We used to worry about climate change deniers getting into Congress, but now we have even more problematic candidates running for office.
I mean, having 139 climate deniers in Congress today (source) is deeply problematic, yes, but now we also have to worry about election deniers trying to get into elected office.
Georgia 2020 Election Deniers Setting Sights On Higher Office
Just in Georgia, Gov. Brian Kemp is being challenged (on the right) by Vernon Jordan, a pro-Trump supporter who is running on a platform that Kemp didn’t do enough to make sure Trump won the 2020 election. Jody Hice is running against GA’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensberger using the same platform.
But we don’t just have problematic people running for the top jobs in the states. Oh no. I also saw this in the headlines recently:
QAnon’s new ‘plan’? Run for school board
That’s right — adherents of this dangerous group are working to spread their conspiracies and affect education policies right in our backyards. As the article points out, they may know enough not to call themselves Qanon, but that’s the agenda they are pushing.
But here’s where it gets difficult. It’s often quite difficult to find information about candidates running for very local races. More often than not, candidates for these local races won’t be identified on the ballot as belonging to one party or another, so simply saying “vote blue” isn’t an effective strategy for weeding these people out.
So how can you find out who is running for your local races? I have a few suggestions. First, be sure to read any election related information that your county sends you — like candidate statements or a list of endorsements each candidate may have. Those things can give you some clues.
You can also find out quite a bit by Googling their name and the name of the position they are running into. I’ve found articles written in local newspapers or community guides with short interviews with the candidates, or clips of debates that they participated in, etc.
But if you don’t have the time to do that, it’s critical that you plug into a local community group that does have volunteers that are looking out for those red flags. You likely have a local precinct chair, or a social services organization that focusing on voting rights or elections, or a group like Indivisible — attend their meetings or sign up for their emails and learn more about candidates that way.
It is imperative that we stop election deniers and conspiracy theorists from winning seats in our local communities.
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If I may – during Obama’s administration, GOP focused on running for down slate positions – for those 8 years and somewhat during the last 4, with the results we now see. GOP and political allies since at LEAST the 80s has been setting up shell organizations with innocuous names (Oregonians for Food and Shelter, Oregon Citizen’s Alliance, Timber Unity) where the goal is to find people who are already mad about changes – convince them they can turn back the clock, and urge them to do things that in many cases are undoable, while promising them “power” including low level political positions. If they win change, fine, but it seems especially lately that NOT winning is even more acceptable as it makes the group members madder and points even more negative energy — OUTWARD. Away from the sponsors who arguably are betraying them by setting them up for failure with activities like recalling a popular Governor (Brown) who is term limited anyway! I believe the goal is to make the group members even madder, wasting positive energy while shielding behind the scenes cash grabs.
Here’s a current example — Timber Unity: You can’t “get back” timber that timber companies have cut (and then left for another region, leaving unemployment behind. We looked it up – the GOP type sponsors of Timber Unity are promising them change back, promising “future timber jobs” and sustainability while working to get cut over lands rezoned for low density, expensive housing in fire prone areas while getting out from under their statutory requirements to re-grow timber.
OFS was specifically pro herbicide (we had to work with them on a regional project that incorporated epidemiology in the study – long story); and OCA was anti gay as they framed it then. Now anti LGBTQ+ of course.
GOP has been systematically defunding natural resource agencies since the very late 70s. (I edited a fascinating dissertation on the topic.) The outcome for just one agency (USFS) was a 60% reduction in force over a number of years in the 80s. The spotted owl fights appear to have used the same kind of political energy.
It’s no wonder the QAnons are being recruited in exactly the same way. Win, create havoc; lose, create more anger and cover for corporate/GOP actions.
This is an excellent example, Kathy. This is such a valuable lesson. Thank you.
My local Democratic party group keeps close tabs on who the candidates are for various “non-partisan” local offices like school board and city council. Even though they are non=partisan races, the Dems still have a volunteer base that works for the candidates who agree with the values of the group.
That’s exactly the type of group everyone needs to be plugged into. Good job!
I’m going to echo Marsha and say that checking with your county Democratic Party is very useful. My local Dems interview candidates for local elections, and issue a list of endorsements for the candidates which align with our values. This is especially useful for those nonpartisan candidates.
Yup — great option!
Sometimes you can get information from the “enemy.” The right wingers have websites whereon they discuss elections and candidates whom they like or dislike, and why. FInd out whom they endorse and vote for their opponents.