April 07, 2021

The Mystery of Raffensperger

Since the '20 election I've been fascinated by the tale of GA Sec. of State Raffensperger, his meteoric rise in politics and his trustworthiness.  An older gent with no history of political ambition, he suddenly ran for a lowly GA House seat in 2015. (Spoiler: by 2018 he was running the state's election system.) 

On January 6th, 2015 he had a problem though. He could not clear 50% of the votes in the special election* for the House seat, and so had a bitter run-off with opponent Kelly Stewart on Feb 3rd. A nail-biter of a race, he had one month to win it.  He went to the local Chinese community and said, "just get me 100 votes" which sounds eerily like Trump's phone call to him later. Of course he was saying it prior to the election so there's that...

And nothing wrong in asking for votes of course. 

But we know that Chinese spies were very active in our politics at this period. Swalwell's spy-lover was very active herself from 2011 through 2015:

She used political gatherings, civic society conferences, campaign rallies, and campus events to connect with elected officials... U.S. intelligence officials believed she was overseeing likely unwitting subagents whom she helped place in local political and congressional offices.

Fang attended regional conferences for U.S. mayors, which allowed her to grow her network of politicians across the country. She also engaged in sexual or romantic relationships with at least two mayors of Midwestern cities over a period of about three years. 

Sen. Feinstein's spy was also active during the same period, with the FBI showing up at the Senator's office in 2013 to warn her. 

Chris Wray acknowledged the threat Chinese spying in particular poses, saying, “China from a counterintelligence perspective represents the broadest, most pervasive, most threatening challenge we face as a country.”

So we have this Raffensperger fellow desperate for votes in this seemingly minor governmental position, perhaps in need of money, the grand money that all politics brings nowadays - and is meeting with a group of politically attuned native-born Chinese who, wittingly or unwittingly, had agents among them.  

* - the special election resulted when Lynne Riley was plucked by ethically challenged Gov. Deal (in trouble previously for having "office staff pressure Georgia officials to continue the state vehicle inspection program that generated hundreds of thousands of dollars a year for his family's auto salvage business"); Reilly was later chosen by present Gov. Kemp as State Treasurer. Riley, Stewart, and Raffensperger all hail from John's Creek, GA, a town of 80,000 and apparently a hotbed of aspiring pols.

Late model political careers suit Georgians: Govs Deal and Kemp, Sec Raffensperger, Treasure Riley all got relative late starts after owning businesses (likely seeing how business and politics intersected and noting where the money was). 

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