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Politics => Vox Populi => Topic started by: Hypestyle on May 22, 2018, 06:30:32 pm

Title: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Hypestyle on May 22, 2018, 06:30:32 pm
Mastrmynd, Magic, what's good? (

Updated May 22, 2018
By Greg Bluestein
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Former House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams won the Democratic nomination for Georgia’s top office on Tuesday, defeating ex-state Rep. Stacey Evans and advancing her quest to become the nation’s first black female governor.

She will face one of five Republicans in November in the race to succeed Gov. Nathan Deal, a competition that will test whether the state is truly competitive after more than a decade of GOP rule.

Abrams attracted national attention, big-name endorsements and millions of dollars in outside spending with her “unapologetic progressive” platform to flip the Georgia governor’s office for the first time since 2002.

FOLLOW LIVE: Primary election results

But she faced a stiff challenge from Evans, who tried to frame herself as the more ardent progressive. Evans fueled her campaign with nearly $2 million of her own money, pummeling Abrams with criticism for supporting a 2011 Republican-backed measure that cut awards to the HOPE scholarship.

Each of the Democratic and Republican candidates tried to carve out his or her niche in a race that attracted more than $22 million in campaign contributions – and flooded the airwaves with more than $13 million in TV ads.

The Democrats largely abandoned centrist talk to appeal instead to left-leaning voters with a promise of implementing gun control, increasing financial aid for lower-income families and taking steps toward the decriminalization of marijuana.

Stacey Abrams visited the AJC to discuss her run for governor. We had three questions for her.
That’s a stark contrast from more moderate appeals from a generation of Democratic candidates for governor, who often sought the National Rifle Association’s endorsement and touted fiscally conservative policies.

They are echoing many in the party’s base who insisted on that shift. Claudia Colichon, who lives in north Atlanta, said she demands candidates who embrace mass transit funding and fight for gun control.

“There needs to be a progressive change,” said Colichon. “People are seeing that conservative policies aren’t working.”

Abrams attracted far more national attention, picking up support from Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and a string of other high-profile Democrats. Abrams raised about two-thirds of her campaign funds from outside the state, and national groups funded about $2 million worth of ads supporting her.

Evans mounted a lower-key campaign focused on local endorsements and smaller gatherings. The election-eve activities highlighted their differences. While Abrams held a large get-out-the-vote rally, Evans slung beers for supporters at an Atlanta bar.

Both Abrams and Evans united around a host of issues, including expanding Medicaid, growing the medical marijuana program and continuing Deal’s criminal justice overhaul. And both are outspoken opponents of “religious liberty” measures they say amount to state-sponsored discrimination.

The two attorneys also both were the products of hardscrabble childhoods that shaped their views of government, served together in the state House in their 30s and had up-close views of the tragic toll of substance abuse on their families with siblings who faced legal trouble.

But they’ve clashed on other issues, including how aggressively they oppose the NRA, how they would handle the state’s $26 billion budget and even how they would address Stone Mountain and other Civil War monuments.

The biggest policy divide, however, centered on the HOPE scholarship, which provides tuition aid to Georgia college students who maintain a “B” average.

Evans said Abrams betrayed her party by working with Republicans seeking cost-cutting moves to reduce the program’s awards in 2011. Abrams countered that more “seasoned” Democrats sided with her in that vote because they knew negotiating with the GOP would prevent deeper cuts.

The other central disagreement in the race involved strategy.

Evans banked on a more conventional Democratic plan to win over independent voters and moderates, particularly suburban women, who have fled to the GOP. Abrams has staked her campaign on energizing left-leaning voters, including minorities who rarely cast ballots.

The two competed for support in an increasingly diverse electorate and at times racial tensions surfaced.

There was the moment last year when Abrams supporters shouted down Evans at an Atlanta conference of progressive activists with chants of “support black women.” Evans, who is white, drew scorn with a video at Ebenezer Baptist Church that faded her face into the image of Martin Luther King Jr.

For Democrats, the divisive primary for governor was somewhat novel. Jason Carter, the party’s 2014 nominee, faced no Democratic competition. And former Gov. Roy Barnes steamrolled over opposition in 2010 during his failed comeback bid.

The party has also largely avoided fierce primary battles between black and white candidates for governor since the 1990 vote, when then-Lt. Gov. Zell Miller trounced former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young.

Evans, who represented a Smyrna-based district, faced an uphill battle from the moment she entered the race. Black women form the largest bloc of voters in the Democratic primary, and Abrams’ campaign predicted African-American turnout overall could make up 65 percent of the vote.

To make inroads, Evans staged a slate of smaller rallies and meet-and-greets, and she relied heavily on prominent black officials to spread her message. She also spent far more heavily on TV than Abrams, inundating the airwaves with a HOPE-themed pitch.

Follow This: Georgia Legisl
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 22, 2018, 07:15:59 pm
Ah, damn... Hype  You beat me to it!  :)


by Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns

Tuesday, May 22, 2018


Georgia Democrats selected the first black woman to be a major party nominee for governor in the United States on Tuesday, choosing Stacey Abrams, a liberal former state house leader, who will test just how much the state’s traditionally conservative politics are shifting.

By defeating her opponent, Stacey Evans, also a former state legislator, Ms. Abrams also became Georgia’s first black nominee for governor, a prize that has eluded earlier generations of African-American candidates in the state. Her nomination is sure to draw intense national attention in the general election as Georgia voters determine whether a black woman can win in the Deep South, a region that has not had an African-American governor since reconstruction.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on May 22, 2018, 07:34:57 pm
Hear winning the nomination is an interesting foreshadowing of the national Democratic nomination.  And if she wins GEORGIA, that's an even more potent message.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Hypestyle on May 23, 2018, 06:08:18 am
The DNC administrators of Georgia have no excuse.  They had damn well better get behind Ms. Abrams and promote her campaign.  The hardcore "centrist" orthodoxy doesn't work everywhere all the time.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 01, 2018, 02:56:04 pm
Wednesday, August 1st, 2018

President Barack Obama endorses 81 candidates in U.S. midterms, says he's 'eager' to get involved
by John Fritze


WASHINGTON – Former President Barack Obama announced endorsements Wednesday of 81 Democratic candidates in the November midterm elections, and said he is "eager" to help his party gain seats in a contest widely seen as a referendum on Emperor Puppetine.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Reginald Hudlin on August 04, 2018, 07:33:59 am
My Georgia folks...what do you think her chances are?
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Mastrmynd on August 07, 2018, 08:13:18 am
My Georgia folks...what do you think her chances are?

We aren't worried about "Atlanta" but the rest of Ga will be a toss up. It's going to be close IMO.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 28, 2018, 08:06:19 pm
Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum Wins Democratic Nomination for Florida Governor
by Associated Press


(TALLAHASSEE, Fla.) — Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum upset a crowded field of well-funded candidates in Florida’s Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday, a step away from becoming the state’s first black governor.

His surprise victory sets up a November showdown with republican rep. ron desantis, a favorite of emperor puppetine.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 30, 2018, 05:15:48 pm
("...about Mayor Andrew Gillum's political opponent..."

Thursday, 30th August 2018

GOP Gubernatorial Nominee Ron DeSantis Moderated Racist, Conspiratorial Facebook Group
by Caleb Ecarma

Florida’s GOP gubernatorial nominee Rep. Ron DeSantis administered a racist and conspiracy-obsessed Facebook group, until yesterday when research from Media Matters staffer Natalie Martinez revealed the lawmaker’s role on the page and forced him to leave it.

DeSantis, who was under fire yesterday for making what many deemed a racist remark toward his black opponent Andrew Gillum, helped manage the 95,000 members strong group as one of its 52 administrators.

The other managers included failed Arizona Republican Senate candidate and conspiracy theorist Kelli Ward, white nationalist-tied Virginia GOP Senate candidate Corey Stewart, and outspoken anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller.

As for the page’s content, members shared posts comparing Parkland high school shooting victims and Black Lives Matter activists to Adolf Hitler, accused NFL players protesting police brutality of kneeling “like ISIS,” and accusing Muslims of worshipping a religion dedicated to “pedophilia, sex slavery, rape gangs, and honor killings.”

Other members pushed wild conspiracy theories common in right-wing Facebook culture, even claiming the Charlottesville white supremacist rally was actually “orchestrated by the left.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Curtis Metcalf on August 31, 2018, 06:24:44 am
Hmm, the same guy who claims that "Don't monkey this up" isn't racist.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 31, 2018, 02:47:06 pm
Hmm, the same guy who claims that "Don't monkey this up" isn't racist.

They're scared...

They know what's coming next.


Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 05, 2018, 02:28:57 am
Wednesday, 5 September 2018

The Associated Press called the race for the 24-year incumbent at 9:53 p.m.
The secretary of state was challenged by 34-year-old Boston City Councilor Josh Zakim in the heated Democratic primary.

Secretary of State William Galvin defeats challenger Josh Zakim in Democratic primary (10:45 p.m.)

The AP also called the following races:

Tracy Lovvorn, Republican nomination for U.S. House in the 2nd Congressional District

James “Jay” McMahon III, Republican nomination for attorney general


Ayanna Pressley

The Associated Press called primary wins for Gonzalez, Diehl, Lynch, Keating, Kennedy, Neal, and Pressley (9:55 p.m.)

The AP called the following races:

Jay Gonzalez, Democratic nomination for governor

Geoff Diehl, Republican nomination for U.S. Senate

Rep. Stephen Lynch, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 8th Congressional District

Rep. Bill Keating, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 9th Congressional District

Rep. Joe Kennedy III, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 4th Congressional District

Rep. Richard Neal, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 1st Congressional District

Ayanna Pressley, Democratic nomination for U.S. House in the 7th Congressional District

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 05, 2018, 06:45:42 am
("Not Fair."
Wednesday, 5th September 2018

North Carolina congressional elections to proceed as scheduled with same maps, court rules
by Brian Murphy


"Looks Rigged To Me."

WASHINGTON, DC - North Carolina’s 13 congressional districts will remain in place and so will the Nov. 6, 2018 election, a federal three-judge panel ruled Tuesday.

The panel ruled last week that the districts are unconstitutional due to “partisan gerrymandering” designed to produce 10 Republican seats.

But, with the election only two months away, the plaintiffs in the case — the North Carolina chapters of Common Cause and The League of Women Voters — argued that it was too late to change the maps despite their victory.

On Tuesday, the court agreed.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 14, 2018, 01:39:06 pm
Sunday, 14th October 2018

Georgia Democratic candidate: State law about scaring people out of voting
by Kelsey Tamborrino

Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams said Sunday the state's "exact match" voter ID law is part of a system designed to "scare people out of voting."

"This is simply a redux of a failed system that is designed to both scare people out of voting and make it harder for those who are willing to push through, make it harder for them to vote,” Abrams said on CNN's "State of the Union."

The state law requires voter registration forms and state ID forms to match exactly in order for a person to vote in the upcoming election.

The Georgia NAACP said last week it would sue Abrams‘ opponent, Republican Secretary of State Brian Kemp, following an Associated Press report that said his office put on hold 53,000 registrants ahead of the election.

The AP analysis found that close to 70 percent of the registrants on hold are African American.

On Sunday, Abrams accused Kemp of a pattern of trying to suppress certain votes.

"Voting should not be a question of trust on the part of voters, whether they can trust the system," she said.

"And, right now, he is eroding the public trust in the system because 53,000 people have been told, you may be able to vote, you may not, it's up to you to prove it."

She added: "The miasma of fear that is created through voter suppression is as much about terrifying people about trying to vote as it is about actually blocking their ability to do so."

Despite that, Abrams said during a separate Sunday appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press" that she remained confident the November election would be fair.

"My organization, working with the Democratic Party, we've put together the largest voter protection effort in the state's history," she said.

"And we have national organizations that are also paying attention. And I think we can make this work."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 14, 2018, 02:05:59 pm
Sunday, 14th October 2018
Mike Goes Blue!
by Devan Cole


Michael Cohen, emperor puppetine's former personal attorney, said Sunday that this year's elections "might be the most important in our lifetime."

His statement comes just days after he re-registered as a Democrat in a move that his attorney, Lanny Davis, said was intended to distance himself from the puppetine empire.
Both actions represent a significant shift in loyalty for a man who once said that he would "take a bullet" for the acting-President.

Cohen pleaded guilty in August to eight criminal counts, including tax fraud, making false statements to a bank and two campaign finance violations -- making an excessive campaign contribution and causing an unlawful corporate contribution -- stemming from payments he made to keep two women who alleged previous affairs with emperor puppetine quiet during the 2016 campaign.

emperor puppetine has denied the claims.
Cohen had previously been registered as a Republican, and in June, he stepped down as deputy finance chairman for the rnc amid the criminal investigation into his business dealings.

emperor puppetine has been hammering home the importance of this year's election as well, making the case for the GOP platform in rallies around the country.
In September, he told supporters at a rally in Billings, Montana, that if they don't turn out to vote, it will be their "fault" if he gets impeached.
Those comments came after the release of a new book by Bob Woodward and the publication of an anonymous op-ed by a senior puppetine empire official in The New York Times that painted a picture of an administration that distrusts the acting-President and that at times has gone out of its way to thwart his agenda.

Some Democratic leaders, such as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, have tried to tamp down calls from within their party to impeach the acting-President if they gain a majority in one of both houses of Congress in the upcoming election. 

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 17, 2018, 01:31:22 pm




























































Yeah, I strongly agree with this opinion here. peewee ryan is truly loathsome.




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*cough!*JLI_Jesse*cough!* ("Need a sip of warm tea..."









Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 18, 2018, 07:58:22 am






9. kelly ann conway (drumphf's fault)















Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 18, 2018, 03:57:58 pm









Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 18, 2018, 06:30:31 pm




Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 21, 2018, 07:57:05 pm
Friday, 18th october 2018
Desperate, racist PAC won’t pull ad suggesting ‘lynching’ if Democrats win
by Andrew DeMillo, Associated Press


(Little Rock, Ark.) - A political action committee said Friday that it won’t pull a widely condemned radio ad that suggests white Democrats will lynch African-Americans if they win in midterm elections in Arkansas next month.

Vernon Robinson with Black Americans for the President’s Agenda said Friday that the group won’t cancel the radio ad running in the Little Rock area in support of Republican U.S. Rep. French Hill.

He said the group also won’t pull a similar ad he says is airing in Missouri.

The ads in both states are scheduled to run through Friday, Robinson said.

“There’s no plan to change the current mix of ads. We have a plan, we’re executing the plan,” Robinson, the PAC’s co-founder and treasurer, told The Associated Press.

Hill and his Democratic challenger, Clarke Tucker, have condemned the Arkansas ad, which invokes the accusation that Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted a woman when he was a teenager.

The ad implies that Democrats’ support for Kavanaugh’s accuser means black men wouldn’t be protected from unfounded rape claims.

A woman in the ad says that “white Democrats will be lynching black folk again.”

“I’m voting to keep Congressman French Hill and the Republicans, because we have to protect our men and boys,” the woman in the ad says.

“We can’t afford to let white Democrats take us back to bad old days of race verdicts, life sentences and lynchings when a white girl screams rape.”

Arkansas Republicans on Friday filed a complaint with the state Ethics Commission against the PAC over the ad.

The complaint said the committee had not registered to campaign in Arkansas and that the ads were running illegally.

Robinson said he planned to talk with the Ethics Commission staff to determine the next step.

Robinson has said the ad is part of a $50,000 buy.

Tucker and Democrats are relying in part on heavy turnout from African-Americans to flip the 2nd District seat, which covers Little Rock and seven central Arkansas counties.

The ad isn’t the first time racially charged issues have come into play in the race.

Tucker last month denounced immigration attack mailers sent out by Republican Sen. Tom Cotton’s PAC as “racist.”

Tucker earlier this month said a statue of his great-great-grandfather should be removed from the U.S. Capitol, condemning his ancestor’s statement that the South looked to the Democratic Party to preserve “white standards.”

Hill and Tucker are both white. The 2nd District is about 23 percent black, according to U.S. Census estimates.

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See, these M/Fers cannot win elections respectively fair and square; these are the tactics they use when they're losing races.  They panic and reveal themselves to be repugnant.  The grand ol' predators lie. The grand ol' predators murder. The grand ol' predators cheat.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 24, 2018, 04:41:20 pm
Tuesday, 23rd October 2018
In leaked audio, Brian Kemp expresses “concern” over Georgians exercising their voting rights
The comments came as the Georgia secretary of state and GOP gubernatorial candidate spoke about voters turning out for Stacey Abrams.

by P.R. Lockhart


Facing allegations of voter suppression, scrutiny from voting rights groups, and calls to resign from his opponent, Georgia secretary of state and current GOP gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp recently said that Stacey Abrams’s voter outreach effort “continues to concern us, especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote,” according to a new report.

Rolling Stone’s Jamil Smith reports that Kemp made the remarks during a ticketed October 19 “Georgia Professionals for Kemp” event held at Atlanta’s Blind Pig Parlour Bar, which was closed to the press. Someone who attended the event provided roughly 20 minutes of audio from Kemp’s speech to Rolling Stone.
Early in Kemp’s remarks, Smith reports, the gubernatorial candidate expressed concern about early voting in Georgia, particularly “the literally tens of millions of dollars that they [the Abrams campaign] are putting behind the get-out-the-vote effort to their base.”

Kemp also said that Abrams’s campaign had focused heavily on absentee ballots.

“They have just an unprecedented number of that, which is something that continues to concern us,” he said, according to Rolling Stone.

“Especially if everybody uses and exercises their right to vote — which they absolutely can — and mail those ballots in, we gotta have heavy turnout to offset that.”

Kemp’s campaign confirmed that the event did take place but did not respond to Rolling Stone’s requests for comment about the candidate’s remarks.

Smith reports that a Facebook page for the event was no longer publicly accessible on Monday.
Kemp’s comments at the event were made public hours before he and Abrams, who could become America’s first black woman governor, face off in their first televised debate Tuesday evening.

The Georgia race remains tight, with recent polling showing Kemp with a 2-point lead over Abrams, a figure within most polls’ margin of error.
News of Kemp’s remarks also comes as Kemp, whose office oversees voting and elections in Georgia, continues to face allegations of voter suppression and calls for his resignation from Abrams’s campaign and voting rights advocates.
In recent weeks, Georgia has attracted national attention for a number of measures and practices that voting rights advocates say are aimed squarely at decreasing minority turnout in a close contest.

Kemp’s recent remarks are likely to further aggravate those concerns.

Kemp’s remarks come as talk of voter suppression takes center stage in Georgia’s governor race.

Georgia’s gubernatorial race has become center of a national debate about voting rights, with advocates arguing that the state is aiming to suppress minority turnout in an effort to control the Georgia government for years to come.

On October 9, the Associated Press reported that 53,000 voter registrations, 70 percent of them from black applicants, were being held by Kemp’s office for failing to clear an “exact match” process that compares registration information to Social Security and state driver records.

On October 12, a coalition of civil rights groups filed a lawsuit calling for the end of the exact match program. Kemp’s secretary of state office defended the pending registrations, arguing that voters will still be able to cast a ballot if they present identification at the polls.
In addition to the exact match lawsuit, Kemp and election officials in Gwinnett County are facing a pair of federal lawsuits from civil rights groups who say the county is rejecting a high number of absentee ballots from African-American and Asian-American voters.
According to CNN, the county rejected close to 600 ballots, more than a third of the total number of rejected ballots in the state, despite Gwinnett County accounting for just 6 percent of absentee ballots submitted in Georgia.

Kemp’s office is also under scrutiny for voter purges across the state. A significant number of voters were purged from the rolls in Georgia in the past five years.

According to a report released this summer by the Brennan Center, Kemp’s office purged roughly 1.5 million registered voters between the 2012 and 2016 elections.

The AP notes that Kemp’s office purged some 670,000 voters last year. A recent report from American Public Media finds that around 107,000 of these voters were purged due to a controversial “use it or lose it” law that removes voters from the rolls if they don’t vote for a certain amount of time.
In recent weeks, Kemp’s office has countered that much of the criticism of his office is misplaced, and that Abrams and other Democrats are “faking outrage for political gain” and attempting to hurt his campaign.

“Despite any claim to the contrary, it has never been easier to register to vote in Georgia and actively engage in the electoral process,” Kemp noted in a recent press release.
Voting rights advocates and Abrams’s campaign are intensifying calls for Kemp to step down from office.

“Brian Kemp is barely trying to hide the shameful fact that his strategy is to win through voter suppression,” Abigail Collazo, a communications director for Abrams’s campaign, told Rolling Stone.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 25, 2018, 12:58:35 pm
Georgia Governor Candidate Stacey Abrams

The location for our #WeAreGeorgia Early Vote Rally has changed due to inclement weather -


Charles Wadsworth Auditorium
25 Jefferson St.
Newman, Georgia 30263
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 25, 2018, 01:27:33 pm
October 24, 2018
Florida Gubernatorial Debate

Florida gubernatorial candidates, Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum (D) and former U.S. Representative Ron DeSantis (R), took part in a debate.


My opponent is just like my grandma once said, "A hurt dog will holler."


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 25, 2018, 02:46:07 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 25, 2018, 09:43:07 pm
October 23, 2018

Jeopardy!: The Georgia Gubernatorial Debate Edition

Georgia gubernatorial candidates, Stacey Abrams (D), Brian Kemp (R), and Ted Metz (I), participated in a debate.


Moderator, Lisa Rayam (Georgia Public Broadcasting): Welcome to Jeopardy!: The Georgia Gubernatorial Debate Edition. Here are the categories... offensive confederate imagery embedded into State, imbalanced State income & property taxes and sales taxes that pay into a corrupt criminal justice system...and how 'bout maintaining the Affordable Care Act and stop lying about pre-existing conditions, republican white man?...and finally, a living wage for the living and not for the undead. O.K. let's begin!  Ted?


Ted Metz: "Alright... uhh-h-h... I'll take 'a living wage for the living and not for the undead' for $200."

Greg Bluestein: "Mr. Metz... YOU PROMISED TO CUT UNNECESSARY SPENDING. WHAT SPECIFICALLY WOULD YOU ELIMINATE? ...but I want you to answer the follow-up question first: You clearly see that the great state of Georgia is about to make history by electing its first African-American female governor. You're not going to win this election. Why are you standing in the way of progress? With your neck lookin' like  ____ing Frankenstein, what are you gonna do after the mid-term election? 

Ted Metz: "What is 'get another job'?

(buzzer timer goes off)
Correct answer!!!!  :)

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 26, 2018, 07:34:19 am
(, 26th October 2018

Dear Democrats,

You can do this.

Stop fretting and second-guessing. Get out of your own. Concentrate on turning out the vote, and remember you have everything to gain in this midterm election and nothing to lose.

I say you have nothing to lose because that is literally true. Republicans control both chambers of Congress, most governorships, most state legislatures - and, of course, the White House, which isn't up for grabs this time. The great blues artist Muddy Waters put it best: "You can't spend what you ain't got. You can't lose what you never had."

So stop worrying, Democrats, that your House majority might be slipping away. You don't have a House majority.
But the odds of your winning one still look excellent - if you step up and grab it.

And don't let republicans convince you that the Senate is already a lost cause. Yes, this year's battlefield are mostly on gop turf. But almost every race is close enough to be within reach.

Think of it this way: Do Democrats' chances of threading the needle and somehow snatching a Senate majority look any worse than drumphf's chances of winning the presidency looked with 10 days to go before the 2016 election?

Consider Texas. The conventional wisdom seems to be that Democrat Beto O' Rourke, after a stunningly effective campaign, is likely to fall short in his bid to unseat gop incumbent ted cruz. But if the outcome is already ordained, why did the republican party waste so much of its most valuable asset - drumphf's time and effort - on a rally in cruz's hometown of Houston? Why did cruz humiliate himself by sharing the stage with a man who made fun of his wife's appearance and accused his father of being involved in the JFK assassination?

Much has been made of an uptick in drumphf's approval rating - now at 44 percent, according to Gallup. But in the 2010 midterm, when Democrats lost 63 seats in the House and republicans took control, President Barack Obama's approval was 45 percent. And in 1994, when Democrats lost 53 seats and the speaker's gavel, Bill Clinton's approval rating was 46 percent.

In 2014, when Obama's approval was lower that drumphf's is now, Democrats did manage to hold their losses in the House to just 13 seats. But republicans took control of the Senate.

The point is that with an unpopular president and a host of unpopular policies, republicans are at a distinct disadvantage. They have to play defense. Democrats, who have so little to defend, can and should play offense with abandon.

To understate the obvious, much is at stake.

An aberrant, corrupt, out-of-control presidency is widening our divisions, spitting on our values and mortgaging our future. republicans, who once could call themselves the party of Lincoln, are now the Party of drumphf; they will not lift a finger to constrain the acting-president or hold him accountable. Congress has the power to do both - but will not unless at least one chamber is in Democratic hands.

But obsessing about the fact that the November 6 elections are so consequential does not help. The one thing Democrats can and must do is get their voters to the polls.

It should be no surprise that what once looked like a Democratic landslide now appears, as my friend Dan rather might say, "as tight as a tick." Anyone who has been paying attention knows that the country is divided along regional, cultural and demographic fault lines. republicans were bound to find or manufacture some issue, some reason to claim victimhood, that would incite the party's base. A bedraggled group of man, women, and child, nearly 2,000 miles away in southern Mexico, is apparently the best they could come up with. But Democratic enthusiasm remains stronger - and, I believe, deeper. We saw that passion at the Woman's March following drumphf's inauguration and across the country after the Charlottesville horror. We saw it in the party's success at recruiting young, dynamic candidates from coast to coast.

The Democratic leadership may be a bit long in the tooth, but when you look at rising stars such as Stacey Abrams in Georgia, Andrew Gillum in Florida and O'Rourke in Texas, you realize that the future is now.

Don't be dour and doubtful, Democrats. Be joyous and determined. Stop worrying about what you "ain't got" and focus on winning elections district by district, state by state.
Don't let republicans bluff you into folding. You're playing a very good hand.*


A friend 
*image courtesy of Ms. Jill Wine-Banks
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 06:05:32 am
Meanwhile, peewee ryan & b!tch mcconnell begin their political campaign of fear & loathing to hang on to power in the Senate!


Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 07:35:46 am
Reports indicate early voting at a all-time high!

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 10:00:29 am
Tuesday 30th October 2018
Ben & Jerry's releases new flavor Pecan Resist to combat puppetine's 'regressive agenda'
If this ain't flavor... what is?
by Morgan Gstalter


Ben & Jerry’s unveiled a new limited edition ice cream flavor on Tuesday to celebrate the Women’s March and combat what the company called emperor puppetine’s "regressive agenda."

Pecan Resist is a new campaign “to lick injustice and champion those fighting to create a more just and equitable nation for us all,” the company said in a statement.

“The company cannot be silent in the face of puppetine’s policies that attack and attempt to roll back decades of progress on racial and gender equity, climate change, LGBTQ rights, and refugee and immigrant rights – all issues that have been at the core of the company’s social mission for 40 years,” Ben & Jerry’s said.

The Women’s March was organized following puppetine’s election and held massive international protests in 2017 and 2018.

The leaders of the group also led efforts to combat the controversial confirmation of fraudulent Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh following allegations of sexual misconduct.

Dozens of protesters associated with the Women’s March were arrested during Kavanaugh’s confirmation process. Kavanaugh denied the allegations.

Ben & Jerry’s is donating $25,000 to the organization, as well as the social justice groups Color of Change, Honor the Earth and Neta.

“We couldn’t be prouder or more excited to support these four organizations that are doing incredible work every day,” Ben & Jerry’s new CEO Matthew McCarthy said in a statement.

“Our goal is to use our company’s voice, our ice cream, and our activism to encourage all Americans to support and help build the movements spearheading the resistance to emperor puppetine’s regressive agenda. We think it’s more important than ever that citizens and businesses alike stand up and be counted.” 

Pecan Resist is a chocolate ice cream with white and dark fudge chunks, pecans, walnuts and fudge-covered almonds that will be available at select retailers.

This isn't the first time Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield have used ice cream to dive into politics.

The Chubby Hubby flavor was rebranded as Hubby Hubby in 2009 to celebrate same-sex marriage being legalized in Vermont.

The EmpowerMint flavor was also launched in 2016 to promote voting rights, the company said in a statement.

In 2016, Cohen and Greenfield made an ice cream for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) called “Bernie’s Yearning.”

The design of the ice cream was intended to represent "the huge majority of economic gains that have gone to the top 1 percent since the end of the recession."

The company co-founders, Cohen and Greenfield, also teamed up with liberal advocacy group,, last month to raise awareness for progressive candidates running in this year’s midterm elections.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 01, 2018, 05:23:19 pm
Oprah Goes to Georgia!


(MARIETTA, Ga.) — The chant began well before Oprah Winfrey arrived on Thursday: “And you get a vote! And you get a vote! And you get a vote!”

Ms. Winfrey eventually joined in the cheer, with its origins in her days as a talk-show host — but only after she delivered a pointed rebuke to people who might willfully forego the franchise and a stirring evocation of her native South’s racist past.

“I’m here today because of the men and because of the women who were lynched, who were humiliated, who were discriminated against, who were suppressed, who were repressed and who were oppressed for the right of equality at the polls,” Ms. Winfrey said as she visited Georgia on behalf of Stacey Abrams, the Democratic candidate for governor. “Their blood has seeped into my DNA, and I refuse to let their sacrifices be in vain.”
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: TripleX on November 02, 2018, 09:36:57 am
I don't know what was going on with that big wig but Oprah did a good job. The speech about our ancestors was a soundbyte many of us needed to hear. The Blue Wave may not even be a trickle. The polls are all over the place and Republicans don't tell the truth in them anyway. In 2016 CNN projected Hillary as the winner up until she lost, so their reporting means nothing to me. I've been arguing with too many fake hotep brothas on the Internet who feel it's their life's work to convince other Black folks their votes don't matter.  All they do is spread doubt, misinformation and apathy in the name of Black Power. Google Team_Rob on youtube or ig to see what I'm talking about. It's a problem.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Hypestyle on November 03, 2018, 03:36:57 am
I hope she wins.  Kemp should have resigned as Secretary of State when he announced his candidacy.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Emperorjones on November 03, 2018, 01:31:53 pm
I don't know what was going on with that big wig but Oprah did a good job. The speech about our ancestors was a soundbyte many of us needed to hear. The Blue Wave may not even be a trickle. The polls are all over the place and Republicans don't tell the truth in them anyway. In 2016 CNN projected Hillary as the winner up until she lost, so their reporting means nothing to me. I've been arguing with too many fake hotep brothas on the Internet who feel it's their life's work to convince other Black folks their votes don't matter.  All they do is spread doubt, misinformation and apathy in the name of Black Power. Google Team_Rob on youtube or ig to see what I'm talking about. It's a problem.

This Oprah sermon, while stirringly given, is what black people hear every election year, in some form or another. It's basically the last-perhaps only-card left the Democrats have to play to rally black support and that's to guilt, bully, and scare black voters into sticking with the Democrats. And I think black people 'fake hotep' or not have every right to question the efficacy of voting. We've had 50 years of full, or mostly full, voting rights to see if voting is so great, and that record is dubious. It works to some extent in some areas or for some issues, and not for others. It has definitely helped create a black political class, but their loyalty is more to the Democratic party and their own careers than to community, so I can see why some are down on voting. The Democrats and vote shamers like Oprah want us to just keep voting and voting without getting, or even expecting much in return, since the GOP is cast as being so monstrous that we have no choice but to remain captive to the Democrats and their last priority even though the party would be finished without black votes. There aren't enough white women, LGBT, Asian, or Latino reliably Democratic voters to supplant us as the key bloc of votes for the Democrats yet, and the white working class-who the Democrats have chased for thirty to forty years, aren't coming back in sufficient numbers either.

I see voting as a tool. It's not the end all/be all, especially if black voters are not picking these candidates and can't even get them to commit to any specific help. We accept when they talk about 'minorities', 'people of color', or a 'rising tide' stuff and we've seen decades of how those 'univeralist' policies still keep us at the bottom. So I can see why some are not rah rah about taking time out of their day or to get off work to go vote for someone who doesn't give a damn about them and is not going to represent their interests.

As I was saying, voting is a tool. Which means it can be misused or needs to be used for the right problem. But the idea that voting solves everything, or that voting is all the political engagement we need is wrong and history bears that out, but it is something promoted by the Democrats who only care that we continue voting for them, whereas the Republicans want to depress or suppress our vote. Democrats are much more hyped about voter suppression than doing something about police brutality, poor education, prison reform, for example. Why? Because they care about black votes far more than black lives. I can see why some do feel voting doesn't matter because all too often it hasn't. Though it is a tool, it is a way to express dissent, but also a want to express where people should think the country should go or what's important. That being said, when you have donor-selected candidates presented to us, instead of us building and supporting our own candidates, it invites distrust and apathy and that's where were are now. Though the Democrats still use symbolism and the politics of personality and celebrity to keep many on board, there are others who aren't jumping when they call, or need a lot more convincing, and that's a good thing. The supposed uptick in 'progressive' and candidates of color is a response to people not feeling Hillary, among other things. Sometimes withholding your vote, or not voting, or voting elsewhere, also gets a response as opposed to just voting over and over and over again. If they don't have to work for your vote, they aren't going to.

I plan on voting, in part because I just want to vote against someone instead of voting for anyone. But that's my choice. I'm not going to bully or shame someone who doesn't vote, because I get it.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 04, 2018, 04:24:22 pm
I hope she wins.  Kemp should have resigned as Secretary of State when he announced his candidacy.

Governor-Elect Abrams will win.  (

Wanna know how I know? (

Her opponent behaves like a loser.  Governor-Elect Abrams called for a national debate on CNN, her opponent declined the offer.
Check out this article. This is the action of a loser:


Sunday 4th November 2018

Kemp opens hacking investigation into Georgia Democrats 2 days before election
by Holly Rosenkrantz

The office of Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp, the Republican candidate for governor, said Sunday it had launched an investigation into the Georgia Democratic Party over "a failed attempt to hack the state's voter registration system."

The head of the state Democratic Party categorically denied the accusation, saying the "scurrilous claims" are "100 percent false."

In an interview with CNN on Sunday, Abrams dismissed the investigation as "a desperate attempt of my opponent to distract people from fact that two federal judges found him derelict in his duties."

"He is desperate to turn the conversation away from his failures, refusal to honor commitments," she said.

"We're going to out-vote and out-work him and we're going to win."

Abrams has been boosted with appearances by former President Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey in the closing days of the campaign.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 04, 2018, 06:03:27 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 04, 2018, 08:15:30 pm
Here's something different.
I've seen many political cartoons since the 1970s where there's usually a white couple sitting comfortably on a couch in front of the television watching the news at home, however, I've never seen a panel featuring an interracial couple sitting on the couch watching the news at home. Ever.  :-\
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 04, 2018, 09:06:32 pm
Rashida Jones assists Governor-Elect Stacey Abrams!

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 05, 2018, 08:17:54 am
Every little bit helps...

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: TripleX on November 05, 2018, 10:37:06 am
I don't know what was going on with that big wig but Oprah did a good job. The speech about our ancestors was a soundbyte many of us needed to hear. The Blue Wave may not even be a trickle. The polls are all over the place and Republicans don't tell the truth in them anyway. In 2016 CNN projected Hillary as the winner up until she lost, so their reporting means nothing to me. I've been arguing with too many fake hotep brothas on the Internet who feel it's their life's work to convince other Black folks their votes don't matter.  All they do is spread doubt, misinformation and apathy in the name of Black Power. Google Team_Rob on youtube or ig to see what I'm talking about. It's a problem.

This Oprah sermon, while stirringly given, is what black people hear every election year, in some form or another. It's basically the last-perhaps only-card left the Democrats have to play to rally black support and that's to guilt, bully, and scare black voters into sticking with the Democrats. And I think black people 'fake hotep' or not have every right to question the efficacy of voting. We've had 50 years of full, or mostly full, voting rights to see if voting is so great, and that record is dubious. It works to some extent in some areas or for some issues, and not for others. It has definitely helped create a black political class, but their loyalty is more to the Democratic party and their own careers than to community, so I can see why some are down on voting. The Democrats and vote shamers like Oprah want us to just keep voting and voting without getting, or even expecting much in return, since the GOP is cast as being so monstrous that we have no choice but to remain captive to the Democrats and their last priority even though the party would be finished without black votes. There aren't enough white women, LGBT, Asian, or Latino reliably Democratic voters to supplant us as the key bloc of votes for the Democrats yet, and the white working class-who the Democrats have chased for thirty to forty years, aren't coming back in sufficient numbers either.

I see voting as a tool. It's not the end all/be all, especially if black voters are not picking these candidates and can't even get them to commit to any specific help. We accept when they talk about 'minorities', 'people of color', or a 'rising tide' stuff and we've seen decades of how those 'univeralist' policies still keep us at the bottom. So I can see why some are not rah rah about taking time out of their day or to get off work to go vote for someone who doesn't give a damn about them and is not going to represent their interests.

As I was saying, voting is a tool. Which means it can be misused or needs to be used for the right problem. But the idea that voting solves everything, or that voting is all the political engagement we need is wrong and history bears that out, but it is something promoted by the Democrats who only care that we continue voting for them, whereas the Republicans want to depress or suppress our vote. Democrats are much more hyped about voter suppression than doing something about police brutality, poor education, prison reform, for example. Why? Because they care about black votes far more than black lives. I can see why some do feel voting doesn't matter because all too often it hasn't. Though it is a tool, it is a way to express dissent, but also a want to express where people should think the country should go or what's important. That being said, when you have donor-selected candidates presented to us, instead of us building and supporting our own candidates, it invites distrust and apathy and that's where were are now. Though the Democrats still use symbolism and the politics of personality and celebrity to keep many on board, there are others who aren't jumping when they call, or need a lot more convincing, and that's a good thing. The supposed uptick in 'progressive' and candidates of color is a response to people not feeling Hillary, among other things. Sometimes withholding your vote, or not voting, or voting elsewhere, also gets a response as opposed to just voting over and over and over again. If they don't have to work for your vote, they aren't going to.

I plan on voting, in part because I just want to vote against someone instead of voting for anyone. But that's my choice. I'm not going to bully or shame someone who doesn't vote, because I get it.

That's the kind of stuff you worry about AFTER trump is incapacitated or out of office. Right now it's just self-centered and in the way.
If I have to guilt, bully or scare you it doesn't matter to me as long as you vote blue.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 05, 2018, 11:53:13 am
That's the kind of stuff you worry about AFTER trump is incapacitated or out of office. Right now it's just self-centered and in the way.
If I have to guilt, bully or scare you it doesn't matter to me as long as you vote blue.

Thanks, Trip!
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Emperorjones on November 05, 2018, 01:48:15 pm
I don't know what was going on with that big wig but Oprah did a good job. The speech about our ancestors was a soundbyte many of us needed to hear. The Blue Wave may not even be a trickle. The polls are all over the place and Republicans don't tell the truth in them anyway. In 2016 CNN projected Hillary as the winner up until she lost, so their reporting means nothing to me. I've been arguing with too many fake hotep brothas on the Internet who feel it's their life's work to convince other Black folks their votes don't matter.  All they do is spread doubt, misinformation and apathy in the name of Black Power. Google Team_Rob on youtube or ig to see what I'm talking about. It's a problem.

This Oprah sermon, while stirringly given, is what black people hear every election year, in some form or another. It's basically the last-perhaps only-card left the Democrats have to play to rally black support and that's to guilt, bully, and scare black voters into sticking with the Democrats. And I think black people 'fake hotep' or not have every right to question the efficacy of voting. We've had 50 years of full, or mostly full, voting rights to see if voting is so great, and that record is dubious. It works to some extent in some areas or for some issues, and not for others. It has definitely helped create a black political class, but their loyalty is more to the Democratic party and their own careers than to community, so I can see why some are down on voting. The Democrats and vote shamers like Oprah want us to just keep voting and voting without getting, or even expecting much in return, since the GOP is cast as being so monstrous that we have no choice but to remain captive to the Democrats and their last priority even though the party would be finished without black votes. There aren't enough white women, LGBT, Asian, or Latino reliably Democratic voters to supplant us as the key bloc of votes for the Democrats yet, and the white working class-who the Democrats have chased for thirty to forty years, aren't coming back in sufficient numbers either.

I see voting as a tool. It's not the end all/be all, especially if black voters are not picking these candidates and can't even get them to commit to any specific help. We accept when they talk about 'minorities', 'people of color', or a 'rising tide' stuff and we've seen decades of how those 'univeralist' policies still keep us at the bottom. So I can see why some are not rah rah about taking time out of their day or to get off work to go vote for someone who doesn't give a damn about them and is not going to represent their interests.

As I was saying, voting is a tool. Which means it can be misused or needs to be used for the right problem. But the idea that voting solves everything, or that voting is all the political engagement we need is wrong and history bears that out, but it is something promoted by the Democrats who only care that we continue voting for them, whereas the Republicans want to depress or suppress our vote. Democrats are much more hyped about voter suppression than doing something about police brutality, poor education, prison reform, for example. Why? Because they care about black votes far more than black lives. I can see why some do feel voting doesn't matter because all too often it hasn't. Though it is a tool, it is a way to express dissent, but also a want to express where people should think the country should go or what's important. That being said, when you have donor-selected candidates presented to us, instead of us building and supporting our own candidates, it invites distrust and apathy and that's where were are now. Though the Democrats still use symbolism and the politics of personality and celebrity to keep many on board, there are others who aren't jumping when they call, or need a lot more convincing, and that's a good thing. The supposed uptick in 'progressive' and candidates of color is a response to people not feeling Hillary, among other things. Sometimes withholding your vote, or not voting, or voting elsewhere, also gets a response as opposed to just voting over and over and over again. If they don't have to work for your vote, they aren't going to.

I plan on voting, in part because I just want to vote against someone instead of voting for anyone. But that's my choice. I'm not going to bully or shame someone who doesn't vote, because I get it.

That's the kind of stuff you worry about AFTER trump is incapacitated or out of office. Right now it's just self-centered and in the way.
If I have to guilt, bully or scare you it doesn't matter to me as long as you vote blue.

We've been voting blue, more than any other segment of the country for decades now and what has it gotten us? The Democrats can't, or won't, even defend the  only things they still talk about to retain our loyalty, and that's the Great Society programs and Civil Rights laws of the 1960s. Can you name me a new major Civil Rights law-aimed at black people-since that time? The last major Civil Rights breakthroughs was for the disabled under George H.W. Bush and for the LGBT community under Obama, but even under the most recent Blue President  (because he made clear he wasn't the president of Black America), the Voting Rights Act was gutted (and to my knowledge Obama did not put forward any legislation to address that), ACORN was shuttered, Obama's black-only lectures, Obama's refutation of MLK's philosophy when he accepted the Nobel Peace Prize he didn't earn, etc., etc., many things that left blacks on the outside looking in once again, even with a black family in the White House. "Brother" Bill Clinton gave us mass incarceration and welfare reform. We don't owe the Democrats anything. As Malcolm X once said, "We put them first and they put us last." That was true in his time and it remains true today.

The idea that we don't think, but just vote, how does that sound? If the vote is so 'sacred' as Rep. John Lewis says, when you can understand him, then shouldn't we be very careful and considerate in our use of it? And to 'worry about stuff later' and not to ask questions before I go into a voting booth is not the way to go. You might as well stay home if you are selecting people you have no clue about and you are making assumptions on based on party affiliation. Granted, there is a big chance with voting period because you can never be sure how people are going to go when they get in office, but it certainly doesn't help when we have people demanding people vote without questioning, without thinking, and certainly without demanding accountability from the people who are in office already, much less the ones who are aiming to get in now and be the new people to play us.

And it is concerning that you feel okay with doing whatever you have to do to get people to pull a lever for a party that takes them for granted and will continue to do so. But that's not outside the norm when it comes to black Democrats unfortunately. "Vote like your life depended on it," John Lewis has said, or something to that effect. What he meant to say IMO is that his paycheck and other black Democratic politicians paychecks and careers depend on it.

If this is self-centered to you, that's good. We should be self-centered when it comes to voting. Everyone else is and that's why voting works better for some-not all-but for a lot more groups than it does for us.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 07:17:36 am
...and it's off to the polls!

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 07:53:10 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 08:15:27 am

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 08:38:24 am
Theo Hayes recommends:

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 08:47:57 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 10:46:03 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 10:51:49 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 11:27:56 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 12:54:23 pm
Now we shall see what the election results are tonight...




Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 01:51:13 pm



Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 02:10:00 pm



Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 03:58:01 pm

written by Bobby Hebb

Yesterday my life was filled with rain
You smiled at me and really eased the pain
Now the dark days are gone, and the bright days are here
My sunny one shines so sincere
Sunny one so true, I love you
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 04:02:42 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 04:07:42 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 04:13:52 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 04:22:47 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 05:23:50 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 05:40:10 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 05:51:48 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 06:00:43 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 06:13:38 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 06:53:24 pm
Tuesday, 6th November 2018
Michigan’s Rashida Tlaib Is The First Muslim Woman Elected To Congress
by Hannah Allam


(MINNEAPOLIS) — Even with the outcome expected, there was a sense of history-making when it became official Tuesday night: A Muslim woman was elected to Congress for the first time.

Michigan Democrat Rashida Tlaib, 42, won her election after running unopposed by a Republican.

And 36-year-old Ilhan Omar of Minnesota is expected to handily win her race later in the evening.

The Midwestern Democrats previously served as state lawmakers.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 07:12:55 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2018, 07:22:07 pm
Democrats are smackin' dat azz!


The Democrats will gain control of the House of Representatives
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 11, 2018, 11:05:58 am
Friday, 9th November 2018
Democrats Declare Victory In Race That Would Seat First Transgender Colorado Legislator
by Ryan Warner |


(Arvado, Colorado) - Three days after Colorado Democrats cinched control statewide on election night, the party is claiming another victory and another first.

Brianna Titone is declaring herself the winner of the race to represent House District 27 in Arvada.

In defeating Republican candidate Vicki Pyne, Titone would become Colorado's first transgender lawmaker, and one of the first nationwide.

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Wednesday, 7th November 2018

Native Americans Score Historic Wins in Midterms After Years of Efforts
by Simon Romero


(PHOENIX) — Two states sent the first Native American women to Congress.

Another elected its first Native American lieutenant governor.

A Navajo candidate won a pivotal county race in an area long dominated by a white minority.

Native Americans notched historic electoral wins on Tuesday, in a country where indigenous people were not granted the right to vote until 1924.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 12, 2018, 01:01:25 pm
When the House of Representatives assemble in January 2019...

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 12, 2018, 03:10:15 pm
Nosferatu Sued!

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 13, 2018, 05:09:56 pm

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 14, 2018, 09:23:42 pm
Wednesday, 14th November 2018
N.J. Democrat Defeats puppetine Ally
by Nick Corasaniti


Andy Kim, a New Jersey Democrat who had been locked in a neck-and-neck race for Congress, has defeated his Republican opponent, a two-term incumbent and staunch ally of President Trump, according to a final vote tally.

Mr. Kim’s victory in the Third Congressional district comes after a week spent counting more than 7,000 paper ballots in Ocean and Burlington counties.

Though the race was too close to call on Election Day, it became increasingly likely in the days that followed that Mr. Kim would prevail.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 14, 2018, 09:25:48 pm
Thursday, 15th November 2018


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 15, 2018, 02:08:59 pm
Thursday, 15th November 2018
Golden Rules!
by Kate Taylor and Liam Stack


Jared Golden, a Marine Corps veteran and Democratic state lawmaker in Maine, defeated New England’s lone House Republican, Bruce Poliquin, on Thursday, just two days after Mr. Poliquin filed a lawsuit to stop the counting of votes under the state’s new ranked-choice voting system.

Mr. Poliquin’s defeat added to a swell of bad news for northeastern Republicans, who suffered heavy losses on Election Day, and gave Democrats another Republican seat in their takeover of the House.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 15, 2018, 03:32:03 pm
Thursday, 15th November 2018
These Races Have Yet To Be Called. When Will We Know Who Won?




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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 15, 2018, 04:27:03 pm
Thursday, 15th November 2018
Florida recount: Broward misses deadline by 2 minutes, so state rejects machine-recount results

by Larry Barszewski, Rafael Olmeda, Lois K. Solomon and Skyler Swisher


By two minutes, mysteriously Broward County missed the 3 p.m. Thursday state deadline to submit recount results, so numbers provided by the county Saturday will stand, an election official said Thursday.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 15, 2018, 05:22:51 pm
Freshmen House Representatives of the soon-to-be 116th

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 16, 2018, 09:27:19 am
Friday, 16th November 2018
1 vote decided this Kentucky House race


(FRANKFORT, Ky.) — Mary Beverly Goetz is 76, uses a walker and recently had surgery to remove a cancerous tumor.

