Roy Moore (AP/Hal Yeager)

Hey, remember Roy Moore? Two weeks later, he still hasn't conceded

Defeated Christian nationalist begs for money, hinting at "voter fraud" — while his former allies back away


Matthew Sheffield
December 26, 2017 9:59AM (UTC)

Roy Moore, the far-right former judge who lost a special election for a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama, has yet to admit that Democratic rival Doug Jones actually defeated him.

Instead, Moore has been trying to raise money from his supporters for an "election integrity fund," while also appearing to blame "Muslims and Marxists" for his loss. Additionally, Moore, or at least someone authorized to access his Facebook account, posted a link last week to a news article that discussed Jones' gay son. Amid a flurry of criticism, the link was removed.

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Moore has a long history of attacking LGBT rights, to be sure. Most recently, he was suspended in September of 2016 as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court for defying the U.S. Supreme Court's Obergefell v. Hodges decision, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

In a video statement released to supporters the day after the election, the Confederate-sympathizing Republican claimed that he was "in a struggle to preserve our republic, our civilization and our religion."

“Today, we no longer recognize the universal truth that God is the author of our life and liberty," Moore said. “Abortion, sodomy and materialism have taken the place of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

On Friday, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill said he would officially certify the election results in Jones' favor on Dec. 28.

Moore had pinned his fading hopes on provisional ballots and votes submitted from members of the military who were stationed overseas. On Wednesday, Merrill announced that the total number of such ballots was 5,333, far fewer than the margin of 20,715 votes separating Jones and Moore.

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As a backup plan, Moore has tried to convince his supporters to donate to fund-raising efforts to investigate alleged voter fraud in the election.

"My campaign team is busy collecting numerous reported cases of voter fraud and irregularities for the Secretary of State's office," Moore claimed in a Dec. 15 email to fans.

Jones' 1.5 percent margin of victory is three times higher the 0.5 percent margin under which Alabama law would trigger an automatic recount. State law does allow candidates to request a recount on their own initiative -- if they are willing to pay for it -- but it is unclear whether those provisions apply to candidates for federal office, the Montgomery Advertiser newspaper reported.

No Republican elected officials, in Alabama or anywhere else, have questioned the legitimacy of Jones' victory.

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Moore's fund-raising solicitation was made on the same day that President Donald Trump, one of Moore's few national Republican supporters before his loss, said he believed the former state judge should end his campaign.

“I think he should. He tried," Trump said, when asked by a reporter if he believed Moore should concede. “As far as Roy Moore, yeah, it's — I would certainly say he should.”

Other Moore allies have begun backpedaling from his candidacy, including Breitbart News editor Alex Marlow. On Thursday, Marlow said he believed that Leigh Corfman, one of three women who has accused Moore of sexual assault, had "a lot of credibility," although the far-right website vociferously defended the former judge during the campaign.

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In remarks to CNN in which he called Moore a "horrible" candidate, Marlow framed his defenses of Moore as ultimately about supporting Trump, who has also been accused of sexual assault.

"There was never any reason to cave, unless you have a . . . unless you would like President Trump to get removed from office," Marlow said. "And if not even removed from office, at least have massive distractions from his agenda so that we never accomplish anything for the remainder of the president's term."

James O'Keefe, the founder of Project Veritas, the right-wing activist group that apparently paid a woman to promote a false rape allegation against Moore to The Washington Post, also said he believed the women who have accused Moore of molesting them or pursuing them when they were teenagers.

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“Yes," O'Keefe told Mediaite when asked whether he believed the women. He was not trying to discredit them when he sought to deceive the Post, he said.

"It’s not my subject matter,” he said. “That’s not what my investigation was about. It wasn’t about the victims, it was about the bias in the media.”

According to O'Keefe, his true objective had nothing to do with the Alabama race. He said he hoped to get Post reporters to gossip about the paper's investigations into allegations that Trump's former campaign officials had colluded with Russian agents to influence the 2016 presidential election.


Matthew Sheffield

A writer, web developer, and former tv producer, Matthew Sheffield covers politics, media, and technology for Salon. You can email him via m.sheffield@salon.com or follow him on Twitter.

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