Show an ad over header. AMP

I am the FIRST

Matt Gaetz is training to promote a baseless fight against voting machines

Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) joined a group of conservatives last week at a training session for activists readying to combat the continued use of the voting technology that propelled Trumpworld's 2020 election-theft conspiracy theories.

Why it matters: Theories about uncounted or overcounted votes have become politically tricky and legally problematic for their most prominent backers. The activist training is part of an effort to put a more respectable and pragmatic face on the trend.


What's happening: The remote event was hosted last Friday by the Leadership Institute and emceed by Matthew Braynard, who spearheaded an effort to unearth proof of 2020 voter fraud.

  • "If we focus only on why people vote, and the left focuses on how votes are laundered and processed and requested and returned and verified, then we can have the better ideas and still lose power," Gaetz warned in opening remarks.
  • Braynard and a handful of Leadership Institute staffers trained activists about how to lobby state and county governments to oppose the use of voting machines such as those made by Dominion Voting Systems, which has been targeted with outlandish and false attacks by Donald Trump, his legal team and supporters.
  • Braynard is already pushing for Stark County, Ohio, to end a contract with Dominion.
  • Dominion was in the news again Monday after it filed a $1.3 billion lawsuit against MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, accusing him of harming the firm with baseless criticism of its machines.

The training effort is part of a larger campaign by Braynard's group, Look Ahead America, to combat what it calls "black-box" voting technology.

  • The proprietary nature of equipment such as Dominion's makes it more difficult to publicly inspect the ways in which that technology tabulates votes, he insists.
  • Braynard says the proposed alternative — "open-source" equipment — "removes the dangerous suspicion that election results are not valid."

Reality check: That "dangerous suspicion" about the 2020 election is entirely a product of conspiracy theories floated by Trump and his allies.

  • Braynard himself launched a group late last year called the Voter Integrity Project, which used public voter data to attempt to root out ostensibly fraudulent or suspicious votes in key swing states.
  • Braynard's data was cited in multiple unsuccessful lawsuits seeking to overturn 2020 election results. But some of that data fell apart under closer examination.

Braynard nonetheless raised more than half a million dollars for the effort.

  • While the Voter Integrity Project did not have formal financial reporting requirements, Braynard documented its spending in a public spreadsheet to address any concerns that money was misspent or steered to him personally.
  • The leftover funds — about $85,000, he told Axios — have been donated to Look Ahead America, which Braynard founded in 2018.
  • He's now restarting the organization, which had its tax-exempt status revoked after repeatedly failing to file IRS forms. Braynard says it's already raised another $75,000 and brought on a new treasurer to address the prior reporting errors.

In photos: Brazilians rally against Bolsonaro as COVID deaths top 500,000

Demonstrators took to the streets in at least 22 of Brazil’s 26 states to protest President Jair Bolsonaro's handling of the pandemic — as COVID-19 cases surged past 500,000 on Saturday, per AP.

The big picture: Brazil has the world's second-highest coronavirus death toll and third-highest number of cases. Only 12% of the country's population has been vaccinated against the virus, AP notes.

Keep reading... Show less

Major companies ask Colorado residents not to apply for remote positions

Major companies have said in recent job postings that Colorado residents are ineligible to apply for certain remote positions because a new state law requires businesses to disclose the expected salary or pay range for positions, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The law, which went into effect in January, is meant to help close the gender wage gap and to promote wage transparency for employees, but companies have said Coloradans need not apply to avoid disclosing the information.

Keep reading... Show less

In photos: Communities across nation celebrate Juneteenth

People across the country are celebrating Juneteenth National Independence Day.

The big picture: The date, June 19, memorializes when some of the last enslaved people in Texas learned about their freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation in 1865.

Keep reading... Show less

Separate and unequal paths to business

When a bank turned down George Johnson for a business loan, he got creative. He returned and told the bank he needed $250 to take his wife on a vacation — and was approved. Then he invested the cash in his business, which became the first Black enterprise to trade on the American Stock Exchange.

Why it matters: The highways to success in the U.S. market economy — in entrepreneurship, corporate leadership and wealth creation — are often punctuated with roadblocks and winding detours for people of color.

Keep reading... Show less

Attempting to reform gig work via co-ops

Ride-hailing service The Drivers Cooperative recently debuted in New York City, claiming that its lack of VC funding would result in better driver pay and lower passenger costs.

Why it matters: TDC’s approach is a direct rebuke to the venture capital-fueled gig economy model.

Keep reading... Show less

Conservative cleric Ebrahim Raisi elected Iran's president

Hardliner Ebrahim Raisi easily won Friday's presidential election in Iran, recording 62% of the vote with more than 90% of ballots counted.

Why it matters: Currently the head of Iran's judiciary, Raisi is a close confidant of Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei and has the support of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). His victory solidifies him as a leading candidate to succeed Khamenei, though Friday's low turnout speaks to the disillusionment of many Iranian voters.

Keep reading... Show less

Juneteenth and the country enslaved labor built on the backs of Black Americans

Juneteenth, a once-obscure commemoration of emancipation of enslaved people in Texas, has transformed into an annual reminder about how slavery robbed Black Americans of generational wealth.

Why it matters: That lack of generational wealth still denies Black families the economic security that many white families take for granted.

Keep reading... Show less

Biden will meet with U.S. financial regulators on Monday

President Biden will meet with financial regulators on Monday.

Driving the news: "The meeting will cover regulatory priorities including climate-related financial risk and agency actions to promote financial inclusion and to responsibly increase access to credit," said press secretary Jen Psaki, according to a press pool report.

Keep reading... Show less

Insights

mail-copy

Get Goodhumans in your inbox

Most Read

More Stories