Worried her health issues would prevent her from voting for Democrat Jim Glenn in her western Kentucky state House district, she requested an absentee ballot by mail and sent it in weeks ahead of the election to make sure her vote was counted.

Glenn won by one vote.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 16, 2018, 12:22:02 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 16, 2018, 04:02:47 pm
Friday, 16th November 2018
Democrat Katie Porter Flips Another GOP House Seat in California
by Michael R. Blood


(LOS ANGELES) — Democrat Katie Porter captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat Thursday in the heart of what once was Southern California’s Reagan country, extending a rout of the state’s GOP House delegation.

Porter’s upset in Orange County is a sign of changing times in a region once known nationally as a GOP fortress.

The coastal county southeast of Los Angeles was home to President Richard Nixon, and President Ronald Reagan once likened it to a Republican heaven.

Porter, a law professor and protege of Massachusetts Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren, defeated Republican Rep. Mimi Walters, who was re-elected in a walkover just two years ago in the 45th District.
The latest update to the vote count gave Porter 51 percent and a 6,203-vote lead.

Porter, 44, campaigned on an unabashed liberal agenda and in direct opposition to emperor puppetine’s priorities:

She advocates overturning his tax reform package, supports universal health care, and endorses mandatory background checks on all gun sales and a ban on so-called assault-style weapons.

She said she was running “to hold emperor puppetine and the powerful special interests in Washington accountable.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 17, 2018, 08:16:29 pm
Saturday, 17th November 2018
Gil Cisneros Wins House Seat, Capping Democratic Rout In California
The Navy veteran made affordable health care a central issue.
by Associated Press


LOS ANGELES (AP) — Democrat Gil Cisneros captured a Republican-held U.S. House seat in Southern California on Saturday, capping a Democratic rout in which the party picked up six congressional seats in the state.

In what had been the last undecided House contest in California, Cisneros beat Republican Young Kim for the state’s 39th District seat.

The Cisneros victory cements a stunning political realignment that will leave a vast stretch of the Los Angeles metropolitan area under Democratic control in the House.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 20, 2018, 03:30:52 am
Tuesday, 20th November 2018
Democrat McAdams declares victory over Love
by Lee Davidson


Democratic Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams declared victory Monday in his race against gop Rep. Mia Love — after he gained a 739-vote lead in ballot updates from Utah and Salt Lake counties.

“What we are hearing from election officials is there are just not enough votes outstanding to make a difference either way,” he said at a news conference surrounded by his family.

“I am eager to get to work to represent Utah’s 4th District.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 20, 2018, 02:28:48 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 07, 2018, 11:07:21 am
Thursday, 6th December 2018
republican david valadao concedes in California, giving Democrats a net gain of 40 seats in the House
by Maeve Reston


(CNN, California)- republican rep. david valadao conceded to Democrat TJ Cox in the race for California's 21st District on Thursday, giving the Democratic Party a net gain of 40 seats in the US House of Representatives.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 13, 2019, 09:53:31 am
For what purpose does the distinguished lady from Massachusetts seek recognition?


Representative Ayanna Pressley

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 13, 2019, 10:20:30 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 17, 2019, 02:31:06 pm
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 23, 2019, 04:02:20 am

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Emperorjones on February 06, 2019, 01:21:25 am ( ( ( ( (

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 14, 2019, 06:53:49 pm
Thursday, 14th February 2019
Texas' election chief apologizes for perpetrating a fraud
by PAUL J. WEBER, Associated Press


(AUSTIN, Texas) — Texas' election chief has apologized for releasing a botched list of 95,000 voters whose citizenship was called into question before being fully vetted.

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley previously refused to acknowledge mistakes in the three weeks since his office gave prosecutors a voter list that included tens of thousands of U.S. citizens who were wrongly flagged.

But in a letter to lawmakers Wednesday, Whitley said "more time should have been devoted" to vetting the names.

Speaking of fraudulent, acting-president puppetine seized on the reports out of Texas to renew unsubstantiated claims of rampant voter fraud.

The letter comes as Whitley's nomination is in jeopardy.

He was appointed by Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott but is still awaiting Senate confirmation.

The letter was first reported by the Texas Tribune.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 18, 2019, 04:04:31 pm
Monday, 18th February 2019
In North Carolina, Investigators Find Ballot ‘Scheme’ in House Race
by Alan Blinder


(RALEIGH, N.C.) — A North Carolina elections regulator said Monday that “a coordinated, unlawful and substantially resourced absentee ballot scheme” potentially involving more than 1,000 absentee ballots or request forms took place last year in the state’s Ninth Congressional District.
The regulator, Kim Strach, the executive director of the North Carolina State Board of Elections, gave the first account of investigators’ conclusions at a hearing in Raleigh that could determine the fate of the Ninth District race after allegations of widespread fraud.

The Republican nominee, Mark Harris, has a 905-vote lead over his Democratic rival, Dan McCready, but state officials last year refused to certify Mr. Harris as the winner because of concerns about “irregularities” in absentee balloting.

The hearing’s outcome could undermine Republicans’ assertions that they take a hard line against election fraud.

The state board could certify the results or order a new election in the Ninth District, which includes part of Charlotte and a vast stretch of southeastern North Carolina.

Ms. Strach said the irregularities were connected to L. McCrae Dowless Jr., a longtime political operative in Bladen County who worked as a contractor for Mr. Harris’s campaign, and a network of associates.

She did not blame the candidate himself nor say that he had direct knowledge of any misconduct.

In interviews and in affidavits since the November election, voters in the Ninth District have described how people had collected their absentee ballots — a violation of North Carolina law in all but some circumstances — or had their ballots marked and returned without their knowledge.

A slide presentation during Monday’s hearing included two bullet points: “Dowless instructed workers to falsely sign as witnesses” and “Blank or incomplete ballots were voted in Dowless’ home or office.”

Mr. Dowless or his employees were linked to at least 788 requests for absentee ballots in Bladen County, and at least 231 such requests in adjacent Robeson County, Ms. Strach said. Mr. Dowless’s associates later collected ballots, including ones that were unsealed or did not have a witness’s signature, and provided them to Mr. Dowless.

State investigators also found that Red Dome Consulting, which worked with Mr. Harris’s campaign, had paid Mr. Dowless more than $83,000 for his work in the general election.

(Ms. Strach said Monday that it was not clear whether all of that money was connected to efforts on behalf of Mr. Harris.)

Mr. Harris, who watched Monday’s hearings with crossed arms, has acknowledged directing the hiring of Mr. Dowless but has denied wrongdoing. His allies have called for the state to certify his election.

“Because the voter’s intent is key, any alleged ballot harvesting, standing alone, does not weigh in favor of a new election,” Mr. Harris’s lawyers wrote in a recent filing with the state board.

“To be sure, absentee-by-mail ballot harvesting is illegal, and it should be referred to prosecutors for appropriate action.”

The campaign added that just because a ballot is improperly handled or conveyed does not mean it does not represent the voter’s will.

“Without evidence to show that the contents of ballots sufficient in number to change the outcome of the election were tampered with, any illegality in how they were delivered should be immaterial to the Board’s decision-making,” the lawyers wrote.

Mr. McCready’s campaign, in a brief of its own, argued that “the results of the entire election are tainted, and its fairness is in doubt.”

Mr. McCready’s lawyers crafted the wording of their argument with a certain law in mind:

In North Carolina, the state board may order a new vote if it finds that “irregularities or improprieties occurred to such an extent that they taint the results of the entire election and cast doubt on its fairness.”

The elections board is not expected to begin its deliberations until Tuesday at the earliest.

A separate criminal investigation “will continue to go on after today,” Ms. Strach said.

The fraud allegations, and especially the sprawling inquiry that resulted, have left the Ninth District without representation in the House since early January, when the new Congress convened.

Republicans have held the seat since 1963, and Mr. Harris defeated Representative Robert M. Pittenger in a primary last year.

Even in a state capital that has lately a hub of headspinning political debates, Monday’s hearing bordered on the surreal.


Before the proceedings began, a young girl stood next to her mother in the cold and held a sign reading: “Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor’s Votes!”

Inside the State Bar of North Carolina building, which hosted the hearing, the Libertarian candidate stood in the lobby to hand out news releases and offer banana walnut bread.
Outside Witness Room 2 stood Mr. Dowless, his hands in the pockets of his suit.

Later, when his stepdaughter testified that she had sometimes filled in uncompleted ballots, Mr. Dowless listened from near the back of the hearing room, his head bowed and eyes closed.

Regardless of the state board’s decision, the United States House of Representatives might intervene.

The House, which has the constitutional authority to be “the judge of the elections, returns and qualifications of its own members,” was closely monitoring Monday’s proceedings.

Rows ahead of Mr. Dowless, and just a few yards from Mr. Harris, a man quietly observed the proceedings.

His seat was reserved for a lawyer for the House.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 18, 2019, 05:24:36 pm
Thursday, 31st January 2019
At center of voter fraud scandal, a convicted felon and ‘grassroots’ campaigner

by Brian Murphy and Ely Portillo


A man who worked as an “independent contractor” for Republican Mark Harris’ campaign in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District is a convicted felon who faced jail time for fraud and perjury, according to court records.

Over the last two decades, he has been paid by at least nine candidates, all for get-out-the-vote work, according to state records.
Leslie McCrae Dowless was convicted of felony fraud in 1992 in Iredell County, according to court records.

Dowless and his wife were accused of taking out an insurance policy on a dead man and collecting nearly $165,000 from his death, according to a 1991 Fayetteville Observer article.

He served more than six months of a two-year prison sentence, according to court records.

Dowless, now 62, was convicted of felony perjury in 1990, according to court records.

The results of Harris’ apparent victory over Democrat Dan McCready in November’s election have not been certified by the State Board of Elections and Ethics Enforcement.

The nine-member board has twice declined to certify the results and will hold an evidentiary hearing this month due to “claims of numerous irregularities and concerted fraudulent activities related to absentee mail ballots,” according to Joshua Malcolm, the board’s vice chair.

Dowless was paid by the Harris campaign as a contractor for the candidate’s top consultant, according to The Charlotte Observer.

“He was an independent contractor who worked on grassroots for the campaign, independent of the campaign ... as he’s done for a number of campaigns over the years,” said Andy Yates, Harris’ top strategist and the founder of Red Dome Group.

In an affidavit given to the Democratic Party, Dwight Sheppard, a fire investigator in Bladen County, said he believes Dowless is in the thick of the controversy.

Dowless has denied any wrongdoing to The Charlotte Observer.

He could not be reached on Monday by phone or on Sunday at an address listed for him in voting records.

Barbie Silvas, a Bladenboro resident, said people came around her apartment complex offering to help residents vote absentee.

“They would say, ‘I’m here for McCrae with the voting thing,’” she told The News & Observer.

Silvas said she voted absentee.

Dowless is the vice chair of the Bladen Soil and Water Conservation District, an elected position.

He is a registered Republican, but had voted in Democratic primaries until 2016, according to elections records.

Harris defeated McCready by 905 votes in November.

Harris defeated incumbent Republican Rep. Robert Pittenger in May’s primary by 828 votes.

In the primary, Harris won 437 absentee votes in Bladen to just 17 for Pittenger.

In the general election, Harris won 420 absentee votes to McCready’s 258 in the county.

The number of mail-in absentee ballots was higher in Bladen County than in more populous neighboring counties Robeson and Cumberland.

In the 2016 congressional primary, Dowless worked for Todd Johnson.

Johnson got 221 absentee votes to 4 for Harris and 1 for Pittenger.

In the district as a whole, Johnson finished third.

In 2016, Dowless claimed irregularities in mail-in absentee ballots from Bladen County.

The state board voted to dismiss Dowless’ protests.

In 2017, Republican businessman Pete Givens launched a campaign for the Charlotte City Council seat in District 2, traditionally a Democratic stronghold.

Turnout for off-year City Council elections is usually in the low double-digits, so Givens said he decided to try a different strategy.

If people wouldn’t show up on Election Day, maybe they would vote for him via absentee ballot.

When he told his pastor, Harris, of his plans to run, he said Harris encouraged him.

And he said Harris introduced him to Dowless, who was known for getting out absentee votes.

“He didn’t know the details of it, and meeting (Dowless), we were learning of what he did,” Givens said.

He said Dowless told him to find potential supporters by knocking on their doors and encouraging them to request absentee ballots if they weren’t going to vote on Election Day.
Hopefully, a strong turnout of absentee ballots could make up for a weak in-person showing.
Campaign records show Givens paid Dowless $800 in May 2017 for consulting fees.

“I was contracted with him for a brief time, very brief,” Givens said.

“Probably no more than six weeks.”

Givens said that Dowless never told him to go back and collect absentee ballots or get his campaign workers to turn them in to the Board of Elections for voters — forbidden under North Carolina law.

“You can’t touch the ballots,” Givens said.

“He never told me to do that, said ‘this is what you’ve got to do.’”

Asked if his campaign would have done that, Givens responded forcefully.

“Heck no,” he said.

“When I heard reports of what’s happened in Bladen County, that people were going back and picking these up, you don’t do that ... If somebody sent somebody to go back and pick up a ballot from anybody, that’s wrong.”

Givens said he met with Dowless at the Mecklenburg Board of Elections and checked with Michael Dickerson, the county’s director of elections, to make sure the tactics were legal.

Dickerson said he recalled the meeting, but not the exact substance of it.

He said if the campaign had mentioned any forbidden tactics, like picking up absentee by mail ballots from voters, he would have told them that’s not allowed, but nothing like that stood out in his memory.
Dickerson said it was his first time meeting Dowless.

The consultant from Bladen County stood out because he was different from most of the more polished political professionals who work in Mecklenburg.

“He didn’t come in in a three-piece suit, let’s put it that way,” Dickerson said.

“He was sort of a country folk kind of guy.”

Givens said he and his campaign volunteers didn’t have much luck reaching voters on the weekends when they knocked on doors.

Dowless told him he needed to go during the week.

Givens said he couldn’t do that because of his work obligations.

“He said, ‘I’ll come down there,’” said Givens.

“He never showed up. At that point, we dissolved our relationship.”

In the end, Givens lost the race to Justin Harlow, garnering just 19 percent of the vote.
He received only 39 absentee-by-mail votes.
“It wasn’t worth the time or effort,” Givens said.

A News & Observer analysis of data on mail-in ballots in the district found:

▪ Across the 9th district, which stretches from Charlotte to Fayetteville along North Carolina’s southern border, 24 percent of the requested mail-in ballots were unreturned. In Robeson County, 64 percent of mail-in ballots requested did not make it back to elections officials. In Bladen County, the figure was 40 percent.

▪ The unreturned ballots are disproportionately associated with minority voters. More than 40 percent of the ballots requested by African Americans and more than 60 percent of those requested by American Indians did not make it back to elections officials. For white voters, that figure was just 17 percent.

▪ In Bladen County, the breakdown for African Americans and American Indians generally reflected the district-wide figures. But in Robeson County, 75 percent of the mail-in ballots requested by African Americans and 69 percent of the mail-in ballots requested by American Indians were listed as unreturned.

▪ In other counties hard-hit by Hurricane Florence, as Bladen and Robeson were, the share of unreturned mail-in ballots was not as high. In Columbus County, 29 percent of the mail-in ballots requested were unreturned. In Pender County, the figure was 18 percent.

The analysis excluded data on voters who requested more than one ballot.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 21, 2019, 03:53:44 am
Wednesday, 20th February 2019

Mark Harris' son warned him about operative in North Carolina scandal
by Laura Barron-Lopez

In emotional testimony Wednesday, the son of North Carolina Republican Mark Harris said he warned his father about the absentee ballot strategy used by Leslie McCrae Dowless, the political operative now at the center of an election fraud scandal in the state's 9th Congressional District.

John Harris testified before the North Carolina State Election Board Wednesday about allegations of election fraud.

Though Mark Harris led Democrat Dan McCready by 905 votes in the unofficial ballot count on election night in November 2018, the election board refused to certify a winner, pointing to the accusations of fraud.

John Harris, an attorney himself, said early on he was suspicious of Dowless' operation and shared his thoughts with his father and mother.

John's testimony appears to refute comments made by his father that he was never warned about Dowless, who held prior felony convictions of fraud and perjury.
After Mark met with Dowless, John sent his father an email on April 7, 2017, that included text of the law on the illegality of collecting a person's absentee ballot.

"Good test is if you’re comfortable with the full process he uses being broadcast on the news," John emailed his father as Mark Harris contemplated hiring Dowless.
John said he believed his father's mind was already made up despite his warnings.

John added that there's no reason for him to believe his father, mother or anyone else within the Harris campaign knew what Dowless was doing.

"I raised red flags at the time the decision was made to hire Mr. Dowless," said John, whose testimony dominated the third day of the hearing.
"I love my dad and I love my mom. I certainly have no vendetta against them, no family scores to settle," John said, holding back tears.

"I think that they made mistakes in this process and they certainly did things differently than I would have done them."

After investigating the fraud allegations, the board began its evidentiary hearing this week.

A state election board official kicked off the proceedings Monday by presenting evidence that implicated Dowless in an illegal absentee ballot collection "scheme."

State officials and individuals employed by Dowless testified that Dowless illegally paid people to collect and manipulate ballots.

Mark Harris is set to start the fourth day of testimony on Thursday.

It is unclear if the board will conclude its proceedings Thursday or stretch into a fifth day.

Upon conclusion of the hearing, the board is expected to either vote for a new election, certify a winner or potentially reach an impasse.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 21, 2019, 04:17:12 pm
Thursday, 21st February 2019
New Election Ordered in North Carolina Race at Center of Fraud Inquiry
by Alan Blinder


(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The North Carolina election authorities on Thursday ordered a new contest for Congress in the state’s Ninth District after the Republican candidate, confronted by days of evidence that his campaign underwrote an illegal get-out-the-vote effort, abandoned his defense and called for a new vote.

The unanimous ruling by the North Carolina State Board of Elections was a startling — and, for Republicans, embarrassing — turn in a case of political chicanery that convulsed North Carolina.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 27, 2019, 04:04:11 pm
Wednesday, 27th February 2019
Operative charged in congressional race

by Associated Press


(RALEIGH, N.C.) — The Latest on the unresolved North Carolina congressional race (all times local):

An operative in North Carolina's unresolved congressional race has been charged with obstruction and illegal ballot possession related to 2016 and 2018 elections .

Wake County District Attorney Lorrin Freeman said Wednesday that Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr. was arrested after the grand jury indictments.

According to testimony and other findings detailed at an election board hearing last week, Dowless conducted an illegal "ballot harvesting" operation.

He and his assistants are accused of gathering up absentee ballots from voters by offering to put them in the mail.

State law makes it illegal for anyone other than the voter or a close relative to handle a mail-in ballot.

Also charged were people Dowless allegedly paid in 2016 to collect ballots.

Dowless was working on behalf of Republican candidate Mark Harris, who had a slim lead in last November's vote count before a new election was ordered.

Three well-known Republicans are staying out of a North Carolina congressional race being re-run after suspicions of ballot fraud tainted the first try.

Instead, the GOP's 50-year hold on the seat will be left to lesser-known candidates.

Mark Harris said Tuesday he will not run in the new election the state elections board ordered unanimously last week.

Harris was the apparent winner of the 9th Congressional District race before ballot fraud allegations surfaced.

Harris was hospitalized last month by a blood infection and said he suffered two strokes. He said he needs surgery late next month.

Former U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger and former Gov. Pat McCrory also say they won't seek the seat.

Catawba College politics professor Michael Bitzer says GOP candidates must distance themselves from the scandal that forced the new race.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 12, 2019, 07:02:48 am
Monday, 11th March 2019
Federal investigators issue subpoenas in NC-9 investigation
by Nick Ochsner

(CHARLOTTE, NC) - The Department of Justice has issued subpoenas for a federal grand jury investigation into allegations of election fraud in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District.

The US Department of Justice’s Public Integrity Section has issued at least three subpoenas for documents related to the 9th District.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 28, 2019, 08:44:34 am
Thursday, 28th March 2019
Stringer Strung Out!
by Associated Press


Another useful card from the popular collectable card game, Magic The Gathering is called, 'Path To Exile', to remove threats completely from the game in a instant.

Got it?  O.K.  onto the story...

(PHOENIX, AZ) — Arizona Rep. David Stringer resigned Wednesday amid an ethics investigation of 1983 sex charges and his comments on race and immigration.

The Prescott Republican lawmaker stepped down as he faced a 5 p.m. deadline to hand over documents demanded by the House Ethics Committee.

Earlier in the day he made an emergency request for a judge to block the Legislature from expelling him, then withdrew it as a hearing was scheduled to begin.

"I'm grateful that the House will not be forced to take action against one of our members, and we can begin to put this matter behind us," Republican House Speaker Rusty Bowers said in a statement announcing Stringer's resignation.

Stringer did not respond to a request for comment.

His resignation letter said only:

"This is to confirm my resignation as State Representative for Legislative District 1, effective 4 p.m. this date, March 27, 2019."

Stringer is the subject of two ethics complaints following newspaper reports that he was charged with sex crimes more than three decades ago.

The charges were later expunged.

"His actions were unbecoming of a state legislator, and racism should have no place in the House of Representatives," Rep. Reginald Bolding, a Democrat who filed one of the two complaints, said in a statement.

"The evidence that he was trying to withhold from the Ethics Committee must be damning since he chose to quit rather than comply with a subpoena."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 14, 2019, 09:05:13 am
Friday, 12th April 2019
Representative Ayanna Pressley On Her First 100 Days In Congress
by Kimberly Atkins

U.S. Rep. Ayanna Pressley talked to WBUR’S Kimberly Atkins about her first 100 days in Congress, during which she questioned President Trump’s former personal attorney Michael Cohen, filed or co-sponsored 115 bills and spoke on the House floor about the struggles she and her families have faced.

Questions and responses below from their conversation were edited for brevity and clarity.

You’ve had a busy 100 days. How do you feel about your time so far?

I feel grateful to be here. But as inspired as I am by the good work that we’re undertaking here in this Democratic-majority Congress, I’m always sitting with the gravity of the times we find ourselves in, and asking myself the question: Am I doing what I was sent here to do?

And so in this moment I do feel encouraged because I do believe we are acting on the motivations behind my run and what I pledged to do in that race: to be bold, to ask  questions that shake the table and never forget the people of the Massachusetts 7th.

One of the lessons that I learned here during new member orientation is: don’t forget the plot. And the plot is the people.

That’s what I’m always coming back to — the impact on the people of the Massachusetts 7th District.

You often speak in personal terms — about your and your family’s experiences and struggles — when you speak about policy and legislation. Why do you think that’s important?

The best policies are data-driven, and the data are the lived experiences of the people we are sent here to represent. It’s not about lifting up my story, it’s that in lifting up my story we are lifting up the stories of millions. It’s important, especially now, that people know that they are seen.

I could develop the backpay bill [to cover contractors impacted by the government shutdown] because I was actively listening to those most impacted, and it was only then that I found out that there was no mechanism for that.

I want to lift up stories of hardship and struggle not only to keep us accountable, but also to harness the innovation. That is the interesting thing about the dichotomy of the Massachusetts 7th, because here we see very stark disparities.

But, this is a district that also boasts many assets, beginning with its people but also the various institutions and industries that drive the district — industries like healthcare and financial services.

So I share my story because I hope that by doing that I’m amplifying the story of the lived experience of millions.

Congress is known as a slow-moving and gridlocked body. Has that been your experience so far?

Right now, I think there are a number of precedent-setting things that are occurring given the unprecedented nature of our class and how representative it is, and also the fact that we have the votes and are in a Democratic majority.

I want to make sure we don’t squander a moment to advance an agenda for the American people.

The Oversight and Reform Committee has for eight years given this administration a pass, and those days are over.

Though some people characterize what we are doing on the committee as a partisan witch hunt, this is, I think, the greatest demonstration of patriotism, which is truth, transparency and accountability.

The Financial Services Committee [has] established the first diversity and inclusion subcommittee in the history of Congress to diversify the financial services industry and also to address the wealth gap.

This is the time to lead, and that is what we are doing in this Democratic majority.

So what’s next?

Well, I need this MCL to be healed [after a fall last month] so I can get back to my heels, that’s what’s next for me. But other than that, hopefully just more of the same.

And I’m so enjoying my committee assignments and the work of these committees, and they really do speak to the challenges and the opportunity that exist in the Massachusetts 7th.

So stay tuned.

And in the meantime, I’m looking forward to being in the district during the two-week recess and spending time in the community with the people to update them and to hear from them what they want from this Congress through me.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Hypestyle on April 14, 2019, 09:53:38 am
Right now, I think there are a number of precedent-setting things that are occurring given the unprecedented nature of our class and how representative it is, and also the fact that we have the votes and are in a Democratic majority.

I want to make sure we don’t squander a moment to advance an agenda for the American people.

The Oversight and Reform Committee has for eight years given this administration a pass, and those days are over.

.............................   This is the time to lead, and that is what we are doing in this Democratic majority.

minor nitpick.  Eight years?  45's only been in office two.   so maybe she's referring to Republicans writ large ;)
continued success to her!  :)
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 14, 2019, 10:43:00 am
Right now, I think there are a number of precedent-setting things that are occurring given the unprecedented nature of our class and how representative it is, and also the fact that we have the votes and are in a Democratic majority.

I want to make sure we don’t squander a moment to advance an agenda for the American people.

The Oversight and Reform Committee has for eight years given this administration a pass, and those days are over.

.............................   This is the time to lead, and that is what we are doing in this Democratic majority.

minor nitpick.  Eight years?  45's only been in office two.   so maybe she's referring to Republicans writ large ;)
continued success to her!  :)

Dag, Hype... you're good!  :)

Didn't even catch that part in her comments in that interview. :-[

Either that comment is a typo or maybe the congresswoman is still gaining what we swabbies call her 'sea legs' in Washington, D.C.   ...meaning a little wobbly at launch but with practice, start to balance her footing on the ship's deck.  :)

...or maybe, it just feels like 8 years to her at the rate of corruption & gridlock puppetine & the republicans is demonstrating.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 28, 2019, 11:52:06 am
Tuesday, 28th May 2019
Whitley Whittled Away!
by Sandford Nowlin


Remember what I wrote earlier about how nice 'Path to Exile' is in the classic collectable card game, Magic The Gathering?

Texas Secretary of State David Whitley — the engineer of a highly publicized botched effort to kick non-citizens off the state's voter rolls — has resigned.

The Texas Senate closed out the legislative session Monday without confirming Whitley, the state’s top election official and a former aide to Republican Gov. Greg Abbott.

Under the Texas Constitution, the secretary of state must resign if the Senate fails to confirm him during the session.

And resign Whitley did.

Just before the fall of the Senate's closing gavel, he issued a letter withdrawing from the position, which was first reported by the Austin-American Statesman.

During Whitley's six-month tenure, his office flagged nearly 100,000 voters for citizenship review based on faulty data.

Nearly a quarter of the people were added in error, some of whom had become naturalized citizens.

The mishandled review resulted in a probe by the U.S. House and a flurry of lawsuits from civil rights groups.

Texas recently settled three of the suits, which alleged that the state was trying to intimidate minority voters, keeping with its long history of voter suppression.

Earlier this session, all 12 Democratic senators indicated they would vote against Whitley's confirmation.

Even with the support of all 19 Republicans in the body, he'd still have been short of the two-thirds majority needed to keep his job.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 14, 2019, 07:36:06 pm
Friday, 14th June 2019
Murder, She Wrote
by ANDREW DeMILLO of Associated Press


(LITTLE ROCK, Ark.) — Authorities on Friday night said they've arrested an Arkansas woman in connection with the killing of a former gop state senator who was found dead outside her own home.

Arkansas State Police said they and Randolph County sheriff's deputies arrested 48-year-old Rebecca Lynn O'Donnell in connection with the death of former state Sen. Linda Collins.

Police said criminal charges were pending and did not say whether they were seeking any other suspects in Collins' death.

Collins, who went by Collins-Smith in the Legislature, was found dead June 4 outside her home in Pocahontas, about 130 miles (210 kilometers) northeast of Little Rock.

A State Police spokesman declined to say where O'Donnell was being held.

The Randolph County jail referred questions to the sheriff, who did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Collins served one term in the state House and was originally elected as a Democrat in 2010.

But she switched parties and became a Republican in 2011, the year before the GOP won control of both chambers of the Legislature.

She was elected to the state Senate in 2014 and was one of the most conservative lawmakers in the majority - GOP chamber.

She lost re-election in the Republican primary last year.

Authorities have released few details about Collins' killing and have not said how the former lawmaker was killed.

A judge last week granted a request by prosecutors to seal documents and statements obtained by police during the investigation.

Collins' funeral is scheduled for Saturday morning in Pocahontas.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 25, 2019, 06:04:31 pm
Tuesday, 25th June 2019
Rep. Duncan Hunter used campaign funds for extramarital affairs, prosecutors say
by Caroline S. Engelmayer


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., used campaign money to fund a series of extramarital affairs with congressional staffers and lobbyists, federal prosecutors allege in a new court filing in his corruption case.

Prosecutors say Mr. Hunter improperly diverted funds “to pursue these romances wholly unrelated to either his congressional campaigns or his official duties as a member of Congress.”

The filing comes less than two weeks after Mr. Hunter’s wife and former campaign manager, Margaret Hunter, pleaded guilty of conspiring to misuse campaign funds.

In August, a federal grand jury indicted the couple, alleging they illegally financed a lavish lifestyle of travel, gifts, fine dining and other expenses with campaign money, then submitted false reports to the Federal Election Commission to cover it up.

In total, prosecutors said, the Hunters spent more than $250,000 on personal expenses — including dental care and their children’s tuition — that they listed as campaign-related gifts, donations and travel.

In Monday’s motion, prosecutors asked a federal judge for permission to present evidence about the extramarital affairs as part of their case.

Mr. Hunter declined Tuesday to respond to the allegations and gave no sign that he would seek a deal with prosecutors to settle the case.

“I’m going to trial on this, right? So I’m not going to give you a statement on their allegations,” he told reporters outside the House chamber.

He accused Justice Department prosecutors of engaging in a “personal smear campaign.”

The trial is due to begin in September in federal court for the Southern District of California.

Prosecutors approached Mr. Hunter about making a deal “that would eliminate the need to introduce this potentially sensitive evidence at trial,” they wrote in the filing. Mr. Hunter’s attorney declined.

Ms. Hunter’s surprise guilty plea June 13 has complicated the congressman’s defense, legal experts say.

Former prosecutor and San Diego attorney Jason A. Forge said it is likely prosecutors will call Ms. Hunter to testify against her husband in return for a lighter prison sentence.

“They clearly have testimony from his mistresses, testimony from his campaign manager, testimony from other witnesses,” Mr. Forge said.

“Despite all of that, they’ve recommended a substantial (sentencing) reduction for her. I don’t know of any other benefit the government could get from her without her testimony.”

He said that during her testimony, lawyers would probably ask her to confirm that “she and her husband knew what they were doing” and intended to “use campaign funds to finance their lifestyle.”

Mr. Hunter — an outspoken supporter of puppetine who won re-election in November despite facing the criminal charges — alleged that prosecutors were targeting him for his political beliefs.

In a filing Sunday, his lawyer argued that the prosecutors had backed Hillary Clinton in her 2016 presidential bid and said the case should be dismissed.

The Justice Department responded by asking the court to exclude allegations of political bias against the government’s lawyers.

Prosecutors included highly detailed descriptions of Mr. Hunter’s alleged affairs with five women — none identified by name.

The filing describes one Lake Tahoe ski trip in 2009 that Mr. Hunter allegedly paid for entirely with campaign money, including a $351 car rental, $180 plane ticket and a $1,008 hotel tab.

Prosecutors described the spending down to a $7 beer he purchased in the resort bar.

Alleged expenditures on other women included drinks, dinners and Uber rides.

One woman, identified as “Individual 17,” is described as a lobbyist who organized fundraisers for the congressman.

According to the filing’s description of a January 2015 encounter, “(t)hat night, however, was not about business:

at around 11:00 pm, Mr. Hunter and I-17 departed the Hamilton (Hotel) together for her home, where they engaged in intimate personal activities unrelated to Mr. Hunter’s congressional campaign or duties as a member of Congress.

Mr. Hunter left her house at 1:23 a.m. Although this was a strictly personal encounter, Mr. Hunter used campaign funds to pay the $42 in Uber fares.”

Prosecutors also suggested there are more damaging details to come.

“Hunter improperly used campaign funds to pursue other clearly non-work related activity during get-togethers with his close personal friends,” the filing reads.

The filing didn’t specify what the activity was, but prosecutors said that publicly disclosing it “runs the risk of improperly tainting the jury pool before the trial begins.”

They said they are discussing with Mr. Hunter the possibility of a stipulation that will mean they won’t have to submit evidence about this activity to the court.

They asked the judge whether they could file the evidence under seal that if that didn’t work.

Mr. Forge said that if Mr. Hunter is considering a stipulation and prosecutors are asking to file evidence under seal, they must think “this other category of information is way more inflammatory than using campaign funds to finance his affairs.”

“I have to think it’s some sort of bombshell,” he said.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 03, 2019, 02:18:30 pm
Wenesday, 3rd July 2019
LA Times editorial board calls on Duncan Hunter to resign immediately
by Rebecca Klar

The LA Times editorial board is calling on Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.) to resign immediately, amid a lawsuit alleging the congressman misused $250,000 in campaign cash over six years including on extramarital affairs with congressional staffers and lobbyists.

The editorial, published Wednesday, says the lawmakers should step down "so he can spend more time with his lawyers. He's really going to need it."

"Hunter's in a tough place. Between preparing a defense against the mountain of evidence amassed by prosecutors and sitting in a courtroom while his family's dirty laundry is aired, he can't possibly be an effective representative for his district," the editorial reads.

"He should resign immediately and clear the way for a special election."

Hunter and his wife, Margaret, were indicted last year on 60 criminal counts related to alleged campaign finance violations.

Both initially pleaded not guilty, but his wife pleaded guilty in June to conspiring to misuse campaign funds.

She could face up to five years in prison.

"Though Hunter managed to eke out a win in November against a neophyte progressive Democrat in the heavily Republican district he represents, we wonder if voters would still support him today in light of his wife's guilty plea and the allegations about several extramarital relationships, some of them long-term," the LA Times board wrote.

The board also wrote that "if Hunter were an honorable man," he would have at least taken a leave of absence last year after being indicted.

The leave wouldn't have to serve as "an admission of guilt," but to acknowledge that charges are a distraction from serving in Congress, according to the piece.

"Our position on this issue has nothing to do with Hunter's politics.

If he were a Democrat or an independent or anyone else in a position of power, we'd call for his or her resignation," the editorial reads.

"These are serious charges that, if proved, mean Hunter is unfit to serve in public office. It's time, past time really, for Hunter to step up by stepping down from Congress. If he is cleared of the charges, he can run again."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 04, 2019, 03:35:29 pm
Thursday, 4th July 2019
Amash Is Awash!
by Donna Dassata


Representative Justin Amash, the only Republican in Congress to have accused puppetine of impeachable acts, said Thursday that he is leaving the gop and becoming an independent, bemoaning that “modern politics is trapped in a partisan death spiral, but there is an escape.”

In an op-ed in The Washington Post, the Michigan congressman described himself as a lifelong Republican who has grown disenchanted with party politics and frightened by a two-party system that has “evolved into an existential threat to American principles and institutions.”

Citing the warnings in George Washington’s farewell address, Amash said Americans “have allowed government officials, under assertions of expediency and party unity, to ignore the most basic tenets of our constitutional order: separation of powers, federalism and the rule of law.”

He maintained that most Americans are not “rigidly partisan” and that the country can do better than the two-party system.

“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” Amash wrote, declaring his party affiliation as independent on the nation’s Independence Day.

He maintained that most Americans are not “rigidly partisan” and that the country can do better than the two-party system.

“No matter your circumstance, I’m asking you to join me in rejecting the partisan loyalties and rhetoric that divide and dehumanize us,” Amash wrote, declaring his party affiliation as independent on the nation’s Independence Day.

Amash, who was elected in the tea party wave of 2010, embraced libertarian principles and repeatedly broke with his party on major issues and even the mundane before he challenged the president.

A few hours after Amash’s declaration, the acting-president derided him in a tweet:

“Great news for the Republican Party as one of the dumbest & most disloyal men in Congress is ‘quitting’ the Party. No Collusion, No Obstruction! Knew he couldn’t get the nomination to run again in the Great State of Michigan. Already being challenged for his seat. A total loser!”

House Republican leaders had no immediate response to Amash quitting the party.

Amash does not mention puppetine by name in the op-ed, but his party switch comes weeks after he posted tweets arguing that former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III documented “impeachable conduct” in his report on Trump’s campaign and administration and Russian interference in the 2016 election.

In subsequent public statements, Amash challenged colleagues from both parties to act.

About 80 House Democrats and several 2020 presidential candidates have called for launching impeachment proceedings against puppetine, a step that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has resisted.

Amash is the only Republican calling for such a move.

His stand has drawn the wrath of puppetine, widespread criticism from other Republicans, and a challenger in next year’s election. Amash, 39, who is serving his fourth term, has not announced whether he will run again.

He has acknowledged that he is instead considering running for president as a member of the Libertarian Party.

Michigan state Rep. Jim Lower, a Republican, announced his bid for Amash’s House seat, describing himself as “a Pro-chump, Pro-Life, Pro-Jobs, Pro-2nd Amendment, Pro-Family Values Republican.”

Last month, chump jr., the president’s eldest son, indicated that he planned to campaign for Lower.

“See you soon Justin,” chump jr. said in a tweet.

“I hear Michigan is beautiful during primary season.”

Attached to his tweet were poll results showing Amash trailing Lower in Michigan’s 3rd Congressional District.

Past supporters of Amash also turned on him in the aftermath of his impeachment comments.

The leader of the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has staunchly backed Amash since his first congressional run in 2010, and whose spending helped him overcome a 2014 primary challenge, criticized his comments.

The congressman has been steadfast in defending his position.

Facing voters at a town hall in Grand Rapids several weeks ago, Amash said Congress “has a duty to keep the president in check.”

“I’d do it whether it was a Republican president or a Democratic president,” he said.

“It doesn’t matter. You elected me to represent all of you.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) has dismissed Amash as an outlier among Republicans, citing a number of instances in which the congressman voted with Democrats.

“Justin Amash can determine his own future. But I think, on a philosophical basis, he’s probably in a different place than the majority of all of us,” McCarthy said last month.

Amash also left the conservative House Freedom Caucus, a group he helped found four years ago.

It was unclear whether the congressman would caucus with Democrats.

The only other independents in Congress — Sens. Bernie Sanders (Vt.) and Angus King (Maine) — caucus with Democrats in the Senate.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 12, 2019, 08:17:48 am
Acosta Resigns At Great Cost!



Labor Secretary Acosta just announced that he is resigning 7 days from today.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 12, 2019, 10:02:55 am
Monday, 12th August 2019
Missouri has a new Democratic gubernatorial contender
by Dori Olmos


Missouri state Auditor Nicole Galloway is running for governor.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 12, 2019, 06:44:31 pm
Monday, 12th August 2019
Can Stacey Abrams Save American Democracy?
by Alexis Okeowo


IT'S AN INTOXICATINGLY HOT June afternoon in Atlanta, and scores of attendees at the African American Leadership Council Summit are watching Stacey Abrams, in a simple black-and-white shift dress, take the stage.

The air, under twinkling hotel chandeliers, is crackling:

Congresswoman Maxine Waters has just declared to the crowd that she is ready to impeach emperor puppetine (to wild applause).

Now it’s Abrams’s turn.

“I have an announcement to make,” she says, and the room is hushed, expectant. “We won.” The audience erupts into cheers, and Abrams takes a moment before adding, “I realize I’m not the governor of Georgia.”

“Yes, you are!” several people shout back.

“I’m not taking the oath of office. I’m not moving into the mansion.”

“OK, OK,” says a woman in the audience.

“They’re saying that because I didn’t get all the numbers I needed, that somehow we failed in our mission. We didn’t fail. In the state of Georgia, we transformed our electorate.”

There is more cheering, and an air of reverence in the room.

Abrams’s run for governor in 2018 ended in a loss of just 54,723 votes—a stunning, public blow.

And yet she emerged from it as a kind of bellwether Democrat, a vision of her party’s future.

She tripled Latino, Asian-American, and Pacific Islander voter turnout and doubled youth participation in her state.

She inspired 1.2 million black Democrats in Georgia to vote for her (more than the total number of Democratic gubernatorial voters in 2014).

And she gained the highest percentage of the state’s white Democratic voters in a generation.

All of this despite widespread reports of voter suppression and a Republican opponent, Brian Kemp—Georgia’s then secretary of state—who oversaw the purging of about 670,000 registered voters in 2017 alone.

Some 53,000 voter registrations were still pending a month ahead of the election.

Abrams refused to concede at first.

“I sat shiva for 10 days,” she tells me.

“Then I started plotting.” Many thought her next move would be a run for the Senate (there was the idea that Joe Biden was courting her as a vice presidential pick, rumors she has dismissed).

But Abrams says her attention shifted to something more vitally important:

saving American democracy itself.

To this end, Abrams set up two nonprofits:

Fair Count, devoted to making sure minority and poor communities are counted in Georgia during the census, and Fair Fight Action, an organization that aims to register new voters in her state and ensure that their votes are included.

Fair Fight Action sued the Georgia board of elections and secretary of state over charges of voter suppression in Abrams’s 2018 race.

The state has unsuccessfully filed a motion to dismiss.

Since then, Abrams has been traveling around the country to give speeches on her new life’s cause.

Abrams’s plain talk on voting rights has become so popular these days that it shows up in the stump speeches of many of the Democratic presidential candidates, including Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Beto O’Rourke.

(Warren has called for a constitutional amendment protecting the right to vote.)

Abrams’s fans also include celebrities. Oprah Winfrey, Will Ferrell, and John Legend were among those who came to Georgia to help get out the vote in 2018, and as the leadership summit in Atlanta winds down, I see Alyssa Milano outside the hotel, nearly unrecognizable in a backpack and glasses as she checks her phone.

Abrams’s body woman, Chelsey Hall, greets and hugs her, and then tells her boss in the car that she saw the actress.

“Oh, I was supposed to text her,” Abrams says.

We’re headed to Krog Street Market, an upscale food hall in a renovated warehouse.

Hall is ostensibly taking Abrams to one of her favorite places for dumplings, but it is also a chance for Abrams to show off her appeal.

As soon as she enters the market, people of all ages and races begin approaching her with grins and their phones.

At a soul-food stall, cashiers and cooks surround her.

“Are you a fan of chicken? Are you vegan?” one asks.

Abrams stops.

“Are you asking if I like chicken? I’m a black woman from Mississippi; it’s like my religion,” she says.

The group laughs.

As Abrams makes her way to the exit, a pair of women block her way.

One is so excited, her hands are shaking.

“You gonna run for president?” she asks after they take a photo.

Abrams smiles.

“I’m gonna run for something.”

ABRAMS, 45, GREW UP with five brothers and sisters in Gulfport, Mississippi, a small lick of a city on the Gulf Coast.

Her mother was a librarian at William Carey University, a private Christian college, and her father worked in a shipyard; they were also preachers and ran a restaurant for Abrams’s great-aunt.

She calls her family “working poor”—they supported themselves but were also not strangers to having the power cut off.

When Abrams was 10 or 11, the family attended a church across town, passing a more wealthy neighborhood on the way, and she and her siblings liked to imagine which house they would live in if they won the lottery.

But Abrams’s parents made sure she read, (fiction, mythology, the dictionary, encyclopedias) and watched public television (the news, ballroom dancing, Sesame Street) and did theater.

“They expected us to want more,” Abrams says.

She was a good student, though she didn’t enjoy school, preferring to write on her own—everything from poems to Christian pop and country songs.

She composed her first novel at 12, about her “tortured thoughts of being an outsider,” called The Diary of Angst.

Her youngest sister, Jeanine Abrams McLean, remembers Abrams getting her to pretend to be from a foreign country whenever the two were in public:

“So you had these two black girls in an elevator speaking in a French accent,” McLean says, laughing.

“She was the kind of sibling you could call for anything — I could talk to her about boy problems, career advice, Star Trek.”

After graduating as valedictorian, Abrams ended up at Atlanta’s Spelman College—despite not wanting to go to college in the South (where she’d spent her whole life) or to an all-women’s and all-black school (since she’d never been allowed to date and grew up largely around white kids).

But she went, trusting her mother’s urging, with the intention of becoming a physicist or a writer.

Spelman was a cultural reckoning for her.

“The notion of identity and the way I situated myself as a young person, as a black person, as a Southerner, as a woman—they were all challenged,” Abrams says.

She felt a kind of freedom, dating and exploring new social scenes and running for student office.

“I could experiment and fail in ways that were larger than my family but that weren’t going to ruin my life,” she says.

She learned to take cultural clashes in stride.

At the end of freshman year, her friends put together a slang guide for her because she “had no idea what they were talking about.”

Abrams has always had an outsider perspective—never quite feeling at home at school in Mississippi or at Spelman or at Yale Law School, which she would attend after earning her master’s in public policy at the University of Texas.

She learned how to navigate each environment through close study.

Eliza Leighton, who met Abrams during college, remembers her as having a keen sense of self:

Abrams was “a listener, an observer, and a person making connections,” she says.

As fellow undergraduate Truman Scholars, they stayed up late having detailed conversations about how exactly they would change the world.

In her third year at Yale, often an overwhelming time for most law students, Abrams wrote her first romance novel, the first of eight she would go on to publish under the pen name Selena Montgomery, all with suggestive titles like Hidden Sins, Deception, and Reckless.

She initially wanted to try the spy genre, having loved James Bond movies, but found that publishers didn’t seem interested in such stories with black heroines. Last year, she published her first book under her own name, a blend of memoir and leadership advice titled Lead From the Outside:

How to Build Your Future and Make Real Change. The passages of self-help expectedly veer into the cliché, but the personal narrative about her family (her youngest brother is an addict and in prison), her spiral into debt, and her self-doubt are blunt and engaging. She wonders at one point:

“I was really good at being a black woman, when compared to other black women. But could I be more than that?”

The idea of running for governor came to her 17 years ago: As a young tax lawyer in Atlanta, she sought advice from the only black female partner at the firm. Abrams said she’d been thinking about running for mayor, but the partner encouraged her to think bigger.

So Abrams considered the posts of insurance commissioner and secretary of state, carefully reading the state constitutional descriptions of each (“I am deeply nerdy,” she says).

Eventually, after working on the 2002 campaign of Shirley Franklin, the first black woman to become mayor of Atlanta, Abrams considered the governorship.

“That’s when I realized we can do this,” she recalls.

We are in the living room of her slate-blue Atlanta town house, neutrally decorated and filled with books (among them Ulysses, Michelle Obama’s Becoming, and the cookbook Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat).

It’s the home of a woman who likes to be at home. A sand-colored couch faces a pale fireplace, decorated with family photos, a picture of Abrams with President Obama, and a statuette of Lady Justice.

A tray of chocolate candies has been set on a stand near the dining-room table.

The story Abrams wants to tell about Georgia is about how the state is no longer a foregone political conclusion.

It, and the rest of the Deep South, is changing, she argues.

Whites now make up just over half of the population in Georgia and are expected to be the minority by the end of the next decade. Abrams has worked to reach rural communities of color, and to register folks who have never been part of the political process.

In 2013, as a member of the state legislature, she created a voter-registration nonprofit called the New Georgia Project, which completed 86,000 new voter applications.

That is what began her troubles with Kemp, whom Abrams calls a “cartoon villain” and who alleged that Abrams’s group must have committed misconduct in registering so many voters so quickly.

Although Abrams’s organization was cleared of those charges, Kemp’s office illegally canceled nearly 35,000 voter registrations from 2013 to 2015. Abrams describes more insidious forms of suppression—like the extremely long lines at polling stations in black neighborhoods.

“Voting rights is the foundational issue in American politics and American society,” says Heather McGhee, a political analyst and fellow with the progressive think tank Demos.
“Simply put, if we don’t all have an equal say, how can we expect to have an equal chance?”

ABRAMS IS AN AVOWED INTROVERT who has taken more personality tests than she can remember—but she also has a certain swagger.

While talking with an aide about being recognized in public, she recalls,

“Someone at the airport came up to me and said, ‘Has anyone ever told you that you look like Stacey Abrams?’

And I said, ‘Yeah, my mom.’ ”

She delivers the last line with a confident shrug.

