Things That Matter

As Kanye West Drops Out Of The Race, Here’s A Look Back At His 11-Day Campaign For President

Update July 15, 2020: According to a senior member of Kanye’s campaign, the rapper has officially suspended his campaign for president as it became increasingly obvious he’d face difficulties getting the several state’s ballots.

It’s official: Kanye West suspends his campaign for President of the United States.

After 11-days of intrigue and anxiety, Americans finally know that there will not be a Kanye West presidency – at least not for the foreseeable future. The Grammy-award winning rapper has suspended his 2020 campaign for president, according to a senior campaign member.

On July 14, a member of West’s campaign team confirmed that, even after amassing a 180-person campaign team in Florida, West would no longer be running. “He’s out. All our stuff is canceled,” Steve Kramer, a member of West’s campaign team told New York Magazine’s Intelligencer. “I have nothing good or bad to say about Kanye…Any candidate running for president for the first time goes through these hiccups.”

It’s no secret that West faced an uphill battle in his quest for the Oval Office. He entered the race extremely late as a member of his own independent party he called the “Birthday Party.” And even as he announced his candidacy, he had already missed the deadline to register for the ballot in six states: North Carolina, Texas, New York, Maine, New Mexico, and Indiana.

However, Kanye West’s 2020 run for president was apparently more legit than many expected.

Many threw doubt on Kanye’s campaign from the very beginning – he had long expressed interest in running for the presidency but never followed through. But this time seemed different since he was intending to run this year. And now the extent of his seriousness is clearer than ever.

West had amassed a 180-strong campaign team and his team had been spending a lot of time trying to get on the Florida and South Carolina ballots specifically. However, to appear on Florida’s ballot, the campaign has until July 15 to collect 132,781 required signatures.

Even though West never had a real chance at winning the presidency, he did have a chance to greatly influence the outcome of the 2020 election. Just this week, a poll revealed that West had the support of about two percent of voters overall if he were to run against Trump and Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Although this was a small margin, if that percentage came out of either candidate’s pool of voters, it could have created enough of a divide.

News of West’s campaign came as family members expressed concern about his mental health.

According to TMZ, West is not currently on his medications and has a major bipolar episode about once a year. The family is contributing West’s Forbes interview, where he said Planned Parenthood was doing the Devil’s work and admitted to his support of President Trump. The family, however, expect West to calm down soon and return to his normal.

Original: When will 2020 finally come to an end along with all of its shenanigans? That is the question so many are wondering after yet another not so surprising bombshell of an announcement from Kanye West – who in a tweet this weekend announced his candidacy for President of the United States.

Sure, Yeezy has often times claimed to be planning a run for president. He’s said it in 2014, 2015, and 2019. What makes this time different? He says he’s running for this year – 2020 – with the election just months away.

Many are rightfully skeptical of West’s announcement but even if the rapper isn’t totally serious, his simple announcement could have serious consequences on the actual election.

Kanye West celebrated the 4th of July by announcing his intention to run for President of the United States.

It’s official, Kanye West is running for President. Allegedly. His announcement came in the form of an out-of-the-blue tweet amid the 43-year-old’s promotion for his new single, pictures of him with Elon Musk (who has voiced his support for a West presidency, FYI) and promotion of the Gap X Yeezy collaboration.

He tweeted: “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States,” followed by the hashtag #2020vision.

Now, this is far from the first time that Yeezy has revealed his intentions to join the presidential election at some point in the future.In fact, just last year the rapper said he planned to run for the presidency in 2024: “When I run for president in 2024, we would’ve created so many jobs that I’m not going to run, I’m going to walk.”

So no one should be surprised that West has once again announced a potential run. But we are. And it’s largely because he says he’s planning a run for this year – 2020 – with the election just months away.

However, West hasn’t yet fulfilled any of the legal requirements to launch an actual candidacy.

Credit: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Despite his hastily announced ‘candidacy,’ West has yet to fulfill a single requirement to actually run for president. So his tweet was rightfully met with scepticism, given that we are only four months away from when Americans are supposedly heading to the polls.

If West was serious about running, he’ll have to do so as an Independent – which is still technically possible. But deadlines for those intending to run in several states have already passed. However, there is still time to register in some states, but for Texas, New Mexico, Indiana, Maine and North Carolina the deadline has passed. For the majority of other states, the deadline is August.

According to the BBC, West does not appear to have registered his name with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for November’s election. The closest name the FEC database shows is a candidate called “Kanye Deez Nutz West”, who filed their papers with the Green Party in 2015 under the address “1977 Golddigger Avenue, Suite Yeezus” and appears to have raised no money.

Even though he hasn’t legally started his campaign, even a potential candidacy could have a major impact on the 2020 race.

