The Daily Beast published an explosive report Friday documenting the Republican influence behind the artist formerly known as Kanye West’s short-lived presidential campaign. Now going by Ye, the rapper’s campaign received services almost exclusively from Republican-affiliated organizations and operatives.
According to the Daily Beast, FEC filings for Ye’s campaign conveniently failed to report payments to various individuals for services rendered to the campaign, including Jill Vogel, an attorney and Republican member of the Virginia State Senate. Vogel’s law firm is a fixture in Republican circles. The Daily Beast pointed out that Vogel’s firm was at one point representing both the Trump and West campaigns.
But GOP involvement in Ye’s campaign wasn’t exactly a secret. While the meticulous effort of the Daily Beast crew is appreciated, Black organizers put us up on game last summer.
Angela Lang, executive director of the Milwaukee-based Black Leaders Organizing Communities (BLOC), wrote an op-ed for Up North News calling out the campaign.
In her op-ed, Lang described the view as an organizer in a hotly contested battleground state:
Upon further review, we see that the firm that collected the signatures and the woman who turned them in are all a part of the GOP. Make no mistake, this is a racist ploy for Republicans to put up a famous Black rapper, thinking Black folks don’t see that this is simply a tactic to siphon enough votes from Joe Biden to ensure a Donald Trump victory in November.
Trump supporters think that Black folks are stupid enough and lack the political analysis to vote for any Black person on the ballot despite our need for real policy.
At BLOC, Black Leaders Organizing for Communities, we provide tools, training, and resources to help Milwaukee’s Black community build long-term political power. One of our Lead Ambassadors, Sylvia, ran into someone collecting signatures for Kanye.
Sylvia was frustrated that people assume Black folks would vote for someone who looks like us but hasn’t put forth any policies that would help our communities. Black people are smarter than you think. We care about policy.
As previously reported by NewsOne, Ye’s campaign received support from Lane Ruhland and Mark Jaboky. Ruhland was a lawyer who worked with the Trump campaign, and Jaboky was a Republican operative who had done work with the California Republican Party. He previously pleaded guilty to misdemeanor charges related to voter fraud in 2008.
The report also comes a week after a video surfaced of Ye’s former publicist seemingly trying to pressure a Black election worker into admitting to fake claims of fraud. Ruby Freeman and her daughter were falsely accused of fraudulent activity after Trump’s loss in the 2020 election.
Regardless of whether Kanye intentionally ran as a spoiler or if he were being used, the fact remains his involvement was very clearly not “independent” from jump. A very vocal Black Trump supporter Ye’s suddenly deciding to jump in the race against his “friend” raised plenty of red flags. Black voters aren’t dumb and don’t like playing games.
“Kanye is being used as a tool of white supremacy to make sure Donald Trump wins another term by preying on what they think is the ignorance of the Black community,” Lang wrote.