Kanye West's bizarre, unrealistic run for president, which began with a tweet on July 4 and was reportedly scrapped by the middle of the month is apparently still going, despite all odds and reason. He's missed deadlines to get his name on the ballot in some states already, while in New Jersey, he withdrew his petition after a formal complaint filed with the state pointed out irregularities, including incomplete signatures, missing addresses, and similar handwriting, The Associated Press reports. All of this while dealing with a bipolar episode that led Kim Kardashian to break her silence and speak out about his mental health.
The latest wrinkle in the campaign, meanwhile, has sinister implications for Democrats. Reports have been coming in that despite his plans to run as a third party candidate under his made-up "The Birthday Party" party, Kanye is apparently working with Republicans to get his name on ballots. Vice reported on the efforts of a senior GOP strategist in Colorado, who they say emailed another GOP operative in the state, writing, "I have the most random favor to ask of you ever... would you help me get Kanye West on the ballot in Colorado? No, I am not joking, and I realize this is hilarious."
In the email, George makes clear that West’s campaign is trying to keep its inner workings out of the public eye. West’s nascent campaign has so far refused to engage in a serious manner with reporters, a sign they don’t want their efforts scrutinized too closely.
“A reporter could request [the form] and call you asking why you signed,” she wrote in the email. “But you would just ignore that call and let me know, and the campaign would handle it.”
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that multiple people involved with efforts to get Kanye listed on Wisconsin ballots are active Republican party members or Trump supporters, including Lane Ruhland, who filed a lawsuit on behalf on the Trump Campaign over an ad that aired on a Wisconsin NBC affiliate criticizing his response to the coronavirus pandemic.
New York Magazine reported on two people with Trump connections who have also been linked to Kanye's campaign, while The New York Times reports on another yet active Republicans involved in Kanye's campaign, Mark Jacoby, who pled guilty to a misdemeanor after being arrested for voter fraud in 2008 while working for the California Republican Party.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh told the New York Times, "We have no knowledge of anything Kanye West is doing or who is doing it for him." Trump himself, speaking from the White House at a press conference on Wednesday (8/5), said of Kanye, "I like him. He’s always been very nice to me. I like Kanye very much, but no, I have nothing to do with him getting on the ballot. We’ll have to see what happens. We’ll see if he gets on the ballot. But I’m not involved."
In a July interview with Forbes, Kanye said he was "taking the red hat off," and ending his previous controversial support for Trump. However, GOP party-members and other Trump supporters may still see Kanye's candidacy as a way to fracture support for Joe Biden, and especially to chip away at votes for him in battleground states, giving Trump an edge that current polling would suggest he doesn't have.