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Is the Republican Party finally doing the election due diligence it should have been doing since 2020?

The Republican Party: Finally waking up?
The Republican Party: Is it finally waking up?

Too late is better than nothing: Three stories in the past week suggest that after almost four years of twiddling its thumbs, the Republican National Committee (RNC) is finally beginning to do the hard work necessary to prevent Democratic Party vote tampering in the 2024 election.

This new apparently aggressive approach began almost immediately after Michael Whatley and Lara Trump took over as co-chairs of the committee from Ronna McDaniel, who for seven years seemed incapable of achieving anything beneficial for Republicans, or conservatives for that matter. In addition, a new chief of operations, Chris LaCivita, was brought in.

Four days after these people took over they did a complete house-cleaning of the staff at the committee.

As we reported Monday night, political director Elliott Echols and one of his top staffers, Tripp Looser; communications director Keith Schippert; Mike Mears (chief of staff to former co-chair Drew McKissick); and the lead data director were all given their walking papers. We also reported at that time that an email went out to staff from Sean Cairncross, LaCivita’s number two, stating that all existing vendor contracts were going to be reviewed.

We now know that every one of the RNC’s regional political directors, state directors, RNC Community Center staffers, and members of its election-integrity team were fired. Some of those let go were informed that they could reapply for their old positions, and the rest were simply let go but paid until the end of March.

This article also outlines the major restructuring of the entire committee management staff and programs. Included in these changes was the hiring of two people to coordinate the committee’s election integrity legal effort.

LaCivita brought in Charlie Spies, one of the most experienced Republican election law attorneys out there, as chief counsel, and former Trump attorney Christina Bobb as senior counsel for election integrity.

The arrival of Spies and Bobb has apparently resulted in immediate action, in two states, with more predicted. Two days after these changes the committee sued Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for failing to maintain proper voter rolls, as required by law. One week later the committee followed up with a similar lawsuit against Nevada’s secretary of state Cisco Aguliar. As noted in the introduction to the Michigan lawsuit (available here [pdf]):

Section 8 of the NVRA requires States to maintain clean and accurate voter registration records. Michigan has failed to live up to the NVRA’s requirements. At least 53 Michigan counties have more active registered voters than they have adult citizens who are over the age of 18. That number of voters is impossibly high. An additional 23 counties have active-voter registration rates that exceed 90 percent of adult citizens over the age of 18. That figure far eclipses the national and statewide voter registration rate in recent elections.

This is not the first time Michigan has failed to abide by the NVRA’s requirements. In 2020, Michigan election officials were sued in this Court for violating the NVRA. At the time, Michigan had one county with registration rates in excess of 100% of the voting-age population, and 15 counties with rates above 90%. The state defendants moved to dismiss the case, but this Court denied the motions.

Soon after the Court denied the motions to dismiss, the Secretary of State publicly announced that election officials would cancel the registration of 177,000 former voters who either surrendered a Michigan driver’s license to another state or had election mail returned undeliverable to an election official before the 2018 election. In addition, the Bureau of Elections declared it would provide local election clerks the absentee ballot applications returned undeliverable to the Bureau for the 2020 election, and it would mail additional notifications requiring verification to voters listed as registered in other states by the Electronic Registration Information Center. Based on these representations, the plaintiffs voluntarily dismissed the case.

But since Daunt, Michigan’s voter rolls have gotten exponentially worse. In 2020, Michigan had one county with registration rates above 100% of the voting-age population. Now it has 53. [emphasis mine]

In other words, the Democrats running Michigan’s elections defied the courts, and allowed their vote rolls to get even more corrupted after the ruling of the previous lawsuit.

The Nevada complaint [pdf] cites similar long-standing failures in that state.

While there have been similar lawsuits by many different organizations against Democratic Party state officials since 2020, very few have been done by the Republican National Committee, or if it had it did so in a weak and ineffective manner. Instead, most of the legal work has been done by others who have less legal standing and fewer resources to pursue their cases as aggressively.

The RNC had been acting almost as if it didn’t really care if voter rolls were corrupt, and vote tampering was taking place.

This lackadaisical attitude appears to have finally changed, with these two lawsuits.