She knows her political influence depends on her going out and spending time with ordinary voters—

“I try to be as committed to those moments as I can be,” Abrams says—but she’s happiest alone. She loves to cook and watches, as she puts it, “an inordinate amount of television”—

from Chopped to the Canadian sci-fi series Travelers and episodes of the cult sitcom Community. She just finished Genki Kawamura’s international bestseller If Cats Disappeared From the World. Abrams wants to write more, too:

a teenage superhero novel that is halfway done, an almost-ready legal thriller, and the last in the trilogy of romance novels.

“I get these plaintive tweets and emails asking if I’ll ever get it done,” she says. “But some of them come from my sisters, so. . . .”

Much of her favorite music remains pre-1999 country:

Travis Tritt, Garth Brooks, Patsy Cline.

Abrams is still surprised at how much people like her. “There’s something about the commonness of my story that resonates, and the averageness of some of my aspect”—she laughs—“and not in a bad way, but people can see themselves in me.”

She tells me she is single and is “terrible” at dating.

“I’m very poor at reading romantic cues,” she says, “and I have had conversations with men that I liked who were like, ‘I liked you, but you didn’t seem interested!’ I had no idea! I thought you were asking me all those questions because you wanted to know what I thought.”

Her romance novels, she tells me, are a form of “self-tutelage,” and she thinks she can get better at dating with practice but has “lived a life that has made practice harder.”

I get around to asking the question so many have asked:

Will she run for president in 2020?

“For me, the calculus is ‘Am I the right person, and is this the necessary time?’ ” Abrams says.

She has been meditating on what she can bring to what she considers an already “solid field of candidates.” The day of the conference, she held meetings with O’Rourke and Pete Buttigieg, and she spoke with both of them about the same thing.

“First, I expect candidates to talk about voter suppression,” Abrams says.

“The second is that the South has to be part of any strategy for victory. My mission is to ensure that Georgia is seen as a competitive state for the general election.”

To many Americans, Abrams’s wider platform has been eclipsed by her focus on voter suppression. But if she does decide to run, she says, her policy priorities will remain the same:

expanding Medicaid, raising the minimum wage, enacting criminal justice reform, ensuring reproductive rights.

Abrams is no Democratic Socialist and is content to talk about her values within a traditional capitalist framework.

Her values were made in Georgia, she says. “I think we spend a lot of time figuring out which shade of blue we are on the spectrum, and it depends on where you live, it depends on what’s possible, it depends on how evolved your economy is,” she tells me.

“I’m fighting for getting a state minimum wage above $5.15 an hour. There has to be a recognition that, on the spectrum, progress looks different because of where you are. But that doesn’t mean you don’t dream of more.”

Abrams’s next mission is saving jobs in her state; after Georgia’s passage of one of the most extreme anti-choice bills in the country this past spring, banning abortion as early as six weeks into pregnancy, several Hollywood productions have threatened a boycott.

The entertainment industry hires nearly 100,000 people in Georgia and generates $9.5 billion locally.

Abrams doesn’t think a boycott ahead of an election year will sway state legislators, many of whom have staked their platforms on banning abortion.

She is advocating that the only long-term solution is to change the composition of the legislature itself, and as I leave her home, she is getting ready to fly to Los Angeles to meet with studio executives to convince them of the need to invest in voting-rights reform and Democratic campaigns.

Just days earlier, Governor Kemp canceled his own scheduled meeting with the industry. Abrams is not the leader of a state or country yet, but she is already acting like it.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 14, 2019, 05:50:18 am
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 15, 2019, 02:10:43 pm
Thursday, 15th August 2019
Georgia must scrap old voting machines after 2019
by Kate Brumback


(ATLANTA, Ga) — A federal judge overseeing a challenge to Georgia’s outdated voting system said that after years of inaction in the face of warnings about vulnerabilities, state officials have finally taken a solid step in the right direction.

But she foreshadowed a looming fight over the state’s new system, writing that “it may be ‘like ‘déjà vu all over again.’”

U.S. District Judge Amy Totenberg’s order on Thursday prohibits the state from using its antiquated paperless touchscreen machines and election management system beyond this year.

She also said the state must be ready to use hand-marked paper ballots if its new system isn’t in place for the March 24 presidential primary election.

“Georgia’s current voting equipment, software, election and voter databases, are antiquated, seriously flawed, and vulnerable to failure, breach, contamination, and attack,” she wrote.

Totenberg also said the plaintiffs would likely win at trial, citing “the mountain of voter testimony showing that these vulnerabilities have a tangible impact on these voters’ attempts to exercise their fundamental right to cast a ballot and have their vote counted.”

Election integrity advocates and individual voters sued Georgia election officials in 2017 alleging that the touchscreen voting machines the state has used since 2002 are unsecure and vulnerable to hacking.

They had asked Totenberg to order an immediate switch to hand-marked paper ballots.

Totenberg had declined a similar request last year ahead of last November’s gubernatorial election, and she again held back from ordering an immediate switch on Thursday, citing concerns about the state’s capacity to make an interim switch to hand-marked paper ballots for special and municipal elections this fall while also working to implement a new system.

This ruling applies only to Georgia, but at least parts of eight other states still use paperless balloting.

Using voter registration and turnout data, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law estimated in a report this week that as many as 12% of voters, or around 16 million people, will vote on paperless equipment in November 2020.

Georgia’s new system , following specifications approved by the Republican-led state legislature, was certified last week by Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, who said it will be in place for the primaries.

The state’s $106 million contract with Denver-based Dominion Voting Systems includes new touchscreen voting machines that print a paper record with a code that’s read by a scanner.

The plaintiffs in this lawsuit have said the new machines have many of the same vulnerabilities as the old ones.

They also object to the fact that the portion of the printed record that’s read by the scanner is a QR code, not human-verifiable text, meaning voters have to trust that the code accurately reflects their selections.

Totenberg praised the legislation providing for a new system as “an essential step forward out of the quagmire, even if just to terminate use of an antiquated vulnerable voting system.”

“The wisdom or legal conformity of the Secretary of State’s selection of a new vendor’s particular ballot system though is not the question now before the Court,” she wrote, adding in a footnote that a report last year from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends the use of paper ballots because of the vulnerabilities of electronic systems.

Perhaps alluding to the fact that the plaintiffs have said they plan to challenge the new system in court, Totenberg quoted baseball legend Yogi Berra, writing:

“The past may here be prologue anew — it may be ‘like déjà vu all over again.’”

The state, she wrote, has “previously minimized, erased, or dodged the issues underlying this case.”

For that reason, she wrote, she devoted space in her 153-page order to meticulously recounting the history of the case and related actions, or inaction, by the state “to ensure transparency for the future.”

Both sides in the case saw victory in Totenberg’s order.

″(W)e are pleased the Court endorsed the policy decisions of the state’s elected officials to move to a new paper ballot voting system in time for the 2020 elections while not disrupting the 2019 elections,” Raffensperger said in an emailed statement.

“These activist plaintiffs continue fruitlessly attempting to force their preferred policy outcomes on Georgia voters without success.”

Marilyn Marks, executive director of the Coalition for Good Governance, one of the plaintiffs in the case, wrote in an email that it was important that Totenberg “recognized Plaintiffs concerns about the State’s plan to move to another form of electronic voting — electronic ballot marking devices.”

The voters’ right to accountable elections requires hand-marked paper ballots counted by optical scanners with thorough audits, she wrote.

David Cross, a lawyer representing several Georgia voters in the case, called the ruling a “big win for all Georgia voters and those working across the country to secure elections and protect the right to vote.”

The plaintiffs had asked Totenberg to order the state to immediately stop using the current voting machines for special and municipal elections.

They also said they feared that the timeline for the implementation of the new machines is too tight , which could result in the old machines being used for 2020 elections.

Totenberg’s order made it clear she shares that fear, noting that the state had already scaled back a planned pilot program and postponed deadlines for the implementation of the new system.

She ordered election officials to develop a contingency plan in case the new system isn’t in place.

It includes using hand-marked paper ballots in coordination with scanners and other equipment available through the state’s contract with Dominion.

She ordered a pilot of that contingency plan during elections this November.

She also ordered state officials to develop a plan by Jan. 3 to address errors and discrepancies in the state’s voter registration database.

And election officials are instructed to provide each precinct with a paper backup of its voter registration list.

The integrity of Georgia’s voting system was heavily scrutinized during last year’s midterm election, in which Republican Brian Kemp, the state’s top election official at the time, narrowly defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams to become governor.

Totenberg noted that Harri Hursti, a leading voting security expert, discovered flaws in 2006 in the electronic voting machines used in Georgia that forced the manufacturer to create a security patch, but she said there’s no evidence Georgia ever implemented that patch, or made any upgrades to protect the integrity of its machines.

Hursti told The Associated Press that Thursday’s ruling should raise awareness:

He said the vulnerabilities of the machines Totenberg ordered scrapped extend as well to the electronic ballot-marking devices being bought to replace them.

He said “the only viable option” is hand-marked paper ballots that are optically scanned with vigorous audits of the voter’s original marks.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 26, 2019, 09:21:20 am
Monday, 26th August 2019
Duffy Ain't Bluffing!
by Michael Leischner


(WASHINGTON, DC) - US Representative Sean Duffy has announced he will be resigning from his position next month due to complications stemming from his wife's pregnancy.

"After eight and a half years, the time has come for me to focus more on the reason we fight these battles – family," said Duffy in a statement on Monday.

Duffy didn't specify what the complications were but did hint that they involved the child's heart.

"It is the right decision for my family, which is my first love and responsibility," he added.

Duffy's wife Rachel is pregnant with the family's 9th child, the couple announced back in May.

Both Sean and Rachel acknowledged back then that they were "on the other side of the bell curve for doing this," but said it felt right because they had high hopes for America's future, adding

"God's not done with our family yet."

Since Duffy's announcement support for his family has been coming in from across the state.

Wisconsin State Senator Tom Tiffany released a statement Monday morning saying he is proud to call Sean a friend, and that he will be greatly missed.

"I would like to thank Congressman Sean Duffy for his service to the people of Northern Wisconsin. I wish Sean, Rachel, and their family the very best with their future plans," he added.

Governor Tony Evers will have to call a special election to fill the vacancy.

It's unclear when that will happen.

Wisconsin's 7th Congressional district has been a Republican stronghold since Duffy first won the seat back in 2010.

During the 2018 election, he defeated Democratic challenger and political newcomer Margaret Engerbretson 60% to 38.5%.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 28, 2019, 06:56:30 pm
Wednesday, 28th August 2019
Isakson Will Be Gone!
by James Arkin


Democrats' path to a Senate majority after the 2020 elections got a little wider on Wednesday.

Sen. Johnny Isakson's (R-Ga.) announcement that he will resign later this year due to health problems puts Republicans on defense, with another competitive seat on the ballot in an emerging swing state.

Democrats need to flip three states to win back the Senate if they also capture the White House.
Only two Republicans are up in states the acting-president lost in 2016 — Colorado and Maine — meaning Democrats will have to win in red states to control the chamber.

Republicans now have to defend two seats in Georgia — which is also likely to be competitive in the presidential race — increasing the attention and money required to hold their grip on the rapidly shifting state.

Democrats haven't won a Senate race in Georgia in two decades, and the party had already struggled to recruit top-tier talent to the race after Stacey Abrams passed on running earlier this year.

Abrams said Wednesday she won’t run in a special election, either.

But new Democrats could consider jumping in to run in the special election, and if the party is able to put the state in play, it gives them a two-for-one opportunity.

Nikema Williams, the chair of the state Democratic party, said it has “never been clearer that the path for Democratic victory runs through Georgia.

“We are the battleground state, and Georgia Democrats are ready to fight and deliver both the Senate and the presidency for Democrats across the country in 2020,” Williams said.

Republicans are confident they will be able to hold Isakson’s seat, alongside that of Sen. David Perdue, who is running for a second term.

They point out that Abrams lost the 2018 gubernatorial race in a high-turnout contest — and that Democrats have not attracted top recruits to the first race, let alone to a second.

“Dems were having a hard enough time figuring out who they were going to get behind” against Perdue, said John Watson, a former state gop chairman.

“Now they have the double problem of figuring out two races.”

The developments in Georgia came alongside other significant shifts in Senate contests in recent weeks. National Democrats recruited former Colorado Gov.

John Hickenlooper to drop out of the presidential contest and enter the crowded race to face GOP Sen. Cory Gardner, which Democrats say increased their chances in a must-win state.

But the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee's endorsement of Hickenlooper has infuriated progressives and led to vocal backlash from the other candidates.

Meanwhile, in Arizona, appointed Republican Sen. Martha McSally got a primary challenge Wednesday from a wealthy businessman, which could complicate her path against Democrat Mark Kelly, another top party recruit.

Republicans acknowledge that the pending Georgia vacancy is an unwelcome development, but they argue that it was a state they were already confident they could hold.

Some found a silver lining in the effect it would have on the rest of the map.

Dan Eberhart, a major Republican donor, said he thinks the special election strengthens Perdue's reelection bid and makes the state that much more expensive for Democrats in a contest that was already an uphill battle.

“This will ultimately reduce the resources Democrats have in Arizona, Maine, North Carolina and Colorado down the stretch as they strive for two slightly-out-of-reach Senate seats in Georgia,” Eberhart said.

A Republican strategist working on Senate races, however, acknowledged that a second race in Georgia would likely drain the GOP's coffers, as well.

“It’s just another line item in the budget, frankly. That’s the main concern,” the strategist said.

Zac McCrary, a veteran Democratic pollster who works on Senate races, said winning an open seat is easier than ousting an incumbent, and said the race would immediately be among the top half-dozen party targets.

“I think it expands the playing field that has been relatively thin so far,” McCrary said.

“This gives Democrats a wider path to retaking the majority.”

It’s unclear who will ultimately be in the race on either side.

Several Republicans are considered candidates for the appointment after Isakson departs at the end of the year:

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan; state Attorney General Chris Carr; and Reps. Doug Collins and Tom Graves.

On the Democratic side, operatives listed several potential contenders, including Michelle Nunn, who lost to Perdue in 2014; Jason Carter, who lost the race for governor that year; and Rep. Lucy McBath, who flipped a suburban House district last year.

Asked Wednesday if he would consider running for Senate, Carter, the grandson of former President Jimmy Carter, said,

"I think anybody would think about it."

Three candidates are already running for Senate against Perdue:

former Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson, Clarkston Mayor Ted Terry and businesswoman Sarah Riggs Amico, who lost the race for lieutenant governor last year and announced her campaign earlier this week.

All three confirmed they plan on staying in the race against Perdue.

One other potential candidate is Jon Ossoff, who lost an expensive and closely watched special election for Congress in the Atlanta suburbs in 2017.

Ossof is leaning towards running, according to a person who has spoken with him and was granted anonymity to share private conversations.

This week’s developments did not change his timeline but did open up the question of which seat he would run for.

Ossoff has already spoken with potential campaign managers and has had discussions with veteran pollster Fred Yang about working for his potential campaign, according to multiple Democrats familiar with the conversations.

Yang did not return an email requesting comment.

Democrats uniformly considered the vacancy a positive for their chances to win back the chamber, pointing to changing political winds in Georgia.

While Republicans swept the statewide races in 2018, their winning margins over Democrats were narrow.

And Democrats won the Atlanta-area House seat where Ossoff had come up short the year before, another sign of puppetine-era gop weakness in the suburbs.

“This is yet another seat Republicans will need to defend next year in an increasingly competitive battleground where the president’s approval has plunged by double digits since taking office,” said Stewart Boss, a spokesperson for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Republicans cautioned against handicapping the special election until Gov. Brian Kemp appoints Isakson's replacement early next year, and most Republicans kept their comments focused on Isakson's career Wednesday.

Perdue in a statement praised Isakson as a “true statesman,” a sentiment other Republican officials echoed.

Sen. Todd Young (R-Ind.), the chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, called Isakson a “steadfast conservative leader” for the state.

“He will be missed, but we look forward to the men and women of Georgia electing another strong Republican leader in 2020 alongside David Perdue,” Young said.

Would You Like To Know More? (
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 29, 2019, 04:10:33 am
Thursday, 29th August 2019
Regina Romero wins Democratic primary in Tucson, could be city's first woman, Latina mayor
by Stephen Nuño-Pérez and Suzanne Gamboa


Regina Romero, a councilwoman in Tucson, Arizona, beat back two Democratic challengers to become the party's mayoral candidate and be in position to potentially become the first Latina and the first woman to serve as the city's mayor.

Romero, 44, who was also the first Latina elected to the city council, will face an independent candidate in the Nov. 5 election.

On Tuesday, she won almost 49.5 percent of the votes, while her main challenger Steve Farley got 37.7 percent and Randi Dorman finished with 12 percent.

While Arizona has historically been dominated by Republicans, Tucson is known as a relatively safe Democratic stronghold.

No Republican ran in the primary, and Libertarian and Green Party candidates received only a few dozen votes each.

Romero is a favorite to win in November 2019.

Tucson has had a Latino mayor before — in 1875.

Mexican American businessman Estevan Ochoa was elected mayor of the city when Arizona was still a territory.

Romero, according to her city of Tucson biography, is the youngest of six children and the first in her family to vote.

She is the daughter of immigrants from Mexico and is an Arizona native.

She most recently has been working as the director of Latino engagement at the Tucson-based Center of Biological Diversity, an environmental and wildlife conservation organization.

On her campaign site, she states that she is running because "we all deserve a safe, clean, just, and sustainable city that provides economic opportunity to all working families."

A political action committee connected to CHISPA, a Tucson environmental justice group focused on Latinos and a program of the League of Conservation Voters, had worked during the primaries to educate Latino voters on the disproportionate impact climate change has on them.

CHISPA's Vianey Olivarria said the group's PAC backed Romero's mayoral bid and worked on her behalf to improve her name recognition and spread word about her experience in community service and her work on the city council.

"We support a candidate that puts community and environment first," the PAC said in a July endorsement.

The group called her a "bold environmentalist" in a Fakebook post after she won the primary Tuesday.

Tucson was not the only city with an election. Phoenix held a widely anticipated special election to determine the fate of its light rail.

Proposition 105 was viewed by activists and Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego as an attempt by corporate and outside interests to kill public transportation; the proposition called for prohibiting spending on light rail expansion.

The proposition lost by an almost 2-to-1 margin, with 62 percent of voters striking down the measure, and just under 38 percent supporting it.

Latino precincts in Phoenix do not appear to have been a big factor in the special election.

Conservatives have sought to end light rail expansion, largely framing the project as economically unviable and one that would serve few people.

Those arguments have often been viewed by activists as opposition to investment in minority and poor communities.

With higher voter turnout and voter participation in Tucson and Phoenix, experts are wondering if these results portend a higher voter interest in Arizona politics.

Tucson and Phoenix make up a third of Arizona's population and Phoenix has traditionally served as a weather vane for Arizona politics.

Last year, Krysten Sinema, who is a Democrat, won the U.S. Senate election and Democrats took several statewide offices, including treasurer, secretary of state and the superintendent of public education.

Arizona's federal delegation in Washington is majority Democratic, with five out of nine in the U.S. House being Democrats, along with Senator Sinema.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 30, 2019, 10:03:46 pm
Saturday, 31st August 2019
Path To Exile
by Christal Hayes

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – While all eyes are on who could be the future occupant of the Executive Mansion, the battle over control in both chambers of Congress is also heating up, especially as more than a dozen lawmakers have announced their retirement.

The retirements, most of which were announced by Republicans, open up a series of key races ahead of the 2020 elections as Republicans try to fend off Democrats aiming to take control of the Senate and maintain, or perhaps grow, their majority in the House.

Here is the list of lawmakers who have announced they aren't running to keep their seats in 2020.


So far, 13 members of the House have announced they won't be running in 2020, including 11 Republicans and two Democrats.
Many of the retirements were announced over the last several weeks, including by four Republicans in Texas.

Among those leaving Congress are two of House Republicans' 13 women, including the female lawmaker that was tasked with recruiting more conservative women and minorities to the body.


John Shimkus: Republican representing Illinois' 15th District

Rep. John Shimkus announced Friday that he would not run for re-election in 2020. He announced his decision on KMOX radio in St. Louis.

He said in a statement that he was looking forward to his "next chapter of life."

Shimkus, who has represented the district since 2003, won about 70 percent of the vote in 2018 in a solidly red district, which puppetine won in 2016.


Kenny Marchant: Republican representing Texas' 24th District

Rep. Kenny Marchant, an eight-term veteran, announced he wouldn't run for re-election on Aug. 5. Marchant, 68, was re-elected by a 3 percentage-point margin last year from his suburban district between Dallas and Fort Worth.

He'd won by 17 percentage points in 2016 and by 33 percentage points in 2014.

"I am looking forward to finishing out my term and then returning to Texas to start a new chapter," Marchant said in a statement.


Will Hurd Republican representing Texas' 23rd District

Rep. Will Hurd, the lone Black Republican in the House and a strong critic of President Donald Trump, announced Aug. 1 that he will not seek re-election.

In 2018, Hurd won a very slim victory — less than 1,000 votes — in his western Texas district.

"I have made the decision to not seek reelection for the 23rd Congressional District of Texas in order to pursue opportunities outside the halls of Congress to solve problems at the nexus between technology and national security," Hurd wrote on Twitter.


Mike Conaway Republican representing Texas' 11th District

Rep. Michael Conaway announced July 31 that he won’t seek a ninth term representing a sprawling West Texas congressional district.

Conaway announced his decision at a news conference in Midland.

In a statement, he said that while serving in the House, he had asked his family "to make innumerable sacrifices."

He said the time had come for him to put his family first.


Martha Roby Republican representing Alabama's 2nd District

Rep. Martha Roby, who has represented much of Montgomery and southeast Alabama in the House of Representatives since 2011, said July 26 that she will not run for re-election.

Roby did not specify a reason for her departure from Congress in a statement emailed and posted on Twitter, saying that she and her family "will be forever grateful to the people of AL-02 for giving us the tremendous privilege & honor of serving our state & country."


Pete Olson Republican representing Texas' 22nd District

Rep. Pete Olson said July 25 he won’t seek re-election in 2020, giving up his House seat that Democrats were already targeting for next year.

Olson said he’ll retire after his sixth term to “be a more consistent presence” with family.

He narrowly won re-election in 2018 in his suburban Houston district.


Paul Mitchell Republican representing Michigan's 10th District

Rep. Paul Mitchell, a wealthy businessman who spent millions of his own money to win a seat in Congress, said July 24 that he will step down after just two terms.

Mitchell, who replaced former Rep. Candice Miller, R-Harrison Township, in 2017, after she stepped down, represents a safely Republican district, which includes parts of Macomb County and the Thumb.


Susan Brooks Republican representing Indiana's 5th District

Rep. Susan Brooks, one of only 13 Republican women in the House as well as the head of gop recruitment for 2020, announced she would not run for re-election in an exclusive interview with USA TODAY on June 14.

“While it may not be time for the party, it’s time for me personally,” Brooks, 58, said.

Democrats have been eyeing her district, which includes the wealthy northern Indianapolis suburban areas, as potentially flippable as Republican support has eroded in some suburban areas under puppetine.


Rob Woodall Republican representing Georgia's 7th District

Rep. Rob Woodall, who barely escaped defeat last year in a suburban Atlanta seat once considered safe for gop candidates, announced Feb. 7 that he won’t seek re-election in 2020.

Woodall’s district was one of two Georgia congressional seats targeted in the 2018 midterms by Democrats.

He won his fifth term by fewer than 450 votes.

"I have realized over this past year of change—both in politics and in my family—that the time has come for me to pass the baton and move to the next chapter," Woodall said in a statement.


Rob Bishop Republican representing Utah's 1st District

Rep. Rob Bishop announced back in Aug. 2017 that he planned to retire and not run again in 2020.

First elected in 2002 to the heavily red Utah district, Bishop plans to retire at the end of his current term, when his service in committee leadership expires under gop rules.

He has served as chairman of the powerful House Natural Resources Committee, and is now its ranking member.


Five members of the Senate have announced they won't run for re-election in 2020, including four Republicans.

Democrats are hoping to take control of the chamber as they did with the House in 2018.

In the midterms, though, Senate Republicans were not only able to fend off Democrats, they also picked up two seats.

But the 2020 election will differ from the midterms as the acting-president will be on the ballot.

Voter sentiment about puppetine is likely to play a bigger role in determining who turns out at the polls and which party they support.
In 2020, Democrats need to gain four seats, only three if they take the Executive Mansion.

Twelve Democrats and 22 Republicans are up for re-election in 2020.

Many of the gop seats are in red states that previously voted for puppetine but the retirement announcements could help in a number of key races.


Mike Enzi Republican representing Wyoming

Sen. Mike Enzi announced on May 4 that he would not run for a fifth term in 2020.

Enzi, 75, announced his pending retirement in his hometown of Gillette, where he owned a shoe store and “never intended to get into politics.”

With Enzi’s retirement, Wyoming will have its first open Senate seat in more than a decade, though it’s expected to remain in Republican hands.


Tom Udall Democrat representing New Mexico

Sen. Tom Udall announced March 25 that he would not seek re-election in 2020, though the seat is favored to remain in Democratic control.
Udall said he believes he could win another term “but the worst thing anyone in public office can do is believe that the office belongs to them, rather than to the people they represent."


Pat Roberts Republican representing Kansas

Sen. Pat Roberts, the longest-serving member of Congress in Kansas history, announced on Jan. 4 that he won’t run again in 2020, setting up a scramble to replace him in a gop-leaning state where Democrats are energized by key victories in last year’s midterm elections.

The 82-year-old, four-term senator was likely to have faced grueling primary and general election contests next year.


Lamar Alexander Republican representing Tennessee

After roughly a quarter-century in elected office, Sen. Lamar Alexander will retire in 2020.

The former Republican governor, who has served in the Senate since first being elected in 2002, announced in December 2018 that he will not seek a fourth term in the upper chamber.

Alexander is chairman of the key Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions, which handles everything from education policy to issues with the Affordable Care Act.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 04, 2019, 07:43:50 am
Wednesday, 4th September 2019
No More Flores!
by Rashaan Ayesh


Rep. Bill Flores (R-Texas) of 17th district announced Wednesday that he will not seek re-election in 2020, becoming the fifth Texas Republican — and the 15th Republican overall — to retire from the House this term.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 05, 2019, 08:17:32 am
Thursday, 5th September 2019
Sensenbrenner Is Not A Winner!


Rep. jim sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) is retiring after more than 40 years in Congress.

The 76-year-old Republican, who is the second-most senior member of the House, announced Wednesday that he will not be seeking reelection in 2020.

He will serve out the rest of his 21st term in Congress, which ends in January 2021.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 06, 2019, 01:17:09 pm
Friday, 6th September 2019
Howard Ducks!
by Aine Cain


Howard Schultz, the former Starbucks CEO, is officially calling off his run on the Executive Mansion.

The billionaire announced his decision in a letter posted to his website Friday.

Schultz wrote that "extreme voices currently dominate the national dialogue, often with a vitriol that crowds out and discourages thoughtful discussions," while the "exhausted majority" has "largely tuned out" of the process.

Schultz has been an outspoken critic of puppetine, as well as more left-leaning Democrats.

He has consistently expressed an extremely centrist ideology, decrying the vilification of capitalism and labeling the word "billionaire" an insult.

In his letter, Schultz cited "vitriol," the lack of support for independent candidates in the race against puppetine, and election rules as motivating factors in his decision to drop out.

Democrats, and even fellow billionaire Warren Buffett, expressed worries that an independent bid by Schultz would siphon votes away from a Democratic presidential candidate.

Business Insider's Kate Taylor previously reported in February that polls weren't showing Schultz much love, either.


An Insider survey found that, of 1,093 respondents, a majority of people said they were "not at all familiar" with the presidential candidate.

But the former Starbucks CEO's announcement is far from a surprise.

He was previously reported to have slowed down his presidential bid thanks to centrist Democratic candidate Joe Biden's involvement in the race.

Schultz previously halted his campaigning after a back injury sustained in April that required three surgeries, which he also cited in his announcement.

"I implore my fellow Americans not to become hopeless or complacent," Schultz wrote.

"We each have a responsibility, and a chance, to help our country reform its politics and live up to its ideals. How we do so is a journey we all must take. To everyone who has joined my journey, especially my family, my gratitude is limitless."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 30, 2019, 08:28:41 am
Monday, 30th September 2019
Mac Thornberry In A Hurry!!!
by Patrick Svitek


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) - U.S. Rep. Mac Thornberry, R-Clarendon, announced Monday that he will not seek reelection in 2020, making him the sixth GOP congressman from Texas to say he's retiring in recent weeks.

"It has been a great honor for me to represent the people of the 13th District of Texas for the last 25 years," he said in a statement.

“We are reminded, however, that 'for everything there is a season,' and I believe that the time has come for a change.

Therefore, I will not be a candidate for reelection in the 2020 election."

Thornberry joins five other Texas Republicans in Congress who are not running for reelection — U.S. Reps. Kenny Marchant, Pete Olson, Mike Conaway, Will Hurd and Bill Flores.

But Thornberry's exit is somewhat different from other Republicans' shocking retirements over the summer.

The last remaining Texan from the class of 1994 and the dean of the GOP delegation, Thornberry was expected by many to retire soon.

He will turn over his post leading the Republican side of the House Armed Services Committee in January 2021, thanks to Republican term limits for committee chairmanships.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 30, 2019, 05:50:14 pm
Monday, 30th September 2019
Collins Has Fallen!!!
by Deirdre Walsh


New York Republican Rep. Chris Collins is resigning, according to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office.

Collins is expected to appear in court tomorrow and multiple news organizations have reported he is expected to plead guilty to charges involving insider trading.

Collins was the first House Republican to endorse Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.

His resignation will not take effect until the House meets in a pro forma session on Tuesday.

The Western New York Republican was arrested in August 2018 after a federal grand jury accused him of sharing material, non public information about Innate, an Australian biotech company.

Collins was on the company's board of directors and passed along information about the results of drug trials — that information allowed them to make timely stock trades and avoid over $768,000 in losses, according to court documents.

He was charged with multiple counts, including securities fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements.

Collins was indicted along with his son, Cameron, and Stephen Zarsky, the father of Cameron's fiancée.

An entry on the docket for Collins' case on Monday noted:

"Change of Plea Hearing scheduled for 10/1/2019 at 03:00 PM."

Collins' son and Zarsky are scheduled to appear on court on Thursday.

The move to change his plea comes more than a year after the Buffalo News reported Collins turned down a plea deal.

The newspaper also reported the Collins submitted his resignation effective immediately to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

"We are in receipt of a letter of resignation," Drew Hammill, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff, told NPR.

"It will be laid down on the House Floor tomorrow during pro forma. Resignation will be effective at that time."

Collins' office declined to comment and referred questions to his attorney, who did not respond to NPR.

Initially after his indictment, Collins said he would withdraw from his reelection campaign in 2018, but he changed his mind and narrowly won his race over Nate McMurray, a Democratic town supervisor.
The acting-president won the district by 25 points in 2016.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 19, 2019, 11:48:25 am
Saturday, 19th October 2019


Senator Bernie Sanders in New York City with Representative Ocasio-Cortez

Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders held a rally in New York City.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 19, 2019, 01:08:30 pm
Saturday, 19th October 2019
Rooney Goes Off Duty!!!
by Laurie Kellman


(WASHINGTON, DC) — Florida Rep. Francis Rooney, one of the few Republicans openly weighing whether to impeach the acting-president, said Saturday he will not run for re-election.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 28, 2019, 04:03:15 am
Monday, 28th October 2019
Tyler Perry Studios to Host Next Democratic Debate
by Karu F. Daniels


Tyler Perry is playing for keeps.

Not only did the former chitlin circuit czar-turned-millionaire movie mogul make the good old white boy Hollywood system gag with the star-studded opening of his very own historic (and gargantuan) Atlanta-based studio, he’s about to make a splash within the political arena.

Tyler Perry Studios will host the November 20 Democratic presidential debate, CBS46 first reported.

Situated on what was once the Fort McPherson Army base — where southern soldiers who defiantly fought to keep black people enslaved during the Civil War were trained and housed — the 330-acre lot will be the place to be next month when presidential hopefuls Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, and Tom Seyer have their next showdown.

Other Atlanta sites reportedly considered for the fifth Democratic presidential debate were North of Buckhead and the Gateway Center Arena.

But according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the city’s mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms played a hand in having it at Perry’s studios — which ironically has a replica of The Executive Mansion on its grounds.

On Saturday night, former Georgia governor candidate Stacey Abrams confirmed on Twitter that the $250 million studio will be the official site for the debate.

Last Wednesday, MSNBC announced that Ashley Parker, Kristen Welker, Rachel Maddow and Andrea Mitchell would serve as the all-women panel of moderators of the debate, which is scheduled to air from 9 to 11 p.m. E.T.

Wouldn’t it be really fun and exciting to get a certain pistol packing, racket-running grandma — who Perry has played in a series of hit movies and stage-plays — to be a part of the high wattage festivities?

After all, the location can be considered The House That Madea Built.

Certainly more eyeballs would be tuned in for what is expected to be more of the same.

I know: wishful thinking.
But like with all things Tyler Perry, possibilities are limitless.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 28, 2019, 10:56:21 am
Monday, 28th October 2019
Walden Not In!!!


Republican Representative Greg Walden, will retire at the end of this Congress, the veteran lawmaker announced Monday.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 28, 2019, 12:11:07 pm
Monday, 28th October 2019
Former North Carolina U.S. Senator Kay Hagan passes away
by Associated press


(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Kay Hagan, a former bank executive who rose from a budget writer in the North Carolina Legislature to a seat in the U.S. Senate, died Monday.

She was 66.

Hagan died of encephalitis, or brain inflammation, caused by Powassan virus, a rare virus spread from ticks to humans, her former Senate spokeswoman Sadie Weiner said.

Hagan, a Democrat, served a single term in the Senate and lost her 2014 re-election bid to Republican North Carolina House Speaker Thom Tillis.

Hagan was born in Shelby, North Carolina, on May 26, 1953.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Florida State University in 1975, then earned a law degree from Wake Forest University three years later.

For 10 years, Hagan worked for NationsBank, which was to become Bank of America, where she became a vice president in the estates and trust division.

After being a stay-at-home mother, the niece of former Florida governor and U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles launched her own political career and won a seat as a Democrat in the North Carolina state Senate in 1998.

Ten years later, Hagan sought and won the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Elizabeth Dole.

Although she initially showed reluctance to lend her support, Hagan backed the Affordable Care Act pushed by President Barack Obama.

She also worked to limit payday lending, continuing the work she began as a state senator.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 01, 2019, 10:43:01 am
Friday, 1st November 2019
The Humiliation of Katie Hill Offers a Warning
by Quinta Jurecic


Representative Katie Hill’s brief career in Congress unwound in the same way that Ernest Hemingway described bankruptcy taking place:

gradually and then suddenly.

On October 18, the right-wing outlet RedState published an article alleging sexual relationships between Hill and two staffers, along with an explicit photograph of Hill.

Other right-leaning publications picked upthe story, and it began rocketing around Twitter.

Most mainstream publications reported on the situation only after Hill released a statement on October 22, denying the first alleged relationship and decrying the photograph’s release as the work of her “abusive” husband.

The next day, Hill released a second statement, acknowledging her “inappropriate” relationship with the second staffer.

The House Ethics Committee quickly announced an investigation.

On October 24, the Daily Mail released several additional explicit photos.

On October 27, Hill resigned.

The Hill scandal has an uncanny feeling.

It is both very familiar—the political sex scandal is quite literally a phenomenon as old as this country—and yet placed in a context that makes it appear strange and dreadful.

As I wrote in Lawfare before Hill’s resignation, this is the first instance of which I am aware when a politically aligned publication has published an explicit photo of an opposition politician for apparent political gain.

It’s both a sign of how ugly the political landscape could become and a reminder of how ugly, for the many ordinary people who have suffered this kind of abuse, the world already is.

Right-wing media has been getting a great deal of mileage out of the supposedly titillating nature of Hill’s love life.

Hill was one of the first members of Congress to identify publicly as bisexual, and the campaign staffer with whom she was in a relationship is female.

An inordinate amount of media coverage has focused on the fact that the staffer was involved with both Hill and her husband.

(“This is a whole lot less hot than you might think,” the right-wing political commentator Kurt Schlichter wrote on Twitter.)

Putting aside the leering, though, the story is appalling and sad.

By her own account, Hill engaged in a profound breach of responsibility by engaging in a sexual relationship with someone who was working for her—and by doing so while running for public office.

“The mistakes I made that brought me to this moment will haunt me for the rest of my life,” she said this afternoon in her final speech on the House floor.

Members of Congress are no stranger to bad behavior.

But in a time when Americans are remapping the difficult landscape of sex and power in the workplace, it would be willfully naive to shove aside the uncomfortable dynamics of Hill’s relationship with a staffer who was almost a decade her junior, and a recent college graduate.

Yet all of this must be separated from the question of whether or not the photos of Hill should have been made public.

That, at least, has a clear answer:


The photographs fit into the category of what is colloquially called “revenge porn” and what experts call “nonconsensual pornography”:

explicit images of a person that may or may not have been taken consensually, but that are released to the public without the victim’s approval.

Hill stated in her speech that the photos of her “were taken without my knowledge, let alone my consent.”

She has blamed her husband, whom she is divorcing, for the photos’ release.

If her allegations prove true, she will be far from alone:

As the law professors Mary Anne Franks and Danielle Citron (a colleague of mine) write, the release of sensitive images or video against the will of the person depicted “is often a form of domestic violence.”

The vast majority of victims of this practice are female (though not all: Former Texas Representative Joe Barton appears to have been a victim of the practice in 2017).

And though research is scant at this point, sexual minorities may be particularly vulnerable.

Ari Ezra Waldman, the founder and director of the Institute for CyberSafety, says that nonconsensual pornography of gay women may most commonly be released “when women come out as lesbians after breaking up with men”; the specific circumstances of Hill’s case obviously differ from this scenario, but there is a common thread in that Hill’s male former partner may have retaliated against her by releasing photos of her relationship with a woman.

The effects of nonconsensual pornography can be devastating.

Victims report severe anxiety and depression.

Many lose their jobs.

Some are afraid to even step outside.

“Ever since those images first came out, I barely got out of bed,” Hill said in her final speech, going on, “Today is the first time I’ve left my apartment since the photos ... were released, and I’m scared.”

Writing in Vox, the victims’-rights lawyers Carrie Goldberg and Annie Seifullah describe how their respective former partners used intimate photographs of them to try to destroy their careers.

(Goldberg has since announced that her firm is representing Hill.)

It’s for this reason—recognizing the harm that nonconsensual pornography represents—that the vast majority of states plus the District of Columbia have criminalized the practice in recent years.

Both the D.C. law and the relevant law in Hill’s home state of California exclude images released on matters of public interest.

RedState and the Daily Mail will surely point to this loophole if Hill sues the publications, as she has threatened to do, though whether the outlets would be successful is far from clear.

Hill’s underlying conduct is indeed newsworthy, but as for the photos themselves, there is little call to publish something so personally damaging.

Nonconsensual pornography is a form of sexual violence optimized for the internet age:

The ease of communication in an era of smartphones can transform a picture from an expression of intimacy and trust into a means of humiliating a person at scale, not only before friends and colleagues, but in front of the entire world.

In this way, it seems at home in 2019, when the internet often seems to be a large collection of tools for hurting people with great efficiency.

The actress Scarlett Johansson, confronted with “deep fakes” of her face superimposed onto the bodies of porn actresses in graphic sex scenes, may have put it best:


“The internet is a vast wormhole of darkness that eats itself.”

Hill’s public humiliation is a sign of where that wormhole might be taking American politics.

Now that the norm against publishing damaging explicit photographs has been broken, there is one less check against the ability of, say, an opposition researcher—or an unfriendly foreign government—to make use of a deep fake or a hacked photograph to swing the polls against a political candidate.

(Notably, Politico reports that the RedState writer who first released Hill’s photo is publicly advocating support for Republicans considering running for the now-vacant seat.)

It’s a sign of further rot in a political system still struggling to respond effectively to Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

As if to drive the point home, George Papadopoulos, the former puppetine campaign foreign-policy aide indicted for lying to the FBI over his knowledge of Russian election interference in 2016, is now floating his candidacy in Hill’s old district.

Decrying the bleakness of the online world is, at this point, something of a national pastime.

But not very long ago, before the 2016 election, the internet still seemed capable of breaking down rigid structures of power and engineering a better world.

And yet, underneath this cheerful veneer, it has always been a hostile place for the same people who are often targets of hostility in the real world.

Despite the utopian promise of human connection freed from the limitations of physical space, women online have never been able to escape being reduced to their bodies.

“Tits or GTFO” —i.e., show us your bare breasts or leave—was for a long time the traditional greeting to a female user who announced herself on a predominantly male forum.

In her book, 'Hate Crimes in Cyberspace', Citron describes the case of the blogger and programmer Kathy Sierra, who was effectively driven off the internet in 2007 by a coordinated, cross-platform harassment campaign.

She also chronicles the many, many women whose lives have been damaged by nonconsensual pornography.

This ugliness seemed to metastasize and consume the internet as a whole after 2016.

Many of the issues major technology companies are struggling with now—the presence of harassment; the existence of bad actors seeking to game the system, whether to promote hate speech or interfere in an election; the problem of users abandoning platforms plagued by trolls—have always been there, but were primarily hurting populations whose concerns were much easier for tech firms to write off.


Katie Hill’s story is a vivid illustration of the connection between these older harms and their newly visible scale.

She is the victim of nonconsensual pornography, apparently at the hands of a former partner she describes as abusive, and much of the glee over her departure seems motivated by a familiar distaste for women in positions of authority—so far, so typical.

Yet her case is also very new in what it says about the poisoned state of the American political environment in an age of hyperpolarization and social media.

The irony is that during her campaign, Hill, despite her self-presentation as a new kind of politician and her frank promises of holding power to account, seems not to have escaped the pull of unhealthy currents of power in her own personal life.

In this, too, she is far from alone.

Having now left Congress, Hill has promised to devote her time to fighting nonconsensual pornography:

“I refuse to let this experience scare off other women,” she said on the House floor.

If she is able to lobby effectively for increased protections for other victims—perhaps including federal legislation against nonconsensual pornography, which Congress has so far failed to pursue—then perhaps something good will have come of all this mess.

The American political system, including the media and large platforms considering questions of content moderation, will have to grapple with how to respond to the publication of similar photographs in the future.

But it would be a mistake to focus only on the larger-scale question of what nonconsensual pornography means for democracy and ignore what it means for the many people who are quietly harmed by it every day.

If those people are once again pushed aside, as they were for so long, then perhaps the crucible of 2016 will have taught us little after all.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 06, 2019, 01:48:52 am
Wednesday, 6th November 2019
Democrats Win Control in Virginia and Claim Narrow Victory in Kentucky Governor’s Race

by Jonathan Martin, Rick Rojas and Campbell Robertson

Democrats won complete control of the Virginia government for the first time in a generation on Tuesday and claimed a narrow victory in the Kentucky governor’s race, as Republicans struggled in suburbs where the acting-president is increasingly unpopular.

In capturing both chambers of the legislature in Virginia, Democrats have cleared the way for Gov. Ralph S. Northam, who was nearly driven from office earlier this year, to press for measures tightening access to guns and raising the minimum wage that have been stymied by legislative Republicans.


In Kentucky, Gov. Matt Bevin, a deeply unpopular Republican, refused to concede the election to his Democratic challenger, Attorney General Andy Beshear.

With 100 percent of the precincts counted, Mr. Beshear was ahead by 5,100 votes.

Mr. Beshear presented himself as the winner, telling supporters that he expected Mr. Bevin to “honor the election that was held tonight.”

“Tonight, voters in Kentucky sent a message loud and clear for everyone to hear,” Mr. Beshear said.

“It’s a message that says our elections don’t have to be about right versus left, they are still about right versus wrong.”

Mr. Bevin asserted to supporters that “there have been more than a few irregularities,” without offering specifics.

Mr. Bevin’s troubles did not appear to be a drag on other Republicans, who captured every other statewide race in Kentucky — a sign that Kentucky voters were rejecting Mr. Bevin and not his party.

Daniel Cameron handily won the attorney general’s race, becoming the first African-American to claim the office and the first Republican to do so in over 70 years.

Republicans did manage to capture the governor’s mansion in Mississippi as Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves defeated Attorney General Jim Hood by seven percentage points in an open-seat race that illustrated the enduring conservatism of the Deep South.

The final governorship up for grabs in these off-year campaigns is in Louisiana where Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, is facing re-election a week from Saturday.

In New Jersey, a state that seemed to be shifting increasingly blue each year, Republicans were on the cusp of their first legislative gains in nearly a decade.

With final results still being tallied late Tuesday, Republicans looked likely to pick up two seats in the Assembly and one in the Senate, powered largely by a surge along the southern part of the state where puppetine won easily in 2016 despite Democrats’ local advantage.

Across the nation Tuesday, a handful of candidates made history.

In addition to Mr. Cameron in Kentucky, Ghazala Hashmi, a Democrat, was the first Muslim woman elected to the Virginia Senate, capturing a suburban Richmond district.

And in Arizona, Regina Romero was headed toward victory in the Tucson mayor’s race, becoming the first woman and first Latina to lead that city.

In Virginia, where Mr. Northam and two other statewide Democrats were pressured to resign following a series of scandals earlier this year, the party overcame its own self-inflicted challenges by harnessing voter antipathy toward puppetine to win a series of seats.

For the first time since 1993, Democrats control both chambers in the legislature and the governor’s office — allowing them to redraw the state’s legislative boundaries after next year’s census.

Linking Republican incumbents to the unpopular acting-president and criticizing them for opposing gun control measures in the aftermath of a mass shooting in Virginia Beach in May, Democratic challengers built their victory with strong showings in suburbs stretching from outside Washington to Richmond and Hampton Roads.

In Fairfax County, the state’s largest jurisdiction, the last remaining Republican lawmaker was defeated.

Ten years after Republicans last won a statewide election there, the legislative victories cemented Virginia’s evolution to becoming a reliably blue state.

Mr. Northam, who admitted and then denied wearing blackface as a young man, said Tuesday night that Virginia voters made clear they “want us to defend the rights of women, L.G.B.T.Q. Virginians, immigrant communities and communities of color.”

And he vowed to broaden access to health care, improve public schools, combat climate change and pass gun control legislation.

On a day of state and local elections that illustrated the country’s growing polarization, red-state Republicans sought to frame their campaigns as a test of loyalty to puppetine while Democrats in more liberal states tied their opponents to the acting-president.

Coming one year before the presidential election, the races reflected the country’s increasingly contentious politics and the widening rural-urban divide.

Nowhere was that more apparent than in Kentucky, where Mr. Beshear ran far better than national Democrats in the state’s lightly-populated counties but built his advantage thanks in large part to his overwhelming strength in the state’s cities and suburbs.

Mr. Beshear’s performance demonstrated that puppetine’s popularity alone is insufficient for most Republicans, even in one of the most conservative regions in the country.

Mr. Bevin and national G.O.P. groups, grasping for ways to overcome Mr. Bevin’s weakness, sought to turn the election into a referendum on puppetine, national policy issues and the Democratic impeachment inquiry.

And the acting-president himself stood alongside Mr. Bevin Monday night in Lexington to argue that, while the combative governor is “a pain in the azz,” his defeat would send “a really bad message” beyond Kentucky’s borders.

But three years after handing the president a 30-point victory, Kentucky’s voters appeared to put their displeasure with the conservative Mr. Bevin, his controversial policies and even more controversial personality, over their partisan preferences.

While Mr. Beshear’s apparent margin was slim, the result may have caught Mr. Bevin by surprise.

In an interview near the end of the race, Mr. Bevin claimed the race was not even competitive and predicted he’d prevail by “6 to 10 percent.”

Mr. Beshear, a 41-year-old moderate whose father preceded Mr. Bevin in the governor’s mansion, sidestepped questions about puppetine and impeachment while keeping his distance from national Democrats.

He focused squarely on Mr. Bevin’s efforts to cut Medicaid and overhaul the state’s pension program while drawing attention to the governor’s string of incendiary remarks, including one that suggested striking teachers had left children vulnerable to molestation.

Yet even as he sought to steer a middle path, Mr. Beshear benefited from liberal enthusiasm, running up wide margins in the state’s two largest cities, Louisville and Lexington.

In a characteristically truculent Twitter thread on Tuesday as voting was underway, Mr. Bevin snapped at the “historically challenged national media” for being surprised at the competitiveness of the Kentucky race, pointing out that only four Republicans had been elected governor since the 1920s and that registered Democrats in the state still outnumbered registered Republicans.

