Mike Lindell proves himself a fool

MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell held an August 2021 “cyber symposium” in Sioux Falls to provide a forum for his claims of fraud in the 2020 election. He convened the symposium under the auspices of Lindell Management LLC, which I will refer to in this post as Lindell.

The event took place over three days. Speakers included Ronald Watkins, Steve Bannon, and the son of Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro. I would like to say a good time was had by all, but I doubt it. According to Business Insider (now Insider) in this report, the symposium featured a showing of the same conspiracy theory-filled documentary four times and Lindell’s own rants against Fox News. Judging by his current advertising on Fox News, he seems to have mellowed on that point.

Lindell promoted a Prove Mike Wrong Challenge contest as part of the event. Contestants had to attend the symposium to participate in the $5,000,000 challenge. Robert Zeidman attended the symposium to participate.

The rules provided that, to win the challenge, a participant was required to prove “that the data Lindell provides, and represents reflects information from the November 2020 election, unequivocally does NOT reflect information related to the November 2020 election . . .” That is a little tough to decipher. Stated otherwise, the rules required that a participant provide a written submission that “proves to a 100% degree of certainty that the data shown at the Symposium is not reflective of November 2020 election data.”

Zeidman claimed to have proved Mike wrong. The panel designated by Lindell to adjudicate the challenge at the symposium held otherwise. Zeidman then brought a claim against Lindell for breach of contract before a panel of three Minneapolis attorney/arbitrators. The Washington Post has posted the 23-page panel decision here. The Washington Post story reporting the decision is here.

The three arbitrators who heard Zeidman’s case were “designated in accordance with the arbitration clause in paragraph 9 of the parties’ August 10, 2021, Agreement.” August 10 was the first day of the symposium. The arbitration decision, from which I am quoting, does not include a copy of the agreement. I infer that it had been drafted on behalf of Lindell to govern the challenge. The arbitration decision further states: “The parties agree that this arbitration Panel is to now decide, based on the Contest rules, whether Mr. Zeidman met the challenge, entitling him to payment.” See also “Interpretation of the Agreement/Contest Rules” at pages 11-15.

The panel decision sets forth the scope of the issues it decided:

The issues presented to the Panel for decision are narrow. The first is whether Mr. Zeidman won the Prove Mike Wrong Challenge contest, so that Lindell LLC breached its contract with him by not paying him $ 5 million. The second is whether the Contest rules were unconscionable. The third is whether Lindell LLC violated the Minnesota Consumer Fraud Act by, among other things, creating a contest knowing it would not declare a winner and failing to provide 2020 election data as promised.

The decision further specifies:

The Panel was not asked to decide whether China interfered in the 2020 election. Nor was the Panel asked to decide whether Lindell LLC possessed data that proved such interference, or even whether Lindell LLC had election data in its possession. The focus of the decision is on the 11 files provided to Mr. Zeidman in the context of the Contest rules.

After analyzing the evidence presented regarding Lindell’s putative election data, the arbitrators state their decision at page 22:

Based on the foregoing analysis, Mr. Zeidman performed under the contract. He proved the data Lindell LLC provided, and represented reflected information from the November 2020 election, unequivocally did not reflect November 2020 election data. Failure to pay Mr. Zeidman the $5 million prized was a breach of the contract, entitling him to recover.

You can read the decision yourself. The New York Times reports that Lindell “vowed in an interview to challenge the panel’s ruling.” Minnesota has adopted the Uniform Arbitration Act. The act provides only extremely narrow grounds to challenge an arbitration award. It does not afford a party the opportunity to reargue his case in court. Lindell’s challenge to the award is therefore highly unlikely to be successful. In the Prove Mike Wrong Challenge — one he lost under his own jury-rigged rules — Lindell proved himself a fool.

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