It is of course early, and these suits might simply be the sum total of the RNC’s entire campaign. If so, it will be entirely inadequate but very much par for the course. Conservatives have for years learned to expect nothing from the establishment Republican Party, whose loyalties more often seemed aligned not with them but with the Democrats controlling Washington.

If however these suits are part of a much bigger campaign, they might finally signal a willingness of the Republican Party to fight. That the change took place with the arrival of pro-Trump officials to run the RNC suggests this is what is going to happen.

These changes at the RNC also seem to illustrate what is happening nationwide on the right. Very steadily the establishment Republicans who for years have claimed to represent conservative values during their election campaigns but then acted more like Democrats when in office have been slowly replaced by actual conservatives, willing to fight. This change is being led by Trump, not so much by who he has endorsed (as he often picks poorly) but by providing a model for others.

These new Republicans are copying Trump. They see they can win by fighting hard and for real, rather than making believe they are fighting hard. And the voters like this new generation, and are voting for them in ever increasing numbers.

The trend was first seen in 2016, when the Jeb Bush campaign flopped like a wet seal. It had big donor money and the support of the entire Republican establishment, and went nowhere. In addition the establishment pushed John Kasich as well, in order to split the vote to weaken by Trump and Ted Cruz.

This year we can see how much has changed, in that this time the establishment only had Nicki Halley as their horse in the race, and she had even less traction than Bush or Kasich, depending on Democrats almost entirely for her support.

Kari Lake (l), Bernie Moreno, and J.D. Vance
Kari Lake (l), and Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) (r)
campaign with Bernie Moreno, now the Republican
candidate for the senate in Ohio. Click for video.
All three represent the new generation of
Republicans inspired by Trump.

The voters are clearly recognizing who is really on their side. The landslide victory this week of Trump-endorsed Bernie Moreno in the Ohio Republican Party senate primary illustrates this. He ran against two establishment candidates, and won by a gigantic margin, getting more than 50% of the total vote.

This shift by the voters is apparently finally percolating down into the RNC itself. For this we should be grateful, as it suggests the ability of the right to fight and win will be increased.

That the RNC’s election integrity effort is coming so late in the election campaign, however, leaves us with many worries. It could very well be that this effort, while correct and necessary, is simply coming too late. It might not be possible to fix the many election problems by November that made the 2020 election so questionable.

Stay tuned. The trends are going in the right direction, but whether they are moving fast enough remains the big unknown.

Genesis cover

On Christmas Eve 1968 three Americans became the first humans to visit another world. What they did to celebrate was unexpected and profound, and will be remembered throughout all human history. Genesis: the Story of Apollo 8, Robert Zimmerman's classic history of humanity's first journey to another world, tells that story, and it is now available as both an ebook and an audiobook, both with a foreword by Valerie Anders and a new introduction by Robert Zimmerman.

 

The print edition can be purchased at Amazon. Or you can buy it directly from the author and get an autographed copy.

 
The ebook is available everywhere for $5.99 (before discount) at amazon, or direct from my ebook publisher, ebookit. If you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and the author gets a bigger cut much sooner.


The audiobook is also available at all these vendors, and is also free with a 30-day trial membership to Audible.
 

"Not simply about one mission, [Genesis] is also the history of America's quest for the moon... Zimmerman has done a masterful job of tying disparate events together into a solid account of one of America's greatest human triumphs."--San Antonio Express-News

14 comments

  • Call Me Ishmael

    “The trend was first seen in 2020, when the Jeb Bush campaign flopped …”

    That would be 2016.

  • Call Me Ishmael: You are correct of course. Now fixed.

  • Richard

    Not so much the Republican party but the Trump people are the ones fixing this. Now that Trump has truly taken over the RNC, they are doing something. But for the Republican establishment and the donor class, it is business as usual.

  • Milt

    Ah, yes, the “bloodbath” at the RNC. As a result, and as suggested,

    “If however these suits are part of a much bigger campaign, they might finally signal a willingness of the Republican Party to
    fight. That the change took place with the arrival of pro-Trump officials to run the RNC suggests this is what is going to happen.

