Kanye West learned that it’s expensive to be the front man in a GOP con job

Kanye West admits election defeat after receiving 60,000 votes **FILE PHOTOS**

I still hate the fact that we have to treat Kanye West as a “former presidential candidate,” and that news outlets are giving his 2020 “campaign” a thin veneer of legitimacy. It feels like Kanye’s “campaign” was one small part of the larger issue of too many Americans not understanding how political campaigns work, much less how the government works. Too many people thought that Kanye was going to be some kind of disrupter to the system, just like too many people still think that a president can wave a magic wand and pass a comprehensive agenda. Kanye was a symptom of the much larger issues of civic ignorance and institutionalized election fraud. While Kanye’s campaign went out with a whimper, I’d still like to see the Federal Election Commission investigate how the Trump campaign illegally colluded with Kanye in an attempt to siphon voters away from the Democratic candidate. Speaking of, Kanye’s FEC filings have been made public and they’re a f–king mess.

Kanye West spent $13.2 million — or approximately $200 for every vote — on his failed 2020 presidential campaign, a review of campaign finance filings show. West, 43, contributed nearly $12.5 million of his own money while raising a little more than $2 million from outside contributions, according to his final Federal Election Commission report. In all, the rapper and designer raised $14.5 million to fund his late-in-the-cycle bid, in which he barely qualified for the ballot in a dozen states and earned only about 66,000 votes nationally.

West’s campaign spent more than $7.5 million on fees related to “ballot access,” including $1.28 million in payments to Atlas Strategy Group. Gregg Keller, a Republican strategist who reportedly was considered to lead Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, owns Atlas and said he was a senior strategist with West’s campaign. Ultimately, however, West only got his name on 12 state ballots as he faced significant challenges where he had to gather tens of thousands of resident signatures.

His belief in himself seems to have outpaced voter enthusiasm. In one case, West paid a $35,000 fee to get his name on the ballot in Oklahoma. Then he received less than 6,000 votes in Oklahoma. His campaign’s other top spending centered on legal fees, production for online videos he used to promote his campaign and “Kanye 2020″ apparel — which in some cases listed buyers as campaign contributors. (One California man who spent $4,200 on campaign apparel tells PEOPLE he didn’t know that money was going to support West’s bid: “I am a Kanye fan but I didn’t support his campaign,” the buyer says, explaining he merely flipped the clothes he bought online.)

West’s campaign notably did not spend on television, radio or digital advertising, according to the filings. “For most campaigns, their largest set of expenses are advertising,” Heberlig says.

“I didn’t see any Kanye ads, did you?” a former West campaign operative tells PEOPLE, maintaining that “if [West] had pushed and done a $10 million buy digitally, they could’ve actually made a difference in a few states. Typically, [television and digital ads] combine for about 60-70 percent of a campaign’s budget — minimum,” the source says.

West’s filings show he pumped more than $2.7 million of his own money into the campaign even during the final four weeks of the race. For example, public records show he spent $210,544 on a two-page ad in The New York Times one week ahead of the election and spent $918,130 on campaign apparel on Election Day. “They overpaid on a lot of stuff,” West’s former operative says.

“It wasn’t your traditional campaign,” says the political source, who aided West’s efforts last summer. “He isn’t versed enough politically. He figured that by doing it on his own, he could control his own media. But he has so much other stuff going on in his life that has nothing to do with politics that the distractions are there.”

[From People]

The fact that he half-assed everything and left the bulk of the work to Trump-supporting Republican operatives offends me. The fact that this was all just some asinine ego trip offends me, especially because – AGAIN – the mainstream media gave this mess legitimacy. CNN anchors devoted entire segments to whether or not Kanye would siphon Black voters away from Democrats in swing states. Republicans knowingly used a mentally ill man as their front man for a huge con on the electorate, AND they made him pay for most of it. It’s enraging.

Biden Addresses the Nation

Kanye West attends a church event in Miami covered in silver

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, social media.

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36 Responses to “Kanye West learned that it’s expensive to be the front man in a GOP con job”

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  1. Mrs. Peel says:

    He puts the Con in Kanye. No sympathy.

    • Bettyrose says:

      This. I don’t know the specific details of Kanye’s condition but plenty of people with BPD walk among us and we don’t know about it because they aren’t also wealthy entitled narcissists. I don’t doubt that Kanye was manipulated and taken advantage of but the loudest voices in his life were telling him NOT do these things. He ignored the people closest to him and did as he pleased. So we have to acknowledge some element of personal choice here.

      • Drea says:

        Yes, let’s not forget that this man has agency. Yes, this man has mental illness. But the narcissism makes it especially hard to treat. When everyone tells him yes and how great he is all the time, why would he want to hear anything other than that? It’s going to be a hard crash for Kanye.

  2. Lucy2 says:

    This whole thing sounds shady.
    I’m disgusted anyone threw away their vote on him and his nonsense, in such a true life or death election.

  3. Mia4s says:

    Gee I’m sure there aren’t any BIPOC communities in the United States who could have thought of a better use for that money. Yep, clearly this was for the benefit of all. Sigh…

    Gross Kanye. Really gross.

    (And to be clear I’d toss the same message to Michael Bloomberg. Enough with the ego trips. Try to actually HELP).

    • Mac says:

      Bloomberg has donated $8 billion to charities. He is one of the world’s biggest philanthropists.

      • Betsy says:

        The man has $50 billion dollars. Whoop di ding. If he had donated the $500 million he spent on his ego boost/waste of time pres run, what could have been bettered?

      • Annaloo. says:

        Bloomberg has been silent money behind Stacey Abrams, supporting her fight against voter suppression.

