If you hadn't thought about Doug Wardlow all year, and were hoping you might never have to again, we don’t blame you one bit.
A brief refresher: Wardlow was the Republican Party of Minnesota's nominee for Attorney General. Prior to that campaign, Wardlow spent his time litigating for the hyper-conservative Alliance Defending Freedom, fighting to keep trans kids out of the bathrooms where they felt most comfortable. In his private life, Wardlow had once bullied a gay classmate so much the victim attempted suicide.
As a candidate, Wardlow promised to keep the office staunchly apolitical... but also promised if he won, he’d literally fire “42 Democratic attorneys right off the bat” and replace them with Republicans. That didn't happen: Despite sketchy campaign spending and some sketchy campaign lit, on Wardlow's part, Ellison beat him 48 percent to 45 percent. (Another 6 percent went to a third-party candidate who begged his supporters to vote for Ellison to stop Wardlow.)
So, again, no judgement here if your 2019's been Wardlow-free. But Wardlow definitely hasn’t stopped thinking about Ellison. Every week or two, his Twitter and Facebook accounts throw out updates on the attorney general, accusing him of pushing a “radical political agenda.”
He's also still fundraising for his campaign, as of November, even though Ellison's not up for reelection until 2022.
Doug Wardlow, 2018 GOP nominee for MN AG, blasts supporters with a fundraising pitch. "Stop corrupt Keith Ellison," he urges. pic.twitter.com/q3NI8rVEex— Torey Van Oot (@toreyvanoot) November 14, 2019
When asked to comment in a recent Star Tribune profile on Ellison's first term in office, Wardlow said the DFLer was “the most political attorney general in the history of the state.”
“He’s not the people’s lawyer; far from it,” Wardlow said. “He is turning out to be an attorney general for far-left special interests.”
Ellison’s “radical political agenda” for 2019 has mostly consisted of unveiling new initiatives combatting wage theft, helping more people afford their medications, and addressing hate crimes. He also led an anti-vaping lawsuit against Juul Labs, and represented the state in a lawsuit against Minnesota’s abortion law, despite his own pro-choice views.
Wardlow’s doing more with his time than waiting for the next election. According to the Star Tribune, he’s currently working as an attorney for another conservative mover and shaker: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.
And if you made it all year without thinking about that guy, we're impressed. The pillow-hugging, Bible-thumping executive’s face pops up all the time—and not just in those incessant commercials that got him a shoutout from Donald Trump.
Lindell recently vowed on Fox News to turn Minnesota “completely red” on President Trump’s behalf, stopping just short of running for office himself.
Earlier this year, Lindell claimed during a Conservative Political Action Conference that Trump was “chosen by God” to be president and get the country “back on track with our conservative values” and “getting people saved in Jesus’ name.” At the time Lindell became politically aware in 2009, he said, he saw a world that “looked like the End Times prophesied in the Bible.”
“What I saw before me were friends unemployed, terrible political correctness, people saying ‘happy holidays’ instead of ‘Merry Christmas,’ and people trying to take God out of everything and not even acknowledging Jesus Christ,” he said. As Trump made his campaign announcement in 2015, Lindell felt “something miraculous” was about to unfold.
Lindell's enthusiasm for miracles is what keeps guys like Doug Wardlow busy. MyPillow has been sued on numerous occasions in recent years for false advertising, and under the terms of a settlement with customers in California, can no longer claim its pillows help with all sorts of medical conditions including sleep apnea, fibromyalgia, and cerebral palsy.
Neither Wardlow nor Lindell responded to interview requests (a Lindell spokesperson did confirm that Wardlow now works for the Lindell Management Company), but Wardlow shared the Star Tribune profile on his Facebook and Twitter feeds, where his supporters were enthusiastic.
“Wardlow 2022… You’ve got my vote again!!!!” a Facebook commenter exclaimed.
“PLEASE Doug, run again!” another pleaded.
“Praying you get it next time,” a third said.
We say: Happy New Year, and apologies your 2019 was not free of thoughts about Doug Wardlow. Better luck next year.