CHICAGO — A week after becoming the Republican Party nominee for governor, state Sen. Darren Bailey sought Thursday to pivot from his bungled response to the mass shooting in Highland Park by declaring more gun control laws weren’t necessary, saying state funds needed to be better directed for mental health services and trying to cast blame for violence throughout Illinois on his opponent in the fall, Gov. J.B. Pritzker. But Bailey’s efforts to move past the controversy ran into problems of their own as the Downstate Republican conflated state gun control laws, misidentified a neighborhood in ...
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Rep. Madison Cawthorn (R-NC) reportedly spent more money than he had in his campaign coffers and is now facing $17,000 in fines from the Federal Election Commission (FEC).
The Asheville Citizen-Times reported that the FEC could levy a fine of $17,141 on Cawthorn because he filed his campaign finance report a month late. The paper based its conclusion on a fine calculator on the FEC website. A vote from FEC commissioners would determine the actual fine.
"Cawthorn's paperwork showed a campaign that through June 30 spent more than it brought in, despite a $207,858 donation from the personal funds of the 27-year-old first-term Henderson County congressman," the paper noted. "Among places donors' money was used was $1,812 spent at a tobacco shop."
In an Instagram video posted in July, Cawthorn displayed what he said was his favorite cigar, selling for about $150 a box.
Another $248,098 was returned to contributors because it was intended to be used for the general election campaign, the Citizen-Times said.
FEC spokesperson Christian Hilland speculated about why Cawthorn filed the report nearly a month late.
"Major party candidates tend to have more money, and they're able to afford a compliance person or a law firm to handle their reports," Hilland explained.
The FEC is expected to examine whether Cawthorn returned all the funds earmarked for the general election.
"If it is found there was knowing and willful intent to violate campaign finance law, that rises to the level of a crime and could be cause for Department of Justice action," the report said.
'2,000 Mules' star who promised to expose election fraud ejected from hotel afterparty for carrying a gun
On Tuesday, The Daily Beast reported that Gregg Phillips — an elections conspiracy theorist who was featured prominently in far-right filmmaker Dinesh D'Souza's pseudo-documentary "2,000 Mules" — had planned to expose brand new evidence the 2020 presidential election was stolen, which he promised would be "10 times" bigger, but got himself ejected from the afterparty.
"On Saturday, Phillips vowed to finally release his information in front of a crowd of more than 100 conservative conspiracy theorists and influencers at an exclusive gathering he dubbed 'The Pit.' But what was meant to be Phillips’s moment of triumph ended in disaster, as police ushered Phillips from his own afterparty for bringing a gun and warned him not to return," reported Will Sommer. "Phillips’ ouster from his event marks the latest blunder for election-fraud conspiracy theorists. For Phillips and his organization, True the Vote, it’s yet another time they’ve tried and failed to prove election fraud."
"Phillips’ weekend initially went according to plan, with a rogue’s gallery of QAnon promoters and other far-right figures meeting at an 'undisclosed location' near Scottsdale, Arizona to hear Phillips’ much-hyped announcement. Dubbed 'The Ripcord,' as in Phillips’s constant threats to 'pulling the ripcord www' and releasing his purported evidence," the report continued. "The big reveal, however, turned out to be a massive flop, with Phillips merely directing his fans to a partially built website that appears to offer supporters a chance to pay money to see proof of election fraud."
At the afterparty at Hotel Valley Ho, Phillips was soon apprehended by hotel security for carrying a gun — which is legal in Arizona, but a violation of hotel policy and possibly also not allowed under the terms of the hotel's liquor license — and after he refused several requests to leave the party, was told to leave by police. This led to an argument in the parking lot, where supporters argued with police and hotel staff and claimed Phillips' Second Amendment rights were being violated.
The aftermath saw the QAnon community divided, with at least one user accusing Phillips on Telegram of ruining the party for everyone, and for bringing the cops to a site where many QAnon supporters may have been using drugs. Phillips hit back on Trump's social platform Truth Social, saying, “So you brought illegal drugs to the after party? Idiot.”
"2,000 Mules" claimed to have proven voter fraud in several key states by using cell phone data to identify 2,000 people who returned multiple times to the site of ballot drop boxes. However, this doesn't actually prove anyone was illegally delivering ballots, and the film has been roundly dismissed by experts, including Trump's own former attorney general William Barr.
Trump-loving Arizona secretary of state candidate posted about stockpiling ammo while keeping a 'treason watch list'
CNN reports that Finchem's account on Pinterest featured a "'Treason Watch List,' and pins of photos of Barack Obama alongside imagery of a man clad in Nazi attire making a Nazi salute."
Other of Finchem's Pinterest posts compared "Democrats to Nazis" while "invoking the Holocaust to argue against gun control, along with posts calling for stockpiling ammunition."
Another Finchem post warned followers that any "war in America" would have "no rules of engagement."
Finchem also posted material claiming that the Mexican army would soon be invading the United States and that Islamic Sharia law would soon overtake the United States.
And if Finchem's Pinterest posts weren't inflammatory enough, CNN also uncovered a series of posts from a since-deleted Twitter account.
"On Twitter, he shared conspiracies that multiple ships docked at a Virginia naval station might be a target for a second Pearl Harbor-type attack," CNN reports. "He said Satan ruled the United States and said gun ownership should be mandatory. In one post, he called for the impeachment of Obama, who was then President, for letting his daughter go on vacation in Mexico."