duty in Afghanistan. “It was a tough time in life. You know, the military wasn’t easy.”
A review of his service records, which the AP obtained from the National Archives through a public records request, as well as an accounting provided by the Air Force, offers a possible explanation for his hesitancy.
Rather than deploying to Afghanistan, as he has claimed, the records state that Majewski was based at Kadena Air Base in Japan for much of his active-duty service. He later deployed for six months to Qatar in May 2002, where he helped load and unload planes while serving as a “passenger operations specialist,” the records show.
While based in Qatar, Majewski would land at other air bases to transfer military passengers, medics, supplies, his campaign said. The campaign did not answer a direct question about whether he was ever in Afghanistan.
Experts argue Majewski’s description of himself as a “combat veteran” is also misleading.
…There’s also the matter of Majewski’s final rank and reenlistment code when he left active duty after four years of service.
Most leave the service after four years having received several promotions that are generally awarded for time served. Majewski exited at a rank that was one notch above where he started. His enlistment code also indicated that he could not sign up with the Air Force again.
Majewski’s campaign said he received what’s called a nonjudicial punishment in 2001 after getting into a “brawl” in his dormitory, which resulted in the demotion. Nonjudicial punishments are designed to hold service members accountable for bad behavior that does not rise to the level of a court-martial.
Majewski’s resume exaggeration isn’t limited to his military service, reverberating throughout his professional life, as well as a nascent political career that took shape in an online world of conspiracy theories.
…“Let me be clear, I denounce QAnon. I do not support Q, and I do not subscribe to their conspiracy theories,” Majewski said in his statement to the AP.
But in the past Majewski repeatedly posted QAnon references and memes to social media, wore a QAnon shirt during a TV interview and has described Zak Paine, a QAnon influencer and online personality who goes by the nom de guerre Redpill78, as a “good friend.”
During a February 2021 appearance on a YouTube stream, Majewsk stated, “I believe in everything that’s been put out from Q,” while characterizing the false posts as “military-level intelligence, in my opinion.” He also posted to the defunct right wing social media platform, Parler, a photo of the “Trump 2020” mural he painted on his lawn that was modified to change the zeros into “Q’s,” as first reported by CNN.
Then there’s Majewski’s participation in the Jan. 6 insurrection. Majewski has said that he raised about $25,000 to help dozens of people attend the “Stop the Steal” rally that preceded the attack on the Capitol. He also traveled to the event with his friend Paine, the QAnon influencer, and the two later appeared in social media postings near the Capitol.
Majewski acknowledged he was outside the Capitol, but denies entering the building. Still, he lamented the decision on a QAnon livestream a week after the attack, stating that he was “pissed off at myself” for not going in to the building.
“It was a struggle, because I really wanted to go in,” Majewski said on the livestream, which was first unearthed by the liberal group Media Matters.
Majewski has not been charged in connection with the attack. But he has falsely stated that the 2020 election was stolen from Trump and said that the insurrection “felt like a setup” by police who were targeting Trump supporters.
He’s also lied about every other aspect of his career. “Still,” wrote LaPorta and Slodysko, “in a nationalized political environment, some Republicans suggest none of this will matter to the voters. ‘At the end of the day, this will be a question of whether they want Nancy Pelosi leading the House or Kevin McCarthy,’ said Tom Davis, a former congressman who led the House Republican campaign arm during George W. Bush’s presidency. ‘These elections have become less about the person. I wouldn’t say candidates don’t matter, but they don’t matter like they used to.’”
Last weekend Majewski, along with Marjorie Traitor Greene, was one of the opening acts for Trump’s failed MAGA rally in Youngstown. Despite the heavy Republican registration advantage, Cook rate the district a toss up, almost entirely because Majewski is such a turn-off to swing voters and independents— and that was even before the latest revelations of his blatant lies about “his service in Afghanistan.”
And I’m not even saying that Majewski is necessarily the absolute worst of the MAGA candidates running this cycle. With Trump's help, quite a few degenerates got through the primary process and are headed for the general elections. Fascist John Gibbs edged out conservative Republican incumbent Peter Meijer in a Grand Rapids-centered Michigan district— MI-03— that had an R+9 Republican partisan lean and now has a D+3 lean. Gibbs beat Meijer 54,065 (51.8%) to 50,211 (48.2%) and is now likely to be beaten by worthless Blue Dog Hillary Scholten, who Meijer beat 53-47% in 2020. How can I be so sure Gibbs is going to lose? Well, his brand of unhinged extremism is the wrong approach for a moderate swing district like MI-03. But in top of that, CNN reported late yesterday that Gibbs is a die-hard misogynist, not just anti-Choice, but someone who has publicly opposed women voting and has actually supported repealing the 19th Amendment!
As a student at Stanford University in the early 2000s, Gibbs founded a self-described “think tank” called the Society for the Critique of Feminism that argued women did not “posess (sic) the characteristics necessary to govern,” and said men were smarter than women because they are more likely to “think logically about broad and abstract ideas in order to deduce a suitable conclusion, without relying upon emotional reasoning.”
Hosted on Gibbs’ personal page at Stanford in 2000 and 2001, the Society for the Critique of Feminism argued for a patriarchal society run by men, calling it “the best model for the continued success of a society.”
…“Some argue that in a democratic society, it is hypocritical or unjust for women, who are 50% of the population, not to have the vote,” Gibbs’ website read. “This is obviously not true, since the founding fathers, who understood liberty and democracy better than anyone, did not believe so. In addition, all people under age 18 cannot vote, although they too comprise a significant portion of the population. So we cannot say that women should be able to vote simply because they are a large part of the population.”