    These changes at the RNC also seem to illustrate what is happening nationwide on the right. Very steadily the establishment Republicans who for years have claimed to represent conservative values during their election campaigns but then acted more
    like Democrats when in office have been slowly replaced by actual conservatives, willing to fight. This change is being led by
    Trump, not so much by who he has endorsed (as he often picks poorly) but by providing a model for others.”

    Yes, contented members of the Washington Uniparty who never rocked the boat and always got along to get along. And who would effectively sell out the interests of their constituents in a heartbeat.

    It would seem to me that this new commitment to activism — at least a much as the prospect of Donald Trump running again for office — is what is sending the Jocabin Democrats into paroxysms of TDS, witness this T Coronae Borealis-scale outburst from Robert Reich,
    https://www.rsn.org/001/trump-is-out-of-his-mind-and-desperate.html , the poster child for this disease.

    Until recently, it was mostly the radical left that understood that it was engaged in an actual war for the future of our country / culture / civilization, but Republicans, much like England slipping into the dark days of 1941, are finally beginning to grasp that they are in the crosshairs. About time.

  • Jeff Wright

    The GOP donor class and DNC environmentalists both want Americans poor.
    Low wages mean high profits for Wall Street –and nothing is Greener than being destitute.
    Hitler/Stalin pact.

  • Andrew_W

    How is it known what the voting age population actually is in each county?

  • Andrew_W: Article I, section 2 of the Constitution requires a census of the population be done every ten years in order to determine the number of House representatives each state should have. That census also tells us exactly how many voters exist in each district.

  • Andrew_W

    “But since Daunt, Michigan’s voter rolls have gotten exponentially worse. In 2020, Michigan had one county with registration rates above 100% of the voting-age population. Now it has 53.”

    The 2020 census doesn’t provided evidence to support that “now 53” claim.

  • Penrod

    Cleaning up the voter rolls is important but I think the bigger problem by far is the near complete takeover of the former news media, including popular culture magazines, by Democratic Party activists who lie constantly about Republicans and cover up constantly about Democrats.

    Covering up the Hunter Biden laptop story alone may well have tipped the election from Trump to Biden by preventing swing voters from getting information which would have prevented them voting for Biden. That sort of behavior will be unaffected by voter rolls, clean or dirty.

  • TallDave

    finally there’s hope

    of course should Democrats steal another election, every one of these brave people will face disbarment, prison or worse

  • TallDave

    “Until recently, it was mostly the radical left that understood that it was engaged in an actual war for the future of our country / culture / civilization, but Republicans, much like England slipping into the dark days of 1941, are finally beginning to grasp that they are in the crosshairs. About time.”

    Yes, a lot of them just don’t get it, even when peaceful vote fraud protesters are paraded through show trials in kangaroo courts within view of the Capitol. Jefferson must be rolling over in his grave.

    The GOP is fundamentally the part of political apathy — we just want to forget politics and get on with life. Democrats by contrast birth a constant, shrieking stream of new grievances, leaving the trad-GOP with a whelk’s chance in a supernova.

  • TallDave

    “Andrew_W: Article I, section 2 of the Constitution requires a census of the population be done every ten years in order to determine the number of House representatives each state should have. That census also tells us exactly how many voters exist in each district.”

    And as Elon has noted, that census also counts illegals! So the actual number of legal voters must be even lower. Just astounding.

  • The GOP is fundamentally the part of political apathy — we just want to forget politics and get on with life.

    TallDave, you can add to that the problem that millions of our neighbors share, regardless of party. We have all been subject – from our very first day at school, when we were told to “be nice” and “trust Teacher” – to conditioning that leads us away from considering ourselves “qualified” to question, let alone challenge, those deemed to be “experts” and “leaders” on the basis of surface appearances.

    But when someone does break through that conditioning and questions or challenges them, those who remain conditioned consider it a threat to the social order and, if those in authority (who also were conditioned in their earlier days to believe that their technocratic social order is the One True Way) do not step in and assure that the unalienable rights of said someone are respected and protected, they will attack the threat in a manner reminiscent of our body’s immune system … or a mob of religious fundamentalists out to eradicate the heresy.

    Yet is is such questioning, that keeps a society healthy and prevents it from sinking into the dysfunctions we see around us today,

    Penrod, if that conditioning wasn’t imposed upon us, the media would not be able to get away with their selective presentations.

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