As the race for president is fast approaching its conclusion this November, Kanye West’s campaign is becoming one of the most bizarre bids ever to participate in an election cycle. Keeping his political aspirations afloat isn’t cheap, though.
The rapper’s overdue campaign financials filed with the Federal Election Commission were released over the weekend, revealing how nearly $7 million of West’s personal funds were spent over the last couple of months. And, so far, only an estimated 12 states are willing to show his name on a ballot.
NYMag breaks down the numerous issues Ye’s campaign is battling as of late. Five states have ongoing litigation against his ballot efforts, one in Virginia, “where a number of electors for West were unaware that they had signed paperwork to be his electors. In what was almost certainly a first in American history, two electors for West successfully sued to have the candidate removed from the ballot in the state on Thursday.”
In Arizona, West’s name was Jazzy Jeff’d off of their ballot after a local judge ruled it’s against the law run as an independent in the state if he’s registered to vote Republican in Wyoming. An appeal to the state supreme court has since been filed by his legal team. Ignoring the court order, Ye submitted additional signatures to Arizona’s secretary of State on Friday, but his campaign was kindly asked to have several seats and to stop the publicity stunts. It get’s more bizarre.
There also was a protest held outside the secretary of State’s office on Friday afternoon. A reporter for NBC News tweeted that the protesters were paid signature-gatherers for the campaign’s effort in Arizona and that showing up was a precondition for them to get paid for their work. However, a source familiar with the effort said that the protest consisted only of those signature gatherers who had volunteered to do it and were motivated by frustration that their weeks of effort had been nullified by a court decision.
Some digging into the campaign’s financial report unveiled $6 million of the campaign’s spend was paid to three consulting groups, two with deep ties to the Republican party. Ye’s legal fees packed a $260,000 payload to lawyers also linked with Republican ties. And $30,000 of that was allocated to lawyers representing West in Wisconsin and West Virginia to get him back on their ballots after they removed him for various reasons. Not that we care, but the West Virgina firm is correctly named Bowles Rice, not the bowel inducing “Bowels Rice” as it’s listed in the “Itemized Disbursements” page of the report.
Anyway, Ye’s campaign secured signature petitions in Mississippi and Kentucky, though students at the Universty of Louisville had some sleeze-ball approaches tethering on ethical lines to secure their support. One signature-gatherer asked students to “sign a petition to get Kanye off the ballot” after referring to the rapper as “a nutcase on social media.” The student nervously signed to be polite.
Efforts in South Dakota took an L after Ye’s running mate, biblical life coach Michael Tidball, refused to submit the required personal financial discolore forms in order for candidates to run in the state. It makes you wonder if Tidball’s money is funny.
Nevertheless, Kanye West’s run for president is far from over. The rapper has spent thousands in South Carolina to petition signatures in local establishments, but the results from that remain to be seen. And in an interview with campaign supporter and bag fumbler Nick Cannon on his show Cannon’s Class Ye revealed he’s invested $50 million on Sunday Service. Needless to say, it’s expected he’ll dip into his billionaire pockets to push along his presidential pipedream.