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Herschel Walker

The national Republican Party apparatus is standing behind its U.S. Senate candidate in Georgia, Herschel Walker, following a report in the Daily Beast that alleges he paid for a girlfriend's abortion in 2009.

Walker, a vocal abortion opponent, called the report a "flat-out" lie in a statement posted on Twitter.

Granted, this is still ongoing, the GOP is still backing him and maybe it's just a hatchet job, but even his son even chimed in.

Every family member of Herschel Walker asked him not to run for office, because we all knew (some of) his past. Every single one. He decided to give us the middle finger and air out all of his dirty laundry in public, while simultaneously lying about it,” he added.

Majewski - House GOP cuts loose candidate who misled about military service

The move comes a day after an Associated Press report that Kaptur’s opponent, JR Majewski, lied about his resume, including claiming that he deployed to Afghanistan. Majewski beat out two state legislators in a May primary contest for the northwest Ohio district.

More recently, the House Republican campaign committee released a biography that describes Majewski as a veteran whose “squadron was one of the first on the ground in Afghanistan after 9/11.” A campaign ad posted online Tuesday by Majewski supporters flashed the words “Afghanistan War Veteran” across the screen alongside a picture of a younger Majewski in his dress uniform.

He's out, or rather the GOP is withdrawing funding. Closest he got was Qatar, for 6 months, working in logistics. The bit about being with the first "boots on the ground" is esp. silly as the initial Afghanistan deployment was very small.

Kevin Potvin, my all time personal favorite, was a short-lived candidate for the Federal Green Party of Canada, in 2007.

This is a man who owns and writes in a small activist community paper, The Republic. After the local Vancouver Greens put him up for candidate, people "discovered" that he had written about "pumping his fist up in the air at 9/11". I didn't know that, but I did remember reading an op-ed of his, after the 2005 London bombings (56 deaths) that "they (the terrorists) were fighting for the same thing as us, against McDonalds and to protect their kids".

Promptly dumped. I mean, quick. But it was well-known, he'd been writing that crap for years and it made the Greens look stupid.


I am sure many of you have heard of similar cases, this is just a sample.

(if someone wants to nominate an equally juicy Dem candidate, current or historical, for inclusion, feel free)


The point with all 3 is that a minimal amount of background checks would have shown there was some major embarrassment potential for their parties. The later it is discovered the worse it is, especially if they remain on-ballot. To add to the above types of cases, you have all the "old social media posts spouting gibberish" crowd.

  • interview family
  • read social media posts
  • look for arrest/conviction records
  • read publications
  • check military and educational credentials...

What procedures do parties follow to avoid this kind of mess? It seems extremely amateurish, esp with Majewski, especially with tight races.

Do established parties have in an-house dirt-digging team? Do neutral political consultants provide this service for hire? This question is primarily about the US, with its added twist of open primaries, but other countries are also of interest (although one might expect primary opponents to do their own discoveries).

No, not asking about cases where things suddenly happen once the person is running. Or is in office (watching porn in Parliament). Nor about things that were really hidden until the person's notoriety motivated a witness to speak out. And I am not as much asking for things that might offend opposite-side voters as for things that would be unacceptable to the very party running them.

Basically, I am asking about things that are there for an easy picking up.

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  • Can you add a country? Because the answer for the US is going to be massively different from the answer for other countries, including Canada. Oct 11, 2022 at 15:47

1 Answer 1

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In the United States, major political parties do not have the authority to vet candidates at all. Candidates run in the party of the candidate's choice, and then rank and file voters in the primary process decides who will represent that party. The party can't prevent someone from running under its brand, or dump its candidates when scandals come out.

The campaign finance system in the U.S. also strongly favors contributions to individual candidates themselves. Contributions intermediated through the political party are a far smaller source of campaign funds. So, political parties also don't have much financial leverage over their candidates either.

Canada, in contrast, has a system similar to that of the British one, where parties choose their candidates internally after what is usually a thorough vetting process - but sometimes party officials get sloppy or don't have many good choices to pick from. This also makes it possible for a party to dump a candidate when bad news about them is revealed.

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  • This seems a solid answer, but can you elaborate on "The party can't prevent someone from running under its brand, or dump its candidates when scandals come out.". US elections seem to have a remarkable level of autonomy in their, state-level, arrangements. So what muzzles the party, in these, state-level, contests? Party bylaws and regulations? State laws? Federal or constitutional laws? Untested or backed by precedents? Equal on both Dem and Rep sides? Oct 10, 2022 at 18:09
  • @ItalianPhilosophers4Monica State level laws on the nomination of candidates and on how primary elections are conducted. For example, in Colorado, a candidate who doesn't seek nomination in the intraparty caucus process merely needs to unilaterally register to vote with that party and file a petition with enough registered voters in that party - a number low enough to not get in the way of any serious candidate, and win an open primary. These laws apply equally to both major parties. The muzzles in state law are legacies of progressive era reforms designed to combat corrupt political machines.
    – ohwilleke
    Oct 10, 2022 at 21:24

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