Politico: “A little-known GOP candidate in one of Florida’s most competitive congressional seats was secretly recorded threatening to send ‘a Russian and Ukrainian hit squad’ to a fellow Republican opponent to make her ‘disappear.’”
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Arizona Republic: “People are knocking on the doors of Yavapai County residents and asking how they voted in the last election, while falsely claiming to represent the county recorder’s office.”
“The mysterious door-to-door survey, which has alarmed local officials, comes after the U.S. Department of Justice warned the Arizona Senate against plans to canvass voters’ homes as part of an unprecedented review of November’s election.”
“Interviews with more than a dozen election workers and top officials – and a review of disturbing texts, voicemails and emails that they and their families received – reveal the previously hidden breadth and severity of the menacing tactics,” Reuters reports.
Two particularly disturbing incidents come from Tricia Raffensperger, wife of Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R-GA): “In late November, the family went into hiding for nearly a week after intruders broke into the home of the Raffenspergers’ widowed daughter-in-law, an incident the family believed was intended to intimidate them. That evening, people who identified themselves to police as Oath Keepers – a far-right militia group that has supported Trump’s bid to overturn the election – were found outside the Raffenspergers’ home.”
She also received a chilling text message: “You and your family will be killed very slowly.”
Brad Raffensperger: “The continuing false claims of a stolen election have led to violent/death threats, intimidation, and claims of prison time coming for elections workers. They keep coming. Real leaders need to take steps to stop it. So far they haven’t.”
“Of the 150 disinformation campaigns that Facebook has caught and removed in the past four years, the U.S. has been the most frequent target by far, according to a new threat intelligence report from Facebook,” Axios reports.
The other top two targets: Ukraine and the United Kingdom.
The top two originators of disinformation campaigns: Russia and Iran.
“Key elements of the baseless claim that the 2020 election was stolen from President Donald Trump took shape in an airplane hangar here two years earlier, promoted by a Republican businessman who has sold everything from Tex-Mex food in London to a wellness technology that beams light into the human bloodstream…” the Washington Post reports.
“The enduring myth that the 2020 election was rigged was not one claim by one person. It was many claims stacked one atop the other, repeated by a phalanx of Trump allies. This is the previously unreported origin story of a core set of those claims, ideas that were advanced not by renowned experts or by insiders who had knowledge of flawed voting systems but by Ramsland and fellow conservative activists as they pushed a fledgling company, Allied Security Operations Group, into a quixotic attempt to find evidence of widespread fraud where none existed.”
New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) is suing conservative operatives Jacob Wohl and Jack Burkman “over robocalls the pair allegedly made to suppress the Black vote ahead of the 2020 presidential election,” the Daily Beast reports.
“If successful, they will be on the hook for $2.75 million, in addition to the felony charges they face in other states.”
“Texas Republican congressional candidate Susan Wright (R) is seeking help from federal law enforcement the day before her special election, after supporters reported receiving robocalls that accused her of being responsible for the death of her late husband,” Politico reports.
“Wright’s campaign reached out to the FBI and the Department of Justice on Friday after discovering robocalls baselessly alleging that she had ‘murdered’ her husband, the late Rep. Ron Wright (R-TX).”
“When incumbent Democrat José Javier Rodríguez lost his Florida state senate seat to Republican challenger Ileana Garcia by just 32 votes in November, the losing party and investigators began asking questions about a suspicious third candidate,” the Washington Post reports.
“Now, the mysterious candidate and a former Republican state senator are facing felony charges for crimes stemming from a plot to ‘confuse voters and siphon votes from the incumbent,’ police said in an affidavit filed this week.”
“The latest shoe to drop in a long-brewing Florida political scandal came crashing down Wednesday when authorities raided the house of former state senator Frank Artiles (R),” the Miami Herald reports.
“Artiles is believed to be tied to a state investigation involving a sham no-party candidate who likely swayed the outcome of a key 2020 Miami-Dade state Senate race.”
Associated Press: “While much of the material is coming from domestic sources such as Spanish-speaking social media ‘influencers,’ it increasingly originates on online sites in Latin America, those studying it closely say.”
