Trump Pretty Sure Trump-Supporting Company Rigged Pennsylvania Against Him
Scranton's own Joe Biden is leading most polls from Pennsylvania, and you know Donald Trump is scared because he's spewing more mindless conspiracy theories and random libel on Twitter. Sunday, Trump repeated his baseless charge that intentional election fraud was occurring in a state he's set to lose in eight days.
It should come as no surprise that Trump doesn't know what he's talking about. It wasn't Democratic Governor Tom Wolf who botched the delivery of tens of thousands of absentee ballots to Ohio and Pennsylvania voters. That was Cleveland-based Midwest Direct, a company that until recently had a Trump flag flying in front of its headquarters.
From the New York Times:
Midwest Direct is owned by two brothers, Richard Gebbie, the chief executive, and James Gebbie, the chairman. This summer they began flying a Trump 2020 flag above Midwest Direct's headquarters on the west side of Cleveland. It was a curious juxtaposition — a company in the business of distributing absentee ballots through the mail showing a preference for a president who has spent months denigrating the practice of voting by mail.
"We have freedom to vote for who we want and support who we want," Richard Gebbie said in an interview last month. "We fly a flag because my brother and I own the company and we support President Trump."
Now, that's a classic George Soros move: Hire Trump supporters for a task and let the incompetence take care of itself.
Newsweek reported that in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County more than 28,000 ballots were sent to the wrong addresses. That impacts the state's 17th congressional district, where Republican Sean Parnell is challenging Democrat Conor Lamb.
The problem isn't “corrupt politics in Pennsylvania," as Trump claims, but bungling from a private company that supports the president.
Because of the pandemic, there's an increased demand for absentee ballots. The affected counties provided Midwest Direct with "tens of thousands of requests weeks in advance." The voters who haven't received theirs yet through no fault of their own should have more time to return them. You'd think Trump would support this, but he actually hates when people's votes are counted. This is what happens when a president loses the popular vote and wins the Electoral College through a rounding error.
Last month, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, aware that COVID-19 existed, ruled that mail-in ballots should be counted if they are received up to three days after Election Day, unless a "preponderance of the evidence" showed that the ballot was mailed after the election. There is nothing criminal or fraudulent about this but Republicans still fought the ruling, taking it to the Supreme Court, which left the ruling in place, but only because the high court is currently deadlocked.
Trump said the ruling was “crazy," and "we shouldn't let it happen." The wannabe autocrat thinks people voting against him would only dampen enthusiasm for his future rallies.
The upside for Trump is that Republicans are fast-tracking their hired gun Amy Coney Barrett onto the Supreme Court tonight. Pennsylvania Republicans are challenging the state ruling again and requesting that the Supreme Court rule on the merits of the case. Justices Thomas (of course), Alito, Gorsuch, and Kavanaugh have indicated that they would've granted the Republicans' request, and once confirmed, Barrett will have a lifetime guarantee of never disappointing Republicans.
So, a significant number of voters might have their ballots tossed out and never counted for no good reason other than Republicans find democracy bad for business.
Trump managed to drop some extra racism at the end of his Sunday tweet. He declared Philadelphia “out of control" and cc:ed his goons at the Department of Justice. He could probably call a meeting. He has the attorney general's number. He doesn't need to mafioso by tweet.
At a campaign rally Friday in Pensacola, Florida, Trump told his supporters that “they" play games in Philadelphia. “They" won't even let his thugs “watch the count" in Philadelphia, a Democratic stronghold that is predominately Black. The Trump campaign has been videotaping Philly voters as they deposit their ballots in drop boxes, which state attorney general Josh Shapiro rightly denounced as voter intimidation tactics.
"Pennsylvania law permits poll watchers to carry out very discrete and specific duties — videotaping voters at drop boxes is not one of them," Mr. Shapiro, a Democrat, said. "Our entire system of voting is built on your ballot being private and your choice to vote being a personal one. Depending on the circumstance, the act of photographing or recording a voter casting a ballot could be voter intimidation — which is illegal."
The Trump campaign claimed to have caught on tape shady figures, such as a guy "wearing a striped baseball cap" and a woman "with gold bangles," dropping off “multiple ballots." Trump's stooges aren't so much trying to win as they are casting doubt on the integrity of the election itself. They want it close enough to take to a friendly Supreme Court or justify a violent response when the state is called for Biden.
We can't get rid of this monster fast enough.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."