Two Democratic Party-affiliated groups on Tuesday announced a multimillion-dollar ad campaign targeting Republican candidates for secretary of state over voter fraud lies promoted by former President Donald Trump.
Safe Accessible Fair Elections and End Citizens United announced $11 million in ad spending to defeat GOP candidates Kim Crockett in Minnesota, Kristina Karamo in Michigan and Jim Marchant in Nevada.
Safe Accessible Fair Elections — the independent spending arm of the Democratic Association of Secretaries of State, or DASS — is spending in all three races. End Citizens United, a political action committee focused on campaign finance reform, is spending against Karamo and Marchant.
DASS also announced that it would contribute between $10 million and $14 million to state party committees in Arizona and Georgia supporting two candidates for secretary of state, Adrian Fontes and Bee Nguyen.
This is DASS and End Citizens United’s first major ad campaign of 2022. The two groups aim to defend sitting Democratic secretaries of state midterm in November and stop GOP deniers from taking the lead. control in key presidential battleground states.
Crockett, Karamo and Marchant have all been endorsed by Trump and support his myth that the 2020 presidential election was stolen. Since the secretary of state acts as the top election official in Minnesota, Michigan and Nevada, placing a Holocaust denier in that position could hurt future races.
“Secretaries of State are supposed to ensure safe and accessible elections and instead we have extreme MAGA candidates on the ballot focused on culture wars, election rigging for their political allies and sweeping attacks on our freedoms like the end of women’s right to make their own healthcare decisions,” Tiffany Muller, president of End Citizens United, said in a statement.
“They pose a dangerous threat to our democracy and we will continue to hold them accountable and show that they are unfit to hold statewide elections.”
Karamo, a far-right podcaster who takes on incumbent Democrat Jocelyn Benson, rose in GOP political circles by falsely claiming after the 2020 race that Michigan’s election machines were rigged against Trump. She vowed to continue to pursue false allegations of voter fraud and to end or restrict mail-in voting if elected.
In Minnesota, Crockett falsely called the 2020 election ‘illegitimate’ and ‘anarchic’, called mail-in voting ‘insecure’ and said postal workers could not be trusted to deliver mail-in ballots because “the postal union is a partisan player”. She also asked if people who need help voting due to a lack of English proficiency or a disability should vote. She is running against incumbent Democrat Steve Simon.
Marchant, a former state assemblyman and defeated congressional candidate, said he would not have certified the 2020 election, called for an end to mail-in voting and said all elections of Nevada had been fraudulent since at least 2006.
“We haven’t elected anyone in Nevada since 2006,” Marchant said on a podcast with links to the QAnon conspiracy movement. “They were installed by the Deep State Cabal.”
While current Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske is out for a limited time, Marchant is running against Democrat Cisco Aguilar.
An advertisement targeting Crockett hits her for saying she would be the “chief election denier”. He also noted his opposition to postal voting.
An ad against Marchant blames him for saying he wanted to end early and mail-in voting. It also hits him for opposing abortion rights, while another ad targets Karamo for the same reason.
The anti-Karamo ad raises some of his most outrageous comments about “demonic powers” and the “satanic agenda,” linking them to his opposition to abortion rights.
“We’re battling demonic powers,” she says in a clip that aired in the ad. We also hear him say that the Democratic Party has been “totally taken over by [a] Satanic Agenda,” before asserting in another audio clip that “child sacrifice is a very satanic practice, and that is precisely what abortion is.”
The video ends with a video of Karamo saying that she got involved in politics “to fight against abortion”.
Abortion became a major issue midway through 2022 after the conservative Supreme Court supermajority in June overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, ending nationwide abortion rights protections. Crockett, Karamo and Marchant are all opposed to abortion rights.
Although the post of Secretary of State has no role related to abortion policy, the ads link opposition to abortion rights with the broader effort of voter fraud liars to rig the election against the Democrats.
“The Republican Party knows that stripping Americans of our freedoms — like banning abortion — is unpopular, so they’re willing to steal our right to vote to get it,” said DASS executive director Kim Rogers. , in a press release. “If changing the rules doesn’t work, they’re prepared to cancel the election in order to pick the winners.”
The issue has also become central to Democrats’ grassroots mobilization efforts. These attacks also highlight the partisan differences between candidates in much lesser-known races like those for secretary of state.
DASS and End Citizens United ads add to a announced a $4 million ad buy from the iVote Group against Crockett and Marchant in Minnesota and Nevada, respectively.
The Huffington Gt