Credit: Dimitrious Kambouris / Getty Images

Over the years, Kanye has appeared to show support for both democrats and republicans since his rise to fame. He once denounced Republican president George W. Bush, famously accusing him of not ‘caring about Black people’ during the tragic Hurricane Katrina. However, in recent years, he has declared his support for Trump, both verbally and symbolically, by wearing a Make America Great Again red cap and holding meetings with Trump.

So as far as what a Kanye West presidency would like like…is anyone’s guess.

However, an even bigger concern is the rapper’s planned candidacy and how it could potentially help Trump’s bid for reelection. Anyone who may have voted for Trump in the past but is now on the fence, could see in Kanye a middle ground between Trump and Biden, Many fear a repeat of Jill Stein’s candidacy in 2016 that many say helped push the election in Trump’s favor.

Some fear that some torn between voting between Trump and Biden would instead make a protest vote for West – which could again throw the 2020 election to Trump. Even if West isn’t an official candidate on the 2020 ballot, many fear that people could write in his name.

Even though many expect his candidacy to be a publicity stunt, the Internet exploded with amazing memes.

Social media users have reacted both with shocking and hilarious tweets following the rapper’s tweet.

Many viewed West’s announcement as a publicity stunt just meant to add fuel to the dumpster fire that is 2020.

The year started off with record-setting Australian brush fires, an Amazon jungle burning to the ground, then came Coronavirus and a global pandemic and the continued murder of unarmed Black men by U.S. police forces followed by a massive movement for racial equality – 2020 has been one hell of a ride. And many think Kanye may simply be trying to get his name in the calendar of events.

Could the White House be a set for the Kardashian’s hit reality show?

Even though Donald Trump has basically already turned the White House into a reality TV set, the Kardashian’s could make it a real deal. They’re hit TV show is now in its 18th and allegedly finally season, but a chance to film in the White House could definitely help reignite the franchise.

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Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

Things That Matter

Georgia Delivers Control Of Congress To Democrats Thanks To This Incredible Coalition Of Voters

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

In what seems like the never ending 2020 election cycle, we can finally say that the votes are in. And the results out of Georgia are truly worth celebrating as a diverse coalition of Georgian voters helped deliver both U.S. senate seats to Democrats.

Thanks to a well organized voting apparatus, a record-breaking number of voters hit the polls and helped elect the state’s first Black senator along with the youngest senator in nearly sixty years.

The results out of Georgia help put the Senate under control of the Democrats, handing President-Elect Joe Biden a major tool in helping to implement a progressive agenda once he is inaugurated on January 20.

Georgia elects two Democrats to the U.S. Senate with history-making votes.

Democrats have swept both seats in Georgia’s critical runoff elections, giving the party control of the Senate and removing a major roadblock for President-elect Joe Biden.

Democrat Jon Ossoff defeated Republican David Perdue in Tuesday’s election, while networks had earlier called Georgia’s other race for Democrat Raphael Warnock over GOP Sen. Kelly Loeffler.

The results are a rebuke of President Donald Trump, whose supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol Wednesday to try to stop Congress from counting the Electoral College results.

The Senate will now be split 50-50, but Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tie-breaking votes, putting Democrats in charge of the legislative agenda, committee chairmanships and Congress’ confirmation and investigative powers.

Black and Latino voters deserve recognition for their hard work in making this possible.

Senator-Elect Warnock is the pastor of Martin Luther King Jr.’s former church in Atlanta. He will be the first Black senator from Georgia and only the 11th Black senator in American history. He won, in part, thanks to astronomical Black turnout.

Many are praising the work of Stacey Abrams and groups like Mijente, who helped register a record-breaking number of new voters. In fact, Mijente helped knock on the doors or call every single Latino resident in the state of Georgia to help get out the vote.

Meanwhile, Stacey Abrams – who had already done so much work in helping turn Georgia blue for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in November – continued her trailblazing mission in the state. Her organization, Fair Fight 2020, helped register more voters than ever before and helped make sure they understood their rights and responsibilities as a voter.

Joe Biden will now have full control of government.

Biden will now enter the White House on Jan. 20 with his party in control of both chambers of Congress, allowing him to confirm his Cabinet and judicial nominees and giving him and a chance to advance his legislative agenda, which would have gone nowhere as long as Sen. Mitch McConnell remained in charge.

Biden and Senate Democratic leaders agree their top priority will be a new round of Covid-19 relief, especially after the president-elect promised Georgia voters this week that $2,000 stimulus checks would “go out the door immediately” if Democrats won the Senate.

Many in the community are hopeful that with control of both the Senate and House, Biden will be able to push through comprehensive immigration reform and undo many of the cruel and inhumane policies put into place by the Trump administration. However, given the legislative filibuster remains in place (requiring a two thirds majority), many question just how much will be accomplished.

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The Georgia Senate Races Are Two Of The Most Important In Modern History And Here’s Why

Things That Matter

The Georgia Senate Races Are Two Of The Most Important In Modern History And Here’s Why

ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images

With a runoff election just weeks away that could tip the balance of the U.S. Senate, many people across the United States have Georgia on their minds. And it’s obvious why: the stakes are high.