He did not mention that this partisan registration gap has considerably shrunk in recent years, nor that Mr. Trump romped there three years ago.

The elections Tuesday featured only a handful of statewide and legislative races, but they neatly captured how thoroughly polarized politics has become in the puppetine era.

In the three governors’ races, Republican candidates linked themselves to puppetine at every turn, joining him for rallies in their states and assailing their Democratic rivals for their party’s effort to impeach the president.

While puppetine was embraced by Republicans, the Democratic standard-bearers in the races shunned their more liberal presidential contenders and refused to support the impeachment inquiry, not wanting to fuel the g.o.p.’s strategy of making the red-state races a referendum on the acting-president.

Yet in Virginia, the only Southern state puppetine lost, it was Republicans who were distancing themselves from their national party and a president who has alienated the suburban voters they needed to retain control of the state legislature.

While the president stayed away from Virginia, just across the Potomac from the Executive Mansion, every major Democratic presidential hopeful was welcomed with open arms to campaign with the party’s candidates in a state that has not elected a statewide Republican in a decade.

In all four states, television commercials and campaign mailers were filled with mentions of puppetine as well as of national Democratic leaders such as Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Bernie Sanders and the freshman House Democrats.

And the same hot-button issues that have consumed a gridlocked Washington in recent years have also played a central role in races that in the past would have been dominated by talk of taxes, transportation spending and education.

Predictably, it was the Democrats in the red states and Republicans in increasingly blue Virginia who gamely sought to localize the races.

Mr. Beshear and Mr. Hood hammered their Republican opponents on their records and issues unique to Kentucky and Mississippi while casting themselves as pragmatists with little allegiance to their national party.

Suburban Virginia Republicans focused on their dedication to constituent service, including filling potholes, and trumpeted their willingness to break from party orthodoxy on some issues.

In Kentucky, Mr. Bevin’s inflammatory conduct — he once portrayed striking teachers as accessories to the sexual assault of children — appeared to have persuaded some voters, from both parties, to vote for Mr. Beshear.


John Brown, who has worked in heating and air-conditioning for more than 30 years, said that he has wavered between parties over the years.


This time, he voted for Mr. Beshear. “I watch the news, and that’s how I vote,” he said.


“He has poor manners,” Mr. Brown, 62, said, adding that he does not care for his hotheaded temperament, which was apparent when Mr. Bevin spoke.


“You can tell his blood pressure is rising.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 16, 2019, 09:28:56 pm
Saturday, 16th November 2019

Election results are coming in Louisiana's governor race as I type this:


Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 16, 2019, 09:42:13 pm
Sunday, 17th November 2019
Democrats hold on to Louisiana governor’s seat!



(BATON ROUGE, La.) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has stunned Republicans again, narrowly winning a second term Saturday as the Deep South’s only Democratic governor and handing Donald Trump another gubernatorial loss this year.

In the heart of Trump country, the moderate Edwards cobbled together enough cross-party support with his focus on bipartisan, state-specific issues to defeat Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

Coming after a defeat in the Kentucky governor’s race and sizable losses in Virginia’s legislative races, the Louisiana result seems certain to rattle Republicans as they head into the 2020 presidential election.

Trump fought to return the seat to the GOP, making three trips to Louisiana to rally against Edwards.

In a victory rally of his own late Saturday, Edwards thanked supporters who chanted the familiar Louisiana refrain, “Who dat!” and he declared,

“How sweet it is!”

He added, “And as for the president, God bless his heart” — a phrase often used by genteel Southerners to politely deprecate someone.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 04, 2019, 03:12:40 am
Wednesday, 4th December 2019
Hunter Hunted!
by Julie Watson


(SAN DIEGO, California) — California Rep. Duncan Hunter pleaded guilty Tuesday to a single charge of conspiring with his wife to use at least $150,000 in campaign funds for personal expenses under a plea deal that a former federal prosecutor called “great” for the congressman who had faced 60 counts.


The six-term Republican showed no emotion in the courtroom when he changed his plea to guilty and admitted he and his wife Margaret misused at least $25,000 in campaign money every year from 2010 to 2016.

The charge carries up to a five-year sentence, but the deal calls for prosecutors to recommend much less when a judge sentences him in March.

Former prosecutor Jason Forge said under the terms of the deal it’s likely Hunter will serve about a year in prison and perhaps less.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 06, 2019, 03:10:39 am
Friday, 6th December 2019
Tom Retreats Back To The Graves!!!
by Juliegrace Brufke


Representative tom graves (R-Ga.) announced Thursday he will not seek reelection next year.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 06, 2019, 11:59:29 am
Friday, 6th December 2019
Holding Cannot Hold On!!!
by Aaron Navarro


Representative george holding is the latest House Republican to retire and the first casualty of North Carolina's new election map, which Republicans were court-ordered to redraw amid concerns over partisan gerrymandering.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 06, 2019, 03:04:34 pm
Friday, 6th December 2019
Hunter Captured By The Game!!!
by Juliegrace Brufke


"Shortly after the Holidays, I will resign from Congress. It has been an honor to serve the people of California's 50th District, and I greatly appreciate the trust they have put in me over these last 11 years," he said in a statement.


The Hunters were indicted in August 2018 on charges of misusing at least $250,000 in campaign funds.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 10, 2019, 10:43:36 am
Tuesday, 10th December 2019
by Nancy Dillon


A maga-movement Congressional candidate known for his failed attempts to unseat Maxine Waters was arrested Sunday for allegedly stalking his ex-girlfriend.

Republican Omar Navarro, 30, was picked up around 2 a.m. in San Francisco’s Outer Sunset neighborhood and booked on suspicion of violating a restraining order, extortion, stalking and criminal threats, police confirmed to the Daily News.

The ex-girlfriend, conservative commentator DeAnna Lorraine Tesoriero, told The News she called the cops on Navarro after he threatened her life in a series of messages and was spotted pacing outside her window wearing a black hoodie.

She claimed Navarro has continued to send her disturbing messages after he posted bail and was released from custody.

“I just contacted police again 20 minutes ago because he’s starting with a new round of threats,” Tesoriero, who’s also running for Congress, told The News on Monday.

“He is someone who is not going to stop. He has proven to be a mentally unstable person," she said.

Attempts to reach Navarro were not successful Monday.

He lost to Waters (D-Calif.) in 2016 and 2018 and has declared his candidacy again for the 2020 election.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 13, 2019, 04:09:47 am
Friday, 13th December 2019
Kentucky Governor restores former felons' voting rights
by Caroline Kelly


Newly sworn-in Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear restored voting rights for over 140,000 former felons in the state through an executive order, his office announced Thursday.

"My faith teaches me to treat others with dignity and respect. My faith also teaches forgiveness and that is why I am restoring voting rights to over one hundred forty thousand Kentuckians who have done wrong in the past, but are doing right now," Beshear, a Democrat, said in a statement.

"I want to lift up all of our families and I believe we have a moral responsibility to protect and expand the right to vote."

Beshear also lamented the state's voter access issues, asserting that Kentucky has the third highest voter disenfranchisement rate nationwide with nearly 10% of people, and nearly 25% of African-Americans, in the state not being allowed to vote.

The move fulfills a campaign promise after Beshear's upset victory over former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin in November.

It was a key point in Beshear's platform of progressive issues, including making Medicaid more accessible and replacing Bevin's state board of education.

The order states that more than 140,000 Kentuckians were unable to vote despite completing their prison terms for non-violent felonies, and that Kentucky was one of two states that did not automatically restore voting rights to former felons.

The order does not apply to those incarcerated for treason, bribery in an election and many violent offenses.

Voting rights measures coming from the governor's office have been a point of contention in Kentucky across several administrations.

Beshear's father, former Gov. Steve Beshear, issued an executive order in 2015 restoring felons' voting rights.

But Bevin promptly reversed it with his own executive order upon taking office later that year.

Bevin said at the time that while he supported "the automatic restoration of civil rights" for qualifying former felons, he believed

"that such restoration must come through an amendment to the Kentucky Constitution and not by executive action."

Under the Kentucky Constitution, those with felony convictions lose their voting rights but "may be restored to their civil rights by executive pardon."

Kentucky is not alone in vacillating on the issue.

Last year, Florida restored voting rights to over 1 million former felons through a ballot initiative.

But earlier this year, the state's House passed a bill that would make it harder for ex-felons to vote by requiring that they pay all financial obligations to the state before heading to the polls, a measure that opponents have likened to a "poll tax."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 13, 2019, 03:50:20 pm
Friday, 13th December 2019
Precinct closures harm voter turnout in Georgia, Atlanta Journal-Constitution finds
by Mark NiesseNick Thieme


Until her old concrete-block precinct shut down, Maggie Coleman lived about a mile from a place to cast her ballot in rural Georgia.

Now, she has to drive nearly 10 miles, past cotton fields and fallow farms, to reach the only voting location left in Clay County — a small room inside a government benefits building.

She said she would have voted in last year’s primary election if it wasn’t so inconvenient.

Coleman, a 71-year-old with knee and back pain, is one of many Georgia voters who miss elections because their polling place is farther away than it once was.

Amid widespread voter distrust of government oversight of elections and questions about ballot access, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution conducted a unique statistical analysis to learn how precinct closures and distance to the polls impact voting.

The AJC mapped Georgia’s 7 million registered voters and compared how distance to their local precincts increased or decreased from 2012 to 2018.

During that time, county election officials shut down 8% of Georgia’s polling places and relocated nearly 40% of the state’s precincts.

Most of the precinct closures and relocations occurred after the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013 ended federal oversight of local election decisions under the Voting Rights Act.

The AJC’s analysis, vetted by two nonpartisan statistics experts, showed a clear link between turnout and reduced voting access.

The farther voters live from their precincts, the less likely they are to cast a ballot.

Precinct closures and longer distances likely prevented an estimated 54,000 to 85,000 voters from casting ballots on Election Day last year, according to the AJC’s findings.

And the impact was greater on black voters than white ones, the AJC found.

Black voters were 20% more likely to miss elections because of long distances.

Without those precinct relocations, overall Election Day turnout in last year’s midterm election likely would have been between 1.2% and 1.8% higher, the AJC estimated.

“Seems to me, they’re making it harder for us to vote,” said Coleman, who voted in the November election for governor but didn’t cast a ballot in the primary.

“I hate that they closed that place down because it was more convenient. Maybe I wouldn’t miss elections if it was still open here.”

The AJC’s analysis accounted for both large, rural precincts and small, urban precincts by measuring how far voters had to travel as a percentage of their precinct’s geographic area.

Both groups were impacted, the AJC found.

The average Georgia voter’s distance to a polling place more than doubled from 2012 to 2018, according to the AJC’s analysis.

Still, in many ways, voting has never been easier in Georgia.

Georgia leads the nation in automatic voter registration, with more than 350,000 new voters signed up when they obtained their driver’s licenses since last year’s election.

In addition, the state provides three weeks of in-person early voting and voting by mail for anyone who requests a ballot.

There are a record 7.4 million registered voters in Georgia, though about 300,000 of them are scheduled to be canceled this month because they’ve moved or haven’t cast a ballot since 2012.

Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger said the convenience of voting resulted in record turnout during last year’s midterm election, with 57% of registered voters participating.

He predicted heavy turnout, more than 5 million voters, in next year’s presidential election as well.

“The General Assembly rightly gives county officials the decision about how many polling places and where they are located. They know best about traffic patterns, the needs of their citizens and their county budget,” Raffensperger said.

“My goal is to give them perspective on turnout so they can make wise decisions.”

Despite the popularity and ease of early voting, however, in-person voting on Election Day is still preferred by nearly half of the electorate, so where and how many polling locations election officials choose to make available matters to millions of Georgia voters.

Decisions to close or relocate precincts, often to save tax money, can be controversial.

Randolph County in Georgia drew national attention when local election officials proposed closing seven of the county’s nine precincts in 2018, a proposal that critics said would make it harder on voters in the largely black county.

Officials backed off the proposal but closed three precincts in mostly white areas this year.

Though tens of thousands more people likely would have voted last year if their precincts were closer, according to the AJC’s analysis, they almost certainly wouldn’t have changed the outcome of last year’s election for governor.

Republican Brian Kemp defeated Democrat Stacey Abrams by 54,723 votes.

Even with ideal voting locations, Abrams would have had to have won between 82% and 100% of those additional votes to close the gap, or 61% to 67% of those votes to force a runoff.

It wasn’t always so easy for county governments to make electoral changes that reduced voting access.


In 2013, the Supreme Court split 5-4 along ideological lines, ruling that Georgia and eight other states with a history of discrimination no longer had to obtain federal approval before making electoral changes, including eliminating or moving voting locations.

The ruling also applied to select cities or counties in six other states.

The court’s decision in that case, Shelby County v. Holder, resulted in more states implementing voter ID laws, and voter registration cancellations rose 33% over the next two years.

For example, Texas implemented a voter ID law the same day as the court’s ruling, and Alabama implemented a photo ID law within days.

Georgia has required photo ID when voting since 2006.

The VRA and its permission requirement, known as “preclearance,” were introduced during a televised event in 1965 by President Lyndon B. Johnson in response to “Bloody Sunday,” when Alabama state troopers attacked unarmed voting rights marchers during their famous march from Selma to Montgomery.

Congress passed the landmark legislation less than five months later.

Preclearance required notification to communities about planned electoral changes, fact-finding to show that minorities communities wouldn’t be harmed, and feedback from local minority leaders, said Jon Greenbaum, chief counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, a civil rights organization.

Under pre-clearance, changes that hurt minority voting rights by even the barest statistical margin weren’t allowed.

Once freed from federal oversight, precinct closures accelerated in areas previously covered by the Voting Rights Act.

At least 1,688 polling places were shut down since 2012, according to the Leadership Conference Education Fund.

The AJC reported last year that 214 of those precinct closures were in Georgia, third most of states previously covered by the act’s preclearance provision.

Before the ruling, voters of all races were barely affected by their distance to the polls, accounting for a 0.2% and 0.4% reduction in turnout, according to the AJC’s analysis of election data from 2012.

The number of Georgia voters who missed elections because of distance more than quadrupled in 2018 compared to 2012, the AJC found.

Turnout by black voters would have been between 1.3% and 2.1% higher on Election Day in 2018 if they all lived near their polling places.

Overall, black voters are also significantly more likely to live farther from their precincts than white voters, the AJC found.

About 30% of black voters must now travel across half of their precinct to reach their poll compared to less than 20% of white voters.

The AJC’s analysis shows the impact of the Supreme Court’s ruling, said Donald Verrilli Jr., the U.S. solicitor general at the time of the court’s decision in 2013.

The court’s majority said the Voting Rights Act covered states based on their history rather than on recent evidence of discrimination.

“This is exactly the kind of updated data the justices in the majority said was lacking,” Verrilli told the AJC.

“Exactly the kind of data that suggests that the judgment of the majority of the court — the South has changed — may be in need of amendment. Maybe the South hasn’t changed as much as one would have hoped.”

A bill that passed the U.S. House of Representatives this month would restore federal supervision requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

States with repeated voting rights violations in the previous 25 years would have to obtain approval for changes in their election laws.

The legislation passed along a mostly party-line vote in the House, where Democrats hold a majority.

The bill now advances to the Republican-controlled Senate.

“Voters shouldn’t have to make a decision between casting their ballot and picking up a child from school or taking time off from work,” said Leigh Chapman, the director of the voting rights program for The Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights organization.

“We need to make sure we’re preventing potentially discriminatory policies and laws from going into effect before they’re harming voters.”

The erosion of voting locations takes place at the county level, especially in rural areas with tight budgets that can save money by closing precincts.

Fewer precincts are needed because so many people vote in advance, either in person or by mail, said Melessa Shivers, the election supervisor in Clay County.


“In three weeks of early voting, I find it hard to believe that you wouldn’t be coming to Fort Gaines in that time,” said Shivers, referring to Clay’s early voting location.

“And a homebound person is already voting an absentee ballot. It’s every bit up to the voter to exercise their right to vote. We can’t go to their house and bring a ballot to them or carry them to the polls.”

Shivers, who oversaw the consolidation of five precincts into one in 2015, said there was little opposition when she proposed them to the county election board.

Some of those cement block precincts needed repairs, lacked accommodations and poll workers didn’t want to work there, she said.


The Reverend Shirley Cody, a Methodist pastor in Clay County, said voters in her church wanted to keep their local precincts.

Cody organized two drivers to bring voters from her church to the polls last year, helping eight people on Election Day 2018.

“I knew if we didn’t give them rides, that would be votes we didn’t have from this area,” Cody said.

Other voters said distance to the polls doesn’t deter them from exercising an American birthright.

“It doesn’t matter to me — you have to show your support,” said Junior Pridgen as he fed cows at his home in rural Ben Hill County. His precinct is located 17 miles from where he lives.

“We’ve got to have the right representation in the House, Senate and president’s office.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 14, 2019, 01:40:21 am
Saturday, 14th December 2019
Judge orders 234,000 purged from Wisconsin voter rolls
by Bruce Vielmetti and Patrick Marley


(PORT WASHINGTON, Wisconsin) – An Wisconsin judge on Friday ordered the state to remove hundreds of thousands of people from Wisconsin's voter rolls because they may have moved.

The case is being closely watched because of the state's critical role in next year's presidential race.

Ozaukee County Judge Paul Malloy also denied the League of Women Voters of Wisconsin's petition to intervene.

Lawyers for the League and for the Wisconsin Elections Commission indicated they will appeal and asked Malloy to stay his ruling pending those appeals, but he declined.

At issue is a letter the state Elections Commission sent in October to about 234,000 voters who it believes may have moved.

The letter asked the voters to update their voter registrations if they had moved or alert election officials if they were still at their same address.

The commission planned to remove the letter's recipients from the voter rolls in 2021 if it hadn't heard from them.

But Malloy's decision would kick them off the rolls much sooner, and well before the 2020 presidential election.

Before Friday's hearing, Democratic statet Attorney General Josh Kaul said in an interview that quickly removing voters from the rolls would cause "clear harm to Wisconsin voters."

That's because some people who haven't moved would likely lose their ability to vote, at least for the time being.

"Any time people have to go through extra steps to vote, and certainly re-registering is a significant additional step, the result is that fewer people end up voting," he said.

"Fewer people will be registered. A number of people will have to re-register."

Three voters sued the commission last month with the help of the conservative Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty.

They argued election officials were required to remove voters from the rolls 30 days after sending the letters if they hadn't heard from them.

They asked Malloy to issue an injunction that would require election officials to purge their rolls.
Kaul, commissioners and others say that would lead to some people getting knocked off the rolls who shouldn't be.

But Malloy went further than issuing an injunction.

In granting a writ of mandamus – essentially a court order that a government official or agency do its job – he said he was convinced the commission had a clear, positive, plain legal duty to purge the voter rolls within 30 days.

"I don't want to see someone deactivated, but I don't write the law," said Malloy, who was appointed to the bench in 2002 by Republican Governor Scott McCallum and has been re-elected by voters.

He said the commission didn't like the policy so it set a new one without following a formal rule-making procedure that would have included notice to the public and a chance for input.

"There's no basis for saying 12 to 24 months is a good time frame. It's not that difficult to do it sooner," he said near the end of a two-hour hearing.

"If you don't like (it), you have to go back to the Legislature."

Democratic Governor Tony Evers on Twitter railed against the ruling.

"I won the race for governor by less than 30,000 votes," he wrote.

"This move pushed by Republicans to remove 200,000 Wisconsinites from the voter rolls is just another attempt at overriding the will of the people and stifling the democratic process."

Elections officials sent the letters based on information compiled by the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a coalition of 28 states and Washington, D.C., that tries to keep voter rolls as accurate as possible.

ERIC flags voters who file address changes with the post office or register vehicles at new addresses.

The Elections Commission, which consists of three Democrats and three Republicans, doesn't want to immediately remove people from the voter rolls because in some cases their information is faulty and the voters haven't moved.

For instance, people could be flagged as having moved if they registered a vehicle at a business address instead of their home address.

Voters who are removed from the voter rolls, whether correctly or mistakenly, can regain the ability to cast ballots by re-registering online, at their clerk's office or at the polls on election day.

Of the 234,000 letters that were sent, about 60,000 were returned as undeliverable as of December 5th, according to the Elections Commission.

As of then, about 2,300 recipients of the letters said they continued to live at their address and about 16,500 had registered to vote at new addresses.


Wisconsin is perhaps the most heavily targeted state in the 2020 presidential election.


drumphf narrowly won the state in 2016 after it went to Democrats in presidential elections for decades.

The letters went to about 7% of Wisconsin's registered voters, but were concentrated more heavily in some parts of the state than others.

Milwaukee and Madison – the state's Democratic strongholds – account for 14% of Wisconsin's registered voters but received 23% of the letters.

Across the state, 55% of the letters went to municipalities where Democrat Hillary Clinton out-polled Trump in 2016.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 15, 2019, 11:25:58 am
Sunday, 15th December 2019
Kenerly Has No More Energy!!!
by WSBTV Atlanta


Hoschton Mayor Theresa Kenerly resigned Saturday during a special called meeting in the Jackson County town.

The City Council accepted her resignation effective 1 p.m. Sunday.

The resignation came just days after Councilman Jim Cleveland resigned saying he‘d rather leave office on his own terms than face voters in a recall election next month.

Both follow an AJC investigation launched seven months ago into claims that an African American candidate for city administrator was sidetracked by Mayor Theresa Kenerly because of his race.

Both long-serving officials had weathered calls for their resignation and a bipartisan campaign that would have put the question before voters in a recall vote next month.

According to interviews and subsequent court testimony, Kenerly held back the resume of the only black finalist for the job.

She later told a council member she did so because

“the city isn’t ready for this."

Before his resignation, Cleveland defended the mayor’s conduct.

“I understood where she was coming from,” he said.

“I understand Theresa saying that, simply because we’re not Atlanta. Things are different here than they are 50 miles down the road.”

“I’m glad that it’s over,” said Pete Fuller, chairman of the Jackson County Democratic Party.

“I think this is probably the best resolution we could have. It has brought a lot of people together. It has helped show there are more people who are not bigoted, are not stuck in the past, and it shows that Hoschton and Jackson County as a whole is changing and has changed.”

Members of both the Jackson County Republican and Democratic parties called for both officials to leave office.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 15, 2019, 10:51:35 pm
Monday, 16th December 2019
Six resign from Representative Van Drew's staff as Democrat plans to leave party
by Alex Moe and Tim Stelloh


Six staff members said Sunday that they are resigning from the office of Representative Jeff Van Drew, (D-New Jersey), office over reports that he plans to switch parties because he opposes impeachment of the acting-president.

In a letter to his chief of staff, five of the employees said Van Drew's decision

"does not align with the values we brought to this job when we joined his office."

A sixth staffer later confirmed to NBC News that she is also leaving his office.

The staff members include Van Drew's legislative director, communications director and director of constituency relations.

Cheri Bustos, chairwoman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, offered the staffers work with the party's campaign arm until they find new jobs that

"align with their values."

Two Democratic leadership sources told NBC News on Saturday that Van Drew was expected to change his registration to the Republican Party.

The decision came after Van Drew voted against moving forward with the impeachment inquiry, saying testimony presented during House hearings hadn't persuaded him.

Speaking Sunday on ABC's "This Week," House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., suggested that polls showed that Van Drew had lost support of Democratic voters who elected him in 2016.


An internal poll conducted for Van Drew this month and obtained by NBC News showed that just 28 percent of Democratic respondents said he deserved to be re-nominated.

Nearly 60 percent said someone else should be the party's nominee.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 16, 2019, 07:58:20 pm
Monday, 16th December 2019
Democrats To Vote To Impeach Trump
by Sarah Ferris & Ally Mutnick


Representatives Ben McAdams and Joe Cunningham, two of the most endangered House Democrats, said Monday they will vote to impeach President Donald Trump, in a boon for party leaders just days ahead of the vote.

Fifteen Democrats in districts won by Trump have now said publicly they will back articles of impeachment charging the president with abuse of power and obstruction of Congress’ Ukraine inquiry.

McAdams of Utah and Cunningham of South Carolina had been among the few question marks for Democratic leaders ahead of the Wednesday floor vote; Both are centrists with an independent streak who have bucked the party on key votes on immigration and spending.

McAdams was also among a small group of Democrats meeting privately to float the idea of censuring Trump in an attempt to attract bipartisan support for rebuking the president without impeaching him.

But the conservative Utah Democrat said at a Murray City Hall news conference that “the evidence, for me, is clear” that Trump undermined the 2020 election by soliciting help from Ukraine to boost his own political fortunes.

“My duty is to the Constitution and to my country,” McAdams told a group of reporters in his district.

“What the president did was wrong. I cannot turn a blind eye, thereby condoning this president, and future presidents, Republican or Democrat to do the same.”

Trump won McAdams' district by 7 points in 2016, though Republicans typically hold an even bigger advantage on the ballot.

McAdams won by roughly 700 votes over former Representative Love in 2018.

Later on Monday, Cunningham told the Post and Courier that he, too, would support both articles of impeachment.

“I’ve waited and waited and I have not found any evidence they submitted compelling at all,” Cunningham told the South Carolina newspaper.

“At the end of day, this is simply about the rule of law, whether we’re a country with laws or not and what type of precedent we want to set for future presidents."

Cunningham and McAdams are among 31 House Democrats whose districts went for Trump in 2016 — a group that has faced immense pressure from GOP groups, including millions of dollars of TV ads, in the run-up to the House’s impeachment vote.

Roughly half of those members have already declared they will support impeachment, including Representatives Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich.), Andy Kim (D-N.J.) and Abigail Spanberger (D-Va.), who made their announcements earlier Monday.


Representative Elissa Slotkin of Michigan faced a mixed reaction as she explained to her constituents at a town hall that she planned on voting to impeach President Trump.

“The President’s actions violate his oath of office, endanger our national security, and betray the public trust," Spanberger said in a statement.


"Because of the oath I swore to support and defend the Constitution, I will be voting in favor of both articles of impeachment."

Other Democrats who have yet to say how they’ll vote include Kendra Horn of Oklahoma, Anthony Brindisi of New York and Jared Golden of Maine, whose districts all went for Trump by more than 10 points.

Representative Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Jeff Van Drew are the only Democrats who voted against launching the impeachment inquiry, and Van Drew is switching to the GOP later this week.

McAdams’ announcement comes just hours after Dan Hemmert, his most serious GOP challenger, abruptly withdrew from the race.

Hemmert, the Utah Senate majority whip, had been the only candidate in the half-dozen person GOP primary field to be named to the NRCC's "Young Guns" program.

“Dan Hemmert was handpicked by Washington Republicans to run in Utah's 4th Congressional District, and his decision to drop out of the race underscores just how difficult Representative Ben McAdams will be to unseat in November,” DCCC spokesperson Brooke Goren wrote in a statement.

Cunningham achieved one of the most shocking upsets of 2018 when he beat Republican Katie Arrington by less than 4,000 votes in a coastal South Carolina district the president carried by 13 points.

He benefited from some unique circumstances that helped him flip a GOP stronghold.

Arrington’s support for offshore drilling turned off some reliable Republican voters.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 16, 2019, 10:18:45 pm
Tuesday, 17th December 2019
Walker Takes A Walk!!!


(RALEIGH, N.C.) — Representative Mark Walker announced late Monday he won’t run for anything in 2020 — making him the second North Carolina Republican congressman standing aside because of recent redistricting.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 19, 2019, 06:18:30 am
Thursday, 19th December 2019
Meadows Is About To Go!!!
by Melissa Quinn


Republican Congressman mark meadows of North Carolina, one of the acting-president's closest allies in Congress, will not seek re-election, he announced Thursday.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 20, 2019, 05:23:21 am
Friday, 20th December 2019
Van Drew Withdrew!!!
by Anita Kumar


After breaking with Democrats on impeachment, Rep. Jeff Van Drew decided to join the gop.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 20, 2019, 07:08:23 am
Friday, 20th December 2019
Washington Representative Matt Shea engaged in ‘domestic terrorism,’ helped plan Malheur standoff, investigation finds
by Melissa Santos


In independent investigation has concluded that Washington state Representative Matt Shea “participated in an act of domestic terrorism against the United States” by helping plan the armed takeover of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge in Oregon three years ago.

The investigation found that Shea similarly played a key role in two other armed conflicts against the U.S. government — not only by showing up and participating in the standoffs, but by helping plan them, which involved recruiting armed militia members to oppose federal law enforcement agents.

On Thursday, shortly after the report was released publicly, House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox confirmed that Shea had been suspended from the House Republican caucus, a serious form of discipline.

That means Shea’s access to legislative staff will be limited, and he will be barred from House Republicans’ internal meetings to discuss pending legislation.

Shea was also removed from his position as ranking member on the House Energy and Environment Committee, and will be taken off two other committees on which he serves.

The 108-page report, released publicly Thursday after first being posted online by Crosscut, includes several other serious findings against Shea.

Among them:

that the Spokane Valley lawmaker took part in a group chat in 2017 where he “condoned violence and intimidation” of his political opponents, and offered to conduct background checks on them.

That allegation, first reported by The Guardian in April, was largely what spurred House leaders to commission the outside investigation into Shea’s conduct.

But the incident wasn’t an isolated one, according to the four-month investigation, which was led by a former FBI agent and former law enforcement officer.

The investigation says Shea, a leader of the anti-government Patriot movement, routinely encouraged his supporters to intimidate “activists, government officials, Muslims, and others who speak or act in opposition to his personal beliefs and political agenda.”

Those activities occurred over a five-year period from 2014 to 2019, the report says.

The four-month investigation similarly confirmed other media reports about Shea, including that he “engaged in and supported the training of youth and young adults to fight a holy war” (also reported by The Guardian), and that he wrote a document called “Biblical Basis for War" (first reported by The Spokesman-Review).

According to the investigators’ report, Shea’s “Biblical Basis for War” document called for replacing the U.S. government with a theocracy, as well as the “killing of all males who don’t agree.”

Shea, who didn’t respond to the investigators’ requests for an interview, has previously said the biblical warfare document was merely a summary of Old Testament sermons.

In a statement released by his attorney, Mark Lamb, Shea said he was not allowed to review and respond to the report before it was released — a denial of due process, in Shea’s opinion.

"When due process is thrown out the window for political expediency we all, as Americans, are in danger," he wrote.

2015 standoff in Idaho

Other revelations contained in the newly released investigation have been less widely reported.

Shea was already known to have traveled to the Malheur standoff in 2016, as well as to Nevada two years earlier to support Cliven Bundy, a rancher who let his cattle graze illegally on federal land.

But the investigation says Shea also took part in a third armed standoff against federal officials, this one in Priest River, Idaho, in 2015.

That confrontation involved blocking federal officials from seizing firearms from an elderly veteran who was no longer legally eligible to possess guns, according to the investigators’ report.

After the veteran suffered a stroke, a health care professional added the man to a federal database of people ineligible to purchase firearms.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs had planned to remove the veteran’s guns, the report says, “pursuant to VA regulations for individuals receiving VA benefits.”

Shea called on members of the Patriot movement to assemble at the man’s house to stop the firearms seizure.

It worked, the investigators wrote:

“Reports indicated that approximately 100 individuals showed up, many armed, and stood with Representative Shea at the veteran’s home to prevent the VA employee from entering.”

No one was hurt in the incident.

But the investigators found evidence that Shea was heavily involved in planning the standoff, and was prepared for a prolonged encounter that could lead to violence.

2016 Malheur refuge takeover

Shea also had a greater role in planning the 2016 Malheur standoff than previously known, according to the investigation.

The armed takeover of the Oregon wildlife refuge lasted 41 days, and led to law enforcement agents shooting and killing one person, a rancher named LaVoy Finicum.

According to investigators, Shea “authored and circulated an operations plan” for militia members to use during the Malheur standoff.

“The action was portrayed as a spontaneous act, but this investigation has obtained information that the armed takeover was meticulously planned in December 2015 by conspirators that included Representative Shea,” the report says.

Shea also met with law enforcement officers without sharing his involvement in planning the standoff, according to the report.

Shea used that meeting to “gather intelligence regarding law enforcement strategies,” the report says, then met with leaders of the takeover, going against the wishes of local law enforcement.

One of those leaders was Ammon Bundy, the son of the Nevada rancher who was at the center of the 2014 conflict over grazing rights.

Shea also met with Ammon Bundy several times before the standoff to help plan it, according to the report.

Shea’s involvement in planning the 2016 Malheur takeover contrasts with his statements to a House ethics investigator at the time.

Back then, Shea had said he traveled to the armed conflicts in Nevada in 2014 and Oregon in 2016 on “fact-finding” missions and to help “ensure a peaceful resolution.”

“However, this investigation has determined Representative Shea went to Nevada and Malheur specifically to support armed insurrections at both locations in furtherance of his Patriot Movement agenda,” the report says.

The Patriot movement, which is active primarily in Western states, rejects the idea that the federal government can control and own land.

In the 2014 standoff in Nevada, that sentiment led armed militia members to try to block federal officials from seizing Cliven Bundy’s cattle, which Bundy had continued to let graze on federal land, in defiance of court orders.

In the 2016 Malheur refuge takeover, Ammon Bundy, Cliven’s son, helped assemble militia members to protest the criminal sentencing of two ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and Steven Hammond, who had been convicted of intentionally setting fires on public land.

Other findings in the newly released investigation included that Shea personally intimidated his opponent in the 2012 election.

According to the report, Shea stood in his political rival’s driveway and took a photo, then posted the image on social media and would not remove it when asked.

Shea also “engages in and promotes annual Patriot Movement militia training” to prepare for future armed conflicts against law enforcement and the government, the investigation found.

Next steps

House Republicans' decision to remove Shea from their caucus is a significant step, although he remains in the Legislature as an elected member.

The GOP lawmaker, who represents the 4th Legislative District, previously served as the House GOP caucus chair, after first being elected to the Legislature in 2008.

It also possible that Shea could be removed from the state House entirely.

Expelling Shea would require a two-thirds majority vote of House members, and has happened only once in the history of Washington’s Legislature.

In that case, which took place more than 85 years ago, a House member had been tried and convicted of statutory rape.

Then-Rep. Nelson Robinson was later pardoned by the governor, but House members voted to expel him from the chamber anyway.

For his part, Shea has not been convicted of any crime associated with the investigators’ report.

Legislative leaders said the House clerk had forwarded the report to the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI.

State Rep. Laurie Jinkins, a Tacoma Democrat who was recently selected to be the next speaker of the House, said in a written statement that it is important to review the full report before determining what steps to take.

Still, Jinkins said, throughout the institution's 130-year-history, she was "unaware of House members ever having received such a comprehensive and disturbing investigatory report about another member."

Wilcox, the Republican House minority leader, said that Shea "absolutely should resign."

Shea is next up for re-election in fall 2020.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 21, 2019, 04:41:53 pm
Saturday, 21st December 2019
Warren Uses the Force, Klobuchar Beats a Dead Horse and Buttigieg Needs to Change Course: 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings, Week 21
by Dr. Jason Johnson


(For the purposes of this post will be citing 3 subjects in the title of this opinion editorial)

In a galaxy far, far away, on a planet teeming with life but suffering from global warming, dirty oceans and way too many streaming services there, existed the early stages of an empire.

Oh, they didn’t know it was an empire yet; there were no stormtroopers marching down the street, only a curious proliferation of white men wearing red hats.

The wannabe emperor was no Phantom, he was an orange menace, and with the flick of his Twitter fingers, could make senators gasp, choke and fall all over each other.

The galaxy is looking for a new hope, and that’s what we’re looking at this week in The Root’s 2020 Presidential Black Power Rankings.

As you can see, we have a Star Wars theme today because many of the committee members are sci-fi nerds and because this week is the premiere of Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the last of the Star Wars franchise movies.

If you doubt Star Wars has any connection to real-world politics, watch Nancy Pelosi use the whole Force and nothing but the Force to quiet down the entire Democratic caucus after the articles of impeachment passed this week.

Now, just like Star Wars, the Democratic presidential primary has a dearth of black and brown characters with speaking parts, which is important because everybody knows that real revolutions and rebellions are usually led by the most oppressed folks.

Princess Leia and Rey would be part of the 53 percent; Lando Calrissian, Finn and Kiesha the Jedi would be out there ending voter suppression and blowing up the Death Star (whatever they called this sista in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace is just her government name; I always called her Keisha the Jedi).

The point is, in a week where Trump finally got impeached, we are seeing a crack in the new empire, maybe a thermal exhaust port in this Electoral College defense shield that can be exploited.

So in this week’s Power Rankings, we focused in particular on those candidates we think could stop the Empire before it even starts, based on what we’ve seen of them this week, in policy, polls actions, and the debate.

May the Force, the media, Democratic donors, grassroots activists, but especially black folk, be with you.

This week Sen. Bernie Sanders managed to levitate to the top of the Power Rankings, and there wasn’t even much of a fight.

(One of the committee members simply waved their hand in front of all of us saying, “You don’t need to see why Bernie is No. 1 this week,” and somehow we all agreed.)

This week’s biggest drop is businessman Tom Steyer who, to be fair, can probably buy himself out of this hole in less than 12 parsecs.

How do we calculate black power?

Finances: Are you paying black staff, advertisers, consultants?

Legislation: What legislation are you pushing or have passed for black people?

External Polling: No matter how good you are for black people, if your poll numbers are terrible we can’t rank you that high!

X-Factor: What’s your rhetoric like? How do you handle a crisis or the kinds of events and scandals that directly impact black lives?


#4: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Warren only drops one spot this week, not because she made any particular mistakes but mostly because folks ahead of her made bigger, blacker moves this week.

She remains in the top four or five candidates with black voters, but she’s dropped in overall polls mostly because of that nasty “E” word.

Not “Elizabeth,” “Electability,” despite almost every poll showing the top five candidates beating Trump, Warren suddenly has an “electability problem,” which is really just short for not having a penis, which is a requirement for some voters and television pundits.

Warren gets committee credit for having the back of Byron Allen in his Supreme Court dispute.

Given that Allen’s case could determine the entire future of black civil rights, it’s a shame that Warren is one of the few candidates to keep attention on this issue.

Warren was Princess Leia throughout the debate, manipulating Pete into defending his rich friends, force deflecting questions about her age and giving a shout out the millions of selfies she has taken that cry out to the media “She’s electable!”

While Warren doesn’t wield a green or blue lightsaber, she did team up with activist Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the architect behind the Green New Deal, and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson of the Blue New Deal, both of whom have a serious focus on environmental and policy concerns for black voters.

Will Warren be able to slice her way back into second place?

Nobody knows, but for this week, she’s holding her own.


#6: Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Mayor Pete had been having a decent week until the debates; he wrote an op-ed about increasing black entrepreneurship in the L.A. Sentinel; he swung some nice endorsements from black elected officials in Indiana and managed to not make a huge mistake this week so he moved up a bit.

He might’ve moved up more, then the Democratic debate happened.

In case you were watching Miss America instead of the debates (it was a total affirmative action selection — I mean since when does a white woman win Miss America???

The committee demands a recount because one of these things is definitely not like the other) —

here’s a recap of Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren taking it to the mayor like he stole their parking space during a Black Friday rush at Target.

Watching Pete try to hold his ground was tough, and half the time you just wanted him to throw in the towel instead of taking another haymaker from Amy “Klubber Lang” Klobuchar or an elbow from Eliza-Bash Warren when she’s coming off the top of the rope.

They were the Death Star and he was the little mayor that could, but clearly, he couldn’t withstand the full firepower of the fully armed and operational tag team of two women who are sick and tired of less qualified men acting like they run the place.

Plus, the committee wants to know why Mayor Pete is all full-throated and chesty about reparations for children separated at the border but only “supports HB 40” to study reparations for African Americans?

You ain’t slick, Pete.

Either you support reparations or you don’t.

Also, the debate highlighted one of Mayor Pete’s main issues with black voters:

his choice of alcoholic beverage.


He took a lot of heat for having private fundraisers in a New York wine cave.

A wine cave, Mayor Pete?

You want to pump up your black poll numbers, you need to have a fundraiser in a Ciroc cellar, a Patron palace or definitely a Hennessy hideaway.

Then again, given how he handled his liquor with Desus & Mero, maybe he should stick to the light stuff.  :)


#9: Senator Amy Klobuchar

Senator Amy Klobuchar has no real connection to the black community.

Not as a staff, label or an organization.

That’s why she’s pushed in all her chips in a majority white primary state like Iowa (and the committee believes those chips are most likely sour cream and cheddar).   :)

Her campaign’s favorite hip-hop artist is a white woman from Minnesota who sounds like what would happen if Diddy hired the cast of 16 and Pregnant for a new season of Making the Band.

The Christmas wreath on Klobuchar’s door probably says “Unseasoned Greetings.”

However, during the debate, when she reached into her grandma’s purse and snatched the life out of Mayor Pete, there was a flurry of texts exchanged in the committee with an intensity usually reserved for a fight on Love & Hip-Hop or a particularly ill read of Donald Trump by Auntie Maxine.

Black folks respect someone who can fight and think on their feet, and Thursday night, she showed both skills, mostly at the expense of Mayor Pete but also Biden and Sanders.

It wasn’t so much she was beating a dead horse as much as she was kicking the kid mayor in all the places where it hurts.

Personally, I have never heard somebody say the title “mayor” with as much condescension and disdain as Klobuchar used it, and I work in Baltimore.

Klobuchar also moves up one spot because she really has come out strong on the issue of voter suppression of African Americans, and by our count, nobody else on stage got a shout out from the NAACP, but we can’t guarantee she knows what NAACP stands for.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 28, 2019, 09:34:04 am
Saturday, 28th December 2019
Federal judge temporarily blocks NC’s voter ID law

by WBTW (a CBS News Affiliate)


(CHARLOTTE, N.C.) - A federal judge has put a temporary hold on North Carolina’s voter ID law, according to the NC NAACP.

The U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina issued the notice on Thursday that says voters will not have to present a photo ID in the March primaries.

“I speak today in honor of Mother Rosanell Eaton, who defiantly and proudly led a tireless fight based on her belief that the right to vote is a fundamental and inalienable American right,” said Rev. Dr. T. Anthony Spearman, president of the NC NAACP.

The judge’s move comes as the NC NAACP is suing over the voter ID law – saying it was passed with discriminatory intent and will have a discriminatory impact on African-American and Latinx voters.

The judge granted the plaintiff’s request for an injunction – halting the requirement for photo ID to vote.

A full trial is expected before the November general election.


Voters approved the constitutional amendment during the November 2018 elections.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 10, 2020, 11:44:38 am
Friday, 1oth January 2019
Marianne Williamson Suspends Presidential Campaign

by Elena Moore


Writer, entrepreneur and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson has ended her presidential campaign, months after garnering viral attention in early debates, while earning curiosity but little support from Democratic voters.

"The primaries might be tightly contested among the top contenders, and I don't want to get in the way of a progressive candidate winning any of them," Williamson wrote in a letter to supporters.

"As of today, therefore, I'm suspending my campaign."

Williamson had consistently received low poll numbers and last week the author laid off her entire campaign staff.

The author and speaker only qualified for the first two Democratic debates this past summer but quickly rose to fame over the internet, becoming the highest searched candidate during the July 30 CNN broadcast and gaining 17,135 new Twitter followers over the next day.

Williamson's campaign revolved around several policies including allocating $500 billion for reparations to African Americans and Native Americans, as well as other policies for tackling economic inequality.

She advocated for the creation of several new governmental organizations, including a "Department of Peace," and "U.S. Department of Children and Youth."

Williamson faced scrutiny over past controversial comments about vaccines and mental health, including in a contentious interview on CNN where she was challenged by Anderson Cooper over past comments criticizing the prescribing of anti-depressants, which she later attempted to take back.

As an author for over 20 years, Williamson's work has been recognized by Oprah Winfrey and featured on the New York Times bestselling list.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 10, 2020, 07:02:18 pm
Friday, 1oth January 2020
Experts find nearly three dozen U.S. voting systems connected to internet

by Kevin Monahan, Cynthia McFadden and Didi Martinez

It was an assurance designed to bolster public confidence in the way America votes:

Voting machines "are not connected to the internet."

Then Acting Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications at the Department of Homeland Security Jeanette Manfra said those words in 2017, testifying before Congress while she was responsible for the security of the nation's voting system.

So many government officials like Manfra have said the same thing over the last few years that it is commonly accepted as gospel by most Americans.

Behind it is the notion that if voting systems are not online, hackers will have a harder time compromising them.

But that is an overstatement, according to a team of 10 independent cybersecurity experts who specialize in voting systems and elections.

While the voting machines themselves are not designed to be online, the larger voting systems in many states end up there, putting the voting process at risk.

That team of election security experts say that last summer, they discovered some systems are, in fact, online.

"We found over 35 [voting systems] had been left online and we're still continuing to find more," Kevin Skoglund, a senior technical advisor at the election security advocacy group National Election Defense Coalition, told NBC News.

"We kept hearing from election officials that voting machines were never on the internet," he said.

"And we knew that wasn't true. And so we set out to try and find the voting machines to see if we could find them on the internet, and especially the back-end systems that voting machines in the precinct were connecting to to report their results."

Skoglund and his team developed a tool that scoured the internet to see if the central computers that program voting machines and run the entire election process at the precinct level were online.

Once they had identified such systems, they contacted the relevant election officials and also provided the information to reporter Kim Zetter, who published the findings in Vice's Motherboard in August.

The three largest voting manufacturing companies — Election Systems & Software, Dominion Voting Systems and Hart InterCivic — have acknowledged they all put modems in some of their tabulators and scanners.

The reason?

So that unofficial election results can more quickly be relayed to the public.

Those modems connect to cell phone networks, which, in turn, are connected to the internet.

The largest manufacturer of voting machines, ES&S, told NBC News their systems are protected by firewalls and are not on the "public internet."

But both Skoglund and Andrew Appel, a Princeton computer science professor and expert on elections, said such firewalls can and have been breached.

"AT&T and Verizon and so on try and protect as best they can the security of their phone network from the rest of the internet, but it's still part of the internet," Appel explained.

"There can still be security holes that allow hackers to get into the phone network."

The 35 systems Skoglund's team found represent a fraction of total voting systems nationwide, though he believes they only captured a portion of the systems that are or have been online.

Earlier this week, Skoglund showed NBC three election systems were still online even after officials had been told they were vulnerable.

For election systems to be online, even momentarily, presents a serious problem, according to Appel.

"Once a hacker starts talking to the voting machine through the modem, the hacker cannot just change these unofficial election results, they can hack the software in the voting machine and make it cheat in future elections," he said.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology, which provides cybersecurity frameworks for state and local governments and other organizations, recommends that voting systems should not have wireless network connections.

All the systems Skoglund's group found online were manufactured by ES&S.

The online systems were found in 11 states, in at least some precincts, as well as in the District of Columbia.

The states were:

Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, Rhode Island, Illinois, Indiana.

Kentucky, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Nebraska and Mississippi.

While the company's website states that "zero" of its voting tabulators are connected to the internet, ES&S told NBC News 14,000 of their DS200 tabulators with online modems are currently in use around the country.

NBC News asked the two other major manufacturers how many of their tabulators with modems were currently in use.

Hart said that it has approximately 1,600 such tabulators in use in 11 counties in Michigan.

Dominion did not respond to numerous requests from NBC News for their sales numbers.

With the 2020 presidential election only ten months away, Appel and Skoglund believe all modems can and should be removed from election systems.

"Modems in voting machines are a bad idea," said Appel.

"Those modems that ES&S [and other manufacturers] are putting in their voting machines are network connections, and that leaves them vulnerable to hacking by anybody who can connect to that network."

The state of Michigan is currently grappling with this issue.

Since the 2016 election, Michigan authorized $82 million dollars to upgrade its election systems.

Some of that money was spent on tabulators with wireless modems.

But now, some state officials worry that the machines may pose a security risk and are pushing to have the modems removed.

Others are not so sure, and the state has set up an advisory committee.

Jake Rollow, director of communications for the Michigan Department of State, said in a statement to NBC News,

"Even though the results are unofficial, if these unofficial results were disrupted or manipulated, it could still cause confusion on Election Day."

"The department will consider the advisory commission's recommendations to improve the security of the process," Rollow continued.

"The specific steps taken would depend on the recommendation and the timeline required to make changes effectively."

Last fall, when ES&S gave NBC News an exclusive tour at its headquarters in Omaha, Neb., Chief Executive Officer Tom Burt defended using modems when asked about the Sprint and Verizon modems seen in ES&S's testing area.

"There's a small percentage of jurisdictions in the country -- a lot of them are in Florida -- who have decided they want to modem unofficial results to the election office," he said.

