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GOP 49
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Cornel West Owes $49,500 in Child Support and $466,000 in Back Taxes

The Green Party, despite being quite small, has swung two elections in the past quarter century. Its candidate in 2000, Ralph Nader, got 92,000 votes in Florida, which allowed George Bush to beat Al Gore by 537 votes. If Nader had not been on the ballot it is virtually certain that at least 1% of the Nader voters would have grudgingly voted for Gore and he would have won the Florida election and the presidency.

In 2016, it wasn't quite as clear cut, but if all the people who voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania had voted for Hillary Clinton, she would have won those states and been elected president. These have been traumatic experiences for Democrats. We could have a repeat performance, in 2024 resulting in another Donald Trump presidency.

The leading candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination appears to be Cornel West, a former Harvard professor who is now on the faculty of the Union Theological Seminary in New York.

West is ideologically a good match for the Green Party, but he has some baggage that Democrats could exploit to reduce his appeal if he becomes the GP nominee. For one, he has been accused of being antisemitic, which may have played a role in his not getting tenure at Harvard. For another, he seems to have some sort of issue with women, having been divorced twice as many times as Donald Trump (four divorces in all). Even Rudy Giuliani hasn't been divorced twice as many times as Trump.

And now a couple of other items have surfaced that could be used against West. He has a judgment of $49,500 for child support that he has not paid. For some women, even very liberal ones, four divorces and unpaid child support may take some luster off his candidacy.

In addition, West owes the IRS $466,000 in unpaid taxes from 2013 to 2017. If the Democrats can create an image of him as a tax cheat and deadbeat dad, that could well cost him some votes, you never know. Of course, actively running ads against him, even paid for by some new group called, say, "Moms against Deadbeat Dads," would give him free publicity that might help him rather than hurt him. But if one or more of his exes hate him and would be willing to try to stop him, that has potential. Also, Democrats don't like to run smear campaigns, but sometimes desperate times call for desperate measures. Consequently, a campaign to shine a light on some of his personal issues would have to be done with care and in such a way that it couldn't be traced to the Democrats. That means finding a friendly politically savvy millionaire who can pick up the ball and run with it. So if West is the GP nominee, these issues might surface again next year. (V)

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