Colorado election activists part ways with Mike Lindell-funded group
MyPillow head says he will make Cause of America announcement Monday
Mike Lindell addresses a crowd gathered on the steps of the state capitol for an event called the “Colorado Election Truth Rally,” which was organized by activists who question the results of the 2020 presidential election, in Denver, April 5, 2022. (Kevin Mohatt for Colorado Newsline)
Two prominent Colorado activists are no longer part of an “election integrity” group funded by Mike Lindell, the MyPillow CEO, according to one of the activists.
Holly Kasun and Ashe Epp, Colorado residents and co-founders of Colorado-based election activist group U.S. Election Integrity Plan, were two of the original staff members of Cause of America when the organization’s creation was announced in November.
“I am no longer with Cause of America,” Kasun told Newsline on Monday, adding that she believed her official last day with the organization was Sunday.
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Kasun was co-founder of Cause of America. In a paid position she handled media and strategy, she said.
Epp, who served in a paid position as the group’s director of partnerships, also is no longer with Cause of America, Kasun said.
Reached by phone, Epp declined to comment.
A third prominent Colorado election activist, Shawn Smith, is the board president of Cause of America and remains with the organization, Kasun said. He serves in a volunteer, non-paid capacity, she said.
Kasun said she has no hard feelings about the personnel moves, which she said were decided by Lindell.
“I would say overall, it’s a really good thing,” Kasun said. “There’s just going to be kind of a new direction or refresh on the mission. The mission hasn’t changed.”
She said the last she knew Cause of America had half a dozen employees.
Cause of America describes itself as a nonpartisan organization “focused on election integrity.” Lindell falsely claims the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump and is one of the country’s leading “big lie” proponents.
Lindell told a Newsline reporter Monday, “I’m expanding Cause of America,” adding that he’s “taking it in-house” and “moving it to Frank Speech.”
Frank Speech is a Lindell-controlled app and website, which features programs hosted by such far-right conservatives as Steven Bannon, Sherronna Bishop and Brannon Howse.
“It’s basically so we have protection for the platform,” said Lindell, who previously told Insider he bought his own servers for Frank Speech, saying, “No one can de-platform me now.”
Asked about the nature of the departure of Kasun and Epp, Lindell became combative.
“I didn’t know that’s all been decided. Are you trying to read my mind?” he said. “I don’t know what you heard. And you know what, I’m not letting you write your hit piece before we make our big announcement of our expansion tonight.”
When asked about a call to announce the expansion, Lindell implied it was closed to the public.
“It’s at 7 o’clock but you’re not invited. You’ll have to wait till after the call and hear it second hand,” he said.
He warned the reporter against publishing this story.
“You have no facts right now. And if you write it, I will be calling out your name nationally, every minute of every day of my show,” he said. “And you will be known as the worst journalist this country has ever seen. Do I make myself clear?”
Asked to comment on the nature of Cause of America’s nonprofit incorporation, Lindell said, “I believe it’s a (c)(4), a 501(c)(4), and nobody has donated anything to it. We’re not taking donations and we’re not taking that. I pay it all out of my pocket. Mike Lindell, 100 percent.”
When asked where the nonprofit is incorporated, Lindell said, “None of your damn business, goodbye.”
Entities with 501(c)(4) status are often involved in political causes and are sometimes referred to “dark money” organizations, since they are not required to disclose donor information.
On Jan. 15, 2021, Lindell met with Trump in the White House and was photographed with notes that suggested the two discussed the use of “martial law” during Trump’s efforts to overturn President Joe Biden’s election win. In April, Lindell was sued by Eric Coomer, the former Dominion Voting Systems employee, for defamation.
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