"Generally speaking, the media in those locations are kinda clamoring to get unofficial results as quickly as possible."

When asked if the desire for speed was at odds with accuracy and security, Burt said, "it's not my place to judge that."

NBC News reached out to the Department of Homeland Security, which declined to comment on the topic of modem security in voting machine tabulators and scanners.

Critics also argue ES&S has mislead jurisdictions into thinking their DS200 tabulators with modems are certified by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, a claim they say is grounds for an investigation.

In a letter obtained by NBC News sent to the EAC on Tuesday, the campaign finance reform nonprofit Free Speech for People and the National Election Defense Coalition asked the agency to look into whether ES&S violated agency regulations by implying that DS200 voting machines with modems are EAC certified.

"ES&S has repeatedly advertised its DS200 with internal modem — a critical component to ES&S's voting systems — as being EAC certified when, in fact, it is not," the letter said.

"We therefore again respectfully request that EAC investigate and take action to correct this serious issue."

"Once you add that modem, you are de-certifying it," Skoglund said.

"It is no longer federally certified. And I don't know that all these jurisdictions are aware of that because ES&S is advertising otherwise."

But Skogland points to some good news.

He believes there is time to make real change before the 2020 election.

"We should be unplugging all of these machines from the internet," Skoglund said.

"Even for elections nights."

Appel agreed.

"We can not make our computers perfectly secure," he said.

"What we should do is remove all of the unnecessary, hackable pathways, such as modems. We should not connect our voting machines directly to the computer networks. That is just inviting trouble."

These two tech experts also agree on the path forward, saying they are comforted by the fact that most Americans will vote this year on hand-marked paper ballots which are counted by machine and can be recounted by hand if the situation warrants.

The machines America votes on seem to be capturing the interest of some in Congress.

The House Committee on Administration held a congressional hearing yesterday which was the first time the heads of the three major vendors, representing at least 80 percent of U.S. voting machines, appeared together for questioning.

While lawmakers questioned them about foreign influence in their supply chains and whether they would comply with more federal reporting requirements, the presence of modems in some of their tabulators was mentioned but not pursued.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 12, 2020, 06:51:31 am
Sunday, 12th January 2020
Biden Continues to Churn, Steyer’s Got Money to Burn and Buttigieg’s Got a Lot to Learn
by Dr. Jason Johnson


(For the purposes of this post will be citing 3 subjects in the title of this opinion editorial)

“You know my mother thinks she knows you. Like she talks about you like y’all are friends.”

A friend of mine told me this on the phone one morning a few weeks ago.

I hear this a lot; black folks, especially retired black people, can be trusted to do a few things:

go to church, consume nighttime dramas on network TV and watch a ton of MSNBC, and I regularly appear at one of those locations.

More than any other group of people, older black folks seem to be rabid news consumers and they personally invest in the black anchors and journalists they see on TV.

If your 60-year-old auntie recognizes me at Safeway she will inevitably ask me if drumphf is going to get impeached, and how are Joy Reid, Elie Mystal, Zerlina Maxwell and Tiffany Cross doing (as if we all live in a giant Real World club-house together. We don’t; it’s more like College Hill, but with better wifi).  :)

Older black folks are watching, they’re engaged and they want Trump out of office by impeachment, election or God’s plan.

Any way will work.

Which got the committee thinking, why not dedicate one week of The Root Presidential Black Power Rankings to a committee of older black folks?

Thus Senior Week was born.

This week, the entire rotating ranking committee is composed of black folks over 60, from activists to retired folks and everything in between.

Let me tell you up front, American journalists and pundits need to spend more time talking TO black seniors than ABOUT them.

All the conventional wisdom out there about older black voters (they only like Biden because of Obama; only young people support Bernie Sanders; they don’t support Mayor Pete because he’s gay) was completely blown out of the water by our committee.

Senior Week committee members see Trump as a threat and have policy preferences just like everyone else.

However, they have seen decades of “working class” white America voting against their own economic interests if it meant screwing over African Americans, too.

So many of them looked for the best candidate for black America this week —one you could also sneak by white folks.

To older black voters, voting for the Democratic nominee is like trying to do a group project for Black History Month in high school but all your classmates are racist.

You still have to get the project done, you just have to figure out a way to get as much as you can out of it without tipping off the rest of the group.

These folks know there has never truly been a president who prioritized black America, but given what we face now, the candidate can’t take us for granted anymore either.

So without further ado, The Root Presidential Black Power Rankings for week 24: Senior Week.

This week’s big riser is none other than Tom Steyer?

That’s right, our Senior Week committee had a lot to say about Steyer and it was mostly positive.

Who knew?

This week’s big drop?

Andrew Yang.

Nobody believed in Yang, and in a campaign increasingly full of competitive millionaires and billionaires, it says something that he’s somehow considered the least authentic.

How do we calculate black power?

Finances: Are you paying black staff, advertisers, consultants?

Legislation: What legislation are you pushing or have passed for black people?

External Polling: No matter how good you are for black people, if your poll numbers are terrible we can’t rank you that high!

X-Factor: What’s your rhetoric like? How do you handle a crisis or the kinds of events and scandals that directly impact black lives?


#1: Vice President Joe Biden

Biden comes in at the top spot for Senior Week on the Power Rankings but not for the reasons that you would think.

Nobody liked him exclusively because of Obama, nobody liked him because they thought he had the best policies.

The committee ranked him first this week because he’s the only candidate they thought had the experience and maturity to actually run the government, and serve black people’s interests.

“Once he got over the fact that he is not a “shoo-in,” I think Dr. Biden (his wife) whispered into his ear a bit…honey take the touchy-feely down just a notch, stay away from the beer-drinking, kumbaya black talk and just stick to your game,” said one committee member.

Another was even more explicit.

“I don’t think Biden will do a damn thing for black people. But he knows he needs black votes to win, so he’ll do what’s necessary for us. That’s better than most.”

The conventional wisdom born of mostly white reporters parachuting into South Carolina for 48 hours, is that “older” black folks love them some Biden because he still smells like Obama’s coattails.

That’s not the case at all.

I almost feel sorry for these white reporters, who have no idea that older black folks are almost never going to be fully honest with them.

Committee members see their relationship with Biden as transactional, not trust and love; he’s the one Democrat that will owe black folks the most if he wins, and thus he’s more likely to deliver when he does.

One committee member mentioned Biden’s “gaffe” during the 2012 election when he said Mitt Romney would put black folks back in chains.

“That didn’t bother me, because Joe Biden knows what he’s talking about. He knows just how vicious white folks of his generation are because he is one. But he knows his success comes from making sure we’re happy because he ain’t winning enough of the white vote.”

Biden’s commitment to the Affordable Care Act, his foreign policy experience and the belief that in a field of old white people, he knows black folks best because he has to, helps him come out on top this week.


#4: Businessman Tom Steyer

Tom Steyer is like Starbucks—worth billions, mostly white, kind of expensive; you claim you’re going to avoid him and yet, eventually, he grows on you and you’re addicted.

(Speaking of which, remember last year when Starbucks magnate Howard Schultz was gonna run for president? Yeah, us neither).

Steyer has dropped $11 million of his own cash into South Carolina alone.

To put this in context:

Steyer has spent more money in ONE primary state than Kamala Harris raised in the entire 3rd fundraising quarter of 2019.

A Fox poll Thursday night shows he’s in second place overall, second place with black voters and trailing only Biden with black women.

Guess that stolen voter file from Harris is really paying off, isn’t it?

Steyer is flooding the airwaves in South Carolina and has 60 paid staffers in the ground.

It is not a good sign for American Democracy when somebody can basically buy their way into a presidential contest, At the same time, money isn’t everything.

Sanders, Warren and Mayor Pete had a 12-month head start with black voters in South Carolina, and if Steyer can come in, flash some cash and snatch your prom date that easily, maybe she just wasn’t that into you.

Several committee members ranked Steyer very high due to him putting his money where his politics are before getting into politics.

This includes his work on climate change, impeachment, and especially his Beneficial State Bank Program to help black folks secure loans for housing.

The committee believes that a white man who’d spend his own money to improve the lives of black people might actually do the same when it’s actually his JOB as president.

Imagine that?


#9: Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Old black people can be homophobic, old black people can be prejudiced; old black people can be sexist, and old black people can most definitely be judgmental as hell.

But you know one thing black people most assuredly are not?


They know a kid who’s in over his head when they see one, and that’s what most of them thought of Mayor Pete.

Lack of experience, no passion and most of them didn’t know what he stood for.

“He’s smart, he’s quick on his feet in debates and he can learn on the job. I think he’ll do good things for black folks,” said one judge.

When I asked what the judge thought of the Douglass Plan, he hadn’t heard of it.

This sums up Pete in a nutshell; even the black folks who support him can’t explain why.

The Douglass Plan is Mayor Pete’s signature white paper on what he’ll do for black America.

Yet few committee members had heard of it and if they did, it wasn’t nearly as important as the mayor’s record in South Bend, Indiana.

This is ultimately Mayor Pete’s fault.

Can you imagine someone not associating Sanders with Medicare for all?

Or Elizabeth Warren and free college tuition?

Or Yang and $1,000 a month?

Or Joe Biden and Corn Pop?

Of course not.

What do black voters tend to associate Buttigieg with?


Police brutality.

Worth noting, that again, against conventional wisdom, only one committee person mentioned Pete’s sexuality as a problem, but not for black voters—for white ones.

“Look every black church has a [gay] choir director; we’re good, but those white folks in Ohio? Michigan? They’ll never vote for him over Trump.”

With Mayor Pete down to 4 percent in South Carolina in this week’s polls, it’s about time he took some responsibility for his own failings with black voters.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 13, 2020, 12:33:18 am
Monday, 13th January 2020
Deceased GOP Strategist's Daughter Makes Files Public That Republicans Wanted Sealed
by Hansi Lo Wang


More than a year after his death, a cache of computer files saved on the hard drives of Thomas Hofeller, a prominent Republican redistricting strategist, is becoming public.

Republican state lawmakers in North Carolina fought in court to keep copies of these maps, spreadsheets and other documents from entering the public record.

But some files have already come to light in recent months through court filings and news reports.

They have been cited as evidence of gerrymandering that got political maps thrown out in North Carolina, and they have raised questions about Hofeller's role in the Trump administration's failed push for a census citizenship question.

Now more of the files are available online through a website called The Hofeller Files, where Hofeller's daughter, Stephanie Hofeller, published a link to her copy of the files on Sunday after first announcing her plans in a tweet last month.

"These are matters that concern the people and their franchise and their access to resources.

This is, therefore, the property of the people," Hofeller told NPR.

"I won't be satisfied that we the people have found everything until we the people have had a look at it in its entirety."

Her decision to put the files online herself is just the latest twist in a series of one astonishing event after another.

It had been more than four years since Stephanie had spoken to her father after a family dispute involving the custody of her children landed in court.

But on the last day of September in 2018, she "had a hunch that maybe something was wrong," according to her testimony for a lawsuit deposition.

Sitting in her car parked outside a convenience store in Kentucky, she used her phone to search online for her father's name and found an obituary for Thomas Hofeller, confirming that he had died at the age of 75 more than a month earlier in August.

Stephanie then reconnected with her mother, Kathleen, and visited her parents' apartment in North Carolina, where she found four external hard drives and a clear plastic bag containing 18 USB thumb drives in her father's room.

Stephanie says her mother encouraged her to take the devices.

It turned out they were filled with photos of Stephanie with her children and other personal items — as well as files from her father's work as a redistricting consultant for Republicans.

While looking for an attorney to represent her mother in 2018, Stephanie says she connected with the North Carolina chapter of Common Cause, an advocacy group that had brought a lawsuit against Republican state officials to overturn political maps Thomas Hofeller helped draw.

After mentioning the hard drives to Common Cause, Stephanie received a court order to turn them over as potential evidence for the lawsuit.

She did so in March after making a copy of some of the files for herself.

Since then, the Hofeller files have led to bombshell developments in two major legal battles in the political world.

In September, Common Cause won its legal challenge to political maps in North Carolina, where a state court cited some of the files as evidence of gerrymandering designed to unfairly give Republicans an advantage in winning elections and maintaining control of the state legislature.

"The Court finds that in many election environments, it is the carefully crafted maps, and not the will of the voters, that dictate the election outcomes in a significant number of legislative districts and, ultimately, the majority control of the General Assembly," a three-judge panel of the Wake County Superior Court wrote in their ruling.

Other files have become intertwined in the federal lawsuits over the puppetine empire's push to add the now-blocked citizenship question to the 2020 census, raising questions about Thomas Hofeller's role and the administration's true motives.

Lawyers with the law firm Arnold & Porter — which represented both Common Cause and some of the citizenship question's challengers — uncovered an unpublished study in which Thomas Hofeller concluded using responses from such a question would be "advantageous to Republicans and Non-Hispanic Whites" when voting districts are redrawn.

The revelation came weeks before the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in June, affirming a lower court's decision against the question, which has been permanently blocked from forms for the upcoming national head count.

Stephanie says she decided to turn the hard drives over for the North Carolina lawsuit in March and to upload her copy of the files online this week in part to preserve a historical record about her father.

"His work is really having a profound effect and has had long before anybody really noticed on a broader level," Stephanie says.

"I think from the historical standpoint, this slice of life, this little snapshot is going to prove very valuable."

Attorneys for Thomas Hofeller's former company, Geographic Strategies, have been trying to keep sealed copies of certain files that were turned over for the North Carolina case, citing them as "trade secrets," and other proprietary information about the company's work.

While that dispute has played out in a state court in recent months, news organizations including The New Yorker, The New York Times and The Intercept have published reports based on copies they obtained of Hofeller's files.

"I originally started sharing them with journalists as a direct response to the assertion by the legislative defendants through counsel that they should be destroyed," Stephanie tells NPR, which previously received a copy of the files from her.

The files document the wide reach of Thomas Hofeller's work on political maps across the country — including in Arizona, Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as New York's Nassau County and Texas' Galveston and Nueces counties.

In a Microsoft Word document last saved in 2015, Thomas Hofeller warned against changing the Census Bureau's policy of including prisoners in the population counts of the areas where they're incarcerated, expressing concern that "the actual effect on reapportionment and redistricting is not clearly known for individual states."

As a longtime strategist for the Republican National Committee, Thomas Hofeller was known for his warnings to keep redistricting work under wraps.

"Treat every statement and document as if it was going to appear on the FRONT PAGE of your local newspaper," one of his slides for a 2011 training session for redistricting officials says.


"Emails are the tool of the devil."

Stephanie says the irony that some of his work files are now out in public is not lost on her.

"I don't think he cared all that much to protect these people after he was gone," she adds.

While he was alive, politics governed family life for the Hofellers, Stephanie says.

Growing up, she remembers her father correcting how she and others would pronounce gerrymandering with a soft G sound.

Her father preferred the hard G (as in Gary) in honor of the term's namesake — former U.S. Vice President Elbridge Gerry, who as governor of Massachusetts in 1812 signed into law a political map with a salamander-shaped district that gave the Democratic-Republican party an advantage over the Federalists.

Stephanie says her father's stated goal was to use gerrymandering to "create a system wherein the Republican nominee would win."

"State legislature, it doesn't matter who votes for what. Congress, it doesn't matter who votes for what. And president, it doesn't matter," she says.

Contrary to some people's assumptions given her role in revealing her father's work to perpetuate Republican power, Stephanie says she does not identify as a Democrat, although she has voted for Democratic candidates in the past.

"The reason I don't identify as a Democrat is because I'm an anarchist," she says.

"I don't believe that we're going to really find solutions to the deeper problems of inequality in a system that demands a hierarchy, which is, by definition, unequal."

During her deposition in May, she testified there may be more files from her father's work to uncover.

Before Stephanie arrived at her parents' apartment, her father's business partner, Dale Oldham, had removed a laptop and a desktop computer with Hofeller's work files, Stephanie said her mother told her.

"Dale got all the good stuff," Stephanie told attorneys.

Oldham has not responded to NPR's requests for comment.

As part of proceedings for the North Carolina case, Oldham has argued in court filings that when Thomas Hofeller died, "Geographic Strategies' computer, various files, and numerous backups in Dr. Hofeller's possession" belonged to the company — of whom Oldham is the sole surviving member — and its clients.

In November, one of those clients, the Republican National Committee, paid Oldham more than $420,000 for "legal and compliance services" — part of a total of more than $658,000 Oldham has collected from the RNC since May, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Common Cause's attorneys have been unable to get Oldham to share any additional documents.

But as part of sanctions proceedings related to the citizenship question lawsuits in New York, plaintiffs' attorneys have asked U.S. District Judge Jesse Furman to allow them to subpoena Oldham, who in 2017 consulted through Hofeller with a then-adviser to the puppetine empire on the question, according to an email obtained by the House Oversight and Reform Committee.

For her part, Stephanie says she's committed to transparency with the public in case she gets access to any more of her father's files.

"If I were to find something," she says,

"I would most certainly share it."

Would You Like To Know More? (
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 16, 2020, 07:24:51 am
Thursday, 16th January 2020
The Black Vote Will Decide the 2020 Election
by Danielle Moodie-Mills


There was one thing we all learned from Tuesday’s debate:

the next nominee of the Democratic Party to face off against drumphf will not be a person of color.

After beginning with the most diverse presidential field in the history of the United States, we have reverted back to an almost exclusively White field aside from Andrew Yang’s continued presence (though he was absent from the most recent debate stage).

After arguably one of the greatest presidencies in a generation helmed by our nation’s first African American president, Barack Obama, how did we manage to get back here and who will be able to win the critical swath of Black voters?

Following Hillary Clinton’s 2016 loss, the media has been obsessed with all of the wrong questions, namely the issue of electability.

The loudly-touted explanation following the stunning loss of the most qualified person ever to run for president was that she missed the mark because she was a woman and was “not likeable.”

Regardless of the falseness of this idea, it took root and the media began to perpetuate the fallacy that only another White man could beat a White man even though Clinton won the popular vote by a shocking 3 million votes.

Combine the electability nonsense with the copious amounts of money needed to parlance in our politics; it has turned our political system into an all-you-can-purchase buffet for millionaires and billionaires, forcing people like Senator Kamala Harris, former Secretary Julian Castro, and Senator Corey Booker out of a race they couldn’t afford.

So, with these incredibly qualified and charismatic leaders of color out, who is left that will provide more than lip service to the Black community?

If you base everything on the polls, former Vice President Joe Biden tops his fellow candidates in the South Carolina polls where the first test with Black voters begins by double digits.
While Sanders is closing in at second, Iowa favorite Mayor Pete Buttigieg continues to struggle.

In a recent piece, Sanders spokesperson Nina Turner tried to discredit Biden’s standing by reminding Black readers about his past votes on everything from bussing to the crime bill, which had crippling impacts on the Black community.

To her credit, there wasn’t a false account in her piece.

But to paint her employer as some type of hero to the community because he marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is a stretch.

While her polling with the Black community hasn’t been stellar, Senator Elizabeth Warren is the only candidate offering up more than nostalgia or plans named after historic Black leaders.

Out of the gate, Senator Warren was creating plans for everyone from Black mothers (based on reducing a maternal mortality rate that is three times greater than our White counterparts) to offering a $50 million investment into Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs).

To Warren’s credit, she speaks about these issues regardless of who she is speaking in front of, which is a lot more than I can say for the other candidates.

For instance, when Buttigieg was asked last night about his failure to secure support within the Black community, his response was:

“Well, the Black people that know me are supporting me.”

That response wasn’t a plea to the Black community or a mea culpa, but instead a verbal shrug.

What all of these candidates know, however, is that they are going nowhere fast without the support of the base and soul of the Democratic Party:

Black people.

Right now it seems that these folks are unmovable from Biden’s camp, but his performance in the first primary states will be what ultimately seals his fate.

It wasn’t until Barack Obama solidified his candidacy in Iowa that Black voters got behind him.

We have to understand that it wasn’t because of their dislike for Obama, but rather that Black voters are some of the most strategic and pragmatic voters in this way because of our positioning in the United States.

We have always had to be concerned with who was acceptable to the White mainstream rather than exclusively thinking about who the best candidate for our own community.

Our issues, it seems, are always on the chopping block when it comes to any “compromise” between parties, so when we hear politicians talking about “working across the aisle” from the likes of Biden and Buttigieg we know all too well what that means for us.

The Black vote isn’t monolithic; it is as complex and layered as the community itself.

The candidate that has a real working framework around race and systemic oppression and can offer solutions to longstanding issues will be the winner.

The Black community is no longer interested in cookouts and pageantry that don’t produce anything other than a photo-op.

If your last major engagement with the community begins with a march with Dr. King as opposed to a thoughtful discussion on why Black lives matter, then you should recalibrate your candidacy.
We are dealing with a White supremacist regime in the Executive Mansion which has unleashed the worst of America.

The Black community is looking keenly at who can not only cleanse the country but move them and us forward together.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 17, 2020, 04:17:48 pm
Friday, 17th January 2020
Booker Says Farewell, Warren Decides to Tell and Yang Gets Chappelle
by Dr. Jason Johnson


(For the purposes of this post will be citing 3 subjects in the title of this opinion editorial)

Once upon a time, there was a really popular TV show on HBO called Game of Thrones.

We’ve written about it a few times at The Root; it’s a show about ambitious white people in an ancient realm who have a lot of incestuous sex, ride dragons and dream of ruling the world.

A perfect metaphor for the Trump era.

Anyway, one of the greatest episodes in the series was the “Battle of the Bastards,” a huge, beautifully shot conflict between Jon Snow’s united forces and Ramsay Bolton’s army.

Both were bastard sons of royal men; both took charge of powerful armies, and both sought to control the future of the realm (with slightly different methods).

They had so much in common, a conflict was inevitable, right?

Yet after years of anticipation, the battle around their personal battle was much more interesting than the supposed main event.

Horses got crushed, giants flung people all over the place, but when it finally came down to a one-on-one between Jon and Ramsay, it was actually pretty one-sided and almost anticlimactic.

Ramsay Bolton’s ultimate comeuppance happened much later, quietly, in the dark, at the hands of a woman he’d claimed to love in public but insulted and abused behind closed doors.

Now, I’m not saying who’s Ramsay and who’s Jon, but the desire by cable networks and pundits to see Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren fight it out in the Battle of the Progressives in the Democratic debate this week had a similar feel (and result) to those days of peak Game of Thrones fever.

Days before this week’s debate (the last before the Iowa caucuses), Warren confirmed that Sanders told her a woman can’t win the White House during a conversation in 2018.

Battles raged in 280 characters for days as surrogates from each side awaited an epic battle, but in the end, Sanders and Warren didn’t come to blows on stage, no matter how much CNN tried to instigate a fight.

In the end, it changed nothing.

Now, black folks loved them some Game of Thrones, but honestly, the committee could not care less about the Battle of the Progressives.

First, there is no battle; Elizabeth Warren is merely an exciting presidential candidate to most liberals, while Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, is a messianic figure to many of his supporters.

The High Sparrow isn’t competing with Catelyn Stark for parishioners.

For what it’s worth, I have no doubt Sanders said “I don’t think a woman can win” — probably in the context of “America is too sexist” or something like that.


If you asked me in 2004 could a black man win the White House, I’d have said unless his name is Colin-Jesus-Cosby-Luther King, America is too racist to let that happen (Remember, people still loved Cosby back then).

The fact that Sanders categorically denies he EVER said anything like that, in any context, is about as believable as Trump saying he never said “nigger” (and we certainly know Bernie has said that).

But you know what?

Whether Sanders or Warren is telling the truth or lying won’t get one black kid into college, won’t improve infant mortality for one black woman, won’t save one coastal black community from climate change.

So we at the committee will leave this battle to the White Walkers and focus our fire elsewhere.

Speaking of White Walkers, after Senator Cory Booker dropped out of the race this week, the viable 2020 Democratic field looks like the wildest bunch of insurance salesmen in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, not a collection of men and women seeking to run one of the most diverse nations in the world.

This tweet is an entire mood for our staff.

Booker’s message of love in a time of Trump never made sense and his campaign was more geared to a post-Trump healing era than the war for America’s soul we’re facing right now.

Democrats need a wartime consigliere, and Booker was more of a friendly lunchtime manager at Olive Garden.

This week’s big riser is Tom Steyer, who only moves up two spots, but as the race tightens, it’s a sign that all of his spending might give him real staying power.

This week’s big drop?

Everybody who isn’t named Tom Steyer.

How do we calculate black power?

Finances: Are you paying black staff, advertisers, consultants?

Legislation: What legislation are you pushing or have passed for black people?

External Polling: No matter how good you are for black people, if your poll numbers are terrible we can’t rank you that high!

X-Factor: What’s your rhetoric like? How do you handle a crisis or the kinds of events and scandals that directly impact black lives?


#1: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Raise your hand if you have that one blunt “friend” who has said plenty of offensive things over the years and somehow NEVER seems to remember.

“I called you fat? At your wedding? Nah, that wasn’t me.”

“ I swear I never said your cornbread tastes like styrofoam covered in cornmeal.”

“No, I called you THAT bitch, like Lizzo. It was a compliment.”

That’s Warren and Bernie.

I’m sure at some level they are “friends,” but Team Sanders has been shading Warren for weeks (as he should; it’s an election) and the committee is glad Senator Warren decided to speak her truth in response.

The 2020 election motto should be “no new friends”—or at least, “no new old friends over 70 who want the same job you do.”

Warren tweeted how student debt specifically harms black folks more than other demographic groups and she picked up an endorsement from John Legend.

Now we’re just ordinary people on the Power Rankings Committee, so we don’t know how much weight a John Legend endorsement carries, but if Chrissy Teigen goes HAM on Bernie Bros the way she has on Trump, we’re here for it.

Warren is now at 16 percent with black voters, leading Sanders, which is a sign that while the truth hurts, black folks are always glad to hear it.

That and her focus on at least a few black issues during the debate earns her the top spot this week.


#5: Businessman Andrew Yang

Let’s list some of the prominent black men who have come forward to support Andrew Yang:

Donald Glover/Childish Gambino

Dominique Wilkins

Hannibal Buress (for like 12 hours)

And now, Dave Chappelle.

Yang seems to have cornered the market on a certain kind of black guy.

Rich black dudes?

Rich black guys in entertainment?

Black men who’ve said problematic stuff about black women?

Who knows.

Does Dave Chappelle really help Yang?

“Niggas in South Carolina and Nevada will love it,” texted one committee member.

I say ask Ben Jealous.

Dave campaigned hard for Jealous when he ran for governor in the exceptionally black state of Maryland in 2018, and despite the blue wave, not only did Jealous still lose to Republican Larry Hogan, but Hogan more than DOUBLED his black support from 13 percent in 2014 to 28 percent versus Jealous in 2018.

Look, it’s nothing personal; I actually like Sticks and Stones, but unless he’s going to go on the campaign trail as Black Bush, I don’t see Chappelle doing numbers for Yang.

Yang holds steady in his rankings spot because despite not changing much in the polls, he continues to rack up endorsements and organizers in key states.

He also told the NY Times that Barack Obama broke his heart, but he’s going to have to get in line because the bloom off that rose ended during Ferguson.

Or maybe it was during “take off your bedroom slippers?”

Or maybe it was lecturing Morehouse grads?

The point is, critiquing Obama isn’t an automatic drop among black folks anymore…

as long as you’re not a Republican.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on January 17, 2020, 04:26:25 pm
Friday, 17th January 2020
Collins Has Fallen!!!
by Chris Marquette


Former Rep. chris collins was sentenced to two years and two months in federal prison Friday for insider trading crimes he committed, ending a legal process that evolved from the New York Republican calling the charges “meritless” shortly after he was indicted to him pleading guilty and proclaiming embarrassment for his actions.

collins, who represented Western New York’s 27th Congressional District for seven years and was the first member of Congress to endorse Donald Trump for president, pleaded guilty on October 1st to participating in a scheme to commit insider trading and lying to the FBI to conceal his illegal activity.

He resigned from Congress the day before his guilty plea.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 12, 2020, 06:07:23 am
Wednesday, 12th February 2o2o
Senate gop blocks three election security bills
by Jordain Carney


Senate Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to unanimously pass three election security-related bills on Tuesday, marking the latest attempt to clear legislation ahead of the November elections.

Democrats tried to get consent to pass two bills that require campaigns to alert the FBI and Federal Election Commission (FEC) about foreign offers of assistance, as well as legislation to provide more election funding and ban voting machines from being connected to the internet.

But Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) opposed each of the requests.

Under the Senate's rules, any one senator can ask for unanimous consent to pass a bill, but any one senator can object and block their requests.

Blackburn accused Democrats of trying to move the bills knowing that gop lawmakers would block them and giving them fodder for fundraising efforts.

"They are attempting to bypass this body's Rules Committee on behalf of various bills that will seize control over elections from the states and take it from the states and where do they want to put it? They want it to rest in the hands of Washington, D.C. bureaucrats," she said.

Election security has become a point of contention during the drumphf era.

House Democrats have passed several election-related bills, including a sweeping ethics and election reform measure, but they've hit a wall in the gop-controlled Senate.

A release from Democrats this week that blasted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) for a "legislative graveyard" included a list of 10 election security-related bills that have stalled in the upper chamber.

Senate Democrats have tried repeatedly during the past year to try to bring up election security bills on the floor without success.

The latest attempt comes as Democrats are embroiled in their own days-long scandal after an app malfunctioned, throwing the Iowa caucuses into chaos.

The snag was not due to a hack or cyberattack, but a "coding issue," according to the Iowa Democratic Party.

It also comes as Democrats are turning their attention to the 2020 election after the months-long impeachment battle, as they try to find ways to pressure gop senators to buck the acting-president.

The New Hampshire primary is underway on Tuesday, and voters in both Nevada and South Carolina are expected to head to the polls this month.

"The current president of the United States, far from having the same fears about foreign interference as our founders, has been very public about his openness to foreign assistance and manipulation in support of his election," Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) said.

"The president was just impeached over this issue, and the Senate just concluded a trial in which it appeared a bipartisan majority of senators broadly accepted the fact that the president leveraged hundreds of millions of dollars of military assistance to Ukraine to compel its government to investigate one of his political rivals," he added.

Trump has denied wrongdoing in his dealings with Ukraine, with the administration arguing he was concerned about corruption and cost-sharing with other European countries.

Several GOP senators who voted to acquit drumphf on House-passed articles of impeachment also described the acting-president's conversation with Ukraine President Zelensky as "shameful" and "inappropriate."

Democratic Sens. Mark Warner (Va.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.) and Ron Wyden (Ore.) each tried to clear bills on Tuesday.

The bills from Warner and Blumenthal would require campaigns to report offers of foreign assistance, including donations or coordination, to the FEC and the FBI.

"The appropriate response is not to say thank you, the appropriate response is to call the FBI," Warner said.

Blumenthal, referring to the impeachment fight, argued that Republicans had let drumphf "off the hook."

"There is no doubt that he will only be emboldened in his efforts to illegally enlist foreign governments in his reelection campaign," he added.

The Securing America's Federal Elections, or SAFE, Act-the third bill Democrats tried to clear-authorizes more funding for the Election Assistance Commission and includes language that would ban voting machines from being connected to the internet and being produced in foreign countries.

"America is 266 days away from the 2020 election, and Majority Leader McConnell has yet to take any concrete steps to protect our foreign elections from hacking or foreign interference," Wyden said.

Wyden also argued that not having a nationwide ban on connecting voting machines to the Internet was like "stashing our ballots in the Kremlin."

Congress passed a mammoth spending package late last year that included an additional $425 million in election security funding.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 15, 2020, 11:04:55 am
Saturday, 15th February 2o2o
Bloomberg Is the Real Slim Shady, Warren Says Call Me Maybe and Voters Ask Biden, ‘What Have You Done for Me Lately?’
by Dr. Jason Johnson


(For the purposes of this post will be citing 3 subjects in the title of this opinion editorial)

The committee loves Valentine’s Day, not just because it’s an excuse to eat lots of candy and make reservations at places that you never cared about going to so that you actually look like you’ve made an effort because last Valentine’s Day we were waiting in line for hours because you refuse to use NexTable...sorry, I was having a flashback.

Anyway, the point is, Valentine’s Day is a time to show that person you love how much you love them, and ironically, it’s a great time to tell people you don’t love anymore that it’s time to go (seriously, there’s a whole data chart on breakups on and around Valentine’s Day. Take THAT NextTable!).

So it’s fitting that the Power Rankings this week are after the New Hampshire primaries, where the field just got decidedly smaller.

Democratic voters ghosted on Michael Bennet, swiped left on Andrew Yang and didn’t even know they were dating Deval Patrick until he changed his Fakebook status.

With only two contests (Nevada and South Carolina) left before Super Tuesday on March 3 (and only two more Presidential Black Power Rankings), we decided to bring in some experts to bolster the committee this week.

Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, a political science professor at Quinnipiac University (raise your hand if you knew there was actually a whole university attached to those polls!), whose recent book, Identity Politics in the United States, would never make it to Bernie Sanders’ reading list since he doesn’t believe in “identity politics” unless you’re a working-class white man.

We also have Dr. Niambi Carter from Howard University (H-UUUUUU—am I allowed to say that? I have family who went to Howard, so I think that allows me at least one chant per semester, and two afternoons of walking my dog on campus, right?), author of American While Black: African Americans, Immigration, and the Limits of Citizenship, who jumped right into the Valentine’s spirit of the Power Rankings with her assessment of Andrew Yang leaving the race:

And [while] he has enough money to keep his campaign afloat for a bit, I respect him for not delaying the inevitable and keep wasting his supporters’ money.

He knows it’s not going to get any better for his camp and he has chosen to bow out gracefully; I appreciate it when a man doesn’t waste my time.

Don’t waste a woman’s time—is there no better message for politics or Valentine’s Day than that?

So we won’t waste any of yours and will get right to this week’s shortened-by-necessity power rankings.

This week’s big riser?


By the nature of Bennet, Deval and Yang (who had been doing well in the rankings lately) dropping out, every candidate was basically artificially promoted to the top seven, even when they didn’t deserve it.

It’s almost a metaphor for Mayor Pete’s life.

This week’s biggest loser?


That would be Tulsi Gabbard.

She is the lowest polling, least well-known and least-liked candidate left.


We literally didn’t think she was worth the additional pixels to round out our list, and unless Gabbard pulls off a Scooby Doo villain mask and reveals herself to be Michelle Obama and jumps to the head of the polls, we doubt she’ll be making another appearance.

On to this week’s list and happy Valentine’s Day!(

How do we calculate black power?

Finances: Are you paying black staff, advertisers, consultants?
Legislation: What legislation are you pushing or have passed for black people?
External Polling: No matter how good you are for black people, if your poll numbers are terrible we can’t rank you that high!
X-Factor: What’s your rhetoric like? How do you handle a crisis or the kinds of events and scandals that directly impact black lives?


#1: Senator Elizabeth Warren

Hey, she just met you...and this is craaaazy, but here’s Liz Warren, so call her maybe?

In a field where just about every candidate has elicited absolute loathing from some corner of the Democratic base, Warren remains shockingly...reasonable.

For the second week in a row, she retains the top spot by being the least problematic candidate for black people.

And in this field, that’s an accomplishment.

Warren is third in delegate count and remains in the top four preferred candidates for black voters, according to the latest YouGov poll.

The committee hopes that Carly Rae Warren isn’t a one-hit wonder, because she reminded the entire field this week that black voters actually care about something other than criminal justice reform.

As noted by our guest judge Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean:

This week Warren called out her competitors’ myopic focus on criminal justice as the singular policy arena shaped by racism.
Her support for and commitment to increased HBCU funding garnered the endorsements of cultural influencers such as Darnell Moore and Jamilah Lemieux.

Also, in a campaign environment where Bloomberg just bought his way into the race two weeks ago and was justifying redlining, stop and frisk and, for all we know, a return to Jim Crow laws 15 minutes before that, it’s nice to know Warren actually had a rapid response video.

The committee can’t figure out where Warren’s next actual victory comes from, but given that no one is likely to get blowout victories anytime soon, sticking around might be her best strategy overall.


#2: Former Vice President Joe Biden

How on Earth is Joe Biden second on the Power Rankings this week?(

Because basically the Democratic primary hasn’t started yet.

Does any baseball record count before Jackie Robinson got in the league?



Does the office Christmas party really start until the black folks start making suggestions to the DJ and hit the dance floor?



Did anyone pay attention to the Real Housewives before the Atlanta seasons?



So despite poor showings in two states, for Biden, the Democratic primary doesn’t start until more than 12 black people get to vote as far as the committee is concerned.

This week, Janet Jackson announced her newest tour aptly titled “Black Diamond.”  But this week saw many voters asking Joe Biden,

“What have you done for me lately?”

Biden skipped out on eating steel-cut oats at a New Hampshire diner in favor of grits and red rice in South Carolina, where his staffers expected a warmer reception.

Biden played up his historical ties to black communities replete with a gospel choir reminiscent of the old B.B. King’s in New York City that hawked overpriced gospel brunches to tourists who reduced the longstanding significance of black churches to a few hymns.
It is Black History Month after all. —Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean

In the immortal words of Richard Pryor, “I ain’t dead yet, muthaf*cka,” and Joe Biden, despite leaving no footprints in New Hampshire, having no money to his name and making clay pots with Demi Moore, is, in fact, not yet dead on the campaign trail.

He has a chance next week to actually win a caucus if Sanders and Warren are pushed out, and if he can make it to South Carolina, he has a chance for a comeback.

Just don’t call it that.

He’s been here for years.


#4: Businessman Mike Bloomberg

Will the real Mike Bloomberg please stand up?


Is he the king of stop and frisk or the man who got Lucy McBath’s (D-Ga.) endorsement?

Is he the pro-redlining bigot or the philanthropist who’s spent billions building up America’s cities?

Is he the sexually harassing, rule-breaking Obama-hating, Republican in Pete’s clothing, buying his way into the Democratic primary?

Or the guy who runs commercials like he was Obama’s BFF and has more street cred than a meter maid during rush hour?

Let’s ask our judges:

It may seem peculiar to put Bloomberg so high on the list but his rising popularity with Black voters can be attributed to the seeming inability or unwillingness of other candidates to acknowledge the realities of race and discrimination in the US; even if their professional lives helped contribute to those inequities.

Bloomberg strategically placed ads in urban markets like Philadelphia where he contextualizes his massive wealth by citing the dominance of structural racism in defining the opportunities for young people to pursue the American Dream. —Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean

In other words, Bloomberg wouldn’t even be in this race if Joe Biden had handled his business.

You know that all affairs start with dissatisfaction at home, right?

If the Democratic Party had been handling business with black folks, then Magic Mike wouldn’t have been able to get on stage all covered in oil and dollar bills to dance his way into 22 percent of our good graces.

Will it last?

Let’s ask Dr. Carter:

This man has competed for nothing, yet he’s managed to be the topic of all conversations this week, in part, because the Democratic frontrunners (i.e. Biden and Sanders) have not made compelling enough arguments about why they should win. Yes, we know money has a lot to do with it, but it’s not just that. This man has convinced some segments of the black community to give him a second look despite his horribly racist criminal justice record as the mayor of New York.

Bloomberg is terrible by almost every conceivable measure, but as The Root’s Michael Harriot pointed out, black people are desperate enough, and know white voters well enough, that they might be willing to bite the bullet and vote for Mike if he looks like the only option to stop drumphf.

In the meantime, he’s wining and dining black people at every campaign stop with fully catered campaign events from Philly to Nashville.

That can be the only explanation behind the color scheme of his Mike for Black America T-shirts...

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 15, 2020, 11:31:05 am
Saturday, 15th February 2o2o
Dunleavy About To Leave!!!
by Yereth Rosen, Steve Gorman & Edwina Gibbs


(ANCHORAGE, Alaska) - The Alaska Supreme Court on Friday cleared the way for a campaign seeking to oust the state's embattled governor to proceed with plans to collect enough signatures to place a recall initiative on the 2020 ballot.

In the latest legal setback for Governor Mike Dunleavy, a first-term Republican and ally of the acting-president, the state's high court lifted a stay blocking state election officials from printing and distributing petition booklets for the recall drive.

After a lower-court judge ruled that allegations of misconduct lodged against Dunleavy met the legal requirements for placing a recall question on this year's election ballot, an injunction was imposed pending the Supreme Court's review of the case.

After a lower-court judge ruled that allegations of misconduct lodged against Dunleavy met the legal requirements for placing a recall question on this year's election ballot, an injunction was imposed pending the Supreme Court's review of the case.

Friday's decision allows the signature-gathering process to move forward while the high court considers the governor's appeal of the recall ruling on its merits.

During his first 13 months in office, Dunleavy has antagonized large swaths of Alaska’s electorate in both major political parties.

His most controversial actions have included a bid to slash state university funding by more than 40%, a drastic cutback of state ferry operations that left coastal communities stranded over the winter, endorsement of an unpopular copper-mine plan, and the awarding of a no-bid $441,000 contract to a major campaign contributor’s grandson.

The reasons cited for his ouster in the recall petition are narrower, however.

It accuses Dunleavy of illegally using state funds for partisan politicking, violating legal requirements for filling a judicial vacancy and violating the constitutional separation of powers with a budget veto intended to punish the courts for an abortion-rights ruling.

The state's constitution allows for recalling a governor on grounds of incompetence, negligence or corruption.

The campaign to remove Dunleavy has so far collected more than 49,000 signatures of registered voters, nearly double the number necessary for the first phase of a recall.

Qualifying for the ballot requires 71,252 more signatures, equivalent to 25% of the total votes cast in the last state election.

Further delays in the process while the legal challenge remains under court review would be unfair to the recall campaign, the Supreme Court ruled, finding that Dunleavy's supporters have failed to demonstrate a likelihood of prevailing in their case.

Recall campaign manager Claire Pywell said her group wants to oust Dunleavy as soon as possible.

"This is a serious recall. We’re very grateful that the Supreme Court is treating it as such," Pywell said.

Alaska's assistant attorney general, Maria Bahr, said in an email that the Alaska Division of Elections will comply with the high court's ruling.

Elections Director Gail Fenumiai said petition booklets are expected to be ready by next Friday.(

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 21, 2020, 05:34:49 pm
Friday, 21st February 2o2o
FBI arrests Katie Hill associate over cyberattack on opponent

by Chris Marquette


Former Representative Katie Hill said she was “surprised and disturbed” after the husband of her 2018 fundraising consultant was arrested by the FBI and accused of coordinating an effort to crash the website of her Democratic primary opponent.

Arthur Dam, the husband of fundraising consultant Kelsey O’Hara, was charged with intentionally damaging and attempting to damage a protected computer.

The news was first reported by the Intercept.

The campaign website of Hill’s opponent, Bryan Caforio, crashed for the first time on April 20, 2018.

It crashed again on April 21, April 28 and May 29, according to the criminal complaint.

The April 28th hack occurred the day of a debate between Hill and Caforio and the May 29th incident took place just days before Hill beat Caforio in the June 5th primary, 24,507 to 21,821.

“Like everyone else, I was surprised and disturbed to see the news of this criminal complaint,” Hill said in a statement that defended the other staff, volunteers and supporters who worked on her campaign.

She said she had no information or knowledge of the conduct and would not comment further

“out of respect for the rule of law and the defendant’s presumption of innocence.”

Sources close to Caforio’s campaign said they reached out to the FBI shortly after the first attack.

The “denial of service” attacks meant voters were unable to donate, learn about Caforio or volunteer to work on the campaign.

“I’m absolutely shocked and saddened to learn today that Katie Hill’s campaign associates hacked my campaign in order to help her advance through the primary,” Caforio said in a statement.

“This should serve as a somber reminder that Russia is not the only threat to our democracy.”

Hill resigned effective November 3rd, shortly after reports that she and her now-estranged husband had an affair with a female campaign aide, as well as allegations that she had an affair with an aide on her House staff, which would be a violation of ethics rules.

The House Ethics Committee opened an investigation into Hill.

Hill admitted an affair with the campaign aide but denied one with the House staffer.

The Ethics panel typically drops cases after members leave office.

Hill on Thursday afternoon announced a new initiative, dubbed “HER time,” that would help elect women from diverse backgrounds.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on February 26, 2020, 06:13:22 pm
Wednesday, 26th February 2o2o
DeKalb illegally canceled dozens of voter registrations
by J.D. Capelouto


DeKalb County is illegally removing voters from its rolls in a discriminatory way, a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court alleges.

The lawsuit argues that the DeKalb County Board of Registration and Elections illegally “purged” more than 50 registered voters between December 2018 and November 2019.

It denounces DeKalb’s procedures that allow residents to challenge the registration of a voter if they believe they are no longer living at their registered address.

The issue is separate from discussions happening on the state level over the mass cancellation of Georgia voters who have been “inactive” for several years.

County officials, the lawsuit states, have “encouraged, solicited, and acted on extraordinary voter challenges that extend beyond the routine list maintenance activities that are required by state and federal law.”

It also claims DeKalb removes voters “in a non-uniform and discriminatory manner.”

The National Voter Registration Act law states that voters can be taken off the rolls if they provide written confirmation that they have moved.

They can also be removed if the voter fails to respond to a notice and does not vote during two federal election cycles, the lawsuit states.

But DeKalb has immediately removed voters — without waiting for the two election cycles to pass — solely because their residency was challenged and a notice mailed to them was returned as undeliverable or not returned at all, the lawsuit states.

The county has allegedly received or considered challenges to 129 voter registrations.

About 100 of those were initiated by a single resident who said he researched voters who may have moved, the suit claims.

The Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and the ACLU filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for Northern District of Georgia on behalf of the Georgia NAACP and the Georgia Coalition for the People’s Agenda.

“Our democracy does not function when eligible voters lose their fundamental right to vote as a result of improper challenges and purges of voters from the registration rolls,” Kristen Clarke, the executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, said in a statement.

“With the upcoming 2020 presidential primary looming, it is imperative that DeKalb County and other Georgia counties comply with the requirements of federal law and permit all eligible voters to cast their ballot and have their voice heard.”

Lawyers representing the voter rights advocates sent several letters to the elections board last year asking them to stop the practice.

Aaron Ross, a division chief in DeKalb’s law department, responded to the allegations in a January 24th letter.

“In short, we disagree with both your general premise that Georgia’s challenge procedures violate the National Voter Registration Act and your specific contentions that the County Board of Registration and Elections removed the identified individuals from the list of eligible voters in violation of applicable law or otherwise discriminated against them,” Ross wrote, according to a copy of the letter obtained by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The lawsuit also charges that the county unfairly targets voters who live in cities rather than unincorporated parts of DeKalb.

It mentions the cancellation of seven voters who used the address of a mental health center in Decatur when they registered to vote, claiming that DeKalb is discriminated against voters residing in transitional housing or non-traditional residences.

The county elections board, elections director and the five members of the board were named as defendants in the lawsuit.

The suit requests that a judge declare the county in violation of the NVRA, and says DeKalb should restore the registration of voters who were removed via challenges and revise its procedures.

It also asks for attorneys’ fees.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 12, 2020, 11:26:22 am
Thursday, 12th March 2o2o
Florida, USA
The following Broward County voting precincts have been relocated temporarily due to the Covid-19 pandemic for the March 17th 2020 Presidential Preference Primary and Municipal Elections.

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 18, 2020, 02:55:50 am
Wednesday, 18th March 2o2o
Hunter Sentenced!!!
by Brakkton Booker


Former republican rep. duncan hunter has been sentenced to 11 months in federal prison for corruption charges stemming from the illegal misuse of hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign funds.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 22, 2020, 06:13:46 am
Sunday, 22nd March 2o2o
Representative Mark DeSaulnier declines to 'critical condition' in pneumonia fight
by Jeremy B. White


Representative Mark DeSaulnier's condition has deteriorated to critical as the California Democrat battles complications with pneumonia.

DeSaulnier, 67, was hospitalized more than a week ago to treat pneumonia complications arising from his fracturing a rib during a run.

He subsequently tested negative for Covid-19.

But DeSaulnier has worsened since then, his office said today.

"The doctors are doing everything they can to care for the Congressman," chief of staff Betsy Arnold Marr said in a statement.

"Mark’s family and staff appreciate your thoughts and prayers during this very difficult time."

Congressional colleagues offered words of support.

Eric Swalwell, whose Bay Area district adjoins DeSaulnier's, asked on Twitter for followers to "please pray for my colleague and East Bay neighbor."