“Misinformation originally promoted in English is translated in Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Nicaragua and elsewhere, then reaches Hispanic voters in the U.S. via communications from their relatives in those countries. That is often shared via private WhatsApp and Facebook chats and text chains.”
“A federal judge ruled Tuesday that former Miami Republican Rep. David Rivera violated campaign finance law when he funneled $75,927 in campaign money to a novice political candidate running against Rivera’s likely Democratic challenger in Florida’s 26th Congressional District — and ordered Rivera to pay a $456,000 fine for devising a scheme he knew was illegal,” the Miami Herald reports.
“In a scathing order, Judge Marcia Cooke said Rivera’s violations were knowing, willful and injured the public. She said Rivera has the money to pay the fine and also issued a permanent injunction to further prevent Rivera from breaking campaign finance law in the future since he continued to run for office after losing the 2012 race for Florida’s 26th Congressional District to Democrat Joe Garcia.”
While taking the train back to New York following the violent protests at the U.S. Capitol, a Bloomberg reporter noticed he was seated across from Project Veritas CEO James O’Keefe, who specializes in undercover audio recordings or videos, and then listened to him talk on the phone for two hours about what he planned next.
New York Times: “As Georgia prepares to hold special elections that will determine which party will control the U.S. Senate, the state has become the focus of a misinformation campaign that is aimed at discrediting the results of the November elections and convincing voters that Democrats are trying to steal the upcoming vote.”
“A small group of ‘superspreaders’ is responsible for the vast majority of that misinformation, according to new research by Avaaz, a global human rights group. Not only are those accounts responsible for most of the misinformation swirling around the vote, they are drowning out accurate reporting by mainstream media outlets on Facebook and Instagram.”
Related from Axios: “In 2020, nearly one-fifth (17%) of engagement among the top 100 news sources on social media came from sources that NewsGuard deems generally unreliable.”
The Miami Herald looks at the origins of a phantom candidate who was put on the ballot to steal votes from the Democrats in a tight Florida state senate race.
“The no-party candidate with the same surname as the incumbent Democrat had been a registered Republican until just before his qualifying papers were filed to make him a candidate for the Florida Senate. He received 6,382 votes in the election.”
Two armed Virginia men who were arrested Thursday outside the Philadelphia Convention Center were “coming to deliver a truck full of fake ballots” to the city, CNN reports.
“The center is one of the places where election workers have been counting votes from the 2020 general election, which includes the race for president.”
An unidentified robocaller has placed an estimated 10 million calls in the past several weeks warning people to “stay safe and stay home,” spooking some Americans who said they saw it as an attempt to scare them away from the polls on Election Day, the Washington Post reports.
“Four months before Legal Marijuana Now Party candidate Adam Weeks died in September, sending the pivotal Second Congressional District race into a legal tailspin, he told a close friend that he had been recruited by Republicans to draw votes away from Democrats,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
“Earlier this year, Weeks was struggling financially as the pandemic took a hit on his organic farming business, which he started with his mom. In the voicemail message, he said he didn’t have any funding to run a campaign but said Republicans were offering him $15,000. It wasn’t a lot, Weeks acknowledged, ‘but it’s enough to make door knocks with.'”
A secret recording shows that three Republican officials sought to frame a county Republican chairman for a falsified ad they put together smearing then-mayoral candidate Brandon Whipple (D), who is now the Democratic mayor of Wichita, Kansas, the Wichita Eagle reports.
One compared their mission to that of the man who shot Wichita abortion provider Dr. George Tiller.
☑️ SECRETS by Fred Ellis Brock, the third novel in The Seven trilogy, now available on Amazon, etc. A thriller out of today’s headlines: murder, treason, and UFO conspiracies. Published by Wyatt-MacKenzie.
☑️ On the American Exchange podcast, ex-pat Erich McElroy reaches across from London to try and find out what is happening to his home country. Past guests include Mary Trump, SE Cupp, Anthony Scaramucci and more.
☑️ A House Divided: Slavery and American Politics from the Constitution to the Civil War by Ben McNitt - on Amazon - Barnes & Nobel Bookstore