They're making empty promises of recounts that won't change the facts.
Republican John James lost his race for the Senate seat held by Democrat Gary Peters by 87,051 votes in Michigan last week, a margin too wide to be narrowed by a recount.
But James, who has not conceded to Peters, is raising money for a recount anyway, according to a report by the nonprofit Michigan Advance. James has launched a joint legal fund with the Republican National Committee that can only legally be used for a recount or for litigation over his failed election effort.
James is one of a number of Republicans, up to and including Donald Trump, who are soliciting cash from donors under the pretense of needing funds to cover recounts, even though recounts have virtually no chance of changing the outcome of the 2020 elections in most races.
In some cases, the money won't be used for recounts at all.
South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, a Trump ally, sent a fundraising solicitation that asked donors to "help us bring it home for the president."
However, any funds raised will go into Noem's own gubernatorial fundraising account.
Trump is raising money for recounts and legal challenges for the election he lost to Democratic President-elect Joe Biden.
He currently trails by nearly 5 million votes, and is on track to lose the Electoral College by the same margin he won it in 2016 — a lead he called a "landslide." Recounts are unlikely to change the outcome.
The fundraising prompt on his campaign website asks for contributions to his "OFFICIAL ELECTION DEFENSE FUND." However, a lengthy disclaimer on the donation page says that most of the money he raises won't go to a recount fund at all.
Instead, 60% of donations will go to Trump's new Save America leadership PAC, a fundraising arm he could use to keep an iron grip on the Republican Party, according to a report published in the New York Times. If a donor gives over $5,000, then 40% of that goes to the recount fund. And 40% of overall donations will go to the Republican National Committee.
Republican senators are also soliciting donations for Trump by saying the money is for conducting recounts.
The calls for recounts, along with unfounded allegations of voter fraud, are all part of the Republican push to delegitimize and throw out the results of the 2020 election.
And other Republican candidates are using those same baseless fraud allegations to explain away their own losses.
Kimberly Klacik, a Republican who ran in the heavily Democratic Maryland 7th Congressional District that had been held by Rep. Elijah Cummings for over 20 years prior to his death in 2019, claimed fraud accounted for her massive loss to Democratic incumbent Rep. Kweisi Mfume.
"I beat my opponent on day of & in-person early voting, along with absentee. However, 97k mail in ballots were found in his favor? Luckily, we raised enough money to investigate," Klacik tweeted on Sunday.
Klacik received just 28.6% of the vote to Mfume's 71.4%, with 82% of the vote counted.
Her comment suggests she is not proficient in math, given that even if the 97,000 mail-in ballots she claims are suspicious — with no evidence whatsoever — were thrown out, she still would lose.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.