DeSaulnier was elected to Congress in 2014 representing a district that includes most of Contra Costa County.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 28, 2020, 01:12:28 pm
Saturday, 28th March 2o2o
Red Hues Denote State By State Estimate of COVID-19 Cases & Deaths


Somehow, I am not certain this is the red on the electoral map trunk was expecting. (  (

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 29, 2020, 09:38:20 am
Sunday, 29th March 2o2o
States Designated As "Major Disaster" by FEMA Because Of COVID-19


Yep...  look at all that red on the electoral map!  (

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 08, 2020, 10:04:55 am
Wednesday, 8th April 2o2o
Bernie Sanders Suspends His Presidential Campaign
by Scott Detrow


Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders said Wednesday he is suspending his 2020 presidential campaign, bowing to the commanding delegate lead former Vice President Joe Biden has established.

"I wish I could give you better news, but I think you know the truth. And that is that we are now some 300 delegates behind Vice President Biden, and the path toward victory is virtually impossible," Sanders told supporters in livestreamed remarks, shortly after he had broken the news to campaign staff.
Sanders' decision comes weeks after the virus pandemic upended the Democratic race.

The worsening outbreak delayed primary contests and the party's nominating convention and halted all in-person campaigning, forcing the two candidates to hold virtual events from their respective homes.

Sanders suspended his campaign after voters went to the polls Tuesday in Wisconsin.

The state controversially forged ahead with its primary, despite public health concerns.

Results for the state's contest are expected on Monday.

It was the first state to hold a contest since March 17th.

Biden swept those primaries, in Arizona, Florida and Illinois, capping a month in which he rose from what seemed like the political dead to dominate three straight weeks of multiple-state primaries.

Biden won 10 contests on Super Tuesday, five a week later and three more in mid-March, before the virus delayed more than a dozen contests.

Sanders, like every other Democratic presidential candidate, had long promised to support the eventual nominee.

In his remarks he congratulated Biden, calling him a "very decent man," and promised to "work with [Biden] to move our progressive ideas forward."

Still, Sanders said he'll remain on the ballot in the rest of this year's primaries, in order to win more delegates to bring to the Democratic National Convention this summer.

The more pledged delegates Sanders has, the more he'll be able to influence the party's platform and rules.

Not long ago, it was Sanders, not Biden, who seemed poised to win the Democratic presidential nomination.
Sanders finished atop the muddled Iowa caucuses in a virtual tie, narrowly won New Hampshire and took the Nevada caucuses in a landslide.

But Sanders, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, was never able to win broad support beyond his base of core supporters.

And when the Democratic field suddenly narrowed after Biden's blowout victory in South Carolina, Biden consolidated most of the voters that had previously split their loyalties among former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar and others.
Suddenly, Sanders wasn't just knocked out of the front-runner position; he was underperforming his 2016 presidential bid.

Biden beat him in several states Sanders carried four years ago, and Biden carried every county in Michigan, the site of Sanders' most surprising 2016 victory over former Secretary of State and eventual nominee Hillary Clinton.

And his vote shares were consistently lower, even when it was effectively a two-candidate race.

Sanders conceded he was "losing the debate over electability" after that string of losses to Biden but vowed to press on, arguing he was winning the party's "ideological debate."

Sanders repeated that argument Wednesday, saying "few would deny that over the course of the last five years, our movement has won the ideological struggle" for policies like a $15 minimum wage and universal health care.

"It was long ago that people considered these ideas radical and fringe," he said.

"Today, they are mainstream ideas, and many of them being implemented in cities and states around the country."

Indeed, despite two failed attempts for the Democratic nomination, Sanders has left a major mark on the party he never formally joined.

In 2016, his "Medicare for All" proposal was far outside the party's mainstream.

In 2020, several other presidential candidates had co-sponsored Sanders' signature health care plan.

Even candidates like Biden, who opposed Medicare for All, framed their own platforms around Sanders' proposals, promising a large government-run health insurance program as a central component of their plans.

Still, Sanders was never able to replicate the coalition of young, progressive and often disaffected voters he put together in 2016.

While Sanders is promising to campaign for Biden, it's an open question whether his devoted, progressive base will enthusiastically back a moderate who Sanders criticized in recent months for past votes for international trade deals and the 2003 Iraq War.

Many people in former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's camp blamed hostility from Sanders supporters as a reason why she lost the general election to trunk in 2016 — though that hostility was exacerbated by hacked and leaked Democratic National Committee emails showing that many party officials had a clear preference for Clinton over Sanders that year.

On Wednesday, Sanders directly addressed supporters who wanted to see him stay in the race:

"I understand that," Sanders said, but countered,

"I cannot in good conscience continue to mount a campaign that cannot win and which would interfere with the important work required of all of us in this difficult hour."


Biden himself released a lengthy statement Wednesday, saying that "Bernie has put his heart and soul into not only running for President, but for the causes and issues he has been dedicated to his whole life."

He added that "Sanders and his supporters have changed the dialogue in America."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 15, 2020, 03:12:49 pm
Wednesday, 15th April 2o2o



According to Political Polls, "BREAKING: Jill Karofsky (D) wins Wisconsin Supreme Court election, @DecisionDeskHQ  projects."

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 21, 2020, 09:09:47 pm
Tuesday, 21st April 2o2o
Political operative McCrae Dowless indicted of Social Security fraud

by Will Doran


McCrae Dowless, the Bladen County political operative at the center of the allegations of absentee-ballot fraud that brought down Republican congressional candidate Mark Harris in 2018, has been indicted on new charges.

A federal grand jury accused Dowless of collecting thousands of dollars in Social Security disability payments in 2017 and 2018 even though he was working for multiple political campaigns including Harris’ bid for the 9th Congressional District, according to a newly unsealed federal indictment.

Social Security disability payments are typically available only to people who can’t work because of a disability.

And Dowless, the indictment said, told the government that “he remained disabled and did not receive income beyond his SSI benefits” even though in fact he was working.

He was charged with one count of taking “money belonging to the United States exceeding the sum of $1,000, to which he knew he was not entitled,” as well as with two counts of defrauding the Social Security Administration and one count of making false statements.

Charlotte TV station WSOC first reported on the charges Tuesday.

The charges were filed earlier this month but weren’t unsealed until Monday.

Dowless received Social Security disability payments, as well as regular Social Security payments, even as he failed to report more than $130,000 in income from political campaigns he was working for, the indictment states.

Ultimately, he’s accused of taking at least $14,000 in unauthorized payments.

The indictment says Dowless “knew he was not entitled” to the disability payments since he was able to work.

And the government only paid him those benefits “because it was not aware of Dowless’ ongoing work activity,” the indictment states.

A lawyer for Dowless, Cynthia Singletary of Elizabethtown, did not respond to a message left at her law firm Tuesday afternoon.

Dowless has previously been charged with numerous federal crimes related to a ballot-harvesting scheme he’s accused of running in both 2016 and 2018 for Republican candidates for the 9th Congressional District, which stretches along North Carolina’s southern border from Charlotte into rural southeastern North Carolina.

Through those investigations, he faces charges of felony obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice, perjury, solicitation to commit perjury and unlawful possession of an absentee ballot, The News & Observer has reported.

Most of those charges come with multiple counts, The N&O reported, based on separate instances of alleged fraud from the 2016 primary, the 2018 primary and the 2018 general election.

Several people who are accused of working with Dowless to carry out the election fraud scheme — in which he is accused of paying them to collect absentee ballots and in some cases vote in other people’s names — have also been charged.

One of them was Dowless’ former stepdaughter, Lisa Britt, who “said that they would even fill out incomplete and unsealed absentee ballots they collected, voting for Republican candidates in local races,” the N&O reported after the first round of criminal charges in February 2019.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 12, 2020, 11:37:05 am
Tuesday, 12th May 2o2o

According to Marc E Elias on Twitter:  BREAKING: Democrats new HEROES Act provides $3.6 for elections and contains all 4 pillars to safeguarding vote by mail?

1. Free postage
2. Ballots postmarked by E-Day count
3. Signature matching to be reformed to protect voters
4. Community orgs can collect voted, sealed ballots
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 19, 2020, 06:20:27 pm
Tuesday, 19th May 2o2o
Texas Judge Orders Universal Access to Voting By Mail
by Ed Kilgore


In the latest, and most dramatic, stage of the battle between voting rights advocates and Texas Republicans battling to restrict voting by mail, a federal judge in San Antonio has agreed that Texas’s statute allowing voters over 65 to cast absentee ballots denied to younger voters violates the 26th amendment’s ban on age discrimination at the ballot box.

He cited legitimate fears of virus infections as offsetting the state’s unsupported claims that voting by mail encourages voter fraud.

Federal district court judge Fred Biery (a Clinton appointee) ordered Texas officials to immediately begin making absentee ballots available to all eligible voters asking for one, citing the previous loophole for seniors as an unconstitutional burden on other voters, the Texas Tribune reports:

Days after a two-hour preliminary injunction hearing in San Antonio, U.S. District Judge Fred Biery agreed with individual Texas voters and the Texas Democratic Party that voters would face irreparable harm if existing age eligibility rules for voting by mail remain in place for elections held while the virus remains in wide circulation.

Under his order, which will surely be appealed, voters under the age of 65 who would ordinarily not qualify for a mail-in ballot would now be eligible.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will undoubtedly appeal Biery’s decision to the conservative Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, though the 26th Amendment is pretty clear about age discrimination.

Texas is the largest of the 16 states that still require an excuse for casting absentee ballots, and one of seven that provide loopholes for seniors.

There are now two separate challenges to Texas’s limitations on voting by mail working through the courts.

Last month a state judge ruled that fears of coronavirus infection qualified as a “disability” under another “excuse” loophole allowing absentee voting.

But the state Supreme Court put that ruling on hold pending appellate review of the case.

With Texas potentially emerging as a 2020 battleground state, these judicial skirmishes may matter, particularly if Republicans there and elsewhere continue to echo trunk’s claims that voting by mail is fraud-bait–unless it’s conducted among voters of whom the president and his party approve.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 22, 2020, 08:45:36 am
Friday, 22nd May 2o2o

There is a lot of chatter out in cyberspace regarding the presumed 2020 Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, and his options for a woman vice president.

So far, the rumor goes that Senator Amy Klobuchar from Minnesota is being vetted for consideration.

Relax...  there are more candidates to choose from.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 25, 2020, 07:52:15 am
Monday, 25th May 2o2o
Judge rules against Florida on felons paying fines to vote
by WESH-2 (an NBC NEWS affiliate)


(TALLAHASSEE, Florida) — A federal judge has ruled that the Florida law requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe.

The 125-page ruling issued Sunday by U.S. District Court Judge Robert Hinkle in Tallahassee concerns the state law to implement a 2016 ballot measure approved by voters to automatically restore the right to vote for felons who have completed their sentence.

The Republican-led Legislature stipulated that fines and legal fees must be paid as part of the sentence, in addition to serving any prison time.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 25, 2020, 10:35:18 am
Monday, 25th May 2o2o

According to ACLU on Twitter, "VICTORY: All South Carolina voters will now have access to vote by mail and won’t need a witness to sign their ballot during the COVID-19 pandemic.

No one should have to choose between their health and their vote."
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 28, 2020, 10:46:09 am
Thursday, 28th May 2o2o



According to I don't want your nudes on Twitter, BREAKING: Joe Biden has started vetting and the first candidate he started with is Senator Kamala Harris of California. (CONFIRMED)

Relax...  there are more candidates to choose from.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 03, 2020, 03:11:56 am
Wednesday, 3rd June 2o2o
Steve Will Leave


Iowa Republicans drove Steve King out of office on a primary day marked by civil unrest.

King's defeat was the top headline in Tuesday's primaries.

The nine-term congressman with a history of racist and anti-immigrant remarks was ousted after the gop establishment offered his opponent both material and symbolic assistance.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 03, 2020, 03:59:50 am
Wednesday, 3rd June 2o2o
Ella Jones becomes the first African American and first woman elected mayor of Ferguson
by Sandra Jordan


Ferguson City Council member Ella Jones won the city's mayoral election Tuesday, defeating fellow council member Heather Robinett.

She will succeed James Knowles III, who defeated Jones in the 2017 mayoral election and held the office since April 2011.

Knowles could not run for re-election due to term limits.

The city became part of a global conversation on the relationship between African Americans and law enforcement when unarmed teen Michael Brown was shot and killed by a then Ferguson police officer – which caused the city to erupt with months of unrelenting protests.

Jones, an itinerant elder in the A.M.E. church, becomes the first African American and female mayor of Ferguson, winning with 52.59% of the vote over Councilwoman Heather Robinett, who received 47.41%.

She takes the helm in the middle of protests in Ferguson and cities throughout the nation protesting the police killing of an unarmed black man – George Floyd in Minneapolis by white police officers.

“We need to heal, and I am here for you,” Robinett said in a video by St. Louis Public Radio reporter Jason Rosenbaum that he posted on his Twitter account.

“I want us to work together, Jones responded.

“That’s the only way we are going to do it is we are going to work together.”

Robinett told Jones that she was proud of Jones for her historic victory.

“The only thing I can say is, let’s go hand in hand and let’s work together," Jones said.

“We will,” Robinett said before the two embraced.

In Berkeley, longtime Mayor Theodore “Ted” Hoskins is voted out of office and Babatunda Diembo is voted in as mayor, winning 41.7% of the vote, to Hoskins’ 33.87%.

Hoskins is also a former state lawmaker, faced felony charges for alleged voting irregularities.

A third challenger, Barbara Jean Holmes, received 24.43% of the vote.

The Pagedale Mayor’s race has Ernest “EG” Shields winning the top spot, with 38.71% of the vote.

Challengers Minnie Rhymes received 28.39%; Darline Crawley, 26.45%; and Tenell Cothrine, 6.45%. Shields is a pastor at Mt. Beulah MB Church in St. Louis.

Pagedale Mayor Mary Louise Carter did not seek re-election.

Elections in St. Louis County usually held in April were deferred until June 2nd because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and turnout was light – at 15.71% according to unofficial election results.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 05, 2020, 04:06:04 am
Friday, 5th June 2o2o

According to ACLU on Twitter, "BREAKING: A judge just ruled that every Tennessee voter can now vote by mail for the 2020 elections."
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 17, 2020, 01:44:50 am
Wednesday, 17th June 2o2o
Republican State Senate aide resigns after video surfaces of him berating youths
by Jane Kwiatkowski


Robert W. Welch, an aide for State Senator Robert G. Ortt, R-North Tonawanda, resigned Monday after a video in which he is heard using a racial epithet toward a 13-year-old girl and her three friends was posted on social media.

Ortt announced the resignation and released the following statement:

“The employee in question submitted his resignation today and I accepted it. Beyond our official duties, I hold myself and my staff to the highest standards of professionalism and conduct. The employee's actions in these videos did not meet those standards.”

Welch's resignation followed the incident that occurred around 7 p.m. Sunday as a group of youths walked to a convenience store in North Tonawanda.

The video was posted by Carla M. Morano, the mother of a 13-year-old girl who reportedly took the video.

Morano posted the video on her fakebook page.


SO IT BEGINS! GOOD OL NORTH TONAWANDA!! as i write this im hearing my daughter cry ! I have so much anger in me but we will pray instead.
My daughter and 3 friends were walking to 7-11 earlier today. They were making videos jumping over things as they walked( things kids do). One of the kids jumped over a lawn sign his toe hit it (have it on video). A man and woman come outside screaming and yelling at them calling the girls bi***s and using racial slurs. They continued on...

Here’s how the incident unfolded, according to Morano’s post:

Her 13-year-old daughter and three friends were making videos “jumping over things” as they walked to the store.

As one of the kids jumped over a lawn sign, his toe caught the sign.

At that point, a man and woman emerged from the house where the sign was hit and began to yell at the four juveniles, using racial slurs, threatening them and telling them they know officers in the North Tonawanda Police Department.

During the video, a man identified as Welch is heard yelling at the youths and using a racial slur.

A photo of him at the scene is posted along with a photo of a woman who can also can be heard on the video yelling and shouting at the the youths.

She works for North Tonawanda schools, she said on the video.

The incident continued to evolve, and at one point the adults reportedly got in their car and began to follow the youths, said Morano.

That part is not caught on the video.

Morano, who said her daughter was shaken by the incident, reported it to police, confirmed Captain Thomas Krantz, who oversees the department's Detective Bureau.

"We're working on it. It's under investigation. We may have more tomorrow, but we're still gathering all of our facts, interviewing witnesses and we're trying to grab videos," said Krantz.

"I really can't comment on anything right now."

Welch was the executive assistant to the mayor of North Tonawanda from 2010 to 2016, serving under Ortt from 2010 to 2014.

Welch began working in Ortt's Lockport office on Walnut Street in 2016 and served as the constituent relations director.

He worked directly with residents, linking them to services provided by various state departments, said Andrew Duggan, Ortt's director of communications.


Efforts to reach Morano were not successful.

Her video post had more than 800 comments Monday evening and 400 shares.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 15, 2020, 05:22:39 am
Wednesday, 15th July 2o2o
Kansas republican Steve Watkins Charged With Felonies Over Voter Registration At UPS Store
by Stephen Koranda


Just weeks before his first primary to defend his congressional seat, U.S. Rep. Steve Watkins is facing multiple charges stemming from him registering to vote using the address of a UPS storefront.

The charges were filed Tuesday, before the freshman Republican appeared in a debate with two gop challengers.

Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay filed multiple felony counts against Watkins: interference with law enforcement; providing false information; voting without being qualified; and unlawful advance voting.

He was also charged with a misdemeanor for failing to tell the Department of Motor Vehicles about a change of address.

The charges stem from a ballot Watkins cast in a local election last year.

In December, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported that Watkins used a UPS store address on his voter registration.

The congressman listed his official residence as a UPS Store in Topeka on a change-of-address form for voter registration in August 2019.

Then, he signed an application for a mail-in ballot in October.

That allowed him to vote in a different city council district race than he would have before changing his registration.

The UPS store falls in a city council district where the election was decided by 13 votes.

At the time, Watkins' office said he made an inadvertent mistake, listing his campaign's mailing address rather than his home.

Later he changed that address to an apartment complex in Topeka.

At the start of a debate Tuesday night, Watkins dismissed the charges as "clearly hyper-political."

"I haven't done anything wrong," he said.

"As soon as I realized that I had put my mailing address instead of my physical address, we fixed it."

He said he hadn't yet seen the charges, but that he had cooperated with the district attorney "completely."

"I look forward to clearing my name," Watkins said.

"Truly, the timing is suspicious."

Party regulars typically put extra effort into backing first-term incumbents.

Watkins narrowly won a divided Republican primary in 2018 and then the general election with the help of advertising funding from his father.

Now he faces a challenge from two GOP candidates with ties to establishment factions of the local party.

He's in a primary fight with Kansas Treasurer Jake LaTurner and Dennis Taylor, who worked for former Gov. Sam Brownback and other Republicans.

He hinted that Taylor was behind the charges because he shares a political consultant with the district attorney.

But that prosecutor, Kagay, said the delay between when the story about Watkins registration broke late last year and the filing of charges on Tuesday reflects a delay caused by the shutdown that came in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Watkins' best-known challenger, LaTurner, said the charges effectively push Watkins out of the race.

"It's safe to say that this is now a two-person race," LaTurner said.

"The reality is Steve Watkins needs to take responsibility for what he's done."

Watkins has faced some controversies before, like allegations he embellished his work growing an overseas business and his claims of leadership in an emergency when an earthquake struck during a climb of Mount Everest.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 15, 2020, 08:04:41 am
Wednesday, 15th July 2o2o

Rumors written on Twitter about Tommy Tuberville:

Tommy Tuberville thought a one-game suspension was enough when one of his players raped a little girl.

Tuberville couldn’t score a TD for 2 weeks with 4 first rounders on his offense.

He also lost to Vanderbilt.

He lost his last Iron Bowl 36-0, collects millions of dollars in pension money from hard-working Alabamians, and bilked investors based on their trust in his investment advice.

Tommy Tuberville said he'd leave Ole Miss "in a pine box."

Days later, he left for Auburn.


Never told his players goodbye.

At Auburn, he had a wandering eye every year.

At Texas Tech, he ditched a recruit during dinner to leave for Cincinnati.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 18, 2020, 10:22:56 am
Saturday, 18th July 2o2o
North Carolina just changed election rules to expand early voting
by Will Doran


Early voting sites should be easier to find in this fall’s elections, at least in North Carolina’s biggest cities, because of an order issued by the N.C. State Board of Elections on Friday.

North Carolina Republicans say the change to statewide voting rules is just a partisan ploy to help Democrats, but state officials say it’s necessary to help protect voters against COVID-19.

The order came as Democrats have been criticizing the long lines people have had to wait in to vote — especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic — that made national news earlier this summer in Georgia and Wisconsin.

“If we do not take these measures, we risk much longer lines at voting sites and greater possibility of the spread of the coronavirus,” state elections director Karen Brinson Bell said in announcing the changes Friday.

“These are not acceptable risks in this important election year when we expect turnout to be high.”

The order says that every county in North Carolina must have at least one polling place for every 20,000 residents.

That’s probably not going to lead to much change in smaller rural areas — which tend to lean conservative — but could force the creation of many additional polling places in urban, more liberal-leaning areas, said Republican Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine.

The Board of Elections, appointed by Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper from nominees by the political parties, has a 3-2 Democratic majority.

The board appointed Brinson Bell as the director.

“It appears that areas with high concentrations of Democrats will have dozens of early voting sites while more Republican areas may have just one,” Hise said in a press release.

“How is it fair or equitable for voters of one party to be able to walk down the street to vote early, while voters of another party will need to drive for miles and miles to vote early?”

There’s nothing stopping rural areas from creating more early voting sites, although cost could be a factor.

Hise also questioned how the state expects urban counties to pick up the unexpected new costs of staffing more early voting sites than they’ve been planning for.

The order does allow counties to apply for a waiver — which could be an option for local leaders concerned with the cost — but only if they can prove that their current plan is sufficient to meet social distancing needs and probably won’t lead to long lines.

“The State Board of Elections must clarify this situation immediately, and also explain how they expect counties to pay for this out-of-left-field change,” Hise said.

Pat Gannon, a spokesman for the state elections board, said counties should be able to pay for any increased costs using money from the CARES Act funding the federal government approved for COVID-19 relief — and that the state has also been trying to help county election officials save money on other costs, including by buying them personal protective equipment.

“We’re taking many steps to ensure that the counties have the equipment and the funding necessary to conduct an election amid this pandemic,” he said.

Pat Ryan, a spokesman for GOP Senate leader Phil Berger, said lawmakers were also upset that Brinson Bell announced the changes with no warning, “without the opportunity to have discussed the changes with anybody” at the legislature.

Gannon said the board’s five members — three Democrats and two Republicans — were all briefed on the proposed changes before they were announced.

Brinson Bell didn’t need the board’s vote, though, and announced the changes herself.

In addition to the potential addition of early voting sites, Brinson Bell’s order also has rules for the hours polling places will have to be open, and COVID-19 safety measures they will be required to follow.

“This order gives more opportunity to voters this year, assuring they can cast their ballot at a time and in a manner that is most comfortable for them,” she said.

“This order is the right thing to do because no North Carolinian should fear exposure to disease when they cast their ballot.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 08, 2020, 03:06:41 pm
Saturday, 8th August 2o2o


According to MSNBC News Anchor Joy Reid on Twitter, "Today is the first day of early voting in Florida!!! Get out there and vote -- including dropping off your completed absentee ballots at a designated location like this one in  Miami-Dade Metro College North. And reply with a pic of yourself voting so I can hail you up!!" #Vote Party popper

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 10, 2020, 05:08:41 am
Monday, 10th August 2o2o
The U.S. Postal Service is too important to become another one of Indy-1's political targets
by Star Tribune Editorial Board


Just when Americans need it most, and with an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots expected this November, the U.S. Postal Service is under an assault that at this point can be considered little short of sabotage.

Individual-1 appears intent on undermining mail-in balloting in any way possible, fearing it disadvantages his chance of re-election.

He has attempted to draw an imaginary distinction between mail-in voting and absentee voting, sued Nevada for a law it passed that allows ballots to be mailed to all registered voters, and floated the idea of actually postponing the election.

Now he has a new postmaster general whose first major action was to slow down mail delivery.

The Postal Service is an American institution that actually predates the country itself.

It is in the Constitution, and its mandate is for reliable, timely delivery to all.

It does not work just what would be the more profitable routes, as a private company might.

It doesn’t skip the sparsely populated corners of this country.

Americans’ reliance on the USPS has only grown during the pandemic.

Housebound, they have driven volume to Christmas levels, ordering all manner of necessities and niceties, including prescription medications.

As Minnesota’s August 11th primary approaches and with November looming, reports are popping up across the country of serious delays in mail delivery.


In Baltimore, residents report going more than two weeks without delivery.

Those delays were at the order of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a Individual-1 appointee confirmed by a Postal Service Board of Governors itself all appointed by Individual-1.

He is the first postmaster general in decades not to have come from the Postal Service.

A recent Washington Post report showed that he and his wife are heavily invested in competitors and contractors to the Postal Service.

Despite the higher volume, DeJoy’s move was to slash overtime, even if mail was left undelivered.

There may well be ways to improve the USPS, but undermining its primary mission is not one of them.

Senator Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., said in a recent TV interview that she and other senators, including Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, are pressing for answers and attempting to restore the cuts.

“Yes, it’s about ballots, but it’s also about lifesaving medication. If they mess with stuff like this they are literally going to mess with people’s lives,” she said.

Some Republicans are joining the effort to reverse DeJoy’s directive on delivery cutbacks.

Representative Greg Gianforte, R-Mont., said in a letter to DeJoy,

“Delaying mail service is unacceptable. Do not continue down this road.”

DeJoy said Friday that the Postal Service has “ample capacity” to handle election mail, but he said budget restraint is needed — the USPS lost $2.2 billion in the quarter that ended in June — and he reshuffled his executive team to focus on “core business operations.”

Mail carriers may be the original essential workers.

Who else has a motto chiseled in stone that reads,

“Neither rain nor snow nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds”?

More than 60 postal workers have died from COVID-19.

Thousands more have been infected.

It’s time for us to have their backs.

More than ever, they need us and we need them.

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***The Comments Section***


It’s easy to diss the USPS when you have the latest tech, high speed Internet, and lots of cash to spend on Fed Ex, Amazon, and the rest of the expensive couriers. But for the majority of the nation, especially outside Comfortable Condoland, the US Postal Service serves as Doctor, Psychologist, A shoulder to lean on, a Friend, and Confidant, with the items delivered and service at the window. Presidents often say “God Bless America”, and for myself, that also includes the Postal Service. Hands. Off!
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 11, 2020, 07:40:59 pm
Tuesday, 11th August 2o2o


BREAKING: Joe Biden picks California Senator Kamala Harris as his VP running mate.
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 15, 2020, 03:14:15 pm
Saturday, 15th August 2o2o
Benton Loses His Accession!
by Matthew Allen


Georgia Representative tommy benton (R.-Jefferson) had some harsh words for recently departed congressman and civil rights pillar John Lewis.

As a result, he’s lost his seat as a committee chairman.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 18, 2020, 04:49:40 pm
Tuesday, 18th August 2o2o
Louis DeJoy to Suspend Changes Until After 2020 Election
by Natalie Andrews, Alexa Corse, Paul Ziobro and JORDAN WEISSMANN


(WASHINGTON, D.C.) — Postmaster General Louis DeJoy said the U.S. Postal Service is suspending operational changes, such as removal of mail processing equipment and collection boxes, until after the November election, as the agency tries to reassure Americans that it can handle the anticipated surge in mail-in voting.

Calling the timely delivery of the nation’s election mail a “sacred duty,” Mr. DeJoy said the agency won’t change retail hours at post offices across the country or close any mail-sorting facilities.

The Postal Service has been embroiled in controversy thanks to a number of recent cost-cutting measures imposed by Postmaster General Louis DeJoy, a former logistics executive and major Republican donor, that have led to reported mail backlogs around the country.

Shortly after being appointed earlier this year, DeJoy put new restrictions on overtime, potentially making it harder for carriers to complete their routes, and instructed truck drivers to leave mail behind in processing centers rather than take the (sometimes additional) time to ensure all of it was delivered.

DeJoy also began decommissioning 10 percent of the agency’s letter-sorting machines, according to a grievance filed by the American Postal Workers Union, while post offices around the country have reportedly started cutting back their hours.

With all of this scrutiny intensifying, the Postal Service says it will be putting its changes on ice, at least until after the election.

In his statement today, DeJoy said he would pause “some long-standing operational initiatives” to “avoid even the appearance of any impact on election mail.”


I want to assure all Americans of the following:

- Retail hours at Post Offices will not change.

- Mail processing equipment and blue collection boxes will remain where they are. No mail processing facilities will be closed.

- And we reassert that overtime has, and will continue to be, approved as needed.

In addition, effective October 1st, we will engage standby resources in all areas of our operations, including transportation, to satisfy any unforeseen demand.

The statement was, at best, mildly reassuring.

“I think it raises more questions than it provides answers,” Ronald Stroman, the former deputy postmaster general who is now a senior fellow with the Democracy Fund, said on a press call during the afternoon.


A few questions he pointed out:

• The statement says post offices’ hours will not change. But what about locations where hours have already been cut? Will those be reversed?

• It says processing equipment and mailboxes won’t be moved. But what about machines that have reportedly already been removed or disassembled?

• It says overtime will still be approved “as needed.” What does that even mean?

The key question, Stroman told reporters, was simply whether the Postal Service plans to process all of the mail it receives at its plants each day, send it to post offices, and deliver “all of the mail, all of the ballots that it has received that day, as opposed to leaving them.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 19, 2020, 10:09:16 pm
Thursday, 20th August 2o2o
Kamala Harris brings history & identity to her convention night closeup
by Errin Haines


Shyamala’s daughter.

Howard University Bison.

Soror of Alpha Kappa Alpha.




When California Senator Kamala Harris took the stage Wednesday night to accept the Democratic nomination for vice president, she brought her full self to the stage, making the case for confronting systemic racism, addressing the Covid-19 pandemic and electing former Vice President Joe Biden amid the threat of voter suppression.

Harris’ speech was the climax of a two-hour tribute to the contributions of women to American democracy and political pioneers, filled with symbolism and substance.

She was preceded by Barack Obama, the country’s first Black president; Hillary Clinton, the first woman nominated for president of a major political party; and Nancy Pelosi, the first woman elected as Speaker of the House.

Harris, 55, becomes the first woman of color to be nominated for vice president on a major party ticket, and the third woman to be nominated for the No. 2 slot.

In an interview with The 19th last week, she said Biden’s decision to add her to the ticket took “audacity,” and that it was one he made despite the risk.

The night came a day after the nation observed the centennial anniversary of suffrage, and the program also included a recognition of the milestone.

Harris’ speech referenced the landmark legislation — but with an asterisk for the Black women who would have to fight for nearly half a century for their access to the ballot.

In her remarks, Harris called the names of the Black suffragists whose names have often been erased or omitted from the history of the movement — including Mary Church Terrell and Mary McLeod Bethune — as well as civil rights leaders Fannie Lou Hamer and Diane Nash.

She name-checked Shirley Chisholm, the first Black woman to run for president as a major party candidate, in whose spirit Harris launched her own campaign for president in January 2019.

“Without fanfare or recognition, they organized, testified, rallied, marched and fought — not just for their vote, but for a seat at the table,” Harris said, wearing a pearl necklace in a nod to the founders and incorporators of her sorority.

“They paved the way for the trailblazing leadership of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. And these women inspired us to pick up the torch, and fight on.”

In humanizing the policies Biden has said will be part of his agenda as president, women were often the face of the evening, from struggling small business owners and immigrants to victims and survivors of gun violence and people dealing with the fallout of the pandemic.

Women are the majority of the electorate and the U.S. workforce, and have been the majority of the American population disproportionately impacted by and responding to the Covid-19 pandemic from an economic, mental health and labor perspective.

Polling shows Biden leading among women voters, and Individual-1 has attempted to appeal to suburban women in particular by raising the spectre of crime in their neighborhoods under a Biden-Harris administration.

While some Americans may recognize Harris from her withering Senate Judiciary inquiries, the wife, stepmother, sister and aunt also humanized herself.

Many heard her life story for the first time Wednesday, as voters begin to focus on the 2020 election, now 11 weeks away.


Harris told her story as the daughter of immigrants who came to America and became activists, taking her along as they protested in her native Oakland, California.

“My mother instilled in my sister, Maya, and me, the values that would chart the course of our lives,” Harris said.

“She raised us to be proud, strong Black women. And she raised us to know and be proud of our Indian heritage.”

It was a story she told more forcefully than during last year’s primary, as issues of race and gender stalled her campaign and forced her off the campaign trail before voters could weigh in on her candidacy.

On Wednesday, she leaned into both, speaking plainly about the need to address the dual pandemics of Covid-19 and racism which have been laid bare in recent months.

“The virus has no eyes, and yet it knows exactly how we see each other — and how we treat each other,” she said.


“And let’s be clear — there is no vaccine for racism.”

“We’ve got to do the work to fulfill that promise of equal justice under law. Because none of us are free until all of us are free,” Harris continued, quoting Hamer.

Harris ended by telling voters that the country is at “an inflection point,” bookending her appearance at the start of Day Three of the convention, in which she encouraged viewers to come up with a plan to cast their ballots.

It was a message that echoed an urgency conveyed by many of the evening’s speakers, and a theme that has reverberated through the week.

Harris tied Biden’s election to the idea that November is an existential moment for democracy, arguing that she and Biden will take on the dual pandemics and usher in a better America.

“Make no mistake, the road ahead will not be easy,” Harris said.

“We will stumble. We may fall short. But I pledge to you that we will act boldly and deal with our challenges honestly. And we will act with the same faith in you that we ask you to place in us.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 21, 2020, 12:47:21 am
Friday, 21st August 2o2o
Joe Biden accepts the Democratic presidential nomination
by Steve Peoples and Alexandra Jaffe


(WILMINGTON, Delaware) — Joe Biden accepted the Democratic presidential nomination Thursday night with a vow to be a unifying “ally of the light” who would move an America in crisis past the chaos of Individual-1’s tenure.

In his strongest remarks of the campaign, Biden spoke both of returning the United States to its traditional leadership role in the world and of the deeply personal challenges that shaped his life.

Virtually every sentence of his 22-minute speech was designed to present a sharp, yet hopeful, contrast with the Republican incumbent.

“Here and now I give you my word: If you entrust me with the presidency, I will draw on the best of us not the worst. l’ll be an ally of the light, not the darkness,” Biden said.

“Make no mistake, united we can and will overcome this season of darkness in America.”

For the 77-year-old Biden, the final night of the Democratic National Convention was bittersweet.

He accepted a nomination that had eluded him for over three decades because of personal tragedy, political stumbles and rivals who proved more dynamic.

But Covid-19 denied him the typical celebration, complete with the customary balloon drop that both parties often use to fete their new nominees.

Instead, Biden spoke to a largely empty arena near his Delaware home.

Afterward, fireworks lit the sky outside the arena where supporters waited in a parking lot, honking horns and flashing headlights in a moment that finally lent a jovial feel to the event.

The keynote address was the speech of a lifetime for Biden, who would be the oldest president ever elected when he defeats Individual-1 in November 2020.

Still, the convention leaned on a younger generation earlier in the night to help energize his sprawling coalition.

Tammy Duckworth, an Illinois senator who lost both legs in Iraq and is raising two young children, said Biden has “common decency.”

Cory Booker, only the ninth African American senator in U.S. history, said Biden believes in the dignity of all working Americans.

And Pete Buttigieg, the 38-year-old former South Bend, Indiana, mayor and a gay military veteran, noted that Biden came out in favor of same-sex marriage as vice president even before President Barack Obama.

“Joe Biden is right, this is a contest for the soul of the nation. And to me that contest is not between good Americans and evil Americans,” Buttigieg said.

“It’s the struggle to call out what is good for every American.”

Above all, Biden focused on uniting the nation as Americans grapple with the long and fearful health crisis, the related economic devastation, a national awakening on racial justice — and Individual-1, who stirs heated emotions from all sides.

Biden’s positive focus Thursday night marked a break from the dire warnings offered by former President Obama and others the night before.

The 44th president of the United States warned that American democracy itself could falter if Individual-1 is reelected, while Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris, the 55-year-old California senator and daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, warned that Americans’ lives and livelihoods were at risk.

Biden’s Democratic Party has sought this week to put forward a cohesive vision of values and policy priorities, highlighting efforts to combat climate change, tighten gun laws and embrace a humane immigration policy.

They have drawn a sharp contrast with Individual-1’s policies and personality, portraying him as cruel, self-centered and woefully unprepared to manage virtually any of the nation’s mounting crises and policy challenges.

Voting was another prime focus of the convention on Thursday as it has been all week.


Democrats fear that the pandemic -- and Individual-1 administration changes at the Postal Service -- may make it difficult for voters to cast ballots in person or by mail.

Comedian Sarah Cooper, a favorite of many Democrats for her videos lip syncing Individual-1’s speeches, put it bluntly:

“Donald Trump doesn’t want any of us to vote because he knows he can’t win fair and square.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 31, 2020, 09:05:27 am
Monday, 31st August 2o2o


According to Robert Reich on Twitter, "It's becoming clearer by the day that the choice in November is not Democrat or Republican. It is democracy or fascism."
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 22, 2020, 05:00:02 am
Tuesday, 22nd September 2o2o
Indictment Will Goforth!!!
by Matthew Chapman


On Monday, The Washington Post reported that Kentucky state Senator Robert Goforth has been indicted for strangulation and assault, after allegedly attacking a woman with an Ethernet cable.

“Earlier this year, a woman said Goforth, 44, strangled her with an Ethernet cable to the point where she had trouble breathing and threatened to ‘hog tie’ her, according to a police report reviewed by the newspaper,” said the report.

“The charges have renewed calls from local Democrats for Goforth, a staunch supporter of Individual-1 who had previously been accused of sexual assault, to resign from his seat. Neither he nor his attorney, Conrad Cessna, immediately responded to requests for comment from The Washington Post.”


Ironically, Goforth, who ran a primary challenge against unpopular ex-Gov. Matt Bevin in 2019, helped push through legislation that upgraded strangulation to a felony.

“Goforth, a high school dropout who was raised in poverty by a single mother in eastern Kentucky, was first elected in 2018 to represent the state’s 89th House district, a deep-red swath of countryside where the sale of alcohol remains illegal in most areas,” said the report.

“The Army veteran and pharmacist quickly made a name for himself in the statehouse by championing socially conservative causes, including proposing a ‘heartbeat abortion’ bill that would have banned the practice as early as the sixth week of a pregnancy.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 12, 2020, 03:34:13 pm
Monday, 12th October 2o2o

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 12, 2020, 03:35:41 pm
Monday, 12th October 2o2o

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 12, 2020, 03:37:56 pm
Monday, 13th October 2o2o

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 13, 2020, 04:52:59 pm
Tuesday, 13th October 2o2o
Campaign Event For Connecticut's First Black Congresswoman Interrupted By Racists
by Sebastian Murdock


Representative Jahana Hayes, the first Black congresswoman to represent Connecticut, recounted Tuesday what happened when racists interrupted one of her online campaign events.

“Our fourth meeting starts, and about 10 minutes in I hear ‘shut up nigger,’” Hayes, a Democrat running for reelection, wrote in a Medium essay.

“I pause, not sure how to react, but I catch a glimpse of all the faces of the people who have joined the meeting. They are mortified, shocked, embarrassed, hurt and I could tell they didn’t know what to do next.”

The event, hosted on the video chatting app Zoom, was meant to be a forum to discuss Hayes’ legislative work and her campaign.

Instead, several participants on the call sought to disrupt the event by repeating the racist slur in what Hayes described as a “coordinated effort.”

“Six minutes of vile, disgusting, dare I say deplorable, hate ― and I am on full display as I process, in real time, what is happening,” Hayes wrote.

The congresswoman’s communications team removed those yelling out the slur one after another until the event could proceed.

A representative from Zoom later asked for details about what happened, according to The Washington Post.

Hayes’ Republican opponent, David X. Sullivan, condemned the incident Tuesday on Twitter.

“It is appalling that a bigoted coward would direct insults at Congresswoman Hayes, interfere and disrupt a legitimate campaign activity, and besmirch the reputation of the good people of the 5th District of Connecticut,” Sullivan said.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 17, 2020, 10:40:58 am
Saturday, 17th October 2o2o
Kentucky postal worker fired after dumping 100 absentee ballots
by Jordan Williams


A U.S. Postal Worker in Kentucky has been fired and could face charges after attempting to dump over 100 absentee ballots, according to local news outlets.

The USPS Office of Inspector General said the unidentified postal worker is "no longer employed" after the ballots were found amid a pile of discarded USPS mail in a dumpster on Thursday, according to WKYT.

"The case has been accepted for federal prosecution by the U.S. Attorney's Office," Special Agent Scott Balfour wrote in a statement.

"They will determine what charges are appropriate after a review of all the facts in the case."

WKYT reported Thursday that a person found a pile of discarded mail, which included 112 absentee ballots and two political advertisements.

The ballots were supposed to be sent to the Jeffersontown, Kentucky area.

The ballots were returned to USPS and delivered to customers on Thursday.

Earlier this month, a postal service mail carrier in New Jersey was arrested for allegedly discarding 1,875 pieces of mail, including 99 general election ballots.

Nicholas Beauchene was charged with one count of delay, secretion or detention of mail and one count of obstruction of mail.

He faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the delay charge, and up to six months in prison and a $6,000 fine for obstruction.

Mail-in voting is under intense scrutiny this year, with more Americans casting their ballots by mail due to COVID-19 concerns.

Individual-1 has repeatedly alleged that mail-in voting will lead to widespread voter fraud, despite there being no evidence to support the claim.

The Executive Mansion highlighted a handful of discarded ballots in Pennsylvania in September, but Pennsylvania Secretary of State Kathy Boockvar (D) said there was no "intentional fraud" involved.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 23, 2020, 03:41:29 pm
Friday, 23rd October 2o2o
Texas appeals court says state may not limit ballot drop-off sites
by Makini Brice


A Texas appeals court on Friday ruled the Republican governor cannot limit drop-off sites for mail ballots to one per county, a setback for Individual-1.

Upholding a lower court decision, the appeals court ruled against Texas Governor greg abbott.

The Texas 3rd Court of Appeals agreed with the lower court that limiting the number of drop boxes would increase the risk that voters could get infected with COVID-19, and would infringe on their right to vote.

Individual-1 has repeatedly criticized mail-in ballots, claiming without evidence they would lead to widespread fraud.

Individual-1, a Republican, faces Democrat Joe Biden in the race for the Executive Mansion on November 3rd.

Individual-1 won Texas by nine percentage points in 2016.

Though a Democratic presidential candidate has not won the state in more than four decades, polls suggest it might be in reach for Biden, part because of dissatisfaction over Individual-1’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 24, 2020, 02:31:45 pm
Saturday, 24th October 2o2o


Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on October 29, 2020, 04:05:12 pm
Thursday, 29th October 2o2o
U.S. Supreme Court again rejects North Carolina Republicans in absentee ballot dispute
by Andrew Chung


The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected another bid by North Carolina Republicans to block the extension of a deadline for receiving mail-in ballots for next Tuesday's election.

In a brief order, the justices denied a request by Republican lawmakers in the state to put on hold an agreement made by state election officials allowing the extension that a North Carolina state court had approved.

The justices on Wednesday rebuffed a separate bid by Individual-1's re-election campaign to block the deadline extension through federal courts.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 14, 2020, 09:08:36 am
Saturday, 14th November 2o2o


Both Republican senators in Georgia have been forced into runoff races against Democrats, contests that will most likely determine control of the Senate after a six-year Republican majority.


Now that Joseph R. Biden Jr. has won the presidency, Democrats would need to gain just three seats because Vice President-elect Kamala Harris will be able to cast tie-breaking votes once in office.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 08, 2021, 01:35:40 pm
Monday, 8th March 2021

According to Stacey Abrams on Twitter, "If you live and vote in New Hampshire, sign your name to the New Hampshire Coalition for Voting Rights petition telling the legislature to reject HB 89, 531 & 554 and additional anti-voter bills."

These anti-voter bills include:

SB 89, relative to signature match requirements for absentee ballots

HB 531, relative to unconstitutional provisional ballots

HB 535, relative to anti-voter same day voter registration changes

HB 554, relative to anti-student voter eligibility confusion

HB 362, relative to unconstitutional anti-student voter eligibility

HB 292, relative to anti-elderly and disabled voter changes to absentee ballot

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 19, 2021, 01:47:32 pm
Friday, 19th March Twenty One
by Annie Grayer, Kristin Wilson and Clare Foran


Democratic Representative Jimmy Gomez of California formally introduced a resolution Friday to expel Georgia Republican Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene from Congress, suggesting that she "advocated violence against our peers, the Speaker and our government."

"I take no joy in introducing this resolution, but any member who cites political violence and threatens our lives must be expelled," Gomez said Friday.

"I believe some of my Republican colleagues, and one in particular, wish harmed upon this legislative body.

I'm not saying this for shock value. It's the conclusion I drew after a member of Congress advocated violence against our peers, the speaker and our government."

Seventy-two Democrats have supported this resolution; zero republicans.

Under the Constitution, the House of Representatives has the power to expel any member with a two-thirds vote, but it's not expected there would be the votes for that, especially among republican members.

Still, the support for the resolution does illustrate the rancor and divisiveness that has taken root in the House since the riots on January 6th and the storming of the Capitol.


In February, the House voted to remove Greene from her committee assignments, a decisive step that came in the wake of recently unearthed incendiary and violent past statements from the congresswoman that triggered widespread backlash from Democrats and divided congressional republicans.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 19, 2021, 08:27:22 pm
Friday, 19th March Twenty One
Former lobbyist accuses Representative Tom Reed of sexual misconduct
by Beth Reinhard and Julie Tate


Nicolette Davis said she was 25, on her first networking trip as a junior lobbyist for an insurance company, when she felt the 45-year-old congressman’s hand on her back.

She and other lobbyists had gathered at an Irish pub in Minneapolis after a day of ice fishing, Davis told The Washington Post, and Representative Tom Reed (R-N.Y) was seated to her left.

“A drunk congressman is rubbing my back,” she texted a friend and co-worker at Aflac that evening in 2017, adding later,


Reed, his hand outside her blouse, briefly fumbled with her bra before unhooking it by pinching the clasp, Davis told The Post.

He moved his hand to her thigh, inching upward, she said.

Frozen in fear, she said, she asked the person sitting to her right for help.

He obliged by pulling the congressman away from the table and out of the restaurant, Davis said.

Reed declined to be interviewed for this story.

In response to a detailed list of questions, he said in a statement provided by his office:

“This account of my actions is not accurate.”


Davis’s account comes at a time when Reed is considering a run against New York Govorneor Andrew M. Cuomo (D), who is facing calls to resign after multiple women, mostly former state employees, accused him of sexual harassment or other inappropriate behavior.

Reed, who has described combating sexual violence and harassment as one of his priorities in Congress, recently argued that Cuomo should be impeached.

In February, after a second Cuomo aide accused the governor of harassment, Reed said:

“These incidents of sexual harassment and pattern of abuse are abhorrent and have absolutely no place in our society, let alone the highest rungs of government. Such behavior is disturbing and unacceptable.”

Davis contacted The Post through a newsroom tip line on February 11th, more than a week before Reed said on fox News that he is “seriously considering” challenging the governor in 2022 and nearly two weeks before the allegations against Cuomo began gaining traction.

She said her decision to tell her story about Reed has nothing to do with the governor’s race.

Now 29, she is a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army at Fort Sill, Oklahoma With her graduation from field artillery school approaching later this month, she has been thinking about the kind of platoon leader she wants to be, she said.

“I need to always act in good conscience and set the right example for the soldiers I will lead, including younger females,” she said of her decision to speak out.

“I hope it will allow people who have endured similar experiences to feel confident enough to say something.”

Last year, Davis filed a complaint accusing a military recruiter of making unwanted sexual advances.

An Army review “did not substantiate findings” of sexual harassment.

But the investigator recommended training for recruitment personnel, and the accused service member was not allowed to continue working as a recruiter, according to an August 2020 letter from the U.S. Army to Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), who inquired on Davis’s behalf.

Davis’s account of Reed’s actions in 2017 was supported by a person who was at the table that night.


The person told The Post that Reed was visibly intoxicated and put his hand on Davis’s back before being escorted from the restaurant while the rest of the group remained.

That person spoke on the condition of anonymity, citing potential career ramifications.

Davis said that when she returned to Washington after the weekend trip, she immediately shared more details with the co-worker she had texted, Jessica Strieter Elting.

In an interview, Strieter Elting said Davis told her about the congressman touching her back and tugging at and unhooking her bra.

