At least four people involved in Kanye West‘s independent run for President of the United States during this election cycle have significant ties to the Republican Party, according to a damning new report in the New York Times.
That’s a significant development, because it brings up the question of why paid Republican operatives would want to help the rapper and fashion designer, considering the party’s official nominee for the 2020 campaign is incumbent President Donald Trump.
Obviously Kanye would be competing directly with Trump, right? It’s a total conflict of interest! Why would they want him on the ballot??
According to the Times‘ reporting, the prevailing thought among political insiders is that the GOP’s desire to help Yeezy stems from their hope that he can siphon off portions of the Black vote and the youth vote — two groups which Trump wasn’t going to get much of anyway. However, both those groups are major staples in Democrat Joe Biden‘s voting bloc against Trump.
Yep — they’re using him as a spoiler.
Reportedly, the four operatives include Mark Jacoby, a Republican who was arrested for voter fraud in 2008 after illicit dealings in a California campaign, and a current executive with Let The Voters Decide — the organization that has been gathering signatures round-the-clock in multiple states to get ‘Ye on the ballot nearly nationwide in November.
A second operative, Missouri-based strategist Gregg Keller, is the former director of the American Conservative Union and is listed as Kanye’s campaign representative for the state of Arkansas. Keller nearly became Trump’s campaign manager during The Donald’s first presidential run back in 2015, before the job was instead given to Corey Lewandowski.
The Times reports Chuck Wilton to be the third operative connected to Kanye’s fledgling run at the White House. Wilton, from Vermont, is simultaneously listed as a Republican National Convention delegate for Trump, and his wife Wendy is a Trump-appointed executive at the United States Department of Agriculture. The newspaper of record reports that while Mr. Wilton was unable to be reached for comment on this story, they were able to contact Wendy at her Trump-appointed job, and “she hung up immediately when called at her office.” Holy s**t!
Finally, a VICE report first identified a fourth operative apparently working on behalf of Kanye: a well-known Republican elections lawyer and former Republican National Committee staffer named Lane Ruhland. She was first discovered dropping off ballot signatures for the 43-year-old rapper at a Wisconsin elections office by a local news reporter there, and subsequently later identified.
Of the four identified operatives, only Jacoby opted to give a statement on his role in helping Kim Kardashian West‘s husband run for office, telling The Times (below):
“We do not comment on any current clients, but like all Americans, anyone who is qualified to stand for election has the right to run.”
Kanye’s presidential run is a long shot, to say the least, but he may yet have a role to play as a spoiler if he can continue getting on the ballot in states that have large liberal populations. That includes Illinois and Ohio, where Let The Voters Decide has previously spent time gathering signatures on his behalf, and Wisconsin, where Ruhland was apparently dropping off more signatures, according to this report.
Yeezy’s presidential campaign strategy thus far has been scattershot and non-traditional, to say the least. And that’s even without mentioning how his recent actions on the campaign trail have created such a rift in his marriage that he may yet come away from this a divorced man.
For the Republican Party, though, Kanye may be the perfect wedge to pull away Black voters and drive a divide into Joe Biden’s previously-surging campaign, giving The Donald just enough space to coast to re-election. Ugh. It sucks just THINKING about that possibility!!!
Reactions, Perezcious readers? It sure seems like something fishy is going on here, doesn’t it?!
Sound OFF on what you think these Republican operatives are possibly doing with Kanye’s campaign, all down in the comments (below)…
[Image via WENN/Instar/Avalon.]
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