What happens in January’s dual senate runoff in the state, will directly impact how much of a progressive agenda a President Joe Biden can get through Congress.

Adding to the important dynamic, is the pivotal part that voters of color, in particular Black women, are playing in the races. From grassroots organizing to being members of a key voting bloc that helped lift Democrats to the White House in November, Black, Brow, and Native voters are working hard to turn out the vote.

Georgia’s two senate run off races are two of the most important races in modern history.

Although Georgia went blue for the first time since 1992 by voting for Joe Biden for president, the fight for Georgia is far from over.

This January, there will be two critical U.S. Senate runoff elections, one between Republican Sen. David Perdue and Democrat Jon Ossoff, and the other between Republican Sen. Kelly Loeffler and Democrat Reverend Raphael Warnock. The elections will not only decide the state’s representation, but also which political party will have a majority in the U.S. Senate, which could dramatically alter Biden’s upcoming administration.

If we want to see criminal justice reform, compassionate immigration policy, a permanent DACA program, a fairer economy that works for all Americans, and a common sense, science-based approach to the Coroanvirus pandemic – among so much else – what happens in Georgia is critical.

Here’s why the race is so critical for a Democratic agenda to have any chance of becoming reality.

Credit: Spencer Platt / Getty Images

As it stands, following the 2020 election, the new U.S. Senate will consist of 46 Democrats, two independents who caucus with Democrats, 50 Republicans, and then whoever wins these two races in Georgia.

If Democrats win both races, they will have a majority in the Senate (the Senate tie breaker is the Vice President, or in this case, Kamala Harris), giving Biden increased power to pass legislation and move forward on his policy agenda. Otherwise, if even one of the Republican candidates wins in January, the GOP will have majority control.

As the Times reports: “With judicial nominees, a stimulus deal, infrastructure and health care measures, and tax and spending policies all on the line, the Senate races in Georgia are likely to take on an intensity that mirrors the presidential race that just ended.”

What are the issues candidates are talking about?

Although much is said about the elections impact on the Senate and Biden’s presidency, the candidates are also talking issues that affect Georgians.

Joe Ossoff is highlighting Sen. Perdue’s highly questionable stock trades in which the senator seemed to financially benefit from the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, the Daily Beast recently reported that Perdue invested in a company called BWX Technologies that manufactured Navy submarine parts right around the time he became head of the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower. Ossoff has also hammered hard on Perdue’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act, and the larger issue of the need for financial relief for those made newly unemployed by the pandemic.

As for Loeffler, reportedly the wealthiest person in the Senate, she too has made some questionable trades. According to published reports, Loeffler and her husband, Jeffrey Sprecher, who is the CEO of a company that owns the New York Stock Exchange, reportedly sold $20 million in shares after she attended a closed-door Senate briefing on the coronavirus in January, while also making investments in companies that may benefit from the pandemic.

Do the two Democrats have a chance to flip the Senate?

Credit: ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images

It’s been 24 years since Georgia last sent a Democrat to the Senate, so it would appear that it’s a steep slope in achieving a double win come January. But notably, the last time the state voted for a Democratic candidate for president was in Bill Clinton’s first race in 1992—and Joe Biden changed that this year.

Can Ossoff and Warnock do the same? Recent polls show that both races are essentially even, with Warnock one point ahead of Loeffler, 49 to 48%, and Ossoff and Perdue tied at 49%. But as we know from the recent presidential elections, polls have become notoriously unreliable.

Black and Brown voters – especially women – will likely hold the key to Democratic wins.

Georgia owes it’s history-making switch to blue in part to a large and well-organized coalition of Black voters, especially Black women. Black voters were essential to Biden’s win: of the 160 million people who voted in the recent presidential election, exit polls show nearly 50 percent of registered Black women voters cast ballots. At least 90 percent voted for President-elect Joe Biden and Vice-president elect Kamala Harris. 

The shift was thanks, in part, to the tireless work of Black organizers—women like Stacey Abrams and Fair Fight, LaTosha Brown and Black Voters Matter, and Nse Ufot and The New Georgia Project—who registered, educated, and mobilized voters.

If you’re looking for ways to help – even from outside of Georgia – there’s so much you can do.

Even if you don’t live in Georgia, you can still assist from afar. One way is to phone or text bank for the Democratic challengers. Find a handful of upcoming events here and here.

Besides donating straight to the candidates’ campaigns, there are a number of organizations working to get out and protect the vote this January.

  • Fair Fight is a national voting rights organization that promotes fair elections and encourages voter participation and education.
  • The New Georgia Project has both a donation page and an Amazon wish list for its volunteers.
  • Black Voters Matter works to expand Black voter engagement through voter registration, policy advocacy, and more.

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