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The mys­tery of wannabe gov­er­nor Brian Kemp is the most im­por­tant rid­dle in Ge­or­gia pol­i­tics since “What’s Jimmy go­ing to do in re­tire­ment?” Not that Kemp will ever be pres­i­dent, or win a No­bel Prize. For­get awards: Kemp couldn’t keep a kiss­ing booth sol­vent. In­stead, the big ques­tion with Kemp is: Why is he so re­pel­lent? His pol­i­tics are the same as any other right-wing ya­hoo. But there’s some un­spo­ken part of him that makes all de­cent peo­ple nauseous. Kemp makes Ted Cruz look like a Kennedy. Wait, that isn’t fair. Kemp makes Cruz look hu­man. Pick­ing the worst thing about Kemp is like pick­ing out the drunk­est man in Flor­ida — you’re spoiled for choice. Do we go with Kemp’s pre­dictable back­story? Do we go with his garbage taste in pol­i­tics? Do we men­tion how he’s pledged to sign anti-LGBTQ Re­li­gious Free­dom Acts? Do we dis­cuss the com­mer­cial where he stuck a gun in an ac­tor’s face? How about his cosplay truck, where he claimed he’d round up all the il­le­gals? God, how do we choose? The trail of doc­u­ments isn’t flat­ter­ing to the man. Many ex­perts claim that Kemp in Ge­or­gia, like Kris Kobach in Kan­sas, is us­ing his once-neu­tral of­fice to strip vot­ers of their rights. Crit­ics say Kemp launched petty in­ves­ti­ga­tions into African-Amer­i­can and Asian-Amer­i­can regis­tra­tion groups. Pure in­tim­i­da­tion tac­tics, they claim. Ac­cord­ing to these ex­perts, the Ge­or­gia GOP is so ter­ri­fied of a di­verse, blue state that they’ll do any­thing to keep their de­cay­ing, ger­ry­man­dered ma­jor­ity in­tact. In one recorded speech, Kemp warned that “Democrats are work­ing hard ... reg­is­ter­ing all these mi­nor­ity vot­ers that are out there and oth­ers that are sit­ting on the side­lines. If they can do that, they can win these elec­tions in Novem­ber.” Carol An­der­son, a voter sup­pres­sion scholar, wrote a New York Times ed­i­to­rial ti­tled “Brian Kemp, En­emy of Democ­racy.” Ac­cord­ing to An­der­son, Kemp’s bag of tricks is as deep as he is shal­low: “Hack­able polling ma­chines, voter roll purges, re­fus­ing to reg­is­ter vot­ers un­til af­ter an elec­tion, the use of in­ves­ti­ga­tions to in­tim­i­date groups reg­is­ter­ing mi­nori­ties to vote — Mr. Kemp knows it all.” Re­fus­ing to re­cuse him­self dur­ing an elec­tion is the least of these. The facts say voter fraud is an al­most nonex­is­tent crime. But don’t worry: The fab­u­lous Sher­lock Kemp is on the case. An­der­son said Kemp used Ex­act Match to put tens of thou­sands of vot­ers in “elec­toral limbo” by fault­ing them for mis­placed hy­phens. Strange, said An­der­son, that Kemp doesn’t care about the se­cu­rity of the vot­ing ma­chines. He re­fused fed­eral funds to pro­tect them against hack­ing.

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