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Littwin: If you like long shots, you might like Tina Peters’ $250,000 bet on herself to win

The recount in a race Tina Peters lost by 88,000 votes is nearly finished. For my money, I’m betting they won’t find a single crooked voting machine.

If you’re looking for a good working definition of either having too much money or having too many friends with too much money, this should do as well as any: You are the person who has spent $255,912.33 to have Colorado’s county clerks conduct a recount of an election that you lost by 88,000 votes.

Mike Littwin

That is a lot of votes. If I’ve done my math right, there has never been a Colorado recount that has changed the outcome of an election won by anything like 88,000 votes. Or even 8,800 votes. Probably even 880 votes.

There’s only one person I know who could be sufficiently delusional to waste a quarter of a million bucks on a mission that will only end with her critics reassured that she has lost complete touch with the real world. And that would be, of course, Mesa County Clerk and Recorder Tina Peters, who’s walking proof of the old adage that there’s a sucker born every minute.

The last time I checked in on Peters, she was busy getting her latest alleged bond violation quashed by a clearly unhappy judge. She not only is an election denier, but she apparently also doesn’t believe that bond restrictions apply to her.

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I mean, Peters lost by a hefty 15 percentage points to Pam Anderson, the favorite in the primary race to be the GOP nominee for Colorado’s secretary of state. And if they do an additional count of which candidate has more working marbles — which many of us would be happy to help pay for — I predict Anderson wins in a landslide. 

Let’s face it, Peters just barely squeaked past third-place finisher Mike O’Donnell, Peters edging him by less than a percentage point. And to put this as nicely as I possibly can, no one had ever even heard of O’Donnell before the race began. 

But to give him full credit, I’m sure O’Donnell, who couldn’t decide whether or not he thought the Big Lie was true, never gave a single moment’s thought to asking for a recount. For Peters, it was her second ask, but only the first time she came up with the money. Ron Hanks, yet another election denier, also requested a recount — he lost by 9 percentage points to Joe O’Dea in the GOP U.S. Senate primary — but never came up with the cash. He must have smarter friends.

If you’re going to put down a $255,000 bet that the Colorado GOP primary  elections — in which the favorite won in virtually every race — was rigged, you ought to go all in and bet another quarter of a mill that the Rockies will win the World Series this year. At this point, I’d give the Rockies the better chance.

And the truth is, of course, that if she somehow raised $255,000 or if it was just another big check from her My PIllow Guy buddy, Mike Lindell, she should probably be saving that money for her defense for the trials yet to come. In what may be a Mesa County record, Peters has been charged with 10 election-related violations, seven of them felonies. Maybe Donald Trump will send Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell to represent Peters pro bono, which, as we know, is how much Trump likes to pay his attorneys anyway.

Peters has insisted that she had to have won the race — in an election that a judge ruled she was unfit to oversee in Mesa Country — because she won at the state convention, where the party’s crazies come to meet. And that she had won some straw polls, conducted in places where, yes, the party’s crazies tend to meet. Shouldn’t a person elected to serve as county clerk understand at least that much about how elections work? 

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If there’s any good that could come out of this recount, it would be if more people come to realize just how crazy it is to believe that either Peters’ race or, for that matter, Trump’s 2020 presidential race, was rigged.

To this point, there is exactly zero evidence of either. To this point, it looks as if Trump could be facing possible election-related indictments, from Georgia and maybe from the Department of Justice. Those possible indictments would be far more serious than Peters’ apparent Watergate-level bungling in allowing a person to use a fake ID to help her illegally copy Mesa’s voting system’s hard drive. But Peters’ issues are serious enough.

She’s lucky that she doesn’t have pre-trial televised congressional hearings to deal with like Trump does. And as far as I know, Peters has yet to claim that Italian satellites or Chinese smart thermostats somehow robbed her of a victory.

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But the thing is I have no doubt that Trump knows he lost the election. There can be no doubt that his White House advisers all told him that he had lost the election and that any thought of election rigging was, in Bill Barr’s now-famous dictum, so much, uh, bull. 

Sadly, though, Trump and his allies in the right-wing media — especially the fringe right-wing media — have worked very hard to convince millions of Republicans that the Big Lie is somehow the truth. Peters must be a true believer. 

But now even the Wall Street Journal and New York Post, a pair of Rupert Murdoch entries, have given up on Trump. And it has been even harder to find a judge, including a few Trump-appointed judges, who believe there is any truth in the lie.

And now Tina Peters will find out just how many county clerks — many of them Republican, many of them presumably Trump voters — will find any foul play.

The machines have already been audited and checked for accuracy. The votes are being recounted even as I write. 

And this just in from a bookie friend of mine: The over/under on the number of machines that will be found to be rigged is exactly zero. If Peters is looking to double down on her bet, I’m sure she can find any number of takers.


Mike Littwin has been a columnist for too many years to count. He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow


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