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Tipsheet

I Don't Know How This Is Going to Work, But Joe Exotic Has 2024 Plans

(AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki, File)

I’m not sure how this will work for a candidate serving a 21-year sentence over a murder-for-hire plot, but Joe Exotic has decided to run for president in 2024. Exotic became famous after being documented in the Netflix documentary “Tiger King," which delved into the world of rare cat owners, breeders, and the people on opposing sides of this issue. Joe and Carole Baskin are a central plot line, as she’s the woman Joe hired people to murder. Exotic was banking on Donald Trump issuing a pardon in one of his final acts as president; it never happened. 

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It's most likely a publicity stunt—how is this even a serious candidacy? He can’t campaign or do much of anything being incarcerated. Even his 2024 mission statement is more geared in trying to recover something from the former vestiges of his life (via The Hill): 

Maldonado-Passage launched a new campaign website, with a personal message: “Thank you for your interest in my Campaign. Yes, I know I am in Federal Prison and you might think this is a joke but it’s not. It is my Constitutional right to do this even from here.” 

“So put aside that I am gay, that I am in prison for now, that I used drugs in the past, that I had more then one boyfriend at once and that Carole hates my guts. This all has not a thing to do with me being able to be your voice. The best thing you have going for supporting me is that I am used to fighting my whole life just to get by. I am broke, they have taken everything I ever worked for away, and it’s time we take this country back,” he wrote on the campaign site.

In 2018, the former owner of the Greater Wynnewood Animal Park was indicted by a federal grand jury on two counts of murder-for-hire.

Prosecutors say Maldonado-Passage gave a person $3,000 to travel from Oklahoma to Florida to carry out the murder of big cat activist Carole Baskin and “allegedly agreed to pay thousands more after the deed,” said the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma. 

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It could be worse. Right now, we have a president who is mentally unfit, presiding over a failing economy, another endless war in Ukraine, and now a deteriorating banking system. So, I guess a man who tried to hire people to kill someone else and is currently serving time for it isn’t much worse. Exotic has zero chance but it could be a nice break for some entertainment when 2024 gets going if he’s allowed to partake in this endeavor.  

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