“She was really shaken by it,” said Strieter Elting, who runs Aflac’s political affairs team in Washington, D.C.

“I felt horrible for her, being in that position while trying to do her job.”

Strieter Elting urged Davis to tell her supervisor at Aflac, then-vice president and counsel Brad Knox.

Knox, now a senior vice president at Aflac, said he recalled Davis telling him that Reed had been drinking and unbuttoned or unzipped an article of her clothing.

Knox said he asked Davis if she wanted to file a complaint with the House Ethics Committee, and she declined.

“I felt like crying because nobody should be subjected to that, especially a new young lobbyist,” he said.

Since his election to Congress in 2010, Reed has been outspoken on issues of sexual misconduct.

He published an essay four years later in the Huffington Post about his commitment to the international “No More” campaign to raise awareness about sexual assault and domestic violence.

When the #MeToo movement gained traction in late 2017, Reed rallied behind a House resolution that required lawmakers and staff to undergo training to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace.
“Sexual harassment training is a basic requirement in my office,” he said in a statement at the time.

“All members of my staff, including myself, have taken the training.”

Over the next year, more than a half-dozen members of Congress were forced to resign amid allegations of sexual harassment or misconduct.

Reed backed bipartisan legislation in 2018, which passed by unanimous consent, that required lawmakers to be personally liable for settlements with staffers who alleged harassment.

Asked how his advocacy for women can be reconciled with Davis’s allegations, Reed said in his statement to The Post,

“I stand by my record.”

His office referred The Post to Sarah Chamberlain, president of the republican Main Street Partnership, a group of center-right republicans to which Reed belongs.

Chamberlain said she was on the Minnesota trip in 2017 but was not in the pub with Reed that night.

Chamberlain said she has attended many events with the congressman over the past 20 years and has never seen him drink heavily or touch anyone inappropriately.

“I’ve never experienced anything except professionalism with him,” she said.

In the past month, more than a half-dozen women have come forward to accuse Cuomo of harassment and unwanted sexual advances, ranging from kisses and hugs to questions about their sex life.

One woman’s complaint that he groped her under her blouse was referred to local police.

Reed initially joined a throng of New York politicians in calling for Cuomo to resign.

When the governor refused, the congressman argued for impeachment.

Reed and two other House republicans from New York, Elise Stefanik and Lee Zeldin, have said they are contemplating bids to challenge Cuomo.

Reed is a co-chair of the Problem Solvers Caucus, a group of 56 House members, equally divided between republicans and Democrats, that looks for compromise on key issues.

Throughout the pandemic, Reed has been a prominent critic of a Cuomo policy that led nursing homes to accept thousands of covid-19 patients from overcrowded hospitals, possibly exacerbating the spread of the disease.

The Cuomo administration is also accused of misleading the public about the extent of nursing home deaths.

Cuomo has denied touching women “inappropriately” but apologized for “whatever pain I caused anyone.”

He has also defended his nursing home policies, saying he was following guidance from the federal government, and he has insisted the death count was accurate.

Cuomo’s behavior created ‘hostile’ and ‘toxic’ workplace for decades.

Back in January 2017, Davis was anxious about representing Aflac on the weekend trip to benefit the campaign committee of then-Representative Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) but excited to prove her mettle, she said.

She said she didn’t know any of the dozens of donors, lobbyists and other Capitol Hill insiders on the trip, which included a Friday night dinner in Minneapolis and ice fishing Saturday at Lake Minnetonka.

Davis, who was married at the time, said she was briefly introduced to Reed at the lake on Saturday afternoon.

She said he appeared intoxicated, and once slipped and fell on the ice.

After the group returned to their hotel, Davis changed from a sweatshirt into a blouse, with a camisole underneath.

A couple lobbyists invited her to nearby Kieran’s Irish Pub for food and drinks.

Reed and a few others were already there, Davis said.

She said she was excited to be seated next to Reed, a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.

Davis said she was stunned when Reed touched her back and leg.

She said she was too scared to say anything or look in his direction.

“I was also angry,” she said.

“I had wanted to go on this trip so badly but at that time, it didn’t matter that I had been working hard or that I had a master’s degree. All that mattered was that I was a warm female body.”

She texted Strieter Elting to complain about Reed rubbing her back and about a fellow lobbyist who she said was flirting with her.

“No, no, no!!’’ Strieter Elting responded, in an exchange she provided to The Post.

“Would you like for me to call with an emergency?’’

“I’m okay now!’’ Davis texted back.

“A nice person saved me. Thank you!!’’

Once Reed was steered out of the restaurant, Davis said she went into the bathroom to refasten her bra.

She said she now regrets her decision not to bring the matter to the ethics committee.

“I was afraid I would become ‘that girl’ who made a mess of things for a member, and that no one would ever want to associate with me,” she said.

In 2020, she left Aflac to pursue a lifelong dream and enlist in the Army.

Before speaking publicly about Reed, Davis notified her commanding officers and the Army’s Office of Public Affairs.

Davis said the Army referred her statement about Reed to the Minneapolis Police Department, and that officers called her in recent days to follow up.

She said she told police she stood by her statement but was not seeking to have Reed charged with a crime.

Knox and Strieter Elting each said they were also contacted by police, and Strieter Elting said she turned over the text message exchange.

The police department declined to comment.

Davis said police later told her their inquiry had been closed.

Davis described herself as a lifelong Democrat but said her allegations against Reed are not politically motivated.

She said she has volunteered for a few Democratic campaigns.

Public records show she has contributed $2,500 total in varying amounts to one republican and four Democratic members of Congress.

She also gave $750 to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in 2016.

“I would be speaking out even if Reed was a Democrat,” Davis said.

“I very much support holding members accountable irrespective of party affiliation who have something like this in their past.”

More than a year after the Minneapolis trip, with Knox’s support, Davis became a founding member of a sexual harassment task force comprising leaders of several government affairs groups.

Davis said she worked with the group to develop recommendations “to protect professionals from sexual harassment as well as begin the process of changing the current culture in Washington.”

She never mentioned the episode with Reed.

A former mayor of Corning, New York, Reed represents the 23rd Congressional District, which includes the city of Ithaca.

Reed was among only three republicans to support prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

He is the only republican among the 97 co-sponsors of a resolution that aims to expedite passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and he was among only four republicans who voted for the measure this week.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 20, 2021, 12:38:39 pm

Saturday, 20th March Twenty One
Yes, Capitol Rioters Were Armed
by Tom Dreisbach, Tim Mak and Emine Yücel


In the wake of the January 6th insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a popular narrative has emerged: that because rioters did not fire guns that day, they were not really "armed."

But a review of the federal charges against the alleged rioters shows that they did come armed, and with a variety of weapons: stun guns, pepper spray, baseball bats and flagpoles wielded as clubs.

An additional suspect also allegedly planted pipe bombs by the headquarters of the Democratic and Republican parties the night before the riot and remains at large.

Those weapons brought violence and chaos to the Capitol.

Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick died one day after two rioters allegedly sprayed him and other officers with what prosecutors describe as an "unknown chemical substance."

Four other people in the crowd died in the insurrection, and more than 100 police officers suffered injuries, including cracked ribs, gouged eyes and shattered spinal disks.

"There is a reluctance on the part of some in conservative circles to accept that domestic terrorism is largely coming from right-wing extremist groups," said Beirich.

Here are some of the myths about the weapons used in the Capitol riot and what thousands of pages of court documents can tell us about what actually happened:

Myth 1

The weapons used in the Capitol riot did not actually pose a deadly threat to lawmakers.

The Facts

Many of the weapons allegedly used in the riot are considered "less lethal" but are dangerous and can even be fatal, according to experts.

The Cases

"In America, we have this thought that everything is focused on a gun, on a firearm," Boyd said.

"And we miss the fact that so many other people are killed with so many other weapons."

At least one of the rioters was allegedly found with a stun gun.

Richard Barnett was photographed sitting in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office with his feet up on a desk.

Barnett, who self-identifies as a "white nationalist," was seen in that photo with what federal law enforcement later identified as a "ZAP Hike N Strike 950,000 Volt Stun Gun Walking Stick."

According to a product description, the weapon "delivers 950,000 volts of knock down power, causing loss of muscle control and disorientation that bring attackers to their knees and makes them incapable of further aggression."

(A Reuters investigation found that, as of 2017, more than 1,000 people died after police used a stun gun on them.)

Other defendants allegedly brought a variety of blunt objects. Around 400 Americans are killed by blunt objects every year, according to FBI data.

Myth 2

People involved in the Capitol riot were not "armed" because they did not have any guns.

The Facts

At least three people arrested in connection with the Capitol riot are facing gun charges, though the government has not alleged that those three were part of the actual breach of the building.

Other defendants are suspected of possessing guns during the riot but, like the vast majority of the estimated 800 rioters, were not searched that day.

The Cases

Federal prosecutors say that Christopher Michael Alberts of Maryland was arrested on Capitol grounds on the evening of January 6th while carrying a Taurus G2c 9 mm handgun with one round in the chamber and a full 12-round magazine.

He also allegedly had an extra magazine in his pocket and was carrying a gas mask, pocket knife and first-aid kit.

Lonnie Leroy Coffman of Alabama was also arrested that evening after law enforcement found two firearms on his person, as well as what a federal judge referred to as a "small armory" in his truck, which was parked near the Capitol.

According to the court, the government found "a loaded handgun," "a loaded rifle," "a loaded shotgun," "a crossbow with bolts," "several machetes," "a stun gun" and "11 mason jars containing a flammable liquid, with a hole punched in the top of each jar."

According to the government, surveillance footage showed him "in attendance at the events at the Capitol," though he has not been charged with breaching the building.

Cleveland Grover Meredith of North Carolina planned to arrive in D.C. for the Trump rallies on January 6th, according to federal prosecutors, but he was delayed because of car trouble.

He was arrested the following day for allegedly assaulting a man in Washington, D.C., in a traffic-related incident and for making death threats against the D.C. mayor and Pelosi.

Myth 3

A Capitol Police officer was killed after being hit with a fire extinguisher.

The Facts

Early news reports appear to have gotten this wrong.

Some officers were attacked with fire extinguishers, but Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick was actually attacked with an unidentified chemical spray, per court documents, and died the following evening.

The Cases

Two men — Julian Khater and George Tanios — allegedly conspired to injure police officers defending the Capitol and used an unidentified chemical spray on three officers, including Sicknick.

Prosecutors say Khater said on video "give me that bear s***" at one point, suggesting the chemical was bear spray.

"All three officers were incapacitated and unable to perform their duties for at least 20 minutes or longer while they recovered from the spray," federal prosecutors say.

Two officers told investigators that the spray was "as strong as, if not stronger than, any version of pepper spray they had been exposed to during their training as law enforcement officers."

Sicknick died on January 7th, but officials have not yet made public details about the exact cause of his death.

Myth 4

Rioters in the crowd were not dangerous because they were just carrying flags.

The Facts

In at least seven cases, federal prosecutors say rioters used flagpoles as weapons to attack law enforcement or destroy property.

The Cases

Federal prosecutors accuse Jeffrey McKellop of assaulting police officers with a deadly or dangerous weapon on January 6th.

An FBI affidavit cites police body camera footage that allegedly shows McKellop wearing a gas mask and tactical gear and attacking police with a flagpole.

At one point, prosecutors say, he threw a flagpole like a "spear" and lacerated an officer's face.

A video cited in federal court records allegedly shows Peter Stager striking a police officer repeatedly with a flagpole while the officer lays facedown on the steps of the Capitol building.

Court documents allege Thomas Webster attacked an officer by lunging toward him and striking him with a flagpole numerous times.

Chad Barrett Jones allegedly used a "long, wood flagpole" to strike out a door's glass panel near the Speaker's Lobby as the mob shouted, "Break it down!" and "Let's f***ing go!"

Soon after, rioter Ashli Babbitt tried to climb through one of the doors' broken windows and was shot and killed.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 20, 2021, 08:43:26 pm
Saturday, 20th March Twenty One
Julia Letlow wins northeast Louisiana-based US House seat

(BATON ROUGE, Louisiana) — republican Julia Letlow easily won a Saturday special election for the northeast Louisiana-based 5th District U.S. House seat that her husband, Luke, couldn’t fill because of his death from complications related to COVID-19.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 27, 2021, 05:47:01 am
Saturday, 27th March Twenty One
'199 years is long enough'
by Sarah Betancourt


Earlier this week, Kim Janey, the first woman and Black person to lead the city of Boston, became acting mayor.

She was sworn in by the first Black woman to lead Massachusetts’ highest court, Kimberly Budd, and the first Black Massachusetts congresswoman, Ayanna Pressley.

That’s a lot of firsts for a city that was central in the abolition movement and educational home of civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr, who studied at Boston University.

Fifty-four white men have led Boston since it was incorporated as a city in 1822, most described as being of “New England Yankee” or Irish descent, and before that numerous white selectmen from when it was settled in 1630.

That changed this week with the rise of Janey to the position of acting mayor, with the strong prospect she will run for election this November in hopes of cementing her position.

The outgoing mayor, Martin Walsh, just left to become Joe Biden’s labor secretary.

As council president, Janey was next in line, with the title of acting mayor bestowed by the city’s charter.

The ascension is a far cry from when she was an 11-year-old being bussed from the predominantly Black neighborhood of Roxbury to a middle school in much whiter, grittier neighborhood of Charlestown in 1976, watching angry white faces protesting the effects of a court-mandated effort intending to desegregate the school district.

“For months I saw them throw rocks, bottles, sticks, yell racial slurs … ‘Go back to Africa’, ‘You don’t belong here’,” she told the Guardian.

Janey went back to that school on her first day as acting mayor, stopping by a classroom of students learning about desegregation.

“To be able to hear their thoughts on it, and then talk to them as someone who has lived through it, and is now standing in their classroom as the first Black mayor is pretty powerful,” she said.

Janey’s ancestors escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad to Nova Scotia, with some settling in Boston seven generations ago, as described by the Massachusetts genealogist and author Chris Child.

Janey became a mother at 16, and attended community college while supporting her daughter, Kimesha.

She transferred to Smith College, where she cleaned bathrooms to pay for her degree.

Her studies were interrupted to care for a relative, but she eventually earned her Smith degree in 1994.

Before entering politics, she worked as an activist and project director at Massachusetts Advocates for Children, promoting educational equity.

Janey won a city council election in 2017 and went on to represent parts of the wealthier neighborhoods of the South End and the Fenway, and the more racially diverse neighborhoods of Dorchester and Roxbury.

Many of her constituents fall under the oft-quoted statistic from the 2015 report by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston – that the median net worth for Black families in the city is just $8, compared with $247,500 for white families.

That, she said at her first mayoral address, is “not an accident. It’s a product of the discriminatory policies that we have all inherited. We need to call it out.”

Her tenure starts at a time when racial and financial inequalities were laid bare by the COVID-19 surging through Boston’s communities of color, especially among essential workers.

Janey’s stated immediate goals are fair vaccine distribution, especially getting more shots to underserved Black communities, returning children to school safely, and centering disadvantaged workers in the city’s economic recovery.

But she has inherited a set of additional challenges.

Janey will be the key facilitator in a budget battle that may mirror the fight she led last year.

Shortly after the death of George Floyd under the knee of a white police officer, Janey led a group of councilors to demand Walsh cut the $414m police budget by 10%, and infuse social programs with $300m in city funds.

The effort didn’t pass and garnered an angry response from the police union.

Walsh instead moved funds from the police overtime budget to other programs.

While she didn’t commit to the same budget cut, in an interview with the Guardian this week, Janey did say she was reviewing police reform and plans to hire a director to lead the city’s new police accountability office, a measure signed by Walsh in January.

Beyond that, she wants to “think bigger on issues beyond police overtime” and reimagine how residents can respond to crises.

“If a resident is calling 911 when they see someone who may be battling eviction or if they see someone sleeping on the front stoop at a store front, are police the right response?” she said, adding alternatives like clinicians and housing experts might be better responders.

She said she wants to tackle economic struggles and inequality.

“The same communities hardest hit by the public health crisis are experiencing the highest rates of housing and food insecurity” Janey wrote in an op-ed, saying she will take on the issue with “new urgency”.

Segun Idowu, executive director of the Black economic council of Massachusetts, worked with then councilor Janey on issues faced by Black small businesses and cannabis shops hard hit by the pandemic, and hopes that she will improve support.

“What’s important about this is, in Boston’s 200-year history, the person in the corner office doesn’t need a crash course to understand the experiences of half of the city’s population,” said Idowu.

Janey has not announced whether she will run for mayor in November but two individuals close to her told the Guardian she is seriously considering it.

She would face a challenge from city councilors Michelle Wu, Andrea Campbell, Annissa Essaibi George, state representative Jon Santiago and the city’s chief of economic development, John Barros, the most racially diverse set of candidates in Boston mayoral campaign history.

But right now, Janey is relishing her historic moment.

“A hundred and ninety-nine years is long enough. Madam. Mayor. Kim. Janey,” reads a video posted on her Twitter account, showing all of Boston’s mayors’ white male faces, ending in her own.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 27, 2021, 12:43:50 pm
Saturday, 27th March Twenty One
House Democrats introduce legislation to block DeJoy's Postal Service sabotage
by Joan McCarter


Postmaster Louis DeJoy has made a very powerful enemy: the U.S. Congress.

Well, the Democrats who control the House, anyway.

A group of House Democrats has introduced the "Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act."

Yes, the DEJOY Act, which is a crime against legislative nomenclature.

But the lawmakers are serious, intent on blocking DeJoy from implementing the service changes he intends, including slowing delivery of first-class mail to as long as five days.

"This is the best way to kill your business," Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Illinois Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill, said.

"To basically say to your customers, 'We're not going to meet your expectations. You're going to meet our service realities, regardless of what ends up happening.'"

Krishnamoorthi told The Washington Post that this "particular change, going from 100 percent of first-class mail being delivered one to three days to only 70 percent, would be a nonstarter, in my opinion, with the American people."

DeJoy's response to Congress in a hearing before he released his plan doomed the reception of it.

While DeJoy wasn't quite as obnoxious and insulting to members as in previous outings, he still angered many of them.

DeJoy actually said "Does it make a difference if it's an extra day to get a letter?" as if people weren't relying on the mail to get their prescriptions, to pay their bills, to receive checks. Then he had the chutzpah to say, "I would give myself an 'A' for bringing strategy and the planning and effort to here."

It's not just Congress that is set against DeJoy.

Pennsylvania's Attorney General Josh Shapiro threatened legal action if DeJoy's changes "illegally come at the expense of those who rely on the mail for everything from paychecks to medications."

The Postal Service, he reminds us, is a public service and "Changes to its universal service guarantee must go through a process that is designed to protect the public interest."

Shapiro's office told the Post that "it was encouraged that DeJoy recognizes the legal obligations to secure limited regulatory approvals, but said it remained concerned about timely mail delivery."

DeJoy wants to slash service, cut USPS post office hours, and increase postage costs for consumers, delivering worse service for higher cost in his attempt to save $160 billion over 10 years.

That's along with legislation from Congress that is likely to pass that will repeal the 2006 law forcing the USPS to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance.

It's the only agency that Congress has ever required to do that, a decision made when cooking the books to make the deficit look better.

The USPS is an off-budget entity—its operating expenses don't come out of the Treasury, but its payments into the federal health benefits system do, so this intergovernmental agency pumping funds in for retiree health benefits could be counted as revenue for the federal government.

It was so much book-cooking but had real consequences in burdening the USPS.

Representative Carolyn Maloney, chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has legislation that would both repeal the 2006 law and enroll future retirees in Medicare.

They're now in the federal employees benefits plan, where all that pre-funding money has been going.

DeJoy's planned price hikes and service cuts are getting panned by consumer groups—including business groups that rely on the mail.

There are lawsuits in the works to force a stop to the changes.

"In the entire fifty-eight pages of the plan there does not appear to be any effort to retain mail volume," PostCom, a national postal commerce advocacy group, wrote.

"Apart from price increases and service reductions, there is little about mail in the plan at all. That's inaction."

Another group, the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers, said "the plan will drive mail volume down to levels not seen since before it reached 100 billion in 1980. […] If we mailers win our federal lawsuit, the plan is sunk."

DeJoy has to be stopped before he can implement these changes.

He should have been gone before now—when his disqualifying conflicts of interest surfaced.


The fact that the USPS Board of Governors picked DeJoy—who was unqualified, had never worked in the Postal Service, and who got the job after making big donations to individual-1's convention—without any vetting process means they have to go, too.

Biden should fire the board.

The Senate should make confirming Biden's new board members a top priority.

The Postal Service is too critical an institution to let this malfeasance continue.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on March 27, 2021, 02:24:18 pm
Friday, 26th March  Twenty One
by Heather Cox Richardson

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp signed his state’s new voter suppression law last night in a carefully staged photo op.

As journalist Will Bunch of the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out, Kemp sat at a polished table, with six white men around him, under a painting of the Callaway Plantation on which more than 100 Black people had been enslaved.

As the men bore witness to the signing, Representative Park Cannon, a Black female lawmaker, was arrested and dragged away from the governor’s office.

It was a scene that conjured up a lot of history.

Voting was on the table in March 1858, too.

Then, the U.S. Senate fought over how the new territory of Kansas would be admitted to the Union.

The majority of voters in the territory wanted it to be free, but a minority of proslavery Democrats had taken control of the territory’s government and written a constitution that would make human enslavement the fundamental law in the state.

The fight over whether this minority, or the majority that wanted the territory free, would control Kansas burned back east, to Congress.

In the Senate, South Carolina Senator James Henry Hammond, who rejected “as ridiculously absurd” the idea that “all men are born equal,” rose to speak on the subject.

He defended the rule of the proslavery minority in Kansas, and told anti-slavery northerners how the world really worked.

Hammond laid out a new vision for the United States of America.

He explained to his Senate colleagues just how wealthy the South’s system of human enslavement had made the region, then explained that the “harmonious… and prosperous” system worked precisely because a few wealthy men ruled over a larger class with “a low order of intellect and but little skill.”

Hammond explained that in the South, those workers were Black slaves, but the North had such a class, too: they were “your whole hireling class of manual laborers.”

These distinctions had crucial political importance, he explained,

“Our slaves do not vote. We give them no political power. Yours do vote, and, being the majority, they are the depositaries of all your political power. If they knew the tremendous secret, that the ballot-box is stronger than ‘an army with banners,’ and could combine, where would you be? Your society would be reconstructed, your government overthrown, your property divided… by the quiet process of the ballot-box.”

Hammond believed the South's system must spread to Kansas and the West regardless of what settlers there wanted because it was the only acceptable way to organize society.

Two years later, Hammond would be one of those working to establish the confederate states of america, “founded,” in the words of their vice president, Alexander Stephens, upon the “great physical, philosophical, and moral truth… that the negro is not equal to the white man.”

Illinois lawyer Abraham Lincoln recognized that if Americans accepted the principle that some men were better than others, and permitted southern Democrats to spread that principle by dominating the government, they had lost democracy.

"I should like to know, if taking this old Declaration of Independence, which declares ... are equal upon principle, and making exceptions to it, where will it stop?” he asked.

Led by Abraham Lincoln, Republicans rejected the slaveholders’ unequal view of the world as a radical reworking of the nation’s founding principles.

They stood firm on the Declaration of Independence.

When southerners fought to destroy the government rather than accept human equality, Lincoln reminded Americans just how fragile our democracy is.

At Gettysburg in November 1863, he rededicated the nation to the principles of the Declaration and called upon his audience “to be dedicated… to the great task remaining before us… that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

The United States defeated the confederacy, outlawed human enslavement except as punishment for crime, declared Black Americans citizens, and in 1867, with the Military Reconstruction Act, began to establish impartial suffrage.

The Military Reconstruction Act, wrote Maine politician James G. Blaine in 1893, “changed the political history of the United States.”

Today, as I looked at the photograph of Governor Kemp signing that bill, I wondered just how much.”
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 05, 2021, 06:28:46 pm
Monday, 5th April Twenty One
Sorry, Charlie
by Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Former Allegheny County Councilman Charles McCullough, a republican, has lost his last chance to avoid complying with a prison sentence for theft and is set to appear Tuesday before a county judge.

The state Supreme Court on Monday denied his application for extraordinary relief and motion to stay the sentence.

Mr. McCullough is scheduled to appear at 9 a.m. Tuesday before Judge David Cashman for a hearing to comply with a 2½- to five-year sentence.

Mr. McCullough was convicted of multiple charges of theft and misapplication of funds.

He was arrested after being accused of writing more than $40,000 in political contribution checks taken without permission from the accounts of an elderly widow he represented.

Judge Cashman had ordered Mr. McCullough to comply with the sentence last year after he had lost his appeal before the state Superior Court, but further appeals have kept him from reporting to prison.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on April 15, 2021, 10:23:20 am
Thursday, 14th April  Twenty One
Rick Ain't Slick!
by Austin Huguelet


(SPRINGFIELD, Missouri) — Representative Rick Roeber, a Lee’s Summit Republican facing accusations by his adult children that he physically and sexually abused them when they were young, is resigning from the Missouri House.

Representative Rick Roeber, R-Lee’s Summit, did not mention the allegations against him or an ongoing probe by the House ethics committee in a letter to the state House clerk.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 07, 2021, 08:28:14 pm
Friday, 7th May  Twenty One
republicans are simply not interested in democracy anymore.
That Means The Democrats Are Winning!
by Rafi Schwartz


republicans from all levels of government in this country have made little secret in recent years of the fact that their political power derives almost exclusively from a longstanding, and largely successful, effort to manipulate the electoral process to their exclusive benefit.

Extreme partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, allegations of electoral fraud — they're all tools the gop and its conservative allies use to maximize the "right" kind of votes (that is: people who vote for them) at the expense of, y'know, actual democracy.

But if the gop's semi-whispered reverence for restricted voting was a poorly kept secret before, the past few days have been like turning a dog whistle into a full blown bullhorn.

We've gone from subliminal, to liminal, to super-liminal in record time.

Speaking with WLOX last month, Mississippi Secretary of State Michael Watson, a republican, claimed without evidence that the Biden administration is "basically employing all the federal agencies, universities, and colleges to register as many folks as they can via this automatic voter registration."

It's possible Watson was talking about the Democrats' For The People Act, which, while not a Biden administration bill, does indeed tackle automatic voter registration.

But let's not let details like "what is he actually referring to" get in the way of unpacking his deep commitment to stopping more people from voting.

"Think about all those woke college and university students now who will automatically be registered to vote whether they wanted to or not," Watson added.

"If they didn't know to opt-out, they're going to be automatically registered to vote and then they receive this mail-in ballot that they probably didn't know was coming because they didn't know they were registered to vote."

You see, Watson continued, the problem with "woke college and university students" voting is that they are evidently by default (at least, according to him) "an uninformed citizen who may not be prepared and ready to vote. Automatically, it's forced on them: 'Hey, go make a choice.' And our country's going to pay for those choices."

In other words, because college students are "woke" (which, in this instance, seems to mean "not republicans"), their being encouraged to vote would be a disaster that the U.S. is "going to pay for."

Subtle, right?

Definitely the sort of thing you blurt out during a televised interview if you're trying to hide the fact that you simply don't want certain types of people at the polls.

But Watson wasn't alone in his extremely blatant push for turning the country into an unrepresentative semi-democracy (at least, more so than it already is).

Joining him this week was none other than the iconic arch-conservative publication National Review, which is so steeped in racist opposition to expanded voting that its founding editor, William F. Buckley, wrote in the late 1950s:

The question, as far as the white community is concerned, is whether the claims of civilization supersede those of universal suffrage. The British believe they do, and acted accordingly, in Kenya, where the choice was dramatically one between civilization and barbarism, and elsewhere; the South, where the conflict is by no means dramatic, as in Kenya, nevertheless perceives important qualitative differences between its culture and the Negroes’, and intends to assert its own.

National Review believes that the South’s premises are correct.

Now, in the year 2021, National Review has once again waded into the question of who should be allowed to vote and why, publishing the following this week as part of an essay unironically titled "Why Not Fewer Voters?":

One argument for encouraging bigger turnout is that if more eligible voters go to the polls then the outcome will more closely reflect what the average American voter wants. That sounds like a wonderful thing ... if you haven’t met the average American voter.

The piece, by conservative author Kevin Williamson — most famous for being fired after a brief stint at The Atlantic for repeatedly suggesting that the punishment for terminating a pregnancy be hanging — conspicuously frames itself as being in favor of a democracy that is less representative and more responsible for the most number of people.

"Representatives are people who act in other people's interests, which is distinct from carrying out a group's stated demands as certified by majority vote," Williamson writes.

That may be true (may!), but the current argument over protecting, and expanding, access to voting isn't based on a philosophical debate over what does and doesn't constitute a representative democracy.

It's about working to counteract a renewed push by conservatives to limit voting among a very deliberately targeted group of people — frequently members of minority communities — who threaten the gop's political power.
In other words, it's not about making a better system of government, it's about gaming the system we have now.

And what would it look like with fewer voters, as conservative voices have been clamoring for with renewed fervor since the 2020 election?

Well, look no further than Missouri, where conservative lawmakers have essentially decided that they're in a position to overturn a popular vote count on a measure to expand Medicaid eligibility, simply because, as one republican lawmaker put it, he was "proud to stand against the will of the people who were lied to."

Or, put another way: Never mind that voters passed a state constitutional amendment to expand Medicaid by a 53.3% to 46.7% margin (around 83,000 votes); the republican legislators of Missouri simply know better, will of the public be damned.

And wouldn't this all be so much easier if only the "right" sort of people had voted in the first place?

"I hate the term when we say we're a democracy, we are a constitutional representative republic," gop Missouri state Representative john simmons, who is sponsoring a separate measure to make it more difficult for the public to vote on constitutional amendments, told the Kansas City Star on Wednesday.

"People voted us in in November, too," he added.

And clearly, those were the right kind of people.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 07, 2021, 10:24:32 pm
Saturday, 8th May  Twenty One
Voter-Suppression Robocalls Case Heading to Trial
by Michigan Department of Attorney General

(LANSING, Michigan) - Two men accused of intimidating minority voters in Detroit and other cities through a robocall meant to suppress turnout in the November 2020 election will stand trial after a failed dismissal attempt.

Last October, Arlington, Virginia residents Jack Burkman, 54, and Jacob Wohl, 22, were bound over to Wayne County Circuit Court on charges of:


After the case was bound over, the defendants filed a motion to have it dismissed, which was heard and denied by Circuit Court Judge Margaret VanHouten on February 23rd.

Following that denial, the defendants appealed to the Michigan Court of Appeals on March 16th.

Their application was denied Thursday, meaning the case will go to trial.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on May 11, 2021, 06:46:11 pm
Tuesday, 11th May  Twenty One
Appeals court rules Ex-US Representative Brown should get new trial
by Associated Press


(JACKSONVILLE, Florida) — A federal appeals court ordered a new trial on Thursday for former U.S. Representative Corrine Brown, once a powerful Florida Democrat.

She had served just over two years of a five-year sentence for fraud and other crimes related to a purported charity for poor students that prosecutors said she had used as a personal slush fund.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the judge in Ms. Brown’s case violated her Sixth Amendment right to a unanimous jury verdict.

The panel voted 7-4 to vacate Ms. Brown’s 2017 convictions and sentence.

The appeals court decided that the judge in Ms. Brown’s case abused his discretion by removing a juror who expressed, after deliberations had begun, that the Holy Spirit told him that Ms. Brown was not guilty on all charges.

The juror repeatedly assured the judge that he was following the jury instructions and basing his decision on the evidence, but the judge concluded that the juror’s statements about receiving divine guidance were categorically disqualifying, court records said.

Ms. Brown, who in 1992 became one of the first three African Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction, was convicted by a federal jury in May 2017 on 18 of the 22 charges against her.

The charges included fraud and lying on her tax returns and congressional financial disclosures.

Ms. Brown reported to prison in January 2018 and was released in April 2020 after serving just two years of the five-year sentence.

Her attorney had argued that she needed to be released to protect her from COVID-19 then spreading through the prison system.

Ms. Brown represented a Florida district that included Jacksonville during her nearly 25-year career.

Prosecutors said she siphoned money from the One Door for Education Foundation for personal use.

They said the pattern of fraud by Ms. Brown and her top aide included using hundreds of thousands of dollars from the foundation for lavish parties, trips and shopping excursions.

Federal prosecutors said Ms. Brown, her chief of staff and One Door’s executive director used the charity to bring in more than $800,000 between 2012 and 2016, through donations and events including a high-profile golf tournament at TPC Sawgrass.

The Virginia-based One Door gave out only one scholarship, for $1,200, to an unidentified person in Florida, according to court documents.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 16, 2021, 05:46:38 pm
Wednesday, 16th June  Twenty One
Householder Is Dropped!!!
by The Associated Press


(COLUMBUS, Ohio) — Members of the Ohio House expelled Representative larry householder, the federally indicted republican ex-speaker, Wednesday in a bipartisan vote that invoked their powers to remove a member for the first time in 150 years.

The gop-controlled House voted 75-21 to remove Householder, of Perry County, approving a resolution that stated he was not suited for office because of the indictment.

The state Constitution allows expulsion for "disorderly conduct" without defining it.

Defiant to the end, householder reiterated his innocence in a House floor speech before the vote.

The full House took to a vote after republican lawmakers forced the measure to the floor instead of waiting for the expulsion resolution to work through the committee process.

Representatives brian stewart and mark fraizer, both republicans representing districts that border householder's, encouraged their colleagues to "do the right thing" and remove householder from his seat.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 23, 2021, 10:23:51 am
Wednesday, 23rd June   Twenty One
It's Election Day!


If you're ready for change, vote for Democrat India Walton for Buffalo mayor.

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on June 23, 2021, 06:29:45 pm
Wednesday, 23rd June  Twenty One
India Walton defeats four-term Buffalo mayor in historic upset election!
by Denis Slattery & Chris Sommerfeldt


(ALBANY, NY) — An upstate New York nurse and community activist has defeated Buffalo’s four-term Democratic mayor in an upset primary election that puts her on track to become the first avowed socialist in charge of a major American city in over six decades.

India Walton, a political newcomer without any previous government experience, declared victory Wednesday after it became clear that Mayor Byron Brown could not chip away at her 1,507-ballot lead.

“There are so many people people who made this victory possible, but I have to give a special shout out to NYWFP and the entire Working Families Party,” Walton said in a statement, referring to the progressive group that backed her candidacy.

“With no support from the Buffalo Democratic establishment, we turned to WFP, and they delivered.”

Brown, a former chairman of the state Democratic Party and a close ally of Governor Cuomo, did not immediately concede.

However, the Associated Press has called the Tuesday primary for Walton, given that the number of outstanding absentee ballots are not enough to flip the result.

Cuomo, who has appeared with Brown several times in recent months, blamed the result on low turnout and the 16-year incumbent’s lackluster campaign performance.

“He decided basically, his campaign strategy, as I understand it, was basically to avoid engaging in a campaign,” Cuomo said at a press conference in Manhattan.

“And then you had a very low turnout. We know that combination, we’ve seen that before. That doesn’t work ... We’ve seen that movie before.”

Walton, who identifies as a socialist and harshly criticized Brown’s ties to Cuomo and reliance on corporate donations during the campaign, will face a republican challenger in November’s general election.

Historically speaking, her chances of winning are high, as Buffalo, New York’s second largest city, hasn’t had a gop mayor since 1965.

If she wins the November contest, she will be the first socialist to lead an American city since 1960, when Milwaukee Mayor Frank Zeidler stepped down.

She would also be the first female mayor in Buffalo history.

National progressive groups touted Walton’s victory as a sign that left-wing policies are popular with Democratic voters.

“India Walton’s historic victory shows that when you campaign on progressive policies like a Homes Guarantee, stand with everyday people over billionaires, and run with the movement, you win,” said Brooke Adams, the politics director of the People’s Action Movement.

Walton campaigned on promises to adopt sanctuary city rules in Buffalo, beef up tenant protections and phasing out police responses to mental health emergency calls, among other issues.

Like Adams, Walton suggested her brand of politics is the way of the future and signaled she intends to help elect socialist candidates for Buffalo’s Common Council.

“This campaign is only the beginning. This doesn’t stop with me. ‘We’re coming for all the damn seats,” she said.

In another upstate New York election upset, Malik Evans, a Rochester councilman, defeated the city’s embattled Mayor Lovely Warren, who’s under indictment over allegations of campaign finance violations.

Warren conceded already Tuesday night after Evans clinched more than 65% of the vote in early tabulations.

The insurgent upstate sweeps were not replicated in New York City, where Eric Adams, one of the most moderate candidates in the race to replace Mayor de Blasio, held a substantial lead in early results from Tuesday night’s Democratic primary.

However, final results in the city’s mayoral race won’t be known for weeks due to the new ranked-choice voting system.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 20, 2021, 06:17:47 am
Tuesday, 20th July   Twenty One
Democrat unveils bill to allow only House members to serve as Speaker
by Cristina Marcos


A new bill introduced on Monday by Representative Brendan Boyle, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, would allow only an elected House member to serve as Speaker after individual-1 called the suggestion that he seek the gavel "so interesting."

The Constitution does not directly state that the House Speaker must be a member of the chamber, but to date, the role has never been filled by an outsider.

Boyle argued that the statute should be made clear, even if electing someone outside of Congress to serve as Speaker remains a long shot.

His bill, titled the Mandating That Being an Elected Member Be an Essential Requirement for Speakership Act, would explicitly limit eligibility to current House lawmakers.

"The Speaker of the U.S. House is second in the United States presidential line of succession. That individual-1's name would even be tossed around as a potential speaker in the people's house, should serve as an alarm bell that our current requirements need to be amended in the name of protecting our nation and our democracy," Boyle said in a statement.

While all Speakers in U.S. history have been incumbent members of the House, any lawmaker can nominate whomever they wish during the roll call at the start of each session of Congress to elect the chamber's top-ranking leader.

In recent years, some lawmakers who didn't want to vote for their party's leader have opted to nominate outsiders.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 21, 2021, 05:43:45 am
Wednesday, 21st July Twenty One
Marjorie Taylor Greene Must Pay Mask Fine
by Tommy Christopher


Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene and two other House republicans have had their appeals denied, and must now pay $500 fines for violating Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi’s Covid mask mandate.


The House Committee on Ethics has ruled on appeals by Greene and Representatives Thomas Massie and Ralph Norman, releasing identical statements upholding the fines:

On May 20th, 2021, the Committee received a notification from the Office of the Sergeant at Arms that Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene has been fined pursuant to House Resolution 38 and House Rule II, clause 3(g).

Representative Greene filed an appeal with the Committee on June 18, 2021, after the Committee adopted its written rules.

Pursuant to House Resolution 38 and clause 3(g)(3)(C) of House Rule II, upon receipt of an appeal after the Committee adopts its written rules, the Committee has 30 days to consider the appeal, and the fine will be upheld unless the appeal is agreed to by a majority of the Committee.

A majority of the Committee did not agree to the appeal.

Pursuant to House Resolution 38 and clause 3(g)(3)(C) of House Rule II, the Committee hereby publishes the required notification and Representative Greene’s written appeal.

The committee also published Greene’s lengthy appeal letter, in which she argued, among other things, that the fine “violates the Twenty-Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution, the First Amendment to the United States Constitution, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution, and the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution.”

The fines were levied after a gaggle of republicans staged a “courageous” mask protest in May, complete with photo op, that saw most receive only a warning.

In her appeal, Greene also noted that Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s mask mandate ran counter to CDC guidance at the time, permitting the removal of masks by fully-vaccinated people in most circumstances.

But many House republicans were not confirmed to be in that category.

In a CNN survey of members of Congress, 100 percent of Democrats in the House and Senate said they had been vaccinated.

But just 44.8 percent of republican House members and 92 percent of GOP senators said they’d gotten the jab.

Pelosi herself took to the floor after the violations to remind members that “the House is following the guidance of the attending physician, who has stated that the present mask requirements and other guidelines remain unchanged in the Hall of the House until all members and the floor staff are fully vaccinated. That is the advisory of the attending physician.”

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 22, 2021, 07:32:57 pm
Thursday, 22nd July  Twenty One
Judge orders US Capitol insurrectionist to unlock laptop seized by FBI
by Hannah Rabinowitz and Marshall Cohen


A federal judge forced a US Capitol rioter to unlock his laptop Wednesday after prosecutors argued that it likely contained footage of the January 6th insurrection from his helmet-worn camera.

The judge granted the Justice Department's request to place Capitol riot defendant Guy Reffitt in front of his laptop so they could use facial recognition to unlock the device.

The maneuver happened after the hearing ended and Reffitt's lawyer confirmed to CNN that the laptop was unlocked.

Investigators seized the laptop and other devices earlier this year pursuant to a search warrant.

Reffitt has been in jail since his arrest in January.

His case received national attention after his son spoke publicly about how Reffitt had threatened to kill family members if they turned him into the FBI.

The case became an example of how individual-1's lies tore some families apart -- Reffitt's son and daughter testified against him in court or before the grand jury.

He pleaded not guilty to five federal crimes, including bringing a handgun to the Capitol grounds during the insurrection and obstructing justice by allegedly threatening his family.

The felony gun charge was added last month, and undercuts false claims from individual-1 and prominent republican lawmakers that the rioters weren't armed and that they had "no guns whatsoever."

The case raised intriguing constitutional questions about the right against self-incrimination, but Judge Dabney Friedrich agreed with prosecutors that the unlocking was within the law.

In previous court filings, Reffitt's attorneys said that the search warrant for the laptop had expired, and that Reffitt didn't remember if there was a password.

"As the court here noted, requiring a defendant to expose his face to unlock a computer can be lawful, and is not far removed from other procedures that are now routinely approved by courts, with proper justification: standing in a lineup, submitting a handwriting or voice exemplar, or submitting a blood or DNA sample," CNN senior legal analyst Elie Honig said in an email.

When judges consider requests like these, Honig said, they try to strike a balance "between respecting a defendant's privacy and other rights on the one hand, and enabling prosecutors to obtain potentially crucial evidence with minimal intrusion on the defendant's rights, on the other."

By the time that Reffitt entered the courtroom, two FBI agents had set up his Microsoft Surface Pro laptop and two bags worth of technical equipment.

Prosecutors have previously said in court filings that they believed the laptop contained more than 6 gigabytes of videos that Reffitt filmed on a helmet-worn camera while he moved from the Ellipse to the US Capitol grounds.

If the videos are on the laptop, prosecutors said, they could contain valuable evidence, like footage of the handgun that he brought to the Capitol, or any comments he made about his intentions that day.

Reffitt -- who was wearing an orange prison jumpsuit, white Velcro sneakers and a medical face mask -- seemed uninterested during most of the proceedings.

He often rubbed his eyes, and at one point even leaned so far back in his chair that he had to catch himself from falling.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 27, 2021, 05:37:30 am
Tuesday, 27th July  Twenty One
We have questions about January 6th

The new House committee can answer them
by Washington Post Editorial Board


LIVE TODAY 9:30  AM  Eastern Standard Time

The House select committee investigating the January 6th Capitol insurrection begins work Tuesday, hearing from police officers who confronted the deadly chaos.

Reminding Americans that the January 6th riot was a horrific attack on democracy — in contrast to the narrative some republicans have told of a “loving crowd” filled with people behaving like average Washington tourists — is an essential part of the committee’s work.

But, also in contrast to republican claims, there is much for the select committee to uncover.

Top of the list is precisely what individual-1 did before, during and after the attack.

How did he prepare his speech preceding the insurrection, in which he told the crowd to fight?

What did he anticipate his audience’s reaction would be?

When did he know the individual-1 mob was threatening the Capitol?

Why did he offer only mild statements long after the danger was clear?

Did individual-1 affiliated rally organizers coordinate with extremist groups?

Answering such questions calls for subpoenaing former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows; individual-1’s daughter Ivanka and her husband, White House senior adviser Jared Kushner; and other White House aides with useful information.

Also relevant is what members of Congress reported to individual-1 and other members of his administration as the riot unfolded.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a republican from California, who spoke with the president and Mr. Kushner on January 6th, must testify, along with any other lawmakers who interacted with individual-1 in the run-up to, during and after that day.

The list includes Senator tommy tuberville, a republican from Alabama, Representative mo brooks, a republican from Alabama and possibly Representative jim jordan, a republican from Ohio.
For that matter, the committee must examine whether any lawmakers themselves maintained connections with or even abetted the rioters.

Investigators should hear from extremist-group leaders at the center of the violence.

How did they prepare?

What was their goal?

The committee should hear also from Justice Department and Capitol Police officials who failed to anticipate the riot.

Why did intelligence officials across the government seem unaware of warnings that were all over social media?

To what extent did law enforcement discount or ignore warning signs about right-wing extremists because federal and local officers did not want to cross individual-1 and other republicans?

Why did the National Guard take so long to arrive?

Finally, the investigation should lead to recommendations to forestall a repeat of such political violence, with a particular focus on how the government monitors domestic extremism.

As they conduct their work, the lawmakers on the largely Democratic panel must suppress the urge to make it the partisan exercise that republicans claim it will be — behaving instead like the fact-finders the nation needs.


Charlie J Sierra
Tump and his nazis are denying it happened even though it was recorded for the world to see. Not real smart
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 27, 2021, 08:00:25 am
Tuesday, 27th July  Twenty One
The 9 Lawmakers Investigating The January 6th Capitol Attack
by Barbara Sprunt

The House select committee investigating the deadly attack on the U.S. Capitol on January 6th is holding its first hearing Tuesday.

Police officers from the U.S. Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department will testify before a panel of nine lawmakers: seven Democrats and two republicans all appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

Pelosi previously rejected two of the five republican members originally selected for the panel by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy — Representative Jim Banks of Indiana and Representative Jim Jordan of Ohio — citing "statements and actions" made by the pair that she felt would "impact the integrity of the committee."

Both Banks and Jordan had publicly expressed concerns over the panel itself.

"The unprecedented nature of January 6th demands this unprecedented decision," Pelosi said.

Here's a closer look at the panel's nine members:


Bennie Thompson, committee chairman

State: Mississippi, 2nd District

Elected in 1993, Thompson is a Democratic fixture in a predominantly red state.

He is the sole Democrat in Mississippi's congressional delegation.

Thompson, 73, serves as the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee.

He previously crafted legislation with Representative John Katko, a republican from New York, that would have established an independent commission to investigate the events of January 6th.

The measure passed the House but was blocked by republicans in the Senate.

"We have to get to the bottom of finding out all the things that went wrong on January 6th," he said during a July 1st news conference announcing some of the panel's members.

"It will come in due time. I can't give [the investigation] a timeline. We'll let the facts help determine how long we will meet."

Zoe Lofgren

State: California, 19th District

Lofgren was elected to Congress in 1994.

She served as an impeachment manager during individual-1's first impeachment trial, in 2020.

She is the chair of the House Administration Committee, which has held a series of hearings examining, among other things, the management of the Capitol Police.

During the July 1st news conference, Lofgren acknowledged "deficiencies in management" of the force but emphasized "that's not what spurred the attack."

"What caused a mob of Americans to think that they were somehow supporting the Constitution when they tried to disrupt the constitutional process of counting the Electoral College votes?" she asked.

"Who paid for it? How is it organized? We need to find that out to keep the country safe."

Adam Schiff

State: California, 28th District

Schiff was elected in 2000 and chairs the powerful House Intelligence Committee.

He was the lead impeachment manager for individual-1's first impeachment trial, frequently sparring with republicans defending individual-1, including the current No. 3 House republican, Representative Elise Stefanik.

Schiff spoke about the role of intelligence gathering during the July news conference.

"Why didn't we see this coming? What kind of advance warning did we have, should we have had? What are the appropriate mechanisms that law enforcement can use to identify when there's a threat to the nation's capital, and how that information can be shared?" he asked.

"It's my hope that through our efforts we can get those answers and put additional pressure as needed on the agencies to be forthcoming with that information so that we can prepare for the future."

Jamie Raskin

State: Maryland, 8th District

Raskin has served in Congress since 2017.

A constitutional scholar who taught law at American University, Raskin took center stage as the lead House impeachment manager during individual-1's second impeachment trial, early this year.

He delivered emotional remarks at the time, recounting the experience he and his family members, who were visiting him at the Capitol, underwent the day of the insurrection.

Raskin told reporters that although he believes the trial determined "who incited the violence on January 6th" — referring to individual-1 — Congress still needs to "figure out who organized the violence."

"How did they organize it, and why did they organize it? What were the purposes of the different critical actors who were present on that day?" Raskin said.

Pete Aguilar

State: California, 31st District

Aguilar is a member of the House Democratic leadership, serving as vice chair of the House Democratic Caucus.

