Moron Pushing Petition To Rename Commanders Has Long History Of Being A Moron
1:24 PM EDT on August 23, 2023
A petition to bring back an old name of the Washington Commanders, the one discarded in 2020 for being racist, is nearing 125,000 signatures.
The re-re-naming demand was part of a “campaign against cancel culture,” according to a statement from the group pushing the petition, an outfit called the Native American Guardians Association (NAGA). "The organic growth of this petition proves our position is the right one," said NAGA spokesperson Healy Baumgardner.
Buoyed by the big early numbers, Baumgardner in interviews began comparing the football team’s name change to Bud Light’s attempt at inclusive advertising and threatened to launch a boycott against the Commanders “similar to Anheuser-Busch.” She also suggested, in the form of an inscrutable joke, that the Commanders hire Megan Rapinoe “as marketing director.”
Who would push such a hateful, low-brow, guaranteed-to-lose crusade? Well, turns out the acronym ain’t NAGA’s only MAGAesque attribute.
The press release announcing the petition, which got lots of attention from right-wing media enterprises including FOX, Breitbart and NewsMax, came from a PR firm called Global Impact Campaigns (GIC). The group has a D.C. phone number. But the database for the West Virginia Secretary of State indicates Global Impact Campaigns is based in Wheeling, W.Va., and was only registered on July 21, 2023, under the umbrella of Mona Lisa Communications, an LLC owned by Baumgardner.
Baumgardner did not respond to requests for comment about the NAGA push.
Previous owner Dan Snyder hired a parade of wackos with dubious connections to Native Americans to front his ugly and failed efforts to keep the old name. Baumgardner’s ties to Indian Country are also not obvious. Her political leanings, however, are out there. Baumgardner is a 43-year-old former staffer in the George W. Bush White House and Rudy Giuliani flack. But she made her biggest noise while serving as a spokesperson for Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign. Poor Healy was habitually hailed for being horrendous at her job.
The Daily Beast said Baumgardner routinely “baffled anchors with her unwillingness to answer basic questions.” After she appeared on CNN to talk up Trump’s Muslim ban, the site Crooks and Liars wrote, “Healy Baumgardner is what happens when you put an incompetent employee in a position with a job title with no idea what the job actually is or how anyone should actually do it.” The headline of Mediaite’s story on a CNN appearance asserted Baumgardner “Just Crashed and Burned on Live TV… Again.” The Washington Post’s Erik Wemple, reviewing Baumgardner’s spot on CNN where she refused to discuss Trump’s praising North Korea’s Kim Jong Un for assassinating all his nemeses (“You got to give him credit,” Trump said at a campaign rally) said she “made cable news history” for uselessness as a news network guest.
A sampling of the exchange between CNN’s Carol Costello and Baumgardner that fired Wemple up:
COSTELLO: “Kim executed his uncle. He executed his aunt. He executed his military chief. He executed his vice premier. What was Mr. Trump trying to say, Healy?”
BAUMGARDNER: Well, I think top line you know Mr. Trump’s point is that he wants to keep an open dialogue and repair relationships with world leaders.
COSTELLO: But what was he trying to say in January at his campaign rally?
BAUMGARDNER: Well I’m not going to speculate on what he meant specifically by those points. But generally speaking you know he wants to have an open dialogue to repair relationships with leaders throughout the world…
COSTELLO: Yes. And I’m just — Healy, you can’t give us any more guidance on this? You are the senior press representative for Mr. Trump.
BAUMGARDNER: I am, exactly. And what I’m telling you is that top line you know his — one of his biggest goals is to repair relationships with leaders throughout the world.Washington Post
Baumgardner left the Trump post in September 2016 on bad terms. On the way out, The Daily Beast reported that she was saying “the direction of the campaign” forced her to leave.
Whatever disaffection she had for the campaign didn’t stop her from exploiting her connection to Trump. In early January 2017, West Virginia corporation records show Baumgardner founded a company called The 45 Group just after the election of Donald Trump as the 45th president. Even before Trump was inaugurated, she registered with the U.S. Department of Justice as a foreign lobbyist. The 45 Group quickly landed a contract working for the government of Malaysia, whose prime minister, Najib Razak, was at the time under investigation by the U.S. State Department and FBI for allegedly stealing more than $3.5 billion from the people of his country and laundering it through U.S. businesses. Baumgardner reported earning $25,000 a month from Malaysia. By fall, Razak was meeting with Trump in the White House and, according to a report in The New York Times, getting thanked by the new president for “all the investment you’ve made in the United States.” John Sifton, the Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, told the Times: “President Trump has repeatedly shown that he is willing to host authoritarian leaders. But this meeting, in some respects, marks a new low.”
Baumgardner was back to being a national laughingstock in November 2020, at the height of the pandemic, when she accompanied Giuliani to a Trump party for unmasked supporters at the White House on election night. Both Baumgardner and her date got COVID-19 at the bash. Trump lost.
At some point after getting over the plague she pivoted to supporting Ron DeSantis for president, based on her Twitter timeline. Perhaps bringing the Florida governor's culture war to the Commanders via the naming petition is Baumgardner’s audition for a job in his 2024 presidential campaign.
For all the numbers the petition racked up, the Commanders quickly showed they’d be taking Baumgardner with all the seriousness she has earned. Within days of her threatening to launch a boycott, the team announced an endorsement deal with Anheuser-Busch, making Bud Light the official beer of the franchise. No word yet on hiring Rapinoe.