Four Republican operatives are currently working to get Kanye West on the presidential ballot in time for the upcoming election, leading some to speculate that the real purpose of West’s longshot bid for the White House is to serve as a “spoiler” and help President Donald Trump win a second term in office, according to the New York Times:
“One operative, Mark Jacoby, is an executive at a company called Let the Voters Decide, which has been collecting signatures for the West campaign in three states. Mr. Jacoby was arrested on voter fraud charges in 2008 while he was doing work for the California Republican Party, and he later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor.
“Mr. Jacoby, in a statement, said his company was nonpartisan and worked for all political parties. ‘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,’ he said.”
New York magazine reported Monday that two other members of the effort to get the rapper on the ballot also have ties to the GOP:
- Gregg Keller, former executive director of the American Conservative Union. Keller was under consideration to be Trump’s campaign manager in 2015 before the job went to Corey Lewandowski
- Chuck Wilton, who is listed as a campaign delegate for the president. His wife works at the U.S. Department of Agriculture and was appointed to her post by Trump.
The Times notes that the goal of getting West on the ballot is simple: To take the votes of African-Americans away from presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden:
“The strategy of depressing turnout among Black voters has also been a favorite of Roger Stone, Mr. Trump’s longtime political adviser; Mr. Trump commuted Mr. Stone’s prison sentence earlier this year after his conviction on seven felony charges.
“Mr. Stone, who has maintained his innocence and who has vowed to help the president win re-election, has also previously focused on third-party national candidates, and he helped Gary Johnson, the former governor of New Mexico, as a Libertarian Party candidate in the 2012 race.”
With just three months until the election, it remains to be seen if West can manage to get his name onto the ballot in time to have any impact whatsoever on the final results.
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