There is really only one issue in the midterm Secretary of State races around the country: Democrats trying to prevent widespread election cheating and a 2024 election coup by the Trumpists. Regardless of the pathetic nonsense The Hill is trying to make out of it, it's all about the rise of American fascism. The imbecile "reporter" actually churned out a sad sack piece premised on the laughable notion that "Republicans are pushing the issue of election integrity, while Democrats are seeking to roll back voting restrictions," precisely what you would expect from a right-wing publication and a foolish reporter.
There are 27 states holding elections for secretary of state in November. There are especially hot races in half a dozen states: Arizona, where Democratic incumbent Katie Hobbs is running for governor and where the Trumpists are hoping for a big pickup; Colorado where election protection champion Jena Griswold is a big target by the far, far right; Georgia, where Trump is targeting the Republican incumbent, Brad Raffensperger with a neo-Nazi congressman, Jody Hice; Michigan, where Trumpists are targeting another election protection champion, incumbent Jocelyn Benson; Nevada, a chance for a Democratic pickup since Republican Barbara Cegavske is term-limited out; and Minnesota. (The Secretary of State job in Wisconsin has been stripped of all powers but if Republican Assemblywoman Amy Loudenbeck beats incumbent Doug La Follette and if Governor Tony Evers is beaten by either Rebecca Kleefisch or Kevin Nicholson, the Republicans are thinking about re-empowering the office to give it some say in elections.)
Our old friend Michael Owens, the best candidate running for Secretary of State in Georgia: "Georgia is at the epicenter of the fight for voting rights and as a Marine Corps veteran, cybersecurity expert, and someone who has successfully worked to expand access to the ballot, I am uniquely qualified and ready to be Georgia’s next Secretary of State. As Secretary of State of Georgia, I will create an election system that is more robust, more efficient, and safer than we have ever had in this state. My goal is to ensure that thousands of people who are being shut out of our democracy can have their voices heard. Georgia needs a Secretary of State who restores trust in our election systems and modernizes the office to make it effective for businesses, entrepreneurs and veterans, and military families who need our support."
There was flurry of news yesterday, apparently generated by a report by the Brennan Center for Justice, about how money is pouring into secretary of state races. ABC News reported that in key battlegrounds Georgia, Michigan and Minnesota fundraising is is two and a half times higher than it was by the same point in either of the last two election cycles.
Brennan Center analysts credit increased political polarization and controversy over the 2020 election for the deluge of money flooding these races, which have historically been low-profile affairs involving modest sums of fundraising.
As chief election officials in many states-- who often wield immense power over the administration of federal, state and local elections-- secretaries of state have taken center stage as the nation grapples with core democratic issues.
"Formerly contested on dry issues of bureaucratic processes, these elections are being infused with substantive politics, with more and more candidates making election denial, or opposition to it, central to their campaigns," the Brennan Center authors wrote.
"Indeed, as far as we are aware," the authors continued, "this is the first time in the modern era that questions about the legitimacy of elections have played such a prominent role in contests for election officials."
Many Republican candidates for election administrator posts are campaigning on the false notion that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from President Donald Trump-- a dangerous falsity that is rewarding those pedaling it most fervently, according to the Brennan Center analysis.
In Georgia, for example, where Republican Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is seeking reelection in a crowded field, challenger Rep. Jody Hice (R-GA), who, as a member of Congress, objected to certifying President Joe Biden's victory, outraised all other candidates-- including Raffensperger-- through mid-2021.
Hice landed more than $500,000 in the three months after launching his campaign, the Brennan Center found, backed by a mix of small-dollar supporters and national GOP donors such as [billionaire neo-Nazi] Richard Uihlein of Uline Inc. Hice has said that if 2020 was a "fair election, it would be a different outcome."
In Michigan, however, a different story is emerging. Through mid-October of last year, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the Democratic incumbent, had raised $1.2 million-- more than five times what she had brought in at that point in the 2018 contest.
Benson has attracted national attention for her outspoken criticism of Trump and those who have cast doubt on the 2020 presidential race.
"There is a growing understanding that what's on the ballot in 2022 is, in some measure, nonpartisan election administration," Larry Norden, a co-author of the report, told ABC News. "And that's attracting a lot more money."
While it is too early to identify the new sources of fundraising, Norden said one trend has already emerged: a flood of out-of-state donations. In Georgia, 22% of donations have come from donors based in other states, a marked uptick from 2018, when only 13% of donations came from elsewhere.
Some strategists say Trump's proclivity to endorse loyalists up and down state and local ballots has motivated major national donors and political organizations to play a more active role in elections that, in past election cycles, would not have gotten their attention.
"[Trump and his allies are] trying to run out establishment Republicans and elect Trump loyalists at every level of government," said Sarah Longwell, strategic director at Republican Voters Against Trump, a coalition of conservatives opposed to Trump. "Trump is running a widespread insurgent strategy that is meant to continue to undercut traditional Republican candidates."
This morning, The Guardian reported that a gaggle of neo-fascist Trumpist candidates-- 6 of them-- have formed the Coalition of America First secretary of state candidates "to take control of the presidential election process in key battleground states that could determine the outcome of the 2024 presidential race. The group shares conspiracy theories about unfounded election fraud and exchanges ideas on how radically to reconstruct election systems in ways that could overturn the legitimate results of the next presidential race. All of them backed Trump’s efforts to subvert the 2020 election and cling on to power against the will of American voters. Several of the alliance have been personally endorsed by Trump and have a credible shot at winning the post of secretary of state-- the most powerful election officer in each state." The lunatics:
Jim Marchant (R-NV)
Jody Hice (R-GA)
Mark Finchem (R-AZ)
Kristina Karamo (R-MI)
Rachel Hamm (R-CA)
David Winney (R-CO)
They expect to announce new members of their coalition running in Wisconsin and Minnesota "imminently." I wonder if part of the initiation ceremony includes chugging a glass of warm urine.