Author Topic: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race  (Read 18216 times)

Offline Battle

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #120 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #121 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #122 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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« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 11:02:48 am by Battle »

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #123 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.”

« Last Edit: November 06, 2019, 03:24:53 pm by Battle »

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #124 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:

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #125 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #126 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #127 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #128 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #129 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #130 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #131 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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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #132 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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Offline Battle

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #133 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.

Offline Battle

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Re: Stacey Abrams wins Democratic nomination in Georgia gov's race
« Reply #134 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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« Last Edit: December 15, 2019, 10:39:54 pm by Battle »