May 25, 2021

Grifters and Non-Grifters in Election Integrity: Who to Support?

The fallout from the election controversy has spawned a cottage industry of newly sprung organizations and I've decided to try to invest in it a much larger way. Which means trying to discern who is doing the work of the Founding Fathers in all of this since we all should feel some responsibility to try to continue what they started even if, perhaps, the experiment has already failed. 

I'm sure I'll be taken a ride along the way by some or all but to refuse to participate out of fear of being taken advantage of is cowardly, prideful, and maybe too beholden to the god of reason (as Chesterton said, "the rational soldier does not fight, the rational man does not marry"). 

Here are some thoughts on some of the players and orgs:

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1. I love what the guys at Conservative Daily Podcast are doing, the duo of Joe Oltmann and Max McGuire. Oltmann's lack of grift was shown by how it wasn't he who chose to go after Dominion, but rather Dominion's problems found him. He was on the ground floor of understanding the connection between Coomer and Antifa, went public with it, and now is experiencing the wrath of a media complex that will disparage the reputation of a Kentucky high schooler (Nick Sandmann) but not question a corporation owned by hedge fund responsible for tabulating our votes.  Oltmann could use the bucks for his legal defense and seems deserving, especially because he was in it before there was any remunerative potential. 

McGuire is pretty amazing fellow given that he actually exhibits fairness - a primary characteristic of the drive for truth, ala Aquinas - rather than just demonizing people. He said in response to Joe's queries about, "why do the vaccinated care about other people getting the vaccine when they can't get it?".  Max brought up what I was thinking: because variants will emerge and the variants will evade the vaccine.  How many would say that to listeners who are extremely anti-vacc in the main? 

And from yesterday's podcast:  

"We shouldn't even be in the position where we have to worry if the machine is restricting Republican ballots. And I get that some of that could be confirmation bias, that we already suspect that they are doing sinister things so anytime anything goes wrong we just connect the dots. That's going to be at play no matter what.  But when you have so many people saying 'they wouldn't let me vote but they let their Democrats vote'." 

Oltmann is in the process of building up platforms that will allow for unfettered conservative speech.  Grade: A 

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2. Matt Braynard's Looking Forward America.  Braynard was entrepreneurial in his approach to fraud, proactively and competently seeking new data sources to try to get at the truth since so much of the data is held by secretaries of state and consist of old, unmaintained voting rolls that are a joke.  He was very careful with caveats, methodology, transparency and would not make the claim that Trump would've won the election but merely in certain states we don't know what the outcome would've been.  Seems one of the most responsible folks on the election integrity front. Grade: A

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3. Sidney Powell's Defending the Republic:  I've soured a bit on Sidney.  I think her lack of attention to detail to the filings she made (the myriad misspellings) despite having time for media appearances during the time was off-putting.  I don't really fault her for the cases she brought given that they were never decided on the merits. The fear of the courts of controversial issues is legendary (witness even the highest court in the land with the highest justice, John Roberts, and his fear of overturning Obamacare)  and to some extent these things have to be done at the state legislature level despite the lack of appetite there for the potential spoiling of their career as a politician. Sadly politicians are now paid commentators at one extreme or milquetoast functionaries on the other, and both in it for life.  Grade: C-. 

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4. Mike Lindell. Mike Lindell, what can you say? He's a live wire. Seems as guileless as Nathaniel in the gospels.  Jimmy Kimmel asked him, "why is a pillow guy sitting on this information?"  And the answer is, of course, because the death of journalism requires amateurs.  Performed a service in his documentaries by highlighting the questions that deserve answers. His social media platform didn't quite work out, but then neither has Parler (now bowing before the knee of Apple) or Gab (hacked with all passwords and IDs exposed).  Apparently social media is a very hard thing to do. The fact that he lost all his stores due to being cancelled also buoys his status as the original anti-grifter. Grade: B. 

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5. Young Americans for Freedom: Not about election integrity but perhaps a way to reach our woebegone youth.  The very credible Gov. Scott Walker heads it now, and the tagline is genius: "playing the long game".  Definitely want to fund not just the short term but long game.  Grade: too soon to know. 

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6. Matthew DePerno and his law firm.  He's gotten farther with less than any attorney in the country and competence should be rewarded.  He made breakthroughs in information that no one else has been able to get, such as how votes can be backdated to any time / date stamp.  He also found a 4G Telit modem (made in Taiwan) in voting machine used in Michigan after being told by Michigan Sens Ed McBroom and Mike Shirkey that voting machines have no modems.  His case was eventually dismissed but not on the merits, the judge emphasizing that he was making no ruling on machine fraud. Grade: B+

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7. Patrick ByrneThe former owner and CEO of Overstock.com has recently started a Locals channel after writing a surprising bestselling book on the 2020 election titled "The Deep Rig".  If it's true he's put $5 million into election integrity efforts then his charging $5 a month for his channel seems reasonable and not "grifty".  But he's overpromised a bit, saying a "big thing" is coming on 5/28, a "mother of all bombs", and then walking it back lately saying it's going to be more "three yards and a cloud of dust".  Grade: B. 

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8. Alliance for Defending Freedom.  Not about election security but related in that it uses the legal system to try to defend our religious liberty.  Doing God's work and worth supporting. It's a shame that monies that could be used for the poor or evangelization now have to go to "secondary" things like ADF and election security but it is what it is.  Grade A.

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