  4. Edna says:

    Stupid is as stupid does. And how much of that campaign money ended up in the pockets of his Rethug advisors?

    • AnnaKist says:

      Ah, thanks Edna. That’s what I was wondering. To think how much good all that money would have done for charities or agencies helping rough sleepers, veterans, meals for the homeless, womens’ and mens’ refuges, underprivileged children, Black Lives Matter… the list is endless. He may as well have blown it at a casino or pissed it up against a wall. He is vile, and couldn’t care less that he was used. He tried to pull a fast one, but the bigger vultures pulled a fast one on him.

  5. Soupie says:

    It strikes me that this is just one of the reasons that Magats think Trump won the election. Did they really think they could dupe THAT many people of color like people of color don’t see through the con after centuries of crap? Because Magats are stupid like that. Just one more piece of evidence of how foolish and stupid and yes, deplorable they are.

    Shame on them and shame on Kanye for not getting the help he knows he needs.

  6. JustMe2 says:

    Why are they silver though??

    • clomo says:

      So wacky! I love that Kaiser uses them generously. Rather tragic too though, what will he do without Kim and the kids?

    • Horse Marine says:

      Lol I love this question. Hurray for Silver Kanye! I laugh every time I see this pic.

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Can we reiterate that a mental illness doesn’t “make” a person a Republican and doesn’t make them an a-hole and doesn’t make them run for president to siphon off Black votes and hurt marginalized populations?

    • Betsy says:

      Obviously. But that doesn’t change the fact that Kanye is deeply mentally ill. I get really pissed at him for this moronic run, but he does not seem to be in full possession of his mental faculties.

  8. Other Renee says:

    He’s so mentally unwell. At least Kim could watch over him to some extent and pull him back from the brink. Now there will be no buffer between him and complete chaos. I do feel sorry for him.

  9. Merricat says:

    They made a fool of him. He’s ill, and his illness made him susceptible to flattery and lies.

    • Maida says:

      I really want to see an SEC investigation happen, because it seems likely that Kushner et. al. used Kanye as a sock puppet. Not so much to draw votes from Biden, but as a distraction that could benefit Trump. We need to follow the money and hold the people behind this responsible.

  10. Phyllis says:

    Slightly off topic, but there is a really great Instagram account Sharonsaysso which provides great explanations for all things government. She is a former government/civics teacher and she provides unbiased information for everything from Supreme Court rulings, debunking qanon nonsense, historical basis for why things are the way they are, little known events that have happened w/in govt that impact our lives, and deep-dive workshops. Please check her account out if you’re looking for more info on this ♥️

    • Petrichor says:

      Heather Cox Richardson is another great one for info and perspective. She’s a historian who teaches at Boston College. Her daily newsletter is called “Letters from an American,” and I’ve learned so much. Her comparisons of today’s political upheaval to the Civil War period are really interesting. I can’t lie—it feels like history may be about to repeat itself.

      • Abby says:

        Co-sign on Sharonsaysso and Heather Cox Richardson. I’d also love to add the Pantsuit Politics podcast. It’s two female lawyers talking about government, civics, elections, policies and politics. One comes from a liberal mindset and the other is more conservative (although it’s not an R / D situation). The conversations are excellent and they work really hard to educate folks.

  11. vickyshouse says:

    Yezzy hasn’t been the same since his mom passed !
    :(

  12. one of the Marys says:

    You *don’t* have to treat him as a former presidential candidate. Never mention it again, let it go down a black hole. It’s your platform

  13. Size Does Matter says:

    Oh to have $13M to throw out the window. I’d buy Chris Martin’s Malibu house instead.

  14. ethy says:

    The title is clickbait, I refuse to believe Kanye learned a damn thing.

    • Reece says:

      LOL I kind of agree with this. Not the clickbait part but it was funny.
      I don’t think he’s learned a damn thing either. He won’t until something drastic happens and all of the sycophants disappear .Maybe he’ll start taking his meds then.

  15. Valiantly Varnished says:

    How do you buy campaign apparel and not know that it’s going to the campaign?? People are dumb.

  16. Lionel says:

    The notion that Black Democrats would choose to vote for Trump-supporting Kanye West simply because he’s also Black is terribly offensive to me.

    • Louise177 says:

      I never understood that logic either about getting Black voters. Kanye had a Republican/Conservative platform. Democrats, except fans who didn’t care, weren’t going to vote for him. I also don’t get why people keep saying that Trump took advantage of him. Kanye was running anyway. It wasn’t as if he would have stopped if Trump wasn’t involved. Giving him help was only hurting Trump anyway. The Trump campaign was too stupid and racist to assume Black people would just vote for a Black person.

  17. EveV says:

    Kaiser, I agree with your write up, except they didn’t “make” him pay or do anything. He chose that for himself, for a nice little ego trip. Also, does anybody else find it a little odd that this is coming from People magazine? A little hard hitting for their normal articles, no? I feel like this is coming from the Kardashian camp to gain them more support for the divorce.

  18. Eeeee says:

    He was also paying his signature circulators like $9.00 per signature and they were lying as to what the signatures were for. One of them told my friend that the signature was to keep him OFF the ballot. She knew better.

  19. florencia says:

    “earned only about 66,000 votes nationally.”

    I’m grumpy today, so I don’t mean this literally, but if someone actually took the time to vote and then threw away that vote away on Kayne F*cking West (last year of all years!), they should have their voting rights revoked!

  20. Jeanine Davis says:

    Thank you for unapologetically calling out “civic ignorance and institutionalized election fraud”. This last four years in the U.S. has been plaque with lies, deceit and fear mongering. Thank you for using this platform to spread truth and accountability.

  21. Kkat says:

    Thank you for almost always using the giant baked potato pic of him