Election Official Ousted For Voter Frauding To Prove Voter Frauding Is A Thing

INSIDE: Paul Pelosi ... Maine Guv Debate ... Pillow Merchant
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 20: Election officials listen as procedural issues are argued during the process of recounting ballots from the November 3 election at the Wisconsin Center on November 20, 2020 in Milw... MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - NOVEMBER 20: Election officials listen as procedural issues are argued during the process of recounting ballots from the November 3 election at the Wisconsin Center on November 20, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. President Donald Trump requested a recount of ballots in Milwaukee and Dane counties in Wisconsin, hoping to overturn his narrow defeat in the state to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden. Trump's campaign paid the state $3 million to cover the cost of the recount, which began today and is scheduled to be finished by December 1. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) MORE LESS
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A lot of things happened. Here are some of the things. This is TPM’s Morning Memo.

Slow Clap

The mayor of Milwaukee announced on Thursday that he had fired Milwaukee Election Commission deputy director Kimberly Zapata for allegedly making a bogus request for military ballots and sending them to a MAGA election-denying state lawmaker to prove voter fraud was possible.

  • Zapata also now potentially faces criminal charges over the gambit, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Milwaukee County prosecutors are reportedly looking at charging the ex-official with illegally requesting a ballot and malfeasance in office.
  • Zapata isn’t even the first person in Wisconsin to land in trouble for committing voter fraud to prove voter fraud could be committed: A conservative activist named Harry Wait was criminally charged in September for trying to pull the same stunt.

Paul Pelosi Released From Hospital

Nancy Pelosi’s husband Paul left the hospital following a six-day stay to recover from the attack in their San Francisco home that left him with a fractured skull and other injuries on his arm. He “remains under doctors’ care,” the speaker announced on Thursday.

Texas GOPer Allegedly Banging On Doors Accusing People Of Voting Illegally

A voter in Austin, Texas alleged last week that a precinct chair of the Travis County Republican Party plus an unidentified man had come to her home and accused her of illegally voting by mail, according to the Texas Civil Rights Project.

  • The list of people who voted by mail is public, making it easier for voter intimidation campaigns to find targets.
  • Mail-in ballots can be canceled after they’ve been sent, so the harassment can work even if the target’s already cast their vote.
  • The Texas Secretary of State’s office has gotten at least two complaints of potential voter intimidation, a spokesperson for the office told Vice.
    • Sidenote: This is the same secretary of state who deployed “inspectors” to Harris County last month to monitor the elections.

Key Analysis

“The Democrats’ GOTV pitch: Get out the vote — while you still can” – The Washington Post

Maine Guv Faces Proto-MAGA Rival In Final Debate

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) and far-right former Gov. Paul LePage (R) squared off in a debate for the last time last night in the Pine Tree State’s gubernatorial race.

  • Bangor Daily News: “3 key moments from the final debate between Janet Mills and Paul LePage”
  • The Portland Press Herald: “Mills and LePage clash in final debate before voters have their say”
  • WABI: “Mills, LePage on inflation, child protective services”
  • The Associated Press: “Mills, LePage debate for a final time in race for governor”

Election-Denying Lawyer Yells At Judge In Voter Suppression Lawsuit

A lawyer representing GOP Michigan Secretary of State nominee Kristina Karamo, a particularly unhinged conspiracy theorist, exploded at the judge during a hearing in Karamo’s lawsuit on Thursday that aims to stop tens of thousands of absentee ballots that were cast in Detroit from being counted.

  • “To characterize me as trying to disenfranchise the military voter is offensive,” the attorney, Daniel Hartman, shouted when the judge pointed out that the lawsuit would exclude military service members’ ballots from the vote tally.
  • The attorney also cited “2,000 Mules,” far-right commentator Dinesh D’Souza’s fake documentary about voter fraud in the 2020 election, during the hearing.

Must Read

“What the Far-Right Fringe Online Is Planning for Election Day” – Slate

“Virginia’s governor set up a tip line to crack down on CRT. Parents used it for other reasons” – USA Today

“Between Kanye and the Midterms, the Unsettling Stream of Antisemitism” – The New York Times

Judge Refuses To Give MyPillow Guy His Phone Back

A federal judge on Thursday shot down MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s request to have his phone returned after the FBI seized it when agents confronted him at a Hardee’s in September. The seizure was part of the Justice Department’s investigation into indicted Mesa County clerk Tina Peters’ plot to breach her county’s election systems.

Trump’s Lawyers Tried To Stop Other Trump Lawyers’ Suit Against NY AG

Before some of Trump’s lawyers filed a lawsuit in Florida on Wednesday to stop New York Attorney General Letitia James’ (D) lawsuit against him, the ex-president’s other attorneys tried to convince their colleagues to please not do that, the New York Times reports.

  • Those lawyers were reportedly worried the Florida attorneys were potentially committing malpractice, believing the lawsuit was doomed to fail and frivolous.

And, well, it’s hard to argue otherwise when Trump’s lawsuit reads like one giant Truth Social rant:

“As a private company, nobody knew very much about the great business that then-businessman Donald Trump had built but now it is being revealed by James and much to her chagrin. The continuing witch hunt that has haunted and targeted Donald Trump since he came down the ‘golden escalator’ at Trump Tower in June of 2015 continues.”

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