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Jill Stein's Campaign Consultant Indicted for Biden Deepfake Calls

 June 22, 2024

In a surprising turn of events, a consultant linked to Jill Stein's presidential campaign is now facing serious criminal charges.

Jill Stein's presidential bid was tainted by her campaign's consultant, who was indicted for making deceptive robocalls using a deepfake of Joe Biden's voice, Insider reported.

Jill Stein's campaign, eyeing a spot in the 2024 presidential race, hired political consultant Steve Kramer in April to help gather signatures in New York. The campaign paid Kramer a substantial sum of $150,015 under the impression that his expertise in petitioning would be an asset. However, the campaign soon discovered unsettling news about their consultant's other activities.

Unfolding the Timeline: Kramer's Hiring and Activities

Initially, Kramer was brought on board to spearhead the petitioning effort from mid-April to the end of May. During this period, the Stein campaign was focused on securing enough signatures to guarantee a place on the New York ballot.

Unfortunately, despite the financial and strategic investment, Stein's campaign did not meet the signature threshold required for ballot placement. The shortfall in signatures was a significant setback, overshadowing the campaign's efforts and ambitions.

Towards the end of this crucial petitioning period, the campaign learned of Kramer's involvement in a separate and quite controversial activity. This discovery came as a shock to the campaign staff, including campaign manager Jason Call.

Kramer's Controversial Use of AI and Deepfakes

"We did not know anything about his activities… regarding the robocalls until the petitioning period was almost over," stated Jason Call, Stein's campaign manager. This statement highlighted the disconnect between Kramer's known responsibilities and his clandestine activities.

During the presidential primary in New Hampshire, Kramer executed a deceptive strategy using AI-generated robocalls. These calls mimicked Joe Biden's voice, misleading voters with false messages purportedly from Biden himself.

Kramer later admitted that his intention behind these robocalls was to showcase the potential dangers associated with artificial intelligence and deepfakes. However, the method and execution of his demonstration led to serious legal consequences.

Legal Repercussions and Future Implications

Kramer now faces 26 criminal charges, including 13 felony counts of voter suppression and 13 misdemeanor counts of impersonating a candidate. These charges, brought forward in New Hampshire, could lead to Kramer facing a hefty fine of up to $6 million, as the Federal Communications Commission stipulated.

The legal troubles of Stein's consultant could cast a long shadow over her campaign, especially as she prepares to run again under the Green Party's banner. Stein, who previously ran in 2016, officially launched her 2024 campaign in November, positioning herself on an ultra-progressive platform.

This incident also stirs concerns among Democratic strategists regarding the potential impact of third-party candidates like Stein and Cornel West on the upcoming election, particularly their ability to influence the outcome of a race against Donald Trump.

Broadening the Electoral Impact

The implications of the controversy extend beyond Kramer's legal ramifications. They touch upon broader electoral dynamics, particularly the influence of third-party candidates in pivotal elections.

While Stein and Kramer's actions have sparked a debate about the ethical use of technology in politics, they also underscore the fragility of public trust in electoral processes. The situation serves as a cautionary tale on the potential misuse of AI in misinformation campaigns.

As the legal proceedings against Kramer unfold, the spotlight remains on how these developments might affect Stein's campaign and the broader political landscape as the election approaches.

Conclusion: Revisiting the Core Issues

In conclusion, Jill Stein's campaign's association with Steve Kramer has led to a complex blend of political, legal, and ethical questions. The events will likely resonate as the electoral season progresses, influencing public opinion and electoral strategies in the 2024 presidential race.