Golden Dukes: It’s Time To Vote On 2022’s Premier Local Scandal

TPM's troll Oscars continue.
Golden Dukes 2022. TPM illustration.
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There are a lot of other exciting things happening at Talking Points Memo dot com this week.

But just because we’re launching a massive exclusive series after months of work that reveals some of the most dramatic details yet about the scope of Republican members of Congress‘ involvement in trying to overturn the election does NOT mean we’ve forgotten that it’s Golden Dukes season.

Gotta give the people (you) what they want (opportunities to celebrate those weirdos who did the worst best).

For those of you just tuning in, welcome to the 2022 Golden Duke awards. This is TPM’s version of the Oscars except we celebrate all the clown-car politicians and deliciously diabolical public figures who kept the lights on for us at TPM this year.

We’re cheers-ing the winners of each of these categories for Golden Dukes 2022:

1. Best Scandal — General Interest
2. Best Scandal — Local Venue
3. Meritorious Achievement in The Crazy
4. The Expertly Cringe Campaign Ad/Meme (please include a video link if you have one)
5. Most Convoluted Conspiracy Theory/Most Creative Take On The Big Lie
6. Forgotten Heroes — This category will serve as an “in memoriam” to all of our favorite characters who either lost the midterms or didn’t make it past their primaries. These are the whacky candidates that we will miss most.

Earlier this month, I asked readers and TPM’s staff to submit nominations for each category. Everyone delivered.

Last week, you voted on Best Scandal — General Interest. This week, we’re moving onto something similar, but more quaint: Best Scandal — Local Venue.

Once again, there were so many excellent nominations it was hard to pick, but I’ve settled on the following nominees. If you need some convincing, I’ve included some TPM staff and reader nomination pitches below. Vote here ⬇️⬇️⬇️ and happy Duke-ing!

Cochise County Arizona’s Republican Election Administrators

I’ll nominate the refusal of Cochise County Arizona’s Election Republican Commissioners to certify their own Republican-leaning election results on the pretext that something was wrong with Maricopa County. The thousands of votes they were risking throwing away could have given a state legislative contest to the Democrats. But then they relented. Ah, what a shame.

— Nominated by: TPM reader

The white supremacist ​​group, Patriot Front, that delivered themselves to the cops in a U-Haul

The headline says it all. You can’t top this. I dare you: White Supremacists Deliver Themselves To Cops In A U-Haul

— Nominated by: David Kurtz, TPM’s executive editor

LA City Council President Nury Martinez and the Secretly Taped, Hour-Long Racist Screed

LA City Council President Nury Martinez, who was secretly taped making over an hour of offensive remarks in a meeting with other city and county officials, which led to her resignation. Lowlights include: “Fuck that guy … He’s with the blacks,” referring to District Attorney George Gascón and describing Oaxacan immigrants in Koreatown as “short little dark people.”

— Nominated by: TPM reader

Trump Child Faces Down Hurricane

Lara Trump taking advantage of a hurricane to share her crying child’s ride on social media. There is no Mother Of the Year Award, so I put the incident here. The fact that the video is still on Instagram says a lot.

— Nominated by: TPM reader

U.S. Extremist Matt Shea and the 60 Ukrainian Kids

Matt Shea, the far-right pastor and former Washington state rep who traveled to Eastern Europe in an attempt to smuggle dozens of Ukrainian refugee children to the United States. As one might expect, an unknown man dropping in and scooping up children was met with consternation by local authorities. Weronika Ziarnicka, an aide to the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny, Poland, told the Seattle Times that she went to check on the kids after hearing from a group of local volunteers. Ziarnicka said that when she questioned Shea, he “got really angry” and said he had cleared it with the mayor already, which Ziarnicka knew to be false.

— Nominated by: TPM reader

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