Prior to his election to Congress in 2014, Aguilar served as the mayor of Redlands, California.

Aguilar told the media on July 1 that the focus of the investigation is to uncover the truth.

"One-hundred forty Capitol Police officers were injured, some of them permanently, [on January 6th]," he said.

"Five people lost their lives. Staffers were barricaded here in the Capitol. Members were affected. Everyone touched by January 6th deserves to find the truth of what transpired, what led up to it and how we can protect our democracy moving forward."

Stephanie Murphy


State: Florida, 7th District

Murphy is considered a rising star in the Democratic Party and in Florida politics.

Prior to her election to Congress in 2016, she served as a national security specialist for the secretary of defense.

There was speculation she might try to unseat Senator Marco Rubio, a republican from Florida, but ultimately she announced she would not run for Senate.

During the July 1st news conference, she reflected on her family's personal experience with political violence in communist Vietnam.

"I fled a country where political violence was how political transitions were made," Murphy said.

"And so it broke my heart to be in this building on January 6th and see the kind of political violence that occurred in the country I fled and in countries that I worked on when I was at the Department of Defense happening here in our country."

She serves as co-chair of the Blue Dog Coalition, the group of centrist Democrats in the House, the first woman of color to hold that post.

Elaine Luria

State: Virginia, 2nd District

Luria flipped Virginia's 2nd District blue in 2018.

She previously served two decades in the Navy, including working on ships as a nuclear-trained surface warfare officer, retiring at the rank of commander.

"The first time that I took the oath to protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic, I was 17 years old entering the Naval Academy," she told the media on July 1st.

"I never thought that fast-forwarding to today, I would be standing here serving in this capacity, looking into why we had a violent mob attack our Capitol, the process of a smooth transition of government."


State: Wyoming, at-large district

Cheney was ousted by her party in May as the No. 3 republican in the House after her repeated criticism of individual-1 for his role in inciting the January 6th attack, along with his continued false claims that the November presidential election was stolen from him.

She voted for individual-1's impeachment and lay the blame of the attack squarely at individual-1's feet, saying in a statement:

"There has never been a greater betrayal by a President of the United States of his office and his oath to the Constitution."

Cheney said she is "honored" to serve on the committee.

"What happened on January 6th can never happen again," she said in a statement on July 1st.

"Those who are responsible for the attack need to be held accountable and this select committee will fulfill that responsibility in a professional, expeditious, and non-partisan manner."

Adam Kinzinger

State: Illinois, 16th District

Elected in 2010, Kinzinger is a former member of the U.S. Air Force. He was appointed to the committee by Pelosi, who said in a statement that he "brings great patriotism to the Committee's mission: to find the facts and protect our Democracy."

Kinzinger is an outspoken critic of individual-1 and voted, along with Cheney and eight other republicans, to impeach individual-1 following the January 6th attack on the Capitol.

The Illinois republican said that although he didn't expect to be called to be part of the committee, "when duty calls, I will always answer."

"This moment requires a serious, clear-eyed, non-partisan approach," he said in a statement Sunday.

"We are duty-bound to conduct a full investigation on the worst attack on the Capitol since 1814 and to make sure it can never happen again."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on July 27, 2021, 09:10:02 am
Tuesday, 27th  July  Two Thousand and Twenty One

The term 'domestic terrorism' means activities that—

A. involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the United States or of any State;

B. appear to be intended—

(i)  to intimidate or coerce a civilian population;

(ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or

(iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping;
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on August 14, 2021, 08:47:26 am
Saturday, 14th  August  Two Thousand & Twenty One
Dear Kyrsten Sinema: Who the Fvck Is 'We'?
by Michael Harriot


The still Mississippi courtroom was suspended in a silence that can only be accompanied by prayer when Mose Wright rose from his chair.

He stood slowly, as if his 64-year-old back were being unbent by something up in heavens and pointed his unshaking Black hand.

“There he is,” he said, pointing at the white man whose hate-filled eyes glowered back at back across the courtroom.

But Mose did not lower his arm. He slid his arm slightly to the right and aimed his cotton-picking, murder-identifying hand toward the lie-spewing woman whose words had killed his great-nephew.

Unlike her husband, she did not look at Mose.

Maybe there was something in her lap.

Perhaps it was shame.

“And there she is,” Mose continued before calmly retaking his seat on the witness stand.

During the closing arguments, a defense lawyer told the all-white jury that he was “sure every last Anglo-Saxon one of you has the courage to free these men.”

Before Mose took the stand on that late September 1955 afternoon, no Black man had ever testified to the guilt of a white man in the entire history of the state of Mississippi.

Mose Wright, an eyewitness to the murder and abduction of his 14-year-old great-nephew, had not only pointed out the murderers in court, but he had publicly identified the woman who was responsible.

When the jury acquitted J.W. Milam and Roy Bryant after deliberating for 67 minutes, a reporter asked Carolyn Bryant how she felt after being publicly accused of causing the murder of Emmett Till.

This time, she felt no need to lower her head.

She looked the reporter in his eyes and replied.

“I feel fine.”

“Everyday Arizonans are focused on questions that matter most in their daily lives,” wrote Senator Kyrsten Sinema, a Democrat from Arizona in an op-ed for Monday’s Washington Post explaining why “we have more to lose than gain by ending the filibuster.”

“Is my job secure?” Sinema continued.

“Can I expand my business? Can we afford college? What about health care? When can I retire? Is my community safe? Meanwhile, much of Washington’s focus is on a Senate rule requiring 60 votes to advance most legislation.” this the lady who did the white Electric Slide (I think it’s called the “Achy Breaky Heart”) after voting against the minimum wage, or is this the SNL cast member?

Is this the one who voted against a commission to look into the January 6th insurrection or Anna from Frozen?

Didn’t she vote to confirm Bill Barr as attorney general or did she curve Peter Parker?

I get my white women mixed up.

Kyrsten Sinema, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kirsten Dunst, Kristen Bell, Kristen Wiig...You know, they all look alike.

Kyrsten Sinema is a white woman.

No, she is the perfect white woman.

As the first openly bisexual senator, she represents marginalized communities but waffled on whether she would vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Half of her votes supported individual-1 policies, a rate higher than any current Senate Democrat.

She has recounted her ever-changing story of how she lived in an abandoned gas station with no electricity or water even though court documents show her father paid a light bill and a water bill.

According to the Washington Post, Sinema’s relatives say she fabricated the story because it “tugs at people’s heartstrings and that was what she was going for, but, you know, it’s not the truth.”

But Kyrsten Sinema is a white woman.

I assume Sinema’s op-ed was aimed at white women.

Or, perhaps her Avril Lavigne-ish angst-filled open letter was addressed to white people in general because–excuse me while I switch to italics to express my fvckyouness–how the fvck would Kyrsten Lea Sinema know what the f*ck Black people have to lose?

“It’s no secret that I oppose eliminating the Senate’s 60-vote threshold,” wrote Sinema, before explaining that bipartisanship is “the best way to achieve durable, lasting results.”

Apparently, Sinema has no qualms with the filibuster being used to stymie police reform, halt civil rights legislation and embolden white supremacy in general, nor should anyone expect her to care.

When the esteemed gentlewoman from Karenzona says her “support for retaining the 60-vote threshold is not based on the importance of any particular policy” but “what is best for our democracy,” she conveniently forgets that the filibuster is the only thing standing between Black people and her democracy.

Her democracy.

Their democracy.

Democracy is not ours because Senator “Fvckyall” is grasping for some invisible specter of bipartisanship that the other side of the aisle has given no indication they are willing to accept or acknowledge.
Still, Sinema believes this arcane tool of white supremacy must be preserved because, as she writes:

Would it be good for our country if we did, only to see that legislation rescinded a few years from now and replaced by a nationwide voter-ID law or restrictions on voting by mail in federal elections, over the objections of the minority?

This question is less about the immediate results from any of these Democratic or Republican goals — it is the likelihood of repeated radical reversals in federal policy, cementing uncertainty, deepening divisions and further eroding Americans’ confidence in our government.

Senator Sinema is essentially asking:

“Would it be good for our country to use democracy to save our democracy if they came back a few years later and tried to steal it again?”

Is that supposed to be a serious question?

This woman’s job is to make laws.

Laws are what prevent people from doing whatever they want.

If her biggest fear is that laws can be repealed, why doesn’t she just vote against every bill?

Why would she eat if she’s just going to be hungry again?

Why take medicine if you might get sick again?

Why breathe if you’re going to die anyway?

Perhaps the only way to counter this asinine argument that could only emerge from a mind that has no clue about the history of whiteness is to ask another complexly worded question:


When has this country ever stopped attacking Black people’s voting rights?

When has this country ever not tried to erase progress with “repeated radical reversals in federal policy?”

When has the filibuster not been used to carry out those attacks?

When have Black people not felt “uncertainty?”

When was this glorious era that was devoid of division?

And when the f*ck did any marginalized group ever have an abundance of confidence in our government.

Oh wait, I almost forgot...

Their government.

The only way Simena’s party can possibly maintain their Senate majority is if Black people have access to the polls.

The only way Black people will have access to the polls is to strengthen voting rights.

The only way–and this is the important part–the only way to strengthen voting rights is to alter or abolish the filibuster.

It is the legislative barrier standing between Black people and democracy.

This is the biggest hole in Sinema’s incoherent logic.

She assumes, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary, that republicans will play fair.

Her entire bad faith argument is based on the fact that republicans won’t use the filibuster if they regain control of the Senate.

The only way a sentient human being would say such a thing is if they were lying or didn’t care.

But how could Sinema not care?

It’s not like she votes with the opposition, supports their political policies or proudly expresses public displays of pleasure when she votes to further impoverish her–

Oh, right.

Sinema’s argument is that the filibuster should exist because it has always existed...

Like racism.

Like injustice.

Like Kyrsten Sinema.

She might not be a killer, but she is one of “them.”

They are the preservers of white supremacy.

They are the ones who would bind our children’s hands with barbed wire and toss them in the river.

Those who blindly support the system are also at fault.

Those who ignore our eyewitness testimony are just as responsible for the persistence of injustice.

These are the kinds of people who would look us in the eye and proudly proclaim their willingness to uphold the murderous Anglo-Saxon status quo.

...And there she is.

I’m sure she feels fine.


Brick HardMeat

In principle I am not a big fan of getting rid of the filibuster.

I’m also not a big fan of guns. But after individual-1 won in 2016, I got a CPL and purchased a hand gun. It went against my understanding of the rules, of statistics, of the notion that the more guns in my life, the greater likelihood of a gun-related incident.

But we’ve entered a scenario where the “rules” no longer matter. We are in self-preservation mode. I’m not a fan of killing someone with an ax but if they’re literally trying to kill me or my family then sh*t yea I’m picking up that ax and swinging.

The republicans are no longer interested in the seesawing of power, or their decades long losing of the culture war, or even the idea that they can lose even one election. They want to install permanent minority-rule, and they’ve demonstrated through their COMPLETE AND UNDENIABLE sh*tTING OF THE BED during the pandemic that they cannot govern if our lives literally depended on it.

It is a no brainer. End the filibuster. Do it temporarily if you have to, put a sunset on it and do it exclusively to ram through a voting rights bill. The future of the nation depends on it. Sooner or later one of the countless GQP attempts to subvert the democratic process and seize power will work, and when that happens, we will need to pry the reigns of power from their cold, dead hands.

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder

Perhaps the problem isn’t so much the filibuster (less so the Mr. Smith Goes conception of it) as the twin problems of the GQP’s descent and the simple fact that the Senate as constituted is incompatible with America’s increasingly federalized governance. That’s not to say that we oughtn’t be rid of it, just that we might want view it as a step rather than a destination.

Brick HardMeat

I agree; I think we’re kind of saying the same thing.

The current rules are predicated on the assumption that our political parties act in good faith, have the best interests of the populace at heart, actually want to govern, etc. These assumptions — what our founding fathers very likely took to be common sense — no longer fit the current iteration of the GQP. It’s like trying to apply the rules of chess in a match against an orangutan who wants to tear your arms off and eat your face.

I think it’s also likely our founding fathers - lacking the hindsight of some 250 years of history, sociology, public policy, critical race theory, statistical modeling, etc — didn’t foresee a scenario where the weighted handicapping of power in the Senate not only gave sparsely populated states an advantage to “protect” themselves from the “tyranny” of more populated states and states with large urban centers, but would actually allow those rural states to have dominion over more populated states and enshrine minority rule.

C.M. Allen

Hey, hey! Orangutans are quite peaceful, and while quite strong, are more likely to hide or flee when presented with anything that might be threatening. Don’t you be comparing them to individual-1 — which is somewhat more appropriate, because Chimps are also quite strong, can be short- or ill-tempered, and can be extremely and bloody violent at the drop of a hat. But even that isn’t fair. Chimps are also very smart and socially aware.

Also, GOPeons are like rabid animal — openly hostile and violent beyond reason. The only thing they’re capable of thinking about is inflicting themselves on others. And there’s really only one recourse for a rabid animal.

Brick HardMeat

I briefly reconsidered my orangutan dig because I knew it was factually inaccurate, but I’m a big fan of The Murders in the Rue Morgue ;)


“Is my job secure?” Sinema continued.

She asked, without a hint of irony.

Never seen a “belle of the ball” tank quite this hard. It’s like watching a debutante come through the double doors, wave, walk over to the punchbowl, and take a giant dump in it while the orchestra plays Vivaldi.


In what way, exactly, is she tanking, though?

She’s still on committees, she’s safe from being primaried until 2024, her obstinence makes her a popular interviewee, not exactly seeing any negative consequences to her actions here...


Eh, the left doesn’t suffer this sh*t as eagerly as the GOP does.

She’s safe, for the moment, but I see her flaming out or trying a switch back to “independent” before long.

Foxstar loves Bashcraft

The only reason the GOP has taken action in the recent past is because

1-individual-1 has the GOP’s balls around his neck. He took them on winning his bid and the GOP is too chickensh*t to take them back. Thus, anyone not for him is against him and as Reagan is dead and dust and bones, they haven’t had someone who appeals to the stupid and racist people this well in ages.

2-Even with individual-1 still running things, there’s still a level of ‘pure unfiltered crazy’ that is too crazy for the GOP and thus far the one person to whom it applies can’t be allowed to continue without them doing the bare min to claim they reigned her in.

Dems are still quite willing to hold people, even the DINO’s to account if they f*ck up past a certain point. Cuomo has endured to the level he has but his dreams of climbing higher are pretty much dead as f*ck, which might be why he fought so hard, he’s got nothing left.

Waffle Saadiq

She is popular on East Coast DC sh*t. Her approval is tanking hard in AZ. Especially as she is being directly compared to Mark Kelly who people from AZ actually like.

It doesn’t even have to be some far left person who takes her out in the primary. She is failing on basic Democrat sh*t.


The republicans held a Supreme Court seat open for a year claiming it can’t be done in an election year, then turned around and filled a seat during an election year.

She thinks these same people will honor and follow her actions on anything??? republicans are done with democracy!

The only reason McConnell had not already ditched the filibuster, is because it was not in his way. The republicans are not interested in governing, so they pushed no meaningful legislation while in power.


All of this, plus McConnell is smart enough to Jedi mind trick Schumer into doing his dirty work for him (not like that’s difficult or anything but still) just like he did by blocking all of Obama’s judicial nominees to get Schumer to invoke the nuclear option, which McConnell then gleefully did after individual-1’s election to get Boof and Aunt Lydia on the Supreme Court.

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder[/size]

The republicans held a Supreme Court seat open for a year claiming it can’t be done in an election year, then turned around and filled a seat during an election year.[!!!]

I don’t think this can be emphasized enough (but I’m certainly willing to try to find out).


When Mitch McConnell stood up and basically said we will object to anything Biden brings to the Senate. Bipartisanship was off the table. When he let his own members negotiate bipartisan legislation and then told them to go f*ck themselves it isn’t going anywhere, he proved there is no such thing. Mitch has been pulling this f*cking Lucy with a football sh*t for a over a decade. And before anyone brings up Juneteenth, that was nothing more than republicans giving black folk their day off hoping it will distract them from the fact that they are being systematically denied their right to vote. Oh and white people get the day off too.


Careful, if you critique the political context of the Juneteenth bill, you're liable to haunted by centrists proclaiming you never appreciate the good things.

Hemmorhagic Dance Fever

The problem with extending an olive branch in the name of bipartisanship is that the GOP will just beat you with it.

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder

Unfortunately for the Dems, conventional wisdom says they have to take the beatings to get enough votes in the districts and states that allow them to have enough seats in both chambers to do anything.

C.M. Allen

What is the point of having ‘enough votes’ when the votes you *DO* get won’t be in favor of your agenda? See: Sinema and Manchin.

But I suspect we’re both saying the same thing -- democrats are following an old playbook that republicans burned, pissed on the ashes, and laughed about it.

Makes Me Wonder Why I Even Bring The Thunder

Yes, a bunch of that, but personally, I would have no problem with a governing federal Dem supermajority where various flavors of Dem negotiate and occasionally vote against the rest of the party. It works in several states and seems to be the most likely of the positive responses to the GQP.

C.M. Allen

I agree. But in this instance, they don’t have that. They don’t even have a *simple* majority, not when you actually look at the voting track records of the members. Which is why all these cries to ‘ignore the GOP and stop trying bipartisanship’ are pointless — they don’t have the votes to bypass the GOP blockade. And that’s unlikely to get any better when the next round of primaries begin. The GOP is infamous for obstructing the government while convincing the public that the Democrats are to blame for the government being broken and inactive.

Which, if you’ll pardon the particulars of the comparison, is a bit like believing the thieves who stole your sh*t over the officers who caught them -- despite watching the thieves walk away with your things. But people do it anyway. Because people are stupid and tribal.

Would You Like To Know More?*ck-is-we-1847152158 (*ck-is-we-1847152158)
Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 17, 2021, 06:27:33 am
Friday (thank god, it's...) Friday, 17th  September   ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
Boston Getting Mayor of Color as Wu & Essaibi George Advance


(BOSTON, Massachusetts) — For the first time in 200 years, Boston voters have narrowed the field of mayoral candidates to two women of color who will face off against each other in November.

City Councilors Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George topped the five-person race in Tuesday’s preliminary runoff.

They bested acting Mayor Kim Janey, City Councilor Andrea Campbell and John Barros, the city’s former economic development chief.

All five were candidates of color — a major shift away from two centuries of Boston politics dominated by white men.

Wu’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Taiwan.

Essaibi George describes herself as a first generation Arab Polish-American.

Whoever wins on November 2nd will make history in a city that has never elected a woman or Asian American mayor.

For the past 200 years, the office has been held exclusively by white men.

Wu and Essaibi George's advancement to the general election ushers in a new era for the city which has wrestled with racial and ethnic strife.

Essaibi George said she was confident she could pose a significant challenge to Wu in November.

“I am so grateful to you showing up not just tonight but showing up for the last eight months,” she told supporters.

Wu spoke to reporters outside Boston City Hall on Wednesday.

“This is the moment in Boston that our campaign and our coalition has been calling for for a long time," she said.

“We got in this race over a year ago — actually exactly a year ago today — to ensure that Boston would step up to meet this moment."

Essaibi George in her victory speech said the mayor of Boston can’t unilaterally restore rent control — a jab at Wu, who wants to revive a version of rent control, or rent stabilization, which was banned statewide by a 1994 ballot question.

Wu pushed back, saying she's addressed tough challenges during her years as a city councilor.

“We took on issues that people said were pie in the sky, would be impossible to accomplish but by building coalitions, working across all levels of government and continuing to bring community members to the table, we knocked those down, one by one,” she said.

Earlier this year, Janey became the first Black Bostonian and first woman to occupy the city’s top office in an acting capacity after former Mayor Marty Walsh stepped down to become President Joe Biden’s labor secretary.

“I want to congratulate Michelle Wu and Annissa Essaibi George on their victories this evening," Janey said in a statement.

“This was a spirited and historic race, and I wish them both luck in the final election.”

There had been an effort among some leaders in the Black community to rally around a single candidate to ensure that at least one Black mayoral hopeful could claim one of the two top slots.

All of the candidates were Democrats.

Mayoral races in Boston do not include party primaries.

Wu was elected to the Boston City Council in 2013 at age 28, becoming the first Asian-American woman to serve on the council.

In 2016, she was elected city council president by her colleagues in a unanimous vote, becoming the first woman of color to serve as president.

Essaibi George won a series of key endorsements during the race including from unions representing firefighters, nurses and emergency medical technicians.

She also won the backing of former Boston Police Commissioner William Gross.

Essaibi George grew up in the city’s Dorchester neighborhood and taught in the Boston Public Schools.

She was elected to the city council in 2015.

Her father immigrated to the United States from Tunisia in 1972.

Her mother was born in a displaced persons’ camp in Germany of Polish parents.

The November contest could also be a test of whether voters in a city long dominated by parochial neighborhood and ethnic politics are ready to tap someone like Wu, who grew up in Chicago.

Wu moved to Boston to attend Harvard University and Harvard Law School and studied under U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren, then a law professor.

She's the only candidate not born in Boston.

Boston has changed radically since the 1970s and 1980s, when it was overwhelmingly white and was riven by racial tensions.

Today, while still struggling to overcome its racist legacy, it's a majority minority city:

The latest U.S. Census statistics show residents who identify as white make up 44.6% of the population compared to Black residents (19.1%), Latino residents (18.7%) and residents of Asian descent (11.2%).

Among the challenges facing modern Boston are those brought on by gentrification, which has forced out many long-term residents, including those in historically Black neighborhoods.

Added to that are a host of other challenges that will face the new mayor, from transportation woes, racial injustice and policing to schools and the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on September 19, 2021, 07:10:36 am
Sunday, 19th September  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
¡No Más Para Gonzales!
by Julia Sclafani


Ohio Representative Anthony Gonzalez, a republican, announced his retirement earlier this week.

Gonzalez was one of the 10 U.S. House republicans to vote to convict individual-1 during his impeachment trial in early 2021.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on November 28, 2021, 04:01:50 pm
Sunday, 28th  November Two Thousand and Twenty One
Carrie Meek, pioneering Black former congresswoman passes away
by Associated Press


(FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida) — Carrie Meek, the grandchild of an enslaved African and a sharecropper's daughter who became one of the first Black Floridians elected to Congress since Reconstruction passes away on Sunday.

She was 95.

Meek died at her home in Miami after a long illness, family spokesperson Adam Sharon said in a statement.

The family did not specify a cause of death.

Meek started her congressional career at an age when many people begin retirement.

She was 66 when she easily won the 1992 Democratic congressional primary in her Miami-Dade County district.

No Republican opposed her in the general election.

Alcee Hastings and Corrine Brown joined Meek in January 1993 as the first Black Floridians to serve in Congress since 1876 as the state's districts had been redrawn by the federal courts in accordance with the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

On her first day in Congress, Meek reflected that while her grandmother, enslaved on a Georgia farm, could never have dreamed of such an accomplishment, her parents told her that anything was possible.

"They always said the day would come when we would be recognized for our character," she told The Associated Press in an interview that day.

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 14, 2021, 07:46:39 am
Tuesday, 13th  December  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
by Vann R. Newkirk II


When I met with crystal mason recently at her home in Rendon, Texas, we sat on a wide couch that served as the center of her domain, with plenty of space for children, grandchildren, nephews, and nieces.

Their photographs filled the house. Mason’s mother called to her from another room, needing advice; later, her eight-month-old grandson, Carter, joined us on the couch after waking up from an afternoon nap.

For hours that day, Mason spoke candidly about the illegal-voting case that has consumed her life for half a decade.

With us was one of her lawyers, Alison Grinter Allen.

If there is an individual in America who epitomizes one central aspect of our political moment, it might well be Crystal Mason.

The story of Mason, a Black woman, illuminates the extraordinary efforts the republican party has made to demonstrate that fraud is being committed by minority voters on a massive scale.

That false notion is now an article of faith among tens of millions of Americans.

It has become an excuse to enact laws that make voting harder for everyone, but especially for voters of color, voters who are poor, voters who are old, and voters who were not born in the United States.

Mason watches the news diligently and can recount the details of prosecutions that have resulted thus far from the attack on the Capitol on January 6th—an attack that was stoked by conspiracy theories about fraudulent voters.

She can’t help but wonder about punishments meted out for the insurrection as compared with the one she has already received for, she says, unwittingly violating a Texas voting law.

“These people,”

Mason said of the participants in the January 6th assault, “came to do and commit dangerous crimes.”

 When she and I spoke, only two of them had been sentenced to jail or prison, and neither for more than eight months.

Mason was sentenced to five years.

She is currently out on bond while she appeals her conviction.

The idea that systemic fraud has subverted the democratic process demands a search for evidence of such fraud.

The point of this effort is not merely to support spurious claims that individual-1 won the 2020 election or to stockpile spurious arguments in advance of 2024.

It is to lay a foundation for the resurgence of a specific form of Jim Crow–style disenfranchisement. (

Jim Crow relied on outright bans at the ballot box and threats of violence to ensure white political power. (

But eliminating the Black vote during that era was accomplished in subtler ways as well: by undermining community cohesion, by sapping time and energy, by sheer frustration.

The modern effort relies on similar tactics.

The so-called Big Lie is built on small lies, about the actions and intentions of individuals—the kinds of lies that can destroy lives and families.

Crystal mason’s role in this story began during the 2016 presidential election.

She was 41 and readjusting to life at home after serving most of a five-year sentence in federal prison for tax fraud.

Mason had run a tax-preparation business with her then-husband and had been charged with inflating their clients’ refunds.

Mason pleaded guilty and paid the penalty; after four years, a supervised-release program allowed her to return to her home.

She has publicly “owned up,” as she has said, to her mistakes.

Mason has three adult children, and cares for other members of the family.

She had been putting her life back together, working at a Santander bank in nearby Dallas and taking classes to become an aesthetician.

Around this same time, individual-1 was making his ascent: calling Mexican immigrants “rapists,” brandishing casual racism and xenophobia, and asking Black voters what the hell they had to lose by voting for him.

Texas was not expected to be a swing state, but in this menacing atmosphere, Mason’s mother told Crystal it was her duty to vote.

On Election Day, Mason drove to her polling place, the Tabernacle Baptist Church.

She was coming from work, and almost didn’t make it.

“It was raining,”

Mason told me, remembering the night.

“It was right at 7 o’clock, when it was about to be closing up. I went with my name and my ID—who I was—to where I was supposed to go.”

But a volunteer there, a 16-year-old neighbor of hers named Jarrod Streibich, couldn’t find her name on the rolls, which happens sometimes.

Streibich suggested that she use a provisional ballot.

“They offered it to me,”

Mason recalled, “and I said, ‘What’s that?’ And they said, ‘Well, if we’re at the right location, it’ll count. If you’re not, it won’t.’ ”

There was nothing particularly noteworthy about the interaction.

Like tens of thousands of Texas voters, and millions of Americans across the country, Mason cast a provisional ballot, and went home.

Mason’s provisional ballot was destined to be rejected, however.

Texas law requires all terms of any felony sentence to be completed before a person once again becomes eligible to vote, and Mason had not fully completed her sentence for the tax-fraud conviction.

Mason says she didn’t know that ineligibility extended to the period of supervised release; she made a simple mistake.

Many provisional ballots are rejected because of ineligibility, often for reasons potential voters are unaware of.

Mason was sent a letter after the election stating that her provisional ballot had been disallowed.

By any reasonable measure, Mason’s experience at the polls amounted to a meaningless misunderstanding that had no effect on anything.

individual-1 carried Tarrant County, which includes Rendon, and all of Texas by a healthy margin on his way to winning the White House in 2016.

republicans in Texas retained control of most of the political system in the state.

individual-1 was inaugurated in January.

Mason continued her court-mandated check-ins with her supervision officer.

Without realizing it, however, Mason had become the subject of an investigation.

After the polls closed, Streibich, the neighbor who had suggested that she use a provisional ballot in the first place, told an election judge on the scene—who was also a neighbor of Mason’s—something he had just remembered: that he thought Mason might still be on supervised release for a federal offense.

The judge, Karl Dietrich, a local republican Party official, informed the Tarrant County district attorney, Sharen Wilson.

On February 16th, 2017, Crystal Mason was arrested for illegal voting.

Fear of voter fraud, or at least the pretense of fear, has been a centerpiece of conservative objections to the expansion of voting rights going back, in the modern era, to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Taking steps to curb alleged illegal voting tends to boost republican electoral fortunes by disenfranchising people of color.

In 2008, the increase in Black turnout that helped put Barack Obama in office—and raised hopes among Democrats for a “demographic revolution” that would aid their cause for years to come—gave voter suppression new urgency.

Then, in 2013, the Supreme Court’s decision in Shelby County v. Holder granted states more power to keep people from the polls.

The decision effectively eliminated the system of preemptive federal oversight that had been in place since the passage of the Voting Rights Act.

In the absence of new legislation at the national level, state laws restricting the right or ability to vote could now be blocked only if courts found them to be discriminatory after their passage.

In other words, governments could be elected under legal regimes that might ultimately prove to be unconstitutional; once in office, they would be free to further restrict voting.

Meanwhile, the Court made clear in other cases that it was inclined to take states at their word if they said restrictive voting laws were simply intended to combat fraud and had no racist intent—even if the predictable consequence of those laws was to create greater burdens for voters of color.

Taking states at their word provided a lot of cover.

The result was a surge of democracy-limiting measures in republican-led states: restrictive voter-ID laws, tighter guidelines for registration, and wholesale purges of voters from the electoral rolls, conducted in such a way that people of color have been disproportionately affected.

According to the nonprofit Brennan Center for Justice, 33 restrictive laws were passed in 19 states in the first nine months of 2021.

The laws, which will make casting a ballot more difficult in 2022, reveal how central voter suppression has become as a mobilizing issue for the gop.

It must be underscored: There is no evidence that illegal voting of any kind occurs at a level capable of influencing elections.

Nor is there evidence that the scattered violations that do take place have been increasing in frequency or severity.

Common kinds of election violations include local candidates fudging signatures to get on the ballot, partisans politicking too close to polling places, and people accidentally voting at the polls after forgetting that they had already mailed in a ballot—a glitch easily corrected by administrative procedures that already exist.

Most of the new laws, however, are aimed at violations that are exceedingly rare: impersonation of one person by another, or noncitizens attempting to vote.

Such violations are already illegal, yet their specter is raised to make the case for, among other measures, voter-ID laws.

Voting-rights advocates and federal courts have agreed that such laws tend to target and disenfranchise people of color, older folks, and students—groups less likely to have identification documents of the kind that many of the new laws require.

In 2012, before Shelby County allowed Texas to implement a strict new voter-ID law without federal oversight, Greg Abbott, then the Texas attorney general, railed against a decision by the Department of Justice to block the law from going into effect.

“I know for a fact that voter fraud is real, that it must be stopped,” he said.

When he made that statement, the official rate of alleged election violations reported to his office over the previous decade—allegations, not convictions—was seven for every 1 million votes cast in the state.

Data from Abbott’s own office showed that, over the same period, in all Texas elections at every level, 26 people had been convicted of some form of election violation.

Only two of those cases involved someone impersonating another voter, which is what the voter-ID law was ostensibly supposed to address.

Rather than attempting to prove the impossible—that illegal voting was truly a problem—Abbott and other gop officials across the country chose to make public examples of the very few cases of alleged voter fraud they could find.

Abbott was elected governor in 2014.

His successor as attorney general, Ken Paxton, eagerly took up the cause.

One of Paxton’s allies was District Attorney Sharen Wilson.

In 2015, she began investigating Rosa Maria Ortega, a 35-year-old mother of four who lived in the Dallas suburbs.

Ortega had been born in Mexico and came to the U.S. as a baby.

She held permanent-resident status.

As a noncitizen, she was not eligible to vote, but she had registered (as a republican) and had cast ballots in several elections in Dallas County, including for Paxton as attorney general, before she moved to Tarrant County.

Her new voter-registration application was rejected because she had correctly indicated her citizenship status.

Ortega then sent in another application, this time identifying herself as a citizen.

She had done the same thing in Dallas County, and voted without issue; she has said that when Tarrant County accepted her registration, she assumed she was allowed to vote again.

Ortega was indicted and declined a plea deal, which, her lawyers warned, would likely result in deportation.

In court, the defense cited Ortega’s professed misunderstanding of election law as it applied to permanent residents, and her lack of a motive for purposefully breaking the law.

The prosecution presented her actions as part of a disturbing statewide pattern.

As Wilson said after Ortega’s indictment, “People insist this kind of thing doesn’t happen, but it’s happening right here at home.”

Wilson’s office has denied in the past that its work has been politically motivated or employed as a “scare tactic.”

In a statement, a spokesperson for the district attorney wrote that Wilson “didn’t go out looking for the voter fraud cases against Crystal Mason and Rosa Maria Ortega.”

The spokesperson also noted that Ortega had been offered probation, but had turned it down.

In February 2017, she was convicted of illegal voting and sentenced to eight years in prison.

When the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reviewed hundreds of voting-related cases in Texas from 2005 to 2018, it found that Ortega’s sentence was the longest one handed down.

A prosecutor praised the jury, saying it had secured the “floodgates” that kept illegal voting under control.

Ortega’s case fit a familiar narrative: that immigrant voters are subverting democracy.

She served nine months in prison before being paroled, then spent nearly two months in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

She is currently on parole and living in Dallas, according to Wilson’s office.

One week after ortega’s conviction, Crystal Mason was arrested, and found her life newly upended.

Mason’s family had often been in conflict with other residents in their predominantly white community—for a variety of reasons, including, Mason and her lawyers believe, outright racism.

When her children were younger, she told me, a neighbor had once brandished a shotgun as her son passed by; her then-husband reported the incident, and she said that local authorities added a bus stop closer to her home so that her children could keep away from the neighbor’s house.

Now she faced charges brought by the local district attorney.

There was no way to keep a low profile.

She lost her job.

The district attorney offered a deal:

10 years’ probation.

But the deal required an admission of guilt, which Mason could not accept.

It also would have put her back in prison:

The mere fact of a conviction would mean that she had violated the terms of her supervised release.

The only way for Mason to remain free was to prove her innocence.

She chose a trial before a judge.

As prosecutors presented it, Mason was a felon who had ignored notifications sent by election officials to her home, warning that she was no longer a registered voter.

Despite those warnings, she had nevertheless signed an affidavit when accepting her provisional ballot, affirming that she was indeed a registered voter.

Her crime was not accidental, prosecutors argued, but a purposeful subversion of democracy.

Mason’s legal team countered that the notices about illegal voting had been sent to her home while she was in prison, and therefore she had never received them.

They argued, too, that, unlike people returning from state prisons on parole or probation, who typically receive official instruction about voting eligibility, as a federal inmate, she had been given no such instruction when starting her supervised release.

(The person who oversaw the officer responsible for Mason’s supervision confirmed this in court testimony:

“That’s just not something we do.”) As Mason recalled when I spoke with her, the affidavit was just another thing to sign, and she hadn’t really read it closely. She was focused on providing the personal information that the same sheet of paper was requesting. She said to me, “Do you have a mortgage? Have you read all your mortgage papers and all the closing [documents]?”
What bothers her most is that there was no serious attempt to establish any sort of criminal motive.

“They said I tried to circumvent the system,” Mason said.

“And for what? For a sticker?”

Alison Grinter Allen, her attorney, echoed the point:

“Why would you risk two to 20 years in the penitentiary in order to shout your opinion into the wind, basically?”

The arguments on Mason’s behalf proved unavailing.

She was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison.

The prosecution had argued for “a stern prison sentence” in order to “send a message.”

Mason subsequently appealed to a three-judge panel, which upheld her conviction.

Her case is now under review by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals.

The ACLU of Texas has been assisting with Mason’s defense, and its data suggest a racial double standard in cases like hers.

A 2021 study by the group found that nearly three-quarters of prosecutions by the state’s Election Integrity Unit appear to have been brought against people of color.

Almost half of the total cases appear to have been brought against Black and Latina women, two of the core groups of Democratic voters in the state.

Of course, facts and circumstances differ from case to case, and rules and procedures differ from one legal setting to another.

But it is worth recalling the treatment accorded to some white officials who have had encounters with election law.

In 2018, Russ Casey, a republican judge in Tarrant County, pleaded guilty to falsifying signatures in order to get his name on the ballot.

Casey held a position of public trust, his actions were egregious, and he admitted that the accusations were true.

In a plea deal, he received five years’ probation, with no prison time.

In 2016, Sharen Wilson herself was accused of an election-related violation: using the personal information of her subordinates in the D.A.’s office to invite them to a fundraiser and solicit donations from them for her reelection campaign.

Her case was dismissed by the district attorney in a nearby county for “insufficient evidence of criminal intent.”

Wilson has acknowledged that including her employees on the invitation list for the fundraiser was a mistake.

In Mason’s case, the ACLU of Texas argues that the illegal-voting charge is inappropriate on its face because Mason did not, strictly speaking, ever vote.

Her provisional ballot was not counted.

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 14, 2021, 07:50:22 am

According to Tommy Buser-Clancy, an ACLU staff attorney, Mason’s prosecution could theoretically open the door to felony charges against any potential voter whose provisional ballot is rejected:

“If you start to criminalize people who make mistakes, [who think] they’re eligible and then find out they’re not, then that guts the provisional-balloting system—turns it into a trap.”

The D.A.’s office has publicly dismissed the possibility that Mason’s prosecution poses any danger of precedent to people who make simple mistakes or act unknowingly; the decision by the three-judge panel in the Mason case articulated a different view.

It declared that, under Texas law, prosecutors did not need to establish that Mason knew she was ineligible.

Because of her conviction, Mason’s supervised release was revoked, and in September 2018 she was returned to prison.

One of Mason’s lawyers launched a crowd funding effort to help provide for her immediate and extended family; health insurance was a particular concern.

(She has been able to raise $81,000.)

“It was devastating,” Mason told me.

“I was like, ‘Are you serious? I’m a mother.’ ”

She recalled her original experience of emerging from prison into the supervised-release program.

“I was embarrassed. I was. Because when I got out of prison, I wanted my kids to know that, yeah, I hit that bump in the road. But you can get your life back on track. And that’s what I did.”

She was working.

She was going to school.

And then she was back in prison.

Mason was released in May 2019 and was able to return home in June.

As we spoke, the practiced cheerfulness in her voice drained away.

“This isn’t supposed to be happening to me. This is not right.”

Only days after his inauguration in 2017, individual-1 declared that millions of fraudulent votes had been cast, implying that many had been cast by noncitizens or by citizens of color mobilized by Democrats to vote more than once.

His evidence for widespread fraud was nonexistent, and his anecdotal accounts, and those of others, collapsed under scrutiny.

Gregg Phillips, a Texas businessman and self-proclaimed voter-fraud sleuth, tweeted that he and the Tea Party–associated group True the Vote had identified 3 million noncitizen voters.

The source of this information was an unnamed private database, and individual-1 declared that he would order a full investigation.

I spoke with Phillips at the time, and in that conversation he provided no supporting evidence and backed away from any specific number of illegal voters.

He told me, “The work that we’re doing could create a foundation for looking at elections moving forward.”

I interpreted his statement to be a kind of face-saving fallback.

Now I understand it to have been prophetic.

Crystal Mason’s lawyers believe that individual-1’s claim of mass voter fraud created an environment in which actions against Mason could be especially punitive.

Clark Birdsall, a lawyer for Rosa Maria Ortega, made the same argument, describing individual-1’s comments about millions of fraudulent voters as “the 800-pound gorilla sitting in the jury box.”

individual-1 established a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, an ostensibly bipartisan body designed to uncover “those laws, rules, policies, activities, strategies, and practices that undermine the American people’s confidence in the integrity of voting processes used in Federal elections.”

It fell apart in 2018 after it tried to push states to turn over massive amounts of voter data—including Social Security numbers, party affiliations, and voting histories.

Even many republican politicians believed that the voter data might be used for nefarious purposes.

Resistance to handing over the data helped kill the commission.

It had found no evidence of any widespread election violations.

But in republican-led states, investigations proliferated.

Kris Kobach, then the Kansas secretary of state and a vice chair of the presidential commission, had provided a blueprint.

Even before individual-1’s election, he had claimed that there were thousands of fraudulent or dead voters on the rolls in Kansas.

He would later claim to have identified more than 100 noncitizen voters in his state.

In 2015, leveraging the hysteria he had begun to create, Kobach persuaded the state legislature to give him the power to directly prosecute election-violations cases.

(In every other state, only an attorney general or a local district attorney has such authority.)

Yet over a period of four years, Kobach brought forward just 15 illegal-voting cases, most of which involved people who had accidentally voted in two places.

He secured a single conviction involving a noncitizen voter.

In Texas, besides Ortega’s case, there has been only one other successful prosecution by the state attorney general for voting as a noncitizen since 2005.

Five people have been successfully prosecuted for impersonating other voters.

Fourteen people—including Crystal Mason—have been successfully prosecuted for voting as felons with unresolved sentences.

Only 11 people have been sent to prison by the state for voting violations of any kind.

In 2020, Paxton’s office almost doubled the working hours spent on election-violations cases and resolved only 16 of them.

All stemmed from voters giving false addresses.

(Paxton’s office did not respond to multiple queries related to this article.)

Since 2005, nearly 90 million votes have been cast in Texas.

Even if the true number of fraudulent voters is double what the state has prosecuted, the prevalence of election violations—the majority of which involve bad addresses—is about three ten-thousandths of a percent.

As for voter impersonation, it is more common for a person to be struck by lightning twice than it is for voter impersonation to happen in Texas.

Those involved in investigating allegations of voter fraud argue that the detection of a small number of violations just means we aren’t as good at detecting the larger number that must be out there somewhere—thus the need for new laws.

But laws that make the process of registering and casting a ballot even more convoluted also increase the likelihood that people will make mistakes—the kinds of mistakes that can land them in jail.

It’s a vicious cycle—which is exactly the point.

First gin up fear about fraud, then use that fear to aggressively prosecute voting infractions, then use those prosecutions to create stricter laws, then use the stricter laws to induce more examples of fraud, then use those examples to gin up even more fear.

The potential impact on turnout is bad enough.

But the cumulative effect of restrictive laws corrodes the democratic process itself.

In Texas, the narrative fueled in part by Mason’s conviction has given republicans the momentum to pass laws that restrict voting by mail, permit forms of interference by partisan poll watchers at election sites, and create new classes of felonies for engaging in common forms of voter assistance, such as explaining written instructions to people who don’t speak English.

(This last measure is currently facing a lawsuit brought by the Department of Justice.)

Crystal Mason is not the same person she was in 2017, when she was indicted.

At the time, she was fearful; her impulse was to lie low.

She eventually came to realize that her unwanted notoriety could be leveraged, not only for her own cause but for the cause of voting rights nationwide.

When I spoke with her at her home, she had just gotten back from a voting-rights rally in Washington, D.C.

She wore a shirt that read crystal mason: the fight against voter suppression.

If she serves her five-year sentence, her infant grandson, who was sitting on her lap, will be reading and at school by the time she gets out.

She is thinking about how to prepare family members for what may lie ahead.

Her adult children have been deputized to run the house in her absence.

Demagogues and insurrections are not the only—or even the primary—threats to our democracy.

The slow, relentless erosion of individual civic agency is at least as dangerous, and perhaps more so.

Most of the people accused of “voter fraud” have made mistakes with no provable malicious intent as they navigate voting systems that grow ever more byzantine and frustrating.

Their lives may be derailed by reputational damage, by time and money spent in court, by prohibitive fines, and by jail or prison.

The people who bear this burden may be the cornerstones of their social worlds.

Their fates stand as warnings to others in already fragile communities.

In a country where the influence of Black and Latino voters is purposefully diluted by gerrymandering, and where poorer, overworked folks must contend with long lines and short hours at sparse polling locations, the fear of being caught up in a punitive administrative labyrinth adds another variable to the calculus of deciding whether to vote at all.

That is why there is something in this moment reminiscent of the insidious bureaucratic character of Jim Crow. (

As all-encompassing as we know it to have been, Jim Crow was not imposed by a single stroke. (

It was built community by community, year by year, ruined life by ruined life, law by law, and lie by lie.


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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 18, 2021, 10:14:08 am
Saturday, 18th  December  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
USPS reaches settlement with NAACP over 2020 mail delays


The United States Postal Service (USPS) on Friday announced that it reached a settlement with the NAACP over mail delays in 2020.

The NAACP filed the lawsuit last year, alleging that the Postal Service made changes that resulted "in unreliable service and widespread delays."

The suit was originally filed against Postmaster General Louis DeJoy and USPS over changes that he made when he was appointed to the post by individual-1.

At the time, DeJoy restructured some of the operations of the postal service stating that it would improve efficiency.

However, the NAACP alleged that it was electorally motivated in the lead up to the 2020 presidential election during which many people used mail-in ballots amid the spread of the COVID-19.

In the settlement of the suit, the postal service has agreed to frequently report election mail issues, provide information about election mail performance and take extraordinary measures to deliver ballots in upcoming elections, among other things.

"Consistent with the Postal Service's steadfast commitment to fulfilling our vital role in the nation's electoral process, we agreed to continue to prioritize monitoring and timely delivery of Election Mail for future elections," Thomas Marshall, the USPS general counsel said, according to NBC News.

"This will include outreach and coordination with election officials and election stakeholders, including the NAACP."

The service also agreed to post guidance regarding mail-in election ballots by February 1st for primary elections and by October 1st for general elections through 2028, according to the settlement.

In a statement released on Friday, Derrick Johnson, the head of the NAACP, referred to the settlement as an "unprecedented victory for civil rights."

"When we fight, we win. Ballot box or mailbox, a vote is a vote, and each vote is sacred. No one, including the USPS, should ever stand in the way of our constitutional rights. With the NAACP's ability to now monitor the performance of the USPS during national elections, we will ensure that the right to vote is protected for of all citizens, including those often suppressed," he said.

The Department of Justice's Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta also agreed with the outcome of the settlement.

"The right to vote and ability to access the ballot is the cornerstone of our democracy," Gupta wrote in a statement.

"The department is pleased we could facilitate a resolution that reflects the commitment of all of the parties to appropriately handling and prioritizing election mail."

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Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 25, 2021, 03:04:14 pm
Saturday, 25th December  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One


By the way, Michelle Wu did eventually become elected mayor of Boston, Massachusetts, after all.

Title: Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
Post by: Battle on December 30, 2021, 11:48:55 am
Thursday, 30th December  ~Two Thousand & Twenty One
New York Governor Declares Racism 'public health emergency'
by ABC News


New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared racism a "public health crisis," signing an entire package of legislation December 23rd aimed at addressing discrimination and racial injustice in the state.

"For far too long, communities of color in New York have been held back by systemic racism and inequitable treatment," Hochul said in a statement last week.

"I am proud to sign legislation that addresses this crisis head-on, addressing racism, expanding equity, and improving access for all."

The new slate of laws address the need for comprehensive data collection on victims of violence and specifically Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders communities that have been ravaged by hate crimes throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The legislation has been spearheaded by state assembly members Karines Reyes and Yuh-Line Niou, Senators Kevin S. Parker and Brad Hoylman, and more.

Legislation S.70-A/A.2230 is intended to enact the "hate crimes analysis and review act," which will create guidelines for the collection and reporting of demographic data concerning hate crime victims and their alleged perpetrators.

"Our state is meant to be a beacon of diversity, equity, and inclusion, but without the tools to protect our marginalized communities these words carry little truth behind them," Reyes said in a press release.

"The Hate Crimes Analysis and Review Act ensures that we collect accurate demographic data of perpetrators and victims to better protect the communities being targeted. Without data, the plight of many will remain invisible."

Legislation S.6639-A/A.6896-A will require that the state collect specific demographic information to keep a "more accurate and relevant public record" of Asian-American populations in New York.

Senator Julia Salazar says data collection is important toward acknowledging the needs of certain communities and allowing proper resources to be allocated to them.

"As New York continues to face the devastation caused by the COVID-19 public health crisis, it is essential that the needs of all of our communities be understood and met," Salazar said in the press release.

"For the diverse Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities in New York this cannot be accomplished without detailed data that recognizes and respects the experiences of the numerous groups that make up the AAPI communities."

The legislation also requires the New York State Office of Technology Services to implement language translation technology across all state agencies to ensure that websites and services are translatable into the most common non-English languages spoken by New Yorkers.

"Asian-American communities are among the most impoverished in New York," Niou said.

"They also faced some of the toughest headwinds even before the pandemic began while also being unable to navigate critical government services due to a lack of language accessibility."

The long list of new efforts will also cover inclusivity in health care, expanding the list of conditions that newborns are screened for to include conditions found in newborns from the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.

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