Right-wing believers in the conspiracy theory that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump are now turning on each other in a feud that could upend their push for a "forensic audit" of the results, The Detroit News reports.
The squabble comes amid apparent delays in the election-deniers’ effort to win an audit via petition. Jon Rocha, a Republican state House candidate, reportedly said on Oct. 12 that he’d submit language to Michigan Secretary of State for approval in the coming days, but no language has been submitted.
The infighting is a bit confusing if you don’t know all the players, but we’ll try to break it down.
So let me get this right, you’re accusing our great President Trump of being paid off for endorsements? I just want to be sure before I give him a call…— meshawn maddock (@CoChairMeshawn) November 24, 2021
In one corner is Jovan Hutton Pulitzer, a Texan who’s also been fighting Trump’s election battles in Arizona and Georgia. Officials in the latter state have dismissed him as a treasurer hunter who invented a cat-shaped barcode reader named one of the "25 worst tech products of all time" by an industry publication.
Pulitzer has been beefing on Twitter with Michigan GOP party co-chair and Trump acolyte Meshawn Maddock, claiming that candidates are paying her and her husband to arrange Trump endorsements. The former gadget maker has also called out candidates who he says are just now hopping on the “audit bandwagon” in part to harvest supporter email addresses for their campaign lists.
Pulitzer was previously accused of spreading false information by a Michigan Senate committee.
Another spreader of false information involved in the broader dispute is Mellissa Carone. She initially claimed state Rep. Steve Carra (R-Three Rivers) stole audit proposal language authored by Pulitzer and attorney general candidate Matt DePerno, but then backpedaled and said Carra didn’t steal anything directly.
"I know exactly what happened … It was infiltrating from other people," she said.
Carone says petition language will soon be submitted by the proposal’s “actual” authors. If approved, organizers would have to gather more than 340,000 valid signatures in less that 180 days in order get an audit proposal to the Legislature for approval. The plan is designed to circumvent a Whitmer veto.