Kanye West Wisconsin Ballot Lawsuit Linked To Firm Of Former RNC Chief Counsel

Singer Kanye West and President-elect Donald Trump speak with the press after their meetings at Trump Tower December 13, 2016 in New York. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AF... Singer Kanye West and President-elect Donald Trump speak with the press after their meetings at Trump Tower December 13, 2016 in New York. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images) MORE LESS

After rapper Kanye West sued the Wisconsin Elections Commission on Friday to get his name on the presidential ballot in the state this fall, a less than surprising discovery was made: the address listed for West’s court filing matched that of a GOP state senator who previously served as chief counsel for the Republican National Committee.

The rapper’s filing lists an address for the law office of Virginia state Sen. Jill Holtzman Vogel — managing partner for the firm Holtzman Vozel, Josefiak, Torchinsky PLLC, which is among the nation’s most prominent GOP elections law firms.

Vogel’s firm has specialized in often stealthily supporting wealthy donors, corporations and political action committees  in their efforts to influence elections. The firm has represented super PACs including American Crossroads, the brainchild of former Bush aide and RNC chairman Ed Gillespie and strategist Karl Rove.

In a 2017 run for lieutenant governor of Virginia — Vogel adopted Trump’s drain-the-swamp approach in her platform.

Other partners at the firm include former Trump cabinet secretary Bill McGinley.

Republicans have supported West’s attempts to get on ballots around the country. Lane Ruhland, the attorney who delivered the rapper’s nominating petitions earlier this month, has built a wide profile working for Republicans, including for the Trump campaign.

West’s lawsuit on Friday requested that the local court rule that his nominating papers met the submission deadline to ensure that he appears on the swing state’s ballot in November after he narrowly appeared to miss the state’s filing deadline.

While the WEC voted to dismiss the rapper’s petition on the basis of its lateness, West’s attorneys contend in the complaint that Wisconsin’s deadline expires one minute after 5 p.m., making West’s submission which reportedly arrived seconds after 5 p.m. valid.

The news of West’s address on the lawsuit being tied to the RNC, is the latest evidence that the hiphop icon is being boosted by GOP strategists to drive votes away from the Democratic presidential ticket.

Earlier this month, the rapper met with Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner in Colorado, who during a White House press briefing following the incident, downplayed the meeting saying the pair both “happened” to be in Colorado and simply met for a “friendly discussion.”

West has succeeded in getting his name on a growing list of ballots, recently adding  Minnesota and Tennessee.

West has likely zeroed in on Wisconsin as a line of attack because it is among a group of key battleground states where the siphoning even a relatively small number of votes could impact an outcome.  Trump won Wisconsin in 2016 by  a margin of roughly 22,700 votes.

West has supported President Trump in the past, and in a Forbes interview earlier this month said that he is “not denying” that his campaign could hurt former Vice President Joe Biden’s presidential bid.

 

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